You’re standing in front of a full-length mirror, umming and aahing. The suit you’re trying on looks fabulous – the cut is perfect. Part of you is longing to buy it. But as you turn this way and that, the doubts niggle. It’s more than you intended to spend. It’s bolder than your usual style. Do you dare?
In a split moment, you decide that the answer is “yes”. The excitement bubbles up as you start visualising yourself walking into your next meeting, the swankiest person in the room.
Suit in hand, you march to the checkout….. Only to find that no one’s there. Not a cashier in sight.
“Do I really want this?” That internal voice reasserts itself. “I’m going to look silly. The bill is going to really hurt….”
Three minutes later, you gently place the suit on the checkout desk, and walk out the store.
Maybe you’ll come back tomorrow……
Whether the item we were buying was a suit, another piece of clothing or even a car or electronic gadget, I’m sure we’ve all been in this situation. When you agonise over a buying decision, there is a magic moment when all your doubts disappear and you are prepared to take action.
But it doesn’t last too long. Unless the purchase is completed quickly, the magic dissipates and your interest turns elsewhere.
It’s the same when you are marketing online. There is often only a small window of opportunity when your prospects are really ready to buy from you. And so when you get enquiries online, how long you take to answer them really matters.
For many companies, the rule is to answer incoming enquiries “on the same day” or “within 24 hours”. That may seem like pretty fast service. But in today’s world of immediate gratification, where people start getting agitated if their email isn’t acknowledged immediately, that’s actually a lifetime.
One of our clients recently received a consultation request at 11pm. At 11am the next day, they received another email from this lead, re-iterating that they wanted the appointment. By the time the company contacted her at 4pm, she cancelled.
You may argue that this prospect wasn’t serious. I’d argue that the moment for her had simply passed. By 4pm, she was physically and mentally in a different place.
One company I know upped their online conversion rate significantly by responding to all email enquiries within 10 minutes.
For many businesses, that’s not possible. But set your team an ambitious goal. Aim to respond to all email enquiries within one hour.
And then when you achieve that, narrow the timing down even further….
The closer you get to your leads’ magic moment, the more likely you are to convert them.