CRM & Lead Management

A Guide to Converting Contacts into Customers for SMBs

Posted 03 February 2016 | BY Sansan

What’s next when you have a great database of contacts? Can you turn these into actual results for your business?

Looking for new customers involves investing a large amount of time and money and businesses that use this approach might end up not being as productive as they could be. The contacts list that a business has is a goldmine of potential customers and digging into it is highly beneficial. But the key is in how you convert these contacts into customers. Here’s a list of practical steps.

Don't Be Shy

with your knowledge of your industry and products. Give your opinions when asked questions and share your expertise willingly. Once your contacts get a taste of what you know about your business, they're more likely to want to commit to you and become your customer. If they know that you are competent in your knowledge and professional, you won't need to spend as much time convincing them. But don't give too much away: Set some boundaries so that they will need to come back to you to find out more.

Have a Precise Plan

When meeting with contacts, know for sure what you want to get out of that session. Have an agenda in mind so that you use your time effectively and more productively. Once you have a plan in mind, you are also in control of the meeting, making it easier to steer it in the direction that benefits your business. It also shows that you're organized and professional, which creates a positive impact on them and makes them want to do business with you.

There’s No Time Like the Present

Always strike when the iron is hot. When your business is fresh in their minds, your contacts are more likely to become your customers. Lose them and you'll more than likely lose their business too. It also creates a good impression when you make a move quickly as it shows that you are genuinely interested in providing a service to them. Whether it's through a phone call, a follow-up email or a scheduled meeting, it's best to do it quickly.

Show Off

Let your existing customers do the job for you. Showing your reviews or testimonials from the customers you already have is a more effective way of selling, compared to just you telling them what you or your product can do for them. It offers a human angle to your business and, because it comes from someone who has benefitted from your company, it shows that you're worth doing business with while also being a positive and honest tool for you to use.

Get Personal

If you're reaching out to your contacts via email, for example, don't make it a generic note. Make the message personal and you're more likely to pique their interest. A personalized message makes them feel like you're talking to and targeting just them, as opposed to random spam that they'll ignore. After all, you want to connect with them and not alienate them so taking the personal route is advised. Also ensure that your message is relevant and useful and be consistent

Keep It Simple

While it might be impressive to use buzzwords and fancy marketing terms to win over partners and corporate clients, keep the language simple when dealing with your contacts. This is not because you're looking down on them; it's because you don't want to confuse or mislead them. Give it to them straight when you're pitching a sale and be honest with what your company can offer. Simple and effective customer service is one important key to winning them over, as people tend to choose companies that they are comfortable with and they'll only trust you once they've built a connection.

Don't Push Too Hard

The worst thing a business could do is to come across as pushy or desperate. Keep it professional at all times and don't keep reaching out to your contacts so much that you end up annoying them. Not only will they not become your customer, they'll also most likely spread the word and ruin your company's reputation.

Manage Your Contacts

Getting the best pointers to convert your contacts into customers wouldn't work as well without an effective tool to manage your contact list. Sansan is a business card management system that facilitates targeting and segmentation using information collected about your contacts' background, location and even where the contact was received. This way, it's much easier for businesses to create tailor-made marketing messages and approach contacts strategically in order to optimize the chances of conversion. It's also very easy to build a database and it promotes teamwork too, with effortless sharing of contacts within any organization.

Going after an existing contact base and converting them to customers is a less challenging option for businesses once done with a simple and effective planned approach that reels them in.