By |Published On: June 27, 2012|

All any advertising and marketing can do is generate a lead. What you do with that lead ultimately determines the success or failure of your business.

A while back, I noticed some discoloration in the ceiling in our sun room. That particular room must have been added on by the previous owner, because it’s the only part of the house that has a flat roof. I’m no handyman, but I know that flat roofs are more susceptible to leaking because of the lack of water runoff.

As I said, I’m no handyman, so I called three different roofing contractors and left a detailed message about the work I needed. Two have yet to call back.

For the past 120 years, Yellow Page publishers have told their advertisers, “We make your phone ring.” Today, there are a variety of ways a potential customer can contact you—email, text message, a comment on your Facebook page. But the fact still remains that all any advertising and marketing firm can do for you is generate a lead. What you do with that lead will ultimately determine the success or failure of your business.

If you choose to ignore that voice mail or email message, or are too slow to respond, your prospect may go elsewhere. If one of your employees treats that potential customer badly, they will most definitely go elsewhere.

According to Google research, 77 percent of consumers who search for a business on a mobile phone follow up with a call or a visit. Of those, 70 percent take action within one hour, and 90 percent within 24 hours. If you’re taking longer than that to respond to inquiries, chances are your prospect has already moved on to a competitor.

The speed of doing business is increasing at an exponential rate. That’s because people are adopting new technology at a faster rate than ever before. The telephone took 45 years to reach 50 percent penetration among U.S. households—but it’s taken only four years for smartphones to do the same.

That means businesses must adapt much faster than before. Remember, the biggest or the smartest company is not always the one who succeeds. It’s the one most agile and adaptable to change.

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