Will you be the last practice standing? Let’s talk about it.
Hello, my friends. It’s your boy, Troy with a fresh episode of the Practice Growth Machine Podcast. I’m so glad you’re here. Today, we’re talking about following up with your leads – the leads that are coming into your practice. How much should you be following up with those?
Good news is, we actually have some data to take a look at today. A Harvard Business Review study that looked at 15,000 leads across 100,000 phone call attempts, to really drill down and see what is successful when it comes to following up with your leads. So, let’s get into it.
One of the big comments that I hear when I’m doing sales
training with my clients, someone will say, “You know, when we’re doing
follow up, I just don’t want to be a pest. I don’t want to come across like I’m
needy, and I certainly don’t want to feel like I’m bugging somebody, so I don’t
really want to follow up over, and over, and over.”
Look, that’s understandable, but when you look at the data from this study, again, published in the Harvard Business Review, it looked at 100,000 phone calls across 15,000 leads that were generated. It has some pretty eye-opening data as it relates to follow up, and how much follow up you should do. When you look at the follow up numbers, and you just start with one, so you do one call back, we’ll just say that’s one call back to a prospect, right?
Let’s say it’s a web lead that came into your practice, and your team calls them one time. On average, the chance of connecting with that person on that first call is around 25%, so one out of four. When you make two call backs, that percentage almost doubles. It goes up to right around 50-55% and it continues to increase, and here’s the crazy thing.
Once you get to the sixth call, you’ve tried to touch base
six times, there’s a 90% chance of making contact. If you were to take 10
leads, and call all 10 at least six times, according to this data on average,
you should reach nine of those late. Is that going to happen every single time
you call 10 leads?
No, but we’re looking at the average of all of this data across 100,000 different calls, and this is what it’s showing us. What does that tell us?
It tells us a few things. Number one, it tells us that people aren’t necessarily ignoring your calls because they don’t want to talk to you. Think about it. How many times in the last week have you ignored a call, or a text, or an email, because either A, it wasn’t a good time for you to deal with it, B, you didn’t really have an answer for whatever the inquiry was, or even C, you were going to get back to it later, but you just forgot.
That happens all the time. It’s happening to your prospects,
too. You got to picture what’s happening in their lives. They sent in a contact
form through your website, or through your social media page, or they took your
self-test in the midst of picking up kids from school, or going to work, or
wrapping up their lunch break, right, or watching Netflix or whatever they’re
They’re also doing their life at the same time that they are reaching out to you about one of your solutions. When you call them back, if you don’t get in touch with them on that first ring, it’s not because they don’t want to talk to you. It is because they’re not sitting there by the phone waiting for it to ring with nothing else to do. It also tells us that we need to work to be in the right place at the right time. You can’t be in the right place at the right time if you’re not reaching out, if you’re not engaging.
What is the right time? I don’t know, but if you make one
phone call and never call that person back again, you’re not gonna know either.
Let’s talk about another aspect of the follow up that is good news for you if
you can pull this off.
While it takes six times to connect with prospects at a 90% rate, according to this data, how many people do you think are actually following up with their leads six times? The answer is less than 10%. Actually, it’s less than 5%. It’s really about three. 3% of folks are taking the action that results in 90% of the outcomes.
What does that mean? That means your competitor down the
street, probably only calling folks once. Competitor down the other street,
competitor across town, probably only calling folks back once, if at all. So if
you can be the practice that follows up with the leads that you generate three,
four, six, ten times, you will gain the lion’s share of patients in the
marketplace who are currently seeking a solution. Simple math.
How do you follow up with leads six times? Great question. You need to track what you’re doing. Some people like to have a nice fancy CRM, a customer relationship management system, like Salesforce is one example. Others, I’ve got clients who just use spreadsheets. They’ve got these spreadsheets that get marked for every single time a lead is contacted. That’s a little bit more rudimentary than something with automation and software around it, like Salesforce, but either one will get the job done.
What you can’t do is hope that somebody’s jotting down the
leads when they come in, and then somehow just making sure to call them back
next week, or the week after, and do all this follow up. That can’t happen. You
need some kind of a system, even if it’s just a spreadsheet, and number two you
need some kind of supporting follow up automation system.
Text messages, emails, those are things that we set up and we send those out from the practices that we work with, so it’s automated touch points that don’t have to be sent out manually, but they are working to reengage the leads, and they are acting as touch points.
Then we supplement that with scripts and timelines for our counsellors
to go ahead and make those phone calls as well, so you’ve got phones, you’ve
got emails, you got texts going out, and it’s all in an effort to create these
ongoing touch points, and to be the last practice standing when it comes to
converting the leads that you are paying good money to generate for your
To recap, you need six or more touch points, outreaches to your leads to maximize your conversions. Also, you need some kind of a system to track it, a spreadsheet, a CRM software, something that you can use, and that your team can be held accountable with, to make sure that they’re doing those follow ups, and remember your competitors down the street will not put in the work or the systems to make this happen.
If you go the distance, the patients can be yours. In the next episode we’ll talk about what to say in your follow ups. Do you need to just call people over and over and say, “Will your book? Will you book? Will you book?” No, that is boring. That actually is kind of a pest type of a situation. You need to bring value when you do your follow ups, and we’ll talk about some ways to do that in the next episode.
Until then, go forth and prosper, my friends.