Do you still believe that only More Leads can Grow Your Business?
In my opinion and experience, this is the most overlooked aspect of the sales process. Most businesses operate under the assumption that in order to get a paying client, you must burn through many leads. An experienced senior executive of a large consulting company once said to me, “Getting new potential customers is like prom. If you ask enough girls then eventually someone will dance with you?” That certainly is one belief system and unfortunately a prevalent one.
MarketingSherpa conducted B2B Marketing Benchmark Survey in 2009 to find Average Conversion Rates in the Marketing-to-Sales Process. The survey result shows that 38% enquiries became sales-ready leads. From those sales-ready leads, 39% became qualified prospects. From those qualified prospects, 29% converted to sales. This means that from enquiry to sales, the overall conversion rate was 4%. Most businesses spend more time, money and energy on lead generation to grow and not enough to review their sales conversion process. It is possible, and I’m saying it because that’s what I do, to improve the sales conversion process multiple-folds without spending any extra money on lead generation. It’s improving the return-on-investment in lead generation by getting more sales out of the same number of leads.
Follow the Buying Process of your Customer
A good entrepreneur never pushes their sales process on their leads. Rather they spend time to understand the buying process of their leads and adjust accordingly. This shift in approach will strengthen their trust in you. They will begin to see you as a Trustable Confidant who they can share their situation with without feeling that you may use the information for your advantage to make the sale regardless. Their trust is the most valuable thing they will give to you; more valuable than their money.
When you spend time with your leads to understand what is important to them, their needs, their wants, their expectations, their frustrations, their dreams, their ambitions, their goals and their objectives then you become a valuable part of their team. They don’t just see you as a vendor. They see you as someone they can trust and share openly because you will use the information to solve their problem rather than just sell them a solution you have. Problem solving could mean that your leads just use you as a sounding board to get clear about their situation. With clarity, they may realise that they don’t need your product/service right now. Or perhaps they need something else that your competitors have. They may also conclude that they don’t have the time or budget to solve this problem right now, after gaining clear understanding of the problem. Whatever the conclusion they make, you are okay and happy for them that with your assistance they were able to gain clarity about their situation and make a decision.
Your own objective should only be to understand the truth of their situation. You don’t change their truth. You don’t invalidate their truth. You don’t argue with their truth. Their truth is their truth and you should feel privileged for the opportunity to be invited to understand it. A person will only do that when they feel safe to do that. If they have any doubt that what they tell you can be used to force them to buy then you can be assured that they will tell you anything and everything except the truth. There is no sense in putting yourself in a position where the other person makes excuses to avoid talking to you or ignore your phone calls and emails. If that is what you experience at present then I can assure you that your leads or your clients don’t see you as a Trustable Confidant yet. This is the reason why the sales conversion rate is so poor and yet it is considered normal from benchmark perspective.
Improve this step by Becoming a Trustable Confidant and the conversion rate will skyrocket. The results that some of my clients have achieved were so amazing that they had to stop doing sales and marketing for months because they acquired more clients than they could handle operationally. That’s what I call a High Quality Problem.
This is a position of huge responsibility and ethics. Everyone will understands it. Not everyone is capable of doing it.
How to become Trustable Confidant?
There are several dimensions to develop in order to become a Trustable Confidant. These are –
- Becoming a Better Mind Reader
- Becoming a Congruent Leader
- Becoming an Influential Negotiator
- Becoming a Better Listener
- Becoming a Better Assessor
- Becoming a Time Master
- Becoming a Self-Master
In my latest book BE. DO. HAVE. The Complete Guide to Create a Viable and Sustainable Business from Scratch, I cover all these skills at great length with practical techniques and examples. There are many more practical concepts, techniques and templates in this book.