The RIA exclusive guide to qualifying and closing digital marketing leads.
Digital marketing leads differ from referrals and RIAs need to adopt a new process for qualification and closing.
From our experience, average conversion rates for closing leads depends on many factors, including the acquisition channel for that lead. When we examine conversion rates we see that leads from referrals, partners, content, and digital marketing have the best conversion rates.The way you qualify digital marketing (paid marketing) leads should follow a simple process. The graphic and guide below walk you through that process, if followed closely you should see conversion rates well above the average.
We have all seen the headline before "Close 90% of your leads with this process." It sounds impossible and likely it is, but when you take the time to be hyper-specific about who your target client is, study the behavior of your most profitable and most loyal clients, you can disqualify the leads that will likely be a waste of your time. And yes... get close to closing 90% of your most qualified leads.
Qualifying your leads
To properly qualify a lead, you need to refine what a 'qualified lead' truly means. According to Marketo, a qualified lead is a prospect that is starting to exhibit buying behavior. But what exactly is buying behavior?
The first step in qualifying a lead is removing those leads that are not your target client or are not ready to 'buy.' Just because someone has expressed interest in your practice by clicking an ad or downloading a piece of content, it does not mean that he or she intends to make you their advisor.
Before qualifying a lead, ask yourself these questions:
Are they your target client?
Due to the nature of inbound sales, its smart to know who you are talking to when reaching out to new leads. Not everyone will meet your hyper-specific target client criteria, and they need to be the decision-maker. Whether its the head of household or a spouse, it's important to consider if talking to the lead will be time well spent. Or is it better to try and get both husband and wife on the phone?
Are they ready to 'buy' or just doing research?
Even if your lead displays intentional buying behavior, like following your social media accounts, or reading multiple blog post or pages, you can't be sure where they are in the decision to hire your practice. Have they heard about your business and are digging around for more information? Are they researching multiple RIAs? Or maybe they are a competitor doing a market analysis?To tell the truth, not every lead you generate will be serious about taking the next step. Your qualified leads should only consist of those who are ready to make a decision on hiring you or your firm.
Do they Realize you can solve their problem?
Closing the lead is not only about getting them to choose your practice, its about selling your expertise in the niche you serve. Your prospect can acknowledge how great your practice is, but if you don't solve their specific problems or serve their specific needs, they aren't fully invested. A qualified lead needs to fully understand the value you bring to their life.
If you answered NO to any of the above questions, you should remove that lead from your qualified leads.
Studying your Leads
Now that we know who your qualified leads are we need to study your current client's behavior to find your sweet spot. We recommend closely examining three types of clients.
1) Look at the clients that you have been able to close the fastest.
2) Look at the customers who you have retained for the longest time.
3) Look at the customers who bring you the highest revenue.
What are the shared characteristics of your qualified leads and your best clients? What demographics, similarities, and habits do they share? The combination of these factors is your SWEET SPOT, this is where you thrive, where you are profitable, and where you should live.
Now that we have qualified and studied your leads, its time to call them! It's extremely important to be on top of your leads, and as they say, practice makes perfect. It will take time to get in the habit of qualifying and studying your leads, but after the first few you should be able to decide almost instantly if a lead is qualified.
Your first attempt to reach the lead should always be by phone
The faster you can reach your lead after it hits your inbox the better. In our experience if a lead sits for more then 24 hours, it starts to go cold. You should be calling them as soon as you finish your qualification. We recommend calling the lead at minimum 2 times in the first day, and when leaving a voice-mail, make sure to tell them you will be sending an email.
If you cant get through it's time to send an e-mail
After the initial calls its time to send a follow-up email, just as promised in your voice-mails. Make sure your e-mail is personalized, friendly, and most importantly, mobile-friendly.
Consistency is key when closing a lead
Once you make the initial outreach, send the initial email, you need to followup, regularly. Your chances to close a lead are much higher on your 6th and 7th attempt then on the first try. You should be calling an emailing your lead twice a week. Remember, persistence pays off.
The process to convert and close leads can be daunting, especially given the amount of follow-up involved. If you are experiencing low conversion rates, take a minute to reevaluate your lead qualification process. Looking at your leads from a different perspective will help you work smarter, not harder. Launching your digital marketing campaigns, being hyper-specific about your target client, and automating the qualification and follow-up is the modern way of driving conversion rates up. FA Digital specializes in delivering turnkey marketing solutions focused at delivering you high quality leads that are easy to qualify and close.