I get telephoned a few times each week by owners, and managers of businesses of all sizes asking, “What can we do to generate some profitable business? What can I do to increase sales?”
I always answer, “There is a lot of things you can do. But if you want a fast answer here are 3 things.”
1. Become more aggressive in marketing your business in non-costly ways.
All you need to do is use the MAGIC WORDS... Who do you know? Every customer you have knows someone who needs and wants your products and services. All you have to do is be aggressive and ask, “Who do you know?” It does not cost a cent to ask and you will get great leads.
Then call the lead using the referring customer’s name. Here is what I say: “Jim, your friend Bill Smith asked me to contact you. I just finished a sales growth program for his company and his sales and profits are already increasing. He thinks I can help you increase your sales and profits also. Which would be better for you, if we meet Monday or Tuesday for a few minutes. Then you can decide whether the sales growth program that helped Jim will work for you or whether we need to design and customize a different program.”
2. Sweat Equity
Spend more productive time working on your business. The days of the 30 to 40 or even 50 to 60 hour week for owners and managers is over. Look back at the beginning of your business. I bet the people who started your business, it may have been you, never had very many weeks that were less than 70 hours. When you work aggressively, twice as much as your competition, you will be more productive and make more sales.
For over 40 years my retail/wholesale businesses were open from 7am - 9pm – 6 days a week. I always marveled at the businesses we did on Saturday afternoons and evenings in every store. Tire, Furniture, Electronics, Appliance and Jewelry. But there was no secret, all of our competition closed at noon or 3pm. We were the only ones open to take the customers money. And my competition never figured it out. In fact I still have trouble believing they gave me even more business when they decided to close at noon on Wednesdays in the summer time.
And then of course I had the only sales staff that did not dash out the door at closing time. You see it all the time, sales people shutting down a half hour before closing time so they can get out the door with the customers, at the strike of the hour.
3. Sell your Benefits
Sell your product Benefits:
Feature: The product or service and the components the product or service is made up of.
Benefits: What the customer gains from the features.
When you sell a different product that will solve your prospects problems, needs and wants of course sell the benefits of that product. But even when you are selling the same product as your competition sell the product benefits because in most cases your competition is not selling benefits.
Sell your Company Benefits and your Personal Benefits:
This is where you really can differentiate your business and yourself from your competition. And if your company benefits and/or personal benefits are unique to you, you really have an advantage over your competition.
To determine your Business and Personal benefits make a list as long as you can of all the things you do for your customer. Try and write down at least 20 different things. Then go back and cross off the ones that are really not important and will not impress your prospects. The ones you have left are the ones you want to talk about.
Now take the next step and create some unique benefits. Make a list of all the problems needs and wants your prospects have. Then write down how your competition solves them and then figure out different, unique and better ways you can solve them.
When I wanted to increase my truck tire business I asked my competition’s customers what they liked least about doing business with my competition. They all told me the same thing. My competition was only open to fix their tires and sell them new tires from 9am - 5pm. The hours the truckers should be on the road driving their trucks. So to solve their problem of lost trucking time we opened at 7am to fix their tires and sell them new tires and stayed open until 9pm. It took us less than 3 months to own the truck tire business.
In my television business I realized televisions break down when they are being used. And when they break down customers want them fixed right away. So instead of operating my television service business from 9am - 5pm like my competition did, we operated our service business from 7am to 9pm.
All you have to do to win the benefit battles with your competition is out service them with unique benefits they cannot do or are not willing to do.
So there you are. The fast answer to, “What can we do to generate some profitable business?” is
#1. Become more aggressive in marketing your business in non-costly ways.
#2. Sweat Equity
#3. Sell Benefits
And one more
# 4. Ask for the sale. 80% - 90% of sales people in every industry are great at showing and talking about their products. 30% - 40% of them are good at selling their benefits. But only about 10% of all sales people ASK FOR THE SALE.