Blog by: Brenda Tillmann, The Sales and Client Relations Mentor, founder of Brenda Tillmann International
When you are in business, you are in sales and at some point in our business; we all have experienced dry spells - just like in the dating world. So when that happens, what do you do? Do you become desperate? Does every potential client start looking like "Mr. Right" to you, no matter if he fits your ideal client profile or not?
Settling for the wrong customer can be a huge waste of time and money. You'll find yourself running around in circles trying to please this high-maintenance customer and miss viable opportunities to truly make a difference in your best customers life or business.
Develop a profile for your ideal client so that you are not tempted to close any old Joe Smoe that comes along. To assist you getting really clear who this may be, take a look at your existing clients. This is the ONE individual in your business that you simply can't believe you get paid to work with. The one who happily pays your fees and appreciates the value you bring to their lives. What does this person look like?
Take a few minutes to reflect on all of your clients and write down demographics of each person, make a list of...
• What problems your ideal clients have?
• What issues they need a solution for to get to the next level in their business or personal life?
• What roadblocks do they face when trying to achieve their desired goals?
A pattern should emerge so look for it. What do they have in common? When you know who your ideal clients are, you will stop wasting time by chasing the wrong kind of prospects.
As you enter the "dating" stage, you may have a list with thousands of prospects on it. But just as in love, so is it in business: Timing is everything. Not everyone will want to work with you or as I like to refer to it, have a relationship with you. It’s important to realize, these prospects will move forward according to their time frame, not yours. Now that doesn’t mean you have to wait around for them to take notice of you.
You will need a plan, a strategy, to move them through your sales funnel allowing them to essentially raise their hand to let you know they are interested in you. You will become more efficient when following up if you have a system in place to find out who’s really into you, who kind of likes you, and who is still deciding what they think of you. What are the deal breakers?
Don’t be a serial dater and don’t wait too long to call after a date! Failing to follow up is a common problem for many entrepreneurs because they are busy chasing other opportunities. Too many business owners give up on their prospects way too early by thinking that if the sale doesn’t happen on the first meeting, it never will. Statically it’s been proven most consumers (81%) do not buy until at least the fifth contact.
What system do you have in place to make sure you are not the guy or gal who didn’t call? To ensure that your leads don’t get lost, automate your email with auto-responders that deliver quality content from free reports, video tutorials, email series that they can learn from so that when they are ready to buy, they buy from you. This is called nurturing your prospects.
But be careful not to move too fast! Give the relationship time to grow before you ask for the sale. Would you ask someone to marry you after only knowing him or her for five minutes? Put yourself in his or her shoes, would you say, “yes” to a marriage proposal to someone you just met? There are still discoveries to make about your prospects and they most certainly want to know more about you, too. It’s crucial to their success as well as yours to make sure you are a right match before asking them to commit to a purchase.
So before you get down on one knee to propose, make sure:
• Your prospect knows the benefit you provide by educating them.
• Use social proof to demonstrate how you’ve served others and the successful outcomes of working with you.
• Give them a free trial so they can experience the benefits you provide. This will make them realize they can’t go another day without you!
• Implement an automatic “warm fuzzy touch” plan with email or direct mail that will gradually take them by the hand and lead them through your sales funnel.
When you take your prospects through this simple and easy process, your ideal clients will naturally progress forward while the others opt-out…this is a beautiful thing!
Marketing is like dating and can be fun. Especially when you provide a valuable product or service that people really need and can benefit from. You’ve got something worthwhile to offer the world so get out there and get in the game! Attract your ideal clients by playing up your positives, differentiate yourself from the competition, build meaningful relationships, and apply the rules of dating to your marketing and you’ll see your nurturing efforts consistently turn interested prospects into sales.
Brenda Tillmann, The Sales and Client Relations Mentor, is founder of Brenda Tillmann International and the creator of the Romance of Selling System™, the proven step-by-step program that shows women business owners exactly how to utilize their natural relationship skill set to sell with ease which literally transforms their sales results...guaranteed! You can get your F.R.E.E. Audio CD and receive her weekly sales & client relationship building articles on establishing more high-value relationships while consistently closing more sales at: www.brendatillmann.com