When was the last time you reviewed the process by which you convert prospects to paying customers? If it’s been a while, here’s why it would be a good idea:
- Consistency. Your prospects expect it and you need it. Does your sales team follow the same process with every prospect? Consistency builds confidence for your prospects and assures you of relevant results. Customers and prospects want to know what to expect. You need to test and measure your conversion rate. Consistency helps you manage expectations and lower resistance. On the other hand, if every sales person does it differently, it’s very difficult to tell what is working, what is not, and what needs to be changed. Execute your process the same way each time. Then, if improvements need to be made, this will be based on an informed decision.
- Make it easy to buy. How many times have you attempted to purchase something online and gotten frustrated with the complexity of the process? If you’re like me, you give up and go somewhere else. The same thing happens in person as well. Examine the process (time, paperwork, etc) to consummate the transaction once the purchase decision has been made. How many “hoops” does our customer have to jump through? What can be done to smooth the way? What lessons have we learned (and applied) from previous mistakes?
- Spice it up. I heard sales author/trainer Jeffrey Gitomer say: “If the prospect isn’t interested, it means you’re not interesting!” What is your conversion rate? Maybe it’s time to jazz things up a bit. Examine your presentation: script, charts, marketing materials, etc. Formulate some new provocative questions that will stimulate interest. There are bound to be some “hot button” issues relative to your product, service, or industry. Ideally, you want to hear your prospect say: “That’s a great question.” Or “Hmm. Nobody’s asked me that before.”
- Create attraction. Are you tired of constantly chasing prospects, shaking the bushes, begging for appointments? When you create attraction for your product, service, knowledge, expertise, etc. you never have to chase them again! Remember that perception (for your prospect) is reality. What value do you bring and how obvious is that prior to the sales presentation? If you have (or develop) a strong value proposition AND effectively articulate that in advance, you heighten the perception of value. And real value trumps price every time.
- You probably can do better. Unless you have all the business you can stand right now, either the volume of prospects and/or the conversion rate can be improved. Do you want more “at bats” or more “home runs”? Start by measuring your cost per lead and cost per new customer (acquisition cost). Look back a year or two. Is it lower, higher, about the same? Same thing with conversion rate. What you measure, you can change. Take action today!