This subject has been on my mind ever since I started thinking about having my business and most of the times I don’t really know what I’m doing. As a creative entrepreneur, I spend a lot of time answering inquiries about my products or services. Every new message makes me happy, it means that people trust me and my brand and are interested in my services, but inquiries are not sales.
I know creative persons don’t like to refer to themselves as sales persons, though the truth is we spend a lot of our time trying to sell our services and products to others.
These past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find new ways to not only turn inquiries into paying customers, but to also build a good working relationship with my clients and to provide a great experience for them.
Here are five things to help you book more clients.
List your prices
There’s probably nothing harder for business owners than setting prices to their services. Low prices might bring in more clients, but they aren’t always the people you want to work with, while high prices might scare potential clients. Unfortunately, not listing your rates might also scare potential clients. And there are also those who assume that you aren’t posting them because they are too high.
You will also have to face endless messages from potential clients that only want to know your rates.
People are more likely to hire you if they know from the start how much they will be paying. It will also save you a lot of time and energy, and you can focus on those that are interested in working with you. Not to mention that you will also avoid all those awkward emails about your prices.
Work on your customer service
When I opened my shop, I was surprised by the number of persons that told me they loved working with me. I didn’t try to make them feel special, and yet they did. I’ve learned that being kind and friendly will take you a long way.
Good customer service does not only apply to the emails you are answering, but also to your product descriptions or the information they find on your website. You might not know what to write in the beginning, but if potential clients keep asking about a certain aspect of your product, you can include that in the description.
Having great customer service also means answering all the messages as fast as you can, listening to their complaints and helping them, sending shipping notices or thank you notes.
Have a conversation
You probably receive a lot of emails from people asking you about a certain piece of information and you are probably tempted to answer the question and move to the next email. That’s not the best practice. You should try to start a conversation, to get to know your potential clients better, and learn how you can help them.
We all want to feel special. We also love to talk about ourselves. If you ask your potential clients questions, they are more tempted to respond and you are one step closer to working with them.
If you are outgoing and love talking over the phone, calling your potential clients will make a huge difference. Especially if you seem enthusiastic about what you do and you also show interest in working with them.
If you are shy or you are not confident over the phone, then it’s better to stick to emails. You don’t want your customers to think you are insecure about your skills and services.
Know your potential customers
If you get a lot of inquiries, but your customers disappear after a couple of emails, it might be time to reconsider your strategy. Your services are probably great, but you also have to sell to those who really need them. Knowing your audience before you launch a product will help you create products suited to their needs.
It is always important to understand their needs and help them achieve their goals. As an expert in your field, you will probably have a good idea of what will work for your clients. Though you should always listen to what they have to say about the subject and you shouldn’t try to make them buy something they don’t want. After all, it’s their business and you are there to help them.
Closing the deal
Every now and then there is a person that knows what she wants and is excited about working with me but disappears before we close the deal. This is always very frustrating, especially when they disappear without saying anything.
A lot of books on sales tactics tell you to put pressure on the client and close the sale as fast as possible, though in my experience people need time and don’t want to be forced to sign something. Giving them space, while also telling them that I am on a tight schedule and there are other people waiting, has always worked out the best for me.
Do you have trouble converting inquiries into sales? What works for you?