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Four lead capture strategies for B2C businesses

by wrich

In this article, the entrepreneur Muriel Saldalamacchia, author of the book “The Anti-Ghosting Method,” teaches four ways to improve conversion in B2C businesses. Those four strategies took three years or so to be imagined, tested, and evaluated again and again. Once they were good enough, meaning working more than seven times out of 10, she saw the revenues drastically increasing over 40% in only one year. 

The method is like an ABC, a score of music to play instinctively. Since it is based on human behavior, it works on any social or professional category. Muriel Saldalamacchia taught this method to various entrepreneurs for a decade, and it works 100%. Those strategies are real game changers for anyone willing to increase sales and revenues.

A few months ago, one of the book readers sent a thank you note for the incredible efficiency of these strategies described and explained in the publication. Also, this reader mentioned that her husband, a real estate agent,  followed the method with two leads who ghosted him after a longhouse visit and presentation. He managed to sell the two houses he had pending for those people. 

  • Respond quickly

Responding to an inquiry in less than two hours will convert you right away into the professional who will most certainly earn that deal. You need to react quickly. Very quickly.

If you go past the first 24 hours, it won’t be easy to enter the race against your competitors, who would have moved faster than you.

The fastest you reply while creating an authentic connection, the higher results you get: 9 times out of 10, you will receive an enthusiastic reply. Very quickly too. And beyond this impressive ratio, there’s one thing that I would never be tired of: being thanked 100% by the lead while being super fast in my reply to them. I make a point to be fast: and that makes the lead already seduced. Halfway to a successful sale, that’s for sure.  

  • Write short emails

During my first year in a B2C business, as a wedding planner, I thought that a wedding was a big emotional ordeal, so surely, my newlyweds-to-be expected to receive a long-drawn-out email with lots of rose petals and pretty icing on the cake. I paid great attention to every single detail, going to great length in every single sentence. Clearly, that was a mistake. NEVER say too much in the first email. This is the first contact: so do just that; it’s that simple.

I was always disappointed that after a long and very detailed email, leads ghosted me. So I decided to imagine a method to follow that would change the game. Leads are so crucial in a one-shot industry. When one contacts you: you have to be efficient.  And I tried various lengths of emails, various types of info to share. And when I started to have 70% of replies back with this new type of email, I began to reply faster: Bingo! I pride myself on 100% of the responses from leads while writing short emails very quickly! 

This is not the time, nor is it the appropriate means of communication, to start the “discovery phase,” to uncover their pain point, and much less to skip a phone call to establish the project’s feasibility.

Here’s my suggestion to keep your message under control, keeping it short and simple while making a positive impact. Include the following five ingredients in your response:

  1. Greet them with a “hi” followed by their first name. This may seem a bit informal to you, but nowadays, it’s quite the opposite. This is the first step to set the tone for your future relationship and introduce a tailor-made approach, which every prospect looks for when organizing a wedding.
  2. Congratulate them. 
  3. Thank your prospect for the interest they show in the services you provide.
  4. Suggest a phone appointment.
  5. When signing off, don’t forget to include your complete signature (which, of course, should include your contact details and link to your website)
  6. Measure the length of each message before sending it. The equivalent of one smartphone screen, two at the most, but never (ever) more than that.
  • Don’t send a standard quote/rates in the first message

It’s impossible to pitch your rates correctly simply by sending them out. Once you do that, it becomes literally impossible to sell. You need a justification when sending out a fee, a rate, an offer, a quote. It would be commercially speaking suicidal to take away the one opportunity you have to justify your worth. When you provide a price, you need to discuss it, pitch it, explain it. No standard price list, no standard quote. It’s actually quite common in the industry not to see any rates advertised on most of our websites.

When I noticed that, I stopped sharing this non-useful info at this stage. Even if the lead asked for a price list to send, I stopped sharing the price list. First, I gained more than 40% of my time productivity. And second, I began closing more sales and more significant (higher) contracts by more than 40% in one year. 

Just keep in mind that displaying prices might be a requirement regulated by law. It depends on your country. It depends on the states and regions. Have your price list ready and make an appointment to discuss your prices to go over them, in all simplicity and transparency. That way, you will show them only when you’re ready to do so, once you’re prepared to pitch your prospects because you have enough information at hand and a better understanding of their needs. Finally, you’ll be able to tailor your offer based on their expectations. Because even if you have a flat fee, your arguments will need to be tailor-made. Trust me; it will be music to their ears if they feel that they found bespoke solutions to their unique expectations.

 Keep in mind the purpose of your first contact with a prospect: to set an appointment to find out more about the project and start to build a bond.

  • Follow-up

To follow up is to keep your prospect “warm” by establishing a healthy relationship from the beginning. Always try to have a good sense of humor –  for the shy among us, show some good spirit. Prospects need to feel that when you follow up on them. You must make them feel like you are keen to engage with them. People can feel it when you smile on the phone. It’s about time they can feel it when they read a message from you as well. And I’m not talking about signing off with a smiley face or other emoticons of the like.

Once, I was contacted by a couple who lived in Dubai and wanted me to organize their wedding in one of the regions I particularly enjoy working in. We went through all the usual stages of selling, and when I hung up the phone, I was convinced that they were absolutely on board. In this particular instance, I could tell that the groom was reassured as the bride had already totally fallen in love with my brand and what I could offer. And all of a sudden… Ghosted… Radio Silence 101… I wait for a few days as I’m very busy with another project. And I felt guilty about it. Almost ten days later, I decided to send them a voice message through WhatsApp, with a simple: “hey… I’m surprised to have not heard back from you. Is there anything wrong? Are you having second thoughts? I remain at your disposal to discuss and answer any additional questions you may have.” I was aware that I was competing with four other wedding planning agencies from several different countries. I saw it normal at this stage for them to get cold feet and hesitate.

The immediate answer from them was: “Muriel, many thanks for taking the time to follow up. This just reinforces the choice we made in picking you. If you know how to follow up on us, surely you’ll be great at following up on every aspect of our wedding. Send us your contract, and we’ll send it back signed by return. “At this point, I’m ecstatic. They simply had a lot on their plate and did not have the time to get back to me.”

To get this contract signed, there were a total of six contacts, including two follow-up messages. A total exchange of eight different messages.

Preferably, you should start your message in a light and courteous fashion. Now is the time to show off your good mood in writing. Remind your prospect where you left off during your last exchange and what you were waiting for (or what they were waiting for).

Now is the time to add value to your follow-up message. Bring up something new, add a new angle, or develop on the topic you covered during your last meeting. That’s precisely how you will convince them that they made the right choice when they picked you.

Finally, think about explaining why you’re getting in touch with them, why you want to go on this adventure with them. You need to make them feel special, simply because they are: that’s the very basis of any commercial exchange.

Finally, always end your follow-up message with a call-to-action. It’s not always the most straightforward task; I get that. But remember: we are following up to obtain a sale, to get a contract signed.

Your call-to-action will be the key to the success of your email. At this stage, what works best is to offer your prospect to send them a document, a sample, a video, a copy of a contract, or set an appointment to show the tools you will be using to make their project a great success, show them what will bring you together over the next few weeks and months… you got it: the idea is to show total transparency and give them a taste of the immediate benefit they will derive from it. You give them several options – they make the final decision. Everyone wins.

Finally, you should never end an email without signing off with the traditional greetings—at least the first ones. Over the years, I noticed that to end the previous step (the follow-up) without signing off actually turned out to be more efficient in terms of response rate. When you close your email with an open-ended question, it has the same effect as when you are having a conversation with someone: when a question is asked, an answer has to follow spontaneously.

The same is true in this particular situation. It’s up to you to find the formula that you are most comfortable with. Personally, what I do is to finish with a proposal. Ten times out of 10, I receive an answer. Bingo! I am creating a unique connection with my prospect.

Muriel Saldalamacchia

Entrepreneur, wedding planner, and author of the book “The Anti-Ghosting Method”

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