When I think in terms of turning leads into loyal customers, what is that first contact? And I know we’ve talked about that in a number of podcasts. And then from there, what is the desired path that we want them to take with us, that we want to take with them, right? Without some sort of basic path to get from here to there, the likelihood of making that happen is pretty much slim to none.

David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, co host Jay McFarland and I will be discussing turning leads into loyal customers. Welcome back, Jay.

Jay: Hey, thank you, David. Such a great topic again. I love our conversations cause I learn so much and I feel like there’s a tendency to say, okay, I got the lead. I closed them. Now I’m going to move on to the next lead.

And I think we would save ourselves a lot of time and money, if we were able to turn that customer into a returning loyal customer.

David: Yeah, absolutely. And you raised a great point because I was thinking in terms of just new leads that come in, turning them into loyal customers.

But I think what you pointed out is probably even more important, that we already got someone and we’ve already turned them into a customer. And now how do we make that customer more loyal to us?

I know in a lot of presentations that I’ve done over the years, I’ve talked about these sort of different layers of recognition in terms of what do people think about us? And I’ve often drawn it out like a target for archery practice. And outside the target is the area where it’s total obscurity. They have absolutely no idea who we are or why they should do business with us. And at the center of the target, it’s complete customer loyalty.

And you don’t get from, “I don’t know who you are,” to “I’m completely loyal to you” in one step. It’s got to happen in a series of actions. So what you’re talking about there, you make that first sale. That doesn’t even happen very often in the first contact. A lot of times it requires intelligent repetition of contact to even get to that.

We go from obscurity. I don’t know who you are, to recognition, I recognize you, but I’m not sure if I love you yet, right? I don’t know enough about you. To comfort, and then once we get to comfort, once they’re comfortable enough with us to place that first time order, like what you were talking about, then they’re going to see how we do.

And if we did well, they might give us another chance and come back again. And if we do well on that second one, they might come back and give us a third chance. And then As long as that continues to play out, that’s going to lead to that level of loyalty, but it sure isn’t likely to happen in one conversation or one transaction.

Jay: Yeah, absolutely. But I kind of like where you started off, too, before we dive into that a little bit more. And that is thinking about making the loyal customer out of the lead . Where do you start? Because a lot of people are like, I can’t make them loyal until they’ve purchased a product. That’s not true, is it?

David: Well, I think if you recognize that when I attract a lead into my organization or when I’m even just trying to attract a lead into my organization, the goal is to turn that person into a loyal, longtime customer or client.

So when you start with that perspective, you become a lot more discerning about even the people that you’re approaching. You have more skin in the game, because it’s not just about, “hey, can I make a sale to pay my bills for today?” It’s about, “do I want this person as a loyal customer?”

And this goes back to a lot of what we’ve talked about in previous episodes about qualification and that sort of thing.

But if we start out with the idea that we want to turn our leads into loyal customers, I think it positions us better, because it makes it more relational and less transactional.

Makes it more about creating the kind of relationship that will result in a loyal customer, as opposed to just making that sale.

Jay: Yeah, and I think first impressions are everything. When I first started out and I wasn’t the best at returning calls, because I didn’t have a good priority system, I had somebody say to me, “well, if this is how you treat potential customers, then that tells me a lot about how you treat existing customers. And so I’m going to find somebody else.” And I’m like, “okay, wait a minute, I’m doing something wrong here!”

David: Ouch. Yeah. That’s tough when that happens and it can happen to us, even when we think we’re doing our best and when we’re trying our hardest and we just miss something. That’s a tough one when that happens.

So. It’s another reason that being very conscious of what we’re doing, what we’re saying, how we’re saying it, who we’re saying it to, are all going to contribute to this idea of building in that loyalty.

You know, not all leads are created equal. If we attract five, six, 10 new leads into our business, they’re all likely to be very different people in very different circumstances.

They’re going to have some similarities, particularly if the product that you offer is very specific. But, the different personality things can be big, and the different goals can be big. Because if one person comes in and they’re a perfect fit for what you do, and somebody else comes in and they’re not quite a perfect fit, but you’re thinking, well, they might be able to be a good fit, then a whole different level of communication and nurturing is necessary to see if that person is ultimately going to be the appropriate type of customer that you want to have in your business.

Jay: Yeah, I agree. And again, using technology and having systems, for example, before we would just have somebody leave a voicemail if they can’t get me directly and I would call them back. It’s not a good system.

So now on our website, they can schedule an appointment with me and that syncs with my calendar.

And when they schedule an appointment, it asks what would you like to discuss? So now I have a description ahead of time.

So I can go through my calendar at the beginning of the day. And I can prepare for those calls. And if there’s somebody who doesn’t fit perfectly, I can email them ahead of time and say, you know, this really isn’t a service that we offer.

Something like that. So it clears up my schedule. I’m more prepared for the call and they feel like I’m providing an even better service.

David: Yeah. And it also brings up a great point, Which is context, having an understanding of what they want to talk about and how that fits in with what we’re trying to accomplish.

Jay: Yeah, context is everything. I know ahead of time what that potential customer wants to talk about, and I can be super prepared for it. And I mean, come on, there just couldn’t be a better situation than that than going into every single call blind.

David: Right. And then also thinking in terms of, you know, what does my nurture process look like once I brought that lead in the door?

What are the very specific things that I want to communicate to that person about what we do? And ideally, in what order do I want to communicate those things? What’s the most important thing they need to know about what we do and the way that we do it?

And how can I communicate that in a way that is understood early on so that if they say, “Oh, that’s not what I’m looking for,” that you’re not wasting your time or theirs.

Jay: Yeah, I love that word nurture. I don’t know that I’ve thought about it in that regard, that I’m nurturing them along. Going back to the lead generation process, one of the things that drives me crazy is when people offer a free consultation, and it’s really a free sales call, high pressure sales call.

When they have talked to my competitors and they got the sales call and then they land on me, I’m already ahead of the game because I’m not, they never feel like I’m a salesperson to them. And I think that’s the beginning of nurturing, right?

I’m already establishing a different relationship with them than my competitors ever will.

David: Yeah. In our work, we frequently think in terms of creating value in our communications with prospects and clients. And a good way to short circuit that is to offer to help and then turn it immediately into a sales pitch.

In our conversations with clients, and we have conversations with prospects and clients all the time, we’re very clear upfront that our goal in the conversation is to have a discussion to see if, or how we can help them to try to help them determine what’s where they are now versus where they need to be in terms of visibility, sales and profits.

We’ll make recommendations on how they can do that. And if, at some point into the conversation, it makes sense for us to talk about working together, we can have that conversation, but it’s certainly not going to start out as, “okay, now that we’re on the phone, you want to buy what I have to offer?” Because it’s just a recipe for disaster.

And once again, It’s contrary to the whole idea of qualifying the right people in and the wrong people out.

But even in the situations where when someone contacts us and they’re not the best fit for what we do, our goal is to make sure that they get so much value from the conversation that when they hang up, they’re like, wow, I’m really glad I did that because that person could then refer us to somebody who maybe is a better fit, and even if they don’t, they’re still going to feel good about us.

Jay: Yeah, I totally agree. And if you think you’re going to build loyalty without finding out about that customer ahead of time, and that’s the problem with jumping in to a sales pitch. If you haven’t taken the time to find out who they are and address their needs specifically, that’s like going to a doctor and they just jump right into their prescription pad or something and you’re like, I’m not going back to that guy again.

David: Right, because haven’t taken the time to listen, let alone build any sort of trust or credibility with you. I mean, when I think in terms of turning leads into loyal customers, what I tend to think of is from the lead generation standpoint, what is that first contact? And I know we’ve talked about that in a number of podcasts.

And then from there, what is the path? What is the desired path that we want them to take with us that we want to take with them, right?

Now, As salespeople, our desired path may not coincide with their desired path, right? They may have a different idea of what they want to accomplish in the conversation, and that’s where we have to have that give and take where we’re able to try to find out, do we have a fit here?

Does it make sense for us to work together? What questions do you have that you want me to answer? What questions do I have that you need to answer so that we can get to where we want to be?

But without some sort of basic path to get from here to there, the likelihood of making that happen is pretty much slim to none.

Jay: Yeah. And I also find that often the customer or the potential lead doesn’t really know what they want and they don’t really know what they need. Right? And so, there’s a series of questions and really getting to know them.

And oftentimes, initially, you may feel like, no, I don’t have what you need. But after some qualifying questions, getting to know them, you’re like, no, you know what? I really think I can help you out.

David: Right. And for us, a lot of it boils down to when I say us, I mean, we as salespeople for a lot of us. We have to have a reasonable idea of, what are the problems that they’re likely to have that we can potentially solve? Right?

Because if we don’t know that, if we’re not clear on what types of problems we can solve for people, then we don’t even know the questions to ask to find out if they’re even a reasonably qualified prospect for what we have to do.

And once again, that is disrespectful of their time and our time. If we waste time going around in circles with people, rather than being able to determine, relatively quickly, upfront, where they are, what issues they’re interested in resolving and whether or not we have the ability to help them resolve those issues, then we can’t really help them.

If the answer to those questions is no, we can’t really help them. So at that point, we owe it to both of us to try to wrap up that call as quickly as possible.

Jay: Yeah, I love that. Respect for their time and your time. How do people find out more, David?

David: Just go to TopSecrets.com/call. Schedule a call with myself or my team.

If you’re interested in turning your leads into loyal customers, if you’re interested in learning the first contact approach and the path that will allow you to make that happen more quickly and very often more surely, give us a call. TopSecrets.com/call.

Jay: All right. Thanks again, David.

David: Thank you, Jay.

Ready to Turn More Leads into Loyal Clients?

If so, check out the five primary ways we help promotional product distributors grow:

  1. Just Getting Started? If you (or someone on your team) is just getting started in promotional products sales, learn how we can help.
  2. Need Clients Now? If you’re already grounded in the essentials of promotional product sales and just need to get clients now, click here.
  3. Want EQP/Preferential Pricing? Are you an established industry veteran doing a significant volume of sales? If so, click here to get End Quantity Pricing from many of the top supplier lines in the promo industry.
  4. Time to Hire Salespeople? If you want to hire others to grow your promo sales, click here.
  5. Ready to Dominate Your Market? If you’re serious about creating top-of-mind-awareness with the very best prospects in your market, schedule a one-on-one Strategy Session here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.