It’s always easier to sell your products and services to people who know you than to those who don’t. More important, one of the better ways to increase your client base is to restart the sales conversation with prospects that have been through your sales process before.
I know what you’re thinking: “But what if they said, ‘I’m not interested in doing business with your company?'” That’s a fair question but the wrong one to ask. Better questionsare:
- How do I get past prospects interested in doing business with my company?
- Has anything changed from our original interaction?
Answering those two questions will dictate whether it makes sense to pursue past prospects. We recently helped a small business owner improve their sales process and increase sales by turning their past prospects into clients.
These are the 3 steps to turn past prospects into future clients.
1. Identify why the prospect came to your business originally
Why did the prospect originally call or email your business? People spend money for products and services to solve a problem they have or to get a desired result. Companies that can clearly identify the true need of their clients can easily create predictable revenue. Knowing why your prospects came to you will help with identifying how to approach them again. There was something about your business, solution or messaging that led them to believe you could help them.
2. Ask the hard questions
Ask yourself and your customer difficult questions. For example, why did your prospect choose another company? Have they found the solution they wanted? What does their ideal situation look like?
If you know why people spend money, you can ask the hard questions to solve their problems. Asking prospects important hard questions is uncomfortable but necessary. Your prospects will appreciate your honesty and they will respect your professionalism for sincerely trying to help their business.
3. You need to ‘Follow up’
They say that there’s riches in niches. I say, “There is financial freedom to follow up!” How many times have you wanted to buy something and added time to the equation because you were unsure of the decision to buy? You ask yourself questions like, “Is this product or service good for me or my business?”, “Am I paying too much money?”, “Will this solution work for me because the previous company let me down?” Prospects think the same thing.
Following up with your current and past prospects allows you to restart the conversation, answer questions and position yourself as the expert.
So, how should you follow up?
Create a sales cadence on following up with them. In other words, how much do you contact them and in what manner? That can be via emails, phone calls, direct mail or a combination of all three. How impressed would you be if a company constantly reached out to you in different ways answering your questions and addressing your needs before you ask them? How many times have you heard of someone who needed your services but forgot you were the expert so they googled someone else?
The goal is to be top of mind for your prospects. You want to be the first person they think about when they think of your industry. If people know you, they can buy from you. Your past prospects already know who you are and they came to you for a reason…so remind them how awesome you are at what you do!
About Ebong Eka
Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a
fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.
Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax andmanagement consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.”
Ebong is also the founder of The $250 Tax Pro, which provides tax preparation and consulting services in the Washington, DC area.
Bank of America, N.A. engages with Ebong Eka to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Ebong Eka is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Ebong Eka. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.
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