In a recent conversation with a business associate, he mentioned that a long-term benefit of the pandemic is that it has caused him to adopt a slower, calmer pace. I think that it has caused many of us to do a better job of “stopping to smell the roses,`” which is no doubt a good thing on many levels.
However, recent studies show that it may not have caused your customers to delay the urgency with which they want things. It may have caused them to better prioritize their wants and needs, but possibly not to want them in less time. In fact, online shopping and being able to receive products from Amazon via next-day delivery may have caused the opposite effect.
Here are some findings from a recent business study in this regard:
· If you aren’t contacting prospects within five minutes of them reaching out to request additional information, you may be at risk of losing them!
· It is important for you to be the first company to make contact because 78% of customers buy from the first responder (according to a study by Lead Connect).
· Frequently, the first business to engage a prospect has the distinct advantage of being able to shape the perspective of your potential buyer, thereby leaving your competitors at an immediate disadvantage. You have the opportunity to emphasize your key differentiators, and the companies which follow your initial lead are then forced to address those differentiators.
· Amazingly, sales conversions increase a whopping 391% if prospective buyers hear back from you within a minute of their initial outreach! The ideal time to contact a prospect is at the very moment that person is actively thinking about buying.
· If your response time is more than five minutes from your prospect’s outreach, your chances experience an exponential decline.
· Currently, approximately 55% of the companies in a recent survey typically take five days to respond, dramatically lessening their sales success.
There are some good tools available to help your business become more “instantly responsive” to leads, including the following:
· Messenger Monitoring
For instance, Facebook Messenger allows you to set up simple automated and immediate responses to frequently asked questions.
· Live Chat Tools
The best time to connect with a potential customer is when they are still on your website. This is obviously when they are the most interested in purchasing your product or service.
· Instant Contact Software
New software and Plugins that allow prospects on your website to instantly connect to a real person are currently available and may be worth exploring for your business.
· Email Automation
This tool automatically triggers an instant email response to visitors on your website and could be the first step in establishing a relationship with a potentially interested prospect.
Finally, it’s important for your sales and marketing teams to coordinate and collaborate with each other regarding constant evaluation of how your lead generation and sales funnels are working together.
The fact is that the pandemic did not cause the desire for “instant gratification” to go away, but in fact, may have actually increased it. As the old adage goes, “the early bird gets the worm!”
Cathy Ackermann, founder and president of Ackermann Marketing and PR, may be reached at For the online version of this column, please visit

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