Let’s start at the beginning. Let’s identify what a real prospect is. When you open a landing page, you will get tire kickers just like any sales establishment online or brick and mortar. If someone walks into your store, say hooray, but that isn’t necessarily a prospect. It could be just a person who is curious or even, sometimes, who likes to create needs in themselves.
A true prospect is a person who has a genuine interest in what you are selling. It is a person whose final passage down the sales funnel will depend on product-related decisions. Prospects will get much farther down into the sales funnel than tire kickers. They will make action choices that move close to the closing choice point.
Many businesses are already generating as many prospects as they need. The problem is that too many leave the sales funnel at the late stages before they commit themselves to buying. The inbound marketing problem is not to attract more leads but to convert more to sales.
Even if you get prospective customers into your sales funnel doesn’t mean they will automatically buy what you have to offer. We advocate inbound marketing. The methods work but they are not magic. There are many commonly used tips & tools to convert more prospects to customers. Sometimes the sales funnel needs a little boost to turn a nibble into a bite. Many prospects enter a conflict which makes them vacillate between two alternatives or a conflict pitting the product negatives against the product positives.
1. Ask for the sale in a short follow-up email or phone contact. Simply ask your prospect if he or she is ready to get started. For a certain percentage of prospects, this will tip the conflict scale toward a yes.
2. After the prospect has left your sales funnel, you can send a “no communication” deadline. These deadlines are “fish or cut bait” statements. It may say something like this:
“We have not heard from you in 30 days. While this will be our final communication, feel free to contact us in the future if you wish to move forward.”
Receiving this kind of statement sometimes gets the attention of a reticent prospect. If nothing happens at least you will not waste any more time and energy on a dead-end.
3. You can also send an e-mail asking a motivating question raises the stakes by asking for active renewal of the contact. You may say something like this:
“If has been over a month since we heard from you. Have you had a chance to go over the specifications for our product and make a decision?
4. You can answer objectives by adding a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on your website. Source the most often asked questions in consultation with your sales and marketing team. Send the prospect an e-mail with a link to your FAQ, asking if this information is helpful.
5. Offer a gift or discount as an incentive to tip the scale in favor of a sale. It doesn’t have to be a large discount or anything really valuable. The attention and the offer may be enough to move your prospect into the buyer column.
6. A quick follow-up e-mail or phone call, personally asking a prospect if there are any additional questions or concerns, is often enough to bring a lapsed prospect back into the sales column. Many inbound marketers find that quick follow-up phone contacts (within the first 48 to 72 hours of the contact) is the key to many prospect to customer conversions. In many cases, quick phone contact works, but contacts delayed longer than two days do not.
7. Often information is the key. Many marketers believe that buyers are not interested in reading a lot of text about their products. The fact is that most serious prospects want as much information as they can get and need the information to make an informed sales decision. What many prospects are afraid of is marching into the unknown with their investment. They need reassurance, and in-depth information may be exactly what could trigger the buying choice.
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