Some would say “it is the same value” but that would be wrong. In fact, it could be FAR higher. Every company loses leads, it is an unavoidable circumstance, but is it really?
If I could show you a way to find out where your leads are being lost and how to recover them, you might be interested, right?
Most leads are lost at the top of the funnel. Leads may come from several sources and in some cases may never make it into the funnel at all. Like the marbles above, they may surround the funnel and slip off the side into the abyss.
As former CEO and President of Business Breakthroughs, International (a company founded by Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes) I personally ran the radio and television lead generation program. My team and I managed leads by carefully measuring key parameters to ensure we were getting the benefit of the money we spent every month on the live media (radio and TV.)
Some of the metrics I used to determine how well we performed are considered basic information such as the number of calls from each 800#, the number of calls per spot and specifically the spots and time slots that perform the best on which days of the week. More sophisticated tracking should be employed and can determine the revenue per spot, per 800# and per day. Coupled with the lifetime value of your customer, you can get a very clear picture of lead value. Now you see why lost leads are so valuable and must be guarded and protected so carefully.
Basic Lead Flow:
Here’s a quick review how basic “live media” lead flow works, you might find something that sparks an idea on how to improve your own system.
Leads come into the company through various sources; different stations, internet radio, and TV. It’s our job to convert those leads to sales and the best way I found was to actually talk to people live on the phone. Many radio spots send leads to a web page hoping their prospect will remember and click on the URL. But they rarely do.
Think about the last time you heard a radio spot and tried to remember the URL because you were interested in the product:
- Did you stop your car and write it down?
- Did you pick up your cell phone and record the spot?
- Did you record your own voice saying the URL?
- Did you pull over and enter the URL on your cell?
- Did you risk your life and entered some type of information while driving?
You probably didn’t.
I will also challenge you to remember a time that you did actually record the URL and actually go visit the web page later. Yes, it happens but not enough to warrant the cost of radio advertising.
How do I know that? – Two Reasons.
1st reason – Most companies who advertise using a URL stop after a few weeks.
2nd reason – Because very few brands have ever been built on a URL without a massive radio/TV ad budget behind it. FreeCreditReport.com comes to mind as does Priceline.com. Both popular brands were built entirely on the radio which later expanded to TV and other mediums. Those campaigns were designed and executed by a friend in the radio business and no one knows more about how to get radio ads to work better than he does. Want an introduction?
Radio advertising to a URL doesn’t work. It can’t without a massive budget. The trick is to get radio advertising to work well on a low budget and then scale it big!
Rule #1: People listen to radio primarily in the car.
Could this work? Maybe sometimes, but go back to rule #1.
A great salesperson will tell you that the best chance of closing a sale is when two things take place;
- When Interest is at a peak
- When the caller has a Real Problem they must solve
As a listener, by the time I get home or back to the office, my interest has already dropped off, I am now in a different flow, I am working. I have less urgency about clicking on a link or no desire at all to receive an e-mail about some product I heard on the radio. Can you relate?
Also, I might have forgotten. In fact, I forget more important things than a radio ad. So what are the chances I would remember even why I called a few days later? If I do remember asking for the info, I may not remember what problem the product solves or what problem I had that seemed so urgent at the time.
The Gold Standard for Lead Conversion; Live Operators.
Nothing is better at converting a person with enough urgency to dial a phone while speeding down the highway at 70 mph than a well trained, skillful sales executive. Their only job is to find the pain point which prompted the phone call and then close on the promise of a solution delivered. That’s what works. Nothing else comes close.
But in those first few seconds when the phone is dialed and when the operator picks up is where many leads are lost.
Let’s examine how to plug those leaks and get a good firm grip on those elusive folk who may not be willing to “hang in there” while your systems process their call.
Let’s say they overcome all the inertia of being passive while driving and they take action: They call your 800#. The phone rings.
Which of these do you hate the most:
- The phone rings and rings and rings… you hang up frustrated.
- The phone rings and a recorded message tries to sell you something.
- The phone rings and it’s answered by a short message asking to you hold for the next available operator, then puts you on hold listening to a scratchy radio or elevator music.
None of these will encourage people to wait, they get a distinct feeling you are understaffed at best, or just plain disorganized at worst. You probably lost that lead. On the phone, this is the 1st place you lose leads.
You paid for your spots, you paid for your phone system, you paid to create web pages, you paid a sales staff and it’s all wasted because you couldn’t answer the phone.
Which of these do you love the most:
- The phone rings at most 3 times, it’s answered by a polite, clear speaking person who is interested in talking to you.
- The phone rings once and an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system asks you a qualifying question before you speak to a live product consultant. You comply and are quickly routed to a live person.
- The phone rings once and you hear a recording of how others just like you have solved problems using this company’s products. A short testimonial from the same client type as the caller and a promise of a quick response once a person answers.
This list is in descending order of what I would like to hear when I call. These actions will also preserve tepid callers who are not really sure they want to bother, keeping them involved long enough to get some information or talk to a live person.
The Primary Challenge
With most call centers the primary challenge is balancing staff with peak calling times. I developed formulas that work well for high volume call centers and with a little work we can come up with the proportion that works well for you. In addition, I have a working knowledge of virtual call center software and the companies who have integrated that into their own network.
I also have a small group of call centers who I know to have the best-trained staff available. I make recommendations all the time.
The concepts I discuss here come from 4 years of experience running the organization at every level. There are many other important elements of how to create and run the back end to a successful radio/TV advertising campaign, a lot of moving parts. The detail to attend to every single aspect is critical and one small misstep could destroy results. Yet, one adjustment might double profits.
What happens after YOUR live operators answer the phone?
That’s where I come in to design a custom-tailored program to maximize your revenue. Every step is crucial, every step must lead to the next and carefully prevent leads from being lost, yet capturing and fast-tracking the most qualified leads of all.
Screening is the key, scripting is how your staff stays on target and how you maximize conversion. Price testing of each step, lets you maximize results and the design of each step must be carefully done to move your buyer deeper into your world. Moving from a 1st-time caller to a repeat buyer requires careful planning, the highest level of training and a commitment from your company to get it done right.
If you don’t advertise on the radio or if your current campaigns are not making you money or you just want better results, If I can help you up your call center game. Let me know, I am always interested in hearing from you.