Sometimes we wonder why on earth did a prospect chose someone else instead of us. One of the biggest reasons we don’t get picked is because they don’t know we exist.
Get on the Table: Give Prospects Choices
It’s like going to an event or restaurant where the table is full of dishes and you get to pick what you want. When the buffet table just has a few chips and some salsa, we can’t help but nibble at them, even if we don’t really like them much. Same happens with our competitors. Potential clients will pick a competitor if they don’t know we exist. Let’s be responsible to our potential prospects and our business and get on the table so that they can chose.
Remember the phrase, “Oh I wish I had known about this/you earlier…..”
Let’s not have regret creep in. Put yourself out there as much as you can, as soon as you can and in the right places so that prospects can choose, the key here though; do it eloquently with no attachment.
If we’re not getting our name out there by networking, making calls and creating a visible presence both face to face and on the internet, then people don’t know we exist. We are giving potential prospects Hobson’s choice, there’s nothing else to choose from, we’re invisible and so potential prospects end up going to competitors who have got their name out there. Is that competitor better than you? Maybe not, if only they had known about us so they could choose.
Give Clear Messages
We know what we do and can identify a potential client easily, but our referral sources often can’t. When the business offers multiple services, it is sometimes difficult for others to understand what we do or how to properly refer us. Pick one service or product at a time to promote. There are several ways to decide on which product or service to promote. Sometimes seasonal or monthly themes are an option. If you’re at networking events, listen to the other person first and see what their specialty is and then pick topics accordingly. For example, the other week I was talking to a recruiter who specializes in placing attorneys. Would it be more beneficial for me to talk to this person about attorney clients or construction? Find specific target markets and lowest common denominators and pick just one or two, not a whole long laundry list. Make your message clear and concise with a compelling reason for people to refer you.
This is where I see the ball drop most often. Follow up can be as difficult or as easy as we want to make it. Consistency is the key.
5 General Areas of Follow Up
- Follow up with clients – this affects your closing ratio
- Follow up with prospects – create a layered process
- Follow up from events – be intentional
- Follow up with strategic partners & relationships – get focused
- Follow up with invoices in a timely manner -cash flow is key
For each follow up process have a structure and timeline. Some can be templated or delegated to make life easier.
Sometimes it’s the feast or famine syndrome, one moment too much business and the next, not enough, which switches our focus to and away from follow up. There is no follow up process in place or follow up is weak and inconsistent. Tweaking our follow up process is also important. By analyzing our results, sometimes a tweak here and there makes a significant difference. One client we managed to go from a 10% closing ratio to an 85% closing ratio just because we reviewed and tracked results and then made a few tweaks accordingly. Create a consistent follow up process in each area, track results and identify avenues to stay in touch. This in the long run saves time, increases revenue and builds the business.
Sometimes convenience can win the day, especially if people don’t see the value you bring. What if you could compel someone to register with you to the point that they would fly across the country to meet, or drive miles to work with you? It’s possible if you script your message clearly. Convenience is also made so much easier with technology, using Skype, Zoom, and other technology services allowing us to work with people anywhere in the world, we just have to script our message appropriately. If products need to be shipped, look and see the most convenient way to ship products as well as what is most price sensitive. Sometime people prefer to pay a higher price for convenience. Convenience should rarely be an objection; it just means they haven’t seen the value yet.
Yes, price point can be a talking point. If you know the value you bring and have the validation, confidence and conviction of what results people achieve by working with you, then price doesn’t become an issue. Sometimes price point is there for you to filter out people of a certain profession, or stage and size of business. If the prospect is saying the price is too high, they haven’t seen the value you bring yet, go back to how you’re scripting your message. Beware of also falling into the mistake of pricing yourself too low as people don’t see you as an expert or of value from a time perspective. People choose ‘skin in the game’ to bring accountability to themselves.
Fear can work for us and against us. Sometime if someone is fearful, we can be supportive to help them through the fear. We’ve all felt fear and apprehension at some point, the key here is, did it hold us back. To move forward, to grow, to build on who we are and what we want to become, it’s going to feel uncomfortable and may even cause a measurable level of stress. Going too far causes distress, having enough discomfort for us to feel euphoric and accomplished is the place we are looking to be. A couple of years ago I had a prospect who said they wanted to work with me, but when it came right down to it, they said they were scared because they knew I would make them work and they knew they would reach their goal and they weren’t ready to take on success yet!! Sometimes the emotional state of where we are just has a real grip on us and that must be overcome first before we can reach our ultimate goal.
Focus on reviewing why clients chose you and look to see how refinements can be made to improve prospect to client ratios. Take an inventory of where you are visible and known as an expert. See where you can either increase your presence, develop presence or remove your presence.
Time Management to Leverage Your Day tip:
Get people to come to you.
A big time suck can be traveling from one appointment to another. Can you get people to come to you? An alternate is using the internet and Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp and other similar options to stay in touch and have face to face meetings. It’s way more productive in some cases.