Prospects Are Clients Who Just Haven’t Paid Yet
August 14, 2014
If we treat our prospects like clients who just haven’t paid yet the conversion rate will improve. Often, if you’re busy, enquiries and quotes move down the priority list and I’m the first to admit I’m guilty of this. Another common problem is not following up after your reply to the enquiry or initial conversation. Clients often tell me that if a prospect is ready for their product or service, they will respond with the call to action. Not so. Prospects are undoubtably just as busy as you are.
What to do?
Going back to the concept of our prospects being clients, try this:
- Try being of service instead of selling a service. Give your prospects a taste of just how valuable you could be to them by delivering your exceptional service. Be generous with information and contacts, take a minute to pass along a phone number, tool, article, or helpful web site.
- When you meet with them, listen to their problems and recommend solutions. When you contact them after a meeting, suggest resources for helping them address the issues you discussed. The solutions and resources you recommend may include your products and services but include resources from elsewhere. At this stage it’s about building trust with a genuine desire to help them.
- The impact of this kind of generosity on your prospective clients can be dramatic. Instead of considering your calls or e-mails an interruption, they will welcome hearing from you. They will no longer count you as a salesperson or vendor, but rather as a valuable resource and important person to know.
Make sure you have a process in place for your prospects
(and a good CRM will automate this process):
- Draft template emails you can customise for each prospect.
- Start a spreadsheet to capture your prospect’s details and marketing information (source of enquiry, service required, date of communications)
- Note follow-up actions in your calendar.
- IMPORTANT: after a set period, record in the spreadsheet whether or not you have converted the prospect to a client.
Use the S.M.A.R.T. goal system to give yourself a goal, for example your goal might be “In two months I will have a goal conversion rate of 80%, converting prospects within an average of 4 weeks period from initial enquiry.”
Look at prospects you haven’t converted in the past, what could you have done better to improve your conversion rate? Incorporate ideas for improvement into your process, measure and revisit.
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