How to Improve Your Sales Process and Increase Business
This is a guest post written by Peter Bailey. Want to contribute? Check out the 2018 publishing calendar.
You often hear people say they’re no good at sales. But in truth, if you run your own coaching business, you also need to be a salesperson. By breaking down the sales process into parts, it’s easier to identify your strengths and weaknesses and understand what you might need to work on to increase business.
1. Sourcing new leads
Prospecting doesn’t have to mean going out into the cold market and trying to convince someone to buy the services you offer. There are several ways of sourcing new leads and although most people stick to the type they’re good at, you should try a variation to get better results.
For many, the hardest type of prospecting is reaching out to people they don’t know; your cold market. Sponsored posts on social media and networking events are both excellent ways of getting into different markets and it’s a good idea to work with a script to make it less daunting.
You may find prospecting more comfortable when you’re talking to friends or to people your friends know. Great connections can be made through people you already have a relationship with, but don’t forget to mix it up a bit to get the best chance of sourcing new leads.
2. Reaching out
Once you’ve collected a few phone numbers and email addresses, it’s time to reach out to your new leads. Whether you call, email or add them on LinkedIn is up to you, but again, it’s best to start with a script and personalize it to show off your personality.
You’ll soon figure out what works best when reaching out to people and tweak your approach accordingly.
At this stage in the process, you’re giving someone information about your products or services and trying to convince them to make a purchase. This is where you probably feel most at home, as you’re talking about your business, your craft and what you do best.
Although it is an essential step in the sales process, it’s not one of the most crucial. Being good at this part doesn’t mean you can skimp on the others which steps that you may find more difficult.
Whether you’re at the office or chatting over lunch, try and limit your presentation so you’re not bombarding someone with statements. It's also important to include plenty of questions to find out more about your potential client and their coaching needs.
4. Call back
One of the reasons it’s so important to ask questions during your presentation (or during any conversation with a potential client) is so you can remember specific details about them. When you follow up with someone, you’ll be able to impress them with your attention to detail and show them you value their time.
If you don’t remember the specifics you talked about with someone in the beginning, it can seem like you’re not paying attention and just trying to get them to make a purchase.
The key here is to be personal, remember the details and be persistent about following up. If “now” isn’t a good time for someone, ask if you can get in touch again in a few months time, then make a note of what you’ve talked about and the date you should follow up.
It’s much easier to ask for referrals once you’ve earned someone’s trust. So instead of mentioning referrals out of the blue once you’ve completed a coaching engagement or acquired a new client, it’s a good idea to talk about it during your presentation.
Mention how important referrals are to your business so they understand this from the outset. Then, instead of moving on to your next lead, go back and ask them if they’d be happy to refer you to their peers.
6. Maintain client relationships
This process is incredibly important when it comes to increasing business. Maintaining client relationships can help set you apart from your competitors and is a crucial element for success, but many tend to rush onto new prospects and don’t put the time into building a loyal customer base.
Try to listen to what your clients have to say. Social media channels are a great way to connect with your customers and gives them a place to reach out if they have any concerns or valuable feedback. Most importantly, you’ll have the tools to respond quickly.
Being genuine (both online and offline), offering your clients the support they need and keeping in touch with them with regular emails are other good ways of ensuring you stay “top of mind.”
About Peter Bailey
Peter Bailey is the owner of AmericanDisplay.com - a company that manufactures and sells offline products. In his spare time, he blogs about his expertise in marketing different products.
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