E154 – Signs That You Need to Audit Your Lead Process

Kicked off by Mat and his story of a leaking roof starts off the episode with a perfect example that just happened in recent weeks. Dave also had some water issues this year where he had trouble getting not the Marketing -> Sales handshake to work but just a good overall follow up experience.

Dave then digs into a Memorial Day Test that was the initial test that spurred this episode. To those four landscaping companies that were part of the test and the 2 that responded. Thank you! Also know that Dave does have the quotes and is looking to hopefully hire one of them later this summer for the project!

Form Thank You

If you have a lead form on your site or a contact form make sure that your form solution also sends a notification to that person to thank them or let them know that the form “worked”.

Continued Communication

Do you keep the prospect or client alerted to any changes? It can be via email, text or a phone call but if there are updates or delays anywhere along the line do you communicate that?

There is a fine balance between not enough and too much but in most cases companies lean far into the “not enough” category. Of the 4 companies Dave contacted on Memorial Day only two really responded and one did a great job of that continued communication.

How to Increase Close Rates

Matt talks about his past Custom Mattress business and one of the things they quickly learned was that they had an almost 100% close rate if they could talk to a person right away.

If the phone is ringing, they would talk to them. If someone filled out a form they would try and get back within 30-60 minutes. Just fast responses would get them a leg up and a much better close rate.

Better Forms, Better Leads

There is and should be a balance between asking lots of questions on a form and trying to get as many people as possible to fill out a form.

Dave looks at NorthSide Metrics and Avalaunch to get a baseline and throw us under the bus (we both passed).

Then Dave went through the four forms from the Memorial Day test and walked through each of them. In general some were super basic with just name and contact but didn’t ask for any real information. There were two that actually asked which services you wanted and left it open for additional information.

What does your form look like? Do you ask enough or too many questions?

Have a Lead Process

No matter your size, you need a lead process. The guys wrap up the episode talking about texting, lead process, marketing -> sales hand-off, customer service and really the whole funnel. Look at how and when you handle leads of any type and follow it through – where can you improve?

If you aren’t sure how to test your lead process, ask a few friends to fill out leads or call in and test your process for you. Tell them to use fake names or to do it in some window so you aren’t sure it is them, don’t alert your staff and then test the process. Do you and the team miss something? Do you crush the follow-up or totally drop the ball?

Full Transcript

] Matt Siltala: [00:00:00] Welcome to another exciting episode of the business of digital podcast, featuring your host, Matt  and Dave roar. Hey guys, excited to have you join us here on another one of these episodes, grateful for you as always. And how’s it going, sir?

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:17] Let’s coffee.

Matt Siltala: [00:00:20] I got you right at the right time, but what we’re going to do today guys is, uh, and here’s the funny thing we were still trying to.

Figure out. Yeah, exactly. That’s what we’re trying to figure out what the title is going to be. But for all you listeners out there, it’s going to be something related to, um, lead generation and you know, your followup with that. And I’m going to talk a lot about the local businesses and I like how you put a Dave, the, uh, the gap between the, the, uh, The owner and the marketing or the communication or lack thereof.

I can’t remember exactly how you put it, but

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:59] the [00:01:00] handshake between marketing marketing, getting you in the door and then sales dropping the ball, which is not always sales fault, but as a marketer, I, I, I blame sales until they told me that my lead was junk. Dennis my fault.

Matt Siltala: [00:01:15] So with that said, I’m going to kick off.

Yeah. I’m going to, I’m going to share a story. That’s um, you know, it’s this, this is something that happens all the time, Dave, and then I’m going to kind of just set it up for you and let you, uh, take it away from there. But you know, when we were chatting about this, the thing that this, uh, you know, before we started recording it, the thing about this is it gets me thinking too.

All the conversations, the countless conversations that I’ve had with my wife, with my wife, where she, um, frustratingly, um, yells at, at me, the marketer and re not realizing it’s this handshake, but she’s like, I don’t understand why these people, you know, they, they pay to be on the front and I call them [00:02:00] and I can’t get any response.

Like it can’t tell you the amount of people, like recently, the one that happened recently was. We needed a plumber emergency. Um, it’s never good. Dave, when water’s coming down the ceiling through your electrical, like your light switch, that’s never a good thing, you know? And so we had some sort of a roof leak in the, in the roof, somewhere attic space.

And anyway, we, we, uh, called several different plumbers. We found ones that were recommended and whatnot. And, uh, we called them and left messages. And, um, I’m talking again, I know that this was an emergency, but still like when they don’t call you days later, um, the one, the, the one that’s on top of that kind of stuff is the one that got the business, the one that, but it’s just amazing how many times stuff like that happens, Dave, where.

Where we’ll need like someone to do something to the polar we’ll need someone to do some electrical work, or we’re curious about a quote [00:03:00] for flooring or whatever it might be. And I’m talking days, if not weeks, and people still have not called back. And by that time, I mean, most of the time, I don’t know about how it is with you guys, but most of the time I’m not waiting more than like half a day to try to get someone to come and do something for me.

I mean, I’m, I’m, I’m trying to get them back sooner than that. So, uh, with that said, hopefully that gives you a good lead into, uh, some of the stuff that you were talking about, but yeah, it’s frustrating.

Dave Rohrer: [00:03:32] Well, yeah, and just, I don’t know what month it is. Um, in March our water heater went out the morning, the next morning, um, one of the kids was taking a shower and it was like, there’s no hot water.

And I’m like, you’re silly. Let me go downstairs and see. Oh, look, it had sprung a leak and it was just shooting water everywhere. Awesome. So, yeah. Yay. Awesome. So call the place, you [00:04:00] know, and all that fun stuff got to deal with it. Um, Oh, the other mother-in-law was in town, so that the whole, like, we couldn’t get anyone out here.

And so I kind of shut it down ish that I thought. Eventually, like the one place I called because, uh, we’ve used two different companies in the past. And that was our short list. Was I called the two companies, tried to get one of them out, um, or called the one company that we thought we liked the most.

They were like, Oh, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We’ll have someone out, you know, in the morning or something. Okay. And then I just kept waiting and waiting and there was no followup. And by noon, I was like, all right, screw this. It was almost noon. And I was like, alright, in between work and breaks, I was like, screw it went and dug up the other place we’d called before that we liked, we just didn’t like him as much called him up and was like, Hey, we got a leaky, blah, blah, blah.

They’re like, okay, we’ll get someone out. They had someone out there within a couple hours and they [00:05:00] actually beat the other person. The other company who had like 12 hours ahead notice it was like, yeah, six or 12 hours. Notice. And so no call back, no nothing. And eventually they’re like, Oh our guys on the way.

And I’m like, okay, well he’s on the way. What’s his ETA because I’ve already called someone else and they’re going to have somebody here in half an hour. Oh, well, they can’t get there for two hours. All right, bye. Sorry.

Matt Siltala: [00:05:26] And

Dave Rohrer: [00:05:27] then it’s not even like a marketing sales thing, but it’s just that the processes and the followup.

So. This all started because I’m a Memorial day. Um, I needed some landscaping project done. Um, or I wanted a quote part of that is in Matt and I talked about it before. It’s like, Holly goes through the same thing when she’s trying to do stuff. And I’m sure my wife and everyone does this. It’s like, okay, well I want two or three quotes at least to, to understand, you know, the, of the three companies or the two [00:06:00] companies.

Maybe I can get two of them out here. And maybe they’ll give me a quote or maybe they’ll tell me something just so I can compare. Cause it’s not something that, you know, certain projects, we don’t know what it cost is. Yeah. Um, I contacted for hoping that I could get two, maybe three quotes of those four companies.

One was a really good follow up. Like they clearly had a sales person. They clearly were on it. Um, followed up the next day. Cause it was a holiday. So I didn’t expect anyone to, um, but I actually got in like, Email notifications. And that was the one thing. The first thing I did is of the four, how many sent me email notification saying, Hey, we got your form.

We’re going to have someone contact you. Two of them did. So two out of the four emailed me and said, Hey, we received your contact. Cause these are all directly through their website. This wasn’t through some sort of third party aggregator where, you know, they’re paying for lead. This was directly through their [00:07:00] website, which I would think would be a warmer lead than someone comparing for, from tra uh, TripAdvisor, uh, Thumbtack or G2 or some sort of, you know, buyers zone, or, you know, any kind of third party aggregator.

Yeah. Mmm. Only two sent me emails. One, two of them called me. Mmm. One of them was really aggressive. One like called and was like, Hey, when we can, you know, they are actually, no one of them never did anything. And then like three days later called me. He’s like, Hey, we’re going to be out in your area. You know, we can come give you that quote, which was well so weird.

Matt Siltala: [00:07:43] Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:07:44] Like hear nothing and then suddenly you’re calling me.

Matt Siltala: [00:07:47] Yeah. Yeah. That’s the thing that happens to every once in a while. Like they’ll call a week later and you’re like, I forgot that I even needed you. That project has moved on.

Dave Rohrer: [00:07:56] Yeah. It was an emergency. I had flooding in my [00:08:00] house. Oh, well, yeah. It says here you, you was an emergent, like, you know, your, your water heater broke or your roof was on, you know, on fire.

Uh, sorry.

Matt Siltala: [00:08:10] Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:08:13] Um, and yeah, so the one came out and did a quote and it was also interesting because their quote took over an hour, three guys trying to give me a quote, took them over an hour while, um, the other company that was really aggressive. Um, and I want, I don’t, when I say aggressive, I don’t mean like, in your face aggressive, they just called me and they simply followed up and they asked if, you know, when was a good time.

And they’ve just been diligent and steady in their followup. Um, I did it last week and yesterday the guy called me or no, Tuesday, like two, three days ago, the guy followed up like three or four days later to ask if I had any questions about the quote, you know, letting me know when they’re [00:09:00] available to work on certain things, um, for my project, when they could fit it in and like was very organized.

The other two, I don’t think I ever got emails from, maybe I got an email from one of them might’ve gone to spam, never a follow up, nothing, but it’s interesting. The processes and organization of one versus another versus clearly, um, you know, either they don’t check it or they thought it was a junk. Um, but I gave very specific information about like, All of the processes and all of the things that I knew about the size, like what, what we were trying to do and everything, and just nothing,

Matt Siltala: [00:09:46] you know, this, this makes me think of, it makes me think of back when we were growing the one of the mattress sites that we had.

And, um, you know, we did a lot of custom stuff for RVs boats, things like that. And one of the things [00:10:00] that we learned, Dave, that I think you’ll find interesting is. Um, cause we had online forums and stuff that people could fill out tools, letting us know exactly what they needed and whatnot. But, um, we learned that if we could either pick up the phone and talk to them when they were calling or give them a call right back, like, you know, like basically we get the message and call it right back within 10, 15 minutes, our close rate was almost a hundred percent on those.

Um, and even. You know, from the form, if you could get back from them, filling out a form within 30 minutes to an hour, that close rate was upwards of 80 and 90%. Now, if you let it happen over the weekend, or if there was, you know, cause it’s a small business and we weren’t able to manage all the time, you know, your, the, the close rate drops significantly to like 10, 15%.

And so it just goes to show you, like, if you. Have some process set in place where you [00:11:00] can call people back within 30 minutes within the hour, at the very least your close rate is going to be much more significant on those. And that’s just kind of what we experienced. And obviously, you know, not all things are the same and, you know, buying a mattress for an RV is not an emergency.

So you got to take what I’m saying with a grain of salt and understand that there’s some change there, but I’ve seen that for most with online sales. Um, it’s not unique. And most of the people that I talked to you, you know, if you have some way of either picking it up right there and taking the cell or calling them right back within the first five, 10 minutes or whatever your close rate is going to be much higher percentage.

And so that’s just kind of what we, what, what I’ve experienced. So I’m sure that, uh, I’m sure that’s something that you’ve seen as well with, uh, all of your case studies over the years.

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:54] Yup. Well, and yeah, and when I used to work at tshirt payroll, um, payroll service, [00:12:00] very competitive. Sometimes we would be getting leads from buyer’s zone or some other place, which is, you know, they basically, you go to buyer zone or some affiliate site that you do or do not realize you’re on.

And you’re like, I want a quote for this service. And then it goes out from anywhere from three to six, sometimes even seven providers. If you are not the first one to get them on the phone. You lose? Yup. Like I want to say like 75 to 80% that whoever calls them first wins.

Matt Siltala: [00:12:30] Yeah. I would almost imagine that number is higher.

Dave Rohrer: [00:12:35] This was some 10 years ago. So I don’t know if it’s as high. Um, and I didn’t work on everything that we did on that side, but I’m just guessing that it is insanely high. The likelihood of. You know, based on if they recognize you, the pricing and everything else lines up, or it’s close enough, they’re like, Oh yeah.

You know, that’s about what I thought I was going to pay. That sounds good.

Matt Siltala: [00:12:57] Yeah. So what would be the advice that [00:13:00] you would give let’s let’s talk specifically about those companies that frustrate you and me, the ones that call back five days later after the emergency or that don’t get back to us at all.

Like what, what kind of information or what kind of, uh, suggestions can we give to them to do better with their. I don’t know what their lead generation process or their followup or their handshake, whatever you want it.

Dave Rohrer: [00:13:22] So I was looking at, um, I’m going to throw you and me under the bus too. So for Northside metrics, I was looking at my form, looking at my form.

First name, last name, company, name, email address. I asked for phone number, um, you know what your budget is, what services. And then I ask a couple of other questions.

Matt Siltala: [00:13:42] Okay

Dave Rohrer: [00:13:43] for avalanche, same type of thing. Your website, phone number, email address. And then what services do you want? And then tell us something about the project from a lead gen standpoint.

We all know, hopefully everyone knows the more questions you ask, the lower, the conversion [00:14:00] that said the more questions you ask. One, the more real it should be. I mean, people still alive reforms for whatever reason for trying to do chunky link building, but are just spamming them, trying to, you know, do whatever.

But like

Matt Siltala: [00:14:16] people still do junky LinkedIn.

Dave Rohrer: [00:14:18] Yeah, they do. Oh. One of my forms gets the podcast contract form is spammed. Like every hour I have a junk folder just full of people, spamming it with junk. Um, Makes you want

Matt Siltala: [00:14:31] to do a big email list to them some times and everything. That’s another topic.

Dave Rohrer: [00:14:36] So, I mean, we both, we both asked similar questions, you know, all the contact info, what services do you want?

And then there’s some open ended questions. The four forms that I looked at, and one of them has name, phone, email comments, that’s it? Hmm. Not a whole lot of, you know, what, what services, where do you live? [00:15:00] Like there’s no, there’s nothing for them to prequalify you, this other one name, address city state.

How did you hear about us and message? Doesn’t really go zoom in on the service, but you know, at least they know what territory or what salesperson or you know, where you’re located. Um, another one name, email address, what service other details. Which is a little bit more. And then there’s another one completely basic name, phone address message.

That’s it?

Matt Siltala: [00:15:37] Hmm. So that’s interesting.

Dave Rohrer: [00:15:43] And I’m trying to think. And the two that did contact me are the two that actually had the more in depth forms. Hmm. I don’t remember them contacting me as I’m looking at the forms. And this other one with a [00:16:00] really general form. I honestly wasn’t sure if it was a, like a reseller or what, but either they don’t check their forms or, you know, I don’t know.

And it’s like, why would you put a contact form on your site if you’re not going to check it?

Matt Siltala: [00:16:14] Yeah. Just,

Dave Rohrer: [00:16:17] just have a phone number.

Matt Siltala: [00:16:21] Very interesting. Well, so how can a avalanche and a Northside metrics do better than,

Dave Rohrer: [00:16:30] I don’t know. Um, you know, we could, pre-qualify more, we could ask more questions, but we both have what services do you want?

Um, I do require that people, um, tell me the, the goals of their engagement or project. And then I have, you know, some open ended ones that I don’t require them. I could probably require people to put a phone number in and not just an email might help me. I’m yours. I don’t know if anything’s [00:17:00] required or what I have to fill out.

Matt Siltala: [00:17:02] Gotcha.

Dave Rohrer: [00:17:04] But it’s a nice, clean, big form. All the services that I want. I can just click.

Matt Siltala: [00:17:11] I think the overall thing though is regardless of that or these other ones that you’ve yeah, exactly. That’s the deal like, regardless of any of that, you have to be on top of it. Um, you bring a very good point about, you know, with what you were talking about earlier with those, uh, companies.

Like, I, my thought is like the service magic or whatever. I can’t remember exactly what it’s called, but, but basically, um, Where well, yeah, where you’re, uh, you know, when someone gets a lead from them and sent out to seven different companies. And so if you’re not one of the first ones to call back right away, then you know, you lose.

And so if you’re paying for that service, if that’s something that’s taken marketing budget away and you’re not really taking advantage of it, that’s just money you’re throwing [00:18:00] away. And so it’s like that with anything, like, are you not checking. Are you not checking the leads that you’re getting from again, I’m thinking of like all the different, uh, places that, that these types of service places use, whether it’s Angie’s list or, or, um, you know, whatever, like if they’re not checking and they’re not following up then, like that right there, you know, is, is killing them more than anything.

Dave Rohrer: [00:18:25] Yeah. I mean, if you’re getting leads from LinkedIn and Facebook and Bing and Google ads and you’re doing remarketing, and then there’s someone that actually goes to your form, looking your analytics, they didn’t just randomly go to your website. Um, that said I did. I found it through Google, but check and look and see of the people filling out the forms directly on your website.

You can look at, and I was just looking at this the other day for one of my clients, like, what is the flow for that goal? Are they like, how many times are they visiting? [00:19:00] What channels are they using? You’ll be amazed. The percentage of people, um, depending on your industry, it might be multiple visits, especially the bigger purchases, but for smaller ones, I might come through Google or I might come from somewhere and Yelp or wherever and immediately contact you.

Do you follow up? Is there a process? And we talk a lot about processes and over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to talk about a lot of growing teams and stuff. So that might be a good, this might be actually via a randomly really good segue into that, but didn’t even think about that. But I, you know, if you don’t have a sales process or if you, if you’re just one person, um, or you have a small team, Have some sort of process or some sort of checks in there.

So that an email doesn’t just go to you if you’re on a day off or if you’re on a job site and you’re the only person, is there another person that [00:20:00] can contact them, you know? Don’t cause you can’t just wait for hours until your lunch break or until you’re done with that, that current client to then call up and go, Oh yeah.

Oh yeah. Oh, your water heater broke. Oh yeah. I can come there and about four hours cause I have one more job today. Well, I already have someone here. Oh, okay.

Matt Siltala: [00:20:21] Very good.

Dave Rohrer: [00:20:22] Yeah. So you just wasted how much marketing and how much time and, you know, Goodwill with someone go, okay, well clearly if I call you or email you or contact you, you’re not going to reply quickly.

Matt Siltala: [00:20:35] You know, the ones that, uh, and I don’t know if you’ve had any experience with this, but, um, we have lately and there’s a lot more of these types of places that are. I don’t know if we’re, if we’re dealing with, uh, like customer service reps or owners or whatnot, but I’ve been having more successful a lot with texting.

So a lot of these places are starting to do a lot more texting, back and forth. And, uh, [00:21:00] I don’t know. I kind of find that convenient and it’s also, it just seems like it’s much quicker.

Dave Rohrer: [00:21:06] That’s how I got one of the contractors. Um, I filled out a lead because it’s up at my condo. So, I don’t know enough people that were available to help me with like the multitude of things I needed.

And I went through one of those third party things, and one of the options is to text back and forth. And so I ended up, um, hopping off their app and texting you with this one person. And then we worked again in the future on like, I had them over like two more little projects and every time it was just, I just text them and say, Hey, what’s your availability next week or in the next two weeks?

Matt Siltala: [00:21:42] Oh, go ahead.

Dave Rohrer: [00:21:43] Well, he would just tell me, he’s like this stair that day or that day, I’m like, Oh yeah, let’s, let’s do that day. And here’s what it is. And let me know how much, and then he just text back

Matt Siltala: [00:21:52] and businesses need to realize, like, give that as an option because you know, I’m sitting here thinking about how, like, conversations that I’ve had with my wife.

And [00:22:00] she’ll say stuff like. Like I loved that I could do all that online, or I loved that. I could just text them and get that done. I hate talking to people. So it’s just one of those things, you know,

Dave Rohrer: [00:22:12] so well, and it can even just be a chat on the site. Like people sometimes rather just talk to that and rather than, you know, digging for the answer or, or calling someone up, they don’t, they don’t want to get a sales pitch.

They don’t want, you know, to be put into your funnel. I’ve never ending emails and, you know, they just want, they just want an answer.

Matt Siltala: [00:22:33] Yup. That’s it. So, so I think the, uh, the takeaways here, guys, and, and you can finish, uh, when I’m done with any of your takeaways. But I think my takeaways with this, for anybody that’s doing any kind of online sales or lead gen, is the followup, like making sure that you’re on top of it.

Making sure that you’re one of those first people that calls back making sure that you’re paying attention to those forms that are being filled out. [00:23:00] Don’t let people, I mean, and if you’re in a situation where you, where you’re not calling people back for four or five hours, and it’s an emergency type call, then figure out how to do better.

Like you may, if you’re getting that many calls and you’re that backed up, you may need to hire someone part time to just take that side of it for you, like figuring out how to make your processes better. And so. That’s like my takeaway from this, Dave is just figuring out that whole process and how to make sure that that handshake is complete, so to speak and that it’s taken care of properly.

Dave Rohrer: [00:23:31] Yeah. I think my takeaway is to the same thing, but along the same lines audit, if you’re not contacting people, you can’t, you can’t really audit your quality of leads. So like, If you’re getting 10 leads a month from some tack and 10 from Angie’s list and 10 from somewhere else. And suddenly you’re like, well, we want to grow or we need to cut budget or whatever, if you’re not tracking it and you don’t really follow up, you [00:24:00] don’t know if the 10 leads from either source is good or bad.

So what do you cut? Where do you increase? If you’re not measuring it? How can you, you know, understand what’s working and not working?

Matt Siltala: [00:24:12] Very good. All right guys. Well, hopefully this gives you a little bit more insight into this whole handshake process with online sales and lead gen and following up with everyone.

And I appreciate you taking the time to listen to us and for Dave roar with Northside metrics, I met CELTA live with avalanche media, and we will, uh, look forward to having you guys on the next podcast. Thanks guys. Dave Rohrer: [00:24:33] Thanks


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