The key is in the conversions

Getting leads flowing into your business is pretty darn important, but the real money (quite literally) is in the conversions.

Do you spend thousands of dollars on SEO, digital marketing, direct mail, Adwords and even people in a quest to turn up new leads and hopefully sales? If the answer is yes, then this is for you.

Lots of leads but not enough sales?

If you’re finding the leads are coming but the sales don’t follow, you either have a problem with your ad copy or a problem with your conversions.

Let’s get to the bottom of it now, shall we?

For starters, we need to recognise that the vast majority of leads will not end up buying (in most cases anyway). Sounds obvious, but plenty of businesses have extremely high expectations about turning leads into sales.

And on this note, before you go looking for a benchmark, you need to know there is no hard and fast benchmark. Lead to sale ratios very a lot and depend a lot on what you’re selling, the marketplace, the level of competition and so on, so we suggest you don’t waste too much time trying to figure out what your conversation rate SHOULD be. Instead, take your current conversion rate and just focus on improving it.

So, with that out of the way, lets finish getting to the bottom of your conversion issues.

Why aren’t people buying?

If you’re lead generation is going gangbusters and feeding a constant stream of traffic to your site but very few of those people are buying, they’re either not the right prospects or you are failing to close the sale with your landing page.

If you don’t have a landing page, or you don’t know what one is, make a mental note to come back here and take a look. Chances are that this single, missing puzzle piece will change your world!

Clearly your ad (or whatever you’re doing to bring leads to your site) is doing something. But traffic is pretty useless unless it’s the right traffic. If people aren’t buying, there’s a disconnect somewhere… they don’t see what they were expecting to see when they responded to your ad. Is the message different? Are you just making it hard for them by not telling them what they want to know right away? Do they feel like you’re not giving them what you promised in your ad? Are you still selling them when they’re ready to buy? Are you banging on with stuff only you actually care about? You get the idea.

All these factors will quickly wash down any tentative interest your prospect may have had and have them mousing straight to the back button (and perhaps another search that will land them in the hands of your competition).

So these are the first questions to (honestly) ask yourself. In business it’s ridiculously easy to make a bunch of assumptions about your offering and your prospects. You can forget to put yourself in the prospects shoes and build a process they’d reasonably expect – from the ad to the delivery of whatever it is you’re selling. If you’ve fallen into the trap of assuming that your product / service should sell just because it’s really great and genuinely solves problems for people, you need to start climbing your way back out right now!

Getting better leads and increasing your sales

One of the cheap little tactics a lot of facebook and adwords marketers are using at the moment is the bizarre photo that has absolutely nothing to do with the ‘revolutionary secret weightloss formula’ or ‘amazing home made wrinkle cure that make this mum look half her age’. The image is usually some weird fruit or a closeup of some strange textured thing. I’ve even seen one for a vacuum cleaner that used a picture of a cat with a helmet cut out of an orange on it’s head. They’re totally off the wall pictures that do actually make you want to see the full size image just to figure out what it is.

Anyway, the point here is that these ads are probably getting plenty of clicks. But I’d wager a fair bet that they also get plenty of bounces. Honestly, what is the point of this sillyness?

So, here’s the work you’ll need to do to increase your conversions…

  1. Answer the questions above (and be brutally honest with yourself)
  2. Get in your prospect’s head and work out precisely what they’d need to hear to spark their interest in what you have to offer (this is what needs to be in your ad), and then precisely what they’d need to hear to make a decision to buy (this is what needs to be in your landing page).
  3. Consider split testing a few different ideas and prepare yourself for a possible FALL in leads if it’s the ad you end up adjusting more than the landing page. You’ll be better off with fewer, more qualified leads than a bunch of traffic that never buys.
  4. Make use of your analytics to determine where people are dropping out of the process and work on honing your landing page copy (and layout). Once you’re confident your ad is bringing you qualified leads, the issue is definitely going to be with your landing page.
  5. Keep tweaking, keep measuring and keep using your best performing ad and landing page until they stop working (it will take longer than you might think).

Focusing on increasing your conversions is one of the most critical things you can do in your business. If you can get your website ‘selling’ for you (even if that means delivering you appointments or making your phone ring), it’s all a numbers game from there. Advertise more and it follows that you’ll get more business. That doesn’t work exponentially but most small – medium sized businesses are more likely to max out their capacity to deliver before the sales system maxes out.

And a final note on the subject for anyone out there who is trying to a sell big ticket item… Don’t fret too much about your conversion number (if it even IS a number that doesn’t need a decimal place). It takes some seriously savvy copywriting to ‘sell’ an expensive item on one page (and it is stupid to even try). Your sales system is going to be longer (in both time and number of steps). You can still run through the process above, but spend a lot more time on step number 2 – working out what your prospects need to convince them to buy. Add more steps than one landing page, consider using some traditional elements like information kits you can post, think about ways you can communicate on multiple levels, write some autoresponders that can carefully and systematically knock out objections before they come and add layer upon layer of proof and convincing.

You’re probably also going to be talking your prospects during the sales process so use that time to reveal every objection, every motivation, every concern and every desire your prospects have and feed that knowledge back in to improve your sales system.