9 Ways to Improve Your Sales | Convert More Traffic
In last week’s installment, I talked about ways in which you can increase the amount of traffic that you and your team work with. Please recall that I define traffic as individuals who come to your website seeking information and/or a solution.
Traffic can also be defined as people that attend your webinars, lunch-and-learns, tradeshow booths, et cetera. In other words, anyone and everyone who is even remotely qualified to do business with you are considered “traffic”.
Obviously, everyone should not be treated like a qualified prospect. This chapter deals with strategies and tactics that help you convert traffic into leads. Overall, the formula is pretty easy to understand.
If you have little or no traffic, you’ll have very few (if any) leads. Conversely, when you do have a large amount of traffic (which you will by following last week’s suggestions), you must convert that traffic into leads.
Here’s how to go about it.
Remember, the most important thing to address is the fact that time kills all leads. All of the research shows that the faster you respond to an inquiry, the higher the probability that that inquiry will convert into a lead.
Literally, if the traffic is coming to you via the web, your probability of success goes up dramatically, if you are able to respond within a few seconds. Conversely, if you wait a day or two, you may as well as ignore the traffic altogether.
One of the first things you should do is make sure that your website is equipped with an autoresponder. I don’t care whose you use, but autoresponders are pieces of technology – frequently, very inexpensive pieces of technology – that will send a message to a prospect acknowledging that they have visited your website and left their contact information.
If you’ve ever gone to a website and filled in a form to download an e-book or a whitepaper or to register for a webinar, et cetera and received a confirmation rapidly, that confirmation more often than not was dispatched by an autoresponder.
One of the things I use to help convert traffic is a tool that we provide our clients that identifies anonymous traffic. Depending on who you talk to, 92% of the traffic coming to your website will not leave their contact information. These individuals are anonymous visitors. Our tool identifies the company that the anonymous visitor came from. For instance, this morning I received my daily report from this tool telling me who visited my website. I noticed that several companies that my team had contacted by phone yesterday, showed up at our website yesterday.
So, I now know that our voicemail message and our outbound prospecting activity drove traffic to the website. Our visitor ID tool (it works just like caller ID on your cellphone) told me what companies they came from, and I’m able to direct my team to follow up with those individuals, due to the fact that their visit to our website indicates a higher degree of interest in our offer than one would record had the voicemail not been listened to. So, a key component to converting traffic is the installation of an anonymous website visitor identification tool (visitor ID, for short).
As you reach out to the traffic that you have obtained, make sure that you keep in mind the rule of W.I.I.F.M. This is a timeless acronym which, spelled out, means: What’s In It For Me? Your traffic is not interested in the bells and whistles that your product or service delivers. Your traffic is interested in the results that the bells and whistles will deliver. So, one of the first things you should do is make sure that you understand why that traffic is in your life.
Now, you can’t literally ask this question, but you must get the answer to this question, “Why are you talking to me?” Keep in mind that all traffic is in your life (whether it be your website, your webinar, your office, their office, et cetera) due to the fact that the traffic is interested in achieving some business result. Business people always change part or all of their business, if they see an ability to improve one or more operating conditions within that business.
The three key components of converting traffic are:
- What improvements in their business does your traffic want to see? In other words, if you sell computer technology services, it’s highly improbable that any traffic will come to your website if they’re trying to buy Italian shoes. Please excuse the humor, but the point is they come to your website because they’re curious about the results that you and/or your company promise. So, as quickly as possible, you must determine what improvements in those operating conditions do they want to see.
- From your traffic or prospect’s point of view, how valuable are your promised results? In other words, if your results don’t promise a significant, permanent and measurable improvement in part or all of how they run their business, then they will be intellectually interested but they won’t initiate the process of change.
- What will it cost this prospect, if they decline the opportunity to be a customer? This is the third component of consideration that you must present to your prospects at this point in your relationship. You see, the fastest way to convert traffic is to understand who should be pursued and who should be nurtured.
If the cost to the customer of not buying is low or negligible or, worse, not discussed, then they will very easily reject the opportunity to become a customer and buy your product. Conversely, if you and your prospect discuss the cost and the consequences of their rejecting your offer, you will have a toehold on a sale with which you can move forward very rapidly.
Now, it’s a cliché, but one of my favorite acronyms is M.A.N.T., which stands for Money, Authority, Need and Timing. As you move traffic through your funnel, make sure that you are constantly aware of the M.A.N.T. theory.
- Money: If the prospect doesn’t have the money and/or if they have not discussed the money / budget, then you may be blindsided when it becomes time to ask for a commitment. If many of your leads end up in a rejection based on money, then you probably have failed to address the Money component of the M.A.N.T. acronym early in your relationship with your prospect.
- Authority: There is no shortage of sales efforts that have ended in disappointment due to the fact that the sales professional forgot to find out whether or not the man or woman to whom he/she was talking actually had the authority to authorize the expenditure of funds and implement new products, procedures, services, et cetera. So, once again, one of the secrets to converting our traffic into high-quality leads is to understand, as early as possible, whether or not the man or woman you’re talking to has the authority to initiate the change that you are requesting.
A good tactic to use to determine this is to attempt to find out what role your contact had in previous purchasing decisions. If the previous decisions were of similar magnitude (pricewise, change, et cetera) to that which you’re proposing, then he/she in all probability has the authority to initiate the change that you’re requesting.
If, on the other hand, they’ve never been involved with a purchasing decision, then you certainly should find out who, besides your contact, will be involved in the review / approval of your proposal / idea.
- Need: Again, it is a great time-waster to pursue people who don’t need your product or service. Just because they have office furniture doesn’t necessarily mean that they need new office furniture or an office furniture maintenance agreement. Again, the sooner you can ascertain whether or not they actually have a need, the better off you will be.
Refer back to a couple of tips that I shared with you a few paragraphs back. Specifically, what does it cost the prospect to say “no” or “not now“? If the honest and accurate answer to that question is nothing or very little, then you have someone who really has no need. If, on the other hand, there will be huge negative consequences (financial, productivity, strategic, personal, et cetera), then you have someone who truly needs your product or service.
- Timing: Time is a critical factor. Again, as soon as possible, you should determine whether or not the timing is realistic. Remember, it never hurts for you to say, “Out of curiosity, when would you like this project completed?” The answer to that question will tell you whether or not the timing is immediate and/or into the far distant future.
If the timing is immediate, the need is dramatic, you’re talking to a man or woman who has the authority to initiate and facilitate change and, most importantly, they have the money, then you have traffic which qualifies to move into your funnel. Remember the four easy words to memorize and focus on with each person who comes to your website, webinar, lunch-and-learn, tradeshow booth, et cetera.
If the traffic doesn’t meet the M.A.N.T. standard, then you should nurture it.
Now, in a later chapter, I’ll talk about the concept of closed-loop marketing, but suffice it to say that 45-63% of the traffic that does not qualify for an immediate insertion into your funnel (in other words, it’s not currently forecastable) will eventually buy identical products or services to that which you sell.
Closed-loop marketing guarantees that you will have a relationship with that decision-maker, when he/she is ready to buy. So, although the purpose of this chapter is to help you convert more traffic, if you will stay in touch with the people who do not currently meet or exceed the M.A.N.T. standard, then over time you will dramatically increase your sales, as a significant percentage of today’s traffic will become tomorrow’s new customers… for someone. The only question is: Will you be that someone?
If you missed last week’s installment, you can find it on my blog https://gilcargill.com/about/blog.