When you’re trying to convert more leads for your business, it might be tempting to tell your salespeople to be more aggressive so every prospect knows just how revolutionary your product or service is. But oftentimes, this can actually do more harm than good when you have a potential customer who’s slow to buy. Sometimes your sales team needs to play the long game, and it starts with having a real conversation.
Invest The Time.
In sales, sometimes we are tempted to rush somebody off the phone if they don’t seem like they’re going to buy. After all, you’re not getting anywhere and you need to move on to the next prospect, right?
The #1 thing you can do to improve your sales team’s relationships with leads is to encourage them to invest time in the individuals they speak to. Have a real conversation with them. In fact, the longer a sales call goes on, the greater the likelihood a prospect will buy from you. So, don’t watch the clock! The longer you can keep your leads chatting with you, the better.
Listen More, Speak Less.
Similar to the previous tip, you want to do more listening than talking during a sales call. The highest-performing B2B sales calls happen when the salesperson talks 43% of the time and the prospect talks 57% of the time. Your odds of closing also increase the longer you go without interrupting your target.
But how are you going to sell your product or service if you’re not talking about it? Well, the primary goal of these longer sales calls isn’t persuading your lead to buy; instead, it’s building a relationship with them and fostering trust. In fact, 73% of people say trusting a salesperson is “very” or “extremely” important when making a purchasing decision, and 81% of people are likely to buy from a company represented by a salesperson they trust. By taking time to build that trust, you are investing in future purchases and referrals.
Take An Interest.
Take an interest in what your lead is saying, even if it’s not related to the sale. Whether it’s about their kid’s football game, what they had for lunch, or their favorite color — being interested in what other people are talking about and having a real conversation with them shows you care. It also establishes you’re a person, not just someone who wants to sell them something. You should also take notes on this information so you can remember it for future conversations and demonstrate you have listened to them.
Find Common Ground.
If you share an interest with a lead, be sure to talk about it with them. This will make you not only more relatable but also more memorable. Instead of “that salesperson,” you will be remembered as “John the Cubs fan” or “Amy the Harry Potter fan.” That sort of real conversation is invaluable when you’re trying to build relationship capital.
Don’t Be Disappointed.
Sometimes, a lead just isn’t ready to buy or does not want to purchase for whatever reason. It can be very disappointing when this happens, especially if you have invested a lot of time building a relationship with them. However, there is still value in a relationship or real conversation that doesn’t result in a sale.
The leads that you don’t convert might recommend you to friends and colleagues. They might say a positive thing about you on social media. You really never know, which leads us to our next point.
Even if a lead doesn’t purchase from you, it’s important to follow up periodically. Even if it’s just to catch up and talk about the game or a movie, making sure your leads remember your name and what you do is critical. So, send an email out from time to time, or make a short phone call. Just don’t overdo it or you could risk coming across as annoying. By having a real conversation with your leads, you are investing in a gift that keeps giving. Making a positive impression and building trust with prospects will result in more conversions, referrals, and overall better word of mouth. You really can’t beat that.