Posts

Qualifying imageThe second function in your client development process is . . . QUALIFYING.

Having The Right People Is a Good Thing
As you know, the real difference between your potential and your profits are the people you serve.

In terms of people, there are two key factors you’ll want to use to help you decide who is ‘qualified’ to take your time, money and energy for your business or practice.

1.  Can someone BUY the products and services you offer?
2.  Can Someone REFER or INTRODUCE you to people who can?

That’s it.  Don’t make this complicated, my friend!

“Can You Buy From Me?”
This is an obvious criterion.  If you’re not connecting regularly with people who will, sooner or later, want the kind of products and services you offer, you’ll never generate any revenues.  And that’s unacceptable.  So knowing whether someone can buy what you offer is a key to your success.

“Can You Refer People To Me Who Can Buy My Products or Services?”
Next to finding you have a viable prospect for your products and services, learning that someone is willing and able to refer people to you (or, introduce you) to people who can best understand, desire and afford the services you offer, is the next best thing.

People who are referring others to you are demonstrating their TRUST and RESPECT in you. That’s not to be taken lightly. Nor is it earned easily!

Ideally, you want to find people who will both BUY and REFER.  But at least one of these two criteria is required to have someone ‘qualify’ to get into your Client Development System.

So Again . . . WHY Are You Qualifying People?
Building your business or practice requires clients –– and the revenues they suggest.  Clients come from people who’ve come to know, like and trust you.  Some of these people may need your services themselves.  Others, for any number of reasons, may not need the products and services you offer.  But they may still be able to refer people to you who will.

Regardless of what someone may be able to do for your ‘bottom line’ . . . if you can’t see how they can help you by buying and/or referring you to others who can . . . you don’t let them ‘in’ your Client Development System.  Period.

KEY POINT:
Building relationships is the basis for building revenues.  However, if you’re working with people who cannot (or, will not) buy from you and/or refer to you . . . you’re burdening your social relationships with a business expectation that’s simply not going to happen. Don’t do it!

man with megaphoneIn my last post, I mentioned something might be MISSING . . . remember?

Lest you accuse me of dragging out the answer too long, let me direct your attention to the fellow with the megahorn as a final clue.  Does that help?

After Attracting Visitors, You Want To Get Some Kind of Action!
With an  inbound marketing approach, you’re anticipating what the ‘Next Step’ in your process must be and do for you.  Let’s face it, although you want to drive traffic to your website (or, blog) . . . if that’s ALL you do, you might as well not even bother.

The next ‘step’ after attracting traffic to you is to ‘convert’ your faceless visitors into recognizable people whom you can invite to take the ‘Next Step’ until, after enough steps, the person becomes a customer or client.

Use a Call-To-Action
Once you have attracted a ‘qualified’ visitor to your site, you want to learn who they are so you can begin the ‘courtship’ process — going from a suspect to a prospect to a client.  The mechanism for doing this is called a ‘Call To Action’.

This is typically a graphic button of some kind inviting you to do something to get an item of value . . . like a Special Report, a Buyers Guide, access to an exclusive video, etc. in return.

Call To Actions make it EASY to show you that a visitor has an interest in the value you have that they want.  And, if your initial ‘offer’ doesn’t require too much effort or expense . . . you’re more likely to get a response and, when you do that, you’ll be converting more visitors into opportunities.  Won’t that be nice!

KEY POINT:
Curious about converting visitors into opportunities . . .  ???

However you ATTRACT people to your website:
•  SEO
•  Direct Mail
•  Advertising
•  Word of Mouth
•  Promotional Emails
•  Blog Posts with inbound links
•  etc.

you definitely don’t want to lose them.
You want to CATCH them!

Not literally, of course.  But as we saw in a previous post, if you don’t learn who is interested in the benefits you offer, you may be extremely frustrated at the dismal contribution your website is (NOT!) making to your top-line revenues and bottom-line satisfaction.

Call-T0-Action + Landing Page = Success
Let’s assume someone finds you as a result of a Google search — a likely possibility — and they click your listing to gain, what they hope, is something useful . . . to them.  That would be your content that caused Google to show you on the search in the first place.

Call To Action . . .
Keep this simple.  It’s merely a mechanism  . . . that invites a visitor to do something to get what they want . . . like learn your insights on how to address an issue in their life or business . . . better than they’ve been able to do.

Landing Page . . . 
If a visitor doesn’t go directly to a landing page from a link in a Google search, your Call-To-Action button should lead a visitor to a page on your site that’s dedicated to the topic of interest to your visitor.

Once they are on your landing page, you want to use only as much copy as is needed to convince your visitor to give you their information — usually their name and email — in exchange for the low-risk, high-value information you have and they want.

KEY POINT:
Attracting visitors to your website is a critical first step in generating revenues for your business.  But you must learn who you’ve attracted . . . so you can take appropriate actions to generate not only leads, but revenues as well.  

 

I just read a great post by a Marcus Sheriden.  Marcus is in the pool & spa business serving the VA and MD area. He’s been through some rough times in the last few years.  He was embezzled out of over $200K in 2005, the economy tanked in ’08 and (oh, yes!) the IRS  actually put a lien on his home to help ‘get his attention’.

Inbound Marketing . . . to the rescue
In 2009, Marcus started using Hubspot to attract interested people to his website.  And his business is doing very well — even though many others in his industry have closed their doors.  He owes it all to learning how to be a business that attracts prospects to him — AKA ‘Inbound Marketing’ and using the Hubspot platform to do that easily and effectively.

The Magic Number: “30 Page Views”
Marcus discovered something very interesting using Hubspot’s built-in website analytics.  Specifically, he’s seen a positive correlation between:

•  the number of website pages someone visits, and
•  their propensity to buy a pool from him

Marcus learned that if a prospective client has at least 30 unique ‘page views’ they present his company with an 80% or better chance of buying a pool.  And with over 600 pools sold and installed by his company, Marcus’ insight is worth noting!

KEY POINT:
The more familiar prospects are with your business, the more likely they are to buy 

Next to ‘public speaking’, what’s the next big ‘fear’ of most businesspeople?  If you guessed, “Answering the question, “So, what do you do . . . hmmm?”

Lately, I’ve grown weary of the ‘cute ‘n creative’ responses businesspeople tend to give.  Nothing wrong with ‘Elevator Speeches’.  But often, nothing very unique about them, either.

Cut To The Chase . . . But Engage, Too
Here’s a refreshing alternative.  State what you do as succinctly as possible but include a follow-up question that engages the other person’s mind and, hopefully, invites them to have a conversation with you as a result.

“I _______ for a living . . . Let me ask you a question . . .”
For example, “I repair foreign cars for a living . . .”  Then, ask a question that invites further conversation, “Let me ask you a question, do you own a foreign car?”  They’ll either say, “Yes” or “No”.  Either way, you have an opportunity!

(No) “Very common. A lot of people don’t.  And I bet you’d never consider owning one in the future either, right?”  “Oh, really?  Gee, why do you say that?”.

(Yes) “Congratulations. They’re not for everyone.  Tell me . . . in your opinion, what’s the best and the worst thing about owning a foreign car?”

Either way, you are providing the other person with a way to:

1) know something about you that was previously UN-known to them, and
2) use that ‘new’ information to help them have a meaningful conversation with you

This will produce much better results than a cute statement that leaves people wondering what it is you ‘really’ do and, more important, what you’d like them to do with you . . . next!

KEY POINT:
Be short and direct . . . and always ask an engaging question as well 

Many business owners tell me they feel they’re wasting their time, money and attention on people who are not giving back ‘in kind’

Can you relate?  Ever feel you’re wasting your attention and affection on prospects, clients and centers-of-influence who just aren’t making it worth your while to cultivate a relationship with them?

Two Keys to ‘Green Light’ relationships.

BUY . . .”Can someone BUY what you offer?”
REFER . . . “Can someone REFER others who can or will?”

If someone can not or will not buy from you or refer others to you (or, for you) . . . they don’t belong in your Client Development System.  Period.  Someone may be a wonderful human being in every way, but . . . if they can’t add to your key business outcomes, they don’t belong in your system.  And, if they aren’t ‘in’ your client development system, they won’t be wasting your time, money and energy . . . will they?

KEY POINT:
STOP chasing unqualified individuals and GO after people who can add to your business’ bottom line.