team of salespeople sitting in a row on headsets
When it comes to turning leads into sales, there are some tried-and-true methods that generate results. — Getty Images/kupicoo

Every business wants high-quality leads, but obtaining them is only half the battle. The next step is converting them to paying customers.

A social media promotion or single email campaign is often not enough for leads to convert — sometimes they need a little push. If your conversion rates are low, try the following ways for converting leads into sales.

Retarget your website visitors

Your leads became your leads because they liked something they saw, but they may have forgotten about your brand and need a reminder after they've visited your website. Keep your brand top of mind by re-advertising to them via various avenues, including social media and other relevant websites. When done right, it can encourage leads to recognize your brand and make them more likely to buy from you.

Show them the ROI

Sometimes leads don't convert because they don't see the return on investment (ROI). What does your product or service offer that the competition does not? How can you help them improve their bottom line? How can your products or services directly or indirectly push them toward their goals? Get creative with videos, photos and crafty copy to articulate what the ROI is and why leads can't live without what you're selling.

[Read: How to Build a Sales Funnel for Your Business]

Entice them with a free offer

People love free stuff. Instead of enticing leads with a percentage or dollar amount off, give something away for free and put an expiration date on it to create a sense of urgency. For example, if you just opened a custom stationery business, you may offer a free design consultation, 10 free invitations with the purchase of 25 or more, or free envelopes with purchase.

Answer their questions

Today's buyers do a lot of research before making a purchase. That's why a solid FAQ page on your website can be your secret weapon in converting leads into customers. In a Huffington Post article, author Jonathan Long recommends gathering feedback from your sales and customer service representatives to compile a list of the most commonly asked questions, then answer them and post the list prominently on your website.

When you hit an emotional trigger, your chances of getting a sale are likely to increase.

Pull at their heartstrings

When you hit an emotional trigger, your chances of getting a sale are likely to increase. In fact, research from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising found that ad campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well as those containing only rational, logical content (31% versus 16%, respectively).

Why does emotional marketing work so well? Leads are people, and people are complex, emotional beings. Consider what stories you can tell in your marketing to trigger an emotion and re-engage your leads accordingly. If you're not sure where to begin, ask some of your existing customers about their prior experiences and the problems they had that led them to buying your product or service.

[Read: How to Boost Customer Retention and Drive Repeat Business]

Follow up

Your leads are busy, so following up needs to be a key part of your conversion strategy. Sometimes a phone call or personalized email (i.e., one that's not sent from your automated email marketing software) can go a long way.

Don't let a lot of time pass before you follow up — a phone call or email should be sent within a few days of initial contact. As part of your follow up, ask leads questions such as:

  • Is there anything I can clarify for you about [product]?
  • Have you had a chance to review the materials? If so, what are your thoughts?
  • What problem do you have that we can solve for you?

Adjust if necessary

When using these strategies, be patient and don't give up if one does not work right away. The sales process can be long but once your leads convert, it's worth it. If you don't get conversions after a few weeks, you may need to switch up your messaging and graphics.

Keep in mind that even after leads convert, your job is not done. Continue nurturing customer relationships and you may just get multiple conversions from your now-customers.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Published August 13, 2019