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How to Handle Prospects Once They Walk in The Door

Lead generation and prospect management is a complicated and often overwhelming task for many contractors. And it’s often the case that you spend so much time trying to just get the leads into your funnel that once you get them there you fail to take the necessary steps to keep them. In this post, I’ve outlined the 7 steps you should be taking once you get the lead into your sales funnel so you can CLOSE!

1. Focus on outcomes and value – As much as we may like to think people care about us, our prospects really don’t care about our products, services or solutions. They only care about the difference it can make for THEM. So, when you connect with your prospect, focus on the tangible outcomes your prospects would get from using your product or service. Drive home the benefits and keep those as the focus of every contact.

2. Take it slowly and let them come to you– When you get a lead, especially when you’re first starting out, it’s hard not to go for the hard press. But that rarely works. The more you push, the more resistant your prospect will become. So slow down, give them bits and pieces of valuable information over multiple contacts, and be secure in moving forward one step at a time. Remember if you push too hard (they’ll sense your fear and desperation) you’ll lose them, and you might as well consider them gone for good.

3. Plan on multiple touches-People are busy. You can’t expect to break through all of their clutter in one or two touches. I think the Direct Marketing Association cites 15 touches these days as the magic number. So, depending on what you’re selling, make sure you have a plan to move them logically and deliberately through your funnel. Try multiple formats and make the value so delicious that saying no to you is like saying yes to the pain.

4. Always view your process from your customer’s shoes-It’s not important what you say. The only thing that matters is what your customers hear. For example, when I was first trying to close clients, I decided to practice “my close” and record it first. When I first listened to the recordings, I couldn’t believe how bad and desperate I sounded. So I worked on scripting my message and kept calling myself over and over until I finally created something I would respond to if I were the prospect. Another way to help you clarify your message is to talk to past clients about what their experience was like, how you came across on your first impression and what ultimately caused them to work with you.

5. Keep your goal in mind-Do you want 20 more leads in your database? Why? Do you want to generate a certain amount of revenue from new clients this year? How many new clients do you want to add each month or each quarter? Figure out what you want, why you want it and then make sure that every touch, sequence and offering is in line with that goal.

6. Develop a “keep them” calendar- Map out your marketing activities for each day, week, month, quarter and then really follow it! But, don’t just do something because you’re “supposed” to if it’s not going to create value for your prospect. Create a plan to add value every time you touch your prospects and they will begin to see you not only as a trusted resource but eventually as a trusted advisor.

7. Be consistent and frequent- You can’t expect to stay on the top of the minds of your prospects if you aren’t frequent in your contacts. Now this doesn’t mean you should deluge them with emails and phone calls every day. But, if you are not contacting them 1-2 times a week with relevant and valuable information, you’re going to miss the boat. Its frequency and consistency that wins the game. Single touches don’t make a difference – it’s the sum total of your whole plan that will get you the results you’re looking for.

2 responses to “How to Handle Prospects Once They Walk in The Door”

  1. John Buell Avatar
    John Buell

    Hey Darren,

    I learned about Thumbtack through your site and have been getting leads on a pretty regular basis for a month now. This newsletter discusses tips that I can use for direct contact. How can I use this info in regard to email contacts that prefer the first few discussions using email?

    BTW – I’m subscribed as rdrancher@ hotmail.com. You got me off my duff, and now I’m working on a website. Old dogs CAN learn new tricks!

    Thank you,


    1. Darren Avatar

      Hey John,

      That really is great to hear! I am happy to hear when I can help people! Do a quick search in the search box in the sidebar to get some tips on website development. And by the way, thanks for stopping by, thanks for reading and thanks for commenting!