Many moons ago when I was working as an agent for speakers, I developed my own customized system for selling.
From the moment I connected with a prospective client, I documented the process and often, after a number of communications via phone, email, and mail, I would convert the prospect into a buyer.
What are you doing to ensure that your prospects are moving from connection to sale?
Here are a few tips to help you determine whether your system could use an upgrade, or if you are doing great!
Spreadsheet No More!
If you are keeping track of your prospects on your email, your calendar, or a spreadsheet, there is a high likelihood that you are going to drop the ball at some point.
You need to have a proper system in place, such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that tracks leads and allows you to constantly see what’s in your pipeline and ensure that you are not forgetting about potential clients. You might wake up one morning, worried about business, look at your funnel and think, “Well, there’s lots in here, I just need to get to work and close some sales”. There’s power in knowing your numbers.
The goal is that every time you lose an engagement to another speaker, you have 10 more leads in the hopper, so you don’t feel each loss so sharply. Note: It’s when every engagement takes on a life or death meaning that we start to compromise fees and make poor decisions.
Nurturing the Leads.
How often do you talk to someone in April who isn’t ready to make a decision about their speakers until September? That’s six months that you have to nurture that relationship. That doesn’t mean you add them to your weekly email broadcast; that’s bad form without their permission. But you might do some research, find out something about their industry, and nurture the relationship by sending them things that are helpful (articles, blog posts, podcasts, etc.).
Your system should allow you to document all you’ve sent this client and see whether or not they have opened what you’ve been sending. When you circle back in September, you’ll have more intel going into the call. And when you do talk to that prospect, keep great notes in their file. If you talked about their children’s soccer that’s a great warm place to start the conversation next call, and now they can differentiate you from everyone else who calls.
Quick Turn Around for Warm Leads.
When you come back from a speaking engagement and you have a handful of business cards of people who said they wanted to connect with you for a possible future event, those cards should be added immediately to your database. Not to your mailing list, just to the sales funnel. It’s important that you don’t let these leads run cold.
The cards could be added to your system by an assistant (my team uses a card scan software that pops it right into my CRM). Once there, each of your follow up attempts should be documented. Remind them that they requested to be in touch with you, and try scheduling a meeting or “next steps” immediately.
How often do you find business cards at the bottom of your briefcase that were never followed up?
Systems for everything.
When you do follow up a lead, if you are saying some of the same things over and over, those emails should be templated. For instance, when someone reaches out to my office, let’s say they take our quiz, I have several different emails to start with and will choose the one that most relates to their situation. When you have templates for every situation, your time is more efficient.
Let’s say you’ve been talking to a client for two months and an event is finally booked. During that time, you’ve been documenting everything in your CRM about this client, such as event date, location, number of people in the audience, and fee quoted, should all be customized fields that you have placed in your CRM. All of this should then be merged into your speaking agreement so that you’ll have less work to do in getting your client to contract.
I cannot oversell the power of systems. And although any system is better than no system, I have been recommending Karma CRM for Speakers of late simply because I think their system has thought of everything.
Here’s a webinar that I did with Karma’s fabulous onboarder Austin Grammon. He walked me through every fabulous feature that a CRM should have. Even if you already have a CRM, you’ll want to watch this because it may have you tapping into features that you currently aren’t using.
And here’s the link to check out the pricing for Karma.
Advancing the Learning Curve.
One of the biggest issues that people have with their systems is that they just don’t use them. By taking the time on the front end to learn your CRM and getting into the habit of using it every single day, you will soon see the power that you have in developing and nurturing your sales funnels, and that will pay off in spades!
What is your current system for tracking leads and how well is it working for you? Let me know your answer in the comments.