The Australian Small Business Blog

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Second Profit Driver – Increasing Conversion to Sales

by Dr Greg Chapman

In an earlier article I described The Five Profit Drivers marketing system. The second of the Five Profit Drivers is Increasing Conversion to Sales. 
Sales should be considered as a process like any other key part of a business. It is in fact the most important part because without sales there is no business. This step in the Five Profit Driver Marketing Model converts the leads created with the first Profit Driver into sales. 
At this point in the marketing process, the prospect has called you, they have walked into your store, or you have the appointment with them. While the types of sales processes can appear quite different in different businesses, every sale goes through seven steps. For different businesses, some steps might appear to be almost missed, while in others, there might be a very long time spent within a single step.

The Seven Steps to Every Sale are.
  • Establish Rapport 
  • Identify Needs 
  • Build Value 
  • Create Desire 
  • Overcome Objections 
  • Close the Sale 
  • Follow-up (The 3rd Profit Driver)
Unless the sale is for a commodity and transactional, eg buying petrol for your car where the sales assistants are really sales processors, establishing rapport before the sale is critical. We like to buy from people we like.

Thus the salesperson will spend some time creating a connection with the buyer. Depending on the value of the sale, this might be quite a lengthy process, particularly for a high value sale. It is important that the buyer is put at ease as any significant purchase contains risk for the buyer, and they are wary of being pushed into a purchase they don’t want or need.

During this time, the salesperson starts to identify the needs of the buyer. If they are looking at cars, what will they use it for? Is it to commute to work? Is it to carry a family around? How big is the family? Do they have pets?

The next step is to build the value of your service. Briefly discuss.
  • Your reputation in the market place 
  • Your Points of Difference 
  • The ultimate benefit and value of your service to the buyer

Create Desire with a mixture of problem/consequence and solution. Get the blood on the floor, then mop it up! Show the benefit of your solution. Remember:

Features tell, Benefits Sell

The better you are at painting an elaborate picture of their wonderful future with your product, the more desire you will create.

At this point it will be necessary to overcome objections. But if you have properly qualified your prospect early in the conversation, they will be less likely to have objections.

A common objection is that they need to discuss the sale with someone who is not present. So at the start of the sales process, you should ask if they will be the one making the decision, or will they need to consult with someone else. Then make sure all decision makers are directly involved.

The biggest objection can often be cost. However, if you have explained the value and benefit in the early stages of the sales process, and properly qualified them on price, this should not become a barrier when you close.

Once you have covered their objections, you are ready for the Close. When you close the sale, you are helping the prospect make a decision. Most people are not good at making a decision, but once they have, they feel relieved, because you are going to fix a problem for them. They know that their indecision is probably the biggest impediment to fixing their problem. By helping them with the decision, you have done them a great favour.

So its ok to push a little bit. There are whole books written on how to close the sale, but it can be as simple as asking: “When do you want to start?”

When you make a close, SHUT UP! Let the prospect be the first to speak. He who speaks first loses.

Plan the steps in your sales process carefully and train your staff to use them. Measure the success of your process and change it as necessary to maximise the return from your second Profit Driver.

The First Profit Driver article is here.

May Your Business Be –As You Plan it!

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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.

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