How do you handle email and phone inquiries, so they translate to bookings?
I received an email recently about this exact topic, asking the same questions I know come up for so many of you. This is how the email went:
“How do I approach leads that are older?”
“I missed a call from a month ago that I meant to return but didn’t…is it too late? Should I let this one go?”
“Someone emailed me and I responded and then never heard back. How do I approach them?”
“What about people who call and don’t leave a message?”
This is SUCH an important topic and so glad these questions came up because these people, the ones who actually reach out to YOU…they are gold.
And yet often we’re so focused on our “marketing” (our videos, and social media, offers, ads and workshops) we forget that these inquiries are EXACTLY why we’re marketing in the first place.
And these bonafide interested people are the best kind of leads you can possibly get (and tend to have a very high conversion rate). They WANT to hear from you.
I consider leads to be anyone who has:
1) expressed interest in what you do,
2) how you can potentially help them AND
3) you have their contact information
Which pretty much sums up these types of inquiries to a T.
So how do we handle these types of pure-gold-potential-money-in-our-pocket inquiries so they actually translate to bookings?
It’s pretty simple.
There’s nothing techy about this. It’s basic human connection and providing exceptional service even before someone books in with you.
WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?
1. Aim to get back to phone and email inquiries ASAP. Ideally within a few hours and maximum 24 hours. If someone is emailing/calling, there’s a decent chance they’re calling other practitioners too. YOU want to be the one they connect with.
2. Continue to follow-up until they book, let you know they’re not interested or repeatedly do not get back to you. Give people a week to respond before following up to “check-in”. Follow-up a maximum of 2-3 times (including the initial response) if you are not hearing back. Not forgetting about people – that’s great service and very few practitioners operate like this with their patients, let alone with leads. STAND OUT by showing you care. Any lead that drops off should be because of THEIR decision to either not respond or not interested, not because you didn’t stay on top of it.
3. Guide the next steps. When people inquire it’s because they want something from you. Whether it’s questions, an appointment, guidance on their next (or first) step – they need something from you. So, YOU need to show up as the expert and tell them what those next steps are. Depending on what they inquire about that might be setting up a call/consultation, booking an appointment, sending them a free resource or adding them to your email list.
4. Ask how they heard about you. This helps you determine which marketing sources are most effective for you. If one keeps coming up – leverage it as much as possible!
KEEPING TRACK OF LEADS
Remembering leads means tracking leads and creating some sort of system for dealing with them. I’ve given you a Lead Tracking Spreadsheet you can use here.
Tracking leads also gives you invaluable information over time about where people are coming from, how they’re getting in touch and your conversion rates.
YOUR SIMPLE SYSTEM
1. Every phone call, message, email, real life conversation or even social media DM that is some sort of formal inquiry/interest gets added to the tracker
2. Respond ASAP (again ideally within a few hours and max 24 hours). If it’s been longer always follow-up. Just apologize and be extra amazing/helpful
3. For phone, IRL conversation or social media inquiries, put a reminder in your phone/calendar to follow-up in a week (sooner if you said you would or it sounded urgent)
4. Use Boomerang for Gmail to immediately schedule a follow-up email after you’ve replied to their first email. You can schedule it to go out a week later if there has been no response do that your follow-up is already pre-scheduled.
5. Set aside 10-15 minutes a day or once a week to do all your follow-ups and update the tracker so you can see how leads are progressing. Blocking out set time like this will help you remember.
Getting into the practice of proper lead follow-up and staying on top of this list is a practice (especially in the beginning) but it 100% pays off in bookings…and just makes you stand out as the awesome practitioner you are.
By the way – that practitioner who emailed me. She immediately booked appointments with both leads she connected with.
FINAL NOTE : If you are getting regular or even semi-regular phone/email inquiries then KNOW you are doing something right. People reaching out to you is what you want and the more marketing you put out there and the more you’re messaging connects, the more of these types of inquiries you’ll see.
If you have questions about any of this – comment below or feel free to send me an email at email@example.com