How to make it easier for prospects to become customers


Do you have good relationships with your prospects but are missing the sales to match?

Building a prospect list or a customer database is hard work - and the only time you’ll reap the rewards is when they start spending money with you. Despite what may appear to be great relationships or perfect pitches, actual sales can take their time. 

To make matters worse, your prospects are increasingly hard to reach so, when they do give your marketing communications some of their valuable time - you need to make it easier for them to become customers. 

Here are three ideas:

Create a ‘gateway product’

Imagine having potential customers who like the idea of doing business with you but they don’t really ‘get’ what you do. Or perhaps they do - but they just want a little bit to try first.

When I started as a marketing consultant I was my own worst enemy. Despite what I thought was a pretty obvious job title - I was actually quite hard to do business with. Even my accountant said he couldn’t understand what I did. The reason was actually quite simple - I didn’t have any recognisable services other than ‘marketing consultancy’. To a new client it was very hard to get a feel for what working with me would be like. And the reality is that if we are not sure about something, we usually hold back.

A ‘gateway product’ is that first step towards a bigger sale. It's a gentle process that allows a customer to progress from an initial, lower value or low risk purchase through to a premium one. At the same time they get to know you - and you get to know them. It gives you as a business a means to attract the kind of customer that could well end up as a long term client - in a way that suits them.

The concept of the ‘gateway product’ with many examples is covered in this article from the Watertight Marketing blog.

In my case, I now offer a gateway product that will provide a business real value on its own - the Watertight Marketing Touchpoint Leak Assessment - find out more here.

Start a valuable blog

There’s a very good chance most potential customers checking out your offer will come to your website first. The fact that they’ve found you is a good start but, if they don’t make an enquiry or buy something there and then - you have to encourage them to return. A blog is a great way to share advice, invite feedback, build trust and give your potential customer a very good feel for what doing actual business would be like. What’s more, it’s a low cost activity.

My website was specifically designed to be blog led. I wanted to share tips like these and ensure that visitors saw more than a list of services. I hope the content is helpful. I also write for several clients, helping them keep their blogs as the ‘engine room’ of their marketing operation. Each month we do a Google Analytics report and guess where the bulk of the traffic - and the sales enquiries come from? The blog.

If you’d like to learn more about business blogging and how to make the content you write valuable for your audience, I recommend the tips and ideas from the Valuable Content website and book. 

Use emotion in your messaging

Any message that focuses on the technical for too long will probably fail to resonate with your customer, despite the logic behind it. People respond to emotional triggers and customers are no different - in fact the last time I checked, most customers were people too! That’s why if you can work out what matters to them and would be likely to stir their emotions in the right way, you’ve just leapfrogged your competitors.

In my ad agency days we used to pitch a mix of consultancy services that, in truth, were pretty much the same as our competitors. Clients were given a fairly generic range of options and the successful outcome was usually down to personality fit and empathy. One of my most successful outcomes was entirely emotion led which provided the perfect re-assurance that we identified with their values. It’s also probable that customers who decide to buy a product or service on the basis of their emotions are more likely to end up as your customer, more quickly.

The use of emotions in marketing is explored in more depth in my article ‘Why Your Sales Messages Need Logic and Emotion’. 

I hope these suggestions will give you ideas to build a better connection with your potential customers and turn your hard work into real revenue. If you would to chat about any of them, please get in touch.



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