Top-Shelf Tip No. 155:

"When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant and effective."

Stephen R. Covey

Six Ways To Use Text Messages To Close More Deals

Sales professionals know that warm leads are exciting but fragile. You want to keep them interested without appearing pushy and want to give them space to make a decision without seeming distant. Sales, marketing and recruitment teams want to keep leads interested and provide them with valuable information while also meeting them on their own terms.

To reach this delicate balance, it takes more than just the right messaging. Teams must reach out to customers in the right way. Since many consumers prefer text messaging over other mediums, texts are emerging as an effective way to bump warm leads into hot prospects, according to Andrew Kimmell, chief marketing officer at TextUs.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Kimmell's six ways to nurture leads and close more deals with text messages.

1. Solve their problems. If you fall into a business-first approach, your lead might feel like you don't care about their challenges. Kimmell says text messaging is a great way to get a conversation going that is about the prospect and allows for authentic feedback and touch points. You can strengthen the relationship by texting your lead a resource that addresses their needs, like a topical guide or video. A text is an easy, unobtrusive way to share the valuable info that can close the deal.

2. Respect their time. Everyone has times in their lives when engaging in a call or meeting is difficult. Text messaging is a great way for your teams to understand a lead's availability without interrupting their life. A text message can be read and responded to quickly and runs less of a risk of getting buried in their overflowing email or voicemail inboxes. Sales is a human interaction, and text is a great way to be considerate of prospects' time while continuing to move a sale forward.

3. Respond to professional success. Follow the professional accomplishments of warm leads and their organizations. A great way to track this is to set up a Google Alert for a lead's company. When good news rolls through, send congratulations in a quick text message. This shows that you are in tune with their company.

4. Follow up on downloads and comments. Every time a prospect takes action, you can strengthen your connection. When your prospect downloads a guide, leaves a social media comment or attends a trade show, it's a great opportunity to send a text.

5. Thank them for meeting with you. Your potential customer's time is valuable. When you have a phone call or meeting with a warm prospect, use a text to send a thank you. Don't wait until the next day, either-Kimmell suggests sending it within an hour or two of speaking with them so you stay fresh in their minds.

6. Follow up on a nurturing email. After sending a check-in email to a warm prospect, send a quick text to make sure they saw it. Think of this is as the final button on the email nurture.

To keep your warm leads moving down the funnel, make it easy for your potential customers to communicate with you.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Andrew Kimmell is chief marketing officer at TextUs. He has also served as a creative director and designer for 3OH!3, co-founder of The Receptionist for iPad, creative director and designer for Orbotix and graphic designer for Rage Unlimited.

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