When you’re first starting out in business it can be a little disheartening to get a lot of enquiries but not get any orders. In the sales marketing world we call this your ‘conversion rate’ – meaning the amount of people you manage to convert from prospects into paying clients.
Effective converting and selling is a skill all on its own. Some people are just born salespeople who are naturally persuasive and can sell ice to Eskimos while the rest of us (like me) really need to work at it.
If you find ‘selling yourself’” uncomfortable, and me telling you that you’ve got to learn sales skills probably makes you feel like ‘Why nah!’. Selling or marketing is not dishonest or desperate, both of which are things nobody wants to be. But you have got to learn those skills if you want to earn the type of money you want to change your life.
Here are a few things to help your conversion rate (that is, make more sales) that don’t make you feel like you’re begging or desperate for the order.
MAKE IT simple and EASY FOR PEOPLE TO ORDER FROM YOU
Don’t make ordering a cake from you a 10 step process that tires people before they have even begun. If you have a website and people can order online from you, make sure the entire process, from selecting the item to checking out of your shopping cart is uncomplicated and easy to use and follow.
The “buy now” button, “shop here” and “online ordering” buttons and pages should be visible and easy to find. Don’t make it hard for people to buy from you.
The same is true if they are ordering directly from you, whether by phone or email. Make it VERY clear how they can pay their deposits, what the process is (and make it a short process.) Don’t wait for them to as how to do it, tell them!
This is an opportunity for you to start thinking of putting in place clear, simple and defined business procedures that will help you in your customer ordering process so that you will be prepared for any question your customer needs to know on how to proceed with an order.
TAKE CONTROL OF THE COMMUNICATION
When you’ve reached the point in the email discussion where they clearly are interested and wanting to order from you, actually pick up the phone and call them. “Hi Amaka, I thought it would be faster if I just called you to confirm the details we spoke about in email and get the deposit organized.”
The longer you keep dragging out that email conversation, the more of your time you are wasting, and the less likely you are to get the sale done and over with. It’s also a lot harder to say no over the phone to someone – so you’re effectively closing the deal just by calling them.
If this sounds scary to you, remember that you’ve already established their interest in you via email
(How to get their phone number: Make it a required field on your website “contact us” form so that they have to give it to you to submit their order question. If they didn’t come through your website, ask for it at the very beginning – “What’s the best number to reach you on in case I need to get in touch about your order?”).
A question you may ask is if you should chase up on quotes after they’ve sent them out. Well it depends on you, if you’ve got the time and you really want to do that order from a creative point of view, following up is not a bad idea.
If however it’s not really an order you need or are interested in (or it’s a small one that won’t make much difference to you), just leave it.
Following up is good, mainly because if your competitors won’t bother – but nor do I want you wasting hours and hours on chasing up people who aren’t the kind of client you want that is, a client that calls back.
ACT AS IF YOU ALREADY HAVE THE ORDER
Believe me, this works unbelievably well. Positive assertive action thinking goes a long way.
So for your next order, do it like this. When someone contacts you the first time act as if the order is already confirmed. This means the language you use in emails or over the phone has an assumption that you will be doing the order.
You’re not ASKING them to pay the deposit; you’re telling them they’re going to do it. Not in an aggressive or threatening kind of way, but in a gentle, natural way as though the deal has already been sealed and you’re just helping them get there.
So at the end of the email instead of saying, “The price is N25,000,” your email should end by saying, “To create this cake for you is N25,000. To secure the date, I ask for a 50% deposit which needs to be paid by bank transfer (include your account details) by 19h November. I’m really looking forward to making this cake for you, you’ve picked a gorgeous design – the party is going to be amazing!”
Nobody reading that would say it sounds desperate.
For one, it’s friendly, it makes the sales process very easy for them by stating the steps and gives them the chance to take the next steps, and it openly assumes that you’re going to get the order.
If you act as if the deal is done, and confident that you’re going to be the only person who can make this thing for them, they are going to feel that confidence and just go with it. Plus you’re saving them a ton of time and effort here – you’re making the process easy, simple and most of all you are meeting their needs right NOW, not 5 emails from now.
We live in an age where people are immensely time poor, reluctant to commit, and bombarded by sales requests all day long. If you can help them save time, help them commit to making a choice – you’re already halfway to getting the order.
You’re flat out saying that you’re going to make it happen for them. Don’t we ALL just want that certainty, that confidence, that knowledge that a job is going to get done, get done right, and not require a bunch of wasting time to make it happen?
So in summary, the key to closing the deal, get the order and make more sales is that do not make the whole process all about you, make it all about them.
Hope you found this post useful? If you did, please comment.
Till next week.