How Do You Maximise Sales & Conversion Rates in the Real World?

How to Maximise Sales & Conversion in Northern IrelandIf you’ve ever wondered what you could do to guarantee that you maximise sales, improve conversion rates and just become a much better, happier person, hopefully this will help define some of the key factors I have recognised through my own personal experience.

I’ve suffered at one point or other in my life from being selfish, jealous, angry, unsuccessful and/or plain miserable (worth noting that these feelings are generally complimentary to one another).

However, a number of happenings in life over the last 4 or so years brought with them an even greater number of epiphanies about what ‘it’ is all about and why I could and should be proud of who I am and what I do, both personally, professionally (i.e. my own expertise) and in my businesses. This has led to a lot of amazing changes, including (and directly related to) the discovery of methods on how to maximise sales, conversion rates and overall success in life.

So, if you’ve felt undervalued, depressed and undeserving, I’m hoping this can help you see that a lot of people feel the same and that it’s never too late to transform life into what you want it to be – if you’re not successful now, whether that be in business, sales, life, or whatever, things can and will change if you really want them to, you just have to define a goal and a strategy. After that, these rules will help you get there…

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1) Offer Real Value Through Your Products/Services

People immediately recognise when what they are being offered is of real value to them – if it’s going to change their lives, make things more efficient, enjoyable or profitable (assuming you make all of these things clear to them when the sales discourse begins), you’ve probably already won half the battle (The other half is ‘Don’t be an Asshole’; see below). Price, at this point largely becomes irrelevant – so this is the first lynchpin of maximising sales success.

Building Sales in Northern IrelandTherefore, to maximise sales/conversions and (ultimately) your profitability, the core concept is simply to ensure you are offering your clients a 1) better, 2) more up-to-the-minute, 3) valuable and/or 4) high-quality product/service than anyone else in your niche.

Once you know what your competitors are offering, it’s fairly easy to improve on that and view your service in an analytical way… Make sure your service is ‘different’ and ‘better’ from what people expect and you will immediately see a shift in buyer confidence and sales conversion (See the ‘Manage Expectations’ item below).

Be explicit and definite about the value that your product or service will bring to people’s lives.

Not only does offering value mean that your clients get optimal results and maximum return on investment, but let’s face it, it feels massively rewarding for you too. At least, that’s what I’ve found – the more of a specialist I became in my industry, the more value I was able to offer clients, the happier they were and the happier and more successful I’ve become. It’s a total win-win.

If you have thought of that question; “How do I maximise sales?”, this is the first area you need to look at.

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2) Offer Solutions to Your Customers’ Problems

This might sound like an obvious one, but as above, you’d be surprised how many companies want to maximise sales and yet are offering products or services to their clientele which are either sub-par, don’t meet their needs and don’t achieve the objectives laid out in the brief.

Everybody has problems, that’s why they seek out professional service providers or quality product providers like you and I – you need to put yourself in your clients’ shoes and work out what they want to see from a professional like you; what is their expectation and how do you manage (and exceed) that through the provision of your expertise. Is it extra bonuses, better price, better after-sales/support…? Whatever it might be, that is what should guide the development of your service range…

So when developing your products/services, your support network, after sales care and so on, and with a view to maximising sales and conversion rates, you should always, always, always have an eye keenly focused on one thing –

the needs & desires of your customers

If you fail to tick this box, your sales will never operate at maximum efficiency (or as close to this as you can reasonably expect to get based on your industry – e.g. a more competitive industry might have a sales conversion rate of only 30-40%). This should be the foundation to build your sales/marketing strategy upon.

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3) Be Honest &/or Learn to Say ‘No’

I’ve struggled with this in the past in that I would almost always say ‘yeah, sure we can do that‘, even when I had no clue if we could or couldn’t… I just wanted to help my clients and I thought this was the best way to do it; to say ‘yes’ now and figure out the ‘how’ later. Sometimes this worked out, sometimes it didn’t.

It could have been something simple like “Can you design up a logo for £100 for me”… “Yeah sure, we can do that…”, or something more intricate like “Would you mind transforming my existing CMS into a work of art, rather than install a new system or develop a new site, to save money?”… “Yeah sure, we can do that for you”.

Ultimately, it taught me that you’re better always being honest and saying ‘look, this isn’t possible for x,y,z reason, or this isn’t my area of expertise, but I’m going to speak with a specialist I know that deals with this thing. I’ll come back to you with some options’.

Of course, this relies on you knowing your industry and your products inside out or else knowing a ‘specialist’ in that area that you can trust and rely on yourself, otherwise it could all end in tears.

However, by doing this you’re showing your client that, while you don’t have the solution, you’re willing to work on their behalf to find that solution for them. That a) earns major brownie points, b) gains major trust with the client and c) shows that you’re out for one thing – to guarantee their success in whatever endeavour they are currently pursuing.

So, be honest with your clients and there will be no issues. If it’s not do-able, let them know that. If it might be, let them know that you’re going to do your best but it just may not be feasible.

A great Stateside client of mine, Jason Ferruggia, recently said something quite profound which just happened to coincide with the timing of me writing this post –

“When you say ‘yes’ to everything you’re often saying ‘no’ to something more important. Have the balls to say no.”

Jay doesn’t mince his words at the best of times, but either way it was the truth. If you’re a professional and a specialist, you will often know your industry better than anyone, so trust your instinct and say ‘no’ when it needs to be said.

While this attitude won’t raise your sales in the short-term per se, you’ll find that the trust you build through being totally honest will mean that your reputation precedes you and word of mouth in your industry (and in Northern Ireland this is particularly relevant) will often make a sale for you before you even sit down at the negotiation table.

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4) Be Confident

Be Confident to Maximise Sales

Easier said than done, right? Go to any sales training session or seminar and you’ll hear the trainers say things like “just be confident and the sales will find you”.

Well, that’s all well and good, but how the hell do you ‘be confident’ if your sales are low, your conversion rates are even lower and you’re a shy person to begin with? (I’ve been all of these things in the past, and the last of these is still very much applicable). 

Here’s how I do it… your list might be slightly different (you need to find what works for you and follow that path).

  1. I have utter confidence in my knowledge and ability as a professional and as a person. I am super-shy and the definition of an introvert. However, I have complete confidence in my ability to be the best at whatever I put my mind to. I am constantly learning and making my services and products better than they were yesterday. It’s about starting with room to grow… nothing is perfect to begin with (in fact nothing is perfect, ever, it always has room to get better), so be aware that the best time and place to start is right now. You can develop and hone your new services as you progress, but get a good ‘working version’ of them live right now. Today. Know that no matter what your past, no matter what your (current) ability, you can and will improve and hit the targets if you want to. I mean if you really want to. There’s a difference.
  2. I have confidence that I’m a pretty good person who is always trying to be a better person, professional, husband and father.
  3. I train hard in the gym. Going to the gym and training hard makes me feel strong, keeps me fit and keeps my mind as focused as it can be (I don’t have the best attention span, at the best of times). This is just one of my hobbies. Whatever your hobby, whatever helps you find focus and motivation, that’s what you need to do to build confidence. Listen to your gut with these things and you won’t go far wrong; what gives you a buzz? Is it teaching? Developing something? Spending time with your family? Going for walks? Whatever it is, listen to your body and your brain.

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5) Don’t be an Asshole.

Maximise Sales Methods & TechniquesPeople just as readily recognise arrogance and BS as they do talent and integrity. So if you’re a grade-A Asshole, or a stereotypical ‘salesman/woman’ you ain’t gonna get too far in your industry, certainly not long-term.

You can bluff your way to a certain degree, and maybe have moderate if not mind-blowing success, but this just doesn’t cut it long-term. Here’s the other thing… People (specifically in Northern Ireland, where this is a fatal sales sin) HATE the hard sell. It’s the greatest turn-off in the world.

Don’t be arrogant, don’t overstay your welcome or become pushy in a sales setting or through the language or calls to action you use in your website, sales meetings or marketing materials; people will just turn off and learn to avoid you like the plague. Here in Northern Ireland (just as it is around the world), sales is so much about word of mouth…

If you’re too sales-y your reputation is going to stall at the first hurdle. This will have a major impact on sales, conversion and success, simply because it alienates you and, no matter what your expertise, in a one-to-one scenario, nobody is going to want to work with when you’re an arrogant A-hole.

I know that from time to time everybody’s standards slip or they get overworked, stressed or whatever… I get this too… But everything is a learning experience and you just have to always get better – put systems in place to deal with extra work, take some time to clear your head, don’t get angry, frustrated or venture into A-hole territory; avoid this at all costs.

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6) Stay Healthy.

Another of the most important things to maximise happiness, success, efficiency, productivity and just to keep your focus and motivation, whether to maximise sales or just be more content, is to stay healthy. When I started training seriously a number of years ago, it completely transformed four key areas in my life –

  1. Mental Attitude

  2. Ambition

  3. Focus

  4. Confidence

Everybody gets tired, unproductive or just de-motivated from time to time, but I’ve yet to find a way that breaks you out of these ruts more emphatically than a high intensity workout/training session and a good diet. Diet has always been my weak point when it comes to my health but over the last 3-4 years my diet has completely changed and is 100% better than it used to be, and my health has become 100% better too.

I don’t feel as lethargic as I used to and I don’t get constantly ill; I feel buzzed, energised, strong, healthy, for the majority of the time. When you feel that way in yourself, it’s pretty natural to feel confident in other areas of your life (like a sales meeting) and to feel like you can handle anything that is thrown at you and to know that your success is guaranteed. When you’re in this frame of mind, nothing will stand in your way.

If you need help with this, I have a whole host of suggested resources that have helped change my life. I’d normally recommend choosing one and sticking with their programs, so I won’t confuse things with an exhaustive list, but either of the following are great bets…

Jason Ferruggia

Jay’s programs and advice on training, diet & all sorts of other areas have been pivotal in my life over the last 3 years since I first came across his work. I would highly recommend you subscribe to his blog at jasonferruggia.com for ongoing nuggets of gold on training, conditioning/fat loss and nutrition.

If you’re a guy, his information on strength, conditioning, training & diet is essential reading, but much of the advice works just as well for women as for men.

If diet is your issue, his Renegade Diet Book is based on his research for a long-term, applicable solution which really works in terms of staying healthy and lean. It’s not a ‘diet’, it’s a structure for eating healthy in the long-term, to make you stronger, leaner and healthier. And it works.

 

Craig Ballantyne

I actually discovered Craig Ballantyne through Jason Ferruggia’s blog but I now subscribe to all his stuff on training and diet as well as his work on internet marketing (Internet Independence and Early to Rise). Well worth a read to learn about how to make yourself leaner, primarily, if you head to his main health/fitness site at Turbulence Training.

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What About You?

I try my best to stick by these rules and I’ve certainly noticed that in this mode, I’ve been happier, more productive, more successful and have elevated my sales (both in value, number and conversion rates) by an astronomical amount as a result.

Do you have any suggestions for the list in terms of how you’ve improved sales or improved your life? What are your experiences, techniques and thoughts on ways to achieve better productivity? How do you maximise conversion rates in your business? Or do you need any other help/hints/tips/guidance? Please feel free to pop a comment in the box below and start the discussion.

Or, if you need any further resources for sales success, you can get them free for a limited period at my Inner Circle

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