Having a 100% conversion-to-sale mindset boosts sales conversion by up to 4 times...
As I have mentioned in previous issues, Chris Newton, our founder, has a unique take on successful selling.
In this issue, I'm going to hand you over to him again as he explains his experience on boosting sales by changing the mindset about expected conversion ratios.
Recently, I witnessed an extraordinary change in a team of sales people.
They sell educational services and courses. This team had been converting an average 2 in 10 appointments to a sale. Three days later, this same team was averaging just under 8 in 10.
No, it wasn't just one star performer achieving that new performance level. The whole team was!
What happened in those few days? Did the company cut their prices? Did they change their product in any way? Did they offer added incentives? The answer is no ... none of these.
In a word, someone changed their "mindset". Up until that point, their belief system had been, "We're expected to convert 20% of prospects to a sale".
The new belief system instilled in them was, "Give me someone who is sufficiently qualified and I'll help them see the value of what we do and convert 100%". Now, they're not converting 100% ... but they are coming in at just under 80%!
Their productivity per sales professional has just quadrupled! Sure, they came off a low base. But it was their belief systems that kept them there. And in reality, all too many salespeople languish on a low base, and worse, are allowed to stay there by management, who share the low base mindset!
Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf
There's a great anecdote quoted in an Inc Magazine, that bears out the power of this mindset issue. It reports that back before the first Gulf War, when Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf had under his command, helicopter maintenance.
He'd asked for a status report on operations and asked specifically how much of the fleet was able to fly on any given day, given maintenance requirements. 75% was the reply.
Wondering why it wasn't 74% or 76%, he decided to set a new standard. "I don't know anything about helicopter maintenance, but I'm establishing a new standard of 85%.
Well, it won't come as a surprise to you that this new benchmark was achieved, no doubt amid protestations that it "couldn't be done", though you didn't argue with the general.
Don't lose the significance of this. They didn't bring in more maintenance crews. They didn't procure more equipment. In a word, Schwarzkopf changed the mindset of what was possible. Once the new expectation was "commanded", it was achieved.
And so it is in any area of business. Monitoring and expectation, with reward and consequence are the keys! Getting back to the sales arena, the irony is, you don't even have to quadruple your sales performance to see an amazing impact on profits.
If a change in "mindset" could take your conversion rate from 2 in 10, to a just 3 in 10, think about the impact. Your sales have just gone up by 50%!
There is no question that the "mindset" of the salesperson or consultant is the biggest element in whether the sale will go ahead. If you're "in the ball park" on price, quality and features ... it comes down to mindset!
In seminars, I often ask business owners ... "What would happen, with your present ads, with your present prices and quality of product, if you had the world's best salesperson on your team?"
Invariably, they agree that sales would go up dramatically. And yet, these same business owners will think the answer to sales increases is in some new ad, or in having a new product, or maybe because their brochure isn't shiny enough!
Having a team of sales people who believe in themselves ... with a "100% conversion rate" mindset ... is the most awesome resource you can ever have.
Now, there's a caveat on this.
The prospects these salespeople see must be qualified and profiled in advance. If your salespeople are driving all over the region, trying to sell prospects who can't afford, aren't ready, or don't have a need, of course, the conversion rate is going to be poor.
Often, qualifying prospects is seen as "risky" by managers. What if salespeople discard leads because they can't be bothered, and then claim they were not qualified? What if salespeople "burn off" someone who would have bought, even though they appeared not to be qualified?
Of course, these are valid concerns. But they are a question of managing the process ... of monitoring the "discard" rate, and getting salespeople to justify those they discard.
Now, all this begs the main question ... How do you get a "100% conversion" mindset amongst your people?
Clearly, they must be passionate.
And passion comes out of education. Your salespeople must be really educated as to how your product or service will revolutionise the buyer's situation ... improving productivity, or lifestyle, or peace of mind, or wealth, or fitness, or health, or profitability ...
It's about dimensionalising the benefits, not as generalities, but exactly how it does improve productivity, by how much, how fast, and so on.
In short, if you want salespeople to embrace a 100% conversion mindset, give them real specifics that inflame their passion.
Excite them into becoming advocates and zealots for what you offer, with a burning commitment that anyone who qualifies will benefit far more than the investment they are going to make to get your solution.
If you can define those specifics and educate your salespeople to communicate them effectively, you will have passion in your sales force ... and you will be able to lift the bar towards 100% conversion. Remember, this mindset, once instilled, is your most valuable and awesome resource.
The alternative is to languish at the bottom of the barrel "at good old 2-in-10" ... and never know what was truly possible.
And that's just not an option, is it?
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