Marketing and Sales

May 29, 2006

Reminder: Offline Time

Filed under: General — Philippe Mesritz @ 1:47 am

This is a reminder that I'll be offline from approximately May 29th to June 4th and not making any further posts to the blog until I return. Sign up with Feedblitz if you want to receive my updated postings and be notified when I return … or use your favorite RSS feed reader (

Thanks and enjoy the week!


May 24, 2006

Layout Question

Filed under: General — Philippe Mesritz @ 11:55 am

I've been looking at a lot of different blogs and different configurations lately. I've noticed that there are two different primary writing types: One that write in a similar way that I have with a 'click here for more information' concept and one that has posts in one long block.

What I'd like to do is open it up to those people that are reading my blog to see what you'd prefer. Please feel free to chime in and I'll weigh all feedback.

Thanks for taking the time! 

Marketing through Blogs

Filed under: Marketing,Tips and Hints — Philippe Mesritz @ 7:53 am

I recently stumbled upon "Corporate Blogging 101", by Patrick Dodd, through LinkedIn Bloggers and read some of his posts. He's got an interesting view point on various things, but one of the subjects that he speaks about is marketing through blogs. His latest post, "Converting Traffic Into Business" asks a poignant question "What have you done to create an effective call to action in your blog?".
He writes with a monetary intent in mind and the assumption that most people do. I suppose that's an accurate assumption — business people writing business blogs usually have some sort of business purpose behind it.

I know that my personal purpose is a combination of education for people out there and, in the long run, just an attention grabber. I don't expect to "make money" in a direct fashion through the blog which is why I don't ever expect to have affiliate links and such dotting my blog landscape, but I suppose that the hope is more that people read the blog and gain some insight — and, perhaps, in the long run if they're looking for a company that can do what New Direction offers, they'll consider talking to me because they've found my blog to be of use to them.

One of the comments on Patrick's blog states that they post a link to their website at the end of every posting. I'm not sure that I'd want to do that, but I suppose the thought should remain in my mind to help drive traffic. Honestly, I'm not sure what the right solution is.

In any case, if you're looking to see how you can market your company through blogging, his musings may be of use to you. I'll spend more time reading his posts when I can.

Selecting a Lead/Referral Generation Company

Filed under: Marketing,Tips and Hints — Philippe Mesritz @ 7:48 am

One of the key aspects of ensuring that your company's sales team has the chance to be successful is to select the right referral generation company. If you make the wrong choice, there are a significant number of possible drawbacks including invalid leads, wasted time or even legal concerns. However, if you make the right choice, there are many more advantages including company and sales individual success.

Obviously, a concern faced is that one doesn't wish to work with a company that does not fit your needs. How does one select the right company?

Although the choice of a referral generation company is ultimately a personal choice and a 'gut' feel, there are a couple of criteria that I personally would use. If I was going to hire a company to do my lead generation for me, I would want to make sure that these few minimum requirements are met.

Are you a number or a person?

Some of the companies out there are so large or so narrowly focused on cutting to the cheapest price possible that they're willing to work with anyone and bring on more partners than they really can handle. I say partners because the best lead generation companies are, in my opinion, not a 'normal' client/vendor relationship — it is a relationship built on mutual success.

Are they available to you?

This should be obvious, but in doing business with a lead generation company, you should be able to reach them, at least during their normal hours, and speak with someone. Its not necessary to immediately talk to them under most circumstances, but at least receive a call back within one day; a response to an email should be in the same time-frame. There should rarely, if ever, be a reason that a company doesn't respond to you for a longer period of time. Even better would be if you can get a single point of contact with whom you can co-ordinate that has access to all your preferred methods of communication.

Do you feel like you trust them?
Do they have referrals?

Both sides need to be able to trust each other. You need to trust that the leads you're receiving are worth your time to call and they need to trust that the leads they're giving you are going somewhere. There are companies who don't care and simply hand off bulk leads without ever looking on, but these are the companies that I would, personally, avoid. They are more interested in simply generating their bottom line $$ than they are in creating a partnership.

Asking for referrals is not a bad thing. Most companies, at least existing ones, will have referrals that they can give you. Even new companies may have the ability to give referrals regarding their management team. Sites such as LinkedIn or letters of recommendations from past employers give a good viewpoint on skills and personal quality, if not the company itself. For example, my profile on LinkedIn indicates that I have 23 endorsements for past positions. To see the endorsements, you can become a member (free) and view the specific details.

Is it a partnership?

In my opinion, the best referral generation companies are those that have a stake in your success AND you have a stake in theirs. This could easily be my personal viewpoint on how companies should work getting involved, however I strongly believe that success is best gained by all parts of the chain having a positive experience. If the end client is satisfied, the product company is satisfied and the sales associate is happy. If the sales associate is happy, then it means that the lead generation company has done their job and they're happy. If the referral generation company is content, then it means that the lead generation associate has done their job and they're happy. All in all, the entire chain of effect is impacted. This is best realized by all sections of the chain trusting each other and successfully implementing a process of success.

What is their success rate?
What are their projections for your product/service?

These questions are both based in the same bottom line: Numbers.A company that has been around for a while will, or at least should, have figured out how well they do.

A new company may not be able to give you past history, for obvious reasons, but they should be able to talk to you about their projections and why they think these projections are logical. An existing company, one that's been around more than a year, should be able to give you the exact numbers for their entire program line. They should be able to tell you how many cold contacts they need to generate a single referral. They should be able to tell you, on average, how many referrals a company takes to gain a sale. From there, the company should be able to work with you to identify whether past history should be a good indicator of future success or whether the numbers would need to be changed for your product. Based on the Direct Marketing Association, lead generation should be at about an 8% success rate and sales should be somewhere between 1.6% and 2.0%. This would indicate a 20% close rate of all referrals sent to your company, a reasonable number if the prospects are as strong as they should be and your sales team is qualified. The 8% depends significantly on the current market, the product sold and the skill of the telemarketers. I've seen anywhere from 5% to 13%, but 8% is a decent average number to start from. The referral generators should be spending a maximum of 5, occasionally 10, minutes on the phone with any prospect. Their job is JUST to generate interest and garner a prospect that wants to talk to your sales people — its up to your sales people to close it from there.

Do they rate their referrals?

This is probably one of the main points that you may not have thought of. Most of the above are simply a re-iteration of a good way to identify a company and some basic thoughts. Rating referrals, however, is something that many lead generation companies do not do and, again my opinion, should. Without rating referrals, all you're getting is "yes" and "no". I don't feel that this is enough information. There are at LEAST three levels of referrals, two of which matter to a company receiving them. It is certainly possible to come up with a more complex calculation to determine priorities based on criteria such as projected purchase date, budget, employees, etc to generate a rating, but a handed off referral should have a little more information that "This is a referral. Call them." The two levels should be: Very interested and Needs Work. Very interested should include those referrals that have said something along the lines of "This is perfect! I've been looking for something along these lines for a while and it sounds great. I just need a final quote and we should be able to buy it." In truth, you should receive about 5-10% of your referrals in this category — if you're lucky. It isn't a category that comes through very often, but a company should at least have it. They are the clients you should be picking up the phone on as soon as you get the list and dialing their numbers. The other, "needs work", is the more typical referral. A company that needs more information than the lead generators have, perhaps they want a demo, a custom quote, have some in depth technical questions… A prospect that isn't sure if it fits into their budget and needs a bit of tugging. These are examples of good referrals that could turn into a good sale with just a little bit of nudging.

Depending on your company and the products/services being generated for, there are other questions and responses. The main thing, however, is whether the company is new or old, it should be a partnership and a positive relationship.

Good luck selecting your next lead generation company!

May 23, 2006

Networking and LinkedIn

Filed under: General,Marketing — Philippe Mesritz @ 6:03 pm

If you're a social and professional networker, LinkedIn is a great company. Through their service (which is free for the basic member), you can connect with dozens, if not hundreds, of people through your extended network. I've also found it to be of excellent use for simply keeping up with people as they move around different jobs or change emails. In addition to this, LinkedIn has a number of Yahoo Groups, including LinkedIn Bloggers and LinkedIn Sales, that help optimize your use of the program or simply to discuss various aspects of it.

In any case, if you're a LinkedIn member, please feel free to send me an invite if you're reading this. My profile is publicly available at

Its also great for Marketing — you can figure out who to talk to with a little bit of research.

May 22, 2006

Moving: May 30th – June 4th

Filed under: General — Philippe Mesritz @ 4:43 pm

I am relocating from my current city of resident, Las Vegas, NV, to a new one on May 30th. My family and I will be heading to Austin, Texas and looking to make that city our new home. Because of this long treck and the fact that my Internet access will be shutdown on the 30th here, not to be hooked up until the 2nd there, I will be mostly offline between those times. I will still be doing my best to respond to emails and will be returning phone calls, but I don't expect that there will be any blog postings until I am back on approximately the 4th — I'm hoping that Time Warner does their install on time, at least!

I'll make another post on this right before I leave to remind you, as my readers. Thanks for taking the time to read my musings.

Deciding to Outsource Lead/Referral Generation

Filed under: Marketing,Tips and Hints — Philippe Mesritz @ 11:42 am

So the choice is yours now… You're ready to start making money and have a sales force staring at a phone, waiting for it to ring. Then it starts. Ringing off the hook as customers respond to your first TV ad and you're off!

That's, obviously, a pretty idyllic viewpoint on advertising, but it would be nice. More reasonably, your sales force is out there, trying to reach new customers by calling people cold. You've trained a group of four people on your product and they know it inside and out. If they have the opportunity to speak to someone whose interested in your product, they'll close one in four and can handle four calls an hour since it takes them about 15 minutes per person to explain the benefits in detail. Since they're making outbound calls "cold", however, they are only gaining minimal interest levels every fifteenth call and nailing a sale every one in sixty. Suddenly, instead of one sale an hour each, your trained sales team is only making one sale every three hours and becoming more and more frustrated. Your sale projections have plummeted from thirty two sales per day to around ten per day — 31.25% of your expected numbers.

How can you increase your level of success?

Well, there's a couple of ways. The one I'm going to focus on is outsourcing lead/referral generation. Many people call it lead generation, but I, personally, consider it to be referral generation. See my earlier posts for why I do so.

Outsourcing has a lot of advantages, not the least of which is the simple fact that your sales team doesn't need to be focused on spending time finding people that are interested.

  1. Expense: The cost involved in outsourcing is, in the long run, usually a cheaper investment than having your in house sales team do the work.
  2. Training: Training sales people to make cold calls and qualify people without going into their detailed pitches at the wrong times is difficult.
  3. Training x2: Your sales team has expertise on a product that is not necessary for referral generation. Bringing you contacts for sales can be done by people who know the basics of your product — enough to generate an interest, but not necessarily to gain a new customer.
  4. Time: You simply can't make as many sales if you use your in house sales people to make cold contact with prospects.
  5. Better Prospects: As the numbers above showed, without the right prospects, your company will not be able to make as many sales as they have the potential to, even with a perfect sales team. With an outsourced company generating referrals for you, the sales team can complete the sale and help you gain customers with greater success.

Obviously, there are disadvantages as well, but I believe that for many businesses these disadvantages are far outweighed by the above mentioned benefits as well as others that companies find to be true. The primary disadvantage that seems to weigh on management's mind is the loss of control. Although this is a definite concern, this can be addressed by finding the right company to work with.

Outsourcing referral generation can have a very positive impact on your business and its long term success. By chosing the right company to work with, understanding how to best manage the organization, and negotiating an equitable payment structure, all parties can be improved and each person along the chain will feel the increased capabilities.

A good referral generation company does not see you as "just a customer" — but as a partner. I'll address this more in my next detailed tip on how to chose a company.

Reader Questions

Filed under: General — Philippe Mesritz @ 7:35 am

One of the questions that a reader posed was:

"As someone whose hired cold calling agencies I think a great post would be on how they can be managed. As a client I think that is the most difficult part, along with selecting a suitable agency." – Steve, May 16th.

The question is very valid and I have been planning on writing a few posts on this, so I will be starting with "selection" . I will also, in the near future, be writing "managing" and "compensating". Other suggestions or requests for writings are welcome. Please feel free to leave a comment with what you'd like to see and I can add it to my 'to write' list. If you don't want to leave a public comment, please feel free to email me (pmesritz at

May 19, 2006

First Blog Mention!

Filed under: Blogs,General — Philippe Mesritz @ 5:40 pm

Certainly not a specific topic that has anything to do with this blog, but … a milestone marker none the less. I've been linked to by another blog for the first time (that I know of!). Its flattering. Thanks, Rick!

Rick's blog, The RainMaker Maker, appears to be similar in nature to mine in terms of advice for professionals. I spent a little while this afternoon reading it and suggest that you do as well if you have the time to spare.

May 18, 2006

Skype & (Tele)Marketing

Filed under: Company Information,Marketing,Tips and Hints — Philippe Mesritz @ 5:13 pm

I actually just wrote an email to a discussion group that I'm a member of, but then thought that I should post it here as well. The information is relevant to the topic that I try to stay on here, so … here goes!

Skype is a great tool for keeping up with your network and making sure that you can get a hold of your friends, family and professional associates around the world. I'm sure that almost everyone here agrees with that. With the new release of Skype's free calls within the US and Canada to both landlines and mobile phones until the end of the year, it makes sense to look at the technology from a marketing standpoint. The ability to make free calls anywhere within the US — a free pass out of your long distance phone bill for the next six months or so!

Even the smallest business can gain better market share by optimizing their use of this new capability. Anyone who can work remotely in the slightest can now contact strong leads across the United States for almost nothing; no more than the cost of the leads themselves if you don't have a list of your own (, BTW, offers a great tool for this – $300 per month for unlimited leads [per person]).My company, New Direction Marketing, is partnered with telemarketing software company to help deliver technology that can help optimize the telemarketing. Its a great value and is currently priced at 60% to break into the US market. The product has been actively developed and used in the UK for a number of years now. One big advantage that it has is that it HELPS you manage your telemarketing needs AND has a direct capability to interact with SKYPE to maximize your call times. What else could you ask for?I know that this is, in part, a pitch as well as simply a 'think about using Skype for marketing' reminder. Too many people think about VOIP or other new technologies without looking at the outside capabilities that it may have. If you're interested in the software, drop me a line and we can discuss it further. Else, I hope your day goes well and discuss the concepts of Skype and how to use it best for marketing!

As you can tell, I'm a proponent for the above mentioned software as well as the use of new technologies where possible. The difference between this software and for example,, is significant. doesn't allow the management of different campaigns or different sections of your organization. This is HUGE. Its the perfect way for a single company selling the same product to identify which sales pitches work, which special offers increase success rates, and other capabilities. Plus, there's often different offers for different 'types' of people. In the mortgage industry, for example, there's refinancing interest only loans, refinancing from a different company, and refinancing from within your current customers, just to name a few. Perhaps you want to call new clients and give them a 10% off on their first invoice and would like to call existing customers and give them a 10% credit for their past order on new business … in a 'Sales' CRM, this wouldn't be possible generally. With this software, you can do both!There's a lot of other things and I'm getting off the topic of "Skype and Telemarketing". Skype is a product that's become proven over time. One of its biggest drawbacks has always been the cost to use "SkypeOut", or call out of Skype's network. With their current release of FREE, you can't really beat it for calling within the United States and Canada. Even calling overseas isn't bad ($0.02 per minute to the UK, for example).

Name Sourcers

Filed under: Marketing — Philippe Mesritz @ 8:56 am

There are a lot of ways to go out and 'get' a hold of people. There are a lot of ways to try to locate the right person to talk to. A new trend is to use 'name sourcers'. Whether or not this is a successful trend or not, the companies and people that have started working within this niche market seem to be both successful and capable.

According to a sourcers discussion group I have recently joined, they state that what they do entails "The finding of people who hold specific titles (usually) within (usually) specific organizations so that you may offer them your opportunity."

I suppose this logic makes sense. If you know WHO to talk to you can know WHAT needs to be said. Yet, at the same time, how is this any different from cold calling? A good cold call will get you to the WHO you need to talk to and you will already be prepared with WHAT to say. It seems a little backwards to me. Now adays, there are a multitude of companies out there that offer databases with names and contact information. I suppose that name sources are the core information base from this as that is what they do — gather names and contact information. It doesn't seem that those that deem themselves name sourcers do anything beyond the databases, but perhaps I'll gain more knowledge through being on this discussion group.

At this point, however, it seems that generating leads and/or cold calling companies would step through, generally, the same process as these name sourcers.

May 16, 2006

Feedblitz Subscriptions Available

Filed under: Marketing — Philippe Mesritz @ 7:48 am

You can now sign up for daily digests through Feedblitz' subscription capabilities. At some point, I'll figure out how to modify my layout so that I can put the full form on the page for subscription without needing to go to their site, but this is the best I've got at this point.

Thanks for reading! Having just started this blog a little while ago and not having spent any time promoting it, I've been happy with a couple of readers per day.  Yesterday, I hit somewhere between 24 and 32 readers — imagine my surprise! 

— Philippe

The Entrepreneurial Mind: Cold Calling and Word of Mouth Can Go Together

Filed under: Marketing — Philippe Mesritz @ 7:25 am

As I've said in past postings, referrals are the way to go as much as possible. It is incredibly important to ensure that your contacts are as best as they can.

"Passively relying on word of mouth is too often a cop-out for entrepreneurs who are intimidated by the thought of having to sell," says Jeff Cornwall, Director of Beltmont University.

By relying on passive word of mouth, you are losing significant capabilities and contacts. But by optimally using your word of mouth referalls and "cold calling" them, you have more success. Personally, I wouldn't consider them cold calls — I call them referrals, even if they're not calling you.

His post references an article in Startup Journal called "Warm Up to Cold Calling To Find New Customers". Its an article that certainly rings very true. "This is not the end of the world; you're only making a phone call." says Norma Siciliano, president of Cold Calling for Hot Sales, a sales-coaching firm in New York City. How true that is!

If you're wary about truly cold calling prospects, there's companies out there that can help as well as sales people that can be hired who aren't as trepidacious as you.

May 15, 2006

48 Hours with the King of Cold Calls

Filed under: Marketing — Philippe Mesritz @ 6:17 pm

As I said earlier today, cold calling is an art.   

"I wonder if you could help me out?" he asks the receptionist, opening with his favorite line.

The article quoted is over 15 years old (published in 1991), but wow — the concepts still ring true. Whether your cold calls are walk in face to face, contacting people over the phone, or getting a hold of them through the internet… attitude and getting people to help you are the two key aspects to successfully making that contact.

Marketing Advisor Update: Tips on Cold Calling and Handling Gatekeepers

Filed under: Blogs,Marketing — Philippe Mesritz @ 6:00 pm

Since I just wrote something about Cold Calling, I thought I'd find a few points of reference for you in addition to what I wrote. There are a large number of blogs, sites and posts out there, so I'm only going to put a handful up as I find them.
"Sometimes you just have to include an element of cold calling into your marketing program", says Stuart Ayling, Director of Marketing for a specialist marketing consulting firm in Australia.

His blog has some interesting information — even more interesting is that his post on Cold Calling happened today, the same day that I wrote mine!

Is Cold Calling Dead?

Filed under: Marketing,Tips and Hints — Philippe Mesritz @ 5:03 pm

There are those that say cold calling is dead. There are those that say it is alive. Personally, I believe a company offering products or services to the outside world can not succeed without a balanced view on this sales and lead generation tactic. Concentrating solely on making outbound cold calls and neglecting other avenues is a mistake, however the same goes for ignoring the benefit that contacting prospects without notice can offer.

When should a company cold call? When shouldn't they?

An organization, for profit or not, that depends on a revenue stream coming from brand new customers can not normally sit upon its laurels and simply wait for revenue to be generated. There has to be some sort of outbound marketing tool. Using these tools correctly is the reason that a company retains a marketing director or a company specializing in marketing. Note: I didn't say sales, I said marketing. Marketing allows a business to retain a brand and plan its projections to the outside world. It allows a company to optimize its sales force's success rate through branding, through advertising and through marketing.

Cold calling is both a marketing and a sales tool. On one hand, it can be used to develop a name and to generate interest. On the other, it can be used to directly generate an interest and, from there, a sale. There is at least one website and newsletter out there that claims that cold calling is dead. I happen to disagree with them, but I am sure that there are many people that agree.

I disagree because I believe that cold calling is a tool that still has its benefits. It is impossible to, unless you are lucky enough to garner as much media and word of mouth attention as companies such as Microsoft do, simply wait and expect customers to come to you. It is unreasonable to be passive about your sales generation. Cold calling is one way to increase interest and contacts.

It is, however, not the only tool that should be used. A company should use all the tools at its fingertips including websites, opt in newsletters or blogs, referral contacts, and advertising. By using all of the marketing and sales avenues that a company has available, the business sets itself up for success.

Cold calling is an excellent way to generate interest and contact people you hadn't considered. It is a good way for a lead or referral generation company to optimize their time for your success. Cold calling is not something that everyone is good at or enjoys. It is something that requires a specific attitude and perspective.

May 11, 2006

New Direction Marketing, Inc Website

Filed under: Company Information — Philippe Mesritz @ 1:48 pm

As of the 4th, we've released our new website look. Please feel free to travel on over and leave feedback. 

WordPress Lag

Filed under: General — Philippe Mesritz @ 8:24 am

WordPress is having some problems with regards to lag as they are having some hardware issues. They are aware of it and working on some additional redundancy.

My apologies and thank you for your patience.

Qualified vs Not Qualified

Filed under: Company Information,Marketing,Tips and Hints — Philippe Mesritz @ 8:16 am

Any prospects that you contact can be considered either qualified or not qualified. Depending on where the information was gained or how you received their contact information, an individual or company could have gone through a level of identification that would make them a good match for your product or services (called product from here on out). This would make them a qualified lead, a type of company or individual that could use your business in direct order rather than in some nebulous future time-frame. An unqualified lead are those companies that may not have a time-frame to purchase your product, may have no interest in your product or service at this time, or perhaps simply have never even heard of you before.

What, exactly, is the difference and how do we get them?

In theory, an "incoming referral" should always be qualified. Someone that has been sent to you by a current customer because your loyal customer felt that the referral could use your product is an excellent prospect — someone that obviously has a need, certainly is interested, and has proactively contacted you. A little less qualified, but certainly still falling within the 'qualified' realm is a referral given to you to contact. These are people that a current user felt could be contacted because they would likely have use for what you have to offer.

Unqualified leads are, all too often, "not qualified" leads. Cold calling is a technique that requires significant effort and knowledge. An untrained cold caller, one who has never done it before, is obviously not as experienced as one who has being doing it longer. The response rates for straight cold calling vary drastically, but even organizations who have specialized in cold calling for decades, such as the Direct Marketing Association, do not exceed an average success rate on cold calls of more than about 8.25% to simply generate leads! This means that almost 92 out of 100 calls made to unqualified leads are "not qualified". Generally, your sales force will become frustrated with numbers such as this — they're trained in your product and have just spent about 5 hours (*) trying to talk to people not interested. Their time is better spent talking to qualified referrals.

The biggest question has always been "where can I get these qualified referrals"? Most people intrinsically realize, even without statistical numbers to back their belief, that companies succeed upon word of mouth and referrals. This is especially true in the small to medium size businesses that do not have millions of dollars to spend on advertising and generating a 'buzz'. As I have said before, the best place to find referrals has been, and most likely always will be, your existing customers. By keeping them happy and ensuring that you hold a high level of service, they will gladly refer other companies to you for your product. For those companies that do not generate enough business through their own processes or clients, generating qualified referrals can be done by using "lead generating" or "referral generating" companies. Through the use of these organizations, your sales team is provided with a list (daily or weekly, usually) of companies or individuals (depending on your product) that have been contacted and shown interest in finding out more. These are not as strong as true referrals from existing customers as you will, generally, still need to 'make a sale', yet the success rate of prospects that have already gone through a first round of qualification should be significantly greater than 1 every 5 hours! I say should be as it does depend on the company that you are receiving business through. Personally, I suggest New Direction Marketing (**)!

(*) Assumption: Approximately 18 calls per hour to allow for both interested parties, hold time, and notes.
(**) Disclaimer: New Direction Marketing is my company :)

Delay Apology

Filed under: General — Philippe Mesritz @ 7:39 am

This week's posting has obviously been delayed a little bit. I must apologize for this to those that have been reading both the blog directly and the RSS feed, but my father in law has been in the hospital/ICU since last Sunday, so I haven't been paying a great deal of attention to the business side of my life.  He's doing much better now, so I can look forward and catch up on those areas that I've neglected. Thank you for your patience.

May 2, 2006

Follow up

Filed under: Marketing,Tips and Hints — Philippe Mesritz @ 7:55 am

Although this has to be one of the most obvious tactics in sales and to use strong referrels effectively, there are not enough companies that actually bother doing it. By not doing so, organizations lose touch with their customers and lose open opportunities. What is this elusive trick?

Follow up.

There. Its simple as you can see. Why is it that companies don't call back when a message is left? Why do they not respond to emails? Why do they leave contacts untouched for months and months? Truthfully, I can't tell you. There have been countless instances where I've left a voicemail for a company stating my interest and then did not receive a call back — a wasted sale and a lost proactive contact. When a customer calls you, call them back — whatever it takes.

In the case of a referral or lead, it is not quite as immediately critical as a proactive contact, but it is still imperative that you contact them as soon as possible. Many times, a referral has been given information about your products through either a sales touch or a customer and wishes to make a decision almost immediately. By not contacting them, you are losing a prospect who could easily be turned into a client.

A key use for lead or referral generating companies is to get customers who have been pre-qualified to be interested in your product or services. To optimize the use of these contacts that have been pre-determined to be open to purchasing your product, it is vital to follow up and contact them soon. The longer you wait, the less likely the prospect is to be interested in your company.

Follow up.

That is the trick and a very important tip to remember. Obvious as it may seem, all too many companies do not hold to this.

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