By Norma Foster and Heather Townsend, author of ‘The Go-To Expert’.
Do you find that you have good conversations with prospects which never quite seem to lead to paid work? You are not alone! This is one of the most common challenges professional advisors have with their business development. Particularly when they are new to business development. In this article I explore the 3 most common reasons why you might struggle to get your leads to convert.
Was it really a lead in the first place?
All too often our enthusiasm can mistake a conversion with a prospect as a lead. A prospect only becomes a lead when they have proactively said that they need your services. Until that point, they are only a prospect. I see this happening when a specialist in a large professional services firm is introduced to a client via the account team. The account team thinks that there is work to be sold and the client gets classed as a lead by the specialist. Until the client (not the account team!) has confirmed that there is a need and they are committed to solve the need in the short or medium term, this isn’t a lead.
Your prospect thinks they are only having a chat
What’s one of the easiest ways to get in front of a prospect? Offer to have a chat. This is where the problem lies. You think because they are having a chat that they are a lead. Whereas, they think they are having a chat. Once again, unless the individual or business has declared they have a need which they are committed to solving, they are not a lead.
You haven’t qualified your lead sufficiently
Unless you qualify your leads properly you will be wasting time either with prospects who will never buy from you, or just don’t have the budget or urgency to buy from you. In fact (in my opinion), the number one reason why your prospects are not converting is normally because you’ve not qualified them well enough.
Before you proceed down an expensive sales process check DUFF, i.e
Decision maker: Are you talking with the decision maker? Or do you need to involve someone else from the client?
Urgency: How quickly do they want to proceed?
Funds: Do they have the budget to pay for your services? Or can they get the budget to pay for your services?
Fit: Is there a good fit between what they want and what you do? Is there a good chemistry between you and the prospect?
Norma Foster founded management consultancy firm Norma Foster Ltd in 2009, helping business owners and managers grow sales, reputation and customers.
The Go-To Expert System has been developed with Heather Townsend, author of the bestselling Financial Times book “The Go-To Expert”, “How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life” and author of the “FT Guide to Business Networking. The Go-To Expert System helps you to qualify your leads and win bigger and better clients.