What Might be More Important?

Many years ago, I was General Manager of a government agency tasked with attracting industrial investment to our state/territory.  Before then I had worked my way up the management tree in a variety of manufacturing industries.  My Chairman had been in the Public Service since he was 17, but he was backed by a Board of experienced business people, including a very senior person with significant international sales experience whom I recruited.

It was the latter who placed little value on the number of leads the Chairman would trumpet.  To him, the key measurement was not leads, but conversions.  My Chairman squirmed under this repeated question – “How many have you converted?

The reality was that he had not the sales experience to understand the key measure was results, not prospective results,

My friend Rashid Kotwal of Revealed Resources has some interesting thoughts about this very topic.  As always, Rashid gets to the heart of the problem.  Here’s his take on “leads” versus “conversions”.

Why leads alone aren’t the answer

I’m getting dozens of emails promoting the next best lead generation flavour of the month.  This week it’s LinkedIn.  Last week it was Facebook.  Who knows what it’ll be next week.  (And I have the same flood – AG)

Sure, every business needs leads.  But nothing happens until you sell something.  i.e. Convert qualified leads into clients.

So if the majority of people you talk to don’t become clients, focusing on generating more leads is simply a waste of time (and advertising dollars).
Instead, first concentrate on improving your conversion rate.  So more prospects become clients.  Only then bring in more leads.

So how do you go about it?

Sell the result not the process!

I know what you do is complex.  It took years to master.  And you love to solve problems when in front of a potential clients.

If that’s you, stop it.  NOW!

Your prospect is sitting in front of you because they have a problem.  They’re in some kind of hell.  They want a solution, but have no idea how to achieve it. They’re looking at a mountain confronting them, feeling overwhelmed.

Your job is to take them by the hand over the mountain, to their promised land.

But first, you really have to have your prospect articulate their own private hell.

Why?  Because unless the pain is great enough they won’t want to expend the time and money on a solution.

Then have them describe what they really want instead.  Their "why".  Delve deep.  Find out the underlying emotional reasons.  How they’d feel then.

Now comes the critical part.

Have them tell you the cost of not changing.  Not solving the problem.  Ask them to give you at least 10 things that would happen if they kept the status quo.

Then reverse it.  Take all 10 (or as many as they can come up with) and ask how they’d feel if these issues were fixed.

Have them bask in the positive emotions.

This is selling the result.

Only now ask if they’d like to work with you to achieve this.

If yes, now you can lay out your program and costs.  Answer any questions and get commitment.

Thanks Rashid – that is very useful.

Here are some Takeaways

  • Nothing happens until you sell something
  • Convert qualified leads into clients – note the word “qualified”.  Very important in saving you from wasting your time.
  • Improve your conversion rate, before you increase the number of leads.
  • What you are selling is the result, not how you achieve it.
  • But first you have to find out “why” they really want/need that result.

And I like Rashid’s steps for selling the result.

Could your Sales Process be Improved?

There’s nothing like an outside view, a second opinion.  Very often when we read something we’ve written, we read what we expect to see.  And miss the mistakes, or lack of logic, or lack of persuasiveness.  

If you would like to discuss how you could improve your sales process, contact me.  There’s no cost for a consultation.  It is my gift to you.
Or buy "Small Change, Big Result", my manual on how to increase your success rate with proposals and quotations; make a few small changes, and reap the rewards.

© Copyright 2018 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

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