5 Concrete Sales Strategies to Immediately Increase Conversion
Content was originally published on Inc.com on October 27, 2016.
Here are 5 concrete strategies guaranteed to give you an immediate boost to your income.
1. Up Front Agreement
An up front agreement is a formal or informal oral contract that you and your prospect both agree in which you both agree to give each other a clear decision – yes or no – whether you want to take the next step in the sales process. This next step could be to purchase right then and there, or it could be to set up the next sales meeting. No “think it overs” allowed. Plus, it is your way to clarify that your prospect has the ability (authority and or money) to make a purchasing decision.
Here are two examples of what an up front agreement might sound like:
Sample One: Traditional One Step Close:
“Now Mark, I am more than willing to give you my time and really work with you to find out exactly what the best solution for you and your specific situation is, I’m just going to ask for one thing in return… As we go through this, if you don’t feel that what we have is a good fit, are you okay telling me that? Great, I want you to know that you’re not going to hurt my feelings. On the other hand, if after going through this it’s clear that we really do have a great fit are you okay telling me that too here today?
“Great, I’ll be doing the same thing. If I don’t think you’re the right fit to own our product I’ll let you know that straight out. And if on the other hand I do think you are the perfect candidate from really benefitting from our product, then I’ll let you know that too.
“Are we both in agreement on this Mark as part of the ground rules for today? Great.”
Sample Two: Multi-step Sales Process for a High Dollar Technical Service
“So Mark, may I suggest that we lay out the process for how we’ll have this discussion of whether we have a great mutual fit to work together? I get that this is going to be a major project for your company and making sure we have a great fit to work together is critical for you and for us.
“Now our customary process is do this in 3 phases.
“Phase one is to do our discovery phase. We use an 87 question tool called the “Custom Design Audit” to dive deep into exactly what you are looking for, where the potential stumbling blocks are, and what timeline would any ideal solution need to meet. Then we’ll take all that information and turn it into a Custom Development Blueprint. This is a written project plan that lays out all the concrete details of what we’d recommend, timelines it all out, and lays out all key cost factors.
“In Phase two we’ll sit down and go through this with your team and decide on priorities and sequencing of steps, and agree on a project timeline that fits both your needs and our current client load. Assuming that we reach a win-win consensus on this, then phase three is the actual build out of the project.
“As you can imagine, to build you a Custom Development Blueprint requires hours and hours of work by our team. That’s why we need to charge a Discovery Fee of $4,900 for us to do Phases One and Two.
“Now I’m not asking for that right now, quite frankly I don’t know if it is worth your time or our time to take this step on our end we’re not in the business of doing just Custom Development Blueprints, one after the other. We only want to invest the energy to do this when we think we have a solid fit that we’ll also be the likely party to do the build out in Phase Three too. That’s why I suggest is that we spend some time here going through what exactly you’re looking for and what specifically you think you’d want from us.
“That way by the end of our time together today if we both don’t feel there is a mutual fit to take the next step, then we end here today. No harm, no foul.
“On the other hand, if we both think it makes sense to have us do our deep discovery process with that Custom Design Audit so that we hand to you a Custom Development Blueprint, then we’ll let each other know that right here at the end of our conversation today.
“In that case we’ll schedule the date when our technical team can meet with your team to go through the design audit, and we’ll take care of the paperwork to do that process. Like I mentioned you’ll have $4,900 in this which will defray some of our costs to do both phase one and phase two, and that $4,900 will 100% apply towards Phase Three should you decide, like we’d be hoping, to go with us to do Phase three for you.
“Does this sound like a reasonable process to use here today Mark? Great, let’s get started…”
2. Fear of Loss
Nothing helps a prospect get to the decision like the fear of loss. How can you add an appropriate and ethical prompt for them to tack action now?
• Offer expiration date.
• Immediate one-time bonus when they buy now.
• Immediate one-time price break when they buy now.
• Legitimate introduction of competition for capacity shortages or scheduling scarcity. • Etc.
3. Turn Up the Pain
With our business coaching clients we call this the “Dentist’s Dilemma”. People will pay markedly more for help relieve intense pain than they will for the future benefit of clean, healthy teeth. How can you help your prospect verbalize and feel the price they are already paying – financially and emotionally – for their current situation? Everything you do that increases this price of their status quo increases their motivation to find a solid solution.
4. Social Proof
In ambiguous or uncertain circumstances, people do what other people they can identify with have done. How can you engage social proof in your sales process?
• Effective use of customer stories and testimonials.
• Pictures and visual cues of other happy customers.
• Getting your clients and prospects to interact.
• Statistics and sales scripting that highlight that your product or solution is the most popular or normal.
5. Risk Reversal
How can you take the risk away and put it on your shoulders instead of theirs?
• Offer a strong guarantee. (For example we offer our business coaching clients a 200% return on investment of their coaching fees within the first 12 months working together. As you can imagine, this is a compelling offer.)
• Let them try out your product for free.
• Give them a smaller unit of purchase to start with.
All five of these sales strategies are designed to help you legitimately boost sales by making your offer more compelling and attractive.
If you enjoyed the ideas I shared, then I encourage you to download a free copy of my newest book, Build a Business, Not a Job. Click here for full details and to get your complimentary copy.