In the journey of sales growth, 4 key things must happen in order to get accounts. Attract – Convert – Close – Delight. Often we leave this process up to chance or perhaps we just do better on one aspect than another. Either way, every salesperson tries to do at least the first three of these. Lets take a quick look at what these mean and how viewing sales from as these 4 stages changes the game.
How we get customer interest may vary, but getting their interest is always the first step. But lets look at the word attract. A quick search on Google yields: “cause to come to a place or participate in a venture by offering something of interest.” Many sales people cold call, either on the phone or in person, but cold calling is not really offering something of interest … attracting. Cold calling is invasive and disruptive. Cold calling also does not take into account the right timing of the customer … they are often simply not ready.
Attracting customers is about appealing to them at the right time, on their schedule. Unless you have a very clairvoyant sales team, this is not going to be accomplished through sales calls. So how do you get in front of interested pre-qualified prospects? The answer is Content.
Creating valuable content that addresses your prospect’s concerns and helps them solve their problems is content that will draw in prospects as they see a need for you. At this stage, it is all about giving them information and helpful advice, it is not the time to stuff you sales pitch down their throat.
Instead offer download or something else that requires their email to access it.
Once a prospect gives you their email, they have their download and you have converted a new lead. Converting the prospect to a lead does not mean that you instantly start pushing your product. Start out with warm sentiments of being helpful, such as sending them an email offering to answer any questions that they have about the item they downloaded.
By offering them value and advice, you set yourself up as a thought leader and this helps them to view you as a go-to when they need it. Now that they are in your wheel house, you can start to send them other helpful information. This information will continue to reinforce you as a thought leader. As you nurture the lead, your content will span across a few different aspects of what you do and the prospect will get a better idea of what you do and how you can help them. This is usually when the prospect will start to seek advice for something particular or they will see the need for your product or service and contact you for more details and maybe even pricing.
At this point, we have left the Convert stage and have entered the Close stage. This is where sales picks up and marketing takes a break. Notice that sales was not needed at all up to this point. Everything so far has been done by the marketing department. Even the email that was sent can be done by the marketing team by utilizing an automated marketing system.
However, once they have expressed interest in your service/product or downloaded a few materials, sales can follow up and begin working on closing the deal. Sales should also look at this as an opportunity to solve the prospect’s problem. There is also less pressure on the sales team, because unlike traditional sales, the process is more consultative and therefore better for both parties. The reason this is true is because of how you gained the prospect. They came to you.
So, your sales team does what they do and you solve their problems, because your company is amazing…now what? Delight them!
Delighting the customer is a stage that varies depending on what you do and the nature of your business. If your business model is that the customer continues to buy your services month after month, then it is about providing the best service possible on a consistent basis and making them absolutely delighted that they do business with you. This minimizes the threat of them looking elsewhere. In this example, delighting the customer is rather obvious.
However, if it is a short-term project, then you delight the customer for the duration of the project. However, in both examples, delighting the customer is also about continuing to send them useful information. Keeping them informed on your business may lead to future sales, either with them or their connections. You want to stay top of mind, always.