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20 Ways To Boost Your Sales Conversion Rate

20 Ways To Boost Your Sales Conversion Rate

A customer is not a customer until he or she buys. Until then, they’re a prospect, or a shopper. One of the primary keys to business success is converting a higher percentage of these people into paying customers.

If you’re converting only 30% of shoppers into buyers, which means that other 70% is a drag on your total effort. A person who does not buy may take up as much of your time, or even more time, than a person who buys. Also, every prospect that does not act upon your direct mail, answer your ad and buy, or accept your phone call offer is costing you money in ad costs, paper, time, phone bills, and more.

Therefore, it is vital that you strive for the highest conversion rate as you can. Selling efficiency rates make or break businesses every day. Here are 20 ways for you to really maximize your marketing investment…

 

1) THE GUARANTEE

How do you PROVE that what you’re selling is a great deal? One of the very best ways is by offering an ironclad guarantee. This is vital to overcoming buyer resistance, and eliminates the biggest fear to making a buying decision. Not offering a money-back guarantee can dampen potential sales by 50 – 75 – even 100 percent. Try your offer with and without a prominently displayed guarantee, and you’ll see the difference.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) Don’t worry about refunding money. If you’re selling quality and delivering on your promise, your sales will far outstrip any returns.

2) Your prospects must clearly see and understand your guarantee.

3) Put your guarantee in all your ads, all your direct mail, and even on your business card.

4) Stress that your buyers stand to lose nothing, and take no risks.

 

2) UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION

What makes you different from all the rest? How do you stand out from the pack in a crowded field of competitors? You do it with a killer USP. Just what your USP is, is up to you – you have a lot of choices. Longer, more convenient business hours, the best guarantee, the only product of its kind, the best price, or whatever. It’s not enough to HAVE a USP; the buying public must clearly PERCEIVE and RECOGNIZE it. It’s up to you and your communication skills to make it happen.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) You may already have a USP – you just need to recognize it, and then tout it.

2) It’s not enough to be merely unique–your USP has to convey and offer real value.

3) If you can state your USP in a single clear sentence that anyone can understand, you may have a winner.

 

 

3) TESTIMONIALS

Among the most important and powerful aspects of marketing and selling, testimonials from objective parties are another aspect of “prove it” selling – you get others to prove that what you sell is the best, or a great buy, by attesting to the fact. All your sales material and just about all of your ads should contain at least one testimonial.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) A sales letter, brochure or ad is not complete, or all it could be, without a testimonial.

2) Ask your customers for testimonials, and get their written permission to use their names in your marketing messages, and keep them on file.

3) You’ll be surprised how happy most people are to offer a positive testimonial. Most are flattered that you value their opinions.

4) Bad testimonials are an opportunity to improve.

 

4) AUDIO AND VISUAL DEMONSTRATIONS

What if you could multiply yourself by a few thousand, and send your army of clones out to sell far and wide? Well, you can do the next best thing by putting your product demonstration on video, and distributing them by mail, or other methods. It needn’t be long, even a five-minute tape can do wonders.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) Hire professionals to produce your video. This is no time for amateur video cameras.

2) Cost is expensive for video production, so plan well. Again, it doesn’t have to be lengthy, just punchy and effective.

3) Use them to warm up cold calling.

4) Follow up with a phone call to any who don’t respond to the tape.

 

5) QUESTIONNAIRES

The brilliant philosopher Socrates thought of this about 450 B.C. The Socratic method involved leading others to accept your position by asking them a series of leading questions. It works with customers, too. Ask your prospects a series of leading questions, with the goal of getting them to say “yes” every time.

After they have said yes a half-dozen times or more, it’s extremely difficult to say “no” when you ask them to buy. You can create a written form of this by crafting a questionnaire that leads the prospect to the logical conclusion that they should buy from you. Remember: Questions should be tailored to lead to agreement.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) Negative answers are your fodder for fine-tuning your questionnaire, and uncovering weaknesses in your product or pitch.

 

6) TRY BEFORE YOU BUY

Let them take it home before they pay for it, or send it them free and say return it in 30 days if you don’t like it. The idea is that once they get used to having the product, they’ll want to keep it. Magazine sellers live on this technique, but can work for others as well. This dies carry some risk in that people may not pay. It’s an aggressive way to market, but often pays off well.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) You need highly qualified customers to use this technique.

2) Instruct the prospect in all aspect of products use with a demonstration of how it works, and how it provides its benefit.

3) As always, keep a careful track of success rate.

 

 

7) SALES SCRIPTS

No telemarketer would consider turning loose his or her team without carefully prepared scripts, so what about in all other kinds of selling? If you find a sales pitch or formula that really works, script it out and train your sales staff in its use. If it works for one person, it will most likely work for many.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) There’s still room to allow originality, so you don’t need to follow your script like an army of robots. Just make the script the fundamental core of the pitch. Each script can have much variation while maintaining its central selling point.

2) Test market a number of different script approaches. When you uncover a winner, a lot of good things are going to happen.

 

8) SELL VALUE, NOT PRICE

Conversion Rate

It’s a critical mistake to think all shoppers buy on the basis of price first and everything else second. Marketing studies consistently show that price is not the top concern of the shopper – value is. Thus, it only makes sense to sell value, and leave discussion of price to later in the pitch.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) A lot of people still believe: “You get what you pay for.”

2) Big retailers and chain stores compete on price and volume because that’s the big stakes game of the giants. If you’re not a one of them, don’t try to beat them at their own game.

3) Show and tell exactly why your product is a better value than the cheaper model. The prospect must see and understand this.

 

9) THE UP-SELL

Fast food restaurants have made the phrase “super size” a household word. It’s the classic up-sell. After you make a sale, go for another sale right away. Not with a different product — just more of the same product they came in to buy. Up-selling isn’t selling anything additional— it’s just selling more.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) Your ability to up-sell can mean the difference between a profitable day, or a loss. It’s that important.

2) Up-selling means you are prepared beforehand with a ready-to-go script and direction. It takes planning.

 

10) THE CROSS SELL

“Would you like fries with that?” is another great selling technique made popular by fast food restaurants. In this case, you’re not selling more of the same item (like in up-selling) you’re selling an additional item that your customer didn’t intend to purchase. All you do is simply switch the focus to a similar or related product that has application to, or can enhance to purchase of the original product, even though it’s different. That’s cross selling.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) Also means you need to be prepared.

2) Be alert to the opportunity. Always have a cross-sell idea or product prepared in your mind when you need to jump to it.

 

11) THE DOWN SELL

If the customer is not biting on Model ‘A’, down-sell to the lower priced Model ‘B’. You always want to sell your highest ticket and profit item first. But if it’s obvious that you’re not going to make the sale, you can offer a lower-priced item — and that’s better than losing the sale altogether.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) Be prepared with a down-sell pitch and product.

2) Learn to read the customer. If they’re hesitant, it may be price they’re concerned with. When you pick up on it, trigger the down-sell.

 

 

12) FOLLOW-UP

Experienced sales professionals know that the vast majority of sales are made on second, third, or even fourth or more contact. If they say no today, they are less likely to tomorrow. This is especially true with direct mail. You dramatically boost response by sending not just a single mailing, but follow up several times – even a dozen or more times, if it’s cost effective.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) Follow-up in different ways. After you send a sales letter, follow with a phone call, or vice versa.

2) Short-timers take the first rejection as the last. Rather, think of it as the first step in a selling process.

3) Remember, if you don’t want to be a pest, then you don’t belong in sales!

 

13) SALES TRAINING

Not all sales people are born equal. Selling comes naturally to a few, but to the many, it’s an acquired skill. That means people need to be trained before you turn them loose on prospects. Provide one-on-one sales coaching, or do group seminars. And make it ongoing. There’s enough to know about sales to last a lifetime. Periodically provide books, tapes, and videos and attend seminars.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) Paying the fee for your salesperson’s seminar is a strong incentive builder while you improve their skills at the same time.

2) Give your salespeople a quiz, that is, ask them what they learned. If they can’t repeat things back to you in their own words, they didn’t get much out of the seminar, book, etc.

3) Even the most seasoned sales pros often say: “You never stop learning about this business.”

 

14) FIRST TIME BUYER INCENTIVES

First time buyer discounts are simply a terrific motivator for people to buy. It makes them feel like they’re getting something not available to others. It also grants a welcoming feeling to people, and shows them you want them to be your customer. It works especially well if you say at the end of your sales pitch: “Wait a minute, you’re a first time customer, right?” “Then you get an extra ten percent off.” You should really try this. It works wonders.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) It’s the perception that counts, and not necessarily how much you give.
Remember, the first sale is not always where the best profits are made. It’s much smarter to be striving to “create customers” that come back again and again. Make them feel welcome and valued, and they’ll come back.

 

15) LIMITED TIME OFFER

What’s more enticing, a great deal on a product, or a great deal on a product that can only be had within the next 48 hours? Using a time limit creates a sense of urgency. It makes the customer think: “I have to hurry or miss out on this deal.” A drawback is the heavy use of this technique by millions of sellers. “Limited time offer!” is printed and said so often, it can be almost invisible. Still, it’s better than not using it.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) Be sure “limited time” means limited time. Don’t just say it. It could cause you real problems later.

2) Give your customers a reason for the limited time. Prices are increasing, limited supply, etc.

 

16) CONCENTRATE ON HIGH QUALITY PROSPECTS

How To Boost Sales Conversion Rate

Like salespeople, not all buyers are created equal in terms of what you’re selling. Many companies waste time, energy and expensive marketing budgets on groups of people that have a low likelihood of buying in the first place. Thus, it is vital to carefully select where you’re going to be spending your marketing budget, and on which population groups.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) This is what marketing research is for. Hire professional help to conduct research if you can afford it, or do your own. Hold focus groups.

2) Buy your mailing lists carefully. Use a list broker you trust, or get lists from similar companies to yours – you can often trade mailing lists.

3) Don’t be afraid to do your own market research. Random sampling of 100 people, or so, can provide a lot of enlightening information.

 

 

17) DIRECT MAIL STIMULATORS

One company sent out a sales letter in small, brown paper bags folded flat. Times magazine sometimes send a stamp and a small pencil in subscription sales letters. The idea is to get noticed and be remembered. It includes something unexpected or different in your direct mail pieces – a gimmick – and you may boost response or be remembered more easily when you follow up with a phone call.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) Make it small, delightful, strange or usable. Fitting in your envelope may be a challenge, but you’ll be surprised what you can get in it.

2) Make it relevant or personalise it.

 

18) EXCLUSIVE CUSTOMERS

Consider creating “Preferred Customer” clubs for your best, high-spending and repeat customers. These people get special deals, discounts and advance notice on sales. They may also get an exclusive membership card. Make sure that they know they are getting things others or not. This produces intense loyalty and spurs repeat sales from your best, paying customers.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) This also has the advantage of focusing your energy on high quality customers, while you spend fewer resources on those who don’t buy much.

2) “Exclusive” means higher priced. If you are going to grant exclusive status to anyone, they should pay for it.

3) If you issue Preferred Customer membership cards, charge for them. Sign up a thousand customers and you’ve made money.

 

19) KEEP IN TOUCH WITH CUSTOMERS

Out of site, out of mind. If you don’t keep in regular touch with your customers, they’ll forget about you. There are many ways to stay in touch; regular mail, a postcard, an occasional call. The point is to make an effort to keep all warm customers from going cold, or disappearing altogether.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) How often you keep in contact depends on your kind of business, number of customers, etc. You need a plan and a policy on this issue that fits your organization.

2) Don’t contact only when you want to sell. Why not just call to say hello? Send a birthday card.

3) Say you’re calling to tell about an “unannounced sale.” That’s a bit of flattery few can resist.

 

20) TRACK SALES CONVERSION RATES

A shopper is not a customer, not until he or she buys. When they buy, they’ve converted to a customer. Many business owners are happy when they have loads of traffic coming through the door. But that’s not the ultimate measure of success. If only 10 or 15 percent are converting to paying customers, that means you’re spending a lot of time dealing with time wasters. When you start measuring conversion rates, you set a baseline upon which future goals for improvement can be set.

Quick Tips and Action Points:

1) It requires a policy and procedure to track success rate. Train your employees to start tracking data. Use computerized software programs to help you manage data, and examine trends.

2) Then, set new, higher conversion goals.

 

 

So there you have it. Plenty of idea’s and tips to improve your conversion rates. And remember, improving a conversion rate from 10% to 20% has the same effect as doubling your entire marketing efforts.

Next, what’s better – spending an hour with a customer that spends £100, or spending an hour with a customer that spends £200? Of course, the answer is obvious, but this very simple distinction is central to true business success. If you can make more money on each customer contact, you bolster your profits and vastly increase your potential for success, and beyond!

It’s simply much smarter to sell more to a captured customer right now, than to spend time, money and resources looking for new, cold prospects to sell every time you need to make more sales and money. Finding each new prospect and converting them to paying costumers is expensive. A captured customer is bought and paid for, so to speak.

The importance of generating repeat sales, more sales per customer, and getting more money out of each transaction is absolutely key and essential to business and selling success.

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