Doing “marketing” is only half of your business development process.
The other half is figuring out, now that you have their attention, how to easily get your prospects to buy from you.
Converting shoppers to buyers requires a system for follow-up. This is not about being pushy, it is about building relationships.
People buy from businesses they trust.
Building trust takes strategy, action, and time. Often small business owners don’t ask for the sale or stay in the relationship with a prospect long enough to naturally allow the sales process to complete. They don’t follow up after their initial interaction!
Not asking for a sale
Let’s explore not asking for the sale, a common practice.
Let’s say you spend your weekend at a trade show promoting your company. Chances are you will have spent several thousand dollars and have had to give up your precious weekend.
In your marketing plan, you had a draw and collected names. What are you going to do with those names? Do you need to make some phone calls? Will you add them to your database and send them valuable information that you know will help them?
You must have thought there was an opportunity for a sale or you would not have bothered spending all that time and money at the show.
This is the biggest sales mistake I see, not following up to build a relationship with prospects that will lead to an eventual sale.
Jeffery chimes in
Jeffrey Gitomer, North America’s best sales trainer famously says:
“People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy! ”Jeffrey Gitomer
Jeffrey is right, no one likes “in-your-face salespeople”, but we do love to shop and buy things. And don’t assume that just because someone hasn’t bought from you yet, that they are not going to.
We are all busy. All a prospect may need is a little nudge from you in the form of a friendly phone call or email.
When I owned my travel agency, people often would plan years in advance for special vacations, long before prices or airline seats were available to buy.
Our sales system included a future travel registry that we reviewed daily to ensure our team was the first agency they heard from when products and prices became available.
The importance of follow up in sales
At some point, your prospect will be ready to buy and if you are not in that relationship in some meaningful way the sale will go to someone who is.
For many service products, all your prospects want is someone who is willing to stop long enough to help them buy what you are offering.
Your sales system
When strategizing about your sales system include a way to stay in touch. Make your contact valuable to them so that when they are ready to buy, you will be top of mind.
What is your system for selling? Want to talk about it in the comments?
Until next time, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!