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Resource Center > Article
It Takes a Hot Voicemail to Land a Warm Lead
24 Feb 11 Posted by: Kathleen C Lanza
in Marketing & Sales

If you are a successful entrepreneur who provides others like you the chance to follow in your footsteps by offering them a business opportunity, distributorship, licensee opportunity or even a small franchise, knowing how to work a warm lead is critical.  The first step in approaching any warm lead correctly is the all-important first contact, which will often be in the form of a voicemail.

What many people don’t fully appreciate is just how important both the timing and the content of any first contact truly are, particularly when it comes to leaving a message.  When you receive a warm lead―one that is generated either by you or via another source, such as BusinessOpportunity.com―it’s imperative that you act on that lead right away.  In fact, making some sort of initial first contact within three to five hours is optimal.  One business day is acceptable.  Three days or more and your warm lead may very well have grown cold. 

As challenging as the ideal turnaround time on a warm lead can be, you’ve got to face the fact that competition―even when we’re talking about business opportunities―is fierce.  Much like when they spend their hard-earned money on any other product, people who are looking to start a business are oftentimes shopping for the right fit by casting a wide net expressing initial interest.  And although finding the right candidate for your opportunity is very much about whether or not what you’re selling meets their needs, don’t think for one moment that it’s not every bit as much about your timing and sales pitch―because it is.

Your sales pitch begins with any first response you make to a warm lead.  If you reach a lead right out of the gate, that’s great.  More often than not however, you’ll simply get the opportunity to leave a voicemail message.  Either way, what you should say in that first few moments on the phone, whether in person or on a recording, needs to be clear, concise and include some really crucial information.

What You Must Say When You Only Have A Minute

The must-haves and must-dos when it comes to the perfect first contact with a warm lead are as follows:

  • Introduce yourself

  • Tell your lead you are responding to an inquiry for more information that they requested and tell them from where…THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!  More often than not, if you don’t take a second to refresh a warm lead’s memory, you will have missed the one opportunity you will ever get to establish your credibility and move forward in the sales process.

  • Tell your lead what you are going to do next.  Be specific.  If your next step is to send an email containing key information about your opportunity, that’s a good move.  However, you need to tell them specifically what the subject line will say and ask that they make sure the message you are sending DOES NOT go to spam.  More about how to ensure your follow-up messages don’t go to spam in a moment.

  • Last but not least, you must tell your lead when you will be calling to follow-up yet once again, and then stick to it.  Again, be specific.  Will you be calling back in three days?  On Thursday?  By the end of the week?  If you’d like your lead to call you back, it’s certainly a more risky approach, but you need to tell them when would be a good time to reach you.

  • End with a kind sign-off and a mention of the hope that you’ll be able to talk more soon.

Of course, if you reach a warm lead in person right away, you’ll want to elaborate on your opportunity, what it’s all about and how it’s different and superior somewhere between the second and third steps spelled out above.  And while your discussion about the email you’ll be sending might also need some modification, the basic outline remains the same.  Most important to remember here, you MUST remind a warm lead that they sought out information from YOU, not the other way around!  If you don’t, you’re just another annoying person trying to sell something that your lead doesn’t necessarily want or need.

Avoiding Spam and Embracing Analytics

It’s NEVER enough to just send an email response to a warm lead and call it a day…NEVER!  Again, competition, even in the business-opportunity arena, is stiff.  You must stand out if you want to make the sale and find the right candidates for what it is you’re selling.

Fortunately, there are many options to help you craft just the right subject line to ensure your emails don’t land in someone’s spam file.  In fact, the common-knowledge do’s and don’ts as dictated by the experts are all over the internet.  Just start surfing on keywords and phrases like “spam checker” and “ideal subject line to avoid spam,” and you’ll get the idea. 

Subject line words and phrases such as “thank you” and “free” tell your warm lead absolutely nothing about what your email is about and are almost guaranteed to never reach their intended target.  In fact, they’ll usually rank at around a four or more on the scale that predicts the likelihood that a subject line will go to spam.  And yes, there is a scale that can help you gauge that.  For the record, anything above a 5 on that scale pretty much means what you’re sending will not land in a good place!  Additionally, subject lines any longer than 132 characters or so are a big no-no, and, again, will ultimately end up in a spam folder somewhere, never to find their audience. 

The fact is that there are all kinds of ways you can evaluate whether or not what you’re doing via email is working for you―if your message is getting through and making an impact.  It’s actually quite easy and affordable to track the analytics that can help you, such as bounce-back rates, deletions and confirmation of messages received, to name only a  few.  The truth is that without making the necessary investments in the software or services to track your email success and failure rates, how can you ever modify what’s not working so that it does?  You can’t.  Furthermore, when that kind of information is available to you and so easy to obtain, why not use it to your utmost advantage?  It’s probably one of the smartest things you can do.

Simply refining your initial approach when you’re cultivating a warm lead can go a long way toward converting it to a hot one and then a final sale.  So give some careful thought to whether or not you’re nurturing your leads appropriately.  Only you can make the most of them before they freeze up and are gone for good.

Live On Your Own Terms
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