Qualify your leadsLead generation is critical to business growth – whether you’re expanding into new locations or looking to zero in on a specific target market. And there are plenty of online tools and platforms, like The Law Superstore, that can help you achieve these business objectives.
But it’s important to remember, not all leads are equal, and not every lead should be pursued. You don’t want to waste time and money on those that are a bad fit or who will never convert, after all, while continuing to nurture your hot and warm leads.
Listening plays a big part of qualifying your leads – especially at the beginning of a business relationship. It shows prospective customers you value their time, hear their concerns, and understand their needs. You don’t want to launch into the same old sales pitch, never letting them get a word in edgeways, after all.
A few key questions on the phone, online, or face-to-face are often all that’s needed to start identifying the value of your lead.
#1. ‘Who are you?’Aim to get a solid idea of who the lead is as soon as possible. This is always easier when a customer has just walked through the door, than with leads generated online or over the phone. Give them space to just talk. Listen. Build a picture of them in your mind.
Of course, we’re not suggesting you use these exact phrasings; you’ll want to ask these questions in your own unique and sensitive way. For example, you might ask:
- How can I help you?
- What do you need?
- What’s your situation?
- What are you worried about?
- What are your expectations?
If you’re working with business customers, use this line of questioning to determine whether or not your lead is a decision-maker.
This helps you determine whether they fit your target market. It’s almost always a mistake to bring clients onboard if they’re not right for your company (or you’re not right for them). Time spent servicing the client’s needs and resolving issues; reputational damage to your firm; lack of trust from the customer. It’s a recipe for disaster – and a costly one, at that.
#2. ‘Do you need what I’m offering?’Leads you capture will be at different stages of the buyer’s journey or the sales funnel, whatever you want to call it.
Some will know exactly what they need and have already made a decision to use your firm. Others may just be scouting for quotes – the online equivalent of telling the shop assistant, I’m just browsing, thanks. Are they a warm lead or a cold one?
There are many ways to categorise the stages of a customer conversion – and many have tried – but arguably the simplest is:
- Awareness – the customer knows they have a problem, but doesn’t know the solution
- Consideration – the customer knows the solution, but doesn’t know who can fix it
- Decision – the customer knows who can fix their problem
Find out what stage they’re at as swiftly as possible. It prevents you spending too much time on customers who aren’t ready to convert, while furnishing others with the appropriate and relevant information that matches their current progress.
For those working alongside business customers, use this time to explore why they’ve come to you now; what stopped them in the past; and how not fixing the problem will affect them. Look for a sense of urgency.
#3. ‘How much do you know already?’Assuming your lead is keen, you should gauge their current level of knowledge around your service or product.
For starters, this lets you explore how ‘hot’ they are – and what they may need to know to choose you over your competitor. Now’s the time to ask any questions about other rival companies they may have already contacted for the same purposes.
There’s also a cost and efficiency angle: you don’t want to waste your time or the time of your prospective customer by covering old ground. Finally, it continues the work of categorising your lead, making sure you can help and avoiding those ‘wrong fit customers’ at all costs.
This line of questioning even offers a chance to position yourself as an authority in your field.
For example, if you’re a lawyer, your prospective customer may know for certain they want to file an unfair dismissal claim against their employer. But do they fully understand what that course of action really means for them? Can you readily explain that to them? Are they still interested once they fully understand the process?
#4. ‘What is your budget?’Eventually, the conversation must necessarily turn to money. If your lead can’t afford your services or product, that’s an instant disqualification, of course.
Handle this as delicately as you usually would – and as transparently as you possibly can. Doing so instantly increases trust in you and your firm.
If you fall within the lead’s budget, you can more easily see how you can help without negatively impacting profits.
If you’re hovering around the upper edges of a budget, take the opportunity to demonstrate your value. Point to relevant case studies, testimonials, awards, online reviews – anything that shows that you are, to coin a phrase, worth it.
If your lead can’t afford you, make sure they leave with something. It could be anything from a piece of advice to a valuable whitepaper. But that way, when their situation changes, they’re more likely to return to you, not a rival. With more choices and options than ever before (you can thank the internet for that), customer experience plays a major factor in how people choose, and remain loyalty to, businesses.
The Law Superstore is committed to helping legal professionals generate high-quality leads and compete locally and nationally.