It’s no surprise if you’re in business to have people inquire about your products and services. What may be surprising, is how to handle the inquiry so that you maximize the exposure to your business while also doing your due diligence to help the prospect solve their problem using your products and services.
One of the most essential skills to be learned in business is how to inspire the sale, which includes the entire selling process – from introduction and closure. Many entrepreneurs, because they don’t feel comfortable selling, end up stopping the process before its maturation, costing them a new client.
My recommendation is to focus on the value you provide to the prospect and when leading with the value, ensure that you are helping them to understand that not only do you understand their problem, but you also have a solution that will change their current pain to pleasure.
When a prospect inquires about your products or services, there are five things that you should do so you can maximize the interaction and advance the process to inspire the sale:
1. As soon as they inquire, if not part of the inquisition process, begin a prospect profile. On this profile, be sure to collect as much information as you can about them and their challenges so you can validate if this is the type of client you’ve chosen to work with. Included in the necessary information should be:
a. Full name
b. Mailing address (for future direct mail marketing efforts)
c. Phone number
d. Email address
e. Reason for the inquiry (to help them, you can create a short list of the problems your ideal clients have before hiring you and then leave a small space for something other than the core problems you solve)
f. How they learned about you (this is so you can thank any referral partners appropriately)
g. What they are hoping to gain to consider their problem solved
h. Other things they’ve tried to solve the problem
2. Based on the scheduling process that you use, if the profile warrants the scheduling of a conversation, get it scheduled so you can talk with them to clarify the problems and offer how you can solve their problems using your products and services. In this conversation, be sure to share your solutions, while also offering the one you feel would be best for them based on how you understand their problem. (They see you as the expert, so they will be expecting your recommendation.)
3. During the meeting (in person or virtual) be attentive, ask key questions and summarize before you share your solution. When you share your solution, focus on the benefits and value, not the features and process. Seldom will the prospect care about the step-by-step, typically they want to know that their ultimate goal can be achieved using your product or services.
4. Ask for the sale by focusing on how your solution will lead to the achievement of their core goals concerning the problem area. Say something like, “I’d love to work with you, is now a good time to discuss my service options?” Listen and wait for their response.
5. After the meeting, enact your follow up strategy in this way:
a. Send a thank you card, a hand written note, thanking them for taking the time to meet with you. You may also opt to send them a small token of your appreciation but a handwritten note will go very far in the process.
b. As a 2nd thank you, opt for a video email or traditional email thanking them for meeting with you, summarizing the highlights of the discussion and next steps for each of you. Be sure to include the timeline you set to follow up for the decision. Include any documents you promised to send highlighting your products and services for their review.
c. Hold a follow-up call/meeting. If they’re not ready to become a client, ask them when it’s a good time to follow-up with them to see where they are in the process. I recommend following up every 60 days after that initial meeting until they say otherwise. Low hanging fruit is the easiest to pick and often the follow-up is what helps you seal the deal.
When you focus on creating a systematic approach to handling service inquiries, you will naturally extend the life of the inquiry and close more new clients.
©2012 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, The Incredible Factor Business Mentor and Coach, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises.com and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System® a proven step by step program for turning your passion into profit. For more information and a FREE audio download “How to Use Your Incredible Factor to Attract MORE Ideal Clients” visit http://www.incredibleoneenterprises.com