Unlike a personal contact where we have an opportunity to learn in an active conversation what people are looking for, what their needs are, and how we can help resolve those concerns, e-leads - those generated online and first known to us as an email or online contact - are very different.
Some people are very impatient – that’s why they’re using the internet. They want instantaneous results. Others will wait a day or two for you to respond to them, but don’t count on your e-leads staying “fresh” for very long.
E-leads (online contacts) should come with a warning label: “Use immediately, subject to rapid expiration.”
In the beginning, it’s not important what prompted someone to contact us online for information by sending us an email or filling in a chat or request form – just that they contacted us.
For an e-lead to be valuable to us, there are a minimum of 3 steps that signal their development and indicate that their is interest in what we have to offer. First, the interested person (e-lead) contacts us by email. Second, we must acknowledge their interest and respond to their contact by email - as immediately as we can. Third, they will contact us again with another question or request for additional information. When this happens it looks more like a solid lead that can be developed. Then it’s our turn again to continue the dialog.
By the time 3 contacts have occurred – 2 from them and one from us – we are building a relationship that has a better chance of resulting in an actual purchase or appointment than if we had just send them a brochure or a standard response – hoping that this would be sufficient to explain what we do and answer their questions - possibly without ever really knowing what they want to accomplish, their budget, or their timing.
In fact, a generic, one-size-fits-all, standard response may be the expiration of the e-lead. They may fail to see any connection or concern on our part for helping them.