Referrals Mean Rewards

At Local Pages we are proud of the fact that we continue to grow by building on the lead generating success of our Little Blue Books.

To ensure our Little Blue Book’s continued success, the information contained within it needs to be accurate, continually updated and relevant to the 1000s of users that trust and rely on its content and the local businesses it recommends.

To help keep the Little Blue Book relevant, we ask all our customers to refer other businesses to us that may benefit from generating more leads.

Our referral scheme 

  1. Let us know of any business not currently in the Little Blue Book.
  2. If the referred business advertises in the Little Blue Book, we will reward the referrer.
  3. Depending on the level of spend, rewards range from a bottle of wine to a £50 high street voucher.
  4. There is no limit to the number of referrals or rewards
  5. Referrals can be made at any time.

By supporting us with referrals you increase the book’s relevance which in turn creates more leads and business opportunities for all.

To make a referral, please send details to info@localpages.co or call 0117 9231122

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More Leads = More Customers? Think Again.

I am often reminded of getting back to basics to build revenues and profits in business. But none more so than when I am confronted with a business owner who shows me they need more new customers. If you really want to grow your business and you really want to do it fast, then take a look at grasping these few simple ideas.

You are already getting people contacting you, coming in, emailing you and so on. Your people are already messing up and not selling to anywhere near enough of these potential customers. Want to know just how bad it is, ask one of your friends to call your business and try to buy, just wait and see how they go.

Almost every business owner I meet believes that they are selling to the majority of prospects they come into contact with. Well, put bluntly, you are not. How do I know? After doing this exercise with hundreds of business owners, I have only twice been proven wrong.

For the next two weeks keep a record of every phone call, every email enquiry, every walk in every single prospective buyer that contacts your business. Ask every single one of them how they found out about your business and keep a record of it. Was it referral, direct search etc.? Then, at the end of the two weeks see how many of them have bought from you. If you think you are at about 6 or 7 out of 10, it will be about 3 or 4 out of 10. I have seen this with so many companies, even restaurants who think they get everybody, then measure the people that call versus the people that book, and the people that read the menu out front versus those who actually come in.

Your Conversion Rate is a massive opportunity. If it is lower than say 50%, then we’ve got to get to work!

First, you’ve got to start measuring it every day. That focus alone will get it up to 10% higher than it is right now.

Add to that, here’s another 11 ways to boost your conversion rate right now, this week:

  1. Get your salesperson with the best conversion rate to train everybody else for a day or two.
  2. Script your sales process. Use a lot of questions in the script (it’s NOT a sales pitch) and learn from what the best sales people are doing.
  3. Break your sales process down into each and every critical step and work on one step at a time.
  4. Measure your conversion from one step to the next and work on improving each step by just 10% more than it was.
  5. Work on the letters, brochures and other written or audio and video material you use during each step of the sales process.
  6. Use my magic question for phone selling, “Thanks for your call, just so I can help you best would it be OK if I asked you a couple of questions?
  7. Run a competition among your sales people for a week or two around the one area you need to see the most improvement in, then learn from the new ways they start doing things.
  8. Learn the critical buying step in your sale, for example in female fashion stores, it’s trying the clothes on, with it you have more than a 50% chance at making a sale, without it, less than 10%.
  9. Follow up and follow through, too many sales are lost by salespeople who can’t be bothered to follow up again and again and again at least 7 times.
  10. Make an offer that is either limited or a bonus offer or something to get customers to act now and to give sales people some ammunition
  11. Just plain ask people to buy, usually in sales training the one biggest reason sales people are not getting the sale is that they don’t ask for it.

Stay focused on your conversion rate for 3 months and watch the dramatic effect it has on your bottom line.

Once you’ve got it right, or at least much better than it is today, then and only then is it time to go to work getting more potential customers and investing more money into your marketing and fixing the marketing you are doing now.

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Why Bother With A Sales Process

If you put the phrase “sales process” into the source of all wisdom which is Google, you will get a whole load of smartly titled materials pop up. Anything from the 7 steps of the sales process explained, 5 crucial sales process step to a bunch of serious looking diagrams. When you look it up on Wikipedia it throws this smart sounding sentence at you: “A sales process is an approach to selling a product or service. The sales process has been approached from the point of view of an engineering discipline”.

Whilst I do not doubt that reading many of these articles, examples, case studies and e-books will help improve your sales revenue I doubt that you have the time or inclination to do so. After all sales just happen don’t they? It’s all about common sense, a good product, sound reputation and a bit of luck, isn’t it?

I agree that many of the above elements are important to make sales happen (not so sure about the luck bit though). However, having a sales process can really help make sure that you keep repeating all these good strategies that help you win business and take out elements that have not worked in the past. In fact here is a whole list of things for which it can be useful:

  • It can help you train new team members faster
  • Measuring results become a lot easier
  • Productivity can be improved by cutting out unnecessary fluff
  • Additional touches can be added to improve conversion rate
  • It can really improve your customer retention

So the reason you should bother with a sales process is that it takes away the trial and error element of sales and helps you systemise all that in your experience has brought in sales in the past to make sure they happen more often.

Even more important is the potential to improve your customer retention. As most customers leave due to indifference, not ensuring that you demonstrate the value you offer leaves them to decide on price alone. Couple this with the fact that up selling is much easier than selling to a new prospect and you can see how important it is to have an after sale plan.

To get your sales process up and running consider the following:

  • Write down all steps you take between first engaging with a prospect to making a sale and ongoing communication with your clients
  • Emphasise the actions you take and consider writing scripts, list of actions and written communications which can be repeated
  • Write it with another, new member of your team point of view in mind
  • Get someone else to read through and comment on how easy it is to follow

So, to summarise, developing as sales process for your business is well worth the effort as it will definitely make a difference to your conversion and retention rates. Follow my suggested steps to help you make a start and develop it further based on your unique process. Most importantly, make sure you and your team follow the process once designed consistently to see the benefit.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for your business in terms of sales process?

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