Every day in sales and business is critical. That lead you receive today, could very well be in the hands of your competition tomorrow.
That is why I can't stress enough the importance of taking full advantage of your leads once you receive them.
Leads are not meant to sit around pinned onto bulletin boards, or placed in a tickler file. They are meant to be acted on.
The thought process of the customer is to shop around for a product or service, so they have put the word on the street that they are on the market for a particular product.
If someone within your professional circle gives you a qualified lead, it is highly reasonable that the customer on this lead has made several people aware of their interests in a product or service. Which would mean that their name and phone number is being passed around in more than one professional circle.
The timing on a lead is so important, the moment you receive the lead, pick up the phone and make contact with that person.
By not acting on a lead, you have two things working against you. One, you are allowing for your competition to get the jump on you. And two, you are giving your potential customer an opportunity to seek out somebody else to provide them with the product or service they are looking for.
I once worked with a guy when I was in the banking industry. He belonged to a few networking groups, and when he received a lead at one of his weekly meetings, he would come back to the office, pin the lead onto his calendar and let it sit there for three to five days.
When he finally got around to calling the name on the lead, he always received the same response. The customers would inform him that they were no longer interested, because they were working with someone else.
He would than hang up the phone and complain that he had the worst luck when it came to leads.
I think the message here is clear. This is an example of what not to do with your leads.
By letting a hot lead sit around and cool off, you are guaranteed to lose that customer.
Keep in mind, when someone gives you a lead, that someone is most likely giving your potential customer feed back. So that potential customer will have your name, and know when the lead was given to you.
I don't think your customer would appreciate a phone call three to five days after you have received their information. Even if they are still on the market for your product, you will not be off to a good start.
Leads were meant to be acted on. So the next time you receive one, don't hesitate, stop what you are doing, and contact that person. Good luck.