7 WAYS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

7 WAYS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

Your conversion rate – turning prospects into customers – tells the story of your business, be it success or failure. Read on to find out how to up your game…

Regardless of everything happening around you, you need to analyse your success at turning the leads generated by your marketing efforts into actual sales and buying customers. Without this, you could literally be leaving money on the table.

Customers provide the ‘fuel’ needed to build a healthy business. Without the ability to timeously and predictable turn prospects into customers, your business won’t survive long term. Let’s say that again. No matter how great your product or marketing strategy, if you can’t consistently convert interest into sales month after month, you will never achieve the predictable income you need to invest in systems, a team and infrastructure for growth.

To get the ball rolling, measure what is happening in your business right now. To calculate your conversion rate, take the number of number of sales for the month and divide this by the leads generated by your marketing for the month (a lead is a contact name and number). Over time a monthly trend should emerge. So, for example, if ten people contacted you – four via your website, two walked in, three were referred and one saw an advert – and four of them bought from you, you would have a conversion rate of 40%.

TIPS TO IMPROVE CONVERSIONS

So, what exactly should you know to improve your conversion rate? Here are seven key principles and foundational strategies to help you achieve an edge – and grow – in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.

DEVELOP A CLEAR SALES PROCESS

Joe Girard of General Motors, who is often called the grandfather of modern sales, established that you can’t sell a car without several ‘touches’ over a period of time. Five or six is considered the norm. Getting to a ‘yes’ will always require more than a once-off event. It involves investing in a number of well-thought out, tried-and-tested steps that give you a compelling, authentic and effective excuse to reach out to your prospect – and then move them from ‘not’ to ‘interested’ over weeks, months and even years.

INVEST IN IMPROVING YOUR SKILLS

Making a sale involves asking well-thought-out questions, slipping in some tried-and-tested phrases and following a series of steps that get the prospect talking about the problem they actually want solved. If your fluency needs improvement, it makes sense to ‘borrow’ from the many experts out there who have done it all before. So get reading. Don’t think you can just hire someone else to do it all for you. You need to be on top of your strategy and lead from the front by verifying what your sales team is telling you. Read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber if you think taking a step backwards from the sales process is the way to go, he should dissuade you.

FOCUS ON YOUR USP

Often business owners claim that they have no competition, but everyone has competition. While your product or service may be unique, you will still be competing for a share of the customer’s wallet with other products and service providers. It’s part of your job as the business owner to ensure that your business does this well. Establish what makes you special, different and better than the competition and what particular benefits appeal to your customers. Then ensure that your marketing collateral and efforts tell this story compellingly.

MAKE IT EASY TO BUY

This sounds obvious but it is an area of business that is often neglected. Tell your prospects about your full range of products and services and the benefits to them. Have a range of easy payment options and clear terms and conditions so that you take away any excuses not to buy. Have testimonials at hand that underline why others do business with you. Stop discounting. It’s a lose-lose solution in the long term.

STAY IN TOUCH

Stay in regular and meaningful contact with your customers. This will ensure you are top of mind when they decide to purchase.

TRAIN YOUR TEAM

Negotiating with someone who listens well and asks good questions is a compelling proposition for any potential buyer. Your determination to not take ‘no’ for an answer and focus on creating a sound relationship with your client, also plays a crucial part in the number, quality and values of sales made. To do this well you need more than just a sales team. You need a strategy that identifies the training and incentives required to ensure a great job gets done. So if one of your salespeople stands out, get them to train the others. Encourage and model follow up procedures that they can use. Remind them that ‘no’ seldom means ‘not ever’, is usually means ‘not now’. Give them something compelling to take into the marketplace, be it a special offer, a value-add item or a limited edition product.

TAKE ACTION

Now get out there and get going. Converting prospects is all about taking action not just talking about it. Great sales people are made by learning, doing and growing on the job.

Reference:

Kathi Clarke – Industrial Psychologist and International Award-Winning ActionCOACH business coach.

(Your Business – Volume 19 No 6)