4 strategies to increase your closing ratio

Dollar sign (Photo: iStock.com/MicroStockHub)
Photo: iStock.com/MicroStockHub

Headshot: Jeffrey Scott

Increasing your closing ratio is a sign of more and better salesmanship. It is also a sign of better qualifying which leads to higher margins as well

Imagine if each of your salespeople could produce more sales than before, and do so at a higher margin.

It’s possible. But you have to overcome some challenges including:

  • Inadequate qualifying of initial leads.
  • A broken selling process.
  • Slow response times in sales (and design).
  • Overtaxed and distracted salespeople/business developers.

Four ideas to boost your sales and closing ratio

1. Don’t forget the upfront process.

Make sure you have a strong weekend system to catch leads — and a short response window to your weekday leads — because the better leads will shop less and move along faster.

You can quote me, “Buyers want to buy, and shoppers want to shop.”

2. Find the holes.

Involve your sales team in discussing your sales process, they can tell you where some of the holes are. Inspect in detail what you expect. It’s eye-opening when you take the time to assess your processes. Unfortunately, I have seen many companies only do this out of panic and not out of proactive improvement.

“The proactive bird catches the worm.”

3. Keep the pace strong.

Stay on the emotional bubble: Keep your client’s emotional interaction high, and your margins will stay high. For example, designers can get caught up in the details and having daily accountability helps. Design production is like any other production; it needs a production schedule and regular check-ins. Don’t give clients time to become overly analytical.

4. Stop multi-tasking.

Salespeople are routinely asked to do things that someone else could be doing. Get clarity on production’s responsibilities and admin’s — and keep people in their lanes.

I had a discussion with a coaching client about this very thing last week; their top salesperson was asked to do work that production should have been doing. Just because a salesperson can do something, it does not always mean they should. I will admit that every company is set up differently. There is no blanket answer here, but one thing is true, the more “selling” they are doing, the more sales you will get.

Which of these four areas needs the most attention from you?

Your challenge: Take time to reorganize your sales processes now while the season is early. Involve your sales, admin and even production teams. Teamwork only makes the dream work when you are intentional about the outcomes. Look for technology solutions, outsourcing and other creative approaches. Measure your success not just in sales and closing ratio, but also in terms of response timeliness and client experience.

It’s going to be a great year, as long as you apply continuous improvement to all points in your sales process.

Editor’s Note: Jeffrey Scott is holding an upcoming Sales Symposium. The early bird pricing ends Feb. 14. Find more info here.

Jeffrey Scott

Jeffrey Scott

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners. To learn more visit GetTheLeadersEdge.com

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