Many years ago I worked for Circuit City making commissions by selling A/V equipment. Late one evening, I was working with a gentlemen who had shown interest in some very high end pieces. I will admit I was nervous about asking for the close; mostly because the amount of money for the purchase was so high ($7500+). So instead of pushing to close, we talked about our families (both having grown up in the same state) and some of our different college experiences. It was a good conversation and since the sales floor was slow I didn’t mind it. About 40 minutes before the store was to close, I went for it and asked if he wanted to purchase tonight. He said some unforgettable words:
“Sure Bill, I’ll go ahead and take everything that you showed me.”
I netted over $400 on the sale. Did my rapport building, rather than pressure to close, get me the sale?
Here are 3 things you might not be doing, that you should, which can improve your lead conversions:
Let’s face the facts. Competition is stiff. You’re selling widget A for $899 and the people down the street are selling it for $869. Sure your widget might be a bit bigger but down the street they are giving customers their widget free for the first 30 days. What is one way you can set your widget apart from theirs? YOU. Renting an apartment is a big commitment. Getting them to let their guard down and trust you is the key. How do you do this?
Here are some tips:
- Master the telephone and face-to-face. Yes this takes practice. But it’s well worth your efforts. Think of the telephone and face-to-face exchanges as your stage. Relax, smile, forget about your personal problems and put on your best performance every time. Make sure you’re ready when the curtain calls.
- Find that common ground and acknowledge it.
- Focus on the YOU and the brand not your inventory
Both of you have kids? Talk about them. Lived in the same town? Discuss your favorite hang outs. Even the quietest of people reveal minute piece of themselves that you could talk about. Anything to find that first conversation point. These techniques are used to not only break the ice but to begin to build that trust. The more human and less sales-y you appear, the better your chances.
. Instead of Always Be Closing you should concern yourself with relationship building and creating credibility. Do #1 and #2 and stop focusing on making that deadline or that percentage. I’m not saying don’t go for the close, I just feel that the focus can often times be close, close, close and we often lose sight of the power of relationships. Don’t necessarily rush to close if you are feeling that the rapport isn’t there yet.
Lead Nurturing is the steps you take to build relationships with your prospects, regardless of their time to buy and type of prospect they are. The goal of any good program is to move leads from one stage to another in order to make them a paying customer (or resident). Here are some quick tips to help develop your lead nurturing plan:
- Tailor content based on where your lead is in the funnel. Determine what kind of responses are necessary based on where people are in the buying process. Still not planning on committing for another few months? Maybe some links or white papers will do. Received some responses from them? They might be lower in the funnel so maybe a mailing or phone follow up is necessary. You be the judge.
- Develop some Stay in Touch Campaigns.
- Be human.
Lots of prospects aren’t ready now. No matter what you do they will not commit yet. Here’s where relationship building can work wonders. Send them funny links, interesting articles, funny videos. Use whatever common ground (see #2 above) you can find with that prospect. Just keep your name out there so that way when they are ready to commit, they are thinking of you. Remember as I said before… competition is fierce and you need every advantage you can find. Make sure what you’re sending isn’t SPAM though … follow the rules.
Use language that can make the prospect not feel like they are listening to an automated machine. Auto email responses are nice but they are fake. We know it and the prospect knows it too.
3) Social Media Strategy
We all know the importance of social media. Lots of businesses feel that social media is used to get more sales. True … but I like this statement better: “If I use social media to create something of value for my customers, THEN I will get more sales.” Thank you Lisa Petrilli, you nailed it. If your prospect sees the value you’ve built in your brand because of your working social media strategy, then you can convert more people.
I didn’t fully understand it back when I worked at Circuit City but I understand it more now. Sometimes people don’t want to be sold to. They want to buy it from a friend.
Happy renting everyone.