How to convert more prospects into warm leads, more of the time

Heather Townsend
The Excedia Group
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My client had had a very successful presentation at a seminar. As always with these things lots of people came up to talk to her afterwards. In fact there was someone who was in a role and position to give her real work who was really interested in her practice and use of online accounting packages such as Xero.

Is this a lead? No.

Is this a prospect? Yes.

So, what do you need to do next to convert them into a client is a challenge which perplexes many accountant. Do you go in and sell hard? Or play the softer waiting game until they are ready to buy from you? Decisions, decisions….

Just because someone is interested in your services and making all the right noises doesn’t make them a lead. But it does mean that there is a strong possibility that they may become a lead and client in the future. If they are a lead they will be actively inviting you to have a further conversation about how they can use your services. Whereas all you know at the moment is they are not yet ready to buy from you. Sadly far too many accountants, at this stage of the sales process, go in too hard on the sales speak and can often frighten potential clients away.

So, the ever present problem of how to turn them into a pre-qualified lead, without scaring them away is still to be solved.

This is where your ‘keeping in touch’ processes and systems need to kick in. Your aim now is to build up the relationship and mutual trust between the two of you, so that when they ARE ready to buy they give you a call first.

Keeping in touch processes could include:
* connecting with them on LinkedIn and Twitter and regularly chatting to them through these mediums
* sending them regular articles of interest to them – particularly if you or someone in your firm has written them
* getting their permission to add them to your mailing list for your department or firm’s regular newsletter
* getting a date in the diary for a phone call or face-to-face meeting to get to know them and their business better
* sending them a handwritten card saying how much you enjoyed meeting them
* inviting them to accompany you to an event or seminar which they will be interested in

How do you convert your prospects into pre-qualified leads?


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