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How to convert a lead into a sale

Electricians planning a job
Photo from Community Electric on Yelp

When it comes to securing service jobs, it’s not just about getting leads—it’s about closing the deal: turning those leads into paying customers. To do that, you need to focus on identifying high-intent inquiries, guiding those consumers to the actions you want them to take, and capturing all that potential revenue. 

We’ve compiled some simple steps to help increase your success in converting leads into clients.

Attract the most relevant leads

The first step is ensuring that your incoming leads are relevant. There’s nothing more disappointing than getting an inquiry from someone who’s ready to spend money, and realizing they need a service that you don’t provide or that they’re outside your service area. When you clearly communicate your specific offerings and where you’re willing to travel, you’ll spend less time and resources on leads that will go nowhere and can instead focus on those that are much more likely to convert.

Details of your service offerings and area should be listed on your website as well as other third-party platforms that consumers use to find information about businesses, like Yelp. 

Writing your business description/elevator pitch including your core offerings is a good place to start. On Yelp, select your service categories and offerings and indicate where you’re willing to travel for a job. This will help you connect with the right customers and appear as a relevant option in the areas where you’re willing to work and for the projects your business is equipped to handle.

Offer multiple channels of communication when responding to leads

Consumers have varied preferences when it comes to getting more information about an upcoming project. Some may want to start with a message or email before committing to an in-person meeting. Others may want to jump on the phone right away. By providing different channels of communication for potential customers to connect with your business via their preferred method, you’ll see an increase in inbound leads. Be clear about all the different ways someone can contact you, such as by phone, text, email, website contact form, etc.

Be sure to also take advantage of your review sites and social media platforms. Potential customers may send you direct messages or leave comments with questions, so have your alert notifications turned on and create a process for responding to those inbound leads. On Yelp, you can activate Request a Quote to display a clickable button on your Yelp Page to make it easy for consumers to get in touch for more information about your services and pricing. 

No matter the method of communication, the process should not require too much back and forth, and there should be minimal steps to get an initial response. Delays between phone calls and emails may give your competitors an edge if they have a more efficient process. 

And while it’s important to have multiple options for consumers to get in touch, it’s okay to have a preferred method. Pointing people to your preferred channel of communication can help you gather the most relevant information in the quickest and easiest way, leading to a faster close.

Respond quickly and follow up

Consumers today want options at their fingertips and responses almost immediately. Responding quickly to quote requests will increase the likelihood that you can secure that job. It’s important to create a process that immediately alerts your team when a new lead comes in. Then someone from your team should reach out as soon as possible—ideally within a few hours—to increase the conversion rate for those opportunities.

Persistence is also key when you’re following up with leads. You may be in competition with other vendors, but more importantly, you have the highest opportunity to close the lead when you’ve already had contact and your interaction is still top of mind for the customer. If you don’t hear back right away, follow up. Provide options for the consumer to get back in touch with you—make it easy for them to initiate the interaction.

Be transparent and proactively answer common follow-up questions

This is an ideal time to show your future client how professional and knowledgeable you are. You’re the expert, so set the stage. Map out the process and set expectations for the customer to help build confidence and create a smooth transition to the close. What information do you need, and when can the customer expect to hear back from you? Assuming all goes well, what would the next steps be? How long should these steps take before the job can start?

With asynchronous channels (like email or messaging), anticipate likely follow-up questions and be proactive in answering those to avoid a lengthy back-and-forth and to protect your valuable time—and your client’s. Getting fragments of information at a time delays the process and can result in losing the business to a competitor with a more efficient process.

Ask for the close

After the connection has been made, information has been exchanged, and expectations have been set, it’s time to ask for the close. Remember that this customer reached out to you and your business with a need. They’re looking for someone to fulfill that need, and they’re open to that someone being you. Provide the estimate and timeline and clearly explain the next steps for moving forward. If you don’t ask for the close, you’re less likely to get it. Ask with confidence and guide your new customer to the next step in the process.

Ideal lifecycle of a lead

Converting a lead to a close can be an intricate process, and there are multiple points in the process where things could go astray. It helps to have a vision for keeping the close on track and expediting the process, as outlined in this example of an ideal lead lifecycle from start to finish.

  1. A potential customer finds your business at the top of the list when searching online for a service provider.
  2. When they click on your business, they’re brought to your website or Yelp page—where they easily find a phone number to call or they can submit a quote request online. 
  3. Once they submit their request, your team reaches out via email with a questionnaire form and receives those responses back that very same day. 
  4. Your team schedules an onsite or virtual meeting to do an assessment. 
  5. Fully explain the project details and expectations, and later that day, provide a quote and offer to answer any follow-up questions.
  6. Ask for the close by including next steps to get the job started.