From a 30,000 foot view, there are really two methods of increasing your sales: 1) Drive an increased number of qualified prospects into your sales funnel, and 2) Increase your conversion. When reviewing your strategy, here are some items for your consideration.
Increased Qualified Prospects
Are your marketing dollars being spent in the right place? Are you targeting the “right audience”. Get laser focused on defining your target prospect so that you can spend your money more wisely. You’ll also need to spend your time more wisely. Meeting with people or attending networking groups that are not part of your “right audience” is a monumental waste of time. Consider your contact marketing strategy and how you’re choosing to allocate your time. Defining the demographics and characteristics of your target audience is a good place to start. You might also want to make a “not a prospect list” defining groups and demographics around where NOT to spend time or money.
Once you are in front of a qualified prospect, what are you doing to “close the sale”? Conversion can be increased largely through the effectiveness of your meetings. Does your company have a defined sales process? Are you, and your team, using that defined process? It is important to define your sales cycle, funnel, and the process involved with helping prospects decide to buy your product or service. In general, here are some tips for improving conversion.
Sales Tips to Increase Conversion
- Qualify the prospect – Ask a few pre-qualifying questions to make certain the prospect fits your client profile.
- Set a clear purpose – Establish a clear purpose for the meeting. If your purpose is to “explore the prospect’s needs, and determine whether your product or service would be a good fit” tell them. Gain agreement around the purpose of the call.
- Pre-Call Preparation – Do your homework. Research the company, person, industry, and everything else you can in preparation for your call. This will help you build rapport, and ask better questions.
- Use a sales system – Define a clear process for the sales conversation. It’s often been stated that the “shortest course on selling” is to “ask questions, and listen”. Whatever sales system you use; make sure you’re using it.
- Practice – You and your team should be role practicing your sales system on a regular basis. Routine practice breeds confidence and competence. Both will improve your conversion.
- Ask – Ask for the sale, or a concrete next step. You must gain a commitment from your prospect for the next step. Depending on your sales cycle, the next step may be to buy; or it may be a long drawn out series of events, meetings, proposals and presentations. Either way, you MUST ask for either the business, or the next step.