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Improving your sales success with an excellent first impression

AUGUST 19, 2019









Whether you have a high-touch, personalised sales method, or a more automated templated one, the ability to convert a new enquiry through to the point of sale is vital to the sustainability of your business. Without sales your business will die; it’s that basic. So how do you improve the percentage of enquiries that turn into paying customers? 

Essentially, having a great start to the sales journey for the prospective customer is vital. Start right and your chances of securing the sale, even at a premium price, is higher. Of course the reverse is also true. Start out wrong and you will probably never make the sale. Luckily, the first few contacts you have with a prospect is also the easiest, quickest and the cheapest area (in terms of your time) to make improvements to your sales process. It is also the point when you need to qualify someone OUT of your sales process and thus minimising the time wasted. Remember, time is your most valuable resource in your business and so you need to protect it and spend it where it is has the greatest payback.

The first few contact points you have with a prospect are likely to be a phone call and then some sort of scoping meeting. It’s vital to make these early touches as professional and as powerful as possible. You need to start building rapport and trust as soon as possible (for those prospects you haven’t qualified out), and below are a few hints and tips to help you refine your processes.

1. Be 100% focused on that first call.
The prospect will know if you are distracted or under stress. If you are driving or on a noisy building site for example, ask for their number and make a time to call them back when you can give their enquiry your COMPLETE attention. That might be even 10 minutes to allow you to get to a quieter spot and arm yourself with an enquiry form, which leads to point 2.

2. During that first phone call, use an enquiry form to ensure you ask the right questions and don’t forget important stuff.
“When do you want this completed by?” “Have you gone through a renovation (or whatever) before?” “How did that go for you?” “Do you have plans already?” etc, etc

3. Smile and be upbeat on the call.
People can tell if you are grumpy, stressed or not enthusiastic about their project. They will get the impression that you don’t care or are not mentally able to help them. 

4. Before you agree to a site visit, request they complete an online questionnaire.
You can set one up easily via Google Forms.  This has a few advantages. Firstly, it keeps your initial phone call short, thus saving you time. Secondly, it gives you some very useful information to think about before the visit and allows you to pitch your business in line with their goals. Most importantly, it provides a small test for the prospect to pass in order that they make it to the next stage. If they can’t be bothered to do a short questionnaire, are they likely to become a good customer? Probably not. For a list of suggested questions to include, email Andy at [email protected]  

5. Send them some information about your business and an agenda outline on what you want to cover off at this initial meeting.
This will make your business look professional and is your first formal chance to start differentiating your business from the competition. If you look, sound and act like other businesses they may be talking to, how will they make their decision on whom to go with? It will be price as that is all they will have to go on.

Follow these simple tips on how to make those first impressions with your prospects the best possible and you are way more likely to secure more, quality customers. 

To get help on building your own customised sales pipeline process, email Andy at [email protected] A relatively small investment in building a better system will continue to pay dividends for years to come.



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