|4 things to
do immediately when sales start drying up...
economic conditions are a fact of life.
But it's no time to curl
up in a corner in the foetal position.
is the perfect time to be actively looking at new (or old) ways to turn things
around. Smart players boom in these times.
are four basic action steps to get sales pumping through your business
1. Tighten up your sales processes.
OK, we rant about this regularly.
But we get to look inside lots of businesses, and I have to tell you ...
SALES are being lost every day for the want of some simple changes.
about when the phone rings with a request for information? Realise it's
NOT a request for information!! It's someone wanting to BUY.
Organisations are so laid back, they accept sending
of a brochure and bland form-letter as handling the 'sale'.
need an elite team of trained 'green berets' hungry for sales, who make sure
every possible (ethical) avenue has been covered, systematically and
consistently, to get the sale.
And you need to track what's happening ...
What's going on in the business? In the 'good
times', it's so easy to ignore things that make you cringe, and be too busy to
do anything about it.
aren't 'good' right now.
FIX these things internally that eat away
at your market share.
sort of things? Customer enquiries sitting for days unattended to.
Poorly worded letters going out, often with grammatical or spelling
errors. That square peg in a round hole person who should never be
handling sales enquiries, who is still there.
could go on.
Presenting at a conference recently, I invited a
gentleman up on the stage. Like most of the people in the room, he thought
he was pretty good at selling.
about 45 seconds into our role play (with me as the customer), he was stumbling,
uncomfortable and disoriented as to how to handle my basic questions on price
and why I should buy from him and not his competitor.
relieve him of his discomfort, I switched roles. With limited knowledge of
his products, I showed him and several hundred other business owners how easy it
is to keep control of the sale.
whole room agreed this change in approach would work for them. But up
until then, almost NONE of them did these things. Bottom line, if your
'green berets' aren't seriously honed in the skills to handle a prospect's
enquiries, you are losing market share.
with the "shrinking pie", that's a luxury you simply can't afford.
2. Mass Marketing vs Boutique.
talked a great deal in the past about 'mass marketing' strategies.
time to think about 'Boutique Marketing'. This is awesomely
There's a wonderful story about how David Ogilvy
York, from the UK as an unknown, and went on to build one of the largest and
most successful ad agencies on the planet.
How? He focused in on exactly which companies
he WANTED on his client list.
wrote a list of the FIVE 'blue chip' companies he wanted to get. We're
talking Shell, Lever & Kitchen, Rolls Royce.
The big guys.
stuck his list of these five giant corporations on his bathroom mirror.
And every day, would not leave that bathroom until he had at least one
initiative to get one of those companies one step closer to being a
The rest is history. He ultimately
got all five.
see, when you break your market down into small 'boutique' numbers of prospects,
you can bring enormous focus and energy to bear, just on them! You
can 'afford' to stand out and be noticed.
Ex a package to the 5 decision makers, find ways to add value to them, create a
dialog with them.
tough times and in the 'good times', almost no one goes to this effort. If
you can be a bright star on the horizon for your prospect list, odds are you
will ultimately win the prize.
3. How many 'dead leads' do you have?
like some ancient reptile in Jurassic Park waiting to be reawakened, many of
your dead leads may not be dead at all. Chances are, they're just waiting
for someone to come along and poke them into action.
business owner said to me the other day that he has 50,000 unconverted leads in
his database! It's taken the tight times for him to think about
re-approaching these people.
What if he can stir even 2% of them into
life and they buy from him?
his business, the recession would be over!
you have leads and past client names that are really just dormant, waiting to
get a great offer from you?
4. Remember 'Shoe Leather'?
love this story. One of our clients is a very successful
been writing his ads, supporting collateral and client referral and reactivation
pieces on and off for years. But he has just pulled off a coup of his
own. With 'shoe leather' marketing.
No, he didn't go door to door in
leveraged himself. He secured an invitation to go to the local gym, and
for a nominal fee, offered to give the members a spinal check.
result? Out of ONE visit, he's gained 25 new clients. A good
morning's work? You bet! His 'lifetime value' of a client is worth
some $4,000 to him over the next four years.
That's $100K in new future business in a
morning. Now that's inspiring.
What's the bottom line on all of
times are not for sitting in an ivory tower and worrying. They're times
when different strategies, including well thought through 'shoe leather'
marketing, can pay massive dividends.
you boom in the 'tight times'.
Article by Chris Newton, founder
of Results Corporation.