Converting a prospect to a customer is simple: Exceed their expectations from very first contact by impressing them with your reliability, responsiveness and trustworthiness.
It isn’t as difficult as it sounds. It just takes a system that efficiently and effectively communicates with every prospect – not just the hot ones – the importance you place on earning their trust as well as their business.
Let’s face it, even the most seasoned sales professional can underestimate a prospect’s potential. Why take the chance that the “cold” prospect you left hanging for a week was the one who could have made your quota?
To make the best first impression, set a time limit on responding to messages; taking longer than 24 hours, in my opinion, is unacceptable. Prepare a list of questions to ask during every initial call that will help you learn about the prospect’s business and needs so you can identify the best solutions for their situation.
Immediately follow up every call (within the hour, ideally) with an email reiterating the key discussion points and outlining next steps. Finally, by the next day, send a card with a hand-written note thanking them for their time and interest.
I implemented this system following a sales seminar that focused on processes to increase sales and profits. It had an immediate impact on my business. Not only am I in better control of my prospects and the entire sales process, but the quality of deals I’ve been closing has increased exponentially. (Email me at SalesJournal@navigarecruiting.com to find out more about that sales seminar.)
Copy my system, or develop your own. What’s important is that you use whatever system you create every day, for every call. It will ensure that you never miss a career-making follow up because you were distracted or mistakenly decided a prospect wasn’t a priority.