As a small business owner, there is one thing that keeps your business alive, and that’s clients and customers. In service businesses especially, it is vital to know who your ideal client is and how the process goes for closing the client.
In today’s example, we’ll be using a business coach as the industry on how to track leads, but this works for many other industries as well. These industries are including, but not limited to, cleaning companies, web design firms, marketing agencies, social media agencies, cleaning companies, freelancers, and more.
#1. Note the name, contact information, and where the message originated.
For many business coaches who are utilizing social media, the initial contact may come from Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or other popular platforms. Receiving a DM inquiring about services is considered a first contact or touchpoint and should be tracked. Noting where they contacted you first also allows you to quickly go to their original DM or message and respond.
#2. Note the value of the lead.
Putting a value to a lead is not an exact science, especially if you offer multiple tiers of services. As a business coach, you may have a $500 strategy session, a $10,000 coaching package, and a $50,000 coaching package. When initially noting the lead, you can choose either the average price of your service, the minimum price of your services, or the smallest packages. As the sales process continues and you begin to have a better understanding of what the client does or does not need, you can change the valuation.
There is a psychology behind noting the potential value of your lead. Whether you create a list of potential clients or leads on a whiteboard, or in our app, Pretty Simple, you will start to recognize how much money is on the table in a prominent space. This encourages us to take action in order to close sales. Without a dollar sign assigned to each potential client, we are less motivated to take action or celebrate wins.
#3. Track where your leads are coming from
As your business grows and you are making decisions for your sales budgets, you will need to know where you are getting the best ROI, which is “Return On Investment.”
Here are some common sources of leads that I’ve used in my coaching businesses and digital marketing agency: speaking engagement, website (SEO), Google Ads, referrals (specify who the referral came from if possible), Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, influencer marketing, specific networking groups and others.
#4. Identify the Temperature of Your Lead (Pipeline)
You may have heard the term “cold, warm or hot” prospects. What does it mean for a potential sale to be “cold, warm or hot” — and again, similar to the valuation of the lead, there isn’t an exact science. I recommend that most small businesses track in a way that makes the most sense for them, I’ll share my general recommendations in just a moment, but let’s discuss another angle first.
The cold, warm, hot progression is not linear. What does this mean? A client may come in as a HOT lead, as they have reached out with an express interest in working with you, understand your pricing, and have a start date. They may become ‘warm’ by bringing up questions or concerns or not responding promptly or even go all the way back to cold by not showing up for a meeting or call.
Don’t be discouraged, I’ve had clients come in hot, go cold for 3 months and then close within 24 hours. That’s why tracking and knowing when contact is made is vital for small businesses.
Cold: When a client is in the very first contact, such as a web form submission, an introduction from a third party. You generally do not know what the potential sale might need and are following up to get more information. As noted above, the client may have become cold from a warmer temperature because they did not show up for a meeting or have failed to respond to multiple reminders.
Warm: This client has expressed interest in working with you and has a basic understanding of what you do and what your general pricing is.
Hot: The client has expressed an interest in working with you, along with an agreement of pricing or general pricing and start date.
#5. Set up a reminder of the next follow update
It is completely possible for a sale to close the same day as an inquiry, but some sales can require up to 10 follow-ups! There is conflicting information on how many times is ‘ideal’ to follow up, but I can confidently say that in my experience not only with myself but with dozens, if not hundreds of other clients, a minimum of 3 follow-ups should occur and can go up to 6 or 7 comfortable without feeling like a ‘hassle’.
The time between the follow-ups are equally important. Multiple times a day are rarely acceptable for the coaching industry, but twice a week is acceptable for the first two follow-ups, and then waiting a week or more in later attempts might work best.
My favorite follows up is to call and leave a voicemail, then shoot a quick email immediately after mentioning I left a voicemail so they can respond to whichever avenue makes sense for them. Finally, set a reminder for the next time to follow up.
A Final Note on Organizing Your Leads and Tracking Your Sales… Write down this information on a whiteboard, that is how I tracked my leads for years, or find another way to write out each lead that is organized and easy to decipher. I also used the ‘notes’ app on my iPhone… but I’ve since graduated and created the app Pretty Simple for small businesses and solopreneurs to be able to easily track their leads and get a reminder. Download today!