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How to attract new customers and grow existing ones

One of the biggest issues impacting many businesses is poor lead conversion rates. Business owners put substantial marketing money into front-end lead generation and then waste a substantial amount of that investment by having very weak and unclear conversion processes and skills in their sales and service staff.

One client I worked with manufactured and sold a particular product that’s more expensive than its competitors. They’re more expensive because they are able to install the product on-site whereas other companies require the buyer to travel to them. This can save the buyer a lot of money in lost travel time.

The owner has very good marketing producing many leads but the salespeople were losing sales due to price objections. The problem was that their very low sales skills didn’t create a value-analysis discussion with the buyer – they had no ability to sell the value proposition and hence got involved in price discussions which they could never win.

So, we taught them to sell the value, identify all of the problems that the buyer was currently experiencing and then create a business case/cost benefit analysis for the buyer. It was clearly evident that the total cost of purchase was significantly in favour of purchasing my clients’ product and hence sales went up substantially.


Research shows 80 per cent of sales require five follow-up phone calls after the meeting.

The three factors that impact on sales conversion rates include:

1.  The quality of the leads

This obviously is a function of your marketing and to get good quality leads requires targeted and accurate marketing to your key buying personas. If your marketing is too broad you will attract too many leads that are not your target buyer – and you will waste time dealing with these.

It also makes your conversion numbers look bad, because you should not be having conversations with them in the first place.

2.  Sales people with outdated selling skills

You or your sales people may have selling skills that are not able to connect with and sell to the modern buyer today. This means that you will not be able to engage with prospects in sales dialogues with the ability to deeply understand the buyers needs and issues and provide effective value-based solutions.

When salespeople can’t do this, they talk features and get into price discussions too early and don’t add any value for the buyer.

3.  Leads don’t get followed up

Here are some statistics:

  • 44 per cent of salespeople give up after one follow-up. [Source: Hubspot]
  • 80 per cent of sales require five follow-up phone calls after the meeting. [Source: Marketing Donut]
  • 63 per cent of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months – and 20 per cent will take more than 12 months to buy. [Source: Marketing Donut]
  • Only 25 per cent of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales. [Source: Gleanster Research]



Provide your customers with relevant product information and meaningful solutions.

My top 5 tips for attracting new customers and growing existing ones

1.  Mastering the in-side

Successful business development and selling starts with strong clarity of your purpose, mission, values, skills, knowledge, strategies, and the removal of your fears and obstacles.

2.  Knowing your buyer types and levels

It is vital to know the distinction between the transactional buyer, the consultative buyer and levels of buyers – otherwise you risk wasting time and resources and not giving your customers or clients what they really need and want.

3.  Aligning your sales process to the customer’s buying process

This is a powerful way to ensure that your customers or clients feel that you understand their needs and that you provide them with relevant and meaningful solutions.

4.  Differentiating your value proposition

This will provide you with a very effective tool to help you build the questions to articulate your value proposition. When you ask very targeted questions of your prospects and clients you create value in the selling or buying process that helps them understand the value you can bring.

5.  Retaining, protecting and growing your clients

Build successful strategies to keep your clients wanting more from you.

If your lead conversions are low, costing you a lot of wasted marketing funds and frustrating the heck out of you, then let’s have a discussion to pinpoint the problem.

Excerpt reproduced with permission from Real Time Minds

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Bill Carson

Real Time Minds' Sales and Business Development expert Bill Carson helps sales professionals improve win rates, grow revenues, increase margins, and reduce sales costs through acquiring new customers and retaining and growing existing customers.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.