|August 1, 2021||Comments Closed|
The fundamentals of marketing services are the same as they have been since I became involved in the industry, 30 years ago. And I’m certain they will remain the same for the next 30 years, and beyond.
To gain new clients, you must put yourself in front of new prospects and build strong, trusting relationships. Professionals who do this consistently achieve superior growth results, regardless of the market and economy.
Here are 9 steps you need to take, to turn your prospects into clients:
1. Follow a two-step appointment process
The purpose of the first meeting is to qualify prospects to see whether they’re a fit for you and your business and, if so, to organise a second meeting.
Use information gained during the first meeting to prepare ideas on how you can help improve a prospect’s situation. In the second meeting, share these ideas in a customised presentation.
2. Nurture prospective clients who are not yet ready to buy
Not everyone will say yes right away. Nurturing is your ‘secret weapon’ for staying on a prospect’s radar screen. Prospects you are currently nurturing should be added to your sales pipeline.
3. Know what a great future client looks like
Determine your criteria for qualified prospects, such as minimum size and budget and, of course, their willingness to meet with you.
4. Contact prospects in your pipeline on a monthly basis
This is one of the most important parts of the marketing process. Your ultimate aim is to build a strong relationship with each prospective client. Do this by demonstrating how you will provide a much higher level of service than a current provider is offering.
5. Focus on a manageable number of prospects
Maintain 100 prospects in your pipeline, with a 10% conversion. That means you gain one new client for every 10 qualified prospects.
6. Let your process work for you
You need to be patient and have all your prospects organised in a contact management system. Stack the odds in your favour by presenting a compelling case to your top 50 prospects, and positioning yourself as a strong alternative to their current providers.
7. Treat your prospects as clients
Your prospects are your future clients. Treat them as you would treat current clients. Regularly ask your prospects for referrals, call them to offer the same ideas you offer your top clients.
8. Have backed-up, realistic expectations
Building strong, trusting relationships requires time and patience. It can take 6-12 months to convert a prospect to a client. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket. Be a trapper rather than just a hunter: share value and ideas rather than merely try to sell a product.
9. Keep your pipeline flowing
Don’t be afraid to drop and replace prospects in your pipeline if you discover they are not qualified, or it’s been over 12 months since your first appointment. Let go of those you’ve determined don’t want to work with you, or who no longer take your calls.
There’s no silver bullet for business development. But you can build an advantage.
Prospecting is a low percentage and high payoff activity. Most buyers know that there is little difference between competitors in terms of the products and services they offer.
Therefore, don’t be merely a commodity. Make sure you build strong relationships, with an organised and systematic approach.
If you focus on building good relationships and work with a manageable number of prospects in your pipeline, you can expect to convert 12-25% of prospects into valuable clients.
That’s your advantage.