Responding to sales leads

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I’m not in the market for a boat right now, but if I were, I wouldn’t hesitate to call Rob Lyons at Ocean House Marina in Charlestown, R.I.

Last week, on deadline, I was frantically searching for a photo of a specific model of Hurricane ski boat and went to the manufacturer’s Web site to find one. In order to download the company brochure, I had to type in my contact information. So I did, then went about finding the image I needed.

As I went back to working on the story, my phone rang. It was Rob. He had received my contact information from Hurricane and was following up.

This was only 45 minutes after I sent in my contact information to the manufacturer’s site.

I explained to him who I was and why I had sent my information. Even though I wasn’t buying a boat, Rob helped me out with a photo.

At the end of the same day, I got an e-mail from Ocean House Marina telling me about its in-water boat show that weekend and inviting me to come and test a Hurricane, or call with any questions.

Back in February, at Soundings Trade Only’s Editorial Board meeting in Miami, John Lintvet, CEO of Channel Blade Technologies, said his company studied how businesses respond to leads, and the results were not all positive.

The average response time to a lead is 31 hours. “That has to change,” he said, in order to remain competitive.

“There’s a huge opportunity in front of us,” he said. Dealers and manufacturers that respond swiftly to consumers are more likely to survive and form strong relationships with customers.

Clearly, Rob and Ocean House Marina got the message.

— Beth Rosenberg
Associate editor, Soundings Trade Only

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