Systems Make or Break Your
Marketing and Sales Conversion
Whenever a new prospect, client or
referral source encounters you, you have a tremendous opportunity
to impress them and deliver value simply by the system you put in
How does this relate to "Business
If you are doing whatever you do, rather
than creating systems for your marketing and conversion, then your
personal "stuff" is probably getting in your way. By "going
with the flow" and responding to potential clients based on
your moods, the speed of the wind or when you get around to it,
you are not running your business - it's running you. Your marketing
is spotty at best. And your sales conversion rate is much lower
than it can be.
A mentee coach recently emailed me because she was excited about
a potential new client. She gave me some biographical information,
including age, etc. and asked what she should do to prepare for
her collaborative interview with him. Rather than follow a system,
she "abdicated responsibility" to her coach to give her
guidance. In reality, she wasn't running her business, she was letting
her potential client and her coach do it for her - not a great practice!
My answer was simple: exactly the same
thing you do to prepare for any potential client. Use the system
we developed. If you're a coach, use this system developed by Dave
Buck at CoachVille, which is the three primary questions you ask
any potential client:
- What are you working on now?
- What will that bring you?
- And, if appropriate, would you like
a partner to accomplish those things?
(Note: there is an entire one-hour class on this system at the
Schools of CoachVille that clearly explains each step and the
objectives/outcomes to design/expect for each step)
Good Systems are Simple and
The beauty of this system
is in its simplicity. It works. Time and time again, it works. But
be aware that it works because it delivers tremendous value to the
client in an elegant way. If you are designing systems for your
business, make sure you cover two critical components:
- Make the system about the
client, not about you or your business
In reality, your clients don't really care about your business.
Remember the largest radio station in the world is WII FM - "What's
In It For Me?"
- Ask for the business if
the potential client is a good fit for you or your company
One of the biggest
mistakes independent business owners make is NOT asking for business.
Many times, clients are simply waiting for you to "bust a
move" and ask for their business.
Too often, our fears, distractions
and own issues get in the way of going about our work in a systematic,
calm manner. Systems remove the inefficiencies and allow you to
demonstrate your value again and again, no matter what the client
brings to the table.
How to Determine if You Need
Marketing or Sales Conversion Systems
Answer the questions below very truthfully:
- Do you respond consistently
to each prospect or potential client?
Customizing proposals is NOT responding differently,
however creating a new proposal or a new process for each client,
or simply "winging it" is using resources inefficiently
and will become a time suck for your marketing efforts with very
low predictability of success.
- Do you convert a predictable
number of prospect to clients?
If you are not converting at least 25% of your prospect to clients,
then you need a system that will do the work of conversion for
you. Most successful business use systems to pre-screen clients
and spend time with pre-qualified prospects to convert 50% or
higher to clients!
- Do you need clients? Period.
If you need clients, then you need a system to attract those clients.
Otherwise, you will have no way of knowing which marketing actions
you take are working and how to adapt those to create a predictable,
steady stream of clients.
- Do you want to run your
Let's face it, many entrepreneurs really don't want to run their
businesses responsibly. They want to have more flexibility than
business allows and they don't want to do the work necessary to
generate the personal and financial rewards that businesses can
generate. This may sound harsh and you may not agree, but I can
determine with two very simple questions how serious business
owners are about managing their businesses responsibly:
- Have you created a business
system that consistently delivers value to your clients? And
are you explaining that in your marketing and sales efforts?
Address each step of the value chain, identify what
your customers really want and design a systematic way to
deliver that value every single time.
- Have you really done
the work necessary to generate the business you want?
If you are trying to cut corners, procrastinate or just avoid
the real work required to build your business, then you are
abdicating your responsibility. Period. End of discussion.
My clients have done it a million times. I've done it myself.
And it's not easy to admit, but it's reality. If you aren't
doing the work, then there are conflicting intentions that
need to be resolved before you can be successful.
How to Design a Marketing /
Sales Conversion System
- Determine what you want
your system to do
Do you want to attract clients, build credibility, generate referrals,
etc.? Get very clear and identify each objective you want your
marketing/conversion system to handle. Mine is: Build credibility,
pre-screen potential clients, eliminate clients who are not a
good fit, attract ideal clients, generate referrals.
- Design a step-by-step method
to deliver value and convert prospects to clients
The best way for clients to buy your product or service is to
experience it. Let them see or have the value before they have
to pay for it. If you're a coach, that means collaborative interivews.
If you're a hair stylist, that means pictures of your clients
before and after (or glowing referrals from people who love your
work with great looking hair - give them a script or an incentive
to recommend you! Make it EASY for your clients to refer you.).
If you're a training company, make one of your classes available
on your website for free (including materials, etc.). You get
the picture. Here's my step-by-step method:
- Make all pertinent information
available on website, including number of available client
slots I have, pricing, policies and procedures, the process
I use, my style, how I work, what clients can expect and,
most importantly what's in it for the clients
- Drive all potential clients
to website before scheduling a collaborative interview (exception:
if I meet someone at a networking event and they express an
interest, I will schedule them on the spot, then follow up
with an email template that includes pertinent information,
a link to the website and pre-work for them to complete before
- Have regularly scheduled times
for collaborative interviews (I recommend a certain number
of slots each week for my mentee coaches) and know which ones
are available at all times. When someone requests a collaborative
interview, schedule it and follow up with an email template
confirming the appointment and providing pre-work questions
to complete before the meeting.
- Send a reminder for appointments
the day before via email template (including additional information,
such as policies, etc.)
- Facilitate the coaching session
using the information provided by the client. Prepare in advance
and indicate any patterns or areas to address before the session
- Ask for value received - incorporate
any feedback or suggestions into future coaching sessions.
- If appropriate, ask the client
if they would like a partner.
- If yes, schedule the next appointment
and send welcome packet.
- Receive welcome packet, process
payment and confirm schedule via emial template.
- Implement and refine the
system as necessary
Look for ways to improve the system. Ask your clients for input,
feedback and suggestions. Make incremental changes to the pieces
that aren't working perfectly or those that don't deliver the
value you or your clients need. Spend time working ON the system,
rather than IN the system.
- Leverage components of this
system for other parts of your business.
Use this system to design other systems or tie into other systems
that streamline your business and guarantee value for your clients.
I guarantee if you take the time to
create a system that focuses on delivering real value for potential
clients, then you'll start attracting more of the clients you want
to serve and your business will be more sustainable. Until next
time, remember that business is personal. If you are personally
abdicating the responsibility to install systems to market and convert
potential clients, then you are getting in the way of having a successful