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A contractor’s guide to surveying lost leadsNovember 2nd, 2020 by
It is frustrating to chase prospects for days, weeks, or even months only to have them stop responding to your inquiries or, even worse, find them in the warm embrace of your competitor. It’s even easier to dismiss those lost leads and move on altogether. However, not surveying lost leads only puts you at a further disadvantage.
Lost or cold leads may not end up choosing you right now, but they hold valuable insights about your business to which you may be blind. Of course, you will never hear this feedback unless you ask. Check out our guide to surveying lost leads, learn why it’s important, and ask the right questions in order to make effective business decisions.
Identify why you lose leads
Do you know why prospects end up forgoing your service or choosing a competitor? You may have an idea, but you won’t know for sure until you ask. There are a variety of reasons prospects end up passing on your company that you may not realize:
- Price is out of budget
- Value is not conveyed fully
- Competitor is more appealing
- Project is less of a priority at the time
- Can’t deliver on full ask
- Follow up isn’t carried out in a timely manner
The reason you lost the prospect could be any of these things or a combination of several. The point is, if you assume you know the answer, you could end up spending time and money to fix an issue that isn’t an issue, while still leaving yourself open to losing similar prospects in the future.
Build out a process that allows you to follow up with lost leads within a few days so you can get honest feedback while it’s still fresh in their minds. Identifying why you are losing leads gives you a starting point to begin making improvements.
Reconnect with lost leads
Whether through specialized software or your own way of tracking, build a simple follow-up system for all leads at their different stages. After a lead has gone cold and you’ve followed up to find out why, immediately make note and set an alert for when you’ll reach out to them again.
When planning a time to reach out, keep in mind the length of the contract you were selling or when a typical customer is ready to re-engage. You should try to reach out slightly before that time, so you don’t find yourself making contact right after they’ve already worked out a new deal with your competitor.
On average, GuildQuality members who conduct “rehash surveying” discover that 30-40% of the leads they assumed were cold, are in fact still considering them.
If there’s an underlying lesson to this survey process, it’s to not give up on lost or cold leads. You never know when their situation could change or how satisfied they are with their chosen alternative. Being open to partnering again with lost leads means the time you spent on them isn’t a waste, it’s an investment.
Analyze your processes
No business process is foolproof, and no team is perfect. There will always be cracks in your processes and lost leads will be inevitable. However, by surveying lost leads, you can make it easier to seal up those cracks and discover where your team needs the most help.
Ideally, you should be tracking your entire sales and marketing process. As part of this tracking, your team should add notes for each prospect, what was discussed during each interaction, and the date they were contacted. Through this tracking system, you can retrieve critical information and pinpoint specific trends.
You’ll also be able to A/B test your messaging. Maybe you aren’t sure what message to include in an email. By tracking this information, you can make informed decisions and revise your processes as needed.
Ask the right questions
Of course, you won’t get the answers you need if you ask the wrong questions. When you’re determining what to ask, it’s also essential to strike the right tone. When surveying lost leads, you don’t want to sound defensive or make it seem like you’re only asking these questions to prolong the sales process.
That is, while you may hope to gain their business in the future, you must state upfront your goal is to seek information. Doing this, you’re likely to garner higher response rates and more honest answers. Even if you’ve lost some prospects’ business for good, their answers may help you find and convert many others like them.
Here are some common questions to consider in your survey:
- What was the biggest consideration you based your decision on?
- Were there any references or online reviews that swayed your decision?
- What ultimately made you decide not to move forward?
- Is there anything that we could have done differently that would have changed your mind?
Listen to your prospects
While you know more about your services and offerings than your customers, they bring a different perspective to how your business carries out processes. They know how your company communicates and your reputation in the industry. Most importantly, they have a good idea of how others feel when interacting with your company.
This knowledge is an opportunity. When you survey prospects, you can engage with them in a personable way and educate them about how your services benefit them. Likewise, they can educate you on how your communications make them and others like them feel. Of course, they can also provide information about why they ended up forgoing your services.
By surveying lost leads for feedback, you’re creating a two-way street of communication. If lost leads give feedback that your services are too expensive, maybe you need to better convey the value you are providing so they can justify spending that money. This feedback allows you to create an action plan for improved business performance.
“Before, we used to have to guess what someone was thinking if we never heard from them after a proposal. Now, we know if they’re still planning on doing business with us, and if they aren’t, why not.”
-Guildmember Gary Haldeman of HC Remodel & Design
Surveying lost leads with GuildQuality
Crafting an effective survey isn’t always easy. It takes time to send out and wait for enough answers to generate the larger picture you need for analysis. This is especially true if you find your first attempt didn’t garner effective feedback or your response rate isn’t high enough to make conclusions.
GuildQuality members see an average response rate of 25% for lost lead surveys, and in many cases, those responses lead to unexpected sales that would have otherwise been dismissed. Use our handy calculator to find out what your potential return on investment could be when you survey your lost leads.
Let GuildQuality do the work for you
We take the work off your plate. Our surveying platform provides customized surveys that give you the exact feedback you want and need, in real time. We make it easy to identify trends, measure performance, and analyze results against historical data and industry benchmarks. We’ll even transfer lost prospects to you immediately if we learn they’re still interested.
Try us for free, and we’ll collect feedback from 20 of your prospects or customers to help you see the bigger picture. Get started today by visiting us online or calling us at 1-888-355-9223.