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The feeling of being a business owner can often be likened to that of a hamster spinning furiously on a wheel. Like the hamster, we sometimes get in those positions where we’re putting out maximum effort yet not actually getting anywhere. All those extra hours don’t turn into extra sales and whether or not hamsters can feel dissatisfied, we certainly can.
Often, the immediate response in situations like these is to look externally for a source to our problems. When we’re earning leads but not closing sales— it’s the quality of the lead that first comes into question before we ever stop to ask if we’re doing all we can to nurture those leads correctly.
65% of business say their biggest issue is generating leads, but never before have there been more lead sources and drivers of traffic. That leads me to believe there has got to be a discrepancy there. The likelihood that your team just doesn’t know how to correctly connect with the leads that are being driven is the more likely scenario.
That doesn’t mean you failed— it means it’s time to get proactive.
Do you know what potential customers are experience when they try to interact with your business? Have you set up the necessary processes for dealing with a Facebook lead vs. a website lead? Nearly half of businesses say the leads they receive require “long cycle” nurturing— so could the issue be a matter of impatience on your part?
Consider if you’ve set your team up for success. Do they have a thorough process to follow for each lead type you’re driving? Is there an unrealistic number of leads designated to members of your team? Have you ever stopped to take stock of who your key players are and used them to train other staff?
Considering these things; now it’s time to go incognito. Follow these steps to perform a proper mystery shop of your business.
1- Fill out a form on your website
This will allow you to see how your team handles a standard lead. Did they follow a process? Or were you bombarded by automated response emails only to never hear back from a real representative?
These seemingly small hiccups in the customer journey can completely derail a potential purchase. With endless options available to consumers online, you need to make working with you as seamless as possible.
2- Email your listed business contact address
Any of the contact information immediately available on your website or other profiles should be closely maintained. Do you have a designated responder for that email address? Are they doing what’s necessary to connect back with customers looking to speak with you?
In a world where consumers have grown accustomed to instantaneous response and quick turn around, you can’t expect to convert a lead you take 48 hours to respond to.
3- Call your sales line
If your voice is too recognizable to your employees, have a friend call in and ask common questions you receive from customers or clients.
This is an important test to run, as it shows you how your staff interacts on the spot. While designated word tracks are a great guide for your sales team, genuine human interaction is still required to close sales.
Is your team educated on your offerings? Can they have a real conversations with potential customers, or do they get flustered and lost when things take a turn from what their scripts suggest?
You could be losing leads at the phone if your staff isn’t able to do these things.
4- Send a message on social media
First of all— your business should have its own Facebook page, Instagram account, LinkedIn profile and Twitter as potential customers are constantly searching social prior to making purchases.
Send a message to each of your business’s social accounts to see how they’re responded to. Do you have a social media person in place who handles these leads? Do you have a chatbot on your Facebook business page; and if so, does the automated responses its sending make sense?
Social media may be a new frontier when it comes to lead handling— but it’s a lucrative one. If you don’t have someone who works solely on your social, it might be time to find your most millennial-minded staff member and put them to work.
5- Have a friend engage your business
While this may seem somewhat cruel, have someone unknown to your staff role play being a customer at your business all the way up to the sale. This will allow you to see how the whole process is handled by your team. Most importantly, it will shed light on whether or not your have a strong post-sale process in order.
Only 29% of brands nurture their existing customers, but this should be common practice across the board. Those who are already acquainted with us take less time to nurture to a sale.
After reviewing this process in full, was it evident that your team was working with a strategy in mind— or was it more of a free for all? It’s important that customers can expect the same experience no matter when they interact with our business. The quickest way to lose your repeat business is to lack organization in your sales processes.
Mystery shop your business regularly to avoid these common mistakes.Paul Potratz
As business owners, we often like to pretend that we can live blissfully in the world of ‘the big picture,’ however sometimes we need to float down to reality and realize that in order for our big picture ideas to come to fruition— we need to get our hands dirty in the day-to-day.
While it might seem scary to take your sales team off the phones for a few days— pause to put processes into place where you saw lack of organization or understanding when compiling your mystery shop. Your business could be on hold for a lot longer if you don’t (this will also help with the spinning-hamster syndrome you may have been ailed with).
Once you’ve gone through this process, it’s up to you to maintain the standards you set. Mystery shop your business following these steps every 60 to 90 days, or even more frequently if you can manage it. You’ll be setting yourself up for ultimate sales success.