5 Ways To Close A Sale In 24 Hours
Zero To €100k Revenue In 12 Months — Month 8
Sales are the heartbeat of any business and by month 8, I was fully focused on doubling down on what was working and killing the rest.
By trimming the product offering, I had time to really focus on the core part of the business that was driving growth.
This month, I reveal the 5 strategies that allowed me to close my highest ever number of clients in 1 month.
1. Be Your Own Customer
Make a list of the things that annoy you most when trying to buy a product or service and simply design your sales process to avoid making the same mistakes. It’s really that simple. If they annoy you, chances are they annoy your potential customers too.
The photo below shows you the list I made when designing my own process.
When I saw a potential new customer enquiry hit the inbox, I would reply within 60 minutes. Often, I would reply immediately on my phone to start the conversation. In today’s world of bots and auto responders, I was able to win by providing a human interaction almost immediately.
As a small business you are often competing with bigger, better funded companies. However, you can win by being more agile and more responsive to the market and your customers.
3. Make Your Customer Work (A little bit)
I wish I had learned this lesson before I started. If I had €10 for every single hour I wasted in the first 8 months meeting and talking to time wasters, I could retire today.
Not every customer is right for you and you are not right for every customer.
Don’t try to be all things to all people. Know your ideal customer niche and focus your energy on them.
Pre-qualify your leads to save you and the customer a lot of wasted effort.
Each hour you waste with false leads, is an hour lost from growing your business.
It is vital to be able to recognise enquiries who want to become customers and enquires who just want to drain every last drop of knowledge from you.
Due to the nature of my business (short-term holiday rentals), many customers thought they could do it themselves or they had being doing it and felt they had all the answers.
You must design a process that eliminates time bandits in the early stages. For me, I designed a short email, that every new enquiry was sent in reply.
In summary, they had to tell me:
Where they had heard of us? (key for improving your marketing efforts)
Where the property was located?
If not currently Airbnb host, what was reason for deciding to use it?
What date was the property available from and for how long?
If someone is unwilling to take the time to answer 4 quick questions, they are unlikely to go through the process of becoming a client.
4. Know Your Market
By month 8, I had clients generating a solid level of data that I was able to give prospective new clients, a very clear picture of what the market was like. By being able to give hard facts and figures such as expected ROI, I was able to establish authority and trust with potential clients.
When someone is considering giving their most valuable asset to you, it’s key that you can establish two things.
This can come in the form of existing clients or in the form of outlining your expertise in the market. Backed up with hard evidence. No one wants to trust you with a property if you are going to mismanage it or fail to deliver a solid return on investment.
Proof of concept
Once a few customers had taken the leap of faith with me, I was able to generate new data sets each month showing returns per client, nightly rates, net returns, gross returns and identify patterns to deliver highest possible yield.
My strategy involved being able to run an analysis for a new prospective client, showing their expected return per month based on their postal address and property type.
As outlined above, once I had established trust, the key question people had was, “How much will my property earn?”
This was a prospective client’s number one concern after trust. By being able to provide concrete evidence based numbers, my sales process was relatively clear.
5. Design Your On-Boarding Process
For the first 6 months, my sales process was all over the place. Once you start to get a few clients, it is critical to put a process in place to ensure that you are repeating what works and eliminating what doesn’t.
An on-boarding and sales process will ensure you are following the steps above such as qualifying leads but it will also ensure you are getting new clients live in a timely and effective manner.
Your process can be as simple as 5 steps.
Prospective customer sends an enquiry.
Qualify them to see if they fit your criteria.
If qualified, set up next steps, such as in-person meeting or call.
Close the sale using evidence based, trust principles.
Client goes live and you switch them into your on-boarding process.
Design a clear, step-by-step guide that you follow each time. This has 2 key benefits.
You don’t miss a step when rushing to get a new client live. This can be costly as I found to my dismay. When putting one of my earliest clients live, I forgot to add a cleaning fee for the first 10 guests. This cost me over €250 in a single month.
As your business grows, you hopefully, won’t have time to be able to handle the whole sales process on your own. By having a clear sales process and on-boarding plan, you can teach new employees how to handle sales enquires and start to close deals. This is when you can really start to scale the business.