Making your online lead generation convert to sales by...da, da, daaaaa.......caring.
Some phrases and words I hear too much...like 'story telling', like 'reach out', like 'low hanging fruit' make me feel irrationally cross at the word. Not even the people saying the word (well ok a bit the people saying it) but more cross at the word itself. I would like to tell the word off for being so verbose and bold in the way it trots itself out on stage night after boring night like it is sooooooo much more important than the rest of the words.
'Authenticity' is one of those words. I started off liking it, I read a lot of books that had 'authentic' in it. In 2007 it got quite famous and now it throws itself round like it owns the place.
So while the A word certainly has its place when talking about sales conversion I refuse to use it because I know and I'm sure you do too that it doesn't need anymore attention.
So what place does sincerity, being genuine and actually caring have to do with converting your pipeline filled by online lead generation have? Front and centre that's where.
When you are trying to convert a lead from online lead generation, I am suggesting that having a sales targets in the back of your mind, is like pouring cold water on the sale. Just like a deer scampering off into the woods when the hunter steps on a twig, humans spook easily when they feel like they are being a target. Humans simply do not like to be objectified. When a sales person stops seeing the real person in front of them and only what they can get out of them it makes the 'target' feel urcky. And feeling urcky does not put anyone in the mood to purchase.
When selling I am suggesting that you need to reach deep into your soul and find a place where you actually care about your clients well being. Does your tech actually solve a big problem for them, does it save them money or time or heartache, will it win them new business. If the answer is no then let them walk away, have it in your mind that if you can't help them then you aren't the right fit for them and they aren't the right fit for you.
Ari Galper is the master of selling with care. He talks about conducting sales without the expense of the human relationship, to stop selling and instead build trust and integrity into your sales relationships.
So when online sales generation has popped a valuable lead into your happy clapping hands what does Ari (Galper not Gold) say we should do?
1: Treat the first conversation as a exploration session
The first new business conversation should be an 80/20 exercise, with the sales person doing 80% of the listening and 20% of the talking. It is hard to establish 'if' you can help your prospect and 'how' you can help your prospect if you are talking about your services machine gun style for a good portion of the meeting. If you are trying to shoe horn a service that doesn't fit for them be comfortable to walk away and find someone that does fit.
2. Be less structured.
Once we, the Revery would have gone in to a pitch or a proposal meeting ready to present our case slide after slide. After being received with glazed eyes more than a few time we've changed it to something much more interactive. We now use white boards, big pens and scribble. We talk about our children, our lives and just stuff. It really helps get to the heart of the problems our potential clients are facing and what they want to achieve. It allows us as an agency to be more creative and is also a whole lot more fun than doing a performance that no one is really interested in seeing.
3. Take the pressure out of the conversation
Ari Galper not Gold, says we must stop trying to close the sale. I have done this and I can say personally its the best piece of advise EVER. If you are constantly using your time with potential customers working out if you can actually help them and how to help them the relationship forms naturally. There is no need to ask when the next meeting could be, or if they want to even do a next meeting, if they can see you can help them, they will keep pushing things forward. Ari Galper not Gold says that by trying to push things forward you are creating pressure and creating pressure makes people feel like a sales target.
In the end almost the very best thing about caring and not selling is that it feels so much nicer. You start to feel like you are giving back not trying to get something. It's makes prospecting meetings much more like having a conversation rich lunch rather than an uncomfortable meeting. The other best thing (I was going to say second best but who am I kidding) is that it wins a whole lot more business and more of the type of business you want. Everyone wins, everyone is happy and when you look up you just might see a unicorn dancing across a rainbow filled sky. The end.