We have a saying around here: the quality of a lead is tied directly to the effectiveness and speed of your response to it. When it comes to Internet leads, that nothing could be more true.
Consider the cliché, “the early bird gets the worm.” That expression is especially true when it comes to Internet leads. Be the first company to contact the homeowner after he or she submits a Web form and—bam—you’ve greatly improved your chances for a positive conversation.
“But Todd,” you say, “that’s obvious!” And you’re right. Just to underscore how important rapid follow-up to Internet leads really is, take a look at one of the best studies I’ve ever seen on this topic from the geeks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the people at InsideSales.com.
While this study isn’t specific to the home improvement industry, the principles behind the processes for call back and effective qualification of online leads relate directly to your success with them.
The study’s most stunning revelation has to do with how rapidly you follow up once you receive an online lead. Leads called within one hour are six times more likely to qualify than leads called more than one hour after your receipt:
Six times more likely? Really? Well, my informed opinion is that “six times” an extremely aggressive number for the home improvement sector.
But the lesson is essential! Calling in during that first hour after receipt is important. Even more important calling within minutes.
Minutes? Yes! As the following chart shows, calling within minutes of receiving an online lead increases chances of qualification even more:
As you see, contacting leads back within those first five minutes is key to reaching more homeowners.
That said, our own tests have borne out that our rapid follow up on our clients’ Internet leads is indeed a major factor our ability to set appointments for them at extraordinarily high rates. So much so that we’ve set our internal standard that our telephone agents will call all Internet leads back within five minutes. Trust me on this one: it pays.
Our thinking goes like this: by doing this, we greatly increase the likelihood we’ll reach the homeowner back even before they get up from their computer. That enhances our ability to not only reach the homeowner, but to do so the first time we call them.
In addition, by calling so quickly, we typically amaze and delight the homeowner with this rapid response, a good feeling that the homeowner carries into the sales appointment itself.
In summary, the math is simple: