You finished your course and you know they’re going to love it. But how do you convert those leads on your list or social account to happy customers? And, how do you get them to spread the word to their friends?
This is where a lot of course creators get stuck. Creating the course was easy -even fun. But now it’s time to monetize it – and that means marketing and selling, which many course creators are uncomfortable with.
But marketing and selling are only part of what it takes to convert leads into buyers. There’s a third component which, when added to the mix, will get people to buy and turn them into raving fans. And it’s the component you don’t hear about much. Everyone talks about lead magnets, social media, ads and so on. But nobody is talking about this, and it’s important.
Some call it customer service. I like to call it going the extra mile.
It’s not a difficult thing to do, and there are many ways to accomplish it.
It’s the handwritten thank you card you get in the mail after placing an order.
Or the careful wrapping in tissue of your thoughtfully chosen gift for a loved one, and placing it in a box, and adding a ribbon so it doesn’t need to be wrapped.
It might be the special surprise bonus you didn’t know you were getting when you made the purchase.
Or just having a manager listen to you when there’s a problem, and they go out of their way to make it right.
There’s power in going the extra mile. But what nobody ever tells you is, the best time to weild this power is BEFORE the sale is made. All of the things I previously mentioned happen after the sale. But going the extra mile, adding the “wow” factor, is a powerful way to convert leads because not only will they buy, they won’t be able to shut up about you!
It’s often easiest to know what TO do by looking at what NOT to do. So, I’m going to share a true story with you that happened to me – one I think you’ll find pretty shocking, but that you can learn a lot from. And then we’ll analyze it so that you can see how to use the “wow” factor in your business to convert leads.
How NOT To Convert Leads Into Customers
Like any good coach, I’m always interested in furthering my own education. So when I heard about a marketing course through a Facebook group I was in, I decided to take a look at it.
The guru running the course was giving several live presentations over an entire week. So I tuned in for one of the presentations, and at the end I decided the course wasn’t for me.
But, I couldn’t stop thinking about it over the rest of that week. And on the last day to get into the course, I decided to look at it again.
In addition to considering the course content, I also looked at reviews from people who had taken the course. It seemed everyone had gotten positive results, though not everyone got the same level of results, which I expected.
And then, just a few hours before the doors closed on the course, the guru who created it gave a live webinar to answer questions. By this time, after all of my research, my interest in the course had peaked. I was now ready to buy. But, I had a question regarding the tactics taught in the course, so I decided to ask it on the webinar.
I wanted to know how this course could help me accomplish a very specific goal. It wasn’t clear how the tactics taught in the course would help me.
When the guru read my question on the webinar, I got very excited. If you’ve ever been on a webinar, you know how difficult it is to get your question answered. There are usually more questions than there is time to answer them.
I waited with great anticipation for the guru to speak, hoping that their answer would put my mind at ease and I could buy the course. But their answer left me in shock!
My Choice – Stay Mad And Miss Out, Or Take Advantage Of An Incredible Opportunity
This guru was in the middle of a very big launch. They were selling an expensive course and the launch was going very well. By the time of that webinar, they had nearly 1 million dollars in sales. To say they were hyped would be an understatement.
And in the midst of that excitement, they read my question – which questioned their tactics – and took on a “mightier than thou” attitude.
That guru made some accusations against me, meant to position them in a good light in front of their watchers. How dare I question their tactics! But I wasn’t questioning whether their tactics would work. I simply wanted to know how their tactics would help me achieve my goal.
Once they had established that they really did know it all, even putting words in my mouth I never said and making several “assumptions,” they proceeded to answer my question in a more civilized manner – showing me a world I never knew existed.
When it was all over I was left with a choice – let my anger get the best of me, or overlook the guru’s rudeness and take advantage of this incredible opportunity.
It was a tough choice, and I deliberated until the final hour of the open cart. I didn’t want to give my money to someone who had just bashed me in public. But, I also saw a great opportunity in the information that was presented. So, I decided to sign up anyway.
15 minutes before the cart was to close, I had another question – this time about how long the course materials would be available to me. I had heard the guru say that all the matierals disappear when the course ends. It’s an 8 week course. What if I didn’t finish it in time?
But, the live webinar was over.
I went into the Facebook group for the course and asked my question, but all I heard was crickets.
I emailed, but I knew I wouldn’t receive a reply in time. In fact, I didn’t receive a reply at all – not even the following day.
With my question unanswered, I decided not to buy. I was literally sitting in front of my computer, with my wallet and the buy screen in front of me. But, as much as I wanted the information in the course, I was still reeling from the guru’s inital comments about me. And now I couldn’t get a simple question answered. It was too much.
I made peace with my decision. I would find another way to get the information.
Was This A Warning?
The following day I received a message from the operations manager for that course. There was a glitch with their system, preventing people from taking advantage of their payment plan. You can’t convert leads if they can’t buy from you. So they had extended their open cart for one more day. But, I didn’t see that message until the following day – two days after the cart close.
Still, I messaged the operations manager back, thanking them for reaching out to me. I asked them my question, which they answered. Then, I said I was still interested in taking the course, but, I explained, I knew it was too late. The extended open cart period was over.
The operations manager responded, saying, “I can get you in, if you REALLY want it.”
There was something unsettling about their words. It felt almost like a warning – like I should be careful what I wish for. And their response seemed unprofessional – like they wanted me to beg them to let me in.
Yet, I still wanted in, and I told the operations manager this. But, they didn’t send me the link.
Then, I opened a dialalogue about how I felt about what had happened on the webinar. The operations manager responded, making an excuse for the guru. I said I understood, though I felt making excuses was unprofessional. But I overlooked it and again stated that I would like to take the course.
I never received a response.
The following day I went into the facebook group for the course just to see if anyone who had signed up had posted. Sure enough, there were posts. There was confusion about start dates and times, and links that didn’t work. Support was unresponsive. It was a mess!
I had tried and tried to get into that course. But the doors closed every time – maybe protecting me from making a big mistake.
Let’s Analyze This So You Can Convert Your Leads Into Happy Customers
I’m going to now go through the story above, step by step, giving you insights at each moment. That business had the opportunity to convert many leads that day. But they didn’t conver me. And I know they missed many others. Here’s how you can do better than they did.
Why I changed my mind about joining the course, when I originally wasn’t going to buy it – I was new to this particular guru, so the course was originally easy to turn down. But, I kept hearing about others joining their course through one of my Facebook groups, and that guru’s name kept popping up in other places as well. I started out as a cold lead, and very quickly became a warm one.
When someone hears about you for the first time, they’re not ready to buy. They need to get to know you and what you’re all about first. Once they do, if they trust you and like you, they’ll become a warm lead for you.
Also, the enrollment period for the course was only a week long. And after seeing and hearing about the course all week, I knew the doors were about to close. It was now or never.
Having a deadline is important because it forces people to make a decision. Most people will procrastinate, think about it and put it on the back burner without a deadline. Having a deadline means you’ll convert more leads than if you didn’t have one.
And, that guru’s name and course kept popping up. Hearing about others buying the course and having a positive experience was proof to me that I would also have a positive experience. This is called social proof.
And, it’s always easier to get people to join when they see others joining. The excitement spreads like a wildfire. This is known as the bandwagon effect.
The guru makes accusations against me – This one should be obvious. You don’t ever want to accuse a prospect of anything – even if their question seems angry or sarcastic. Why would they want to buy from you after that? And worse, what will they tell people about you?
When you make connections with prospects you want to be kind and helpful. They want you to be the one – that person who can help them with their problem. They are frustrated, and might speak to you through that frustration. But, deep down, they are rooting for you and hoping they’ve finally found the right person to help them.
Even if they decide not to buy from you, they may recommend you to their friends or online connections.
That guru had an opportunity to take me under their wing and build good will. Instead, they were so excited about their launch that they misread my question and took it the wrong way – believing I was putting down their tactics and, ultimately their course. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
I wanted them to be the one who would help me achieve my goal. And I was even willing to overlook their error, in hopes that their information would help me.
But I am the exception to the rule here. Most people would probably not be willing to buy after that experience.
15 minutes before cart close there was no one available to answer questions – HUGE mistake! This is when you really need to be there for your audience!
Most people will wait until the last minute to buy from you. You’ll always get a few who will buy upfront. The rest will wait. You will always convert more leads at the end than at the beginning of a launch.
That guru did have a live webinar on the last day just a few hours before the cart closed. But after that, there was dead silence in the group. The guru and their team had vanished.
I later learned that the guru and their team had to board a plane that night. I’m guessing that was the reason for their absence. Talk about poor planning!
I wasn’t the only one with a last minute question. When I posted in their facebook group, several others responded to my question with questions of their own. No one answered, so none of them bought. And neither did I.
No matter what you’re selling or how you’re selling it, you need to make sure people’s questions are answered. If there’s a time limit on your open cart, make sure someone is available AT ALL TIMES to answer questions – especially at the end! This does two things:
- It tells people you care. This gives them one more reason to trust you and makes them feel good about their decision to buy.
- It keeps people from getting answers outside of you or your team. You don’t know what other people might tell them. Others may try to be helpful but they may not have the right answer. Your bottom line is too important to trust to others outside of your business. You need to take care of your people. Don’t expect others to do it for you. They won’t do it as well as you or your team can.
The message from the operations manager – This is an example of a bad manager. This person had the opportunity to take a disgruntled lead and turn them into a happy customer. Honestly, it wouldn’t have taken much. Just sending the link to join would have been enough. The cart had closed. Receiving the link would have been special treatment. Instead, they baited me (I can get you in, if you REALLY want it), and then didn’t even bother to follow through.
But, when I told them about my experience on that webinar, they should have copied my message and sent it to the guru. Any good manager would have done so.
If I had been that guru and I had received such a message, I would have contacted that person myself and apologized. Then, I would try to make amends.
I might have offered them some personal coaching, or a special bonus, or free updates of my program for life.
The point is I would have done something. I would have let them know I care, and that I was sorry for the bad experience they’d had with me or my business.
If you ever get word of someone who is unhappy about the way your business has treated them, you need to try to make it right.
Some people you can’t please no matter how hard you try. But most people are very forgiving. They don’t expect an online business to listen to them, or do anything about a problem when it arises. So, if a business does even the minimum required to make a situation right, they will be happy. And they’ll be ecstatic when a business goes the extra mile!
I have never had such a horrible experience with an online business as I did with this one. If you want to convert leads, you must do the opposite of what they did.
I went from a cold lead to a hot lead in a very short time (just a few days!). And in spite of my experience on that webinar, I wanted to buy the course. I hadn’t looked into it thoroughly at first, but once I did I felt it could help me make a breakthrough and achieve my goal. That’s when it hooked me.
Your audience wants to acheive a breakthough too. Maybe they want to finally lose the weight, or have a better relationship with their spouse, or pay off their mortgage and get out of debt. And when they come to you, they hope that you’ll be the one who can finally help them.
They might have been disappointed by someone else and might have some trust issues. They want you to take them by the hand and reassure them it’s going to be ok – that you won’t disappoint them, because you’re the real deal.
If you want to convert leads, you need to be willing to go the extra mile – before the sale is even on the horizon. Give them the “wow” factor – not because of what YOU”LL get from them, but because of what you can GIVE to them.
When you do, they’ll love you for it and they’ll show you that love by supporting your business. They’ll buy your products, courses and programs, and they’ll recommend you to everyone in their circle of influence.
Leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts on this. What would you have done in my situation? Would you have still wanted to buy that course, or would you have walked away? How do you think that business should have handled the problem?
With you every step of the way,