The Jargon-Free Way To Qualify Leads
Leads can originate from everywhere, even unexpected places. If you’ve done the groundwork, you can funnel the right people through the right marketing avenues. This makes their conversion into clients as efficient as possible.
Start being picky.
Contrary to what you might think, not every lead is worth following up on. The time wasted on a dead prospect will translate to monetary losses. Cold hard cash down the drain.
If you know what to look for, you can qualify your leads based on their chances of converting. Cut the wheat from the chaff, if you will, before you even touch it.
This process has become a science in and of itself. Industry jargon such as Marketing Qualified Leads and Sales Qualified Leads have spawned to calculate a potential-client’s progress through your sales funnel. If you don’t want to dive headfirst into a sea of spreadsheets, this article will help.
We’ve collected some no-nonsense, non-jargon food for thought when it comes to qualifying your leads and minimizing your workload.
Are they in your client profile?
As an agency, you’ve already got your client profile down pat. If you don’t, you should. Having a clearly defined type of prospective client allows you to target your efforts towards appealing to the audience most likely to convert.
Any potential client reaching out, whether it be through marketing efforts or first-hand contact, should be assessed with your client profile in mind. If they do not meet the requirements, it’s not worth your time pursuing. Their requests aren’t going to match up with your services. And any deal that might come out of it will often be fraught with misunderstandings or false expectations.
You can find out whether they fit your client profile by going to their website and figuring out what value you can provide them. Taking a glance at their company might be all you need to write-off or pursue a deal.
Are they intent or interested?
There’s no point in spending time walking a window shopper through the details of your agency when you know they won’t commit. By paying attention to subtle and not-so-subtle hints in the potential client’s behavior, you can define whether the lead is worth pursuing.
For instance, if your lead comes from your website, you can consult your analytics. If they tell you the potential client read the free content and about page while skipping the pricing section, they may not actually be looking to strike a deal. Perhaps they are merely trying to learn more about the business.
If the person reaching out to you is using an email address with the Gmail domain instead of their company name, it could mean they’re trying to hide their actual information. They might not be ranked high enough in the company to make decisions like hiring your agency. Keep your eyes out for details like this before committing to any kind of time investment.
Can you supply their needs?
This one is cheating, as you’re not strictly qualifying the lead but yourself. Every agency, especially smaller ones trying to make a name for themselves, want to land the big fish. A successful venture with a well-known brand or client can skyrocket your agency’s profile overnight. That said, don’t get ahead of yourself. A failed venture can ruin your reputation just as quickly.
Find out what the prospective client is looking for and assess yourself, first of all. Can you supply their needs and guarantee quality? A big client is often looking for work on a large project, and you might not have the manpower. If this is the case, take yourself out of the running rather than trying to get by on the skin of your teeth. Explain the situation, but stress your desire to work with them on smaller projects, until you’ve grown enough to move on to bigger ones. At best you get some manageable work. At worst, the door remains open for future collaborations and for you to call on them when the time comes.
Qualify With Common Sense
None of the advice above on qualifying your leads requires an analytical mind or even basic math. It needs common sense, and by applying that common sense you can save valuable time and money. Being picky as an agency isn’t a vice. Getting the clients that fit you and pursuing the leads that will convert into successful projects will pay off in the long run. Your reputation will speak for itself.