How many of your proposals become a sale?
The answer isn’t only a good indication of your sales performance. Actually, it tells you more about your marketing and the quality of the discussions you have with prospects.
When I ask this question to consultants, they normally give me a ballpark figure of around 20-30%. Someone hits 40% which they believe it’s a good result.
But I don’t agree.
To me, a good and solid conversion rate can’t be less than 80%. Yes, you read it right. 80%.
This is my target and I have to say I have been hitting these numbers consistently, no matter what’s happening outside.
Let me explain how you can do it too.
- One call. One chance
Your first discussion with a prospect is your best chance. Not to sell. But to understand inside-out what’s going on in their world.
Take one step further. Imagine this is the only chance for you to talk with a prospect (and actually, most of the time it is). How is this going to change your approach?
Most likely, you’ll listen to every single word that the client says, you’ll pause, reflect, ask questions. You’ll assess instead of impressing them. You’ll also focus more on what they really want and not what they’re asking you to do.
In other words, that discussion is, first of all, very valuable for them to self-assess what they are after.
I don’t know about you, but I get calls from potential clients who still don’t know what they really want and need guidance in the process. Never underestimate this scenario.
- Build desire first
Assuming you captured well the big outcome they want during that call, it’s your turn to make a move.
But this is when I start to see big mistakes. The general tendency is to go back to the desk and write a lengthy ad-hoc proposal for the client that explains primarily the ‘logistics”. What you’re going to do, how, duration, and fees.
Top consultants have a different approach. They don’t necessarily write proposals at that point (in particular for big or complex projects) but they describe the client’s world first, why the situation is not sustainable anymore, and why a different outcome is possible by doing something different.
In other words, they describe what the clients want and what impact this change will have on them and their business.
They build desire and they show them a way to make this happen, including the positive financial outcome of their approach.
- Take control
If you do this right, most likely your prospect will come back to you saying they love the idea and your approach and want to see now the financials to make a decision.
But if you reach this stage, they won’t pull out so easily after they see your fees. You built desire and they will keep thinking of what is going to cost them not taking actions with you.
Remember: people want what they don’t have. Imagine if you have offered that…
Can you see the difference?
You are in control now. Yes, you will still see some prospects say no…but trust me, your conversion rate is going to increase massively.
The proposal is supposed to be only a final piece of paper where you and the client write down together what you already agreed.
Not a document to persuade and convince a prospect to buy.