A business owner complained that his leads were ghosting (ignoring) him after initially showing interest.
There are, of course, many reasons why leads stop responding. But, as we worked together we uncovered a mismatch between lead temperature and his response.
Lead temperature is a way of describing how interested a lead is. A hot lead wants what you sell right now, but a cold lead has a mild interest that might lead to a sale in the future.
Think about leads for a plumber. A lead with a fountain of raw sewage erupting from their toilet is smoking hot. But, someone who is thinking of remodelling their bathroom at some distant future is cold.
What would happen the plumber called the person with the toilet volcano and told them they could be there in 20 minutes?
What would happen if our plumber made the same offer to the person thinking of remodelling their bathroom?
Or, what are the chances of making a sale to the lead with the toilet disaster if we put them on a nurturing email sequence? (A series of emails designed to educate the lead and build trust and confidence in the business.)
It's not rocket science but response mismatch happens a lot. It happens because:-
Of these, the most difficult has always been to determine the lead temperature. After all, you can’t come out and ask someone if they’re a hot lead or not. You need to be subtle.
That's where proxy questions come in. Proxy questions help you understand how hot the lead is.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
A client helps people emigrate from South Africa to Australia. We use the proxy question When are you thinking of emigrating? as a way of determining how hot the lead is.
The answers are usually something like:-
Our experience has been that leads who say ASAP have often suffered some kind of traumatic event. They’re hot and they’ll usually book a meeting with an immigration consultant.
Someone who’s got the end of the school year as a deadline is also pretty hot given that emigrating can take several months.
As you can probably guess, the people who don’t have a definite date are cold or at best warm. They’re looking for information and are a good candidate for a nurturing email sequence. They’re much less likely to respond to a request to meet with an immigration consultant.
Another client specialises in asylum law. We ask if the lead (or usually the lead’s loved one) is currently detained by the immigration authorities. Someone who’s family member is an a jail cell is a very hot lead. Someone who knows that they need to get their paperwork sorted sometime in the future is much cooler.
I've used a couple of different approaches to ask proxy questions.
As part of the enquiry form on a landing page or website. This is the simplest and works if:-
In a two-part form. The enquiry form on the landing page is in two parts. The first part asks for the usual stuff like name, email address and phone number. Once the lead completes the first part of the form we save the contact details into a CRM system.
The second part of the form is shown right after the lead submits the first part. It asks the proxy questions.
I like this approach a lot:-
The only downside is that it needs some technical chops to set it up as most out of the box form handlers don’t do this.
Emailing the lead with a link to a second form. The email is sent after the lead has filled in the enquiry form. The lead clicks the link and completes another form.
I don't like this approach as much as the two-part form because it breaks the momentum but sometimes there are good reasons for using it.
Emailing the lead with extra questions. Instead of sending a link to a form you include the proxy questions in the body of the email. If suffers the same disadvantage as sending a link to a form - you've broken the momentum - but it feels a little more personal.
Once you know how hot a lead is you can match your response to their temperature. If someone is hot, you suggest the next step in the sales process. If someone is cold, you start your nurturing process.
Figuring out if a lead is hot or not from proxy questions is better than ignoring lead temperature, but it's not perfect. I compensate for mistakes by allowing hot leads to opt into a nurturing sequence and cold leads to contact a sales person right away if they prefer.
Here's how you could do this in an email response to the immigration consultant's hot leads:
You've said that you want to immigrate ASAP. We can help with that.
The next step is to meet with one of our immigration consultants to work out the best plan for you and your family. Please use this link to schedule an appointment with a consultant in your area.
(This next paragraph allows the lead to do something useful to us if they're not as hot as we though they were.)
But, if you're not ready to meet right now you'll probably find our guide on what documents you need to gather to immigrate to Australia useful. You can get the guide here. etc etc_
And here's how you could do it for the immigration consultant's cold leads.
It looks like you've not yet decided on exactly when you'd like to emigrate. It's a huge, life-changing decision so it makes sense that it'll take some time.
I've attached a copy of our guide on what documents you'll need to gather to help you as you prepare. I'll send you more information about finding a job, healthcare, schooling and so on that our clients have found helpful.
(This is where you allow the lead to tell you that they're hot)
But, if you'd prefer to get the ball rolling right now please use the link below to book an appointment with one our immigration consultants. etc etc
You're welcome to adapt my approach to your business.
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