A peek at our sales process, and how we welcome clients to our business
Happy New Year! How's the first full week of work treating you so far? Many of us are happily coming back to an inbox full of enquiries, so I thought now might be a good time to share our sales process with you. It's one we've carefully developed to help us answer enquiries quickly and effectively, increasing our chances of winning work without losing hours to the task.
As entrepreneurs, one of the daily challenges we face is generating - and converting - enquiries. Developing a structured process for handling enquiries is one of the best things we’ve ever done at Ditto. It’s helped us to build prospective clients’ confidence in us, it’s helped us to charge what we’re worth and make our clients’ decision to choose us over competing agencies an even easier one. Ultimately, it’s helped us to win business more smoothly and successfully.
If you spend far too much time responding to enquiries, suffer with a disappointing conversion rate or are plagued with the constant niggle that ‘there must be a better way’, this is for you…
How can you make this easier on yourself?
More than likely, your most precious resource is your time. And whilst you dearly want to nurture each and every enquiry that comes your way, you also want to get everything else ticked off your to-do list. We found that clients typically want to know three things when they get in touch: how the process works, what it costs and how long it takes. This makes life super easy because everyone wants to know roughly the same thing. It didn’t take us long to realise: rather than waste hours tapping out the same reply to every enquiry, wouldn’t it be better to have a beautifully designed brochure up our sleeves that can be whipped out, answering all of their questions whilst impressing them with our thorough understanding of their challenges? So that’s what we did. We designed a beautiful brochure and an email template that simply gets tweaked a bit for each enquiry, creating a smart little process that makes our lives so much faster, helps to quickly separate serious enquiries from those that’ll never convert anyway and does a good slog of the selling for us. Here’s how to do the same.
Put yourself in your clients’ shoes
The biggest fear your client has when they first reach out is ‘will they understand me?’. Showing that you fully empathise with their challenges will be immensely reassuring, put their minds at rest and tell them that you are, in fact, the intelligent and capable people that they want you to be. So put yourself in their shoes: what do your people need to know when they first get in touch? It might not be the obvious stuff, and it probably doesn’t involve a shopping list of what you do, but perhaps something more subtle.
Every enquiry is an opportunity to impress
Of course people want to get clear answers to specific questions. But an enquiry is so much more than answering the basics! It’s the chance to start a relationship with someone new; to inspire and impress them and show them how wonderful you are. Embrace it!
The welcome brochure
By far the most powerful sales tool we have at Ditto is our welcome brochure. Thoughtfully written in our signature relaxed, friendly language, it invites clients into our world, providing a richer flavour of what we do and how we do it. Beautiful photography sets the tone for a brand that’s all about personality, and carefully chosen testimonials are peppered throughout to gently reinforce the key messages. It’s not a big piece - just 18 well-spaced pages - but my goodness does it pack a punch. Think of it as a more detailed version of our website; if the website gives a broad overview, this piece gets into the nitty gritty, introducing the nuances of what we do and how it’ll impact on our clients’ lives. Because really, that’s what people want to know when they get in touch - ‘is this for me and will working with these guys make my life better?’. Use your words, images and messages to paint a picture; tell your people how good it could be if they hired you and how you’ll make them feel. Make them feel great, but be honest - over-hyping reality is the fastest way to fall out further down the line.
Make it work for you
Start by noting down the things people ask you about the most when they first get in touch with you. Scan back through your inbox - I bet you’ll very quickly get to the bottom of this one! Once you know the things that are on your prospective clients‘ mind when you first speak, you’ve got the structure you need to start designing a brochure that’ll not only impress them, but will massively increase your chances of converting enquiries into paid-up clients.
Writing a template email
For me, this was super-easy. I pretty much wrote the same email every time to every client anyway, so it was simply a case of tidying that up, making sure I’d included everything that clients want to know and that the information was totally up to date. We always, always modify the email to suit the individual person who its being sent to, but it saves hours.
Keep tabs on each enquiry
They’ve enquired, you’ve responded. Great! But don’t let that lead go cold. I completely empathise with those amongst us who feel a bit cold and sweaty at the idea of making follow-up calls (I don’t love it, either!), but it’s important to find a process that works for you and your business. I find that clients respond incredibly well to a personal phone call - it just shows that you care - but if you don’t think you’ve the resources or confidence to make that work, draft a follow up email to send a couple of days after initial contact.
Amend as necessary
The most important thing you can do with any marketing activity is test and measure. Try it out, listen to the results and adapt as needed. I’m constantly tweaking stuff over here (the guys despair at how regularly I announce that I’ve updated this that and the other), but it keeps things fresh and relevant and means that we never lose sight of doing our absolute best to capture each enquiry that comes our way.
Over to you
What have you found that works well in your business? Do you have a process yet, or will you be taking some of these tips and designing a structured process for yourself? Let me know how you get on, won’t you!
Here's to a very successful 2019 for all of us.