Your business has leads: Now what?

It’s a common problem to have for any business owner – but a good one because you know that something is working with your marketing plan. The problem is now that you have generated leads, what do you do next?  For some businesses, they are ill equipped to handle it, but for others, the process may seem antiquated. Here are some things you can do now once your business is starting to pick up leads.

Formulate a Process – Any Process

The old adage applies here: the journey to a thousand miles starts with the first step. Establishing a process is going to go a long way, even if you only receive 1 lead per day. Whether leads come in by phone or contact forms, processes matter. Establishing a process gets you oriented on what you need to do when a lead comes in. Put into practice for a while you’ll start to implement it into your daily business routine. It is easier to scale up once you have identified a process that works. There may be several iterations of a process, but sticking to one for the interim will help you handle larger lead loads in the future.

Don’t Panic

Receiving leads can be exciting. However, there is a tendency to panic when several leads come in at once. You can only do so much with that contact. Taking the one-at-a-time approach is common sense, but we often have so much that comes in at a time, we forget there are leads at the back end that need our attention. Don’t panic and take it one lead at a time. Patience will reward you. You don’t have to immediately respond when someone contacts you (unless they walk in to your business).   Respond in a timely manner, of course, but don’t be weighed down by the leads that come through. If the process is to respond only between time blocks in your day, go for it. If it means setting a goal to respond to 5 leads per hour, that’s fine, too.

Pay Attention to what your Prospect Wants

Take some time to find out what the prospective customer wants so you can field a better answer. The golden rule of “listening to understand” as opposed to “listening to respond” applies here. Your attention to detail to what your prospect wants gets you further into your conversation with your prospect. Far too often business owners assume the need before the prospect begins to speak. This is not a healthy way to approach leads. Listen and garner your answers to their questions.

Leads are the lifeblood of any business. Building a system to handle them is the first step in fielding a competitive business. The sky is the limit when it comes to handling your leads, but you should always have a plan to handle them. Soon enough you can be a master of your own process.