To be most successful, your business requires a defined marketing plan (that you actually implement) and your business requires a sales process, by which you identify interested potential clients, follow up with them, and, eventually, convert them to paying clients.
There have been volumes and volumes written about the sales process- how to close the sale, how many times to follow up, and how to reactivate previous clients.
What may not be as often written about is the concept of shortening your sales process. This means, essentially, that you move someone from possible client to paying client as quickly as possible. This means more money for you.
Here are some tips for shortening your sales process- they’ve worked well for my business, and should work well for yours.
1) Build your visibility. Aim to connect with a certain number of new people each month. The more people know of you, the easier it is to sell to them.
2) Give away solid information. You want to be seen as an expert, and the best way to do this is to share your knowledge. People buy more quickly when they feel they have already received value.
3) Pre-screen all possible clients. Pre-screening means that you allow clients to opt themselves out of your sales process, because they realize they are not a good fit for you. You can pre-screen using quizzes, checklists, or assessments.
4) Offer free consultations after clients have been pre-screened. This will save you time, as only the most qualified potential candidates will actually make it to the consultation process.
5) Consider listing your fees on your website or sharing them upfront. Sometimes, clients who are price-sensitive will opt themselves out quickly; leaving you more time and room for those who want to work with you regardless of your price.
6) Clarify and refine your target market. The fastest results occur when your solution lines up with your target market’s problems. If you can demonstrate a powerful alignment between what you offer & what they need, they will convert more quickly.
7) Collect testimonials. Liberal use of strong testimonials can shorten your sales process because you don’t have to convince your prospects that you can help them- reading the words of others can be a powerful motivator.
8) Create products from what you know. This allows you to develop passive revenue, and gives people the opportunity to "try out" your knowledge before hiring you.Clients who come to you after purchasing your products are likely to be much better clients overall. They already know what to expect and ready to work.
9) Continually improve your selling skills. You can dramatically shorten your sales process by getting better at selling. Remember, you must sell effectively in order to stay in business. 10) Ask for referrals. People referred by your current clients are more likely to work with you- like testimonials, personal referrals are a strong motivator to get people to take action.
By developing each of these areas more fully, you will be able to shorten your sales process- and hear the delightful kaching! of more money in your bank account.