It can sometimes seem like a long, challenging and uncontrollable journey from first making contact with someone to them becoming a client.
What system do you have in place to take the right practical steps to move your contacts on the journey to becomg a potential client?
Do you track and measure how successful you are at each stage of the journey?
You need to have a structured set of steps and then know your numbers. A big part of this is to know your conversation ratios at each step.
Because what you measure is what you can improve!
For many of you the journey starts with a first contact at a networking event. Do you have a set of practical steps you then take to build on those first meetings?
In a practical sense, this means following up and developing a relationship.
1. If the person expresses interest in what you have to offer book a follow up call or an appointment. It may be best to have the call first to ensure a lengthier appointment (with travel) will be good use of both of your time. Also try to avoid having the lengthier conversation at the event itself, as this means you are limited in the number of new contacts you can make.
2. For other contacts, get in touch after the event. Drop them a line with more information, give them a call to get a better understanding of what you and they do and see if you can help them (or vice versa).
3. It is good to have a structure to this call. Have a clear way in which you can educate the other person about what you do and most importantly the results that you provide to clients.
4. Record this person and the contacts in a system. For many people their system is a box of business cards. This makes tracking and follow up a big challenge. Get your contacts in a spreadsheet, a database or a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.
5. Build prompts into your system to confirm if and when you need to make contact with the person and record notes of previous conversations, where you met and other useful information.
6. You then need to keep in touch over time. A great way to do this is to provide something of value to your contacts. Some education and useful advice they can use to benefit their business. It is said that you typically need 7 communications for people to really register what you do and offer and to move to a place where they might be interested in buying. So keep on their radar!
7. Whether at the first call or further down the line, keep in mind that you are not trying to sell on the call, you are a) understanding what issues, challenges and goals they have, b) whether your services can provide the right benefit and results and c) then looking to book an appointment to go through things in more detail. For smaller sale items a lengthier appointment may not be required, but for many services and products you need to go through things in more detail to reach a sale and develop a longer term relationship.
8. Make sure you book time in your diary for these activities so they are done on a continual basis.
So we are building a sales process to take people from contacts to clients, but how effective is it??
To establish this it is all about the ratios and conversion rates at each stage.
- How many clients do you need or want each month?
- What is your conversion rate from appointment to client? We then know how many appointments we need to get the number of clients we need or want.
- How many of your calls result in an appointment? This will give you the number of calls you need to make to get the right number of appointments.
- How many dials do you need to make to get to a lengthier call with a contact? This gives you the total number of dials you need to make each month.
So then you know that you MUST book in time to make the number of dials, to have enough conversations, to book enough appointments and make the sales.
If you are using online marketing as part of the process record the visits to your websites, the sign ups to an offer, the open rates on your emails, the click through rates , the enquiries and other relevant data.
Where is your process and system strong and where does it need some attention? Without all the measures above and more you wont know.
So look at how you are taking your contacts through a structured process and track and measure your results and conversions. It is all about doing the right things consistently and measuring and refining what you do.
For more on this:
- Join us at a free event “5 Critical Strategies to grow your business”. We hold these regularly in Nottingham.
- Book a complimentary business development meeting so we can look at your business in detail and give you a 3 step plan to give your business a major boost!
Contact Tony Brooks on 07912143040 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.