From Prospect to Client in Thirty Seconds
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process of converting a prospect to a client can seem
like it takes forever. You meet a prospective client,
follow up with him or her over time, and hopefully
have a chance to make a sales presentation or schedule
an initial consultation at no charge. Then you follow
up some more, trying to close the sale. Months can
pass, or even years, between your first encounter
and getting the prospect to sign on the bottom line.
How do you keep following up for all that time without
being a pest? Is asking prospects over and over, "Are
you ready to buy yet?" the best way to go about
it? How can you build the trust of your prospects
enough that they become willing to take the risk of
The answer to these bothersome questions just might
be found in this simple idea. Treat those prospects
as if they were already your clients -- they just
haven't paid you yet.
Imagine what it would be like to treat every prospective
client you encounter as if you were already working
together. Every time you contact your prospects, you
offer an article they might be interested in, an introduction
to someone who might help them with a goal, or an
invitation to an upcoming event in their field.
When you meet with them, you listen to their problems
and recommend solutions. When you contact them after
a meeting, you suggest resources for helping them
address the issues you discussed. The solutions and
resources you recommend may include your products
and services, of course, but you don't stop there.
You also offer answers that don't involve hiring you.
The impact of this kind of generosity on your prospective
clients can be dramatic. Instead of considering your
calls or e-mails an interruption, they will welcome
hearing from you. They will no longer count you as
a salesperson or vendor, but rather as a valuable
resource and important person to know.
I'm not talking about giving away the store. I don't
recommend providing the client with free training,
spending hours addressing their issues at no charge,
or otherwise practicing your profession without pay.
It is completely appropriate to ask for and expect
payment for doing your professional work.
But what I am suggesting is a shift in your attitude,
to being of service instead of selling a service.
Give your prospects a taste of just how valuable you
could be to them if they were to hire you. Be generous
with the information and contacts you already have
at your disposal. It only takes a few minutes to pass
along a phone number, clipping, or helpful web site,
but the impact can be unforgettable.
The effect of this shift on you can be just as significant
as the effect on prospective clients. You will eliminate
those dreaded sales calls from your agenda and focus
instead on what you do best -- helping people. You
will no longer fear or resist making contact with
prospects, but will begin looking forward to it. Instead
of selling, you will be serving.
The fastest way to turn a prospect into a client may
be simply to change how you think about them.
Hayden is the author of Get Clients NOW!
Thousands of business owners and salespeople have
used her simple sales and marketing system to double
or triple their income. Get a free copy of "Five
Secrets to Finding All the Clients You'll Ever Need"
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