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Sales Prospecting

6 Tips For Converting Leads Into Clients

These easy-to-follow strategies will help you turn those eager prospects into happy customers.

Perry Marshall

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sales-leads

While using Google AdWords successfully can make the phone ring, it’s up to you to convert those leads into clients. Unlike in ecommerce where the entire transaction takes place on the website, for local businesses, human interaction is required to close the deal.

These six tips can help you turn those online leads into brick-and-mortar prospects:

1. Don’t let calls go to voicemail

This is a cardinal rule if you’re spending any money on advertising and marketing. You must not let calls go to voicemail! One of the biggest problems we see is when calls come in and nobody answers, so the call goes to voicemail or the caller is put on hold for two or three minutes.

The fact is, you don’t have an existing relationship with most people who click on your ads. This is cold traffic, and if they call and get your voicemail, most people won’t leave a voicemail. They’ll just hang up and call the advertiser in the next ad.

Related: Manage Sales Leads

The same is true if you put them on hold for three minutes. They’re still sitting in front of their computer or on their mobile phone, and the temptation to just hang up and call the next person is overwhelming.

Make sure you’re equipped to handle the calls and you have a system in place to do it well.

One of our clients, a dentist, uses a call centre so she has a live person answering the phone 24/7. The call centre is even able to schedule appointments for her. Using a call centre will let you run ads all day with the confidence that any call will be answered by a live person, which will lead to higher conversion rates.

2. Hire mystery shoppers

Client-calls-mystery-shopper

The acid test for your phone crew is mystery shopping. To put this to work, have someone call your business and play prospect. Make sure the mystery shopper knows how to act like your customer. Record every call. Many entrepreneurs are appalled when they find out what’s actually going on when a customer calls their business.

The thing is, you founded your business, and poured your blood, sweat, and tears into it. You know it costs R900 just to make that phone ring, and you’ve spent months building advertising systems and making mistakes. You can’t imagine someone screwing all that up and letting a customer go down the drain.

But your employees aren’t you. It’s not their R900 – it’s yours. It’s not their blood, sweat, and tears – it’s yours. They have no skin in the game, so they’re lackadaisical.

Quality control is crucial. Hire that mystery shopper and monitor what goes on. Make it known that at all times, calls are being recorded and any call may be monitored. Performance and raises should be judged by how well customers get treated on the phone.

3. Invest in sales training

Even if it’s not be in their official job description, everyone who answers the phone in your office is a salesperson. They should have a basic understanding of sales and how to properly handle incoming calls professionally.

At the very least, buy the people who answer the phone in your office a book or two on sales. Even better is to invest in a course or even hire a sales trainer to come in and work with them. This investment can pay huge dividends down the road.

Related: Converting Leads Into Sales

4. Use systems and scripts

sales-team

Whether those answering your phones have sales training or not, it’s a good idea to have systems in place so calls are consistently handled the way you want – no matter who answers the phone.

In most cases, you don’t want your employees winging it too much on the phone, so giving everyone a script can be helpful. Richard Jacobs, owner of Speakeasy Marketing, a firm that specialises in marketing for attorneys, has his clients’ employees use this effective script:

“Oh, Mr. Jacobs isn’t at the phone right now, but he wants to make sure he talks to you, so let me get his calendar. I see he’s available this Thursday at 11 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. and Friday between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. If you get your calendar out right now, let’s schedule a time when it’s good for you.”

This script makes the person calling feel important, which will give them a good feeling about your company and doing business with you.

Even more important, it sets an appointment on the spot and gets that initial commitment from your prospect right then and there.

5. Always get contact information

Whoever answers your phone should take down every caller’s contact information, including their email address. If you don’t have their contact information, you have no way to follow up with them and the lead will go to waste.

6. Use email marketing

When you get your prospects’ email address, you should have some sort of system where you can send out emails at least on a weekly or monthly basis to your email database on a system like MailChimp, iContact, or any other email service provider.

Related: 6 Sales Secrets To Turn A Rookie Into A Sales Superstar

There are no shortage of things you can send. Maybe you have some sort of sale or special promotion going on that you could share. Or maybe it’s just a great story about one of your customers.

You could send them a video, which will help develop a closer bond between you and your potential customers. You could also send a good article you’ve written or a helpful tip.

Basically send things that will keep you in front of them regularly and continue to build a relationship with them, which can help generate more business and referrals in the future. If you’re not using email marketing and email follow up, you’re leaving a ton of money on the table.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Perry Sink Marshall is an American online marketing strategist, entrepreneur, and author of several books, most notably the bestsellers Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords and Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising.

Sales Prospecting

3 Steps To Healthier Client Relationships

Do you have clients that constantly push the boundaries, who have unrealistic expectations and inconsistent feedback? What if you could have a client base of only people who value your work? Firing the wrong clients can help you get there.

Dominique Sandwith

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It’s not easy to admit that a client is actually doing your business more harm than good. When it gets to the point that you are spending all of your time and energy trying to please one client, then it’s time to look at what they are contributing to your success.

In the early days of your business, it’s understandable to hold on to difficult clients as every penny counts. However, as time goes on, firing a disproportionately time-consuming and challenging client could free you up to go looking for new and better business.

Here are three steps to take to healthier client relationships:

1. Get perspective

Step back from everyday tasks to make some notes about the client relationship in question. Ask yourself what you value in your client versus what drains your energy and puts you in a bad mood.

Understand what the deal-breakers are and whether the client in question has crossed the line. It’s possible that you just need to have a frank conversation with the client, but often these kinds of client relationships are too far gone.

Related: 1 Simple Rule To Avoid Bad Client Relationships

2. Fire the wrong client

There’s no one-size-fits-all for this process – you have to do this in your own way, but be clear on the reasons. If the client has been as unhappy as you are, they will most likely understand that this relationship is not a good fit.

However, there are times when a client has no idea that they are being unreasonable or thinks that this relationship is productive. That’s when it’s difficult to explain why you are deciding not to take their money.

Make it factual and don’t bring in your feelings. If you have examples of situations or email threads as proof show them that this is not how you believe a successful relationship should be. Be clear on your values and what you envision for your business.

Be polite and professional throughout the conversation and focus on the relationship fit, rather than pointing out their personal flaws. Explain the next steps and how the handover process will take place. You want to make sure that the end of the relationship is as amicable as possible.

3. Find the right clients

Firing a difficult client is likely to affect your bottom line in the short term but it will give you the motivation, and headspace, to go looking for the right clients.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you know what you want in a client – make a list of things you won’t stand for again with future clients, and one that describes your dream client.
  • Use your time and resources wisely, and aim high to secure clients that will be worth your while.
  • Identify potential clients and projects that are profitable, that will inspire you and that you enjoy working with.

Tip: make sure the Terms and Conditions on your website, and in your quotes, are well-defined. State your prices clearly, don’t leave room for interpretation. Don’t back down if a new client quibbles over a cost estimate. Take complaints of this nature as a warning sign and walk away.

Related: How Well Do You Really Know Your Customers?

Don’t ever think that you’ve wasted your time with the wrong client. Each client you work with helps you to refine your offering and progressively understand what you’re good at. Firing a client is never easy, but sometimes it’s a necessity for the successful and sustainable future of your business (and your sanity).

When you fire the wrong client, you can streamline your business to play to these strengths, and ensure you offer a world-class service or product.

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Sales Prospecting

7 Steps To Master The 80/20 Revenue Model

Imagine a world where 80% of your revenue came from 20% of your customers. Now what will it take to make it your reality?

Emma Donovan

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80-20-business-model

We are often so focused on new leads that we forget to master the art of upselling and cross-selling. To generate more income from existing customers you need to focus on quality over quantity, and be strategic in your approach. Here are seven steps to help you on your way.

Understand what you want to achieve

When you upsell, you encourage customers to buy a higher-end product or service than the one in question – such as an airplane seat with more leg room. Whereas cross-selling tempts customers to buy related products that satisfy additional, complementary needs. A simple example is when you check out of an online store and the shop tempts you to buy similar or complementary products that you suddenly just can’t live without!

Tip: Identify which one makes sense in your business, and what the additional or complementary offering will be.

Nurture relationships

Long-standing relationships and loyal clients are worth their weight in gold. Make sure they know they will remain a priority, even when you are busy with bigger or more profitable projects.

Constantly over-deliver and exceed expectations. Make yourself ‘irreplaceable’. 

Related: This Is What Bevan Ducasse Did When He Realised wiGroup’s Revenue Model Wasn’t Working

Provide solutions

Don’t presume you know what your customers want or need – do your homework and ask them. You need to understand their hopes, dreams, fears and challenges. Three simple ways to do this are to:

  • set up regular one-on-one calls
  • catch up over coffee
  • or email them a quick survey to complete.

Add real value

Ask yourself, ‘how can I help this client achieve their goals or overcome this challenge?’ You need to find ways to add real value to make the additional expense worthwhile. Also make sure your pricing is fair and competitive, without selling yourself short.

For example, one of the products we cross-sell at Yellow Door is video content. It’s a key part of a holistic marketing strategy and is a great way to bolster content for launches, social media and newsletters.

Paint a picture

To excel at upselling and cross-selling, you need to help customers visualise the value they will get from the higher-priced item. Whether it’s a 30-second video, an infographic, or a well worded email – take the time to explain not only what the product is, but how it will benefit them or their business.

Incentivise

Offering a reward or incentive can increase your upsell or cross-sell conversion rate. For example, offer free shipping or a discount if the client purchases two or more products or services.

Related: Bob Skinstad On Making An Impact With The 80/20 Principle

Create capacity

Ensure your team has the expertise and capacity to deliver the relevant service or product at the right standard. Alternatively, find a non-competing service provider to complement your offering and agree on a referral or commission structure. This way you can expand your offering without increasing your overheads.

The key to success is to understand what your customers value and then respond with products, services or features that meet those needs.

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Sales Prospecting

Empower Your Team To Make More Sales

The answer is not simple. However Leadify’s CEO, Grant Fleming shares several strategies that can help.

Grant Fleming

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Much like the business cliché that your company is only as strong as its people, in marketing, behind every successful marketing campaign there is an empowered team. But how do you help your team increase their sales?

The answer is not simple. However Leadify’s CEO, Grant Fleming shares several strategies that can help:

1. Become clever at dealing with data

It is essential that teams have the right platform at their disposal to reach the agreed-to goals. Teams also need to become more adept at dealing with data to learn about their customers. Teams should segment data, send marketing messages and receive instant feedback to learn from. They should also optimise their messages and dig into the demographics of their audience.

2. Curate your audience

The above enables teams to curate, and continuously engage with their audience. One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is focusing their communication to a base, instead of cultivating an audience through learning from insights and feedback. This doesn’t foster an incentive to learn anything from one week or one campaign to the next. Teams end up sending out an email/SMS blast one week after another, with the same results.

Related: What Really Drives Sales Growth And Repeat Business?

3. Market more smartly

Rather than marketing ‘harder’, teams should be marketing smarter. There are a few ways to do this. Given teams have the appropriate automated marketing tools at their disposal, they can automate certain repetitive activities so that they continue to learn while the system executes.

Teams are also best served by breaking down their goals into measurable insights and build logical marketing lists (data lists) rather than lumping everything into one list. Often, splitting data by its original source works well, but so does sectioning lists according to category.

Consider using “Remarketing” for the direct marketing space too. This is similar to AdWords marketing, where teams ‘slice and dice’ their data, and insights about engaged audiences are retargeted using the platform.

The other options is “Long Run” campaigns. Here a campaign is live over a longer period of time, essentially establishing a level of cadence for direct marketing efforts. 

4. Do lean marketing

To empower your team, adopt a lean marketing process. This sees teams marketing in small batches, sending e.g. 2000 SMSs, reviewing the results, then another 2000, and then tweaking the marketing message if needed.

By sending five different marketing messages, your marketing teams will be able to whittle down to the top two that returned the best results, and then scale them up.

This, rather than just sending a million SMSs (for example) to your entire database, is a lean marketing approach that can help your team incrementally improve their efforts for an optimal return.

Related: What You Need To Know About The Lean Start-up Model

5. Value testing and metrics

Both testing and metrics are critical to helping your marketing team become more successful, with A/B testing in particular critical for learning.

When you tweak campaigns, resist the urge to make larger changes; these make it difficult to measure results. Rather do small-batch testing, even if it is just from your newsletters. Try and bleed the marketing messages out over a logical timeframe – don’t just blast out to the entire list in one go.

Regarding metrics, concentrate not only on the number of messages sent, but clicks and click-through rates as well as conversions, even if the latter happens down the line. Understanding these metrics across demographics is equally important, as this allows you to curate audiences that you can personalise marketing to.

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