How To Follow-Up With Leads: A Broker’s Guide
Should you Email? Should you call? How often should you reach out to your leads? We have the tips and tricks on the best practices in follow-up methods and etiquette for brokers.
Over the past 10-15 years, there has been a significant shift in methods of contact from business to consumer & business to business, that have impacted marketing and sales efforts. Several key areas that have developed rapidly and have a direct impact on these methods of outreach include:
- social media development
- content and product information via search engines
- smart devices
Let’s explore a bit further:
As a result of the above shifts, the need for a “marketing revolution” developed called inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is considered a customer-centric approach to marketing. It involves meeting your customers where they “hang out”. Where do consumers and businesses alike spend their time? Virtually, through social media platforms and surfing the internet for needed or desired information.
Today’s consumer is doing their research; They are informed and are using search engines to find reliable and reputable information on what they need or desire. They are also fast-forwarding through commercials and are screening phone calls. Today’s consumer values convenience and for business transactions to occur on their time, as efficiently as possible. They are skirting past outbound methods which involve selling, (rather than informing) through cold-calls, commercials, mailing letters, and showing up at your front door.
PPC & SEO Leads
Although the goals of PPC and SEO are quite similar (to get your business indexed on the first page of search engines) the methods, practices and purposes are different. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has the goal of populating your website in a top ranking position organically (i.e. as a developed and reputable business that uses best practices in the development and usage of keywords/long-tailed keywords, optimized content through title tags, meta-descriptions, header tags, and image ALT tags). Social media development, blogging, and branding further develops SEO efforts. Top ranking positions through SEO takes time to develop. The results are not immediate, however the wait is well worth the reward as it’s long-lasting and increases the chances of consumers purchasing through you.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) has the same goal of having your business populate in top ranking positions, however this is through paid ads. Your PPC strategists develop ads and landing pages based off of your product focus and budget. Your PPC strategists use targeted keywords (terms that your ideal borrower is likely to type into the search engine) and top ad ranking/ bidding strategies to ensure your ads have a high ranking in the search results (ideally in the first 4 listings). With PPC, or paid search marketing, the results are immediate. This can give your business the boost it needs to develop leads while your SEO is building.
Now that we have a basic understanding of marketing trends and shifts, let’s dive a bit deeper into figuring out how to reach out to our leads. Here’s an example of a potential lead:
Let’s say Susie Q is looking for a Commercial Real Estate Loan to purchase multi-unit single family housing. She needs a loan amount of $2M to accomplish this. Susie Q would like to get started exploring her options so she searches for “commercial real estate loans”. Susie is then faced with many listings, but your descriptive listing really catches her eye. She clicks on your ad and is brought to a highly relevant and informative landing page, with a form on it. She fills out the form, hits the “submit” button and most likely will continue her search, and click on other ads while she waits to hear back. Susie is interested in what you have to offer, and is expecting to hear back from you. This is the key difference between soliciting through cold-calls/ mass Emails. Your lead is ready and waiting for you to reach back.
When and How to Contact Your Leads
Once Susie Q filled out her form, all of the information that she filled out is sent directly to your business Email (info@_____lending.com) immediately after she clicks “Submit”. You will have her information, loan amount, details of loan request, credit score and contact information right in front of you. You can determine if Susie might have potential to be a solid lead or if perhaps things won’t work (due to poor credit score/ loan amount/ or any other details that might not be a solid match on the form criteria). Let’s say that in this case, our Susie Q looks promising; Now what do you do?
Reach back out as soon as possible
This means you need to be checking your Emails frequently. Remember, it is highly likely that Susie Q is researching other lending options and filling out other forms while she waits to hear back. Reaching back out within the hour is important and highly recommended.
Use multiple methods of following up
Keep in mind that convenience is key. Communicating with your lead in their preferred environment is a part of this. Give your lead options to respond back to and ask them what their preferred method of contact is and the best time to reach back out to them.
Let’s pretend that this is the follow up schedule of Johnny from his lending business “J & J Lending”. In this model, you can see that Johnny calls his lead right away. After the initial phone call, he sends a follow-up Email (you can have pre-formatted drip Emails that you can customize to your lead) and then tries back 30 minutes later. Johnny chooses to give one brief follow up method to Susie on days 2, 3 & 4. He then decides to give Susie her space for four days and reaches back out with 2 methods on day 8. And so on and so forth… Johnny delivers 9 touches in 14 days according to this model.
Use Email drip campaigns and integrate your leads to your Email marketing
We strongly advise having well-written and enticing Email templates prepared for multiple product focuses & scenarios. For example, if you’re reaching out to a lead for the first time, you can have an introductory Email from which you can edit and personalize to each lead based off of the information you received from their submitted form. Make sure to thoroughly proofread for grammatical errors.
Follow Up Etiquette With Your Leads
Ensure your leads are getting the TLC they need to make the best decision.
Be patient, informative & follow through
In general, when a lead fills out a form, the landing pages typically specifies that they will be contacted back within 24 hours. This is a must and the sooner, the better. Remember, your lead filled out a form because they are researching options and are ready and expecting to communicate soon!
Follow-up with all leads
If you have leads that aren’t ideal due to any circumstances (credit score, etc), we recommend sending a pre-formatted follow-up Email informing them of this decision.
Let them know what to expect
When your leads have been told that you are planning on Emailing/ calling the next day, they will expect this. They will be far more likely to prepare and set aside time to talk to you. If you call/ Email them continuously, they are going to treat you like you are interrupting their day. Your lead may wish they had never filled out a form from the start.
If they aren’t interested, respectfully leave them alone
Do not continue contact with leads that are no longer interested in pursuing a loan with you.
Check out more information on how to succeed with your lead.
Have questions? We have answers! For more information regarding lead generation or best follow-up methods, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com from the lead generation department at The Finance Marketing Group. We would be happy to answer your questions.