Maybe you've been struggling for a while. You've got plenty of interest but no one is buying. I hear that a lot! It's easy to promote your services but not so easy to actually get the money from prospective buyers.
The S.E.C.R.E.T. to selling is a well laid out strategy that, when used correctly, not only converts leads to sales but also keeps a fresh supply of referrals coming to you on a regular basis! Are you ready for the S.E.C.R.E.T.? Are you ready to do what it takes to start turning leads into clients? Follow these six easy and effective tips for converting leads into sales and you'll never be without paying clients again!
S - Strategic Visibility
It all starts right here! Your visibility strategy sets the tone of any potential relationships and strongly influences the way a client feels about you. How easy is it to find you? Do you have a strong presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn , YouTube, etc? Clients can't buy from you if they can't find you! What type of information are you posting? Are you excited about what you do? Are you providing value and addressing your target audience's needs? Are you talking about your successes? Are you happy, perky, excited and ready to take action on their behalf? This level of visibility coupled with an enthusiastic attitude and go-getter personality is sure to attract the clients you want and will guarantee you get more call backs!
E - Establish Needs
Sounds easy, right? Obviously you need to find out what your leads want! Unfortunately this step is something that many struggling service providers still don't do! Very often we're so concerned about what we're going to say that we forget to really listen to what our potential client is saying. And more important than what they say is what they do and how they act. You've got to be on your toes to determine what's really important to them. Find out what they are looking for. Find out what they expect. Have they already been disappointed in someone else's work? Then find out why!! You certainly don't want to make the same mistakes! Ask lots of questions. Encourage them to talk about their business and share their goals with you. Sometimes even the client won't know exactly what they need! Talk to them, encourage them to talk back. Engage them in an in-depth conversation about their business. Take the time; view it as an investment! Listen to every word they say and identify ways you can ease the stresses they face daily. Identify the client's deepest needs early in the process and you're already half way to closing the sale!
C - Create Ownership
You want to get the potential client so excited about working with you that ultimately they'll feel as though there is no choice but to work with you! Explain your services in such a way that they really WANT them! Make them feel a part of your process and encourage the feeling that their business and yours are simply a natural partnership. Explain how what you do will help your prospective client. Discuss how you can "increase their sales", "lower their costs" and "make their job easier". Identify a variety of ways your businesses could work together. Can you refer business to them? Are there projects you could collaborate on together? If you've done these steps correctly the client will begin to feel as though they are a part of your business and will be ready to take that next step towards making it official. In addition, they'll be so excited by the prospect of receiving help from you (referrals, information, recommendations, partnerships) that they'll be only too happy to share your information with more potential new clients!
R - Reinforce the buying decision and ask for the sale
Let the client know that they are making the right decision by choosing to work with you. Make online testimonials and referrals prominent on your website and on your networking sites. Let potential clients see that others have been pleased with your services. Exchange communication openly online with other satisfied customers to give your leads the opportunity to see you in action. Handle negative issues openly as well. Every business owner understands that sometimes these things happen. A potential client will be very interested to see how you handle negative comments or clients who were less than satisfied the first time around. Be honest, be bold and be positive! Reassure them that you are the answer they've been searching for! Tell each one verbally that they've come to the right place if they want results!
Once you've reinforced their decision as being a good one you'll want to go ahead and ask for the sale. If you don't ask the question then the answer will always be, No. Ask them what they thought of your conversation. Did they like what they heard? Are they ready to get started? Then stop and listen to what they have to say and respond accordingly. See how all of this is working together? Listen, educate, communicate and ask. You're almost there!
E - Expand
Do more than you promise! Do that +1 to make the client feel special. Make the client say, "Really?" as in "Really, you'd do that for me?" or "Really you're going to take care of that for me?" Identify another need they have and offer to help. Go the extra mile to ensure your leads are ready, willing and thrilled at the opportunity to work with you! Do what no one else is willing or able to do and you'll have a client for life!
T - Take the time to build loyalty
Wait a minute. They aren't a client yet so why am I building loyalty? You're doing this because they will be a client! Or maybe they'll refer a client! Either way, you've got to build loyalty with every lead you come in contact with! Let them know that even if they don't sign up as a client, you still want a relationship with them! Connect with them on Facebook. Join their group (or invite them to yours) on LinkedIn. Show them you want more than just their money. Offer a mutually beneficial relationship and then...
Follow up! Follow up! Follow up!!
Stay in front of them! Consistently provide them with value in the form of articles you've found that might help their business. You don't have to write the article. It doesn't matter! You still get the credit when it becomes obvious you're trying to help them! Offer some free advice. Make yourself available for follow up questions. Refer a client to them! Connect with them online and wish them a Happy Birthday! Send a physical card! Mail them a mouse pad with a motivational saying on it! Beginning to get the picture? Don't just make a client. Make a friend! The relationship will last longer and you'll get far more referrals from it!
The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph! Marvin PhillipsEnjoy what you do and take the time nurture all of your contacts. Stop looking at your leads in terms of what they can do for you and begin thinking in terms of what you can do for them. And then do it! Do it even if it doesn't make you money! Do it even if it takes a bit of extra time! Do it and soon you'll not only be closing more sales but you'll be working less and having more fun. You'll be chatting online, having fun on the phone, smiling when you get a note back from another thrilled customer! Soon you'll open your inbox to find new leads waiting for you because they've heard about your outstanding services and want to work with you! Now you're where you want to be!
Keep up the great work and remember...
"You can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want"
Janice Clark is the owner of BizMSolutions, an online virtual solutions provider created with the professional mom business owner in mind. She balances BizMSolutions with ownership of its sister company BusinessMom.net, a professional networking site dedicated to supporting mom business owners and those who aspire to be.
Her team of professional virtual assistants are business owners who have successfully implemented social media strategies for their own businesses and are now helping others by offering strategic planning as well as ongoing assistance in order to build more profitable relationships and increase social as well as financial net worth for their clients.