Finding and speaking with leads who will become potential clients is a rewarding aspect to running a business. For me, it’s one of the most exciting parts of the job!
But lead generation can be challenging. A skill that isn’t often discussed is effective, professional communication that helps turn prospects into customers.
Many view the funnel from leads to clients as hardcore marketing. This is important but it is half the story. Once those leads are at your doorstep, it is up to you and your team to convert them into paying customers or clients. And that skillset falls into the realm of communications, not marketing.
Good communication is essential in the conversion process. The most promising leads in the world can fall through your fingers if the tone and messaging are unclear and unprofessional. Often, in niche and technical industries like agriculture, the approach is off. These conversations tend to be either too casual, too technical, too salesy or altogether imprecise.
This may happen because the communicator doesn’t fully understand the audience.
But if you are not a professional ag communicator, fear not! It is easy to avoid the common pitfalls once you understand the basic elements of a personable yet productive conversation.
Here are some simple guidelines that you and your team can use whenever a hot new lead is on the hook.
- Know thy lead Before diving headfirst into a follow-up or onboarding call, be sure you’ve done your research on the person you’re addressing, their company and their role. If they’re in a parallel industry (ie: you work in equipment/machinery but want to partner with someone in agtech), be sure you can fluently explain why the two of you are a good fit.
- Focus on solutions Remember that networking and connecting are about the lead first and the sale second. Always start conversations by listening to the lead’s story. What’s their company all about? What are their pain points? How can you help them solve a problem?
- Nail the message You’ve already got a lead on the hook, so you don’t need a canned pitch. However, you do need to take the next step and explain how your company helps clients solve issues just like the lead is having. Now is the time to establish authority and show your expertise.
- Be attentive Be sure that the lead clearly understands you at all times. Don’t bombard them with too many options or offers all at once. If you need to bring another team member to the discussion, be sure to introduce them properly ahead of time.
- Use correct grammar and professional language Remember the saying, “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” Grammar and language are paramount in establishing credibility. Be professional always, whether on the phone or a video call or sending an email. Use proper grammar and complete sentences. Use industry slang and jargon sparingly, and only when appropriate, especially in an initial conversation. This is a great way to establish authority and show you are seasoned in professional networking.
And that’s pretty much the skinny on effective first impressions with leads. Following these simple guidelines and you and your team will be well on your way to converting leads to paying customers.
If you need to add some communications experts to your team, we’re glad you found us! At The Herdbook we specialize in agriculture, animal, agtech, food and rural lifestyle-based industries. Learn more about our services here or book a free discovery call!