Customer Relationship Management: Leads Are Seeds

Customer Relationship Management: Leads Are Seeds - Small Business Advice

Written by Seva Call Co-Founder, Manpreet Singh

Lead follow-up turns many business owners green in the face. The challenge is striking the balance between invisible and insanely irritating, forgotten and infuriating. Perhaps that’s why many businesses don’t get around to picking up the phone in the first place. According to the Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM), about 70 percent of leads receive no follow-up whatsoever. To better understand how leads can help grow a small business, remember that leads are seeds.

Weed Your Leads

Obtaining or basing a referral on details beyond merely the contact information is called lead qualification. Further research from ISBM illustrates that having a lead-pre-qualification process in place increases lead follow-up efforts. Unqualified leads drain precious resources which could be used to help more promising opportunities follow. It’s best to choose a lead-generating method that gives high-quality leads which match your location and service area to begin with.

Till the Soil

Regardless of whether or not leads are pre-qualified, business owners should contact the prospective customers to learn more about them. “Power Questioning,” as it’s called, confirms that the business is the right soil in which to plant a sales seed. As an icebreaker, the preliminary questions following a greeting breaks up the soil in preparation for planting. So, with a pen in hand, ask a number of questions including but not limited to:

          – Where is the consumer located?

          – What kind of service is needed?

          – When is the service needed?

Keep notes with the contact information and use it to tailor your engagement strategy. The better tilled the soil, the more deeply rooted the eventual bloom can be.

“Rain” (Them In)

Not reign, rain! Follow-ups should include nourishment: answers to questions and other helpful information about the consumer’s problem and your solution to that problem. Don’t attempt to reign consumers in with pushy sales talk that tries to trap them into buying immediately. Pushy sales tactics are like strong winds that blow leads into competing lands. Being helpful encourages consumers to dig deeper in search of further refreshment, and well-rooted consumers become loyal consumers.


Consumers want to know what makes a certain business exceptional. So tell them about your decades of experience, the stellar feedback you got on a similar job, and mention your licenses and certifications. Like sunflowers, they’ll lean in the direction of the brightest and warmest glow.

Check for Sprouts

In the midst of shining and raining, stay attuned to indications that the consumer is ready to bloom. In other words, be prepared to close. Attempting to close at an inappropriate time can seem pushy, but discussions over pricing and estimates, scheduling, and other logistical matters are a great leeway into closing. Also, if a conversation is drawing on too loo long, either a close attempt and/or this next step is in order.

Make Like a Tree and Leaflet

Businesses owners know that not all leads end in an immediate sale. If you have a potentially late bloomer on your hands, then offer further information via email. An e-newsletter is the cheapest, most direct marketing strategy for perpetual brand awareness. Email outreach should include all of the elements of normal lead follow-up:

1. It weeds leads because it should include an opt-out option.

2. It tills the soil by continuing the initial engagement.

3. It rains them in with helpful information like industry news, special offers, and services.

4. It shines by including quotes from positive reviews and generally shows the business in a positive light.

5. It checks for sprouts with a call to action that encourages consumers to call, visit a website, book an appointment, or otherwise close the deal.

And Repeat!

Lead generation can become like a land of perpetual spring for business owners who take good care of their seeds. Remember: blooms beget seeds. Inspiring customer loyalty and continued engagement online is a great way to keep producing a lot of blooms.

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