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How to convert more business

Article written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market

It is of little use to have a good inflow of prospective clients to our business, but not concluding sales with them, hence leaving us empty handed.

In this article we will discuss five ways in which you can potentially increase your business conversion rate.

1. Know your conversion rates

Before you can work on improving the conversion rates in your business, you need to know what your existing conversion rates are. For this you require a basic record-keeping process and protocol. Continuous monitoring is best. You merely need to know the number of prospective clients you had and whether you had made the sale. It will also be helpful to know the product or service bought and the amount. Now you have a benchmark against which you can monitor your conversion rate improvement after the implementation of your chosen strategies.

2. Increase product or service variety

This sounds obvious, but you may be losing business because your product or service variety fell short of client expectations. To survey client requirements, your sales staff could ask clients how they can be of service. In this way the client’s needs can be determined. So, instead of someone leaving your business empty handed, or losing a potential sale, where you could have sourced the product, you could gauge a trend in client needs that point out a gap in your product or service range. There should, however, be a process in place to record client feedback to enable you to pick up trends and respond accordingly.

3. Increase product or service knowledge

Many times we find ourselves, as consumers, in a position where we do not know which product or service option would be most suited for our need and available budget. It is then very frustrating when you seek advice from sales staff for guidance and you experience their guidance as very poor or even irrelevant. This is why it is so important that your staff be well skilled and knowledgeable with regard to your total product or service offer. A client should walk away from your business with a sense of knowing that they received appropriate and well-founded advice and guidance to inform their buying decision. You should endeavour to know more about your products and services than a customer. Also know how your product or service differs from that of your competitors and why yours is a better purchase.

4. Ask for the sale or confirm the sale

You can be your own biggest enemy by talking yourself out of a sale. Once you have addressed all the questions or concerns of your client, you need to identify the buying signal.

Think about questions such as:

  • “How would you like to move ahead?”
  • “Shall I make the arrangements to get this ordered?”
  • “Is there anything at all from preventing us moving forward?”

5. Stay top of mind

If a prospective customer did not buy something from you today, it does not mean they will not do so in future. A personal example I can cite is a retail shop that sends me an sms every Saturday at 09h00, to remind me of their weekend special promotions. They have managed to keep their business top of mind for me. How can you apply this principle in your business?

“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” Zig Ziglar (American author, salesperson and motivational speaker)

We cannot reasonably resolve the first two obstacles, but we can surely influence the other three by using different tactics to improve the conversion rate.

To support business owners with the important task of business planning, Sanlam gives you free access to the book Your Annual Business Game Plan for Success, which provides an easy and straightforward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success.

Go to www.sanlamgameplan.co.za to download your free copy.

Sanlam is a proud Partner of the NSBC.