Strategies for Sales Growth
Every company that wants to increase sales has two ways to go about it: Find new customers or sell more to existing customers.
Of course, finding new customers is important but it can be very expensive, time consuming and difficult. So focus on your established customers to get the most out of their purchasing power.
Chances are, you already have the elements to accomplish this, such as a sales force, customer database, delivery system and customer service department. Make sure you’re using these elements wisely. To get the most profit from established customers, here are some suggestions to consider:
Boost Customer Awareness
Your company may have products or services that your customers need but they don’t even know you sell them. Make sure your clientele knows about everything you offer.
Ways you can use your current resources to build volume include asking your sales, delivery and customer service staff to let your customers know the full extent of your product line.
Also, train certain employees to listen for clues about other items customers may require or need. Drivers and customer service representatives are highly visible and can be invaluable in boosting sales. Offer them an incentive to sell additional products or services. Another way is to send mailings, catalogues, e-mails and brochures to established and potential customers.
You probably know far more about your prospects and customers than you realize. Capitalize on that knowledge. Maintain contact, find out what they read, what interests them, and what groups they belong to. Tell them a joke, wish them a happy birthday or ask how their children are doing. The more they know you, the more they trust you. The more you know them, the better you can judge what they need, how much they spend and how often they shop.
Take a Tip From Your Family Physician
Customers sometimes have a vague idea of their needs. Assist them to see the big picture and provide a solution. Think of your visit to your family physician. You don’t know what’s wrong but it needs attention. The physician asks a few questions, perhaps gives you a prescription and the next thing you know, you’re cured. It’s the same with your customers. Help them hone in on their needs and then fix them. Many businesses say the best ideas come from their customers.
Stand in Your Customer’s Shoes
Remember your own experiences as a customer. What frustrates you? Do you ever feel like sales people aren’t paying attention to your needs and don’t seem to have a solution? Treat your customers the way you want to be treated.
Do your compensation procedures encourage sales people, distributors and customer service personnel to grow accounts? Base commissions on gross profits, rather than gross sales. Consider paying commissions after payment has been received.
Bundle, Bundle, Bundle
Wrap your products and services together so the customers have the idea they’re getting more for less. Offer special orders that provide a wider selection of products. Cross selling additional products to existing customers is an easy way to increase revenues. Coach your staff in the relationship between value and pricing so they communicate these differences to customers.
Integrate Your Staff
Your sales representatives, delivery staff and customer service employees all come into contact with your customers. Get them on the same wave length. Hold brainstorming sessions to develop more revenue generating opportunities. Monitor key sales and customer service representatives and pass their skills on to the rest of your staff through training.
You spent time and money setting up an infrastructure in your sales operations. Maximize that structure. Use it efficiently and effectively and you’ll have a better chance to see your bottom line grow.