There are many businesses out there that have difficulties turning customer enquiries into sales. While many get plenty of enquiries, their ability to nurture and sell to these enquiries is very poor. There are a few reasons why this occurs:
1. People may enquire today but are in ‘research’ mode and aren’t ready to buy. The problem here is that the business doesn’t have any follow-up procedures so when the prospect is ready to buy, they’ve already been forgotten.
On average, a prospect needs to be communicated with between six and nine times before they’ll buy from your business. If you are not following up with or ‘nurturing’ them they’ll simply forget about you and you won’t be on their list when it comes time to make a purchase. This is also why sporadic marketing doesn’t work. You must always be marketing because selling is all in the timing. Following up with a customer or prospect is a normal part of business and should not be seen as an interruption. As long as you ask the customer if they are happy to be followed up then it’s a perfectly good thing to do.
2. Some businesses don’t like selling. Business owners think that the act of selling can be seen as being pushy and they figure the customer will buy when they are ready.
Your customers need your help to make decisions. People often want to buy but they find it difficult to make decisions either because they don’t have enough information or they are fearful of making a wrong decision. Selling is not about taking money off people for something they didn’t want in the first place. It’s about finding out what your customers needs or problems are and providing them with appropriate solutions. Don’t be afraid of sales. While some people do want to be left alone, there are plenty of people out there that want to be sold to. In the current economic climate, you need to make even more effort to sell because people are being more cautious.
3. Following on from the above, some businesses don’t really know how to sell their products or services. They talk too much about the wrong things and hope for the best.
In a sales interaction, you should be talking for 30 percent of the time and the customer should talk for the remaining 70 percent of the time. You should develop a set of questions that allow you to qualify whether your business is a suitable match for the customer’s needs. Unfortunately, many businesses simply try to talk ‘at’ their customers, describing product features and hoping for the best. We can assure you that this doesn’t work.
People don’t buy a drill; they buy a hole in the wall. In other words, people don’t buy a product or service because of its features. They buy a product or service because it has specific benefits that will solve a problem they have. In order to find out what the problem is and how your business can solve it, you need to ask lots of questions.
If you’d like some proven strategies to develop your marketing and sales processes, consider the Your Business Success business improvement program. You’ll be able to watch and hear from over 260 consultants and 80 of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs and you’ll find over 2,000 ideas and concepts to help your business.
For more information, please visit http://www.yourbusinesssuccess.com.au/a/BDDecENews. Alternatively, sign up for a free trial.
– Owen Joyce is a Business Coach supporting the Your Business Success Program.
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