Harvard Study: This Technique Can Boost Your Bookings by 6,000%

What’s the first thing you do when you receive an email asking about a retreat you’re running?

I hope your answer is…

…respond ASAP.

Why is this so important?

Because it can make all the difference between that lead turning into a customer, or another lost opportunity.

People are fickle these days.

In their attention spans, their patience, and their expectations.

They expect you to be on your game when it comes to responding to their questions, concerns, and interest.

So what is the one technique that a Harvard study revealed that can increase your bookings by 6,000%?

1. Respond to Every Enquiry Within 1 Hour

Harvard Business Review’s research found that responding to an enquiry within 1 hour were 60 times more likely to get results than people who waited more than 24 hours to respond.

Take a second to let that sink in.

You’re 6,000% more likely to achieve the results you’re looking for by simply ensuring your responses are within 1 hour.

And on top of that, they found people who responded within 1 hour were 7 times more likely to get results than those who waited just 2 hours.

That means the quality of the lead who enquires drops dramatically after the first hour. It drops dramatically between 2 and 24 hours as well.

As you wait to respond to an interested customer, your results will drop exponentially.

So don’t wait!

If there is one way you can increase your business without spending a bunch more time on marketing, your website, etc…

…this is it.

2. Up to 50% of Sales Go to the First Responder

InsideSales.com’s research found that 35-50% of sales go to the business that responds first.

We know from our own research that the process people go through when actively looking for retreats often goes like this:

  1. Search on google or bookretreats.com for retreats
  2. Narrow their choices down to 3-4 based on reviews, the description, timing, and price
  3. Contact the retreats they narrowed down to
  4. Make a decision based on feel + logic

In between step 3 and 4 is where you have the opportunity to show how much you care.

Ask yourself, how many people have I already missed out on because someone else responding more quickly?

If you’ve gotten many leads, but are having trouble getting them on board your retreat, this is likely a big reason why.

When you respond quickly you’re showing that the customer is valuable. That your customer service is top notch. The potential customer will assume that the service you then provide on your retreat is top notch.

This is important because so many people are using retreats as a way to relax, recharge, and let the stress melt away. They know that having good service during their retreat is a crucial part of that.

And the best way to display your strong customer service is to make it strong from day 1.

Don’t wait until they become a guest on your retreat to start serving them.

Serve them from day 1, and watch as your business grows with happy customers.

3. A Real-Life Situation

In order to understand why this might be the case, we can look at our experiences during daily life.

Say we go into a mall and there are two stores right next to each other that sell clothes: Nordstroms and Macy’s.

You walk into Nordstrom’s first and see that they have a beautiful collection of scarves. The scarves are fairly expensive and you have a few questions about what kind of material they are made of, how long they last, etc.

So you go up to the first employee you see and start to ask them. But they tell you…

…we’ll get back to you tomorrow about that.

You sit there confused for a second. But that’s the situation, so you put the scarf back and go to the store right next door: Macy’s.

They also have a nice collection of scarves. You have the same questions and ask the nearest employee.

They tell you that the scarf you’re interested in is 100% cotton, and normally lasts 4-5 years depending on usage.

Because your questions are answered, you no longer have any obstacles to buying the scarf. So you decide to purchase it right there on the spot. At Macy’s.

The same process happens online.

If you’re not responding quickly, you’re losing customers to someone else who is willing and able to answer immediately.

Can you imagine an employee telling you to wait 24 hours to answer a question about buying something?

Silly right?

4. Make The Commitment

I want you to make a commitment right here and now that you won’t put off responding to potential customers.

Write down the sentence below on a piece of paper and physically check it off when you’ve made the commitment.

  • I will strive to respond to every enquiry within 1 hour

Making this one commitment can completely change your business.

5. The Art of the Followup

Once you’ve responded quickly to your potential customer, what do you do?

What happens if they don’t respond back?

Or what happens if you end up talking with them, but they tell you they want to think about it?

Average businesses just leave things at that.

Average businesses don’t put in the effort to followup.

Exceptional businesses will check in with prospects multiple times.

They are in the decision-making process, and you have a chance to again show how much you care.

You don’t need to followup trying to push your retreat on the person. Instead, just think about how you can provide them with a ton of value.

Send them any great content you have, suggest the best way to find cheap flights, send them awesome resources on the things like yoga or detox.

By being of value to them you are:

  1. Staying top of mind
  2. Showing how much you care
  3. Increasing the likelihood they will book with you

All without being pushy.

Final Words

There are a few things you can do that make all the difference in your business.

In this post we’ve gone over 2 simple ones.

  1. Respond to every enquiry within 1 hour
  2. Followup with potential customers and provide them with tons of valuable help

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