So, there I am...sitting in the drive-thru at McDonalds. (Not that important really...everyone reading this has been there more than once, I'm sure. So, you know what I'm talking about.)
I pull up to the little speaker and bark out my order from memory (probably a bad sign considering...) and wait for the voice of approval to squawk back at me with my total amount owed and telling me to pull forward to the first window...which I do willingly and with much anticipation (OK, so I might be over-exaggerating that 'anicipation' part. I mean...this is McDonalds...).
I sit in my Sport Family Truckster (that's what I call my Dodge Caravan Sport...its better than saying I drive a mini-van, isn't it??) and politely hand the dude on the other side of the sliding glass window my debit card. Swiped and freshly charged $4.35, he hands it back to me...and without a word, shuts the window.
Puzzled...I sit there.
And....I sit there.....
And..........I sit there.........
And..................I sit there....................contemplating why I didnt just go to Burger King....I mean, its been a long time since I have been there. It's just right up the street. And, the service there is always faster anyway. Dang it. Should have gone to Burger King...I could just drive away right now...After all, it's only $4.35...Not much of a loss...Yeah, that's what I will do...I will just drive away...OK, one more minute...
And...................I..........sit..............there...........waiting..........for what must have been a good three, maybe even four minutes!!!
The unmitigated gall!!
Making me wait that long...what were they thinking??? Don't they know that I want what I want and I want it right now??? Isn't that the entire point of using a service like this???
Suddenly, the window flies open and Silent Bob hands me my food and WHAM! door is closed again and I drive off feeling like I just wasted 4 minutes of my life. (This had better be the best breakfast burrito I have ever eaten, damn it...)
Now, correct me if I'm wrong...(and I'm willing to bet dollars against donuts that I'm right)...but, there are WAY more real estate agents in your town than restaurants. Knowing this, and knowing that all of you have said "yes" to those last two questions I asked about wanting what I want and that being the entire point of using their services...Why on Earth would you wait to follow up on a client??
By hitting your website and requesting information...aren't they sitting on the other side of that sliding glass window in your drive-thru lane just waiting for you to hand them the bag full of goodies they requested??
Let's examine a couple things to prove my point...
Did you know that the average real estate agent waits 54 hours to follow up on an internet inquiry?? 54 hours!! In case you aren't that quick at math, that is over 2 days!! (If you remember from the example above, I was ready to leave after 4 minutes...)
According to a recent study done by Kellog and MIT, you are 21 TIMES more likely to turn an internet inquiry into a client if you contact them the first time within the first 5 minutes of them being on your website versus waiting only 30 minutes.
And, that percentage chance drops to single digits if you wait longer than 90 minutes.
Let me give you a quick example of what that difference is...(There is some physical involvement here. Trust me, this little exercise will drive my point home nicely...)
Find a box of paperclips.
Once you have done that...take out one paperclip and lay it down on your desk. Now, take out 21 paperclips and lay them out end to end across your desk in front of you.
See the difference??
21 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO GET A CLIENT by calling them back in 5 minutes versus 30!!
So, why would you wait over 2 days?? Or, 90 minutes?? Or even 10 minutes?? In the internet world, 90 minutes is an entire ice age!! What do you think making them wait for over 2 days seems like?? Yeah...in the internet world, that's an eternity!!
Bottom line -- If you do not have systems in place to allow you to respond to an internet inquiry within the first 5 minutes of having it, you are losing clients. They are leaving your site and heading to another site that will give them what they want with the response times they require. Your clients want the same thing you do while you sit in the drive-thru. They want what they want and they want it right now. And, if they cant get it from you, they are going to find somewhere else to get it.
* For the record, The chart I used above is from the Kellogg Lead Response Management Study.
** Also, for the record, the McDonalds and Burger King logos were posted on other blogs that I read and were posted with permission from those other bloggers.
*** Oh yeah...In the interest of full disclosure and a generous dose of CYA... All opinions with regards to either restaurant's quality, speed, location, value, taste, convenience, or any other noun you can insert here are STRICTLY MY OPINIONS. They are not fact. And, should not be taken as such.