It’s great when you get a lead for your small business.
But leads don’t pay the bills. They need converting into sales.
Regularly nurturing leads into sales helps end the feast and famine cycle.
But is that easier said than done?
Follow these five laws and you’ll keep turning your small business leads into sales.
Law #1: Be Prepared
Have a system in place to record all of the information about the lead.
If you use a CRM system with fields for the data then great, if not get a spreadsheet prepared and ready to enter at least the following:
- Source of Lead
- Value of Lead
- Telephone Number
- Email Address
- Product or Service
- Next Action
Gathering the information helps:
- manage the lead into a sale
- give accurate quotations
- look professional by only asking for it once
Ensure you have any information about your products and services that a prospect may request.
Keep a stock of brochures, menus and catalogues.
Write and save emails that you can reuse that explain your products and services in more detail.
Don’t wait until you get enquiries to start writing response emails – you’ll be keeping important prospects waiting.
Law #2: Be Quick
No one likes to be kept waiting.
Never finish the business day without making the first response back to an enquiry, even if you call or email to say thank you and that you’ll be responding the next day.
If you can’t respond to an enquiry within the same business day you are sending the message that the lead isn’t important to your business.
Law #3: Be Nice
You don’t need to be friends with every customer – but you do need to be nice.
Whether you sell wallpaper or washers, cables or cakes, let your prospects see it will be a pleasure dealing with your small business from the start.
Regardless how your day is going, or what you have on your mind, give every customer your undivided attention and remember “it pays to be nice”.
Long term small business success is based on building great customer relationships.
Law #4: Be Inspiring
Show your prospects how good you are – inspire confidence in you and your small business.
Once you have the information you need to deal with the lead set clear expectations. If you need until the next afternoon to complete a quotation explain that.
Don’t say you’ll be in touch “as soon as possible”. As soon as possible might mean tomorrow to you but could mean in ten minutes to your prospect who is desperate for a price.
If you say you’ll call with the price tomorrow ensure you do.
Make dealing with enquiries a priority within your business.
Customers are judging you on your response. If you don’t keep your promise on the quotation, how will you do when it comes to completing the service or supplying the product?
If you need more time to respond, contact the prospect to explain and confirm a realistic timeframe when you can.
Don’t use up too much goodwill before you’ve even won the sale.
Law #5: Be Focused
Keep focused on your enquiry list to ensure you build a sales pipeline and keep a steady stream of leads turning into sales.
Once you’ve responded to an enquiry leave it a few days and follow up. Don’t leave it any longer than a week.
If the customer needs more time ensure you keep following up on a weekly basis, or monthly if it suits your products or services.
Ensure that you treat your follow up routine seriously and not merely as a “tick in the box” process.
Review your small business sales pipeline every single day.
What is the next action on each enquiry, do you need to do anything to move any closer to sales? Are you waiting for a supplier to provide a price or a brochure? Remember it’s not your suppliers enquiry, it’s yours – keep your customer informed and continue to inspire confidence.
Always focus on getting a result.
It’s fantastic if all of your enquiries convert into sales, but if they don’t ensure you keep following up until you get a final result.
If the result is you lost the sale find out why.
Ask polite questions. Did you lose the sale on price, response speed, service, functionality of your product, delivery timeframe? If you lost out to a competitor, which one and why?
All of this information is extremely valuable in refining your offering and ensuring you’re more likely to win the sale next time.
How is your sales pipeline?
Do you have every lead listed, regardless of value?
Are you reviewing your sales pipeline on a regular basis and doing everything you can to turn leads into sales?
Please let me know about your process and what works for you in the comments.