Our blog topic today is how to treat the property management leads in your sales pipeline or, your sales funnel. When you think about your terminology, a pipeline is a straight pipe that doesn’t necessarily get any bigger or any smaller. A funnel, on the other hand, starts big and gets small – and that’s the way you need to think about your property management sales process. Secondly, not everyone in your funnel should be treated the same way because they are at different stages in their relationship with you and your company.
We want to discuss different kinds of leads, and some of the things you can do to attract clients at each stage of your sales process. The closer you get to signing a contract, there are fewer leads to deal with, and therefore you can afford to invest more time in each one. Time is your most precious commodity and you don’t get any more of it. You only have so many hours in your day. You can throw money at things but you have only so much time to build your property management business. So, we’re going to talk about spending less time on people at the beginning of your sales funnel, while still keeping them in your orbit.
Wide Part of the Funnel: Suspects
Suspects includes everybody in your target market. These are: landlords in your area, people who own a rental home, and even people who don’t own a home now, but they might some day. You do not want to spend a lot of time and money at this end of your sales funnel because the majority of these people will never do any business with you. But – you want to get your name out there and you want to be somewhere in their heads, should they ever need services like yours. Social media is a great way to reach them. Use Google+, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to get your name out there. You don’t have to spend a lot of personal time on this; you can pay people to do your social media. Work with a company that has this kind of expertise – like Fourandhalf, of course – or appoint someone within your own company.
Middle of the Funnel: Prospects
Prospects are people looking for information on a problem they have. They need to solve an issue and they need help. These prospects may not be ready for property management services yet, but they’re getting there and you have an opportunity to impress them with your knowledge. You want to spend a little more time and money on this group. Content marketing is great for these prospects. Provide educational blogs that help them solve their problems. You’re out there being helpful and your face is right in front of them – literally when you’re doing video blogs. But you’re not pressuring them because pressure is not something to apply to a prospect or a suspect. They are not that engaged yet.
Narrowing the Funnel: Leads
A lead is someone who has filled out a contact form or visited your website or given you a phone call. These are often decision makers looking for a business like yours. These leads are absolutely where you should be spending your time. At this stage, you need fewer automated processes and more personal time.
Tip of the Funnel: Someone on a Timeline
The final stage is the lead who is seriously looking around for a property manager. They have called you (and maybe your competition) and they are ready to take action. You want to get in front of these leads as soon as possible and as often as possible without annoying them. Once you have their attention, you have the opportunity to close the sale.
A Fishing Metaphor – Throw ’em Back
Some fish aren’t big enough to keep – you need to throw them back in the lake and let them grow. Some leads are like that as well. They may not be ready to commit. If you don’t close a lead, and they haven’t hired someone else, it’s possible they aren’t as ready as they thought they were. If they aren’t going to take action right now, throw ’em back in – push them back to the prospect stage and stay engaged at that level. Hook them up (get it?) with blogs, and subscribe them to your email drip campaign. Anyone you just missed may bubble up again and keeping them close is money and time well spent.
So remember, you’ll want to spend a little time and money to reach a broad group of people – suspects, and then you’ll need to spend a little more time, money and effort at prospect stage. When they reach out to you, they are looking for property management, and your time becomes essential. It’s worth getting in touch. Immediately. Hot leads are opportunities for property managers, and you need to be proactive.
Hopefully this will help you understand the importance of adapting your marketing to people in different stages of your sales funnel so you can improve your close rate. If you have any questions or you’d like a little help, please contact us at Fourandhalf – Internet Marketing for Property Managers.