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Nurturing Those Freezing Cold Leads into Sales.

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Nurturing Those Freezing Cold Leads into Sales.

Any sales rep who's ever watched "Glengarry Glen Ross" can probably sympathize with Shelley, the down-on-his-luck salesman who's dying for good leads. And why not? Leads are the lifeblood of sales, and yet it seems that half the time (or more), they leave you with absolutely nothing to show for your efforts. Bupkis. When do the sales come?

What if you could do more with the leads you're given? How do you boost your lead conversions without depending solely on the quality of those leads?


Don't Just Sell -- Build Trust

As simple as this concept may sound, it can be remarkably difficult for some sales reps to embrace. After all, when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When your job is to sell, it's natural to gun it for the handshake.

But you've got to figure that every prospect expects to be approached by dozens, if not hundreds, of sales reps. Some will make the same pitch time and again. In extreme cases, some sales reps contract a sense of entitlement and even react with hostility when their calls or emails are ignored.

Every company faces challenges... so just ask what they are! You stand a much better chance of popping up on your prospect's radar and gaining their trust if you help them solve their problems, even if it doesn't immediately win you new business. Research your leads well, and make sure your initial approach will pique their curiosity. After the initial conversation, pinpoint their most pressing needs and tailor your responses to them.

By approaching every lead this way, you'll maximize the number of leads that respond, and minimize those that don't.

Focus on Next Steps

You don't have to close on the first call. In fact, over 80 percent of sales are closed only after five follow-ups.

What's important is to continuously engage your prospect, taking them on a step-by-step journey that steadily brings you a little closer to a purchase. Your #1 goal should always be to set up the next meeting.

Getting those meetings to stick is an art in itself, and you should get into the habit of confirming with a prospect several days before, as well as on the day of. While you have the prospect engaged, be sure to ask them what THEY would like you to cover at the meeting!

If a lead isn't responding, consider whether your pitch provides any value to them and reconfigure your approach.

Often, a prospect is genuinely interested in what you have to offer, but won't be ready to make a purchase for weeks or months. Keep them in the loop and be sure to provide insights and thought-leadership whenever you can.

Follow these best practices, and you'll happily avoid Shelley Levene's frustrations.

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