Fast Company

How to Convert More Business

Ever wondered what the steps were for converting prospects into customers? Sure you have to make sure you have propects who are potential customers to begin with, but there's a lot more to making conversion work.

How to Convert More Business

As a salesperson, it’s always helpful to have a long list of prospects. However, if you don’t have a well thought out plan for converting them into customers, you are simply setting yourself up for failure. A low conversion rate is a common problem for salespeople, but one that is correctable with understanding the steps to take through the entire salesprocess. These steps are easily implemented with little or no cost and can makea tremendous difference in converting a higher percentage of prospects intocustomers.

 

Pick Suspects with Care

Not all prospects are created equal, and it’s best to thinkof them as suspects until they are screened and qualified. This is a fact thatseems obvious, but is often forgotten. The reality is that it’s very easy tojump into selling mode, and mistakenly waste time dealing with someone who willnever become a customer. Without a process for assessing the potential of aprospect, you are rolling the dice. You might get a customer, but more likelyyou’re going to get someone who will take your time and not offer anything inreturn.

 

Categorize Prospects

When you have multiple prospects, it can be a challenge tokeep tabs on where each one is in the selling process. A touch point managementstrategy is a must. From sales quoting to billing and beyond, companies of allsizes need to make sure that these vital touch points are handled on time andeffectively. Without them, the relationship will most likely come to ascreeching halt. Sensitivity to what a prospect or a customer is experiencingis crucial and knowing that the proper handling of the most basic ofinteractions can be what is required to ensure long-term, fruitfulrelationships.

 

Improve Your Prospect’s Situation

You can have the most wonderful product or service in theuniverse, but if it does nothing to benefit your prospect’s situation, they’renot going to buy it. Take the time to understand their situation, their needsand wants, and then show them how you can help them. Never assume that whatyou’re selling just sells itself. In the vast majority of cases, it won’t. It’syour job to sell.

 

Move the Process along the Sales Pipeline

Often the sales process heat up early on, and then fadesbefore anything is closed. If you’ve done your homework and know that you havea qualified lead and a potential sale, don’t let the momentum die. Followthrough, keep asking questions, and offer your assistance. Don’t let a saleslip through your hands due to a lack of follow through, and by all means,don’t expect your prospects to do move the sales process along themselves.

 

Close New Business

It comes natural to discuss the features and benefits ofwhat you have to offer, but it can be unnerving to take that final step ofclosing new business. This is often because many of us associate closing a saleas hard selling. Rather, it’s not a cutthroat maneuver; it’s just a necessarypart of the sales process. If you’ve taken the right steps throughout the salesprocess and recognize that your prospect is ready to buy, they will appreciatethe honest, mutually respectful discussion towards the sale.

 

 

 

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