We regularly hear salespeople say that they’re having difficulty converting prospects to customers. Sales can be a complex process, so it’s perhaps not surprising that salespeople can sometimes feel they often fall at the last hurdle.
Consider this – customers will buy on their own timeframe, when they’re good and ready, and yet we as salespeople want them to buy immediately so as we can get on with the next sale. So, we’re coming at it from opposing directions to start with! Yes, as salespeople of course we can influence their decision to buy, but as we all know there’s a lot more to it than that.
What can we do about it? Here are our ‘Magnificent 7’ ideas that will help you convert more prospects to customers.
1. Be Authentic
Being authentic means not trying to be something you’re not. As Oscar Wilde said, ‘Be yourself, everybody else is taken’.
Being authentic means being yourself & being real.
Have your customers’ interests at heart at all times and never bullshit to them, like in the above cartoon. Be your customer’s ‘champion’ within your business.
2. Make yourself likeable
I was in the Scribbler card shop at 80a Princes St. Edinburgh recently to buy my partner a birthday card. The sales assistant was one of the friendliest, most helpful salespeople you can imagine, showing genuine interest. When people buy from your company, they’re buying you. Would you buy from you?
3. Be a respected authority
Your customers are not the expert in what you do – you are! Product knowledge is very much a sales skill. Know your stuff and give sound advice to your customers. Educate them and add value to them at all times. Do you have the requisite product knowledge to do this?
Be an expert and have confidence in what you do, but never – never – guess or make things up. If you don’t know something, say so but get back to them with the answer.
4. Be open & honest and have no hidden agenda
The best way to be open & honest is to be open & honest! Don’t sell your customers something they don’t need. Too many salespeople push products at their customers without understanding their needs. Listen to your customers & position your products as a solution to meet real needs. Sell the benefits of your solution relevant to their business and what they’ve told you.
If you do this price becomes secondary.
5. Be responsive
Always do what you say you will do. Customers want to work with people who are reliable. How you behave, particularly at the start of your relationship will determine whether they will want to work with you.
Your prospects will feel that your service and attention to them will never get any better than it is at the start of your relationship when you’re trying to win their business.
6. Who else uses you
Provide recommendations and case studies for similar businesses you’ve worked with. Suggest your prospect actually talk to an existing customer.
7. Follow up
Follow up regularly and be attentive without stalking them or being annoying.
Only 10% of salespeople make more than 3 contacts with prospects, yet 80% of sales are made between the 5th and the 12th contact! These stats tell us that as salespeople we palpably fail to follow up with our prospects.
Sales activity is not a random exercise. Follow up should be planned and thorough whilst adding value to the customer and being proactive at all times.
There’s your ‘Magnificent 7’. How do you fare?