Several years ago on the television program 60 Minutes, there was a segment about how to convert a child who is a finicky eater into one who eats all of the vegetables on his or her plate. According to the report, parents must present the food on the plate a minimum of 11 times before they can expect their precious child to eat the vegetables (probably more if it's brussel sprouts). I am fairly certain that the statistics presented here somehow connect to the number of times that one must contact an Internet lead prior to successful conversion.
I also recall seeing a presentation on farming expired and cancelled listings where the speaker claimed that most individuals give up after one or two unsuccessful attempts. So, if we attempt to present our plate of services more than twice (and possibly eleven times), it is possible that we can be successful.
Many will state that it is difficult on the psyche to be turned down over and over again. However, with the beauty of the Internet, whereby much of our communication is not face-to-face, disapproval is not felt so harshly. Those of you who are receiving leads via the Internet and not converting them may need to make a few changes to your techniques and tactics.
First off, all leads should be managed in a database. I prefer Outlook, and I assign categories to my leads. This way I can seamlessly prepare documents and emails with portions of my list. As leads get warmer, I can then move them between categories.
Second, once I capture a lead, I do a little recon work. Is the email that I was given a real email address? How about the name and the phone number? Next . . . if they have been searching for homes on the site, I check to see what they are looking at. What is their price point? What neighborhood do they desire?
All this needs to be done quickly because once they are off your site, they are on somebody else's site looking at more properties. If you cannot follow up FAST, the lead will be gone.
The next part is where strategy is required. Can you email the lead? If so, I do. I then follow up with a phone call to offer my services. The email usually consists of a confirmation of their login for the IDX on our site as well as a few links to blog posts with buying tips. My favorite blog to send is one where I review how to interview a Realtor® to assure that s/he is qualified to help you. (Hhmmm. Guess who can answer all of the interview questions perfectly? ;-)
All this is not rocket science. But, it cannot be done for just one day. Conversion takes time, energy and consistency of action. Just like they said on 60 Minutes, it can take eleven attempts to get Junior to eat his veggies. So, it'll probably take at least that many attempts to convert your lead into a walking, talking buyer or seller who has hired you for representation. (For more information on lead conversion, check out http://giftofshift.com/activerain)
For other methods of converting internet leads, be sure to check out http://www.giftofshift.com/activerain where you can purchase a limited edition hardcover of Gary Keller's book SHIFT, which comes with a free version of the eBook Soci@l: Attract Friends, Followers and Connections to Your Business, written by Ben Kinney and Jay Papasan (in which Ben shares his 'ten days of pain' lead conversion method) as well as free audio versions of Millionaire Real Estate Agent and Millionaire Real Estate Investor all for $19.99."