Posts Tagged ‘Sales’

Got The Blues? Seven Ways To Sell Your Way Out Of A Sales Slump

December 13, 2010

It happens to everyone – we get into a rut.  A sales slump.  Keep productive and sell your way out of this sales slump.

  1. Return all phone calls, immediately.  If the phone rings, answer it by the third ring.
  2. Establish “selling hours” – a time when you will focus on selling and ignore all non-sales related activities.
  3. Start at the top – if you can, connect with the highest person possible in the organization.
  4. Network – attend Business After 5, Chamber of Commerce, BNI, and other networking events.  Get “belly to belly” with potential prospects and follow up the next day (prepare a letter or email before the event).  If the person is not a prospect or does not know anyone who can be a prospect, follow up with them when you are out of the slump (60-90 days later).
  5. Connect with past clients, orphaned clients, and past prospects in that order.  These people are already aware of your company and receptive to your product / service offering.
  6. If you mentioned to your clients beforehand that you expect referrals, now is the time to ask for “a few good people like yourself.”
  7. Finally, narrow your focus.  Take a laser beam approach to the characteristics of your ideal client and be ruthless in your quest for them.
  8. A note on emails and social media – only respond to sales related emails during your selling hours.  Ignore all social media during your selling hours.

Now get out there and sell!

Top Ten Tips of Customer Acquisition and Retention (3 of 5)

December 8, 2010

Onwards and upwards!

5.  Tailored.  “Mass customization” was the hot buzz word in the 1990’s yet now there is a general shift towards “Mass Customerization”.  Every touch that you have with the customer is a chance to create a custom tailored customer experience.  Remember your invoice – how can you tailor your invoice so that it leads to a better customer experience?  What would your customer like to see?  I’ll give you a hint – if you don’t know for sure – ask your customer!

6.  Trenching. Trenching is a term I use to refer to the process of finding actionable information in customer data and using that to grow your business.  Some people would call this data mining, but don’t really dig for it and remove it.  Instead, you move along a trench looking at the satisfaction, like a geologist.  When trenching, you are trying to find answers to the the following key questions:

  • What king of customers should we serve?
  • What kind of customers do we currently serve?
  • How can we describe our best types of customers?
  • What patterns can we find in our customers that predict future lifetime value, potential offers, or potential actions?

Some people will find this information of great value.  Others will say, “Hey, Scot, I just own an ice cream shop.  How is trenching going to help me grow my business?”  That’s a legitimate questions and here’s your answer.  How difficult would it be to gather customer’s emails in exchange for a free sample?  Maybe you can even ask for their favority flavor, too, and get the entire family’s birthdays.  Every birthday you sendout a coupon.  If you ever want to send out a survey, you’ve got your list.

You’ve got the gist of the idea, now go apply it to your business!

Develop Customer-Driven Processes

November 25, 2010

Entrepreneurs generally talk about how they are “in touch” with their customers, know what their customers want, or have their business built to serve their customers. More often than not, when we dig into their organizations processes (if they have any), they are built around what makes things easiest for the entrepreneur and their staff.

To be truly customer driven, any process that “touches” a customer needs to fully integrate the best thinking of your organization. Consider all aspects of your business – such as marketing, quality control, customer service – and ask yourself and your team questions like “how would a marketing person look at this invoice with a customer in mind?” or “how would a quality control expert reinvent this invoice with the customer in mind?”.

A quick note on processes – yes they are meant to provide a means to standardize your business. However, make sure that any process you employ is flexible enough to allow any associate dealing with a customer to be able to think on their own to satisfy any customer request. It’s the customer experience that you should focus your efforts because 9 times out of 10 that is what will keep your cusotmers back for more.

How to Focus – Just Sell… it’s all about sales

March 18, 2010

How to Focus – Just Sell… it’s all about sales.

Four ways to knock out the bulk of distractions

1.  Establish focus hours with your team (or company-wide) – chunks of time each day where everyone will allow everyone else to focus (that includes you).  No inter-office communications unless it truly can’t wait.

2.  Turn off email alerts and commit to checking it at the most minimal level you feel is possible for your particular sales world without having a negative impact on service.  Be truthful with yourself and set your interval so everyone wins .  If you can set only two or three specific times a day to respond to email, do it.

3.  Turn off instant messaging services unless your work absolutely requires it to get the job done.  Having to phone someone  or talk to them live (by visiting them) will make you more aware and respectful of other people’s time (and yours).

4.  Avoid the web during money hours unless you absolutely need it for your work.  The distractions are endless and wonderful for those who’d prefer to avoid making things happen (which of course isn’t your goal).  If you must open a browser during money hours (or focus hours), make sure your home page is something that doesn’t have the potential to encourage you down distraction road.  Search and discover outside your money / focus hours or at lunch.

See the original article here.

Sales Exits – Just Sell®… it’s all about sales®

March 9, 2010

Recently I’ve found myself in sales situations where it was obvious that either

A)  We could provide little or no value, or

B)  The potential client was too small in scope for us

I wish that in the past I was as prepared then as I was now for extracting myself from these situations.  Here’s a great post on http://www.justsell.com.

Sales Exits – Just Sell®… it’s all about sales®.

It’s the initial call, your prospect is engaged and you’ve begun your discussion. After your prospect responds to several of your open-ended questions, you begin to discover the prospect may not be a prospect at all (at least not for the next quarter or two).

No money.
No timeline for implementation.
No perceived urgency, no need, or other pressing priorities.

Whatever the reason, you know you should invest your time elsewhere.

You need a clean exit – an exit that’ll allow you to move on without offending the prospect, while also leaving the door open for future contact initiated by them or you.

Invest some time outside the money hours* (on your own or with your team) in creating a couple of solid and polite exit statements for those difficult sales situations where you know you can better serve elsewhere (at least for now).

A professional and courteous exit will help you create good will and plant seeds among people who may one day become qualified prospects. And remember – you reap what you sow.

*money hours: the hours in a sales day where one can talk with prospects and/ or customers… the most valuable hours of the day

____________________

Sample exit statements…

“At the moment, I’m not sure we can provide enough value to you but I’d like to keep in touch should things change. May I keep in touch periodically?”

“That sounds like an exciting project. We may be a little early in our discussions given all of your priorities. May I give you a call in two months?”

“Wow, you really have your hands full at the moment. Perhaps we should talk again in a few months and let you focus on these other priorities. May I add you to our company newsletter?”

(Get these exits with the Qualifying Guide.)


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