Sometimes I think we make having a thriving business much more difficult than it needs to be. I’ve found the sec.ret is to step back from your business and look at the process in its simplest f0rm. As I see it there are five simple steps to attracting, selling and keeping customers or clients. Get these working for you and building a thriving business will become much easier.
Step 1 – Connect
Once you determine who is most likely to value your product or service, you must connect with those people. It’s critical to identify your niche and have all your materials reinforcing the message to your target market. Find out where you’re most likely to reach these people and what will motivate their interest.
Then reach out using a strategy that will take advantage of networking, online and offline marketing, unfulfilled market needs, and the strengths you bring to the business.
Step 2 – Follow up
We know it’s important to follow up with new connections wherever they come from. The problem is we don’t have a plan for how to maintain and develop these connections.
There are three ways you can meet new connections: by referral, directly or virtually. Create a plan for following up with each of these. Referrals are the warmest, direct second warmest and virtual probably a bit cooler. But don’t under estimate the interest of a virtual prospect. I’ve received calls from people who saw my website and hired me at the first follow-up.
Remember that market wisdom says it takes an average of seven communications to make the sale, so a consistent follow-up plan using ph0ne and e-mail is critical to keep the connection open.
Step 3 – Showcase
This is where the f*r*e*e offer comes into play. Consider what you can do at little or no cost to give prospects an experience of your product or service and move one step closer to the $ale.
Find out the clients needs, pain points, desires and passions. Make your presentation based on what you learn. Remember to ask for the sale.
Step 4 – Close
During the showcase process treat each prospect as if he/she is already a customer. They will appreciate that even if they don’t make the purchase at this time.
To improve your close rate, ask yourself these questions:
– Have you properly pre-qualified the client? (Do they have the budget? Is the timing right?)
– Do you ask for the sale?
– Do you stop talking after asking for the sale?
If you get a “no sale” today, remember things change for all businesses. Plan to follow up at a later time.
Step 5 – Serve
OK, you’ve made the $ale. N0w you must provide what you’ve sold to meet the expectations you have set up with the customer. Packaging, delivery, support, responsiveness are all key to keeping clients long term.
Look at how you serve your customer from his point of view. Are you fulfilling your promise? How would you rate your own level of customer service? Really “serve” your customer and I’ll bet you’ll not only increase client loyalty, you’ll see an increase in your testimonials and referrals.
Follow these five simple steps and watch your business thrive.
Assignment: Take a good look at each of these steps. Determine which step needs your attention and focus right n0w. Then take command of the situation and make the needed changes. Your business will be glad you did.
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