Get More Customers – Management Tips 4 of 4

So you’ve got hundreds or thousands of people looking at what you have to offer. What now? While generating sales leads is definitely the first step, the leads you get are worthless until you learn to convert them to customers.

It’s time to complete the cycle with five proven methods to increase the number of leads that turn into paying customers.

1. Build Personal Relationships

In today’s fast paced, high tech world, it’s easy to think that sales and marketing have changed from being people to becoming big faceless corporations. Well the simple fact is that people still buy from people.

Think about it. Have you ever walked out of a store because the sales staff was obviously more interested in chatting with their friends then seeing what they could do to help? Have you ever dealt with a rude customer service representative who told you that everything was your fault and they couldn’t do anything about it? Have you ever decided not to deal with a company because the people are not very nice? We all do it.

Companies have come up with all kinds of ways to get people to check out their product or service, but if the people you meet when you walk in are unfriendly or unhelpful the sale never gets made. The people who deal directly with customers need to be friendly, helpful, and take an interest in the real lives of every potential customer who comes in.

Work on making the interaction between sales people and new customers personal and friendly. More than anything else, people buy from people they like.

2. Better Company Image

Never underestimate the power of a trusted brand. When all else fails we tend to go with the names we know and trust. If your company has a trusted image, then the products or services you offer inherit that same trust. Have you ever shied away from what looked like a good deal because it was coming from a company you’d never heard of? I know I have.

So how do you build a better company image? Well there’s a lot to it, but one of the basic elements is familiarity. Familiarity breeds trust. People are naturally wary of things they don’t recognize. So get your name out there, sponsor community events and keep doing it.

Building a strong company image takes time so don’t expect this to happen overnight, but there’s a reason big companies do it. Then next time you watch a commercial for a big company watch for the product promotion. Many times you won’t see it at all; all you’ll get is a feel good message about the company. There’s a good reason they do that.

3. Better Products & Services

Improving your product or service to help the people you are trying to help can increase your sales conversion dramatically. Most big companies spend about 10% of their revenue on introducing new and improved products.

In many of today’s fast paced markets constant improvement is a must. The secret is to pick a specific target market niche, and focus your improvements on that market. If you try to satisfy everyone with your next big improvement you will end up satisfying no one.

4. Targeted Communication of the Value

The more focused a company is on its target customer the more likely they are to succeed. Instead of trying to satisfy everyone, choose a specific market and focus on it; even if your product or service is also a great fit for other markets.

In the early sixties Coca-Cola was outselling Pepsi-Cola by approximately 5 to 1. That was until Pepsi decided to stop trying to sell Pepsi to everyone and decided to focus all of its marketing efforts on the teenage market. They launched the choice of a new generation and hired teen icons like Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. The result was that in one generation Pepsi went from being outsold 5 to 1, to being only 10% behind Coca-Cola in sales.

More companies have failed by trying to reach too broad of a market than have failed trying to reach too narrow a market. A good measure of whether your chosen niche is too large is to consider whether it is reasonable to expect that 80% of the people in your niche will have heard of you in the next 12 months. If that’s not achievable then you should consider narrowing your niche. Chose you niche and focus on it.

5. Better Follow Up

Most people don’t buy anything as a result of the first contact. It takes time to build the value of a new thing up in our minds to the point that we are willing to open up our wallets. On average you have to contact a person between 3 and 7 times to get a sale, even if you are selling something that person is looking for.

When you follow up, don’t push for a sale. Just ask if they got the initial information, and ask if they have any questions you could help them with. If the offer is something the person would consider, then they appreciate the help in a friendly relaxed way. If it’s not something they are looking for right now, it’s a long shot that you are going to convince them they need it. Your objective is to follow up enough that people who are looking for the kind of help you have to offer will think of you first when they decide to buy. People who don’t need what you have won’t buy; don’t waste your efforts there. Keep your offer on their mind for a while, and the people who need it will respond.

Summary

There is definitely a lot to say about converting leads into customers, but these five management tips should get you thinking along the right lines. Build your personal relationships. Build a trusted and familiar company image. Continually invest in improving your products and services. Target your advertising to a specific group of people. Follow up to keep your offer in the minds of the people who can benefit from what you have to offer.

Customer Service Management Tips – Part 1

Customer support teams are perhaps the most misunderstood, and underappreciated teams in the business world. In many businesses the customer support staff talks to the customers more than every other team combined. They play a critical role in ensuring customers are satisfied. Satisfied customers are repeat customers. Everybody knows that a large percentage of business comes from repeat customers. And yet customer support teams are commonly staffed with junior, inexperienced people that don’t have the authority to make any decisions, or the training and knowledge to answer difficult questions. What’s the deal?

What is Customer Support?

First, let’s clarify what I mean by “Customer Support”, because different companies use this term in wildly different ways. I am talking about the team that takes care of the customer after the contract has been signed and the initial invoice has been paid. You may work in a company where a customer service team handles the transaction from order to invoice. You may have been taught that customer service starts when the customer walks in the door, and doesn’t end until the customer dies or decides not to be a customer any more. These are fine concepts, but what I am talking about here is the role of taking care of the customers’ needs after the invoice has been paid, and before they have expressed a specific interest in buying again. I refer to this as Post-Sale Customer Support to differentiate it from other definitions.

What’s So Important About Post-Sale Customer Support?

As a customer, up until the time that the invoice is paid you always hold the trump card of being able to withhold payment if you are not satisfied. And everybody understands that money talks. After the invoice has been paid you can often be left feeling powerless. The delivery team has collected their money and been assigned a full load of new customer transactions to look after. The sales team is being pressured to focus on customers who have already expressed a specific interest in making a purchase to meet monthly sales targets. So who takes care of you now?

This is where customer support comes in. There is a general feeling within most companies that they need to provide some sort of post-sale customer support, but there is a poor understanding of why. The sales team brings in the customers – which equals the promise of money. The orders team works out the details – which equals the promise of money. The delivery team provides the solution – which equals the collection of actual money. The customer support team ensures the customer is able to use the solution – which equals what? Happiness and karma? Let’s face it; shareholders can’t trade in their karma for a retirement home. Companies want money.

Here’s what people are missing. In a healthy business between 25 and 75 percent of all revenues should come from repeat customers. 25% to 50% is considered typical for a healthy retail outlet, and 75% repeat business would be the top end for a healthy service business. Retail outlets with less than 25% repeat business are probably not meeting their customer needs or more of them would be coming back. Service businesses with more than 75% repeat sales are probably losing their skills at generating new customers and run the risk of severe financial problems if they lose 1 or 2 major accounts. Any way you look at it, a very large part of your business should be coming from repeat customers.

The other factor you need to look at is that the cost of getting a new customer is much higher than the cost of keeping a customer that you already have. Marketing and advertising are expensive business.

Smart businesses invest in retaining customers. That’s what customer support is all about. There is no better time to ensure repeat business than when your customers are feeling that they have no leverage. That is exactly when they appreciate your support the most, and will remember it as something that makes them want to come back.

In part 2 of this series we’ll look at some practical management tips for customer service managers to get the business behind your team and your customers.

Facebook Management Tips

Facebook is a great social networking site. Not only is it good for socializing, it is a great place to build a network. You can use Facebook for marketing purposes, with special Facebook marketing strategy, you can gain publicity by advertising your Facebook page.

In spite of all the positive aspects of Facebook, there is a small hitch. People face certain problems. Accounts get hacked, people get tagged in pictures they when they are unwilling. These are some of the many reasons why people need Facebook management tips to handle Facebook better.

Some Facebook Management Tips For You:

•MAKE GOOD USE OF YOUR FRIEND LIST: filter your friend list by arranging important people in groups. You can group friends based on some preferences. About the groups that you create, remember a few things:

You may add 1 particular person in more than just 1 group.

Groups of friends should be used in the manner of tags.

There are separate privacy settings that you may impose on these lists.

•YOU CAN HIDE FROM PEOPLE THAT YOU ARE ON FACEBOOK BY SIMPLY HIDING YOURSELF FROM THE FACEBOOK SEARCH: This is a great way for reputation management. This application is very useful to those who are teachers and other people belonging to the like profession. For some reason or the other you do not want everyone to know about your personal life.

THE STEPS TO REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE SEARCH RESULTS:

1.Go to settings and click on the privacy setting page.

2.You will come across a section called search visibility. Change the search visibility from “everyone” to “only friends”.

3.You need to then save the changes that you have made to your account. You might do everything correct, but if you leave out this step, all your efforts go waste.

4.ADVERTISING YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE: this social site can be used for many productive purposes. For example, if you have to promote goods or services, or you want to generate some positive thought for a cause, you can d it by advertising on your Facebook home page. This is a Facebook marketing strategy.

5.HOW TO AVOID BEING TAGGED IN PHOTOS OR IN VIDEOS BY FRIENDS AND BY ASSOCIATES: it is indeed very frustrating sometimes to be tagged in certain photos or in some videos. Many people have faced dire consequences because of this. They have not been aware of the tagged photos and videos and have landed in trouble. To do away with this problem you need to visit the privacy setting page. Then you will come across “photos tagged of you”. Select “only me”. Your job is done!

These were the Facebook management tips and tips on CMR on Facebook.