When it comes to moving your leads through the sales funnel, there can be a lot of contradictory information out there. A lot of sales “gurus” promise that they can help you close on the first, second, or even third time you meet with a prospect using easy, replicable steps. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic — and could even hurt your overall sales strategy in the long run. The truth is that a lot of people take time to make important purchasing decisions and do not respond well to high-pressure sales tactics. So how do you heat up a prospect and increase their desire to buy from you successfully while not being too pushy?
While aggressive tactics that are focused on getting a prospect to buy right now often don’t work, we have seen great success from focusing on building rapport and long-term trust. Here’s what we suggest.
Keep In Touch And Follow Up.
It takes an average of 8 touches before an initial meeting with a prospect can be secured. In our experience, it can take more than that — much more. That’s why it’s important to consistently follow up with leads and prospects. Sometimes salespeople shy away from this because they are worried about being perceived as “annoying” or being told “no.” But this is counterproductive and will cause you to lose leads who take longer to make decisions and proceed slowly through the sales funnel.
Unless you have been told to not call back in no uncertain terms, there is no reason for you to not follow up with your leads, even if it’s just to check in on how they’re doing.
When you do reach out to prospects, you should make sure the interaction is valuable. That means that sometimes, you should put your desire to sell on the backburner. While it would be dishonest to say that closing isn’t the ultimate goal of reaching out to leads, it can often be off-putting if the prospect feels like you’re just calling to sell them something.
So make sure you’re adding value beyond your sales pitch. If your company offers any free resources through your blog or website, let the prospect know. The more you can encourage them to interact with your brand, even without buying, the more open they will become to the idea of working with your company in the future.
Being likable can do wonders for your sales team, and it’s really no mystery as to why. After all, likable people are better at making those around them feel comfortable and engaged. You can’t beat that when it comes to building meaningful relationships with leads.
But training your sales team to be “likable” is easier said than done. So how do you do it?
This may seem obvious, but if you are able to be friendly with your prospects, they will trust you more. After all, there’s a big difference between having a casual conversation with a person who happens to be in sales and enduring a sales pitch with someone who obviously only wants to get in your wallet. So, be friendly! Ask about their hobbies, their favorite sports teams, or just how their day is going. This is an excellent way to build long-term rapport, and over time, they may even begin to look forward to your calls.
The easiest way to create a more personable sales team is through casual (appropriate) humor. Cracking jokes when it makes sense is a perfect way to endear yourself to your leads and humanize yourself. It also makes you much more memorable.
Commit to keeping your prospects hot this summer and all year long with sustainable sales tactics. You’d be amazed at the kind of returns you’ll see if you commit to building rapport with your leads and engaging with them in a consistently meaningful way.