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Improve lead conversions

By reducing consumer uncertainty

How often do you stop and assess your lead conversion rate (i.e. the number of leads, or enquiries, that turn into actual sales)? You might be surprised to discover your conversion rates are much lower than you’d like them to be.

Lead conversion is more than just a numbers game. While much of it depends on the quality of your product or services (obviously) and your reputation, it’s also strongly influenced by consumer behaviours. So if you can understand what’s motivating (or not) your potential customers, you can adapt your marketing and communication strategies accordingly.
One significant behaviour-related conversion challenge for businesses in the housing industry is uncertainty. Consumers are generally very risk-averse. A lack of certainty regarding a product or service creates the perception of risk, which in turn causes the consumer to procrastinate on making their purchasing decision.

This consumer ‘uncertainty’ can be driven by a several factors:

  1. When there’s no tangible product – you’re selling a service (the promise of a service), not a ‘thing’ they can put in a bag and take home.
  2. When the customer doesn’t know exactly what they get from you, or what’s actually included in the purchasing price.
  3. The customer doesn’t know how to deal with you – the process seems too complicated or difficult.
  4. They don’t know exactly how much they will be charged for your service.
  5. The ‘payoff’ or ‘reward’ is too far away: they don’t know how long your service will take (e.g. when you can start or how long it will take you to complete the job).

Marketing expert Bri Williams says, ‘Uncertainty means we hesitate. We get nervous. We doubt, and that means we delay.’ It can also, she adds, cause potential customers to:

  • consider your pricing is too high when really they are just not certain about what they are getting.
  • remain with their existing supplier because they have experienced the relationship, whereas you are an unknown quantity.

The solution? Put the ‘certainty’ into your value proposition. A few tweaks to your marketing strategy and sales processes can help assure your potential customers and influence their behaviour: turn procrastination into action.

Strategies to create ‘certainty’

  • Helping your customer to picture the outcome will reduce uncertainty. Within the housing industry, tools such as display homes, showrooms, examples of past projects and even 3D modelling can help clients visualise what they are buying from you.
  • Eliminate the perception of risk by being up-front about your pricing and costs, and clearly articulate exactly what is included. If the outcome of the contracted work is not certain (such as strategy, planning or consulting work), then clearly outline your processes, and what documentation/product will be provided at the end, e.g. architectural plans, an EIS, etc.
  • Offering guarantees and assurances provides peace of mind, allowing potential clients to feel certain they will be no worse off by dealing with you.
  • Social proof is very powerful, so be sure to include testimonials and case studies on your website. This creates certainty by showing that others have trusted you – and that you’ve delivered the service they expected.
  • Bring the immediate reward into focus: specifying potential start dates (the sooner the better) and completion timeframes can help galvanise action from an indecisive customer.
  • Using your past experience, anticipate what questions new and potential customers might have about your company and include them, with comprehensive answers, in a FAQ page on your website.

The more certainty about the outcome that you can provide to your potential customers, the better your lead conversion rate will be. Be clear about your services, your pricing, and your timing, and focus on the rewards and benefits the client will gain by dealing with you. Consumers need to know exactly what they’ll get in return for their hard-earned cash, and be able to trust that you’ll deliver. Once that’s a certainty, they’re ready to do business with you.