Think about how much you spend on generating new leads for your company to sell to, remember to calculate in not just your direct ad spend, but also the cost of your staff time.
You likely spend 5-15 percent of your gross revenues on marketing, with the goal of giving your sales team (or sales system if it isn't a live person doing the selling) the best quality leads possible.
So how is your conversion? Do you convert 1 out of 10? 1 out of 5? 1 out of 3?
Here are my seven favorite tactics to quickly increase your conversion rate.
1. Create or refine your "Pre Selling" system.
Have you sat down and strategically mapped out how you can best prepare any prospect before a sales interaction?
Is there a video you want them to watch? A white paper you want them to review? A client testimonial you want them to see?
When you intentionally map out how to presell your sales prospects you can significantly increase your closing rate.
One of the companies I coach increased their conversion rate by over 20 percent just by introducing better trust messaging and credibility enhancers into the 5 email pre-sales appointment sequence they use for their service business. Part of this boost to conversion came from increasing their "appointment held" rate, and the balance from making those held appointments even more effective in terms of final conversion.
2. Improve your sales scripting.
This mean first that you actually have a written sales script. If you don't, record your top sales person giving a mock sales presentation. Get that sales presentation transcribed and go back through and turn it into your first version of your closing script.
Now slowly test out different elements of the script and see the impact on your closing percentage.
Try out several of the ideas below by building them into your sales script.
Not only will this help you develop the best closing script to increase your current sales, but it will also protect you from the loss of a key sales person as a good degree of your sales knowledge will be captured in the written script, not just in the head of one key sales person.
3. Set and hold your prospect and you accountable to an upfront agreement.
An upfront agreement is a formal or informal oral contract that you and your prospect both agree in which you both agree to give each other a clear decision - yes or no - whether you want to take the next step in the sales process. This next step could be to purchase right then and there, or it could be to set up the next sales meeting. No "think it overs" allowed. Plus, it is your way to clarify that your prospect has the ability (authority and or money) to make a purchasing decision.
An upfront agreement might sound like:
"Now Mark, I am more than willing to give you my time and really work with you to find out exactly what the best solution for you and your specific situation is, I'm just going to ask for one thing in return... As we go through this, if you don't feel that what we have is a good fit, are you okay telling me that? Great, I want you to know that you're not going to hurt my feelings. On the other hand, if after going through this it's clear that we really do have a great fit are you okay telling me that too here today?
"Great, I'll be doing the same thing. If I don't think you're the right fit to own our product I'll let you know that straight out. And if on the other hand I do think you are the perfect candidate from really benefiting from our product, then I'll let you know that too.
"Are we both in agreement on this Mark as part of the ground rules for today? Great."
4. Optimize your offer.
Test your price point. Test the terms you're offering. Test the way you frame your offer - as what you'll gain... or as what you'll lose if you don't take action. Test any bonuses they'll get or added features if they act now. The only way to maximize your conversion is to test, test, test.
5. Introduce a "fear of loss" to spark action.
One of the biggest sparks to action is fear of loss. How can you legitimately introduce or strengthen your prospect's fear of loss if they don't take action now?
One of the easiest ways is to introduce a highly valued bonus that they get today when they take action and buy. Or you could give them a significant pricing incentive to take action now.
6. Use stronger risk reversal - clearer and more powerfully worded.
Are you confident that your product or service correctly used will provide great value? Then but yourself on the hook by guaranteeing certain results.
Why should your customer have to hope your product or service will fit their needs? Put yourself on the line.
For example, for a qualified business owner we coach, we guarantee a 200 percent return on investment in terms of additional operating profit, or our service is free.
One CPA firm we coach promises to help a client realize twice the cost of their tax services in additional found tax savings the year they do a new client's first tax return. If they don't save you twice their fees that first year, you don't pay anything for their service.
7. Get better sales training for your team.
It amazes me how many otherwise rational, intelligent business leaders will spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in lead generation activities for their companies, but then pinch pennies when it comes to sales training for their core sales team.
The most effective sales training is not a one-time event, but rather, month in, month out, behaviorally based sales coaching. Shaping behaviors takes gentle pressure applied relentlessly over time. The feeling from a high pitched sales training wears off fast; the deep behavior changes from grooming and developing a sales culture over time last long term.
So there you have my seven favorite ways to increase sales conversion. Good luck to you in implanting one or more of these key ideas.
If you enjoyed the ideas I shared, then I encourage you to download a free copy of my newest book, Build a Business, Not a Job. Click here for full details and to get your complimentary copy.