What I Discovered By NOT Answering My Phone

24 replies

How Do You Qualify Hot Leads?

P.S. This is my first Post in the forum
#ads #answering #discovered #hot leads #phone
  • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
    Hi there,

    While it seems you are having enough success to keep you happy it also appears you are wasting money by generating leads and not answering the phone.

    We've done studies on this over thousands of calls and yes, you are correct that by calling back those who don't leave a message you are now not in the control position. However, if you had answered the call in the first place your closing percentage would probably be 20-30% depending on the offer, the salesperson etc.

    So based on that, you're throwing money away which is not good advice.

    My input is based on thousands of phone calls analyzed for clients. It's probably more like hundreds of thousands of calls.

    Why work hard to generate leads and then let them go cold? The fact they picked up the phone to call you makes them a hot lead which you let go cold by not being available to talk to them when you were at the top of their mind.

    All the best,

    Sasha.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      From my experience running lawnmowing businesses for 11 years,
      letting the calls go to an answering machine ended up being better.

      The number of quotes dropped compared to calls being diverted to cell phone and answered.

      Conversion to sales is only one piece of the metrics measured.

      It was also the quality of client that was measured.

      If you had to turn up on a certain day because that was when they got paid,
      then they were out.

      Those ones wouldn't wait to leave a message.
      They would call anybody and most likely would try to beat you down on price.

      The ones who would leave a message were the ones who liked what they read in the ad,
      and had mostly made up their mind they wanted me.

      So going to an answer phone was a great automatic screening process.

      They were long lasting, paid on time and at a higher rate than
      others in the business.

      They built up a higher value asset when I sold those businesses.

      I was in the business of building and selling those businesses.

      Best,
      Ewen
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    • Originally Posted by SashaLee View Post

      Hi there,
      My input is based on thousands of phone calls analyzed for clients. It's probably more like hundreds of thousands of calls.
      Point taken - I can't argue with what you have tested - loosing 20-30% of the sales is pretty stupid of me, but right now I like to being the hard to get a hold of guru - but I hear you. Good input
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    It really depends on what kind of business you're running.

    If you're consulting then I agree almost 100%...don't be too
    easy to get hold of (with some exceptions...there are certain
    situations and certain clients at certain times where you want
    to allow easy access).

    If you want business owners to value your time don't give it
    away so freely.

    In other words make them work to get some of your time.

    I rarely answer my phone immediately.

    This is great advice for consultants.

    Try calling Dan Kennedy or any other consultant
    making 7 figures a year and see what happens.

    That's an education.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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    • Profile picture of the author RRG
      Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

      It really depends on what kind of business you're running.

      If you're consulting then I agree almost 100%...don't be too
      easy to get hold of (with some exceptions...there are certain
      situations and certain clients at certain times where you want
      to allow easy access).

      If you want business owners to value your time don't give it
      away so freely.

      In other words make them work to get some of your time.

      I rarely answer my phone immediately.

      This is great advice for consultants.

      Try calling Dan Kennedy or any other consultant
      making 7 figures a year and see what happens.

      That's an education.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
      Andrew, I was going to use Dan Kennedy as an example, also.

      He talked about his at the SuperConference a few years ago. The point he made was that he wasn't hard to reach because he charges so much now; he's able to charge so much now because he's been hard to reach since the beginning, even when he didn't have a lot going on.

      Positioning.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    As a customer/consumer if nobody answers the phone I just call the next competitor. It tells me you don't value my business enough to have someone answer the dang call. If you have too much business then wonderful for you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Yes it is true this is a way for the prospect to demonstrate that they're pre-sold on you.

    But if they aren't, they will move on to the next number.

    In my franchise experience, "First In Wins"...when a prospect doesn't know anything except they want a product or service, and they don't know you yet, you stand a much greater chance of getting the order if you can answer your phone. Many franchises simply could not answer their phone, and they lost a lot of business because of it.
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    • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Yes it is true this is a way for the prospect to demonstrate that they're pre-sold on you.

      But if they aren't, they will move on to the next number.

      In my franchise experience, "First In Wins"...when a prospect doesn't know anything except they want a product or service, and they don't know you yet, you stand a much greater chance of getting the order if you can answer your phone. Many franchises simply could not answer their phone, and they lost a lot of business because of it.
      Agreed. Why go to all the trouble of generating a lead and then let it go call the next guy? It's not only a waste of money, it sets up an instant picture of you in the prospect's mind which they'll be happy to share when asked.

      All the best,

      Sasha,
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      • Profile picture of the author midasman09
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        • Profile picture of the author plainwords
          I have to agree absolutely with the OP if you're in a consulting business, or any business where you're offering a high value service. People who are not willing to leave a message are likely to be more troublesome as clients.

          They are sending a signal that they don't value your time and expect you to be available at their convenience. Now, there are some businesses where it's important to be reachable 24/7 (web hosting for example). In those cases, you can hire support staff.

          But if you're selling high value services, the fact that you are not available at anyone's beck and call, will send the message that your time is valuable and you are in control of your time. People who don't accept and respect that, are not the clients you want.
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          • Profile picture of the author Anthem40
            In my experience the ones that don't leave a message are literally calling through numbers as fast as they can to find someone to give their money to. There have been times when I missed a call, and upon calling back 5 hours later get, "sorry, I already found someone else".

            It may well be different for your offerings, but you would never in a million years get me to PAY for advertising and then not talk to the leads when they are trying to move onto the next step in the sales cycle. Absolutely ridiculous.
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            • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
              Originally Posted by Anthem40 View Post

              In my experience the ones that don't leave a message are literally calling through numbers as fast as they can to find someone to give their money to. There have been times when I missed a call, and upon calling back 5 hours later get, "sorry, I already found someone else".

              It may well be different for your offerings, but you would never in a million years get me to PAY for advertising and then not talk to the leads when they are trying to move onto the next step in the sales cycle. Absolutely ridiculous.

              exactly. This strategy is for those who already have a good business and don't want to spend time on a little salesmanship on those prospects who might have a question about something. Or for the person who has built up a good reputation and they don't need any marginal business. If you are not an established authority in demand, someone not answering the phone is probably not a good idea for converting max sales.

              But for the rest of the 99.5% of business owners this isn't the case.

              If the owner him/herself doesn't want to answer the phone, why not hand it off to an assistant or inbound sales person to close the rest of the deals? You just increased your business w/out any more sales burden on yourself.
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              In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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            • Profile picture of the author misterme
              Originally Posted by Anthem40 View Post

              In my experience the ones that don't leave a message are literally calling through numbers as fast as they can to find someone to give their money to. There have been times when I missed a call, and upon calling back 5 hours later get, "sorry, I already found someone else".

              It may well be different for your offerings, but you would never in a million years get me to PAY for advertising and then not talk to the leads when they are trying to move onto the next step in the sales cycle. Absolutely ridiculous.
              OK. But keep this mind. That "someone else" they found a few hours ago... they haven't sat down with them yet. Their appointment's in two days and that's when they're going to get a price quote from the other guy, and they're gonna say to him, "oh... have to think it over..."

              So make sure you call them back then just to make sure they're still ok with who they found.
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              • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
                Of those who have commented, have you done both?

                As I said in my earlier post,
                I did and the end winning
                result was going to answer
                machine.

                It screened out the clients I didn't want.

                When I was part of a franchise organization
                they would take the calls live.

                My advertising got more left messages than
                their advertising creating calls taken live.

                That's why I left them.

                And they are the largest home services Franchise in the world.

                Best,
                Ewen
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                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                  Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post


                  My advertising got more left messages than
                  their advertising creating calls taken live.


                  That's why I left them.

                  And they are the largest home services Franchise in the world.

                  Best,
                  Ewen
                  Ewen; This sounds like your advertising was simply better.

                  I have prospects fill out a "Free 30 minute phone consultation form".

                  I get the E-mail and then call. The form has;
                  What books of mine they read
                  What videos of mine they watched
                  What they are hoping to get out of the consultation
                  And business details...

                  Vincentz: Certainly a useful post. Personally, if I was there, I would answer the phone. But I can see that your model works well for you. Could you post a copy of your ad?

                  Thanks for a very good contribution to the forum.

                  Claude
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                  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
                    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                    Ewen; This sounds like your advertising was simply better.

                    I have prospects fill out a "Free 30 minute phone consultation form".

                    I get the E-mail and then call. The form has;
                    What books of mine they read
                    What videos of mine they watched
                    What they are hoping to get out of the consultation to the forum.

                    Claude
                    Claude you are right about better advertising.

                    What you have described is the pre selling and
                    sorting.

                    When you talk to your prime lead, he
                    is in a high state of readiness to buy.

                    Very few have such a sophisticated lead
                    generation machine like you.

                    Mine was crude compared to yours.

                    But it still sorted out the high value
                    ones from the low value ones.

                    It seems people don't get the difference between types
                    of leads and how the bad ones have such a bad effect on your
                    business down the track.

                    You don't turn a bad one into a good one
                    when they are inherently bad.

                    Best,
                    Ewen
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                    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                      Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

                      But it still sorted out the high value
                      ones from the low value ones.

                      It seems people don't get the difference between types
                      of leads and how the bad ones have such a bad effect on your
                      business down the track.

                      You don't turn a bad one into a good one
                      when they are inherently bad.

                      Best,
                      Ewen
                      Ewen; My thought is that some leads that are still high quality, they just will not jump through the hoops. (at least on first contact)

                      Someone mentioned Dan Kennedy before and how he forces you to jump through hoops to get to him. That works because he has built himself a persona as "Hard to get to and in demand". And he has a "herd" that he sells to.

                      As much as he says that he was always like this...it simply isn't true.
                      30 years ago, he was making calls just like most of us. After he built a following, he then became the "No BS, can't call me no matter what guy".

                      I'm a good client if someone can sell me. But if I call an ad, and the person doesn't answer the phone...I may leave a message...but that doesn't mean I become more interested. I may just hang up, and call someone else.

                      I belonged to one of Kennedy's Mastermind groups for several years. I left a couple of months ago. The leader of the group followed Kennedy's style of not answering the phone...then you had to make an appointment to call back (or leave an e-mail)...and then you got a few minutes.

                      But...I make more money than he does. I'm just as busy as he is. I answer my phone. So one day he calls me with a question about a speaking gig I helped him get. I told him to make an appointment to call me back. He asked if I had a minute right then. I said "Yes, just like you do when I call you. From now on, take my calls if you're there. OK?".

                      I really hate posturing as a part of marketing. I hate it when people do it to me, and I don't like doing it myself. I do it on a sales call as part of selling. But to be honest, it's weighs on me. And I can't wait to never have to do it again.
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                      One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

                      "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
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                      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
                        Claude, possibly where the difference of point of views and experiences lies
                        in the value of a client.

                        Your video marketing service inherently has a much higher
                        dollar value than a person coming in to mow your lawn.

                        In my paper roll business I do make a point of answering the phone
                        within 3 rings. These calls are from existing clients.

                        With your books the potential client has read,
                        you will naturally attract a better lead than say a person who came from a direct mail piece.

                        So that in itself has pre sorted the prime ones
                        which make them right to talk to on the phone
                        right then.

                        As I said, very few have the same pre-selling machine in place to
                        warrant taking the calls straight away.

                        However, a qualifier.

                        If you had a tyre shop then I would get to the phone within 3 rings.

                        I recall it was Dan Kennedy talking about this same subject.

                        It depended on the type of business you are running.
                        And in some of them, yes he was all for answering the phone
                        and having a well followed script to get the caller to take the next step.

                        Best,
                        Ewen

                        P.S. Talking about gurus not taking your calls.
                        A living legend and gentleman to,
                        showed that he is very approachable
                        the last few days by the exchanging of emails we've had.

                        His name is Drayton Bird.

                        Gary Bencivenga is too.
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              • Profile picture of the author Anthem40
                Originally Posted by misterme View Post

                OK. But keep this mind. That "someone else" they found a few hours ago... they haven't sat down with them yet. Their appointment's in two days and that's when they're going to get a price quote from the other guy, and they're gonna say to him, "oh... have to think it over..."

                So make sure you call them back then just to make sure they're still ok with who they found.
                Yup, calling back leads in your pipeline is clearly 101 stuff.
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                95% of IM'ers have great relationships with clients who also advertise offline and with other people. Stop missing out on that cash and leverage into it. PM me if you are an established marketer and want to find out how.
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                • Profile picture of the author greg2200
                  Funny thing I read this post a few days ago and found it interesting, then today I heard something on the radio today that made me come back and leave this post....

                  I heard a Tony Robbins radio spot today offering a free business building ebook and his CTA was to call 800-XXX-XXXX and leave a messag with your email and he will send it out right away.

                  So if an expert like Tony Robbins is driving people to a voicemail there has to be a reason.

                  Just saying
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                  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
                    Originally Posted by greg2200 View Post

                    Funny thing I read this post a few days ago and found it interesting, then today I heard something on the radio today that made me come back and leave this post....

                    I heard a Tony Robbins radio spot today offering a free business building ebook and his CTA was to call 800-XXX-XXXX and leave a messag with your email and he will send it out right away.

                    So if an expert like Tony Robbins is driving people to a voicemail there has to be a reason.

                    Just saying
                    I have heard this commercial before and was surprised he had people call to leave their email address. He should give them the option of calling in, or have them just text their email address to a toll free number and he can capture both their cell phone number AND put them into an autoresponder sequence. Might as well kill many birds with one stone.
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                • Profile picture of the author misterme
                  Originally Posted by Anthem40 View Post

                  In my experience the ones that don't leave a message are literally calling through numbers as fast as they can to find someone to give their money to. There have been times when I missed a call, and upon calling back 5 hours later get, "sorry, I already found someone else".

                  It may well be different for your offerings, but you would never in a million years get me to PAY for advertising and then not talk to the leads when they are trying to move onto the next step in the sales cycle. Absolutely ridiculous.
                  Originally Posted by Anthem40 View Post

                  Yup, calling back leads in your pipeline is clearly 101 stuff.
                  This was in reference to people who told you they got someone. Thought maybe you then don't think of them as leads anymore, and don't call them back.

                  Originally Posted by xlfutur1 View Post

                  I have heard this commercial before and was surprised he had people call to leave their email address. He should give them the option of calling in, or have them just text their email address to a toll free number and he can capture both their cell phone number AND put them into an autoresponder sequence. Might as well kill many birds with one stone.
                  Maybe there's something in hearing that message, or maybe there's something about there being a message to hear, that is part of the strategy that simply texting in wouldn't accomplish.
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                  • Profile picture of the author DABK
                    I was curious, about a year ago: the phone message sells you on how skilled he and Chet Holmes (would be different now, since Chet died) were at what they do and asked for email address, name and phone number to send you 4 strategies (or was it tips) about growing your business. For free.

                    It was a short report they sent me (nothing new for me, having read both Chet's and Robbin's books and they not giving away too much... but enough, if you are not familiar with them, to leave you salivating for more).

                    Two days later, someone called to follow up...

                    They were selling coaching, expensive coaching.

                    It was smooth and clever. I was impressed with the execution.

                    Then they emailed
                    Originally Posted by misterme View Post


                    Maybe there's something in hearing that message, or maybe there's something about there being a message to hear, that is part of the strategy that simply texting in wouldn't accomplish.
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    Very interesting thread with some great points.

    Reminds me of the classic Dan Kennedy quote:

    "No one ever went to see the guru at the BOTTOM of the mountain".
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