As traditional marketing funnels become more antiquated, consumers are no longer going through a singular buying journey. Instead, shoppers have evolved to find products and services in many different ways: community social groups, word of mouth, Internet searches, billboards, and banner ads. Interestingly, does this mean they are reaching out to local businesses at different stages of their path to purchase?  

For high-consideration products, there comes a point where the potential buyer realizes the need to seek information from the subject matter expert – you! They come to you for product suggestions, recommendations, or basic product questions. You and your sales team have significant influence over a consumer purchasing a service or product with your business. 

Since consumer journeys are no longer a straight path through the funnel and require multiple touchpoints, it’s understandable that consumers are reaching out to your local business earlier in the purchase journey. 

So how do we streamline our process to push shoppers toward an actual purchase?

Step One: Follow-up quickly with phone and email

This step may come to no surprise to you but reaching out to a lead quickly means you’re reaching out at their highest point of interest. They will be more inclined to answer your phone call for more information since they just completed a lead form. Not every consumer is the same, so make sure to follow up with email also. Some shoppers will always prefer email over phone until they are ready to come in store and purchase. 

Use this template to easily follow up with your leads: 

Hello 

This is John Smith from ABC Business, your local authorized Brand dealer. You recently requested more information about Brand Product. I’d be happy to discuss the product in more detail or have you come in-store to see a demo. What day are you available to connect?

Best 

John Smith

Step Two: Ask the right questions and provide next steps to finalize a purchase

Previously, we shared the importance of asking discovery questions (link to this blog post) when you contact your lead. Your lead may still be in the research phase and needs your advice or they may be ready to come in-store. Use your discovery questions to evaluate your lead. Remember every lead is valuable; some are just closer to a purchase than others. 

Try asking your leads the following questions: 

  • What product are you interested in? You mentioned you were interested in product 123, what do you plan to use this product for? 
  • Are you ready to purchase? When are you going to be ready to purchase? 

Provide concise next steps:

  • When is a good time today or tomorrow for an appointment to see this product?
  • Be on the lookout for an email. I’ll follow up with a quote.

Step Three: Incentivize consumers early on

Higher-priced products typically take longer to sell and require more deliberation by the consumer before they are willing to make a purchase.  Incentivize consumers who may not be ready to buy by offering them financing options or coupons. This helps take some of the financial pressure off of your consumers, turning them from shoppers into buyers. 

  • Take advantage of brand-related promotions when you talk to your prospective buyers 
  • Send out coupons to shoppers who haven’t been contacted for some time
  • When applicable, offer financing options, payment terms, maintenance packages or extended warranties to maximize the value of their purchase
  • If seasonality impacts your product sales, reach out to your shoppers just prior to the season starting to encourage them to optimize their purchase at the right time of year

With a little creativity and persistence, you can maximize lead-to-sale conversions to sell more products, build lasting customer relationships, and grow your business.