Are most of your prospects ready to buy when you first meet them? Unless you offer something that people only think of when there is a serious problem, such as a tax defense specialist or plumber, then the majority of prospects you meet are just considering your service. Of course, we all want “hot prospects.” However, if you only focus on these prospects, you are missing a big opportunity. First, these prospects are probably looking at more than one provider who offers similar services to you. So, you are in a competitive situation. Second, you do not get as much of an opportunity to educate your prospect before he or she chooses to do business with you. For example, if you offer sales training, and someone comes to you looking for sales training, they are probably talking to other sales training organizations. So, you are now competing with others and it is harder to guide the conversation. If you first talk to a prospect before they have started their search for a sales training organization, now you have a big opportunity. If they have any interest at all, you can keep them in your universe with a few simple marketing strategies: 1) Shape the Conversation The first step is to help shape the conversation. Make sure they are thinking about the critical success factors for successful training. This can be done with a one-page guide like The Seven Critical Success Factors for Sales Training. 2) Ongoing Education Because they are not ready to make a decision immediately, you have time to educate them about how you approach sales training and why it is a better approach. This can be done through an email series or videos. And, it should be ongoing because you never know when they will be ready to move forward. 3) Natural Decision Points Provide something with a natural deadline that helps prospects to choose whether to move forward or not. This could be a webinar or seminar to learn more, which is a relatively low commitment. It can also be an opening to work with you, such as “we are taking on two new clients this month, as we had two projects finishing.” The point is to give them a reason to make a decision to move forward or not. If you use these strategies to keep prospects in your universe (and out of your competitor’s), you can ensure that when they are ready to choose someone to work with, they will choose you.
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