Becoming a master of the sales conversation is one sure fire way to get more clients.

After all when you are in front of a prospective client, whether in person or on the phone this is the best chance you will have to turn your prospect client into a paying client.  In marketing terms the sales conversation is referred to as ‘closing the sale’ or a ‘conversion’.

Increasing your conversion rate through successful sales conversations is the easiest and quickest way to increase your income.

Here’s my 3 top tips to improve your results.

Tip #1 Prequalify your prospective client

To make sure you don’t waste your valuable time or theirs when there is not a match – you need to prequalify your prospective client. Ideally you want a screening process so you don’t even begin a sales conversation unless the person meets your ideal client criteria.

As soon as it becomes clear to you that you cannot help them or do not wish to, then tell them so and if possible offer a suggestion for a more suitable resource. They’ll thank you for it and you can move on to finding more of the people you are meant to serve.

Go easy on yourself when you are looking at your ‘conversion rate’. If the person you are talking to is not a match – then they never were a prospective client.  It’s those people you know have a problem that you can solve, who don’t hire you, that are a missed opportunity for both of you.

Tip #2  Be clear about the objectives of the sales conversation

There are actually 3 main objectives of having a sales conversation keep these in mind and you will stay focused on the outcome.

  1. Find out if you are a good match for the two of you to work together
  2. Identify the problem your prospective client has and demonstrate the value to them of your products, programs or services to solve their problem (aka the benefits to them) so they can make an informed buying decision.
  3. Make an offer and complete the transaction or at least get a deposit
    by way of commitment.

Tip #3 Use a script

Until you are a master at having the sales conversation it pays to use a script.

Of course each conversation will vary because you are having a 2-way dialogue but you still need structure and a script provides that.

Once you know the sequence and questions to ask you can create your script to lead you through step-by-step. Each building on the other in a deliberate and logical way so nothing is left to chance.

There are 3 main reasons for having a script.

  1. A script will ensure you meet the objectives you set out to achieve which means you will make more sales.
  2. A script lets you concentrate on the conversation so that you stay on track. And if you do wander off you can easily get back to ensure you cover all the important information to assist the sale and don’t leave anything out.
  3. A script means you can see where you are going wrong as well as what’s working. You can continue to test and tweak until you are getting the results you want.

You’ll know when you’ve mastered having a sales conversation because not only will you be making more sales and getting more clients but you won’t need your written script anymore! By then you will have internalised the process and be doing what comes naturally.

Many people get confused about the role of advertising in the marketing mix so here’s a simple view of where it fits in.

In the traditional marketing model, we talk about the 4 P’s

  • Product
  • Pricing
  • Place
  • Promotion

The last section – Promotion is what we mean when we say you are “doing your marketing”. It’s your communications or your actual marketing activities.

But first, let’s get clear about the PURPOSE of marketing and why you want to get good at it.

“The PURPOSE of marketing or it’s biggest task is to persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you can present your offer. Done well they come waving their credit card and ready to buy so there’s no need for hard sell.”

Whenever and wherever you get in front of your potential market is your marketing opportunity – you are communicating or getting your message across.

You could say this started as far back as Babylon when the Town Crier was the only delivery method! They went around town shouting out to people to go to the marketplace and you went to the marketplace with your goods to “present your offer”.

With the invention of print and other technologies you now have a smorgasbord of delivery methods or media to reach people such as

  • Print – newspapers, magazines, catalogues, newsletters
  • Phone, snail mail, fax, Radio & TV,
  • Internet – through websites, blogs, social networking sites, email, video & Audio podcasts, FaceBook Live
  • Teleseminars & webinars, Mobile media – iPads & tablets, Blackberrys, mobile or cell phones
  • And lets not forget in person public speaking and networking

Now that range adds a level of complexity. But choice is good and you don’t have to use all of these but they are all available to you.

In any event you’ll either be speaking or writing. Simply narrow down what makes sense for you and your business and use your strengths to work out a plan.

JUST remember the marketing principles remain the same no matter the medium – so the PURPOSE of your marketing is still the same. To persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you can present your offer.

So where does advertising fit into this marketing mix?

Advertising is simply a subset of your marketing activities it’s the SALES function when you make the sales pitch or “present your offer”. This could be verbal or written in all the same media you use for your marketing communications.

What adds to the confusion is sometimes big companies use image based ads for awareness so the “sales pitch” isn’t obvious.

But the primary purpose of advertising is to SELL.

So you create ads in one form or another and get them in front of your audience.

Small businesses can’t afford to waste money on image advertising that is designed for the masses to promote a well known brand. It simply isn’t designed to sell, NOW.

What I do, and recommend is Direct Marketing which is based on one-on-one relationships and uses proven direct response advertising techniques instead of mass advertising.

The purpose of a direct response advertisement is to get a response, NOW! Which means these ads actually ask the prospect to DO something. referred to as the “Call to Action”.

Whether you’re building a list, selling a product or service, an appointment or even something you are giving away – you still need to “sell” it to your prospect. And ask them to take the action you want them to take to move them through the sales process.

In a nutshell, advertising is a subset of marketing so it is part of the marketing mix and direct response marketing & advertising is the champion for small business.