So much time can be spent dealing with existing food service clients that it can be hard to juggle enquiries coming in from potential ones.
When people make contact with you, whether it’s by referral, via your website or online hubs like FoodService Select, it’s important to remember that they’ve likely done their research as to why they should call you about your product or service. So when they do contact you, your reputation is on the line.
Want to increase your chances of converting these enquiries into business? Here are some tips.
The truth is, food service customers don’t like to be left hanging and the longer you have them wait, the higher the chance that they will move on. If you respond to a potential customer quickly, it gives a good impression and starts your business relationship off on the right foot.
Social media enquiries warrant a much quicker response, within a few hours, so it’s essential that there is someone dedicated to monitoring your social media accounts. If someone were to contact you via a website enquiry or phone call, it’s generally within the next business day.
Many people do not like leaving voice mail messages; they prefer to talk to a real person, so try to answer your phone where you can. If you know you are going to be in a meeting for the day, consider diverting your phone calls to a co-worker or receptionist. If you are self-employed, many virtual reception services can answer the phone as your business for a reasonable fee. Virtual receptionists are also a good option to consider for call diversions.
If potential customers find you hard to reach, they may question any future business relationship so make it easy for them.
If you get a lot of enquiries via your website, consider setting up an automated response, so people who do enquire know that you have received their message and when you will respond. It’s always good to set expectations early on, and it gives people some reassurance that you will address their enquiry as soon as possible. People want to know that their question is being dealt with.
Having a potential client’s email address is ideal but only if you use it correctly and don’t SPAM them. In addition to an email address giving you a direct contact with the potential client, you can send them special offers and follow-up emails that can be personalised for each customer. Using an email list effectively is an excellent way to convert sales.
Don’t have any testimonials on your website? Go out and get them! Testimonials are honest stories about client experiences with your brand that build consumer confidence. According to Neil Patel at Quicksprout, longer testimonials that tell a story and are authentic result in 11.3% more sales.
When people hand over their money, they want to know that they won’t regret the product or service they’re buying, that it does what it says it does and that it will solve their problems. So how do you prove it to a potential customer that your product or service will serve them well? You have a convincing guarantee.
The type of guarantee you use will depend on whether you sell products like commercial kitchen equipment or food products or if you deliver services such as food consultancy but could be a money back guarantee, risk-free guarantee or lifetime guarantee, just to name a few.
So if you’ve been banging your head against the wall wondering how you’re going to increase your sales conversions, if you’re not doing all of these, it’s time to start!