Win more work!!
"the majority of contractors do a poor job of following up with leads out of sheer time restraints."
October 2, 2019 by Mike Draper
Increasing sales is a lot of work. To make the most of it, you need to ensure that you are focusing your activities and monitoring which ones give you the biggest “bang for the buck”.
The key is to boost your revenues from these four areas:
- Increase your number of leads
- Increase the rate in which you convert leads into customers
- Increase the average dollar amount of each customer’s purchase
- Increase the average number of times each customer buys from you.
How much of an affect can you make with relatively small changes in each of these areas? We find that our clients are always surprised to find how a small increase in each of the four key areas can make a big impact on their sales and profitability.
An increase of just 10% in your number of leads, conversion rate, average dollar sale, and average number of purchases can create a huge 46% increase in your sales.
When most companies want to grow their sales they immediately think about how they can get more leads. What they should be thinking is that they already have a number of leads and most of them don’t end up buying. How can they get a much higher percentage of the leads that they have spent so much time and money getting to buy from their company? This is all about increasing the rate in which you convert leads into customers. This is the best return for your effort. Do a better job in converting the leads that you already have instead of trying to get more leads. Here are a few ideas of how to convert more leads into sales: Define your uniqueness, follow up and follow-up again (see more on follow-up below) and educate on value, not price.
FROM OUTBOUND “HUNTING” TO INBOUND “HARVESTING”
This secret is critical to your success because it puts you in a position to land customers quickly. It shortens the sales cycle, increases your capacity to handle more deals/sales and improves your closing ratio because you spend more time talking to highly qualified prospects.
When you’re in “hunting” mode, you’re dialing for dollars. You feel resistance at every turn, rejection is common, you get “shopped” against competitors and you waste tons of time working with leads that simply aren’t ready to buy.
On the other hand, when you’re in “harvesting” mode, you’re working smart and scooping up sales left and right. You can spend your time closing sales, on the phone with hot leads or out on the golf course because you know your prospects will call YOU when they’re ready to move forward.
So, how can you actually make the shift from hunting mode to harvesting mode?
In between “getting the lead” and “closing the sale” there’s a huge gap. If you close the gap, you’ll make the shift from hunting mode to harvesting mode…and your profits will skyrocket.
But to make the shift, you need to recognize that someone has to be in charge of “warming the leads” that aren’t hot right now but will be hot down the road.
So, now that you understand the task at hand, let me give you five tips on how you can make the shift:
- Send reluctant prospects relevant, valuable information on a scheduled, recurring basis.
- Communicate to prospects efficiently, aside from the normal, time-consuming, one-on-one methods.
- Log all communications between your office and the prospect in an organized fashion.
- Arm yourself and your sales reps with an arsenal of specific information that can be sent to prospects upon request.
- Track the progress of each lead through the sales pipeline, so you always know where every lead stands.
Next, you want to increase the average dollar amount of each customer’s purchase. You have a customer who has decided that they are going to buy from you. All the hard work is done. So how can you get them to buy more at that moment? Have a checklist of everything that you could provide for the customer and make sure that you review it, stop discounting to “win” business and make sure your customers know everything that you can provide them.
Now that someone is buying from you, you want to encourage them to buy from you more often. Now this might sound hard to do in the construction industry, but it actually isn’t that hard. A lot of construction companies do the initial build for a client but then do nothing to follow-up with that client a year or two down the road. There is huge upside with staying in contact with someone who has previously purchased from you. They know your quality and service, so they make for easy targets when they are ready to make their next purchase. If you don’t follow-up with them, they will most likely buy from someone else who is talking to them when they are ready to buy.
Here are a few ideas how you can get clients to buy more often from you: Keep in regular contact with them, send out a regular newsletter to stay top of mind with your client and offer a complimentary upgrade on their next contract with you.
Now that you have implemented ways to get your existing leads and clients to buy more from you, it is time to look at increasing the number of leads that you have. Remember, these are expensive to get, take a lot of time and they don’t know you anymore than they do one of your competitors.
There are so many ways to generate new leads and every company has their preferred way, so I won’t spend any time talking about how. However, it is critical to measure what is working and what is not working. You have to ask every new prospect how they heard about you. How did they find you? You need to be able to track how much business you are getting from your investment in lead generation and which you should be doing more of.
So now let’s take a look at some approaches to help you get more clients……..
Traditional versus Smart Long-Term Marketing:
The traditional approach is to call, try to get the appointment or lead and move on to the next person. There is nothing wrong with that approach, as far as it goes. But, that is as far as it goes. What about the prospects on your list you can’t reach on the phone that easily because they are always in a meeting or out of the office or they just don’t pick up the phone. That group of “difficult to reach” prospects usually makes up 50% – 70% of your list. Your net return on that group is going to be $0 if you use a traditional approach. What should you do about the prospects that you do reach on the phone but they are not ready to talk to you yet? That group will make up the majority of the people you do speak with. Realistically you are leaving at least 95% of your list of prospects on the table with this traditional approach. That just doesn’t make sense. There has to be a smarter way to approach your marketing.
A Smart Long-Term Marketing Plan
The basic principle of a smart long-term marketing plan is a) to identify an appropriate prospect list that includes all prospects that you would like to be doing business with, and b) communicate with those prospects consistently and effectively until they are doing business with you. The rule is: whoever builds up the biggest prospect list and communicates with their prospects most consistently and effectively is the one who wins!
There are 2 reasons why you need to communicate consistently with your prospects. First it takes multiple contacts or “touches” to break through to your prospects and move them to the point where they are interested in talking to you. Most marketing and sales research indicates that it takes at least 7 touches before a prospect will write you a cheque. The larger the sale, the more touches required. Each contact or touch, scores a certain number of points and the points build up cumulatively until you have scored enough points with your prospect to bring them to the stage where they want to talk to you. The second reason to market consistently to your prospects is because of timing. One of the key reasons that your prospects do business with you is because you just happen to hit them with the right offer at the right time. If you are communicating consistently with your prospects, your chances of hitting them at the right time are pretty good.
If this is so effective then why don’t all companies do it? It’s called follow-up failure and it could be costing you thousands in lost revenue. You see, the majority of contractors do a poor job of following up with leads out of sheer time restraints. They can only focus on the hot leads, while the other leads go untouched. The cycle is made worse when they go out and spend precious dollars to get more leads, thus repeating the process. This on-again, off-again marketing and failure to follow up with customers and prospects could be costing them thousands in lost opportunity and wasted marketing dollars.
When you make this shift, you’ll be absolutely AMAZED at the results. You’ll enjoy your work more, you won’t dread making the phone calls and you’ll have more freedom… all because your prospects will call YOU when they’re ready. The bottom line is that you’ll close more deals, make more money, and do it all in less time….