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Make Your Company a Sales Conversion Machine

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 3/11/2015 John Bowen

Let's face facts: If prospects don't take the next step and become buyers, your great product or service won't mean a thing -- to them or to your bottom line.
So how can you boost your close rate by getting qualified prospects to commit to you right away? Just as important, how can you compel the right prospects to say yes without hard-selling them?
Lisa Sasevich has the tools to get those jobs done. For decades, she trained top executives at companies like Pfizer and Hewlett-Packard to sell more and sell faster. Her company, The Invisible Close, made Inc.'s list of America's fastest-growing private companies two years in a row.
Her advice: Stop focusing on generating leads and start perfecting your sales conversion machine. "Sales conversion is giving prospective clients what they need to be empowered and inspired to step forward and say yes -- not to you but to themselves," says Sasevich. "It's about them having what they need to say yes to themselves and their business, and to give both the gift of transformation."
2015-10-27-1445967417-3550578-aes_sasevich.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-10-27-1445967417-3550578-aes_sasevich.jpg
To get there, you need what Sasevich calls an "irresistible offer". "An offer that is irresistible will have the right prospects pursuing you instead of you having to put pressure on them to buy," she says.
There are three components to an irresistible offer:
1. The main dish. This is the basic offer itself. Ask yourself: What is the best way for prospects to get the unique and transformative value that I offer? Maybe it's 10 one-on-one sessions, or a series of training meetings (such as modular courses delivered online), or some combination of the products you sell.
2. Bonuses. A bonus is something that the prospect who wants the main dish would also highly desire, and would probably buy anyway if offered separately.
To be effective, your bonus needs to be closely related to your main offer and enhance it in some important way. Example: Sasevich's sales program focuses on building a sales conversion strategy (that's the main dish). However, Sasevich realized that the next step clients would want is to know how to get themselves in front of ideal prospects. So she developed a bonus tool kit for getting booked to make presentations and do interviews. On its own, the toolkit sells for nearly $500. But prospects can get it for free when they sign up for the program on-the-spot. "Many who would have delayed the decision to "think about it" are inspired to take immediate action because the bonus is so compelling and something that they know they want sooner rather than later," she says.
Tip: Don't bother offering a whole slew of random bonuses (think back to those TV ads where if you bought a knife you'd get a free doorstopper). That old-school approach only devalues your main dish. Instead, make it one or two highly targeted and valuable offerings that will boost your appeal and credibility among your target prospects.
3. Limiters. As the term suggests, limiters put a restriction on some or all or your offer. Scarcity can be a powerful motivator. If prospects think they will miss out by not jumping on a limited offer, they'll tend to move fast to scoop it up before the next guy does.
There are two main limiters that work well:

  • Time limiter. This limiter restricts an offer or a bonus to those prospects who sign up or complete a task within a specified time limit. For example: If you sign up for a series of ten coaching sessions by midnight tonight, you get an additional half-day of coaching for your support staff for free.
  • Quantity limiter. This limits the number of people who can sign up for or receive something of value -- such as one-on-one strategy sessions, complimentary in-office consults or a product that complements your main offer. At one of my companies, CEG Worldwide, we use quantity limiters with our webinars by offering consultations to the first ten people to sign up. Once those slots are taken, they're gone.

(Of course, you can combine the two limiters. Consider something along the lines of: "For those of you who would like to start our weight loss program today, you get $100 off for signing up immediately. And I have a pedometer available. I've got sixteen of them right here, so those of you who really know you want to start walking the pounds off right now, come see me at the registration table right now.")
Important: Don't confuse this with being a pushy salesman. Bonuses and limiters help prospects self-select if they want what you've got. You're putting something of value out there, and those who really want it will come willingly. In addition, says Sasevich, "If you're not making an offer, you're just out there educating everyone -- and doing the heavy lifting for your competitors, who will swoop in and make their own offers to the prospects you spent your time educating."
A real-life example
To see this approach in action, Sasevich points to a business that's not exactly the poster child for fast decisions and impulse buys: cosmetic laser facelifts. One such firm she worked with was getting a lot of interest but few sales conversions.
So Sasevich created "cosmetic laser soirees" -- events where clients could bring their friends to the office. The doctor would make a presentation about the benefits of laser facelifts and end with an offer to attendees: $800 off a $3,000 package if they signed up within a week. She then added a bonus offer with a limiter: a complimentary $600 laser hair removal series performed at the same time as the laser facelift for those who signed up on-the-spot. "They could wait a week and get $800 off, or they could decide to push themselves just a little and book that night at the soiree, saving them much more money for services they probably would have come back for at some point anyway," she says.
The end result: The firm's conversion rate shot up 60 percent.
Looking for a sustainable edge that will help catapult you over the competition? Check out the insights, tactics and actionable strategies from today's top entrepreneurs at AES Nation.

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