In the current economic climate, most business owners I come across are looking at ways to maintain –if not increase their sales.
Although not all sectors are badly hit, everybody is reporting that the marketplace is different to what it was 12 months ago. Some businesses are finding that their leads are drying up, others that their leads are there, but people are being more cautious about spending the money they have.
While there are some great lead generation strategies businesses should be implementing, I am always mindful that they can be among the most expensive business growth strategies to use and there are far more cost effective ways to increase your revenues.
Think about the current climate. The money is still around, and while certain sectors have been hit very badly, there are many others that are still doing OK. What has happened is that everybody is now more cautious about spending what they have. So if we increase our lead generation what do we get?
That’s right, more prospects who want to think about it!
At ActionCOACH we use a very simple formula to identify what strategies we should be using to improve our clients’ businesses:
Leads x Conversion Rate = Customers
Customers x Avg. £ Sale x # Transactions = Revenue
Revenue x Margin = Profit
In today’s marketplace, we may well do better working on other areas rather than lead generation. Maximizing Margins should always be the first area you look at in any business.
This is to ensure you are as efficient as possible and there are no areas of wastage. Increasing Average £ Sale and Number(#) of transactions are strategies to ensure we are maximizing the potential of our existing customer base, as they are on average six times easier to sell to than new prospects.
I would hope that most businesses would look at these areas first, after which they can move on to improving their Conversion Rate.
There are many conversion rate improvement strategies and ActionCOACH has documented over 80 of them. Of these, there are five that are FREE and crucial for any business to implement:
Follow up – It is amazing how such a simple strategy can be so effective. Every quote, introduction, tender you do is just the start of your conversion process. So many businesses spend hundreds of pounds getting a lead, many hours preparing a quote and then, if they don’t hear back, just say “oh well,” and move onto the next lead. This is such a waste of time, effort and money that anybody doing it should be ashamed.
Just think of how many times you have been offered something and then life has got in the way so you did not get around to ordering it. How pleasant would it have been if somebody had reminded you and helped you complete the purchase? Also remember if you do not follow up, your competition will!
Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – Why should somebody buy from you rather than your competition? When times get tough you may find more people in your sector trying to compete on price. Educating your prospects about your uniqueness and how you add value is the only way to ensure you get the business and still make a good margin. If you can communicate with your prospect all the benefits they will get by buying from you, why would they go anywhere else?
Guarantee – One of the main reasons people don’t buy is that they have a fear they will be let down at some point in the process. It is your job to identify in what areas these fears may lie and then to guarantee that by buying from you they will not be let down. Just look to the big companies like M&S, Domino Pizza and DHL for great examples of this.
Benefits and testimonials – Another great way to alleviate people’s fears of buying from you is to show them what benefits your existing customers have received by buying from you by getting written testimonials from them. These should include real benefits to them, not just “they are great people to buy from.” If your customers do not know what to say then there is no harm in preparing a testimonial for them to sign.
Measure it – It has been proven that just by regularly measuring your results, they will improve by upto 5%. This works because by monitoring your results you are setting your subconscious brain to look for ways to improve that factor.
While consciously you are not doing anything, subconsciously you are affecting the result. An easy way to demonstrate this is have a piece of string with a weight on the end and hold it dead still. Then without moving your hand, think about the weight moving in a certain direction. You will be amazed at the result!
Just by working on these strategies you can make an amazing difference to your revenues and it need not cost you a penny. So go on, take action and increase your conversion rate NOW!
Brad Sugars founded the brand Action International in 1993 when he realized there was a disconnect between business advice and implementation. The answer was Action! Brad Sugars created a business coaching company so that business owners throughout the world can realize their goals in business. Today the company is known as ActionCOACH. To learn more about business, visit Brad Sugars Review blog!