7 Key Steps to Selling to and Converting Prospects to Customers
One factor that will help determine your success as an entrepreneur is your ability to sell to and convert prospects to customers. It does not matter how great your products are, if you do not know how to determine who wants to buy and make the person buy eventually, you may as well forget being an entrepreneur.
The good news, however, is that sales skills are learnable skills. The more you practice, the better you get at them. So, what are the key steps that will help you sell to and convert prospects to customers effectively? In this article, we’ve identified seven (7) key steps to follow.
1. Separate a suspect from a prospect
Identifying a suspect and a prospect early on in the sales process will help you reduce a lot of stress, save time and even resources. A suspect is someone who shows interest in your products but do not have the financial capacity to buy while a prospect is someone who shows an interest in what you are selling and can afford to pay for it when you ask for the sale.
Why is this difference important?
It is important because if you spend time trying to convince a suspect, you will get to the end of the sales process and realize that you have been talking to the wrong person. A suspect will give you a response such as, “I will ask my boss”, “I will get back to you” or “I don’t have the money now” and you’d have wasted so much time on nothing.
Knowing who a suspect early on helps you to keep conversations short and simple while also helping you focus your energy and attention on those who are truly ready to buy.
Each time you open up a sales conversation with a person, you should develop a strategy to determine the financial capacity of the person early on. You can determine financial capacity when you ask the right questions.[Great Read: 5 Things to do When Others Take Credit for Your Work]
2. Do not rush to sell
One way to alienate a prospect as soon as you begin a sales process is by showing your desperation to sell. No one, including you, likes to be sold to so you must be aware of that fact each time you get in front of someone who is interested in your product. Customers can smell desperation from a distance, and they will immediately put up a defense that will prevent them from falling for your gimmicks. Instead of rushing to sell to a customer and showing off your desperation, the better approach is to show you care.
What in the world does caring have to do with selling? The answer is, everything! When you show a customer you care, they are more receptive to your message. One way that tells a customer you care is when you take the time to understand the “pain” they are going through, how your product can help ease their pain and which option is best for them. Sometimes, caring means telling a customer truthfully that your product is not the solution to their problem. They will appreciate you for it and will keep you in mind for next time or even for referrals.[Great Read: How to Develop a Profitable Business Model]
3. Listen attentively
One habit you need to develop as an entrepreneur is the habit of active listening. Listening builds trust. When the customer feels like you listen to them, it tells them you are someone they can trust. When someone trust you, there will be no need to wear yourself out in convincing them. At Onpoint Success, our customers trust us. This is because over the years, we have built a reputation of being able to listen to our audience. We want people to get the best in exchange for their hard-earned money.
If you want to sell customers successfully, you must learn how to listen attentively to their fears, pains and worries.
How do you listen attentively?
Listening attentively means that you do not interrupt when they are speaking, asking follow up questions, maintaining eye contacts, taking notes and being in the moment.
4. Show that you are an expert
Each time you sit in front of prospects or you get on the phone or you are chatting with them, one thing that they are looking for is your depth of knowledge in what you do. This simply means that your selling rate will increase based on your ability to convince prospects that you are an expert and that you are the right person for the job.
Why is it important to show your expertise? It’s important to show your expertise or at least your level of expertise because prospects want to get the best value for their money. They do not want to spend money buying from a rookie at the price of an expert. Show your expertise and watch how much more people are inclined to buy.[Great Read: 6 Helpful Tips on How to Start and Grow a Successful Coaching Business]
5. Do not take objections personally
One way to alienate prospects and increase the probability of making a sale is not knowing how to handle objections or taking objections personally. Yes, it can be tiring or even discouraging after trying to convince a prospect and still be subjected to objections. If you want to succeed in selling as an entrepreneur, you must learn how not to take objections personally. Rather you should see objections as opportunities to learn patience. People work hard to earn their money and they have a right to interrogate, drill and object to whatever you present to them.
The key to dealing with objections is knowing your products inside out and this ties back to showing off as an expert in your field. When you are an expert, objections are easier to handle, and your prospects will respect you for that.
6. Ask for the sale
One thing that reduces the selling conversion rate for a lot of entrepreneurs is the failure to ask for the sale. You might have the best product, meet with prospects, deliver the best presentation but if you fail to ask for the sale, you will not make the sale. Most buying decisions are purely emotional and this means that the prospect does not need what you sell. They are only moved by emotions that wear off over time. It is your job as a sales professional to keep the emotions alive for as long as possible and help the prospect make a buying decision before the emotion wears off.
Once you are done with your presentation, take your time to ask for the sale. For example, you could say something like, what payment method would you prefer? Should I send my account details now? This offer is only valid until 12 noon tomorrow, would you like to proceed now? Use whatever strategy is applicable to your business to ask for the sale and seal up the deal.
[Great Read: Useful Tips on How to Dress for Success]
7. Build a relationship
Did you know that one factor that will guarantee your success as an entrepreneur is your ability to build relationships? The more relationships you can build, the more sales you’d close and the more successful you’d be. Do not burn bridges just because someone does not buy from you. If after you’ve tried your best and a prospect still does not buy from you, try your best to build a relationship and keep the lines of communications open. The person who does not buy from you today can end up buying from you tomorrow. They may even send you referrals and be your mouthpiece in places you can’t be.
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