Do you have problems converting clients? Understanding the buying process and in particular buying signals can significantly increase your conversion rates.
There are several stages in the buying process that we all have to manage. Knowing what these stages are and looking out for clues to identify what stage your new enquiry is at will help you manage the journey to buyer and beyond.
Initially people start out by considering if they need a virtual assistant or they may even be finding out what a virtual assistant is. They will then evaluate if they can use one in their business.
At this research stage, they are looking for ideas and a vision of the benefits they can expect from using a virtual assistant. To understand what will sway the client at this stage you have to know what their problems are. How can you provide a solution unless you know what the problem is? This is the place where many VAs fall short. They try and cover too many bases and therefore their message becomes too generic and not specific enough for any market. The message means nothing to no-one.
For example – does
“I provide admin and other services to help you save time” work better than
“When electricians hire me they spend more time billing work than doing admin”
Do you see that in the second statement we are actually telling the specific client what benefit they will get from having the extra time.
Activity: Complete your own value statement in the following format:When [your specific target market] hire [your business name] they get [the benefits of your service] so that they can [client’s business results].
The potential clients do their research and they end up contacting you for their initial enquiry. I know from experience that virtual assistants often talk too much at this stage of the enquiry. They in actual fact often talk themselves out of the business!
If you want to get the emotional buy in, you ask them what difference it would make to themselves personally and their business if they could solve this problem!!!!
1. Tell me about your business.
2. What do you love most about being in this business?
3. Who is your target market?
4. In regards to [insert the service you offer] what is your biggest frustration or annoyance at the moment?
5. Do you have any projects on the back burner?
You LISTEN to them, they need to be doing most of the talking. Then ask them if they could find a solution to whatever their frustration is, what difference would it make to them or their business.
• How you know when the lead is ready to buy
• Improving the buying experience
• Handling buyers remorse
A good way to assess on the fly whether the discussion is going well for you is to think about who is doing most of the talking!
To take control of any discussion, you want to be the one asking the questions and listening to the answers. Keep them talking, and make notes or record the discussion. If you do this well enough, the client will talk themselves into hiring you!
• How long have you had this problem?
• Have you tried anyone else to help? (find out if they have used any VAs previously) If yes, how was that experience? What did you like most, what was the most frustrating? Take a note to offer a guarantee around this frustration if any.
• If you get a solution that meets your requirements, what would it mean to you personally? What would it mean to your business?
Most prospects tend to be undecided but ask certain questions that hint interest in your products or services. These may mean that they just need a little nudge in the right direction for them to make the purchase.
1. How soon can you start?
2. Do you have a guarantee?
3. How about if I have this problem?
4. How do I pay?
5. How do we get started?
6. How does it work?
7. What’s next?
8. Do you have a contract?
Sometimes you can force a signal – eg. Is my quote competitive? Or Have you approached anyone else for a quote or this work?
Let’s say that you have picked up a signal – what do you do next?
The bottom line is that asking questions — and then shutting up and listening — is still one of the most important things you can do either during the research stage or during the enquiry.
• Making sure the actual buying experience is easy and hassle free as this will reinforce that they have made the right decision to buy from you. As soon as they have paid you something – it could be as little as $1, in their mind they have hired you and it takes the pressure off them.
• Take their money and give them something simple to do as a follow up. Take the purchase risk away by offering a money-back guarantee (cooling off period)- send them written testimonials or refer them to those testimonials online.
• Send them a welcome kit – tell them how it works around here, what you stand for what you stand against. Encourage them to bond with you immediately.
Every one experiences some form of buyers remorse. Everyone reconsiders as soon as they have made the purchase. Their thoughts turn to:
“Could I have gotten a better price?”
“Should I have bought from a different VA?”
“Was I too quick to decide before exploring all the options available?”
• Reinforce that they have made the best decision in a thank you note (or minimum email). Express how much you appreciate their decision to go with you – snail mail it if you want to be memorable.
• Immediately after the sale is complete, explain to your client (verbally and in writing) what they can expect to receive from you and your business. Provide a welcome kit that includes information on your business, how things will be handled, how invoicing will work, and the next steps in the process. Then abide by it. Add contact and communication systems and processes.
• Create a detailed client profile that includes all their social media accounts, website link, contact and communication details, billing info and system. Make notes on their personal details and interests.
The most important thing you can do to reinforce your clients decision to hire you is to send them a professional Welcome Kit that adds value to your service and educates the client on how your business works and what to expect from you. This welcome kit, if done well, will immediately address any buyers remorse issues and indoctrinate the client into your business.
Further info on the sales process can be found here Definition of Closing a Sale on WikiHow
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I loved this article as it explains the part of the customer experience and habits that I had missed. I love the quality of the information that 121 Temps produce.
This article is fantastic, it's so important to understand where people are at in the buying cycle so you know how to talk to them. Thanks 121 Temps.
I got a lot out of this article.
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