- WEBSITES AND LOST LEADS

Yet another survey has been performed that proves what many of us already know: Commercial Web sites often generate leads, only to have those leads ignored by the company's salespeople.

Jupiter Communications, of New York, tested some of the top rated sites on the web and found that 42% of them either took longer than 5 days to respond to e-mail inquiries, or offered no e-mail support at all.

Sadly, past experience indicates that similar results would occur within the real estate community's web presence.

Thousands of real estate agents and companies are now marketing on the Internet with their own web sites, and through advertisements placed on marketing sites such as Realtor.com, HomeAdvisor and Homeseekers - but results for most are less than they should be.

As simple as the lead generation process is off-line (the phone rings, and someone answers) many agents just don't understand the importance of prompt follow-up to leads generated by e-mail.

Whether or not you personally rely on e-mail on a daily basis, you must realize that many of the consumers who are using the web regularly consider it indispensable. To these technologically savvy consumers, it is simply incomprehensible that their genuine interest, expressed through e-mail, would be ignored.

A few tips to keep potential commissions from slipping through your fingers:

1) Either check your e-mail every morning and each night, and a few times in between, or have someone else do it for you. You simply cannot afford to ignore potential leads in any sales industry; at least not if you expect to stay in business.

2) Use auto-responders to instantly provide the information that's being requested. If you have your own web site, contact your host or developer about setting up such auto-responders.

3) Whether you have your own site, or simply advertise on someone else's, use an e-mail client like Eudora Pro to set up auto-response messages, too. Again, there's no reason to keep the consumer in the dark, and with a little thought and planning you can often answer the consumer's inquiry with the appropriate information before you even read their e-mail yourself!

Whatever you do, realize that while technology may change the way we communicate, certain aspects of the sales process remain the same. Namely, the first person to respond to a consumer's inquiry will often be the one to earn the sale - and the resulting commission!

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Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale