The lifespan of the average sales lead or potential client for working with them to achieve an aging in place solution for them in their home is usually quite limited. This is not like someone planning for a vacation, a wedding, a future anniversary celebration, or anything else of the elective nature. When someone is considering having work done in their home, unless it is strictly aesthetic, they generally want it done sooner rather than later. In the case of accommodations for a changing physical condition that they or someone in their household had, time is of the essence,
Therefore, when we hear about the opportunity to meet with someone or discuss their needs – however that happens to occur, from our website, an ad, word-of-mouth referral, brochure, or other lead generating source – we need to get right on it. If they sense that we aren’t interested or they already are talking with more than one company, we can lose the potential business.
In many cases, people don’t have the luxury of time to plan and execute their projects – due to the advancing age or their physical condition requiring an immediate response. Even if we have a work backlog, we owe them a phone call to introduce ourselves, learn a little about them, and determine their urgency. If we really can’t get to the work or it’s not a good fit for our business, we should graciously decline their invitation. Otherwise, we need to see how we can make it happen.
In the aging in place market, renovations are more than likely of an immediate nature than just something to do. Therefore, even when it is just someone making their home safer or more comfortable for the next few years, putting off reaching out to a contact for a week or two just isn’t good business. There isn’t always a next week or a week after that to contact someone when they have reached out to us.
Leads are perishable. We need to treat them as if they have a forty-eight-hour expiration attached to them for the initial contact. After that, they may or may not be interested in talking with us or may already have begun serious discussions with one of our competitors. This is how time-sensitive our business is – or should be regarded by us.
Anyone who contacts us, regardless of how that happens, needs to be regarded as golden. Even if they called the wrong number, thought we were someone else, or really aren’t a viable candidate for what we offer, we have to celebrate the contact – at least we got to speak with them (on the phone or through an email or online form).
Contacts that come to us from any other source besides our direct involvement in meeting with them face-to-face or specifically and intentionally calling them has a strong potential of turning into someone who wants and needs our services – a potential business client that we can serve. Certainly, it’s not automatic, and there’s no guarantee of anyone expressing a need that will turn them into a client, but the probability is there with such a contact. This is what is great about this.
When we get an email or online form submission and don’t respond to it right away, the clock begins ticking down to the zero point where the potential for doing business with that person expires. We need to think of receiving the contact or request for information as having a visible countdown clock attached to it – with only a finite amount of time to reach out to that person and establish contact. They need to know that we received their request, that we are interested in helping them, that we want to learn more about them and their situation, and that they can count on us as dependable and responsive to their needs.If nothing happens from us to engage that person, it’s just the same as never getting the notification of interest from them in the first place. It’s a wasted opportunity on our end and frustration for them.
We have an obligation to people who seek us out for our help. Not everyone will be serious about using us to create solutions for them. Some are just going to be shopping or collecting information, but there is no way to know which ones are serious about having work done and which ones are procrastinating or not willing to make a decision without having a discussion with them to make this determination.
We can’t afford to let a lead expire just because we were too busy to reach out to them. They may just perceive this as a lack of interest on our part in wanting to work with or help them.