A lot of businesspeople believe sales is about convincing a lead to become a customer. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’ll make it simple for you. I saw this quote by Peter Drucker: “Marketing aims to make selling superfluous.”
That doesn’t mean you should axe your sales process entirely. Rather, selling to leads should be easy and simple—not pushy, cajoling, convincing, and all of those things that you typically associate with sales.
So to help you increase your sales pipeline and lead conversion rate, I’m going to share a few truths your sales team can implement today. But let’s start with a little myth-busting.
3 Common Sales Myths
1. It's a numbers game.
Say you make 100 cold calls daily.
It’s possible to get 20 leads to commit to an appointment and convert 10 people to customers, right?
Yes, it works. But it’s a hard slog. It’s soul-crushing. Not to mention it’s an inefficient and counterproductive sales strategy.
So sales is not a numbers game. It’s a performance game. It’s about how your sales team deals with people who want what you’ve got.
2. It's your job to overcome objections.
“No” is a tough pill to swallow, but it doesn’t stop a lot of salespeople from overcoming objections. Die-hard salespeople tend to push qualified leads who aren’t ready to purchase over the line.
So don’t skip steps in the sales process; it will position you as a pushy salesperson.
Instead, focus on nurturing a lead in your funnel. Keep the communication lines open, and when they’re ready to buy, convert them to a customer.
3. Always be closing.
Everyone has seen the movie Glengarry Glen Ross where it’s all about closing the sale and making the deal at any cost.
This is an old sales tactic. And it’s a losing strategy. Being aggressive positions you as needy, and it reeks of desperation. Instead, use your marketing efforts to get leads into your sales pipeline.
The Psychology and Mindset of a True Salesperson
Salespeople typically face an uphill battle to win customers and generate more sales. In my 20-year career as an entrepreneur I’ve learned that conversations are more likely to lead to sales. That said, there is a right way to approach conversational sales. Start here.
Or try this low-key method to achieve these goals.
1. Be authentic.
Have you ever attended a sales training? Sometimes, they talk about things like being enthusiastic and energetic when communicating with leads and customers. If this is your personality, there’s nothing to worry about.
But if you’re putting on a fake smile and trying to drum up an excited sales voice to convert a lead to a customer, you’re only creating pressure for yourself.
Don’t fall into this trap. Be authentic. People want to do business with real people, not fakes.
2. You're not in sales; you're a trusted advisor.
A great way to sell more starts with positioning.
You have to position yourself as an expert—a trusted advisor—who has your customer’s best interest at heart. You’re their confidant, someone they can trust to help solve their problems.
3. Get to the truth.
The ultimate goal of sales is to get to the truth.
Let’s admit it. You can’t convert all of your leads into customers. It’s a matter of compatibility. You have to figure out if you’re a good fit for a prospect. And you do that by qualifying your leads.
Some prospects will tell you they either don’t have the budget, are not interested, or are not ready to buy now. Your sales team needs to be open to hear these objections and accept them.
If your instinct is to push the sale and counter objections, you’re only creating pressure. This drives leads away, which affects your lead conversion rate.
4. Aim for the right goal.
Aim to sell only the next step in your buyer’s journey, not the final step.
This is a common mistake among salespeople. When they offer a sales deal, they skip to the final stage in the sales process. They focus on getting leads to sign on the dotted line as quickly as possible.
And again, this is a poor sales tactic. It makes your marketing campaigns redundant, and it defeats the purpose of building your sales funnel. So rather than shortcutting the sales process, sell only the next step.
Lead Conversion Strategies
Besides defining a professional salesperson’s psychology, I have two key action strategies to help you convert leads into sales.
How you position your business is vital. Leads will take you at your own appraisal. Focus on positioning yourself as an expert and a trusted advisor. It gives potential customers the impression that you’re the best person to consult with, analyze a problem, and offer a solution.
Resist the urge to discount. You’re unintentionally driving away high-value leads. If your marketing is targeted, you’ll attract interest from more qualified leads. You won’t lose customers, and people will still buy from you.
So rather than discounting, consider:
- Increasing quantities
- Adding peripheral products or services
- Boosting the value of your offer
Risk Reversal Action Strategies
Most leads have been burned before by dodgy salespeople. They were probably pressured to buy and regretted the decision afterward.
So most of your leads have learned to put their defenses up, and trust becomes a major barrier to sales.
To counter this roadblock, try to reverse the risk. Take the risk on yourself rather than putting it on the lead. This will help build trust and remove the friction from the sales process.
Here are three risk reversal tips to help your business convert leads to sales.
1. Using power guarantees.
I’m not talking about generic ones like satisfaction guarantee, money-back guarantee, whatever. They barely work.
Now, if you say you can double their money back if your product doesn’t work. That’s powerful.
It builds trust and confidence with your prospect because there’s nothing to lose. If they’re not happy, you fulfill the guarantee, and they move on. And if they’re happy, you naturally convert leads into sales.
2. Offer an unlimited package.
Many businesses are moving towards the subscription model. I’m talking about Netflix, streaming services, and similar companies.
One-off purchases still work, but subscriptions have become super convenient for most customers.
For example, to get a prospect to experience your product or service, you can offer a free trial on your website. If they love it, this lead will sign up and become a customer. This is the power of creating a subscription-style service. You benefit from regular, monthly transactions. It never ends.
3. Try before you buy.
Give your leads the opportunity to test drive your product or service before they buy.
This works because reciprocity is a strong instinct. If somebody does something for you, it’s normal to feel that you need to return the favor.
It gives the impression your company is willing to take risks to win their trust. So if the customer likes your offer, they won’t hesitate to pay and do repeat business with you.
Lead Conversion 101
Lead conversion is more than getting thousands of visitors to your website or thousands of comments on your blog post. It’s about capturing and nurturing the right leads and converting them into customers.
Get rid of old habits that barely work. Think about how you can use targeted marketing to drive qualified leads to a landing page on your website and get them to fill in a form and opt-in to your CRM. Re-engineer your sales process so your team focuses on leads at every stage in the buyer’s journey.
Follow your sales process. Whatever marketing tactic or strategy you use, it must be aligned with your sales pipeline. Do one step at a time, and you’ll get a high conversion rate.