Converting Sales

by Greg Cangialosi on February 20, 2007

Ian Landsman brewed up an awesome post on 10 ways to convert customers into sales. I have been following Ian’s blog and the launch of HelpSpot since the beginning, and I always enjoy reading about entrepreneurs and the lessons they learn. Ian talks, in particular, about how some key actions on a company’s part can dramatically increase upsell and cross sell opportunities. I have found these same “rules” to apply to my business as well.

I have also found some of Ian’s rules to be our best drivers of new business, or as most people call it, sales. Here are a few of the rules Ian mentions in his post that have not only had a positive effect on current customers, in terms of upselling and cross-selling, but also are directly attributable to driving sales as well.

Respond Fast

I just can’t say enough about this. Its so simple, when people inquire about your product, service or brand, the quicker you respond, the more likely they are to buy from you. I have tested this out extensively over the past 6 years, and hands down everytime a member of my company touches a prospect within the first 30-60 min of them reaching out to us, our close rate shoots through the roof. Simple stuff, respond fast, and you will see your sales increase fast.

Always be the last response

As Ian states, “It only takes a few seconds to respond back” and wow, what a difference that last touch can make. It says, “I am all over it, just let me know what you need and I am here, present and accounted for.” Who wouldn’t want to deal with a company that had that kind of customer response and service? Enough said.

Avoid overly prepared responses

Canned responses to sales inquiries SUCK. No one wants to be communicated to like they are a robot. There is nothing wrong with having “canned” templates of information, but please, take a few minutes and customize it just a bit based on whatever information you know about the person. Did you have a conversation with them? Then reference it. Give your communications some personality, people want to be treated like real people.

Know who you’re dealing with and respond accordingly

I have seen several examples of how things differ when you are selling at the CEO level vs. the manager or director level. Totally different game folks. Know your audience for sure. A CEO generally wants to hear the hard core facts, and the bottom line value add that using your product or service will bring to their organization, vs. the Marketing Manager who may want the entire history of your company, 10 references, and 2-3 demos of your application before buying. Knowing your audience and responding to them accordingly is key.

All good stuff. Thanks again to Ian for the insight. Happy selling and customer serving :-)