The New Lead Process

Last modified: May 20, 2019
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Estimated reading time: 4 min

Hey there,

Last week I talked about our new member on-boarding process. I got a few responses interested in hearing our lead through becoming a new member process. Basically, what happens the moment someone requests a tour, or more information?

First, let’s take a look at where I started. The original form on our website was basic. It asked for name, email, and interest. Interest could be set as Membership, Meeting Space, or Other. I thought at the time that asking for as little information as possible was the way to go. It was about lowering the bar, and hoping we’d get more leads for it. I did get lots of leads, but the time, and effort to follow up for more info was exhausting. Every single lead that came in lived in my email. I had no process except for replying to the request, and hoping that they’d reply.

At the time I thought I was crushing it. 4 years later, and damn was I wrong.

Before sharing what we do now I understand that newer spaces have budget, and resource restrictions. I’ll leave you with a couple inexpensive options for keeping track of leads, and follow ups. 

Here we go. Let’s dig in.

I think it’s safe to assume we’re all starting with a form on the website. I highly recommend that over just putting your email address. Use a form to control the fields, and information you’re requesting. You can eliminate a lot of back and forth by having a well thought out form.

You can see the form we have here. Feel free to play with the steps in it. We’re going to talk about the path “Membership”. Here’s the main things we ask for when someone is looking to join, and our thinking behind it.

Contact info: Name, Email, Phone Number

  • It’s all the contact info you will ever need. We follow up all requests with a phone call. I find that establishing a verbal connection with the potential member limits no shows. It’s a nice personal touch as communication gets more and more digital.

Membership specific: What membership level are you interested in? This includes flex, dedicated desks, private offices or virtual mailbox. We also ask what location they’d prefer to check out. We have 5.

  • This is obvious. Knowing what the potential member is looking for before they walk through the door is nice.

Tour Info: What day, and time would you like to tour? We also ask if the person would like to stay, and work for a bit after the tour.

  • This isn’t an option. You could technically write “Not right now” in this form field, but I like pushing people to walk through our door. We limit tours to Monday-Friday 8-5, and do almost anything we can to match the time they ask for. If someone wants in, we’re going to be there.
  • Asking this right away eliminates a couple back and forth emails/calls. A calendar invite is automatically sent to them confirming the day/time. This helps eliminate some of the no shows.
  • Asking about hanging out after the tour is new to us, and IMO nice touch. It’s welcoming, and gives us an opportunity right away to make people feel at home. Try this. It works.

Questions: What else would they like to know?

  • Some people write a paragraph here, and others right nothing. I’d play with this final question. You can do as simple as “Questions/Comments?” or ask more a direct questions like “What other questions do you have about _____?”. What someone puts in here can set the tone for the tour. I get a lot of “Are you dog friendly?” or “Do you have parking?”. All this info is on the site, but seemingly goes unread.

Once this form is submitted several things happen. Most of the interactions below are accomplished through Zapier, a tool that connects applications. It’s wonderful, and I highly recommend digging into it.

  • Calendar invite is sent to the person touring
  • Calendar invite is sent to the teams main calendar
  • Lead info is saved in Close.io, our CRM which a status of New Lead
  • An initial two tasks are assigned
    • Follow up with {insert name} – Date Due: Immediately
    • Tour {insert name} – Date Due: Tour Date

We follow up via phone to confirm the tour date, and ensure that any questions asked in the questions portion of the form are answered. We do this quick. I LOVE when people say “Oh, that was fast!”. I strive to be the most responsive.

The tour has came, and went. What’s next? One of three things happen.

  1. They are all in, and sign up on the spot. In that case bust out our laptop and get them to sign up right in front of us. Be ready for this. If someone wants in don’t wait to get them in. Just do it right then and there.
  2. They aren’t interested at all, and you send them on their way. I’d follow up with an email thanking them regardless. What may not be the right fit for them could be right for someone they know. Build an advocate!
  3. The most likely case is that they are interested, and say they are going to follow up shortly with any questions, and if they want to move forward.

Let’s talk number 3. Here’s how we’d handle this. In Close.io we would move the status from “New Lead” to “Interested”. Again, through Zapier we generate a handful of follow up tasks. Here’s what’s scheduled.

  • First Follow up – Due: Day after tour
  • Follow up again – Due: 5 days later
  • Follow up again – Due: 3 days after
  • Last ditch effort – Due: 5 days after that

All of our emails are templated for consistency. No matter who on my team you’re talking to you will get the same language. The first follow up is casual, but includes the sign up link for the membership level of interest. It’s ok to assume they are in. We also let them know they can come hang for another day if they’d like to give it a/another try. If we hear nothing the following 2 follow ups are equally as casual. A couple sentences, and move on.

The final email is key if it even gets this far. We write something like “Maybe you’re not getting these emails…”. This almost universally triggers a “I’m sorry! I’ve been slammed” response, and we figure out where the potential member is at. Most people have a ton on their plate, and joining a coworking space, while important to them, is not going to make or break their business.

Keep following up. Let me say it again … KEEP FOLLOWING UP. You may think you’re being annoying but you’re not. Until you get that no it’s ok to send those 3 or 4 follow ups. 

There you have it. Collect info, keep track of it all in an actual platform, and keep following up. If you don’t have the funds, or resources to get a fully featured CRM I highly recommend checking out Asana. It has a free tier, and can mimic the data storage aspect of a real CRM. You can assign yourself follow ups, and leave notes about the lead. Don’t use your email inbox as a CRM. Leads are bound to fall through the cracks.

What are you doing to track leads?

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