I just returned a few weeks ago from a wonderful vacation in the Caribbean. When it comes to sales people, I often think of two things: car salesmen and those people who chase you down the beach hounding you in the Caribbean and Mexico to buy their products. For me personally (and many of you) both of these experiences are ones I personally don’t look forward to.
But in reality these people hound you for a very simple reason — because it works! I really hate to admit it but this type of process works for two reasons — first off because you are constantly reminded about that person but secondly because sometimes its easier to just give in to make them go away!
Now don’t worry, I would never resort to or suggest this extreme of an approach, and in my opinion having a good sales process is all about finding a balance between aggressively going after new prospects and allowing the sales process the time it needs to work out in your favor. Too much time or too little time in any of these processes and you probably just lost that prospect.
But as a business owner, how do you know how aggressive or passive you should be when handling your company’s sales leads? There’s really no simple answer as a lot of that depends on your niche and your price point, but here’s a few simple tips you can use today to improve your entire sales process, which will help you see an even better ROI on your SEO campaign.
- You should have some follow up process in place. Whenever someone submits a form on your website, chances are you won’t connect with them the first time you try to call them. We’re all busy, and unless we REALLY want what you offer, we might not be available or easily reachable when you call us back. In this case, it’s important to setup a follow up process — usually once per week — in which you try to reach out to that prospect and connect with them. Some prospects are easier to reach by email, so I also suggest sending them a polite email weekly to touch base with them.
- You have to understand that people contact you at different stages of the sales process. Some are just shopping around for prices, some are considering your product or service and don’t know if they really need it, and some will be ready to pull the trigger as soon as you call them back. Each and every single prospect is a little different, and they should be handled in an appropriate manner. Personally I classify all our prospects into different categories based on what stage of the sales process they’re at when I first talk to them, and this allows me to properly follow up with them and provide them with the proper information to try and convert them into a client.
- You shouldn’t be the car sales person, but at the same time you shouldn’t be the person that never calls back their prospects. Find the right balance, and be sure to keep in touch at a reasonable time interval.
- Educate your prospects! This does two things: first off it helps you educate them on your products or services to minimize headaches down the road, but secondly it actually increases the chance of converting that prospect because they will remember you as the guy who spent time with them and educated them, for free, not the guy who was crazy about closing the deal.
These may sound like very simple, basic sales tactics, but it amazes me how many businesses don’t follow them or have never even thought of them. The sales process is very delicate, and whether you do or don’t have a dedicated sales team, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the entire sales process to convert the maximum number of prospects into new customers. An SEO campaign is a GREAT way to drive new traffic to your website, but if you aren’t converting that traffic properly and don’t have the proper sales process in place then you likely won’t get all that many new customers out of it.