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How to Convert Leads Into Sales

The housing market is fierce with competition these days, and converting leads into sales is not always an easy task. How do you move potential customers through the sales pipeline without losing them along the way? While you can't win 'em all, there are things you can do to help nurture more leads into closed deals and grow your business.

1. Follow up quickly. Once you receive a lead, follow up right away — ideally, within the hour. This is especially important for online leads. According to a study by Harvard Business Review involving 2,241 U.S. companies, those that followed up with online leads within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead as those that waited just one extra hour to reach out. Not only is it essential to follow up quickly, but also be careful not to rely on email alone. A phone call or face-to-face meeting can provide that personal touch that makes all the difference.

2. Utilize a CRM. After the initial contact is made, how do you track leads and continue to follow up in a way that's both timely and relevant to each customer? A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can track where your leads are in the sales process and ensure you stay in front of your customers at the right time. Some CRMs may even provide you with communication tools that support the transaction.

3. Consistently market warm leads. It's not all about the hard sell. The more you remain at the forefront of people's minds, the more you increase your chances of closing the sale. This doesn't mean every communication needs to refer back to your product or service. Focus instead on building credibility with potential customers through consistent, value-added messaging.

4. Gain trust through testimonials. When you are considering whether or not to make a purchase, do you read consumer reviews or testimonials to help inform your decision? According to a 2014 survey of 2,104 North American consumers, 88% said they use reviews to determine the quality of a local business. Ask your past customers to share a testimonial or write a review about their experience working with you, then post it on your website. Hearing positive feedback from real customers can be a huge conversion factor for potential clients.

5. Provide a solution, not a product. Consumers are bombarded with products and sales pitches on a daily basis. Frame your product or service as meeting a need or providing a solution to their problems. Ask questions and empathize with their excitements or frustrations. When you make the conversation about the customer, rather than what you're selling, they'll connect better and be more likely to buy.

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