Internet customers are a little different than face to face customers. On one hand, they expect to get information fast (they are used to finding whatever they need with a click of a button,) but on the other hand, internet shoppers are usually much earlier in the home buying process, so they can take longer to close. When you are dealing with internet leads you need both speed and patience.
Here are five rules to help you close that sale:
1. Respond to leads immediately.
As mentioned, internet shoppers want information instantly. Of course you can’t be sitting at your computer 24/7, but there are ways you can increase your response time:
- Check your email regularly. We’ve had professionals tell us they didn’t know they had offers on their homes simply because they forgot which email account they were having leads sent to – and didn’t check it!
- Use your phone. Many modern cell phones will alert you when you have emails and let you check them right on your phone.
- Make time every day to respond to leads. Below we’ll give you tips on how to do it fast and easily, but in order for internet leads to help you sell, you have to make sure you are following up right away.
Tip: Did you know that MHVillage lets you put multiple email addresses in your listings? Your leads can go to your office email and your personal email, if you wish – or to multiple people in the office. Whatever you want!
2. Respond even to “bad” leads.
As all of us know, sales are all about building relationships. Just because you don’t have exactly what the customer wants, doesn’t mean you can’t help them. Even just letting people know you have alternate options available or will keep an eye out for them, can start the conversation.
Here’s a great example we saw last week:
A browser using MHVillage sent an email to community asking about renting a manufactured home. This is a community that doesn’t rent their homes.
The community manager could have just said, “We don’t have rental homes.” and ended the conversation. Instead they said, “While we don’t have rental homes available right now, we do have a great rent-to-own program.” That opened the door for a sale.
Tip: Keep an open mind – just because you don’t have what they are looking for today, doesn’t mean they can’t become a customer tomorrow. Look at every lead as a sales opportunity.
3. Have email responses ready to go
You’ll find that a lot of your leads are pretty similar – many internet home buyers ask the same kinds of questions. Have professional, articulate lead responses pre-written for your most common questions. Make sure that all responses include your name, your company name, phone number and website address. Having pre-responses ready to go will save you time and energy. It also ensures that every response is clear, well written and says exactly what you want it to say.
Tip: There are a number of ways you can make pre-written emails. One is to have your responses written in a word processing document so you can just quick cut and paste into your email. Another is to use a text replacement program that lets you type in a few characters and it will replace them with a phrase or sentence. For example, typing in “thnx” would generate “Thank you very much for your inquiry today, I am happy to answer your questions.” Here are a couple free text replacement programs you can download off the internet:
4. Make sure you customize your lead responses –
Having pre-written responses are a great way to save time, but can sound a bit like a form letter. To guard against this, customize each response. For example, once you have your pre-written response, make it more personal by using the lead’s first name in the salutation and reference what they are looking for and where the lead come from. Here’s an example of an opening response:
Thank you for requesting more information on the home at (address) that you found on (lead source.) I am happy to answer questions for you on that mobile home.
You can easily cut and paste something like this into an email, but then customize to fit the lead.
Tip: Don’t just hit reply on a lead. If you are getting the lead from a source like MHVillage, it is likely that there will be information in the email that is designed for your eyes only. You will make a better impression if that information isn’t included in the email.
5. Have a professional email address for leads –
If you are a working professional in the manufactured home industry, you need a professional email. Using a personal email address to respond to leads does not inspire confidence, especially if that email address is something like: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Don’t laugh, these are slightly modified email addresses of actual professional email addresses.) When you are responding to internet leads, use an email that includes your company name. There are many companies that will let you create free or low cost email accounts.
Tip: Remember Rule#1. If you do create a new email address, be sure and remember to check it regularly!