Tag Archives: Conversion rate

The Socratic System of Sales. The Customer Questionnaire.

The Socratic System of Sales. The Customer Questionnaire.

The Socratic System of Sales is a system that is based on using the questioning process to persuade a prospect to buy your service. In fact, it can be used to pre-qualify a prospect, and in doing so, save the salesperson time in establishing that the prospect is in fact qualified, and what is important in the buying process to that prospect.

Cropped image of a Socrates bust for use in ph...

I should ask you, why are you reading this? Is closing and qualifying more prospects important to you? If so, read on.

The main complaint I hear about salespeople is that they don’t care about a prospect’s needs or issues. They “show up and throw up” as they say. It’s all about their product and service. True sales professionals speak less than the prospect, and ask excellent questions.

I am going to blog about many uses of the Socratic form of sales, but to introduce it I want to encourage you and your sales department to have a standard prospect questionnaire that is a required part of any sales process or presentation.

It’s important for your salesperson to understand the following.

  1. What is the number one issue the prospect has that you need to fix?
  2. What buying criteria will they use to make a decision?
  3. Does the prospect understand your company’s value as it relates to their problem?
    English: Graphical Representation of Public Sa...
    . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     

Here is a quick example of questions a business might ask every prospect, and the reason they ask it should be clear. Many of these may apply to your business.

  • How soon did you want this project completed?
  • How important is a detailed proposal showing all expenses and a bottom line price?
  • How important is it that the company you select have experience completing similar projects?
  • How important are recent references of people that had similar projects completed?
  • How important is it that you are able to speak directly to those references?
  • How important is the financial stability of the business you select?
  • How important is the insurance and licensing of the company you select?
  • How important is bottom line price in your decision?
  • How important are the billing arrangements the company offers?
  • What other areas will you look at to make your selection?

A salesperson should never address any of the answers until all the questions are asked.  If you take off on a tangent because they say a detailed proposal is very important, you may never get back to the other questions, in which you may have found out that the detailed proposal while being important, is not the hot button.  Take the time to walk through all the questions. It’s certainly okay to add a brief statement after a question, like, yes we find that true with many of our clients, and then move on.

You should build your questions around the strengths of your business. If you have only been in business 1 year, you don’t ask, how important is the number of years a company has been in business is. You ask. How important is it that the company you select has new ideas and is hungry for your business?

Oddly enough, many small businesses don’t use a questionnaire because they don’t want to hear the answers. They would rather have a “shot” at the business and ignore the reality their business doesn’t actually have a shot.

Once you finish the questions, you have a couple of choices to make.  You can address the main issues at this time (If this is a one call close) or you can briefly cover their main concerns, and then go into detail when you return with the actual proposal for work.

Your presentation or proposal needs to focus on the answers to the questions. If you have a canned presentation you send to every prospect, then you are losing out in sales conversions.

Start with these words…. Ms. Smith, let me tell you why our customers love our service.  Like you, they were looking for a business that had experience in servicing their industry. We have over 25 clients in similar industries, and have learned that it takes a very specific approach (go on about this unique and valuable approach).

Can you see the benefits of using a questionnaire with your prospects? Instead of selling them what you “think” they need or want, you can actually address what they feel they want and need.

Another value of a questionnaire is many businesses fight the “price” battle all the time.  A questionnaire will help you educate a prospect on your value. If used correctly, it will help you win business over the “cheap” competition, by having the prospect state and acknowledge that there are far more important issues than price.

Now if the prospect says the biggest issue is price, and you know you can not compete on that basis, then you have saved a lot of time by identifying this, and not moving into a proposal process.

There are so many examples of using the Socratic method of communication I will be blogging about later. It’s used in Marketing, Sales, H.R., P.R., as well as Education and may other fields   – because it works.

Sit down and write out the questions you should ask every prospect and then start using them! I am positive you will see a much better sales conversion rate, and have a better relationship with new clients or customers.

By Mike Bayes

If we can help you accelerate your sales contact us at www.salesjumpstart.net 

Who was Socrates? http://www.columbia.edu/itc/lithum/wong/Socrates.html

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Click 2 Call Services

Click to Call Services and SEO.

Businesses use click to call services on a web site to increase their web traffic conversions. For the small and medium business community this is often the most overlooked area of their web site strategies. Bringing qualified traffic to your site is only the first step in building new clients and generating new leads.

Besides the much documented, and blogged about landing page tactics, there still remains a very difficult process of getting your prospects, (who are on your site), to contact you. The seemingly very simple steps of clicking on your contact page, and filling out a few pieces of information is full of opportunities to lose the prospect before they click on the submit button.

Why you lose revenue using only a contact form and phone number:

  • They may become distracted at the desk
  • They may not feel comfortable giving you an email address or phone number your contact form may request.
  • They may want the information now.

You would think they would just call you if this was the case, but think for a moment of what your expectations are when you call a company on line.  First, an automated system giving you a bunch of options, and then a transfer to an “on hold” recording telling you they are serving other customers, but your call is important to them, so please hang on. If you just want a quick question answered, or some simple pricing, calling a company’s main number can be the last thing you want to do from a time management standpoint.

Click to Call Services increase your conversion rates.

Click 2 Call services increase your conversion rates by giving your web site visitor an option to contact someone at your company immediately and with one click. There are many call to click services on line, but www.teledini.com  has just introduced what appears to be the best in class click to call service available. (Full disclosure, one of the principles is a friend of mine and we may become a partner in selling and promoting the service.) Besides just connecting your prospect to your business with one click, the service also offers an impressive amount of additional features to the users, including the ability to see the city the prospect is in, the weather in that city, the web page they are on when they clicked, and the very cool ability to route the calls to any phone or phones that you like. So when a prospect clicks to call you, you can have it ring every sales person’s phone at the same time. The first person to pick up takes the call.

There are a ton of additional features available that you can see on their web site. And according to the senior management they will be rolling out additional services on the platform over the next 12 months that will make Teledini a must have for any Inbound sales force.

website ideas
website ideas (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

The service is currently free to set up click to call (or click 2 call) on your web site (just add a few lines of code after you customize the look and feel). The company charges you .10 a minute for anyone calling you on the service. Do the quick math.  If you get one more sale a day (or hour, or minute)  and it costs you 20 minutes of time, you’re paying $4.00 for the sale.  You would be crazy not to do it.

I’ll be adding the service to our sites over the next week and let you know our experience with the set up, and actually usage of it.  If you are not using Click to Call, and Live chat on your web site you are missing sales opportunities. SEO is more than getting people to your site; it’s about helping convert them to customers.

So here are the areas you need to pay attention to when working on SEO  for your site:

  • Getting qualified prospects to your site through a great promotion and SEO strategy
  • Getting prospects who are on your site to make contact with you.  This is about a good blended marketing message, a strong landing page, and a click to call opportunity, chat opportunity, and contact form opportunity.
  • Well trained In bound sales representatives who can close sales.
  • Great follow up systems with leads that have not yet converted.

Let me know if I can answer any questions for you about any of those steps.  When we are working on SEO we make sure all of the above are integrated.

 

Mike 303 500 3053 ext 1  ( Soon you can just click 2 call me)

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Generate More Leads

Typical advertising mail.
Image via Wikipedia

Generate More Leads

The fastest way to generate leads is to improve your closing percentage (conversion rate) on the leads you get now.

The reason?  The amount of marketing dollars you have depends on the number of leads you close. If you close 50% more (moving your closing percentage from 25% to 50% as an example) you will be able to afford twice as many leads.

See the steps on our Lead generation page

Best leads sources?  Depends on what you sell, who you sell to, and your margins on your product.  The larger the market the more options you have to reach it.  The larger the margin, the more money you have to reach it.  The better your conversion rate, the more leads you can generate.  That’s why we start with conversion rates when working with a sales client on lead generation.

The number one return on investment in advertising for lead generation is SEO services. Thats why we provide them to clients.

The number one return on investment tactic in sales is relationship building.  But, as with all tactics and lead generation it is limited.

You need at least 10 different lead generation tactics going at all times to insure you have lot’s of new customers, or returning customers.  I will go into more detail on what those could be (specific to the Denver market, but gennerally effective nationwide)  in my next few blogs.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Close more sales

How to close more sales

We spoke about our conversion meter system in the last blog, and I promised to write some more information about it. It’s simple, and if you apply these tactics to your product, your sales conversion rate will increase fast.

People and companies buy based on a lack of fear of doing so.  Some people call it trust,  but you can trust a service or product and still have substantial fear about buying it.

Let me give you an example. Assume I have an old car I don’t use much but keep it around as a backup car for the family, kids, and guests.  One day it starts leaking all sorts of fluids. I may trust the company that I am asking to fix my old car that they can fix it, but my fear may be, will paying for the repair be worth the money, or should I just buy a new car.  I am not going to hand over the keys unless my concern is addressed. The car isn’t worth all that much any way.

So it’s not about trust, it’s about getting rid of the fear.

A really smart auto repair company would not only convince me I could trust them (using testimonials, and certifications and all that) but they also would be prepared to “step into my shoes” and let me know that even after I spend the $1500.00 to fix the car, that I could still sell it (fixed) for $4500.  If I don’t fix the car it’s only worth $1000.   So it’s a net gain of $2000.00.

Now I am ready to get it fixed.

So step one in increasing your sales conversion is identifying what prospects fear when they buy from you.  This can be tougher than it sounds.  And if you are smart you will ask people who bought from you in the past to tell you what they feared, instead of just winging it.

When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization) services the fear is pretty easy to figure out.  Clients fear that 1. It won’t work. 2. It will work but they won’t get many new sales to cover the expense.  And 3. that they don’t have enough money in the budget to do the program.

So lots of SEO companies guarantee that the site will be on the first page of Google… what ever that means. (You always have to ask, “or what” with a guarantee. Is it all your money back? Is it they will do more work until it is?  And if so what time period are they talking about?  And then again,  or what?”)

But that only helps with the smaller fear.  If you want to eliminate, or greatly reduce all the fears you may need to do a performance based pay model,  they pay you based on what actual sales come through the program),  and a payment plan that fits the clients budget.

The interesting thing about doing all of that to address and get rid of fears is, you will usually make more revenue and profit when you go the extra mile. We charge more on performance based programs, and we charge more on payments plans.  So over time, you end up with a higher margin.

Addressing a clients fears will bring up your closing percentage as much as 50%.  It’s worth the thought process and time to figure it out. Feel free to email us if you need some help with coming up with these fears, or just want to run then by us.

The next big thing in your improving your closing percentage is talking and presenting the stuff your clients WANT!  Selling what they need will kill your sales fast.  I will write aboyt that in the next few blogs.

See more about our sales programs


Enhanced by Zemanta