Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How many sales people follow up

Only 10% of sales people follow up to a buyers complete satisfaction. Do you know what your customer expects after the sale?

No matter how hard you worked or how much you have discounted your price when you sell a customer, he or she then feels that you still owe them something. The perception on the part of the customer is that you, the seller, have not only gotten new business but also his or her money. There were many other sales people after the same account and the same business but you were chosen as the recipient.

Therefore, psychologically, you now owe your customer a favor, even though you had to bend over backwards to get the order. That is why follow up is so important to keeping the business.

You have been calling on a particular customer for months and have never gotten to first base. They are polite, however, they keep telling you to come back at a later date. All of a sudden you make a small sale!

As soon as we leave the account you check the stock status. Everything is checked and you send your customer a text the next morning confirming the order, delivery date and approximate delivery time. After you check to be sure everything was delivered you make a follow up call to be sure everything was alright with the product. You get a few small reorders and continue the same follow up strategies. And then the orders get larger. Soon you are the primary supplier.

Later you are having lunch with the customer and he lets you in on the reason he switched: YOU FOLLOWED UP AND YOUR COMPETITOR DID NOT !

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

The reason most sales people - and companies - fail...

The first step in determining how to grow your business or increase your individual sales is to carefully identify a market and determine how much business is available. Then set a realistic goal for achieving your objective.

Here are several "for examples":

A full line food service distributor sales rep should be working on 50 customers and prospects. A conservative estimate of the total food, supplies and related purchases for restaurant would be $4,000 per week, or approximately $200,000 per year. In 50 accounts the total would average $10,000,000. If you are selling $2,000,000 per year, you are at 20% of the total market.

If your company has 25 sales people, the total market is $250,000,000. If your sales are $62,500,000, you are at 25% of your total market. If your sales people are only working 25 customers and prospects, your market is reduced to $125,000,000.

If you are a company that sells only supplies and related products other than food, as a sales rep you should be calling on 125 customers and prospects. If you do the math, the total supplies and related products in 125 customers and prospects is approximately $7,500,000. If you have 30 sales people your total market is $225,000,000.

If you are selling real estate you need to stake out an area with 500 houses and start making contact. There will be enough houses go on the market to make a good income provided you have positioned yourself as the area expert.

If you are a restaurant owner and you need to sell 2,000 meals per week to survive, you need a market of 10,000 customers coming in once every 5 weeks. Your marketing should be focused on how you can get 10,000 customers to return every 5 weeks.

If you are selling cars, every 5 people you talk to will, on average, buy a car from you. That means that if you want to sell 10 cars a month you have to talk to 50 people. If you want to sell 12 cars a month you have to talk to 60 people.

If you want to become a professional sales trainer you have to put together a prospect list of 720 companies who could hire you. Then you have to send letters, or make contact with, 12 every day. That way everyone on your list will be contacted once every two months. If you have identified the need and have a solution, you will sell 30 to 40 programs a year.

Now, for the reason most companies and sales people fail, or fail to reach their sales objectives, they don't make enough customer contacts. They fall into the trap of "nobody's buying" or "there's no business out there" or "my territory is saturated". They are buying, they are just not buying from you.

And that's where I come in. I show your sales people how to focus on the opportunities and teach them how to play the game better than the competition. Selling is not a game of chance, it is an exact science.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Do this before giving a discount

Here's a simple idea that will result in more sales and better relationships with your customers.

If you find that you are doing most of the talking during a sales call, or if the conversation is not going your way, try this: Pull out your note pad and start taking notes.

Taking notes is an excellent way to slow down the process, especially when it is not going in your favor. I'm not talking about your iPad or your laptop. I'm talking about an ink pen and a pad like a detective uses.

Writing down statements that are confusing or upsetting is an excellent way to keep things in perspective. Rather than jumping right in with a response, tell the customer to hold on while you write down what they just said. They won't mind. Just the opposite, they will be impressed. Ask the customer to check what you have written to be sure that you got it right. The process of putting those words on paper almost always causes the customer to backtrack, amend, or, better yet, erase the words altogether.

Sales people don't like to lose. They fall in love with making the sale and ignore facts that are important to decision making. They let their own moods, or the moods of the prospect, rule the presentation, causing things to wander off course. These problems disappear when you pull out your pen and write something down.

It is especially important to slow down and do some calculating before you give into a price discount. Your moment of reflection gives the price discount some significance. You must treat the discount as significant, or you are not perceived as having given a discount. No price discount is unimportant. By emphasizing each discount in your own mind and on paper, you have not given ground for nothing.

A quick response robs the customer of the good feeling they get after making a good buy. A quick response leaves the customer feeling that they could have gotten more if they had been smarter. They will try to prevent that mistake from occurring the next time you negotiate, or they will compensate by taking a hard line on another aspect of the sale.

Some buyers use pressure to get what they want from a sales person. Sometimes the writing-a-note tactic is your only defense against being pressured into making a decision based on the buyer's deadline.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Selling value, not price...

I am going to make this crystal clear. When you finish reading this you should easily be able to switch your customer from buying on price to buying on value.

Here are some examples that should shift your thinking and show you how to shift the thinking of your customer.

If you have $100 to spend on dinner to celebrate your kids birthday, what are you going to look for? The best value for your money.

If you have $400 in your budget for a monthly car payment, what are you going to look for? The most car for your payment.

If you have been pre-qualified by the bank to buy a $250,000 house, what are you going to look for? The most house for your money.

If you have 4 kids and a grocery budget of $250 a week, what are you going to look for? The most value for your money.

If you have decided that you are going to spend $2,000 on a new flat screen TV, what are you going to look for? The most TV for your $2,000.

OK, I know what you are thinking. How can you use this to make the sale instead of cutting the price?

Here is how to make the shift in thinking.

You're selling to a restaurant owner. Here is what you say: "You are spending $5,000 per week for your food, so your goal is to get the most value and the highest quality for your $5,000 weekly investment, is that correct? That is why we don't simply throw out prices and try to beat everyone. We take your budget and give you the highest value for your investment. For example, our service, our quality, our in stock items, etc.

You're selling staffing services. Here is what you say: "You are paying $18.00 per hour for an employee, so your goal is to get the most value for your $18.00 per hour investment, is that correct? That is why we don't simply try to beat everyone's hourly price. We take your budget and give you the highest value for your investment. For example, here are 57 services we can offer that makes us the best value for your money.

You're selling a house. Here is what you say: "I am sure you will agree, the payment on this house is $2,227 per month including taxes and insurance is a stretch. You may be able to find a house with a smaller payment, but look at this street, look at this neighborhood, look at this back yard, how about this great deck, and this fireplace, and these appliances, and the home owners warranty, and the association benefits, etc."

You are selling a car. Here is what you say: "What is the payment or price range you are looking for? $400 per month. Then our goal is to find you the best value for your investment, let's start with this one I have right here. It not only has a huge rebate, all the great features, but we have marked it down as well. With all this you are actually getting a $600 per month car for a $400 per month investment."

1. You first ask: "How much are you already spending, or how much are you willing to spend, or how much do you have in your budget?"

2. You then ask: "I assume your goal is to get the most value for your investment, is that correct?

3. Your presentation is helping them make the best decision by showing how much value they will get when they buy from you?

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