No matter how complex and sophisticated marketing strategies and trends may become, the overall goal will always be to draw in more business. Any effective marketing strategy will be geared towards the right target audience and focused on turning that audience into prospective customers. But once you have reached the right people and gained their attention, it can take some special skills to turn those prospects into actual paying customers.
There are many steps between a consumer who is unaware of your product and a current customer, but none of those steps are more difficult to overcome than the one from prospect to first-time buyer. Your marketing and sales efforts have already converted the lead into a prospect, but any salesman will tell you that there is still a chasm of space left to travel. As a small business owner, you must fill that chasm with your own knowledge, enthusiasm and personality.
While there are countless techniques for turning your prospects into buyers for the first time, it can be difficult to know which methods will be most effective. This can depend on your product, industry, audience and the specific client, but there are some time-tested methods that can help bridge the chasm for any business. Each of them deal with offering the prospect something additional in order to solidify their decision to buy.
1. Price Offerings
The most common– and generally the most effective– offering to get a prospect to buy for the first time is a special price. This could mean that you offer a special price for first-time customers, an introductory price for a limited time, a lower price for packaging additional products or any other kind of low-price offering.
Within this, it is also important that you provide a variety of ways for your customers to pay for your products or services– and that they can pay from anywhere. Global payment processing services paired with a good eCommerce site can have a huge boost for your overall profits.
2. Informational Offerings
In addition to– or instead of– a special price offering, you may offer your potential customer special information that will help them decide to purchase. This is especially helpful with online services that can offer free eBooks, product demos, newsletters and other such items that allow the customer to feel as though they are privy to inside information to which they would not have access without engaging in your business.
3. Additional Incentives
If you are unable (or unwilling) to give a lower price, and the customer does not respond to informational offerings, you may need to get more creative. There may be countless possibilities for additional incentives you may be able to offer to prospective customers depending on your business and other factors. A few common examples include:
- Free bonuses or gifts
- Free shipping
- Referral bonus
- Product upgrades
You will need to find the right balance of price, informational and additional incentives that work for your business and your sales style. You may also find that many of these work best if they can be specifically tailored to the specific needs of individual clients or groups of clients.
It is likely there will be some trial-and-error associated with your first few attempts at special offerings, but do not be discouraged if they do not immediately turn around high yields. Continue to test new strategies, tweak your current offerings and develop newer ways to entice potential customers. Once you find that sweet spot, you will be able to turn even more leads into sales and prospects into paying customers!