Persuading Customers to Buy

Do you have any idea of your business sales conversion rate? Most business owners do not know this important fact about their business. This is a potential gold mine. But what is a conversion rate?

Let us say in your business, you get 100 enquiries for people who want to subscribe, and 10 of those people become subscribers. Your conversion rate is 10%. What is scary is that most business owners have no idea what their conversion rate is. In establishing or expanding your business, improving your conversion rate is the greatest single low-cost marketing area to explore. Your goal is not to increase your leads because that costs money. Let us say that you are getting a lot of leads but you are not converting those leads, you are just throwing your money away. Instead, we need to look for ways to increase our customers and thus increase our sales while not increasing our advertising budget. Increasing your conversion rate is the best way to accomplish this.

How can you improve something if you do not know what it is? For example, we went and saw this business owner and this business owner told us that his conversion rate was 80%. I said, “I really hope it is, but let us measure it to make sure.” We measured it for one week. Do you know what it was? 18%. He was disappointed, but I was elated. I said, “Bob, this is a gold mine. Do you know what this means? This means that 82% of all your prospects are not becoming customers. That is where the gold is.” If we did nothing else but improve that area, Bob was going to double or triple his turnover instantaneously.

How do you convert those people? There are many strategies to convert people. I am going to give you the six big rocks. If I was in business right now, these are the ones that I would be doing straight away.

Measure it. As soon as you measure something, you improve it. It is like losing weight. The first time you put yourself on the scales and measure yourself, you set a target. As you keep weighing yourself, chances are that you will keep losing weight. How do you measure your conversion rate? Don’t say that it cannot be done. There are always ways to measure conversion rates. As soon as you measure it, make sure that you start reporting it.

Set your KPIs for your sales people around your conversion rates.  For example, let us say my conversion rate is 18%. Now I bring in my sales team and tell them that next month we are going to achieve 30%. If we achieve 30%, I am going to reward them all with an additional bonus.

Train your sales people not to be order takers, but problem solvers. One of the greatest ways to increase your conversion rate is to use your existing service people, your customer service agents, and really tweak their skills to stop being order takers and become wonderful problem solvers.

Risk reversal. I think that this is much more powerful now that it was years ago. You have got a lot of people at the moment that are reluctant to open up their wallets. You know what a guarantee says? “You can’t lose.” What I am going to do is take the entire risk of the purchase away from you. I am telling my customers that if I let them down, I will give them a no-strings-attached 100% guarantee. I know that you are saying, “I can’t do that. I would go broke.” Please, separate the forest from the trees. In my experience, there are only about 2% of people who evoke a guarantee. Having a guarantee and advertising that guarantee is going to do much more for your business than only 2%.

Have testimonials. The consumer is suspicious. We are in sales. We are in marketing. They know we are going to tell them how great our company is – because that is our job. Remember, your customers include Generation Y’s and they are not as gullible as the Baby Boomer generation. They have access to the internet, and they are superbly more educated than we were ever about products and services. So, the consumer is not going to believe what I say but, he will believe what others say about me. The power of a testimony is exceedingly important to help your conversion rate. You will find your new customers saying, “Well, you must be good because all of your customers are raving about you.”

Have a vision and a mission statement that you advertise in a marketing perspective. A lot of organisations spend all this money to create this big vision. That is all great and fantastic, but do you know where these usually end up? They end up in a filing cabinet. I am suggesting that you take that vision, that mission or purpose and create a document that you promote on your website and in your signage. Many customers are attracted to great visions. It breeds a sense of security. It breeds a sense of value because they know that you are in it for the long term.

In our introduction, we were talking about having 80% of our prospects being still out there. How often should be go back to them? I would go back to them every 90 days. You must have an amazing database. Your database is your gold. Find a way to collect names. If you can collect names and you can get people into a database and then come back to them in a systematic way, you will have an outstanding business that will defy the recession. No, it will not only defy the recession, it will prosper.


The author Tony Gattari is founder and Chief Energy Officer of Achievers group. He is a much in demand passionate professional speaker, business educator, author and corporate and business advisor.  He has worked with over 200 businesses around the world.                 



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