15 Ways Small Businesses Can Convert Prospects into Clients
For any business, acquiring new clients is a requisite if you want to grow your revenues and expand into new locations. Finding, attracting, and winning new clients isn’t easy. It takes persistence, focus, and time. But that isn’t all. It also requires a coherent marketing and sales strategy.
There are a lot of moving parts for a small business, and it is important to focus on the forest instead of the individual trees. In the case of the latter, it is easy to get lost on individual tactics while neglecting others. With that said, however, it is important to know what arrows to include in your quiver. The following is a checklist of marketing and sales activities that small businesses can tap to convert prospects into clients.
Know Your Clients.
Before you can effectively market and sell to clients, you need to understand where you can engage them, what types of content and activities they find compelling, and what issue drives them to look for a solution—whether product or service—that you provide.
Understand the Psychological Appeal.
In almost every circumstance, there is something that psychologically appeals to prospects and clients about your product or services. Indeed, research shows that 95% of a purchase decision takes place in the subconscious mind. It might be unique features and capabilities, or it might be a compelling user interface. It might be your brand slogan and messaging. If you don’t know, then you’ll need to spend some time with clients to discover what psychologically motivates them. And even if you think that you know, you need to spend time with clients to confirm what psychologically motivates them.
Build a Compelling Website.
Website development is immensely easy today. Do-it-yourself (DIY) website tools enable the non-technical small businesses to design and build a professional, compelling website quickly and easily. One aspect that many small businesses forget to address is SEO. Here, it is critical that you follow basic SEO principles such as securing a physical address, integrating keywords into your website copy, making your website mobile friendly, among others.
Add Live Web Chat.
When it comes to customer engagement, live web chat has the highest satisfaction rate of all live engagement channels—phone, email, or text. It also has a similar effect on prospects for several reasons. First, prospects expect businesses to offer live web chat on their website as well as mobile devices. Second, prospects resoundingly say they will return to a website that offers live web chat. Finally, 77% indicate they will not make a purchase if live web chat isn’t available.
Integrate Content Interstitials.
Prospects—both consumers and businesses—come to a website seeking specific information to questions. Often, offering them live web chat is overkill and unnecessary. Instead, they simply need content that corresponds with the question they are trying to get answering. Based on their behavior your website and even outside your website, you can offer them content that coincides with the topics they are researching and pages they are visiting.
Look to Third-Party Experts.
Small businesses simply cannot be a jack of all trades and need to look to third parties to supplement their team—from both a resource as well as skills gap standpoint. For example, hiring a full-time receptionist to answer incoming calls and emails and to greet visitors probably doesn’t make financial sense for most small businesses. But outsourcing those tasks to a virtual, on-demand third-party provider like Davinci Live Receptionists makes a lot of sense. The on-demand model enables a small business to control costs while simultaneously giving it the ability to scale services up and down.
Build Email Marketing.
Much has been written about the forecasted demise of email marketing. Yet, it remains a critical vehicle in qualifying the interest level of prospects and then nurturing them through the acquisition funnel. There is plethora of email marketing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications that integrate with various CRM systems and can be easily and quickly deployed. Plus, the entry point for these systems is quite low in many instances.
Get Engaged on Social Media.
Not every social media channel is relevant to a business. For one business, Twitter and LinkedIn may be the most appropriate social media. In other instances, it might be Instagram and Pinterest. Your social posts need to reflect a concerted strategy and content approach—from discount offers to campaign programs with associated content and promotions.
Deliver Timely and Informed Digital Responses.
Regardless of the engagement channel, clients expect you to respond to their inquiries in a timely manner and with responses that are informed. Keeping clients on hold for lengthy periods of time for phone can prove detrimental; they may hang up and never come back. The same is true of email, live web chat, or text, where clients are willing to wait a minute or less before a response is provided. This is where services such as Davinci Live Web Chat can deliver tangible value.
Collaborating with other companies through partnership agreements can help a small business to amplify its reach. The collaborative exchange between partners can generate revenue growth for both parties.
Host In-Person Events.
Clients appreciate the chance to attend user groups, panel discussions, and networking events. At the same time, in-person events give you a chance to have facetime with prospects and develop deeper relationships with them, which typically leads to added revenue. Finding the right venue for these events is important, and this is where Davinci Meeting Rooms can help.
Get Client Reviews.
Much has been written about the importance of online reviews. They help with SEO, but they also generate new leads and are used by prospects to vet different solutions. Reviews differ based on the nature of the business. Wonder how many you need? Local businesses have 39 Google reviews and a 4.42 rating.
Maximize Word-of-Mouth (WOM) Referrals.
A recommendation from a family member, friend, or peer carries significant weight. WOM programs come in two form factors—organic references, and those facilitated by marketing programs.
Join Business Organizations.
While this point is a bit “old school,” it is still a highly viable activity that uncovers new prospects and helps small businesses to build deeper relationships. It might be a local charity, or it might be a local or national association.
Get Prospects Through Personal Activities.
All of us have personal lives—from going to the gym, to attending a home owner’s association meeting, participating in charity activities—where business opportunities arise; instances in which small business leaders encounter someone who is willing to advocate on their behalf.
The above list is not comprehensive, and small businesses should continually look for additional marketing and sales activities and programs that add value—helping them to find and convert prospects into clients. But the list is a good starting point for small businesses seeking to reinvigorate their marketing and sales programs and to grow their client base and increase their revenues.