The most common failure for struggling business owners isn’t product, place, price, or profitability. Their businesses basically work — they just fall down when it comes to selling. This is something of a lost art and a newly disdained activity. People want to send out proposals by email instead of getting face to face to present them. They want an iPad on the wall in their store to do the work of a live, human demonstrator.
The worst of all selling failures comes when it’s time to ask for specific action. Most advertising peters out and meekly ends, without a clear and direct call to action. People are routinely permitted to wander around in stores, look at merchandise, and leave empty-handed without ever being put through an organized, scripted sales presentation that leads to a “close” or even having their names and contact information captured for follow-up.
In social media, there’s a cultural idea, and a fear, about moving people too quickly or definitively to an offer and a call to action — only somewhat justified by the interference of the gods of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. The fact is, there’s no money made until somebody sells something, and damn little gets sold without somebody directly asking for the order.
A prospect is worthless without conversion. If you aren’t actively turning your prospects into buyers, then you’re missing out on a lot of potential revenue. It would be like closing your flower shop that is overflowing with red roses in inventory, the day before Valentine’s Day.
While there are many different ways you can convert a lead into a sale, here’s how I have had the most success for our clients and firm:
1. Email follow-up sequence with a call to action.
Following up after a prospect who doesn’t convert means more than just emailing them some additional sales messages. It requires answering their objectives and providing content to further nurture the relationship before making the sale.
2. Follow-up training event.
If you had a training event and your prospects didn’t convert, that doesn’t mean it’s a one-and-done deal. When we held our Facebook Sales Funnel launch one year, almost 500 people watched videos one through four, but many of them did not convert until they had attended a live follow-up webinar. Give your audience different ways to learn and buy for the greatest ROI.
3. Direct mail campaign.
If your prospect entered your marketing funnel through a digital channel, it doesn’t mean your conversation needs to stay there. Test taking your conversation offline to gauge whether or not that increases your conversion rate.
4. Facebook advertising.
Through Facebook’s ad platform, you can target your email list by creating a Facebook Custom Audience. Leverage this tactic by uploading your email list and creating messaging specifically for those you targeted with your sales messages, yet who didn’t convert, with a follow-up offer or new piece of content.
5. Follow-up call.
This is the most effective, yet least often used method of sales conversion — the good ol’ follow-up call. Our clients who utilize telemarketing as part of their sales process achieve a better ROI than those who don’t. Sure, there’s a time investment involved (which means more risk), but there’s always risk when you’re making money.