In my work with small to medium businesses, I have noticed that there are two common practices that almost literally leave money on the table. These are not difficult to change, and sometimes all it takes is a little awareness to make a difference. Today I will share with you two actions that will immediately remedy these practices and increase your sales.
How to Immediately Increase Sales #1: Respond Quickly
How long does it take you to respond to an email enquiry? The first common business mistake is taking 24-48 hours, but is this quick enough? When looking for services for my house, I remember enquiring on around 5 websites. By the time I was contacted by some of these companies (3-5 days later), I had already decided who I was going to do business with. How quickly you respond to enquiries has an enormous influence on your chances to close the deal.
In fact, according to one study, every 5 minute interval after an enquiry is submitted decreases your chances of closing exponentially!1 If you are calling prospects 24 hours after the fact, chances are good they will choose someone who is more responsive. I have heard that some insurance companies will call you within 5 minutes of submitting your details (they must know about this research)! Make sure you are responding as quickly as possible to incoming enquiries.
How to Immediately Increase Sales #2: Follow Up!
The other most common mistake I see businesses make is not following up. When a person calls or emails your business, they are conducting due diligence on possible solutions. They need guidance. They need help deciding. Rather than wrapping up a call saying “call us if you have any other questions,” make a plan to touch base with the prospect within a few days. Offer to help them weigh up the various options and explain their differences. If you become a resource and trusted advisor to your prospects, you will have a significant advantage over your competitors.
Furthermore, remember that most sales take multiple contacts to close. By continuously following up, you are demonstrating that you care about your prospect, are proactive, and want to earn their business. Depending on your industry, it can take anywhere between one and dozens of touch points before you can ask for the sale. Make sure you plan follow up with your prospects!
Take Action – How to Immediately Increase Sales
I have heard it said that “If it’s easy to do, it’s easy not to do.” Don’t overlook the simplicity of these two tips. Make sure that you respond quickly to incoming enquiries, and follow up with them until their problem is solved (whether through your company or otherwise). Your sales will surely increase if you do!
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1 Lead Response Management Study; James Oldroyd, Ph.D 2009