By Lisa Mininni
In past years, the formula to convert prospects to clients involved a lot of networking, countless meetings, and endless phone calls. Years passed between your first meeting and enrolling them as a client into your programs.
What also happened was that with each passing day, you feel like you’re not doing enough and your approach becomes more and more persistent. You suddenly find yourself in pursuit mode rather than having your prospects choose you.
There are two major reasons you find yourself in pursuit mode rather than having them choose you:
1. You spend too much time talking with people who are not your ideal client. If you’re saying, “I work with anyone who… ” hoping it will attract somebody, you’re likely talking with a bunch of people who would never buy from you. You must be exact to attract your ideal client.
2. Consumer behavior has changed but many business owners still use outdated selling processes that don’t work. The one thing hasn’t changed in converting a prospect to a client is building relationships.
What has changed is that technology can help you build relationships and trust but few business owners are maximizing it to pre-qualify, pre-educate and engage their prospects. For example, entrepreneurs often create a website and call it a day. Unfortunately, they build a website that does nothing to pre-qualify their prospect and capture that prospect’s information so that they can keep in touch with them. More importantly, they don’t have a system that collects continuous data from their prospects.
Here’s how it plays out. Many consultants routinely try to sell a high-priced option the first time they meet with someone. When you do this, it’s like asking your prospect to marry you on the first date.
A better way to get a sale is to reverse the sales process by having a system that:
1. Asks Your Prospect What Is Most Important To Them
Many consultants fail to close on sales because they often push programs they developed based on what they think their prospect wants. Instead, find out what is most important to your prospect. This information, in turn, will help you to create programs and services that your prospects actually want rather than what you think they want.
2. Pre-Educates Your Prospect
Too often a consultant will “dump” on their prospect in an initial conversation only to overwhelm them. Consultants often do this because they want to convert the first time they sit down with someone.
Instead, before your initial conversation:
• Send your prospect a questionnaire to complete prior to a more in-depth session. It’s also your opportunity to find out what is most important to them or their biggest frustration, problem or struggle.
• Use your existing resources. Request that they review your website where they can read up on you, testimonials from your clients, and get their frequently asked questions answered.
When one of my clients created his pre-qualification systems, he shaved up to 60 minutes per person off of his initial meeting time and closed on more sales. Prospects who were not ready, but wanted to stay connected, did so through his keep-in-touch system. Additionally, the prospects who were not really serious about moving ahead, opted out before meeting with him helping save time, effort, and money to all involved.
3. Keeps Your Prospects Engaged
There are many ways to keep your prospects engaged that might include a permission-based opt-in enewsletter, a blog, or even through social media. Make sure that when you use one of these systems, you use them with regularity and always add continuous value.
When you set up systems that collect market data as well as pre-qualify and pre-educate your prospects, you begin to reverse the sales process so your prospects choose you instead of you chasing them.