Published on Wednesday 29 July 2015 in The Shoestring Marketing Blog
How to turn more prospects into customers on a shoestring
Getting warm leads – people that are looking for your services is vital. But converting as many as possible into paying clients has to be your ultimate goal.
I work with small businesses helping them do just this. So I thought I'd share a few of my proven low cost-no cost tips with you. I promise you don't need a marketing degree to put them into practice – just a little time and a commitment to making positive changes.
1. Review how you bring on board a new customer now and, the leaks in your process.
Scrutinise every communication you send. Are you pinning your hopes on converting a customer in a great face-to-face meeting at their home or place of work, but then rushing the follow-up information so that it's strewn with errors and bears little resemblance to the depth that was covered in your meeting? A detailed and bespoke follow-up quotation (or proposal if something meatier is needed) is crucial in helping a prospect arrive at the decision to do business with you. Each stage of the communication process is vital in moving your prospect from the tentative early stages of awareness and interest through to evaluation, desire and action. Don't put all your energy into an initial meeting and ignore or diminish the importance of other communications that will back it up.
2. Are you leaning on e-mail as your only follow-up?
That's ok, but you could cut the decision making process in half by picking up the telephone too. A two-way conversation gives your prospect an opportunity to ask questions and for you to clarify on grey areas. In my experience, once the value of a sale climbs into three figures, the phone becomes vital. E-mail is efficient, but not always effective if unaccompanied by a human voice!
3. Explain your follow-up process to a prospect at the first meeting.
Some professional trades are hesitant about following up a meeting with a phone call, believing that in doing so they're "chasing" their prospect which will put them off. However, explaining to your prospect that you will follow up with a quotation or proposal and then call them when it's been received to answer their questions, moves that telephone call from being a chase call to a helpful one. And of course it primes your prospect to receive your call and not avoid it.
4. As your prospect meeting, formal or informal is drawing to a close, ask them for feedback.
Be bold! How do you compare to competitors they've spoken to? Have you answered all their questions or is the elephant still in the room? Way too many meetings end with a whimper and an assumption that all's gone well when there could be outstanding issues to resolve - including deal breaker questions that need answering. Ask for feedback and questions to prompt your prospect and move you closer to that sale!
It always amazes me how a few small changes can lead to a big increase in your client base at a zero cost. Remember that when it comes to successful marketing on a shoestring the best resource you can commit is your time so book it out in your diary.
Good luck! And please don't hesitate to contact us on 01442 838 195 if you know it's time for a lovely brand new van but you don't want to dip into your hard earned cash to fund it.
About our guest blogger and marketing expert Dee Blick
Our guest blog writer is Dee Blick, a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Fellowship is the highest status awarded by CIM, the World's largest marketing body.
With 30 years' marketing experience, Dee has extensive experience in new product development and marketing strategy, with a track record of planning and delivering exceptional campaigns on a shoestring budget.