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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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3 ways to convert more prospects to clients (and 2 of them don’t involve selling)


I was talking with a partner in a mid-tier accountancy firm, and he complained to me that "if only we were better at converting the opportunities that came our way"

I think I can relate to that one. Actually, I think that pretty much every trainer, can relate to that one. After all, if we converted all the right prospects which came our way, we would spend a lot less time on business development. I may even have less grey hair... (well, maybe not!)

Our conversation had been previously about marketing, but then, the partner said, but isn't getting better at converting opportunities a sales skill.

On the surface of it, converting opportunities is a sales skill. After all, these 2 factors help you convert more sales:

* pre-qualifying or screening out the time-wasters and unsuitable clients before they suck up valuable time

* listening to clients and understanding their requirements so you can help them solve these with your services

However, if you get your marketing right, then it becomes so much easier to convert your clients. Because:

* only the right type of prospects approach you
* your potential clients arrive as hot prospects
* the sales process is much shorter as they are motivated to meet and buy from you

How much time have you wasted chasing up prospects who never quite seem to have the budget, but do want to use you?

However, how much time do you invest in:

* identifying the right type of client for your training practice (and they need to do more than pay the bills promptly and have a budget for training)

* researching what emotional and rational problems you solve for their clients. Not just the obvious stuff, but the deep down stuff which makes an organisation find a non-existent budget

* educating your introducers to what is the right type of referral for you

* raise your visibility and profile in the places your clients hang out, online and offline

Next time you think, I (or we) need help with our sales skills, how much time have you spent making sure you get the right opportunities through to convert?

Author Credit

Heather Townsend helps professionals become the Go-To-Expert. She is the author of the  award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’ and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’. Over the last decade she has worked with over 300 partners; coached, trained and mentored over 1000 professionals at every level of the UK's most ambitious professional practices.

Heather blogs regularly at Partnership PotentialHow to make partner and Joined Up Networking

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Heather Townsend


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