Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to Turn Relationships into Sales

If you know the 80/20 Rule (aka the Pareto principle), you know that a minority of causes usually leads to a majority of results.

In other words, only a few things matter. Most things don't.

The 80/20 Rule is a spooky natural law that doesn’t make any logical sense:
  • about 20% of clouds produce about 80% of rain ...
  • 20% of U.S. states produce 80% of home foreclosures, and ...
  • you wear 20% of your shirts 80% of the time (especially if you're a man!) ...
  • and on and on it goes.

My corollary on that idea, 80/20 Marketing, holds that only a few things matter in your marketing. Most things don't.

In any business, including yours, about:
  • 80% of sales come from 20% of products or services
  • 80% of complaints come from 20% of clients
  • 80% of profits come from 20% of marketing activities

That last figure is important.

Because, if 20% of your marketing produces 80% of your profits, then 80% of your marketing is largely a waste of time and money.

Most of your marketing doesn't matter.

Want to know one area that DOES matter? A "20% area" of high leverage and high profit?

That vital area of your marketing is conversion.

Conversion is everything you do to convert browsers into buyers and relationships into sales.

If you've taken the time and money to initiate a relationship with someone who can either become a client or refer a client, you need to take that relationship as far as you can, as fast as you can.

In other words, do everything possible to turn leads into customers.

And, one of the easiest and most effective ways to convert more leads is to mail them thank-you notes.

It's so effective, it can make your business entirely referral-driven in a matter of months.

That's according to Tom Hopkins in the book, Mastering the World of Selling. He writes:

Because I understood that building relationships is what selling is all about, I began early in my career to send thank you notes to people. I set a goal to send ten thank you notes every day. That goal meant that I had to meet and get the names of at least ten people every day. I sent thank you notes to people I met briefly, people I showed properties to, people I talked with on the telephone, and people I actually helped to own new homes. I became a thank you note fool. And guess what happened? By the end of my third year in sales, my business was 100% referrals! The people I had expressed gratitude to were happy to send me new clients as a reward for making them feel appreciated and important.

Even better, Hopkins gives you 10 pre-written examples of thank-you notes to send. If you can't use at least 5 of the examples below today, you need to rethink your business:

1. Telephone contact
Thank you for talking with me on the telephone. In today's business world, time is precious. You can rest assured that I will always be respectful of the time you invest as we discuss the possibility of a mutually beneficial business relationship.

2. In Person Contact
Thank you. It was a pleasure meeting you, and my thank you is for the time we shared. We have been fortunate to serve many happy clients, and it is my wish to some day be able to serve you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call.

3. After Demonstration or Presentation
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss with you our association for the mutual benefit of our firms. We believe that quality, blended with excellent service, is the foundation for a successful business.

4. After Purchase
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to offer you our finest service. We are confident that you will be happy with this investment towards future growth. My goal is now to offer excellent follow-up service so you will have no reservations about referring others to me who have similar needs as yours.

5. For a Referral
Thank you for your kind referral. You may rest assured that anyone you refer to me will receive the highest degree of professional service possible.

6. After Final Refusal
Thank you for taking your time to consider letting me serve you. It is with sincere regrets that your immediate plans do not include making the investment at this time. However, if you need further information or have any questions, please feel free to call. I will keep you posted on new developments and changes that may benefit you.

7. After They Buy From Someone Else
Thank you for taking your time to analyze my services. I regret being unable, at this time, to prove to you the benefits we have to offer. We keep constantly informed of new developments and changes, so I will keep in touch with the hope that in the years ahead we will be able to do business.

8. After They Buy From Someone Else, But Offer to Give You Referrals
Thank you for your gracious offer of giving me referrals. As we discussed, I am enclosing three of my business cards. I thank you in advance for placing them in the hands of three of your friends, acquaintances, or relatives that I might serve. I will keep in touch and be willing to render my services as needed.

9. To Anyone Who Gives You Service
Thank you. It is gratifying to meet someone dedicated to doing a good job. Your efforts are sincerely appreciated. If my company or I can serve you in any way, please don't hesitate to call.

10. Anniversary Thank You
Thank you. It is with warm regards that I send this note to say hello and again, thanks for your past patronage. We are continually changing and improving our products and services. If you would like an update on our latest advancements, please give me a call.
There you have it.

Instead of struggling to forge relationships with new prospects every day, why not make the most of the relationships you already have?

There's nothing to download, no new skills to master, and it takes about 20 minutes a day.

"The power of expressed gratitude is immense," according to Tom Hopkins. And he's right.

Why not put the power of this simple sales tool -- thank-you notes -- to work for you? It's a proven way to build your business by converting more relationships into sales, using high-value, 80/20 Marketing.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

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