70% of our readers said they need to convert more sales leads into customers. With these simple techniques, even your administrative, operations and retail staff can become sales superstars…

Two weeks ago, I promised to report on the results of a comprehensive survey we presented to Instant Income readers. Among other questions readers answered was this one:

What are the most critical things you need to start doing in your business today?

Many of you said you needed to “launch new products and services.” Others identified “staying in communication with past customers” as a priority. Many more identified “marketing our services more aggressively” as critical to their business.

But a whopping 70% of readers — the largest percentage by far — said they needed to immediately “improve our sales function to convert more leads into customers.”

Today’s post is dedicated to meeting that need.

Start With Specific Offers That Pre-Sell Leads Before They Call or Come Into Your Store

Perhaps the easiest way to make a sale is when the prospective customer calls your business or visits your store already pre-disposed to buy a specific product or service. This kind of pre-sold situation can only happen when you make specific offers in your lead-generating materials and give prospects every reason why they should want what you’re advertising.

What makes an offer “specific”?

Presenting (in an advertisement, email, radio commercial or other device) a unique item or product bundle, with compelling benefits why the prospect should be interested, at a specific price that would be considered a good value, along with a call-to-action for the prospect to call or visit your store within a specific time period. That’s a specific offer.

Unfortunately, so many businesses advertise non-products and non-benefits like, Quality, service and low prices or In business for 27 years! But instead of sounding like every other business in town, why not make a specific offer that has a sense of urgency about it and gets people to pick up the phone and call you?

If you have an air-conditioning service company, for example, you could say, For the next 14 days, we’ll install a brand new top-of-the-line heating and air conditioning unit for just $3,285 including a 5-year-written warranty and free replacement filters for as long as you own your home.

An offer like this is specific, urgent, compelling — and a lot different from simply, We have low prices.

Next, Script a Response for Your Staff to Use in Handling These Prospective Customers

If you know that the majority of respondents to your ad, commercial or email campaign will be asking for the special offer, prepare your team to provide more information about that offer, such as: What’s included… how each one of those deliverables can benefit the customer… pricing and purchase terms… comparisons to other options available in the marketplace… sample closing techniques (see below)… payment methods accepted… and so on.

Create a written “cheat sheet” of these details that your staff can study and memorize. Once they master selling your main offer, be sure to give them a detailed “cheat sheet” of other products they could sell that might better fit the prospect’s needs.

What’s the Real Purpose Behind the Cheat Sheet?

A cheat sheet will help your staff provide all the information — about your company and your product — that the prospect needs in order to make a buying decision. Once the prospective customer is familiar with your business and what it can offer, the job of your staff is to close the sale. Give them actual tools to make this possible. Here are some examples:

Create a brief statement your staff can use as a Trial Close — For staff who have trouble asking for the money, a “trial close” will move the prospective customer to making a decision… or cause them to bring up any objections which can be addressed with more information.

Simple statements like these work as a trial close:

Service business: “We’ve got Tuesday morning open for your first appointment. Are you available to start then?”

Retail business: “This selection seems ideal. Can I carry this to the cash register for you?”

Consulting firm: “Wow, this sounds so perfect for you, how can I talk you out of it?”

Manufacturer: “We can schedule that production run immediately. Is there a deadline by which you need delivery?”

Provide scheduling capabilities to book a first appointment — Scheduling a first appointment and providing payment information before starting a service brings closure to the prospect. In their mind, they’ve made a purchase. There’s no reason to second-guess themselves. So be sure to give your staff access to your calendar or otherwise let them set appointments. You can even group these starter appointments on the same day of the week, so you don’t interrupt your other work-flow throughout the week.

Provide a way to capture customer’s payment information — Along with the new customer’s name, contact information and any other details you need to deliver their order, you should also make sure your staff has a way to capture payment information. You can even allow your staff to process credit card payments via a swipe machine or online virtual terminal, so they can immediately request an alternate form of payment in case the card is declined

Once Your Staff Becomes Proficient, Teach Them to Upsell and Downsell

Upselling means offering customers add-ons, upgrades and complementary items to go along with the item they’re already purchasing. You can script a statement followed by a question that will help your staff sell more to an already convinced customer. For instance:

“Well, ma’am, that camera has pretty limited memory, so most people get a memory card so they can take extra pictures. Can I show you the one that goes with your camera?”

“Most companies find their people need training on the new software, so we always offer it along with the package. Would you like to schedule your training dates along with your purchase?

Downselling, on the other hand, is selling a lower priced item or package than the one being advertised. This allows your staff to save the sale when your original offer is simply too expensive. Rather than lose a customer (who may end up buying from you for years afterward), it’s best to have a downsell offer ready — and train your staff in how to sell it.

Sales techniques like these are just a small part of the treasure trove of complete marketing and customer-engagement campaigns I’m planning to include in my upcoming monthly series of affordable, “done-for-you” marketing campaigns that you or your staff can easily execute within minutes or hours of receiving them.

Like all of my other products, this monthly tutorial and package of associated marketing pieces won’t just tell you “what to do” — it will tell you HOW to execute in step-by-step detail using actual ads, sales letters, emails, webpages and other items I’ll include.

(You can see a free sample campaign here.)

Plus — based on your recent survey answers — I’ve added a bonus gift: A comprehensive Internet marketing plan designed to give you the soup-to-nuts task list and tutorials for converting your website into a marketing “path” that resolutely migrates visitors from opting-in with their email address to buying an entry-level product or service to buying even more expensive products and services later.

With the right kinds of offers and marketing path at your website, your website can turn from a mere “brochure site” into a true money-maker for your business — regardless of whether you’re a consultant, service provider, retailer or other kind of bricks-and-mortar business owner.

Until next time,
Instant Income
Janet Switzer

P.S. Have you established cash-generating systems in your business yet? Does your revenue get banked on a predictable basis? If not, you need to put in place the seven major systems that reliably bring in cash-flow. These systems will help you easily execute pre-scheduled marketing campaigns, run advertising that makes the phone ring, use sales strategies that convert prospective customers to cash-paying buyers, and more. Click here to read more about these systems and the step-by-step program for establishing them starting today. Then stay tuned for more advice, free reports and income-generation news from the Instant Income Revenue Report.

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