Thursday, September 25, 2008

Your Internet Leads and How to Make a Follow-up

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Internet leads can come from a variety of sources. You may have got them from your mailing list, random e-mail addresses, competitors, yellow pages, search engines—almost every nook and cranny of the World Wide Web. If you want to take the shortcut, you can always buy them from different companies that are offering thousands of sales leads.

The question, however, is what are you going to do with them? Unless you’re willing to make a move such as a follow-up, you will never be able to convert them to profits and growth for your business.

The Different Follow-up Strategies

Here are some of the best ways on how you can keep track of your sales leads:

1. Send them an e-mail. According to research, 100 percent of Internet users have at least 1 e-mail address or account. This means there’s also 100 percent chance of getting read by your Internet sales leads. Nevertheless, knowing their e-mail account is only the first step. What’s really important is the content of your mail. Keep in mind that these Internet leads may not really know who you are, so you have to put your best foot forward.

When you’re doing e-mail marketing with your web leads, focus more on the information. They should be succinct, accurate, factual, and fresh. Most of them don’t really have the time to read lengthy e-mails. If you can’t avoid it, you can redirect them to a whole new webpage, perhaps your sales page, which they can bookmark and just go back to it when they’re no longer busy. A little personalization will also go a long way. It makes them think less that they are just one of the hundreds of random names your lead generator may have picked up.

2. Call them. If the first method doesn’t elicit responses from other high-value web leads, it’s time to move on to the next technique: give them a ring. Now, this is actually very tricky. In as much as you don’t want to call yourself or your sales agents as telemarketers, you are to your target market. Thus, a lot of times you will hear apprehension or even a screaming no from them. There are also times when your call gets picked up by their answering machine, and your message can be deleted right away especially if they don’t know who you are. So what can you possibly do?

First, you make a call. If it’s going to be an answering machine that you’re going to hear on the other line, make sure that you can ask them of their most comfortable time to call them. If you get picked up by your lead, ensure that you can sound as professional, knowledgeable, and as determined as possible. There will be rejections and even a feeling of frustration on the other end, but don’t give up too easily. Every lead is always worth a call.

3. Set up autoresponders. If you are running a mailing list, most probably, you have harvested online leads. You can then add these e-mail addresses to your autoresponder, which will then provide useful information about your product or service to your target customers.

Make Use of a Software

When it comes to tracking leads, you need to have a program that can help you in the process. A web-based Internet sales leads software, for example, will not only gather web leads for you, but can also help you determine which of them you have already talked to and which ones you may have missed out. You can also rank these leads according to priorities. Those of excellent value to your business should be handled first, since they are most likely the easiest to convince.

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