Once you identify a prospective buyer that has interest and the authority (i.e. decision maker) to purchase your product or service, what’s next?
The sales process can be tedious, overwhelming and scary. Often times you get your hopes up, only to be rejected with a sales excuse or you decide not to make a sales call altogether because you’re not exactly sure how to qualify a sales lead — or better yet, close the sale.
We asked entrepreneurs and subject-matter experts to share their sales secrets. Learn how to convert sales leads to paying customers and boost your business with these fifteen practical tips.
1. Listen and adapt.
“Allow customers to share with you, even at length, exactly what their needs are and what concerns them most. Then, use that information to outline for them point by point how your particular or service can fulfill these needs to their satisfaction. Lastly, show that you can accomplish this in a cost-effective manner to prove that you deliver great value.”
2. Build a relationship, first.
“To convert a sales lead, you have to build a bond. Once a relationship has been established and trust is formed, it’s time to make the pitch. Too many businesses jump in trying to pitch their leads before building a bond; it’s like going in for a kiss too early on the first date.”
3. Stay persistent with communication.
“When it comes to a sale or purchase, speaking to a lead is essential to convert him or her into a customer. When leads reach out to you via a web form with a specific need, they’re likely further through the sales funnel than you would expect. It’s all about responding to them persistently and calling at [optimal] intervals.”
4. Call inbound sales leads immediately.
“If you track and improve no other metric — track and improve this one. The second a lead comes in, you call that lead so a) you get there before the competition and b) you create a first impression of being responsive, and that will pay dividends. People lose excitement quickly about … anything, so you must strike while the iron’s hot.”
5. Leverage social proof.
“One of the strongest motivators in sales psychology is social proof — someone other than yourself telling the world that your product or service is awesome! Therefore you cannot get too many good testimonials. If your customers don’t have time to write them, don’t be afraid to write something up yourself and just have your customer approve it.”
6. Don’t pitch too early.
“Build goodwill. The value you add to their world for free, through content or advice must be greater than any amount you are asking from their wallet. Too many people ask for the sale too early, hurting the long-term viability of the business.”
7. Show sales prospects that you care.
“People are smart and they quickly discern those who are merely selling from those who truly care. Though being a true believer is vital, it’s not enough — we must also clearly demonstrate that we have the client’s best interest at heart. For me, I imagine every client sitting before me is a family member; it keeps me honest, coloring every aspect of the sales process into words and gestures that support their needs.”
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