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Five Elements That Increase Your Sales Conversions

Written by: Frank Ferrara, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

If you are a business owner with growth in mind you’d likely agree that 2021 was a challenge that either put the brakes on sales and/or required you to make significant changes to optimise sales. You might also agree that coping with the changes while keeping the business afloat created its own challenges. Streamlining and simplifying the client acquisition and retention process would have been one of those challenges.

In sales and marketing, there are three key areas that need to be consistent, streamlined and scalable. These three areas ensure you get the best return on your time, effort and money:

  • A framework for attracting targeted, high-quality leads;

  • Cadence that nurtures, educates and motivates leads to buy from you, and;

  • Sales engagement that converts them into paying clients.

In my previous article, “The Three Pillars Of Successful Sales'', I address these key areas with the three pillars as a way to deliver consistency, efficiency and scalability to accelerate growth. As a sales trainer and coach with over 20 years in customer service, sales, and sales management, I now apply everything I learned in my own business, providing sales training and coaching to help business owners grow their customer base using these three pillars.


A sales plan is essential for any business, but people often find it overwhelming. One common issue is confidence, either in the company, the product or in themselves. Another is the lack of a framework for sales. As a result, we often see that the opportunities that exist for the business owner do not progress and are lost. Best case, they do progress but take a lot longer than they should. The result is lower than optimal conversion rates, lower margins and higher costs of doing business. All of these point to lower profitability. To help solve this problem, let’s take a look at the third pillar, Sales Engagement, to identify what needs to happen to convert leads and prospects into paying clients.


SALES ENGAGEMENT ‒ FIVE ELEMENTS THAT INCREASE YOUR SALES CONVERSIONS


1. What is the reason for the call?


Why are you making contact? Is it to complete the sale of a product or service? Or is it too soon for this type of commitment? Perhaps the reason is you just want to have a meeting to demonstrate your expertise via a demonstration, exhibition or presentation? Creating clarity about the reason for the call before you enter the sales engagement process is critical. Not only because it displays confidence and conviction, but it is also measurable… Did you get the outcome you set out for?


2. Always add value


There are multiple touchpoints required to develop a lead into a prospect and finally into a paying client. Sometimes it can take years and require 7, 8 or 10 touchpoints. Most people are impatient and give up after one or two conversations. There are hundreds of reasons for making a call. The most important thing is that the reason must add value for the client. If you take this approach, and shape your reason for the call around this principle, your conversions will increase and your sales cycle will shorten. The simplest example I can give you about value is to listen and acknowledge what the person says. This practice creates emotional value, which is basic and fundamental to every single human. As the sales relationship progresses you can start connecting the dots and add value in many other ways such as market intelligence, education, or a direct solution to their problem.


3. The psychology of influence


Contrary to popular belief, effective selling isn’t about shoving your product or service down someone’s throat. Nor is it being so passive that you never ask for anything and the client just buys because of some random occurrence. If you follow steps one and two, then the next thing you need to do is park your agenda. One of my favourite books of all time, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People'', by Dr. Stephen Covey, talks about the need to “seek first to understand, then to be understood”. This means that even though you have a purpose, a mission, before you spew it on to the unsuspecting victim, it is important to park your agenda, and ask questions. My recommendation here is that you prepare and rehearse at least one or two questions that align with your reason for the call. For example, if you are looking to arrange a meeting because you have some ideas on how they can improve their manufacturing process, you might want to ask about what their manufacturing process consists of, or how long has the business been manufacturing for.


4. The power of questions


There are an infinite number of questions that can be asked in every different sales conversation, and it’s a skill to ask great questions and still maintain rapport. Once you have one or two questions to start the conversation, it will undoubtedly open up the conversation to further understand the opportunity and provide the most valuable solution for the client. The power of questions is this:

  • Clarity around the client's current situation

  • What is most important to the client

  • An understanding of the client’s desire to change

By following step three and asking the opening questions, the conversation can continue forward based on,


(i) Listening well, and

(ii) Asking the client a second question based on their first answer.


When you ask a question and listen, you can “chunk” down on the response to clarify your understanding. By developing your understanding, you can figure out what is most important to the client and gauge their desire to change (i.e. give you a commitment to an offer).


5. Gaining commitment


By completing this routine you will have surely progressed to opportunity and the next and final stage of the sales engagement ‒ gaining commitment. At this stage, the proposal or offer to move forward will be made, objections will be eliminated or neutralised, and thus there is only one thing left to do ‒ ask for them to actually make a commitment. A commitment is a direct result of what was discussed in point one, the reason for the call. It can be the sale itself, an appointment, a presentation, a workshop, or any number of things. To further enhance the probability of gaining commitment, make the step really easy to follow. The easier we make it for them to commit the better. The key ingredients to gaining commitment are:

  • Ask for it!

  • Give them two or three options to choose from

  • Be very specific about the commitment itself ‒ what do they need to do exactly?

  • Be very specific about the time frames ‒ day, date, time wherever possible.

Conclusion


Streamlining and simplifying the client acquisition and retention process is important during normal economic conditions let alone during and post-pandemic. Business owners that adopt a strong sales plan will undoubtedly grow their business in any market. This is because most business owners don’t think they need one and thus squander the opportunities. What’s your sales plan?


For more information, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website!


 

Frank Ferrara, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Frank is a Sales Trainer & Coach with over 20 years in customer service, sales, and sales management.


His previous career was in the electrical industry, selling to contractors, wholesalers, engineering consultants and facilities managers. He spent five years in Sydney running an electrical wholesale operation, which under his management grew to become the most profitable branch in the company. This opened the door to run bigger businesses in Melbourne. He delivered major growth for 3 separate businesses there, increasing sales

  • from $6m to $12m (100% growth in 3 years)

  • from $6m to $30m (500% growth in 5 years)

  • from $8m to $26m (325% growth in 7 years)


Frank now applies everything he learned in his own business, providing sales training and coaching to help business owners grow their customer base. Since founding Stellar Education less than two years ago, he has helped over 50 businesses build sales pipeline, shorten sales cycles and increase conversion rates.

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