Now, I’m going to back-track a bit by talking about the step that falls in between attracting prospects, and converting your prospects into customers.
Let’s take a look at how to develop your prospect leads into sales!
Okay, so you’ve conducted what you needed to in order to generate your leads. It would be a crying shame if you went through all of that trouble just to lose your precious gold, but things like this happen all of the time.
But, here’s some good news:
You can avoid losing your leads.
You’ll simply need to get past the stage where you’re bursting with glee over your leads, do everything in your power to nurture them, and convert them into sales. Let’s take a look at steps you’ll need to take to turn your prospects into solid new clients:
Get In Front Of Their Problems
Sure, it’s all well and fine to ask your prospects what their needs are, but it’s even better to be the service provider who anticipates your prospects needs even before they realize what their needs are.
At the very least, be the service provider who intuits your prospect’s needs when they don’t know how to articulate what they are.
Carmine Gallo experienced this when he took his family on vacation. The family stayed at a 5-star resort in San Diego, and in short order, he was blown away when he experienced this:
The Grand Del Mar’s customer service ‘secret’ became very clear to me on this recent visit—the staff finds small ways to unexpectedly delight their customers and they do so by anticipating unexpressed wishes.
At the end of our stay…I asked the desk clerk why everyone seems to anticipate the needs of a guest. ‘It makes us stand out,’ he said.
Don’t you hate it when you do business with a new vendor (whether B2B or B2C) and they treat you as if they’re doing you a favor to offer you a service? Ick! Who want to keep doing business with someone like that?
Don’t be that type of vendor or service provider. Instead, treat each of your vendors as if they’re valuable and court them. Make them feel that you’ve got their back, and you’re all too pleased to make them happy with doing business with you.
Use Their Pain Points To Your Advantage
Here’s something to keep in mind:
Many prospects understand what’s wrong, or what’s missing.
What they need is a vendor who also comes to the same understanding. They need you to not only address their pain points, but they also need you to gain an intimate understanding of their pain points, and how to heal them.
Empathize With Your Prospects
The true definition of empathy is to walk a mile in another person’s shoes. It’s the compassion you experience when someone is experiencing personal pain, or a personal dilemma. When you allow yourself to empathize with your prospect, and if you can express to them that you empathize with their situation, then you’re sure to create a buying atmosphere of trust credibility.
Remember: People like doing business with those who they know, like, and trust!
Scale Down Your Response Times
How maddening is it for you to send a personal email (or some other form of communication) to someone, only to go for days (or if it’s important, hours) without any response of some kind? Well imagine how a prospect feels when they try to reach out to you, and you ignore them?
Or, think back to the time when you went shopping inside of a store, and the store clerk kept ignoring you? Did you stick around until the clerk felt like paying attention to you, or did you take your business somewhere else (in a huff)?
You have to remember that you’re asking a stranger to come to you to resolve their professional problems. Some of these problems are quite urgent, requiring an immediate fix, if possible. It doesn’t look good for you to leave your prospects hanging.
Sure, everyone is hyper-busy nowadays, but if you’re too busy to get back to your prospects in a reasonable amount of time, then you’re probably too busy!
Here’s an even better idea:
Why not set up your prospect’s expectations by advertising an average response time?
You can let your prospects know something like:
We typically reply to emails within 24 hours/the next business day/by the close of business.
You know how quickly you can get back to your prospect, and it’s absolutely to your advantage to do so when you say that you’re going to. People are usually patient and reasonable when their anxieties are resolved, and they’re provided with answers.
Create A Sense Of Urgency (You Snooze, You Lose)
Copywriters in the direct response world have this tactic down pat!
See if you can recognize the following:
Only 30 more minutes to buy!
Limited quantities in stock!
You’ll only have until (insert calendar date)
Only if you act now…
You’ve been surrounded by these psychological marketing tactics since you were old enough to read or understand what you were watching on T.V., but you probably never knew that marketers were playing a harmless (yet clever) mind game with you.
However you may feel about this tactic, one thing is certain–marketers will continue to use these tactics because they work! Here’s the skinny on why these work so well:
Beyond feeling ignored or rejected, most people hate feeling like they’ve missed out on a hot opportunity!
Not only does creating urgency in your communications spur your prospects into action, they also help you to identify those who either aren’t ready or don’t want to take action. Why waste time on either group?
You’re not going to convert a prospect who can’t afford your service or who doesn’t have the authorization to say “Yes!” to your service. And, there are those who will never be able to be converted into a sale.
It’s in your best interest to let both groups of prospects go, and focus your attention on prospects who can afford you, have the authorization to sign your contract, and understand the urgency to sign your contracts to start a new project.
Stress Their Benefits
Here’s one of the top mistakes that most vendors make, particularly on their websites and within their marketing content:
They love bragging about how great they are, how much of a ninja they are, how the other guys suck, etc.
Sure, your prospects want to know these things, but here’s something they’d really love to know:
How is your service going to improve their lives, or heal their pain points?
Think about the most common motivators that prospects have. Can your service make them richer, smarter, wiser, faster, more efficient? Will they gain a handsome return on their investment after investing in your services?
If so, then tell them! You’ll only make the path towards getting your contract signed (a sale) a lot smoother!
Ask For The Sale
Here’s the simple fact of life, in case you haven’t figured this out:
All freelancers and agents are sales people. There’s nothing you can do about this if you hope to stay in business.
This doesn’t mean that you have to behave like the equivalent of the slimy, sweaty used car salesman stereotype! This does mean that you’d better get rid of any biases you have about asking for the sale.
It’s not up to your prospects to tell you that they’d like to sign your contract. In fact, if you wait for them to make the first move, then your accounts are going to dry up, fast!
And, all of the hard work you put into attracting your prospect will disappear!
You might be the best creative professional you know, and you might provide the best product in your industry. But, wouldn’t you love to learn how to master the art of closing the deal?