Good effective communication is one of the most important keys to success. I was at a networking meeting a couple of weeks ago run by Jackie Osborne and we were in breakout rooms discussing a topic, “How do we convert prospects?” The responses that came from the various group discussions was really good information and I thought it would make a great article for this week. 

We have to remember that relationships are vital to us, and we have to care and nurture those relationships. Communication is a vital part of that and we communicate best by listening not by speaking. We were given 2 ears and one mouth and we need to use them in that ratio. 

“People do not care how much you know till they know how much you care”

I think there were 5 groups and every one of them had Relationships at the top of their list and that is really good to hear. We do not convert prospects to customers by talking. We need to listen to them and listen to understand and not to reply. Getting customers is NOT about selling. Yes we have to ask for the order, and this is more likely with a strong relationship.

People buy from people – This is another comment from every group. Not everyone likes everyone or gets on with everyone. Its all about personalities and if we like someone, we feel comfortable doing business that person. We need to work hard at getting people to like us and that is by showing you care about them and their needs.

Recommendations and referrals – Once we have built great relationships and built trust and respect, we should be asking for recommendations for our social media platforms that can be shown to other prospects. We should also ask for referrals. If our customers trust us, then they will feel comfortable trusting us with the friends and business associates. 

Follow ups – We should never think because we have had one meeting with someone who we want to be a customer of ours, then that is all we need to do. Build and nurture those relationships. They do not happen overnight. You probably will not get a customer from a prospect at the first meeting. Be consistent. Be careful what you say on social media. We all feel so much more comfortable if we trust and respect someone. Someone once said to me that follow ups are 50% of your business. If you listen to the needs of your customers and prospects, you may find an article that would be of interest to them and may benefit their business or them personally. Send it to them with no thought about financial gain for you.

Online networking – We all agreed this is such a powerful tool and something most of us were not using less than a year ago. We don’t know what we don’t know. None of us knew how powerful a tool it would be, and are pleasantly surprised at how good it is. The relationships that have been built online have been very powerful. Everyone wants to help each other through and out the other side of the pandemic. There have been lots of collaborative working and lots of FREE offers for help and support. If you don’t go networking, then Jackie Osborne and myself can certainly point you in the right direction. Networking is a powerful tool for meeting potential customers or suppliers who can add value to your business. To a large degree the networking meetings have been a lifesaver for so many of us in the small business community. 

So to recap and to help you convert prospects into customers, its all about effective communication and building long term relationships. This does not happen overnight. You have to be in it for the long haul. My last business I sold in 2016 – after 32 years at the helm –  had  90% customer retention. I took the time to build those relationships. I cared about my clients. I looked out for my clients. Having and keeping happy clients is a massive key to success.

This article was written 16 January 2021 and is the 3rd of 2021. I thank Jackie Osborne for the meeting that helped produce this article. This is the 56th article in total since the start of 2020. All are on my linked in profile and all based on personal experience or experience of those I know and trust. You are welcome to read any of them and I hope you find them informative and helpful – 

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 18/01/2020