The worst thing you could do is to have your marketing work and you’re not prepared for the resulting traffic. It’s one of the first questions I ask in a consulting call – how much additional work can you handle? Sounds like a good problem to have, right? But it’s really not. Being unprepared as a business to manage incoming inquires and clients can be damaging and leave a bad taste in a prospect’s mouth.
I remember having an initial call with an architect around doing some work and I called back with a few questions only to never hear from them again. The result? They didn’t get my business and I wouldn’t recommend them. Now, my business may be small in comparison to other jobs they’re taking on. But what if I’m not the only one that happened to? I’m sure it happened because she was very busy. But I left two messages and my calls were never returned. As a business owner, I was stunned but I shouldn’t have been. It happens a lot. Hence, this post.
There are four things to think about when you set up your marketing (and business) that will support your marketing and growth:
1. Make it easy to engage
- Calend.ly to book a call easily
- Autoresponder with calendar invite link
It’s important to map and test out any way your prospects can reach out to you. If you want people to book a discovery call, then what is the process to book that call? Do you share a link to a booking system or do you expect them to send an email with a back-and-forth? Once a call is booked do you email confirmation? Do you ask any pre-call questions? IS it automatically booked in your calendar?
You can easily integrate a system to streamline this entire process. Things like Calend.ly or Acuity are built specifically for this. Setting notifications and reminders to be auto generated not only saves time but improves consistency.
If your business doesn’t require you to book calls to sell your offer, think about what you DO need them to do and make it easy for them. Keep it simple and easy to follow.
Once a prospect commits, how easy is it to onboard them as a client? Do you need to introduce them to a project management application? How do they communicate with you? Etc. You should be answering questions before they even think to ask them. A well-prepared vendor puts minds at ease!
2. Know the objections
- Have responses ready
- Provide proof
Once you’re on a discovery call or pitch are you prepared to overcome any obstacle? If they have reached out to book a call, the prospect has already done their research and is interested in working with you so they are really just seeking validation that you can solve their problem.
Does your content help overcome these obstacles? Do you know what works (or helps) to get you the sale? If it’s a cost issue, do you offer payment plans? If it’s a timing issue, are you flexible with delivery? If it’s a commitment issue, do you have systems in place to support them? Whatever the reasons are that people choose a competitor over you, do you have a compelling argument in your favour?
Make sure those arguments are put into an FAQ, social media content, blog posts, follow-up emails, and anywhere else your prospects will be. Testimonials, reviews, and case studies are great ‘proof’ to share as well as can help ease the transition from prospect to client.
You should be keeping a file of quoted obstacles as well as some (proven to be effective) responses that will help you overcome them. Keep this in front of you on the call until the responses come easily.
3. Know your CTAs
- What action are you asking prospects to take?
- Why are you asking them to do this action?
Every time you share content or put your brand out to attract prospects it’s important to plan the action you want your prospect to take. Make sure you are specifically telling them what to do next. This can help you track lead sources (if that’s a priority) or set-up automations or notifications.
Calls-to-action or CTAs could include any of the following:
- Read more
- Book a call
- Learn more
- Secure a spot
- Save your seat
- Join the waitlist
- Like or comment
- Share with your network
- Reply and let me know…
- Watch this video
- (and others)
Some CTAs are designed to build your email list or grow your revenue (directly) but others are designed to move prospects from awareness to interest. This means that you may focus on educating them around something or building their trust in your brand.
If these CTAs are not being performed then you want to pay closer attention to your marketing (copy and messaging specifically). Is your CTA being asked before the prospect is ready? Instead of asking them to purchase, should you be asking them to download a freebie? This is the premise of a funnel (getting the buyer warmed up to buy).
4. Set up tracking and follow-ups
- Use a CRM
- Time any follow-ups
- Add value to your follow-ups
Knowing who is responding to your marketing is a great way to confirm your messaging and offers. But tracking their activity is the best way to see if your systems are effective. To do this you should use a CRM and a lot of these things are automated. If you’re using a spreadsheet then you’ll have to manually enter the data and stay on top of things. I use Active Campaign, but I’ve also used Keap and OnePage CRM. There are many others out there too. With a CRM you should (at the bare minimum):
1. Prioritize follow-ups (& possibly automate)
2. Make notes around any interests (through tags or lists)
If the architect at the beginning of this post had done that, she may have gotten work from our call. It’s an awful feeling to lose work because you’re too busy doing manual follow-up (qualifying prospects). A CRM has the ability to do some of the work for you. Once you set it up, you just tweak until it’s what you want.
Setting these four areas up BEFORE you round up prospects means that their experience with you will be personalized, timely, professional, on brand, and downright amazing. Right from the start! And a first impression is a lasting impression – good or bad.