Every salesperson wishes there was a magic formula that converted leads into sales with a snap of your fingers. But instead of searching for that elusive, enchanted elixir, spend your time doing some self-assessment, honing your presentation skills, and listening to what potential clients have to say can create the real magic that generates leads and turns them into sales.
Below are 5 tactics that are almost as fool-proof as a rabbit in a hat.
1. Reuse and Recycle
Calling old leads rarely results in a sale. However, repurposing the data from unfulfilled leads has a special value – feedback.
There are ways to achieve “do-it-yourself” feedback. Many firms’ call systems announce, “Calls will be recorded for quality assurance purposes.” If your firm does this, and permits access to those records, they give you a great tool for assessing your lead skills.
Related Article: 5 Unique Ways to Generate Leads for Your Business
In lieu of lawfully recorded sales calls, consider employing one of the many lead-tracking apps available. Alternatively, go low-tech and take copious notes during the conversation. The point is to understand how your call techniques do and do not succeed, and by recording what you did in successful calls versus unsuccessful ones provides a great deal of insight into areas in need of improvement.
If nothing else, think of this as recycling, or unfruitful leads repurposed into educational material that helps better prepare you for closing all the new leads coming your way.
2. Nothing Beats a Great Pitch “Recipe”
The sales pitch is the do or die moment for most sales leads. Reading a script developed for a nameless, faceless company rarely succeeds. It's vital that you come up with an original approach that reflects who you are while also including important ingredients like:
- Clearly and authoritatively identify who you are and why you are calling.
- Use a strong and confident, but never overbearing manner during the call.
- At the same time, make the person feel they are in charge because you are responding to their inquiry or addressing their needs.
Attempting to make a quick closure of a lead is possible, but requires finesse and a fair amount of luck. Remember to be classy and never pushy.
However, as Shakespeare’s Hamlet complained, “…therein lies the rub.” You can never be certain of a client’s feelings. All the smooth talking in the world will not make a client sign on the dotted line if you have not prepared them for the close. Taking time to build trust, however, may pay off handsomely. In other words, it all goes back to the idea of having a conversation, starting a relationship, and building a rapport with the prospect.
Related Article: Is Your Sales Pitch More Like Apple or the US Army?
3. Listen – You May Learn Something
Listening to what a prospect has to say is a truly novel approach for many sales professionals. Conversing with the prospect rather than only “pitching”: provide information while also listening to them to gain more data about them.
The conversation aspect is important. It is not all a pitch by this point. Any information the prospect provides gives you additional fodder to energize your sale. Even asking if they understand what you have said thus far counts. Beyond that, listen to what they say, use it to frame helpful information addressing their needs, and then present how your firm addresses those requirements. Prospective clients appreciate personalized responses to concerns.
4. Distinguish Yourself
Find a way to distinguish yourself from the competition. Especially when dealing with difficult or indecisive clients, sometimes a little drama and/or cage rattling may work like a charm.
Sometimes, a friendly, engaging, yet memorable greeting suffices to make prospects remember you. Is it a potentially huge account? A well-conceived, personalized gift or letter may do the trick.
For particularly recalcitrant prospective clients, Wendy Connick, writing in the National Association of Sales Professionals website suggests two approaches bound to gain their attention:
- Convince an existing client who has the respect of the prospect to attend the sales meeting with you. It is a bit like peer pressure, but if that existing client is successful, there may be good reasons for the prospect to emulate them.
- Walk out of the meeting. Do it politely, but firmly. It may be enough to shock difficult potential clients into action.
5. Use Technology Creatively
A huge percentage of leads (over 71%, according to Forbes.com, citing a Harvard Business School report) languish due to a lack of responsiveness. The secret to closing many leads is speed. This means constant access to the hardware used for immediately responding to inquiries, whatever the platform.
Nothing beats person-to-person contact, but such meetings are not always possible. Use all the available tools, from telephones to computers, and beyond. An article in B2BMarketing suggests using e-signature apps to close the deal, and cloud-based apps to store contracts. This permits reviewing contracts them with leads via phone and/or internet. Do the research and discover what best suits your needs, and then take the time to learn how to make it a success for you in converting leads to sales.