How To Increase Your Sales Conversions To 90% (On Cold Prospects!)
Let’s be clear on one thing, referrals are warm and much easier to convert. You may choose not to use everything I’m going to share with you now but when your marketing gets into much colder types of lead generation, which is an important element of your marketing strategy, or if you want to train your team in a systematic way to sell correctly then what I’m about to say is really important.
3 Stage Sales Funnel
I think there are 3 really important stages to a sales funnel, and that if you do it correctly and put it in place, it will help you increase your conversions to 90% plus. Just from a time perspective, I’m going to go fairly high level. If you have questions, please keep it for the end when we get in to the Q & A session, and if it’s a deeper question then arrange a one-on-one session with me.
At the top of the funnel we’ve got a ‘prospect’. For example somebody has agreed to have a meeting with you and they are interested in what you offer. At the bottom of the funnel, you have a converted Sale. Now obviously there is a sales meeting, but we’re going to be moving through this funnel on the understanding that if somebody gets to the bottom, the sale is pretty much 90% plus guaranteed. So the aim is to move prospects down the funnel, from top to bottom. And in order to do that, they’re going to be moving through 3 stages.
Stage 1 – Trust
The first stage is the ‘Trust’ stage. This is where it’s really important that you build some quick rapport with the prospect, so that they can trust you and will feel comfortable with you. And that bonding and rapport is really important. Quite frankly, one of the way’s I teach this, and the easiest way to do this is by having a quick intro call. Before you actually meet the person face to face, you put in a quick intro call to them, ideally within 24 hours of finding out they have got an appointment booked with you. It may be a referral or a cold lead, whatever it is, you have that extra intro call. It’s a quick call, you introduce yourself, and you confirm the date and time of the meeting and tell them that you look forward to speaking with them more.
Stage 2 – Disqualify
But instead of going to a face to face meeting as the next step, the next step is what I call the ‘Disqualify’ stage. This is the point where you want to remove, you want to take away any potential bad prospects or time wasters or tyre-kickers. And the best way to do this is by using a questionnaire. So during your initial intro call, you can mention to the prospect that you’re going to send them a questionnaire that’s going to add a whole lot of value to the meeting, and that they have to return it to you the day before the meeting. In that questionnaire, you set out some criteria which are clearly defined so that you can determine whether or not to go into that meeting.
Stage 3 – Diagnosis
The next stage is actually a really important stage. This is what I call the ‘Diagnosis’ stage. Because when I think of a stereotypical salesperson I have this image of somebody going “Please please will you buy from me? I’ve got a great product/service I’m selling” and it’s like a begging type sale. In this process we cut that out. That’s utter rubbish, we’re professionals, that’s not where we are coming from it’s not what we are doing. So this stage here is really important, it’s a diagnosis stage. This is the part where you determine IF you can help the prospect, the HOW you can help them happens at the next stage of the sales meeting. What you do in this stage is that you arrange with the prospect a 15-20 minutes telephone conversation. And this happens before the sales meeting or the face to face sales meeting. In this 15-20 minutes, you ask them a lot of questions, you’re doing a diagnosis. Over these 15-20 minutes, at the end of this call you should know exactly whether you can help them or not. The big question were answering here is an ‘IF’ question. IF I can help you then go to the next level, IF I can’t help you then I’m not the right doctor for you, you need to go somewhere else. And if you can’t help them, you say so to them. It’s a very open, trusting, honest, conversation. “Let me see if I can help you, I’ve got 15-20 minutes. Let me ask a lot of questions.” And by the end of it if it’s a “Yes” maybe I can help you we’ll go to the next phase, and if from your questions you realise that “I don’t think I can help you”, then the person will respect you for the fact that you’re saying that, and also potentially you can point them somewhere else whereby they could be helped.
What this would do for you at this point, you will remove a whole lot of the wrong prospects or maybe they’re right for 6 months, 12 months, 24 months down the line in which case you put them back into your marketing ‘staying in touch’ funnel or process. But you’re just not going to go and meet up with them at this stage and spend however much time your sales meeting takes with them at this stage of the game. But then, you know that people who you’ve done a diagnosis with, had an open honest conversation and you genuinely feel you can help them and they’re the right fit, when you take them to the next phase of the face to face sales meeting, then you are meeting up with people who are qualified that you believe you can help. And in a process like this 90%+ of them will go to conversion.