Turning Leads Into Sales

Regardless of a sales person’s tenure, converting a lead into a sale can often be a tricky task.  A successful sale is often determined by the strategy the sales person implements, the client, and the relationship prior to the sale or during the process.  Sales are what drives most businesses; consider these tips when looking to create a strategy that will result in a happy client.

Referrals – The best way to make a new prospect introduction is through a referral or a warm introduction.  A referral helps when a current or previous customer speaks highly of your service and/or product to a prospect.  That person knows and trusts you both and when the introduction is made, it normally creates an immediate openness to engage.  Once you gain the attention of the prospect, find a commonality to develop rapport.  Build a relationship because clients are not just buying from a company but from a person – you.

The sales process – When working with the prospect, it is critical to understand their business problems and how to add value.  Focus on the client, not on the product you are trying to sell.  See your role as helping the client solve a business problem, not as trying to sell something to the client.

Once you are already actively engaging with the prospect, be persistent but not overly aggressive.  The client is a busy person, maybe too busy to follow up with you, even though they may need your services.  So, follow up with them and offer ways to make the interaction as easy as possible for them to obtain what they need to solve their business problem.

Closing – You cannot sell to a customer if you do not understand their business, their customers, their products/services, and their issues.  Your proposal and your contract need to clearly state what you are delivering – and what you are not delivering.  You might experience “scope creep” after the sale, where the customer requests more than was contracted, so you need an effective and professional way to address that or you may lose more money than you make.  Include clear terms and deliverables in your contract.

Follow-up – Remember, it is important to follow up during the fulfillment process after your product/service has been sold – make sure the project, product or service is meeting your client’s expectations.  Resolve issues immediately.  The client’s perception is their reality.  Even if you believe you delivered what was promised, if the client does not agree, then that is their reality and you might not receive another lead from that client.  You will lose future leads from other potential clients if they receive negative feedback from an unsatisfied customer.  Find a way to resolve what the customer perceives as unsatisfactory, and resolve it in a way that works for you and the customer.  A happy customer ensures future leads and prospects for you.

Sales take practice.  Repeating the steps above will help to increase your close rate and keep leads in your funnel.

This week’s blog was written by Cathy Myers. Cathy Myers leads Consultants 2 Go’s Florida branch as VP of Business Development.