Last summer, I awoke one sunny morning, crawled out of bed, meandered into the kitchen, and opened the fridge to grab the cream for my coffee. Much to my surprise, instead of feeling a cool blast of air, warmth wafted out in my direction from the refrigerator. I reached in and looked at the thermometer which read a balmy 65 degrees.

I checked my watch. It was 6:30 a.m.

Knowing there wouldn’t be any appliance repair stores open yet, I decided to proactively contact a few companies, hoping I’d beat the 8 a.m. rush of calls. 

I pulled out my phone and said, “Ok Google, fridge repair companies near me.”

Google chimed to life and listed off the 3 repair companies in town.

The first one listed didn’t have a website, so I called the number on their Google listing and left a message.

The second had a few positive Google reviews and a website with a contact form on the homepage. I found this convenient so I called and filled out the form on the site.

The last company had a negative review, which they’d never responded to, and they had no website. I decided to call (more for the sake of due diligence rather than out of motivation to have them in my home).

Eight o’clock came and went and at nearly 9 a.m., my phone rang. It was the second company I had called. He said he received my web form notification and my message and would be at my house in a couple of hours.

The first company called me back around 4:30 that afternoon – long after the repairman had already come and gone.

I’m still waiting on the last guy to get in touch…

Because this appliance repair man was the first to respond, I will continue to use their company, unless their service starts to disappoint.

So, let me ask you, how quickly do you respond to your leads? More importantly, how quickly does your competition respond? How do you compare?

Research shows that responding to leads within 5 minutes greatly increases the likelihood of connecting with prospects. Waiting just 30 minutes to contact your prospect plummets your odds of connecting with them 100x.

Courtesy of

According to another study, the odds of actually contacting a lead decrease by over 10 times in the first hour.

If that’s not enough to inspire you, according to Lead Connect, 391 is the percentage increase in sales conversions when inbound leads are contacted within the same minute they submit a form.

And, not surprisingly, 78% of people purchase products or services from the first responder.

The best news of all is that a whopping 55% of businesses take 5 days to respond to web leads and only 7% respond in 5 minutes or less, which makes responding quickly one of the easiest ways to make the most of your inbound leads.

So, while the data is there to show the value of quickly responding to web leads, what about the nuances of human behavior and the realities of life as a water treatment dealer?

Let’s discuss those, so you can be armed and ready to win more customers and retain a higher market share.

What If They Ask Not to be Called?

While getting people on the phone has obvious advantages over emailing, some folks explicitly request you email them, while others never pick up the phone.

In this case, email is a great way to respect their wishes, while still providing value and building trust and rapport.

First, have your marketing company set up an email notification that hits the inbox of the prospect immediately after a web form is submitted.

Thank the person for making time to contact you, congratulate them on taking important steps to protect their home and family, and let them know when they can expect to hear from you again.

From there, send a series of emails that talk about the issues they’re concerned about based on any checklist items or comments on the form they submitted.

If there is nothing to go off of, simply ask them what their biggest concern is and work to address the issue they describe.

If they never respond, don’t despair – you can use an email drip campaign to continue building a relationship without wasting your time. Work smarter, not harder, friends!

What If It’s After Hours?

I’ll preface this answer by saying that every business is different, so testing different strategies to see what works best for your team and your customers is imperative.

That being said, many dealers have great success with a highly trained answering service who can help respond to after-hours web leads, either by phone or email.

If that’s not an option, using the automated email notification to let the prospect know when you’ll be calling or getting in touch is ideal. That way your potential customer knows their inquiry was received and can be prepared to hear from you. You could even go a step further and allow prospects to schedule a call at a chosen time, based on your sales rep calendar and availability. Tools like Google Calendar or Calendly work great for this.

What If I Don’t Have Time to Respond Quickly?

If you’re starting up or running a small dealership, it’s likely that logistically you just can’t respond immediately to every inquiry.

In this case, email notifications to the prospect where they can pick a time to chat via phone may be a good option as well as having dedicated breaks throughout the day, set aside solely for you to respond to leads.

How In The World Do We Respond Within 60 Seconds Every Time?

Our clients enjoy the option to have an automated call to their office or cell phone, whenever a web form is submitted during business hours. This call gives our client the option to immediately dial back the number on the web form. This process is unknown to the prospect and allows our clients to get in touch immediately upon form submission if they have time to make the call – if not, they just hang up and no one’s the wiser.

Our clients who have taken advantage of this service have seen improvements in appointment setting ratios. Most people are slightly caught off guard at the immediate response time since it’s so rare, however, they also appreciate it greatly and are typically quite impressed.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The first step is to secret shop your own company, as well as your competitors. This will give you a baseline for your own performance and show how you stack up against the competition.

Based on these findings, you can set into motion a strategy for improvement.

If you’d like to learn more about how we use call back features, email notifications, and email drip campaigns to help our clients make the most of the leads we send them, schedule a free strategy call today!

Do you have unique strategies your team employs to get in touch with web leads quickly? If so, drop them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!