Want to make sure that as many of your qualified prospects as possible turn into real, life paying customers? Here is a list of 10 things that you can do TODAY that can easily double your conversion rate, and probably land you in your company’s “winner’s circle” for this quarter, and every quarter after:
- #1: Use more referrals. Sadly, many people distrust sales professionals. As a result, most prospects are disposed to think of reasons not to buy rather than reasons to buy. When you come into a sales situation with a referral, those barriers are lowered.
- #2: Only call on decision-makers. Only go after prospects that have job titles that match the buying level of your product or service. Because you have a limited amount of time to sell each day, don’t waste it calling upon people who don’t have the authority to purchase.
- #3: Take control of your calendar. When you first make an appointment, agree to whatever time is convenient for the prospect. Then, once the appointment is in the prospects calendar, request that the appointment be moved to match what’s convenient for you.
- #4: Optimize your meeting schedule. For example, if you find that your typical sales call takes half a day, always schedule meetings at 8:30am and 1:30pm. If you schedule a meeting at 11am, you’ll only able to make a single call that day.
- #5: Make sales calls when prospects are available. Don’t waste prime sales call time (i.e. “working hours”) fussing with your CRM system, doing research, answering emails and so forth. The crux of your job is to sell; all the rest is just busywork.
- #6: Don’t try to accomplish too much. Most B2B sales situations require more than one meeting to close a deal. You need to find an appropriate goal for the initial meeting and achieve that, then move the sale forward to the next step.
- #7: Don’t repeat yourself. Many sales professionals are secretly afraid that the prospect won’t believe what they’re saying, so they start repeating themselves, hoping that repetition will add credibility. Actually, repetition does the opposite.
- #8: Don’t anticipate objections. Unless you are 100 percent certain that a specific objection is going to surface, don’t surface it yourself and answer it. While prospects almost always have objections, the last thing you need to do is to provide them with a laundry list.
- #9: Pinpoint the real objection. If a prospect stalls (e.g. “I need to talk this over with my staff”) or surfaces a vague objection (e.g. “I’m not exactly certain this makes sense.”), ask questions that will clarify the situation so that you know how to proceed.
- #10 Test for the close, then close. When you have told your story, check to see whether it’s time to close. (E.g. “Does all of this make sense to you?”) Once you’re reasonably certain that the prospect is ready to buy, close the deal.
The list above is based on a conversation with Tom Black, author of best-selling book The Boxcar Millionaire. Very smart guy and (seriously) the salt of the earth. While he sells for the financial market today, he cut his sales teeth selling Bibles door to door.