Successful spa businesses don’t sit back and wait for customers to come to them. They don’t limit their sales efforts to prospects who come into their stores. If they did, they wouldn’t be successful. Because spa sales are rarely closed on first contact with the customer, the key to converting leads to sales is patience and follow-up.
Did you know that, according to data collected by the Society for Marketing Professional Services, 43% of salespeople give up after the first contact? After the second contact, 68% of salespeople give up, and a whopping 80% give up after the third contact. The problem is that salespeople don’t really start getting to know the customer’s needs until the fourth contact.
Why is this important? It’s important because the spa retailers who stay in business are the ones who actively pursue customers through capturing, nurturing, and converting leads.
These days leads come from a variety of sources. They are acquired through referrals, in-store contact, social media, phone inquiries, emails, websites, trade show contacts, and lead generation software. The question isn’t whether your getting leads, though. The question is, are you capturing them?
Salespeople who respond to inquiries within an hour of receiving them are seven times more likely to have a meaningful interaction with the interested consumer.
Do you have a strategy in place to store, track, and otherwise manage those leads to the next level? If you don’t have a strategy, valuable leads can fall through the cracks. A good lead management strategy can improve your marketing efficiency and increase your sales by:
- Capturing and distributing leads through automated processes saving both money and time.
- Increasing close rates by providing qualified, sales-ready leads.
- Reducing marketing costs and increasing sales through automated lead follow-up.
- Shortening the sales cycle by automatically forwarding leads to salespeople for quick follow-up.
- Generating marketing reports to easily evaluate which sales campaigns work and which don’t.
Gartner research studies show a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months in companies that use automated lead management systems. The best systems store captured leads, track customer data, and initiate follow-up contact. Capturing leads means keeping a detailed record of every potential customer (including contact information, how or where they heard about your store and why they are interested in a spa), so you can begin nurturing them toward making a purchase.
It’s also important to recognize the importance of timing matters in lead capture. When you’re contacted by someone interested in buying a spa, you need to respond as soon as possible. Salespeople who respond to inquiries within an hour of receiving them are seven times more likely to have a meaningful interaction with the interested consumer. Chances are you’re not the only hot tub store they’ve contacted, and with studies showing that 30-50% of leads go to the vendor who responds first, you need to capitalize on their initial interest and excitement before someone else does.
Once you have a lead capture system in place, you have to follow-up. This means engaging in consistent, meaningful communication with leads not yet at the buying stage. In other words, you’re helping your leads make a purchasing decision. Here’s what nurturing leads does for you:
- Fosters trust between you and the prospect
- Gives leads a personal connection to your business
- Allows you to learn about your lead’s interests
- Shortens your sales cycle
- Provides leads with consistent reminders about your business
The most common ways to follow-up with leads are through phone calls, texting, emails, and messaging. While you should make phone calls yourself, using a lead management software allows you to automate some of your text, email, and messaging responses. These autoresponders make it easy to tell leads about sales, promotions, and events, and they make sure that regular follow-up occurs.
Use your email and telephone communications as discovery opportunities. Find out why leads are interested in a spa, what they want from the spa, where they plan to put the spa, when they might be ready to purchase a spa, and how they came to be interested in your spas. Use this information to get them to visit your store.
If you capture, manage, and nurture leads effectively, you can realize an average increase in sales opportunities of 20% versus non-nurtured leads.
Keep in mind that this takes time, in fact “48% of businesses say most of their leads require ‘long cycle’ nurturing with many influencers.” When nurturing leads by telephone, it might help to know that three calls to a lead produces a 68% better result than a single call and six calls produce a 94% better result than one call. The important thing is to not give up too soon! (Please note that studies show more than six calls reduces conversion rates by 45%).
Here are four of the many benefits of lead nurturing:
- Increased target relevancy results in improved responses to offers and campaigns.
- Generates warmer leads that are sales-ready.
- Reduces qualified lead costs.
- Builds a good rapport early allowing you to capture leads in the early stages of the buyer’s decision-making process.
Nurturing leads is important because creating a strong relationship with customers increases the chances of converting them to buyers.
If you capture, manage, and nurture leads effectively, you can realize an average increase in sales opportunities of 20% versus non-nurtured leads. To experience this increase, try following these best practices for nurturing customers to conversion:
- Make a personal connection: Use the customers first name, empathize with them (if they want a spa for pain relief, share your pain relief story) and share common interests.
- Don’t spam your leads: Nurture them, but don’t inundate them with emails and phone calls to the point they feel harassed. Contact on a weekly basis is acceptable.
- Educate leads: Teach them about what a spa is, how it works, and how it can meet their current needs. Provide them with written information and sources that guide them toward purchasing your product.
- Start ASAP: Contact potential leads within 20 minutes of getting them. Consumers want instant gratification, so the sooner they hear from you the better the chance of converting them.
- Utilize segmentation: Break your lead list into groups according to their position in the buyer’s journey, the products they’re interested in, and their specific needs. This more targeted approach provides the opportunity to convert larger numbers of leads.
- Tailor content: Whether by email, phone, or in person, you should tailor content to your leads’ pain points. If they want to reduce pain, provide information on how a spa can do that; if they want relaxation, explain how a spa can help with that.
- Use a multi-channel approach: Make information available in as many ways as possible. Use text, telephone, social media, blogs, webinars and websites to ensure your product information is available to as many people as possible.
- Utilize analytics: Customer Relationship Management software, email, social media, Google, and even your store website all offer analysis tools to help you track how many clicks, opens, and inquiries your channels are getting. Use these tools to evaluate how leads are responding and engaging with your nurturing efforts.
- Evaluate leads: You know that not every lead is a good lead, and you want to focus on the good leads. Use demographics to ensure you focus on leads that fit with your brand, product, and target audience.
- Automate your email campaigns: Nurturing leads to conversion is much easier when you use an automated email response system. It allows you to remain in consistent contact with all your leads simultaneously which saves you time and increases conversion opportunities.
- Re-engage leads: Keep a record of dormant leads and reconnect with them with coupons or discounts or just ask them if they want to continue hearing from you. Let them know you’re still interested in them even if they’ve been inactive for a while.
Conversion happens when you provide leads with an experience that takes them from awareness to decision making. It is a journey that takes time, patience and commitment on the part of salespeople. You have to work your leads–for example, salespeople who work referral leads earn four to five times more than those who don’t. A “one and done” pitch doesn’t cut it anymore.
Here’s Your Convincer
Let’s talk statistics. According to Aberdeen, “Targeting users with content relevant to their position along the buying process yields 72% higher conversion rates.” It’s called nurturing, and Invesp reports that “nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.” When you institute a system of nurturing leads from capture to conversion, you help prospects understand their challenges better, you help prospects find a solution for their challenges and you help prospects choose you as their spa provider.