As a professional, it is not enough these days to be competent and reliable in your chosen area of specialization. You have a service to sell, a service that is being sold by hundreds or even thousands of others. In this crowd of sellers, you need to develop special skills and practices that will help you stand out and make the prospective client choose you over the competition.
What are those practices? To begin with, you have to start marketing your products or services. But marketing in itself is not enough. It’ll provide the visibility but not necessarily convert prospects into a long term client.
Acting upon the following 5 strategies will enable you to attract and convert prospects.
1. Act fast: Do not let the prospect who has enquired about your services turn cold on account of your slow pace of following up. A quick follow up creates an impression of care and promptness on your part; it allows you to warm yourself up to the prospect. The prospect has the luxury of choosing amongst a whole host of competitors. This means that little things that separate you from the competition assume significance. For example, a prompt following up on the prospect’s enquiries creates an impression that your service to him will be equally responsive.
2. Prioritize referrals: Referred clients are a rare breed. Why? This is because such clients have been convinced of your competence and professionalism even before you had the chance to meet them. The selling has already been done and all that remains is for you to live up to their expectation. If you fail to respond properly to the needs of such clients, you risk not only losing customers but this will also reflect poorly on the source of your lead. You will lose out on future referrals.
3. Exercise judgment: Effective marketing of your brand means you’ll have the interest of a lot of prospects. While visibility is always good, you must take care to sort out the genuine clients from this sea of curious prospects. The best way to accomplish this is through rigorous follow up. You should devise a standardized questionnaire for interested prospects to tease out their specific needs, their previous engagement with other service providers, their ability to afford your services etc. This allows you to follow up effectively without getting bogged down.
4. Create database: An extensive database of prospects and clients is a goldmine you can excavate again and again. It’s worth categorizing clients on the basis of priority. That is, you label clients who need individual attention and personal meetings and the rest who can be dealt with through email. One of the benefits of a database is that it allows you to keep updating your clients about your latest news and achievements. Try using Neat Quotes from Layton Technology – not only does this speed up the production of sending client quotations it totally organizes the entire sales process and really is a powerful tool to help you convert prospects to clients.
5. Refer: From time to time you could find yourself too flooded with work to take up a new assignment. Or perhaps the new assignment is of no particular interest to you. Instead of turning such clients down, you should consult with your colleagues and professional acquaintances and refer the client to someone who might be interested in the assignment. This will increase your reputation within the professional circle as well as leaving the client feeling grateful for assistance.