I find companies canvassing have 1 of 2 problems with leads. Their first problem, not getting enough leads coming in to keep their sales department busy. I spend a lot of time focusing on this subject and address this for those companies. The second, is the company has good amount of leads coming in, but they’re not following up on those leads efficiently enough to turn them in to a sales presentation ‘sits’ for sales. Regardless of the lead flow, leads need to be followed up on. If you’re generating outbound leads (canvassing and show/events), this article will be valuable to you because of the leads you do get, you have a percentage that will need to be followed up on to set an appointment. This will be the subject of this article.
Yes, many companies have CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software and systems, but even with those systems there are a lot of leads that are falling through the cracks and are missed opportunities.
Think about those leads, the ones you’re missing to take a positive action, you spent time and money to canvass and capture them. You’ve invested too much only to let them wither and die away, without giving a truly consistent follow up on.
Here are some statistics to consider. This is for the canvassers using traditional canvassing systems and offers… not the Canvass King way. Most are offering an appointment to get a free estimate. They’re getting roughly 10% of the prospects they actually connect with to set an appointment. These are people who are qualified to have a conversation with you about buying your products or services. 90% of qualified prospects have reasons and excuses as to why they’re not ready to move forward.
Of the 10% you schedule into an appointment, roughly 20%-37% will follow through with the appointment on the first set (without having to be rescheduled). Then, of all the leads you capture, doing the standard follow up, an additional 15%-25% of those a canvasser captures will result into a future scheduled appointment. This is old-school canvassing’s numbers.
My approach puts 4-5 times more leads in your funnel by making a different offer; for an information guide instead of an appointment. You’ll still make the same number of appointments at the door as you would following old-school methods. However, you’ll now have 4-5 times more leads to follow up on. This is the river of gold! I have clients doubling, tripling their business, even more, based on the leads they’ve captured and followed up on. I have clients making sales on leads they captured 4 years ago. They’re doing so without investing more canvassing time or money into them, because they’ve already been captured. They’re in what I call the gestation process. The process where the lead needs to be nurtured along until that prospect is ready. The river of gold because of the follow up. You’re sitting on a pot of gold too; right now! You can maximize your dollars.
There are 3 ways to follow up with prospects; with leads you’ve already captured.
- By phone
- Through direct mail
- Digitally via email
Once I have all their contact information I transition and make a second offer, which is for the appointment. I cover the transition in other articles you will find in my archives. The collection of the data isn’t the focus here, but it’s important to the follow up process.
Now that you have more leads, you’re positioned to set more appointments. You’ll always get the ‘now’ prospects. Every neighborhood has the prospects who are ready now to look into your products. 98% of companies who canvass rely on these now people. You also need to capture the people who are not ready now, but will be at some time in the future.
Let me clarify how I define a lead. They’ve raised their hand and accepted my offer for an information guide and I’ve captured their contact information for a product or service I do offer. Now this lead needs to be categorized in 1 of 3 ways when I bring it back to the company for follow up.
- An appointment has been set with the lead (a lead requiring confirmation)
- They didn’t make an appointment, but would like to at a later date or time (a call to set)
- They only want the information guide
Let’s look at the set appointment that for some reason didn’t result into a sales consultation; it now requires ‘resetting’ an appointment. The follow up campaign needs to be treated as such; to reset the appointment. They’ve already set an appointment and for whatever reason it cancelled. They should be treated as an appointment, not as if they were in any other category.
The call to set follow up is with the intent of setting their first appointment. They’ve indicated they want to do so and you approach them from this position.
With the information guide prospect, your follow up is a courtesy to confirm they received the information, but it’s your opportunity to take another shot at setting an appointment.
The difference on each approach is based on where the prospect is in their buying position. Your ultimate objective is to put them into a sales consultation. The objective remains the same, your approach varies based on your relationship with the prospect at that point.
There is a 4th approach and that’s for the prospect who kept the appointment, but didn’t buy. Follow up on this prospect is what I call the ‘rehash’. They saw the presentation and still didn’t buy. The follow to this prospect is focused on getting them to buy.
Phone Follow Up:
The telephone is the quickest way to get a hold of a prospect. When you connect it’s the fastest way to get to your objective. Also, when you do get the prospect on the phone it has the highest likely hood of converting them to your objective. It’s a live, one on one communication with them. It’s an extension of the relationship established with them when they were captured as a lead.
When you’re on the phone it will be your strongest opportunity for a call to action.
Direct Mail Follow Up:
Direct mail is an under rated performer. Many perceive it as being outdated as a means of communication with prospects and leads. It requires more effort and expense. You have to have strong sales copy and a compelling offer, but, when done right, it will perform well.
With direct mail you’re not subject to digital rules. You don’t have to worry about email bounces and Google rules. Direct mail shows up at people’s home.
You also have more real estate to make your presentation. So many doing direct mail will sacrifice their presentation in an effort to be brief. There’s a battle in direct mail between what’s called long vs short copy. Short copy might be a standard sized postcard, whereas long copy might be a detailed sales letter. Most will opt for brevity rather than for a full presentation. I see it too in the information guides. I’ve had students who’ve opted to create their own information guides and what they ultimately create are glorified brochures. I’ve seen some as simple as a three-fold piece to others 2 or 3 pages. Don’t get me wrong, a short info guides is better than no info guide, though there’s very specific strategy and psychology that goes into a properly crafted info guide. The guides I create for clients tend to be 17 pages or longer. They’re called information guides when in reality they are stealth sales letters.
Digital Follow Up (email):
You can put this follow up on auto pilot. You can automate the complete electronic follow campaigns as well as segment the campaigns based on the prospect’s category. I’m talking about something more sophisticated than sending a few emails.
With digital follow up you can track the behavior and activity of the prospect interacting with your follow up.
The ideal follow up system will be an integration of all 3 mediums. The best follow up though is doing follow up. If you cannot do all 3 systems then pick one and do it. You will increase your results simply by doing the follow up. In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.
If you’re following an old-school canvassing method and getting the traditional 10% of people set to an appointment at the door and only about 50% of those actually sitting the appointment then you can dramatically affect your results by adding comprehensive and consistent follow up, even with only 1 of these 3 methods.
In the words of Nike – “Just Do It!”
Now, what are the tactical things you put into these follow up systems? If you’re a silver member or higher, I’ll direct you to the audio CD recording you’ll receive after each call as part of your membership. On the CD I give you very specific tactical things, as well as scripts for your phone follow up.
If you’re not presently a Silver member or higher you can correct that by going to www.CanvassKing.com/SilverProgram for more information, as well joining right there on the web page. When you join, drop me an email that you would like a copy of the Silver Telecoaching CD #052516 and my assistant will mail you a copy after receipt confirmation of your membership. This is information too valuable to make available online (except at my membership site) or distribute electronically.
If you would like more information about my information guide program and/or how I can build and implement all your follow up systems for you contact me at cthompson at canvassking.com. Or, for more immediate attention, call my office at (216) 588-1337.
Committed to your canvassing success,
Chris Thompson, The Canvass King