If you’re a service-based business owner, you are more than likely familiar with the infamous...
8 Top Tips to Prevent Missed Opportunities for Your Business
Missed opportunities for a business can be a real disappointment. They can be extremely stressful and can take a toll on the revenue.
I’m talking about those ‘what if’ moments, those deals that just teeter temptingly on the edge before falling off completely. Or those times when you wished you had connected with all the stakeholders sooner or forgot to send over the legal documentation that the client had requested. If you’re a salesperson, you’ll certainly know what I mean by this. And it can be incredibly frustrating. So, how do you prevent it?
If you’ve experienced any of these scenarios in the past, don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone. So, without further ado, here are our eight top tips to prevent missed opportunities for your business.
1. Use an effective booking calendar
Are you the type of person who is always running late for your appointments? Do you always have to push back important meeting opportunities because you can't seem to find the time to schedule them? If so, then you need to invest in an effective booking calendar.
Many people miss out on valuable business opportunities purely because they don't have a good system in place for managing their meetings.
A good calendar like 10to8 will help you book meetings and keep track of them, as well as remind you of your upcoming commitments. Also, sync 10to8 with your external calendars like Google or Outlook so all your meetings are in one place. Plus, you can book meetings with prospects as well as colleagues within your organization while respecting their availability.
Plus, if you’re wondering how to create the perfect free booking calendar, check out our guide.
2. Utilize social media to create connections
A great way to prevent missed opportunities in your business is to utilize social media. A lot of people underestimate just how powerful social channels can be, but if you use them effectively, they can forge meaningful relationships. Plus, considering over half the global population are now on social media, there's a pretty high chance that many of your ideal customers are there.
There are a number of different ways you can use social media to create meeting opportunities;
- Post about upcoming events or workshops you're hosting and invite people to attend.
- Search for relevant hashtags and join in on online conversations. This is a great way to build relationships with potential customers and get your brand name out there.
Plus, if you're active on social media, you're much more likely to be top of mind when someone is looking for a business like yours.
Double-down on LinkedIn: the most powerful social media platform for businesses. This networking site is designed to connect you with other business professionals. You can find prospects and connect with people who can introduce you to others. LinkedIn also offers topical communities that you can join to gain access to even more potential meeting opportunities.
3 . Set meeting reminders
If you aren't using a handy calendar like 10to8 to automatically manage your meetings, it might be worth setting up manual meeting reminders. You can set reminders for yourself in a number of ways depending on the calendars you use. But the most popular methods include email, SMS or, if you're using a phone calendar, through an alarm. You can also use things like Slack notifications, in-browser reminders, or notifications on your desktop.
You can also set up reminders for other people who need to be at the meeting. This is especially useful if you're arranging a meeting a while in advance. If you're using 10to8 however, you can set all this up to be automatic. Here's a step-by-step guide on how.
4. Use a CRM System to track leads
Another useful way to prevent missed opportunities is to effectively track the opportunities you already have.
Most large sales teams will be utilizing a CRM system, but smaller businesses should also be taking advantage of this type of software. CRM stands for customer relationship management and is essentially a system that helps you keep track of your customer interactions.
But more importantly, it can help you track potential opportunities. For example, if you've been in contact with a lead but haven't been able to arrange a meeting yet, you can make a note of this in your CRM system. This way, you can ensure you follow up at a later date and don't miss out on the opportunity.
There are a number of different CRM systems available, both free and paid. Some popular options include Salesforce, HubSpot, and Pipedrive. However, there are many more CRM systems available so it's definitely worth doing your research to find the best one for your business.
5. Have dedicated time for sales each week
Now, this tip is all about efficiency. If you want to prevent missed opportunities, you need to make sure you're dedicating enough time to generating them each week — effectively sales tasks. Set aside at least a few hours each week where you can focus solely on sales activities.
During this dedicated sales time, you could be working on generating new meeting opportunities or following up with existing ones. Plus, if you have a CRM system in place, you can use this time to update your records and make sure all your opportunities are being tracked effectively.
By setting aside dedicated sales time each week, you can ensure you're making the most of every opportunity and preventing any from slipping through the cracks.
6. Use automation to schedule communications
Automation is a business's best friend. It's much easier and much more manageable to tackle things in bulk and schedule them for a period of time than to do several potential time-consuming tasks every single day. It’s also much easier to set things up once and let a piece of software take care of the rest.
When it comes to business opportunities, there are a number of things you can automate:
- Email sequences to be sent out to your leads at specific intervals.
- Use an automation tool to book meeting times with your leads.
- Schedule social media posts for your audience across multiple platforms.
- Create a sequence of emails to follow a form or sign up for your website.
- Schedule follow-up messages after meetings to check in with customers.
- Automate satisfaction surveys to be sent out to customers post-meeting.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to automating your processes. And by doing so, you can help you avoid missed opportunities.
If you're not already using automation in your sales process, now is the time to start. It could be the difference between missing an opportunity and closing a deal. Plus, you’ll free up more time in your schedule to focus on other areas of your business. It's a win-win!
7. Check your calendar and reminders daily
This may seem like a pretty obvious one, but plenty of people quite simply miss opportunities by, well, missing opportunities! So, it's important to check your calendar daily, to ensure there are no meetings or opportunities that have slipped through the cracks.
And if you're using a CRM system (which we highly recommend), check your reminders too. That way you can be sure you're following up with all your leads in a timely manner and not leaving anything important in the lurch.
8. Know when to speak over the phone
Last but not least, in a time where everything is becoming virtual — from messages to meetings, to negotiations. But sometimes, in order to close a deal or make an opportunity work, you need to pick up the phone and actually speak to somebody.
There will be times when an email just won't cut it, and you'll need to have a conversation with someone in order to progress things further. In these cases, it's important that you know when to reach out and make that call.
Of course, the ideal time for one person, might not work at all for the next. So, try testing different call times, experimenting with what works best to get through to prospects, and calling at different times of day. It may also be worth having a library of ‘reasons to call’ that prospect, whether you are seeing how they are getting on with a product, offering them help, or telling them about a new feature.
But one thing’s for sure — having a human conversation, you can often avoid any miscommunication that could lead to a missed opportunity.
So there you have it: our top tips to prevent missed opportunities for your business. By dedicating time to sales each week, using automation, knowing when to pick up the phone, and most importantly, utilizing an effective meeting calendar, you can avoid missing opportunities and help your business to thrive.