10 seconds is what it takes for a customer to change their mind, a little longer to shift their loyalty. In such an eccentric scenario it is important for businesses to forge a strong relationship with the customers to ensure steady and continuous profitability. Prospects are leads who are interested to buy your product or services, and thus it is essential for a business to turn as many leads into prospects.
First, sort out the best prospects from the leads you have generated. You have successfully sorted out the prospects once you find out the leads who have:
- A need for your product or services
- Ability to make decisions to buy
- Ability to pay
This process is called qualifying your leads. After qualifying your leads, you will find you have several prospects. Now you have to decide where to stress upon your efforts, it can be done both by closing the sale or increasing the value of the sale.
In order to turn a lead into a prospect, you must develop a prospecting plan. Your plan will highlight useful information to distribute to your leads through media such as e-newsletters, your website and social media marketing, presentations, marketing, and signage.
You must craft your prospecting plan in such a way that the information remains provocative, short, professional and informative – offering industry news, trends, and business tips. Many potential customers have turned down businesses after they received repeatable, crap, and inappropriate advertising material.
Use your prospecting plan to calculate and define:
- How many leads will convert into genuine prospects
- How many new customer accounts you can actually open
- The rate of sales expectation from new accounts
- How to track potential customers regularly without losing contact
Your prospecting plan will reflect on your capability of identifying approaches to converting potential leads. You may wish to review the strategies listed below:
Keep good records:
You must keep a list of leads handy so that you can inform them about new products, services, offers and business changes. Monitor each lead carefully so that you can tailor the information you send to them.
Make offers with meaning:
Carefully provide offerings, information or incentive that suits best according to the interest of the leads. A proper plan to chart the needs of each lead will go a long way to capture the leads as prospects.
Avoid assumptions and stereotyping:
Don’t always rely on first impressions, and don’t expect your prospect to remain loyal for a long time.
Listen and investigate:
Hold question-answer sessions with leads to extract the right information you need about them. Make further inquiries and appointments with the leads to determine their intention and mentality to buy.
Plan your approach. State your purpose for making contact. For example, your objective may be to:
- Find out more specific information about your prospect’s needs and wants
- Build rapport and bonding
- Build further awareness about your products and services
- Offer information about pricing and current or upcoming sales promotions