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Last updateSun, 01 Mar 2015 8pm

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Sales Growth Expert: Take advantage of your changing market to prosper

The one thing we can be sure of, the one constant is:  Things are going to always change.

I think the first big change I saw in customers’ attitudes were back in the early ‘70s.  One of the businesses I owned and operated was our tire business.  It seemed every day the labor pool to hire tire changers got smaller and smaller and the applicants dress and personal appearance became, well we described it back then as shabby. One day a young fellow, Jerry, applied for a tire changing position. He was eager, certainly strong enough, and caught my attention because he was neat and clean even though he had long shoulder length hair.

Sales Growth Expert: Keep on Jumping - How 50¢ made a $56,700 sale

Young salesperson: "Would you mind telling me your secret of sales success?"

Wealthy experienced sales professional: "There is no secret. You just have to keep jumping at your opportunities."

Young salesperson: "But how will I know when these opportunities come?"

Wealthy experienced sales professional: "You can't. You just have to be AGGRESSIVE and keep jumping."

Bob Macke, a client and friend of mine, who is a sales professional with Bobcat Enterprises of Cincinnati telephoned me the other day and I could tell two things from his voice. One he had a big smile on his face and two, he had just closed a big profitable sale.

Bob told me while attending a seminar a few weeks earlier, during one of the breaks, he went to a vending machine to buy a pack of crackers. He found himself in front of the machine fifty cents short of what he needed to buy the crackers. A man behind him in line at the machine recognized his problem and asked, "How much do you need?"

Bob replied, "Fifty cents." The man handed Bob fifty cents.

Now for most people, even sales professionals, after saying thank you, that would have been the end of the story. But Bob Macke is an aggressive sales professional. While thanking the man Bob asked his name and asked for his business card. Turns out the man is a buyer for a company Bob has been trying to get an appointment with to sell them equipment.

The next day Bob went to the company's office and asked for his benefactor of the fifty cents. When asked what his business was for the visit Bob told the gate keeper he wanted to pay the man back the fifty cents. In a few minutes Bob was sitting in the buyer's office handing him the fifty cents and thanking him. Then Bob said, "By the way, we have some equipment on special I think will save you a lot of money." That was the start to a successful and profitable sale of $56,700.

Bob Macke jumps at every opportunity. Bob Macke is a very successful sales professional.

Opportunities are in front of you. Even in a recession there are people buying your products and services. If they are not buying them from you, they are buying them from your competition. All you have to do is jump at every opportunity to take those customers away from your competition.

Taking these customers away from your competition is not always easy to do. For two reasons we never want to use the cutthroat, lower price tactics. First of all, we will not make the profit we need and desire, and a customer gained through low price will be easily lost when a competitor offers them a lower price.

Secondly, it is usually hard to take a customer away from the competition because of the loyalty people have to their suppliers. The longer the prospective customer has been a customer of our competition, usually the more loyalty they have to our competitor. So when you jump at an opportunity make sure you:

  1. Jump in all the way with benefit selling: People buy benefits, not features. Make sure your prospects know and understand what different and extra benefits they will receive when buying from you. Most of us sell the same things our competition sells. So we must differentiate ourselves from our competition with our personal and company benefits.
  2. Follow-up: It is estimated that only 10% of sales professionals follow-up more than 5 times with a prospect. The number of times you must follow-up is different for every industry. Track your sales activities and discover the average number of times you must follow-up to close the sale.
  3. Ask for the sale: It is only an estimate, but the estimate is that 90% of people in selling do not actively, aggressively ask for the sale. Sure they show their products and services, but they never aggressively ask for the sale. Those who wait for the order will not make the sale. Ask and you shall receive.
  4. Ask for referrals: Everyone you sell to knows someone who is in the market for your products and services or someone who will benefit from doing business with you instead of your competition. To find out whom they are, Ask! Just ask them. Because people like to buy where others have been successful, third party endorsements are golden. Collect and use testimonial letters, referral letters and always ask your satisfied customers to either directly introduce you to others or to telephone them with their recommendation to buy from you.


Bob Janet - Sales consultant/trainer, speaker, author of "Join The Profit Club" combines 40 plus years as owner/operator of professional, retail, manufacturing and service businesses with his unique teaching and storytelling ability to motivate, educate and inspire business professionals of all levels and all industries for increased sales & profits. Contact Bob at 704-882-6100, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sales Growth Expert: Get your product in your customers’ hands

"Presentation without DEMONSTRATION is just conversation."
- Gary Kirkpatrick - Westendorf Mfg. Co.

Getting your product in your customers' hands will increase your close rate. Getting them to use your product in the place and situation they receive the benefits from your product will greatly increase your sales and profits.

Sales Growth Expert: Stop throwing your marketing/advertising dollars away

Two boys went out duck hunting for the first time. They were out in the cold morning for hours, and though ducks were everywhere they hadn't been able to get even one. Finally, one boy says to the other, "Maybe we ought to give this up." The other replies, "Naw, let's give it a while longer." "C'mon, let's face it, we just ain't duck hunters." "Well, let's keep trying. Maybe we're just not throwing the dogs up high enough."

Sales Growth Expert: The 4 easiest ways to make more money

1. Increase your customer base. Gain new customers.
The easiest way to gain new customers is to sell to those already in the market - those already buying the products and services you sell. If they are not buying them from you they are buying them from your competition. All you have to do is take customers away from your competition.

Taking these customers away from your competition is not always easy to do. For two reasons we never want to use the cutthroat, lower price tactics. First of all, we will not make the profit we need and desire, and a customer gained through low price will be easily lost when a competitor offers them a lower price.

Secondly, it is usually hard to take a customer away from the competition because of the loyalty people have to their suppliers. The longer the prospective customer has been a customer of our competition, usually the more loyalty they have to our competitor.

But when you out-market, and out-service your competition you will out-sell them. You do not have to spend extra, and in most cases as much, of your marketing/selling dollars to do so if you sell the benefits the customer will receive when doing business with you. Even if they are the same benefits your competition offers, in most cases your competition is not selling them. Not reminding the customers all they do for them.

2. Increase your selling price.
I have never seen a business in any industry, that is providing superior service, that cannot raise their selling price 1% - 3%. You do the math for your business. Take last year's profits and add 1%-3% to them. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

3. Sell more of your products and service to each customer.

In most cases all you have to do is ask your customer to buy more of your products and services. The easiest extra products and services to sell to your present customers are add-ons. Products and services that enhance the main product/service.

Most products have related items you can sell along with the product that make you extra profits. They are called add-ons because salespeople try to sell them after the products are sold. Most salespeople fail to sell add-ons because it is very difficult to sell the related items after you have closed the sale. The customer is no longer in the mind-set to continue buying. You will sell more add-on items if you stop thinking of them as add-ons after the sale. It is much easier to sell related items during the sale than to get the customer to spend more money after they have purchased the main item. (From Bob Janet's book "How To Take Customers Away From Your Competition")

There is a rule, called the 1/3 rule of selling add-ons. 1/3 of your customers will purchase add-ons if you merely mention the add-on product during your sales process. 1/3 of your customers will purchase add-ons if you actively sell them. And 1/3 of your customers will not purchase your add-ons unless you actively hard sell them.

4. Lower your marketing and selling costs.

  • Stop supporting media advertisers.
  • Use word of mouth advertising. But not your father's word of mouth advertising. You know, when you hope a satisfied customer will tell someone about you and your business. Your father's word of mouth advertising is not working anymore. Your satisfied customers have too many things to think about and do to ever make you a priority.

You must create your own word of mouth advertising. You already have the tools paid for. You already have the best and most effective means to make word of mouth advertising work. Your sales and sales support staff. Train everyone in your business to use the 3 ft. rule. "Anyone within 3 feet of you knows who you are and how you can solve their problems, needs and wants."

Pay your people to bring in new customers and increase sales to present customers through spiffs, bonuses and rewards. I used to send my people to bars and I would pay for a few drinks each night. What do people do in bars besides drink? They talk about their problems, needs and wants. My people would listen for a problem, need or want we could solve by selling them one of our products and services. We gained many, many sales by creating our word of mouth advertising.

 


Invite Bob Janet to help your sales professionals and sales support staff increase sales and profits. Bob gives businesses and association members content loaded, fun-entertaining, audience involved seminars and keynotes that help them increase sales and profits. Bob's selling and marketing skills and techniques are based on 40 plus years of "Been there, done that" front-line experiences. His long and proven track record of success combined with his unique speaking and teaching ability makes him uniquely qualified to present selling and marketing skills and techniques to business owners, sales professionals and sales support staff. Contact Bob at 704-882-6100, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or www.BobJanet.com.

Sales Growth Expert: Unhappy Customers - How to keep them and not lose money

No matter how 100% Customer-Centered (every thing you say and do is about and for the customers.) you are, from time to time there will be problems between you and the customer. It may be a problem with your product, your service, your staff or even you. So let's get one thing straight. The old saying "the customer is always right" is 100% correct.
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