Are Leads Giving You the Cold Shoulder?

You’re in the middle of an important job, your hands are full, and your phone rings.

What do you do? Your customer is with you, and you want to give this job 100% of your attention while still delivering the best quality service that your business and reputation depend upon. As a small business owner, you’re always doing the best possible job for your clients so you can separate yourself from the rest; however, you also know it’s critical to manage leads and grow your business, and that phone call could be an important new business opportunity.

You decide to let the voice mail pick up and that you’ll call them right back as soon as possible.

For any small business owner, this is a tough position to be in. But let’s look at this example to see how a local business owner, like a plumber, could fare in this situation.


Are You Considering the Customer? 

First, it’s important to consider what the person on the other end of the line could be experiencing.

They may be in desperate need of a plumber – right now. There’s a leaky pipe below their sink and water is going everywhere. They decide to do a quick search for a plumber in their area so they can have someone come out here immediately to fix this issue. They go online, search “Local plumbers,” and discover there are a several within a few miles of them.

They visit the website of Plumber No. 1, sees the address and phone number for it, and place a call, but it goes to voicemail. They’re in a hurry, so, they move down the list to Plumber No 2. 

They click on Plumber No. 2 and land on a beautiful website, conveying a professional message and longstanding reputation in the local area. Just as they begin to dial the phone number from Plumber No. 2’s website, their phone rings and it’s their spouse asking if they called the plumber yet.

The consumer says they’re trying to do just that, and meanwhile, as they hang up and look back at the screen to dial in Plumber No. 2’s phone number, a live chat window comes up asking, “How may I assist you”? Before he even has a chance to dial the phone, he’s on his way to booking an appointment and solving his plumbing crisis.


Is Your Online Marketing Integrated & Capturing Leads? 

An hour later, Plumber No. 1 finishes with his client and calls back the consumer, but by then, the they have already booked an appointment with Plumber No. 2 thanks to their online marketing and live chat capabilities. Plumber 1 feels like they’ve been given the cold shoulder, but in reality, Plumber No. 1 is the one who lost the lead because they didn’t have a system in place to help them manage leads and be the first to respond to the interested prospect.

It may be tempting for Plumber No. 1 might come to the conclusion that this Internet lead wasn’t a warm lead because when he calls them back, they aren’t ready to buy – and in fact they never choose to do business with Plumber No. 1. But in reality, the lead was actually a warm lead at their initial point of contact, the plumber just wasn’t able to juggle everything and make that new lead a priority when they were ready to buy.


Does this Sound Familiar?

As a small business owner it can feel like a balancing act in operating the existing business you have while still trying to manage leads and accept new business.  There are many avenues and best practices for local internet marketing that enable you to connect with new prospects no matter where you are.

By using helpful tools like a live chat software that allows your website visitors to talk to a representative immediately to a call tracking system that gives you instant access to consumer information and needs, you can virtually connect with consumers from anywhere. With tools like these, you can give the job at hand 100% of your attention and rest assured that when a potential new customer finds your website online, you have a way to avoid giving consumers a cold shoulder.


How does your business stay on top of warm leads? Do you currently use any technologies to enable yourself or your team to connect immediately to potential customers? Let us know in a comment.


Blake Barnes

Blake is currently part of ReachLocal's National Healthcare Team and has worked with small businesses and national brands alike to help demystify the search behaviors prospects exhibit before making a call to your business. Having a deep understanding of how potential new clients behave online gives Blake a unique ability to listen to clients, assess their goals, and recommend the right ReachLocal solution to achieve each client's goals.

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