This 2 Minute White Paper shows you how having a sales conversion system built into your business can transform your growth from a stop-start affair into an accelerating juggernaut! As you can see, ‘Sales Conversion’ is the third Practice Multiplier…
Many business owners (including accountants) spend a considerable amount of time energy and money to generate enquiries. However, there’s little point having a brilliant enquiry generation system, using referrals (White Paper No. 3) and general marketing (White Paper No. 4) generating dozens of enquiries each month if you only convert a small percentage of them – its a huge missed opportunity!
You’re probably saying to yourself “I convert most of my referrals anyway, so what’s the point in putting in a system for converting them?” Well the point is this – no one converts at 100%, so the closer you can get to this target the more clients you’ll acquire. Furthermore, when it comes to non referrals, i.e general marketing, you are much more likely to be in a competitive situation (even if it’s only with the incumbent accountant) – so your conversion of these types of enquiry will undoubtedly be lower – probably much lower. A sales conversion system will improve results considerably. As soon as an enquiry is created (either from referral or general marketing), you need to have a ‘SYSTEM’ (yes, here we go again!) in order to convert as many as you can into good quality clients. Concentrating more on ‘converting’ enquiries into clients will ensure two things:
- You’ll rapidly transform the practice
- You’ll maximise the investment the firm makes on ALL its referral and general marketing strategies
The good news is that putting in place a system to convert more enquiries into clients costs very little (if anything at all). So what is a Sales Conversion System? In simple terms a sales conversion system is a system used to ensure the practice generates more clients from the number of enquiries generated. It starts the moment the enquiry is received, right through to the point where that enquiry becomes a client. One of the HUGE ‘hidden’ benefits of a successful system is that the process of converting enquiries is driven by the system rather than the individual – which means anyone (with the right experience in the firm) can use the system to great effect (which also helps with succession). Here’s a simple diagram explaining why you need a sales conversion system…
What this chart shows is that the prospect must reach a certain level of interest before he or she is prepared to say “Yes” and buy your accountancy services. Therefore what you need to do is increase the prospects interest each time the firm makes contact with them. A contact can be a meeting, a letter, a fax, an e-mail – or any way in which you make contact with prospects. On average it takes 7 positive contacts (‘The Rule of 7’) before the prospect says, “Yes”. A sales conversion system should therefore automatically cater for these contacts, which in turn will increase the chances of getting a positive result with the vast majority of prospects. Your sales conversion system should focus on each stage and as a result many more enquiries will turn into clients. …and there’s one more important piece of the jigsaw to consider. I call it the ‘Follow-Up Ladder. You see,Follow-Up is not practiced by many businesses (particularly accountancy firms – think about it, how many positive contacts do you have at the moment from the enquiry to the sale?). This means those that follow up correctly will always gain more clients. To reinforce this point further, I think you’ll find these research results very interesting…
- A recent study conducted by Performark (a research company in the USA) showed how few companies follow up properly or even at all.
They found that out of 10,000 advertising enquiries – 22% never received the information they requested, 45% received the information more than 65 days after their request, for 12% it took more than 120 days to receive their information, and 87% were never contacted by a sales representative.
- A recent study by Thomas Publishing Company showed that most salespeople give up too early, regardless of the industry.
According to the study, 80% of sales to business are made on the fifth sales call, but only 10% of salespeople call more than three times (the diagram on page 79 shows the complete details of the study).
- A recent study conducted by Tom Rayfield, a UK direct marketing expert, showed that companies are very poor at follow-up. Taking 200 randomly selected advertisers, he replied to them all to measure follow-up responses.
To his amazement, the average time taken for people to reply to him was eight days, and 17 companies (8.5%) didn’t even bother to reply!
- Dr Geoffrey Lant, the renowned marketing and research consultant, reasons that most buying decisions are made after seven contacts over an 18-month period. He calls this the ‘Rule of 7’, and many more studies support this.
What you need to do is make a positive impression on the prospect at each contact. By doing this, you speed up the sales cycle and keep more prospects in it – resulting in more sales. If one of your contacts has a less than positive impact on your prospect, their interest drops, making it harder for you to close the sale. This is a basic but very important tactic for you to apply and understand. The diagram on the next page shows how it all fits together…
Why Is A Sales Conversion System So Powerful, And Why Your Firm Must Have One?
Let’s just take this hypothetical situation…
Let’s say at the moment your practice converts 20% of general marketing enquiries into clients. The average fee income is £1,000, and 10 enquiries are generated each month. Look at the table below and see the effect a sales conversion system can have on the business in just 12 months:
|Conversion Rate||Enquiries Per Month||Customers Per Month||Average Order (£)||Annual Fee Income (£)|
For example, Richard Brewin (our non executive director and contributor to these White Papers) improved his overall sales conversion rate from under 20% to 90% in just 6 months using this system. Remember, improving the sales conversion rate is achieved without any extra cost. And that’s the beauty of it!