Oh wait - so now we care about managing VIP leads again? All jokes aside, we truly didn't have the bandwidth to focus on future sales when our pipeline was full of fast turnaround sales.
Now that we are likely paying more per lead than we were before, it’s time we focus on prioritizing ALL leads including those who will convert to sales in the future. We, just like our customers, have almost been groomed to believe that the past two years were the “new norm.” YIKES! What do I mean? Our customers had this incorrect notion that anything over a 3% interest rate was too much. Now, we see them understanding what is realistic and what’s not. But within the builder world, not so much. We have been groomed to think the turnaround time from interest to sale is almost immediate, however, the market is telling us otherwise. We have to get used to the new norm of a longer buying cycle along with prioritizing communication with leads who are waiting for a new community or opportunity.
So, let’s talk about the online sales strategy for the management of coming soon leads.
Mapped out in the graphic are the steps in the online follow-up journey with the customer. It walks you from initial interest, to release AND post-release, and shows you how to avoid neglecting or “losing” the interested leads who have not yet responded to appointment opportunities.
Let’s dig into steps 1-4. It starts with appropriate ratings. We need to prioritize and strategize early in the process with the tiering of our leads to proactively prepare for when the community launch happens–AKA identifying our highest converting lead opportunities. Differentiating between non-responsive, responsive, and priority (qualified) helps the online sales specialist quantify their interest list, determine suspects from prospects, and prioritize VIP appointments for the future community launch.
We need to get back to immediately CALLING our coming soon leads first (and then follow up with an email with information and confirmation that they are “on the list”). I know you may be thinking- we have nothing to tell them. And in some cases, you are absolutely right, but by setting proper expectations from interest, we are helping our future self by alleviating any fears they have of not receiving the most up-to-date information. We all have those customers who continue to call, text, email, and re-inquire on the website over and over again. THIS IS GOOD NEWS. That means we have a really good prospect! Plus, if after talking with them you realize their needs don’t match up with your future community, you have the opportunity to convert them to a different community.
Being pleasantly persistent is the goal! We have to follow through with our monthly updates, even if it is to tell them that we don't have any updates but that their interest is important to us. Also, providing those quick monthly touchpoints keeps your name and company in front of them and gives you a chance to scrub your list and change ratings based on responsiveness so that you can continue to provide leadership and marketing with a relevant up-to-date interest list.
Steps 5-8 walk through the community release, appointment setting, and post-appointment follow-up! Stay tuned…