Crippled CEO Blog #029:
As we know from the hit TV show (allegedly — I’ve never actually seen the show; I don’t watch TV), the first 48 hours of a police investigation are the most crucial. After that time frame, potential evidence goes missing; crime scenes become contaminated; witnesses disappear.
If you are in a business that requires talking to a customer to complete a sale — any kind of service business, pool fence installation, real estate, selling weed, car sales, pool construction, plumbing, A/C, prostitution, roofing, massage, anything B2B — then you also have to think about the First 48. For you, the First 48 also means the difference between success and failure.
But for you, it’s not the first 48 hours. Not even close. Homicide detectives have way more time than you do. For you, it’s the first 48 minutes.
That’s about how long you have to respond to a lead — either through your website form, on your voicemail, on Facebook, on Instagram, via text — before your chances of getting that sale drop by at least half. Responding to inquiries as quickly as possible is one of the single most important aspects of your business (or, if your job involves selling stuff, your job).
If the lead is coming in by phone, answering it as it’s ringing is your best bet, but regardless of the medium in which the customer chooses to reach out to you, you should be treating this like an emergency, with a clock ticking down, that you need to address.
Because your competitor certainly is. And it’s a race.
I’ve often said that there’s only a few things you need to get right to be successful. You can get a ton of stuff wrong. But getting back to people quickly might not only be the most important, it is often times the one thing you can adjust immediately and inexpensively.
So, there you have it. The first 48. When the lead comes in, the clock starts ticking.
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