Lead Qualification: How to Qualify Leads
The success of your business, no matter it is a startup or a big real estate company, depends on many factors. However, none is more important than the number of customers who come through your door and hand you money.
Without customers, you have no revenue. Without revenue, well, you know what happens.
In order to get more customers and clients through your doors, however, you need to have a thorough understanding of the sales process and the customer lifecycle.
Once you know how to get people in the door, you need to know how to qualify leads, and then finally convert them into paying customers. But the journey doesn't end there. What you do after they become a customer is critical to your long-term success as well.
If you are wondering how to begin finding leads and qualifying them as quickly as possible, then keep reading our lead generation and lead qualification guide below.
Why Your Business Needs to Be Generating Leads
It doesn't matter what industry you are in. If you're in business, everything starts with getting new sales leads.
Whether you offer a product, such as recreational boats, or a service, such as legal advice, you need to find people interested in your business and walk them through the sales process.
The most effective way to do this is by finding warm and hot leads, as opposed to cold leads. Cold leads are those that currently have no interest in your product or service, and thus, are the hardest to attract and convert.
Warm leads are those who know they have a problem but aren't sure what the solution is. Hot leads are those that know what the solution is, but just don't know which company to choose to receive that solution.
If you can figure out how to advertise to these warm and hot leads, you can speed up your way to success by getting more people through the door and more people turning into paying customers.
With more paying customers, you'll earn more money. Consequently, you'll have more money to invest into your marketing strategies, making the whole system continue to go around.
How to Generate Leads
Your first step in getting paying clients is to start generating leads.
Let's say you are a law firm that specializes in DUI cases. You want to find a way of getting DUI leads, as other types of leads aren't going to be relevant. You don't need divorce leads, nor do you need corporate law leads. You need DUI leads.
There are two great ways to start getting these specific people to call you. For one, you want to focus on SEO. Search engine optimization will ensure your website shows up when someone searches the internet for things like, "what to do when you get a DUI."
Almost anyone searching for DUI-related information is someone that is going through this process or knows someone going through this process. If you have a web page that answers all of their questions, then you've already provided value and are increasing the likelihood of them giving you a call and hiring you.
The other way to make it easier to receive DUI leads is to build a relationship with other attorneys. If you know a divorce lawyer then you can send them divorce leads that come your way. As a result, they can send any DUI leads that come their way.
That way, if you get the wrong type of lead, you don't have to waste it. It can still benefit your business in another way.
How to Qualify Leads
Once you have leads, or people calling your business to inquire about your products or services, it's time to qualify these leads. Not everyone that calls is going to become a paying customer.
And not everyone that calls is going to be worth a lot of your time. That's what qualification is all about.
You want to be able to determine if a lead is worth the time and effort of talking to and helping. If it's likely they can become a paid customer, they deserve the time and attention.
If it's likely they won't, you want to find out right away so you don't waste time on them. Because after all, time is money.
One of the best ways to qualify leads is to hire entry-level staff to manage the phones, website chats, and email accounts. They'll be able to sift through all of the different inquiries at the lowest cost to your business.
When they find people who are more likely to become paying clients, they forward that information to you as the business owner, or to qualified sales staff.
That way, your higher-paid team members are only spending time on those likely to convert. And the only one who is "wasting time" on the bad leads is the lower-paid employee.
How to Convert Leads
So now you have a system in place for qualifying leads. What do you do when a qualified lead comes your way? Ideally, you get on the phone with them.
Talking on the phone, or in person, is the best way to close a sale. It builds trust fast, as people like working with real people.
Email and chat services are difficult to sell on. It's possible, but it removes the human-to-human connection.
Also, make sure to follow up consistently. When you get a qualified lead, they won't always convert right away. But don't let them slip away. Stay on their radar with regular follow up and you'll begin converting more leads into paying clients on a consistent basis.
Building a Marketing System
At this point, you have almost all of the pieces you need for a successful marketing system.
The last thing you need to do is offer an incredible experience for your paying customers. Then, give them an incentive to share that experiences with others.
If you can get satisfied customers to refer friends and family, then you have a self-sustaining marketing system.
Invest in Lead Generation
Now that you know how to generate new leads and how to qualify leads, it's time to get started. Your business is desperate for more revenue, so invest in your marketing efforts today.
Decide which lead generation strategies will be the most effective for your business, and focus on that area until it begins to work.
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