By John Eberhard
When someone responds to you for the first time, responding to one of your free offers or asking for more information, he may not be ready to buy at that time. And despite whatever you say to him in the sales process, he just may not be ready to buy.
So of what value is that guy to you? He is actually very valuable to you! I try to make this point with salespeople sometimes and they often don't get it. They think that guy is worthless and they often throw him in the trash.
Well he responded to you, didn't he? In all probability he is qualified as someone who could buy your products or services. But he's not ready right now. He may be ready at some time in the future. But if you throw that sheet of paper in the trash, he will almost certainly not buy anything from you.
The answer is to stay in touch with this person, not necessarily by calling him, but by sending him a regular communication. And one of the best ways to do this is by sending him an email newsletter, either monthly, twice a month, or weekly. Many marketers refer to this type of strategy as "drip" marketing, because your regular communications to him are like a slow flow of water dripping on his head.
So the key, when that person contacts you, is to make sure you get his email address, because then you can send him your email newsletter and it costs you nothing, other than your time putting the newsletter together.
The benefit of the newsletter drip strategy is that you are regularly reminding the prospect that you are there, what you do, and keeping your company and your products or services in his mind. Most industries these days have plenty of competition, some more than others, so if you employ a newsletter drip strategy, you may have an edge on the competition. Because you will be keeping your company in the prospect's mind whereas your competitor may not be doing so.
Now compare this to the earlier scenario of throwing that lead in the trash (which I have painfully watched some sales people do). It is most likely that some other competitor will catch that person's attention at a later point, when he is finally ready to buy.
When you consider the amount of money that you spend to get people to respond to your offers, it makes the most sense to fully utilize that lead.
About 8-9 months ago, someone contacted me to ask more about my services. At the same time they referred me to someone they knew. I tried multiple times to contact the person they referred me to, but they never answered my phone calls or emails. So I put them on my email newsletter list. I send out an email newsletter and put a new article on my blog once a week.
The other day this person who was referred to me called me and said he was finally ready to do something with his Internet marketing. This is a fairly regular occurrence, with people contacting me and saying "I've been getting your newsletter for a year," or something like that.
Not everyone who calls me like that buys something. But the point is that this system is a much better utilization of the leads you get, than throwing them in the trash if they don't buy right away. One person I worked for likened it to fruit, where you pick the low hanging fruit that is ready to be picked, but the rest has to be ripened more (by sending them further communication).
It takes patience, but I think you'll find that this system will help you with better utilization of your leads.