collaborative post // One of the hardest components of a successful business is the process of turning a prospect into a customer. A prospect is a potential client that you are trying to turn into customers. A typical approach involves going through a sales funnel and understanding if they are a qualified lead that can become a customer.

But in order to do this, you’ve got to understand a number of key elements, for example, their pain points, if you can provide for them, but also if they understand how you can solve their pain points. While converting prospects can be incredibly challenging, let’s show you some of the best practices that can make a big difference.

Understand Who They Are

The background of a particular prospect can give you significant insights into who they really are. You need to understand the demographic. Whether you are operating in B2B or you are looking to sell something to a human customer, you’ve got to examine who a prospect is so you can lay out the roadworks for them to get to your products.

When you are able to ascertain who this person is, you are then able to track and prospect potential leads using a website chat tool or other types of technology so they are on file. But it’s about doing that detective work at the outset so you can get an understanding of their methods. If you want to attract a customer, you’ve got to think like a customer.

Handling Objections

If you want to deal with a lead and turn them into a customer, it’s about dealing with these objections, rather than viewing them as rejections. When leads are objecting to something, they will talk about a lack of finances or it’s not what they want. But you shouldn’t let these reasons stand in your way. Let’s break it down into these two different types of objections: financial and/or a lack of features:

Dealing with Financial Objections

If pricing is an issue, this should never bring about the end of a discussion. You can discuss objections in a number of ways. You can do the following:

  • Do not discuss the prices until they understand the value the product brings to their lives. A lot of people greatly underestimate free things, thinking that they don’t bring value, but that free item that suddenly has a price tag on it soon becomes more valuable.
  • Reframing the value in a different way. One of the most simple approaches to sales is not about saying how you could get it for cheap, but the approach where you say “I’m not here to cost you money, I’m here to make you money” is an approach that works in B2B settings, however, it is something that is heard a lot, so cutting through the noise and wording it in a different way can make a big difference. When you reframe the value of the products based on their existing expenditures and how much they can save overall investing in the product upfront can make a big difference in the long run. A lot of people don’t like to invest in something upfront unless they can see how they are going to save overall.

Dealing With a “Lack of Features” Objection

A lot of people think that they need something very specific in order to purchase a product or a service, and this is where some of the following methods can make a big difference:

  • Acknowledging the benefits of the features they want. It’s about ensuring that they don’t get completely locked out because it only does 80% of what they want. Yes, it doesn’t do 20% of the things they want, however, when you highlight the benefits and the drawbacks, if, statistically, it’s in the favour of the client, they are going to benefit.
  • Understanding the problem they want to fix. If they want a very specific feature from a product or service, if you can gain an understanding of what they are trying to overcome, you can offer your own unique solutions.
  • Explain how you can solve their problems with your products. Sometimes it’s about reframing it and making them understand that while it’s not solving overt problems, the service you might offer could potentially help them in other ways. A lot of people only look at the short term, but when you start to provide long-term benefits of the particular service, this is when you are more likely to provide solutions.

When it comes to these components, you need to weigh up if the product or service doesn’t provide effective solutions at all. In which case, you should know when to walk away.

The Benefits of an FAQ Section

Such a simple, thing but if you are trying to mitigate customer service complaints or inbound calls, an FAQ section can do a lot. FAQ sections are there to provide as much information as possible to a customer. The beauty of an FAQ section is that there should be no guesswork on the customers’ part.

You can get all of the popular questions about your service or product based on previous interactions with other customers to inform your FAQ section, but you also need to make sure that an FAQ section stays up-to-date and relevant. When someone is looking for more information about a product on our website, they will always go to the FAQ section.

The additional benefit of having an FAQ section also means that when it comes to customer issues or they have a problem with the product, an FAQ section should increase that level of accountability so the customer can solve the problem by themselves. Approximately 80% of people who call contact centres will be bringing the same problems, which can easily be resolved with an FAQ section.

Customers don’t necessarily want to call a business up because it can take a long time to speak to anyone, so if you can increase that level of accountability you are going to keep those complaints low so the business can thrive. An FAQ section should tell a potential customer what the product is all about, and if it solves a lot of their problems, you might turn a lead into a customer.

Consistent Follow-Ups

A prospect is someone that may potentially want to buy from you at some point, but just because they haven’t jumped on your service or product right away doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in it. A lot of people find that life simply “gets in the way.”

You might be able to complete a sale with a customer, but you also have to be aware that a lot of customers will say “no” a number of times before they say “yes.” Therefore, following up with prospects is crucial for the conversion process.

When you send a follow-up, either via phone call or email, you need to be courteous and considerate. Emails are a great way to follow up with a lead. You can craft an email marketing campaign that covers a lot of bases.

However, you have to remember that email marketing is still numero uno when it comes to promoting businesses, so you’ve got to make sure you don’t go into the junk folder. Clear calls to action are not going to cut it by themselves; you need to provide information that is valuable and will make a lead think about what you can offer that covers the points you are putting in an email.

You can send a daily email with interesting information, but if you’ve got a lead that’s almost a customer, a follow-up message is a fine art. You should always thank them for their time, reiterate those key benefits of the product or service, and also provide that clear call to action that gives them the opportunity to access you right away if necessary.

Provide Deadlines

The fact is that you need to know when you should walk away. The decision-making process is something that can take time, but from your perspective, you have got to ensure that you don’t give away too much of your effort, especially for something that’s not going to give you the results you need.

When it comes to following up with a lead, you have got to establish deadlines. You should determine a good time frame. 30-days is usually a good turnaround. And if the prospect is not interested in your product or service right now, you can always keep your door open or have a contact form on your website.

Something like a contact form is a very simple and effective method to ensure that leads can come back if necessary, and planning your online business effectively across your entire business website in the form of FAQ sections and a wide variety of methods to contact you will ensure that the door remains open, but the onus is on them.

Turning a lead into a customer is an incredibly time-consuming and intense effort when done properly. Some of these methods may not work for everyone, but when you have a variety of tools, it will give you a far better variety of options to establish that all-important relationship that boosts your business.

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