When I open Facebook, my feed is filled with posts about the top ways to gain more business through webinars, email, and Facebook ads (among other pay-per-click advertising). The struggle is the average e-commerce site only converts 3%[1] of the traffic that comes in, which means we spend a lot of time and money on trying to get people interested in our business before a sale is even made. However, companies that incorporate a sales strategy will see their conversion rate rise anywhere from 13% to 68%[2] depending on the product, skills, and industry.

Companies that are the most successful focus on these strategies to get business faster than ever:

1. Do Some Research

It is important to do some research into the companies you want to do business with. Do you know the companies that you work best with? Are you focused on a specific industry or niche with a certain type of client? For someone starting out, you may not know your focus yet, in which case start with your personal history. Who do you want to do business with?

Follow that up with research. There are plenty of industry tools from ProspectWorx, LinkedIn, and local economic development directories. Spend time understanding the unique challenges of a specific industry and the key players in the industry. What are they interested in? What would they like to provide more of for their customers? If you want to go after small business, find the names of the decision makers at the rising stars. It doesn’t take a lot of time to do a bit of research, but that little bit will go a long way. When you do call on new companies, the person answering will listen because you are familiar with their unique needs.

2. Use Your Network

If you are running a business that you are proud of, own that! If you are passionate about what you do and the service you provide, express that to your friends, family, old clients, and acquaintances. Let everyone know you have a business that you love, and would love to know if they could connect you with the people you want to do business with. Be specific about your ask. It’s not enough to say, “I am looking for someone that could use accounting services.” You’ve completed your research and know the companies and industries you want to be connected with. Instead, ask your network if anyone can connect you with “ABC Company” or knows someone who works in the home building industry. Reach out to your connections and ask, “Who would be the decision maker for outsourcing accounting services at your company?” and then connect with that person. You’re not asking them to give you business; you’re asking for a name. You love what you do, and your passion will sell itself when you call the person that makes the decisions.

3. If You Want It, Go After It

Don’t sit back and wait for companies to find you and call on you to solicit your services. We are inundated daily with advertising, promotional Facebook posts, and other marketing. However, timing is everything and you need to proactively reach out and call on potential customers to let them know who you are and the services and support you provide. Most purchases are made when a business connects with a customer who is ready to buy. You won’t always know when the right time is, but if you are consistently calling and connecting with people, you will have a better chance of getting them at the right moment. If you are interested in learning more about effective prospecting and selling, visit my blog.

[1] https://www.smartinsights.com/ecommerce/ecommerce-analytics/ecommerce-conversion-rates/

[2] https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2014/11/b2b-sales-benchmark-research-finds-some-pipeline-surprises-infographic-gp.html