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Keep control of your sales process
2 Aug 2013
 

Keep control of your sales process

 

Keep control of your sales process

2 Aug 2013
Keep control of your sales process

Why closing the deal isn’t always a win.

Sales cycles are often a feast or famine affair. When you’re in the feast stage, it’s difficult to keep up with demand, and that often leads to lost business.

Even harder to deal with is the famine stage, when it feels like no one wants your product or service, and you start to panic about cash flow.

That’s when many businesses slash prices or agree to unreasonable demands, leaving them working too hard for too little reward in the long run, and limiting their ability to take advantage of the next feast when it comes along.

Breaking out of this cycle and regaining control of the sales process can be a challenge, but if you want your business to survive and thrive, it’s important to know your figures, and implement best practices you can adhere to even when the going gets tough.

First, you need to know your breakeven point, and never take on business that’s going to lose you money. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how often desperation can cause a business to overlook this., especially if you are in a panic to quote a customer maybe over the phone without first getting all the costs together and working them out thoroughly.

Second, know your capacity. Understand how much investment would be required to scale up to take on larger clients, and factor this into your tender process. There’s no point going after that mammoth client if you can’t meet their expectations, you let them down and they’ll never return again.

Third, look at your figures and work out which clients earn you the most money, and which are less profitable. Profile these customers to find common ground, and use this knowledge to focus your efforts on retaining these clients and finding more like them.

Now you know who your ideal buyers are and what you can (and can’t) offer them, set yourself apart from 99 percent of other sales people by approaching them with your ears, rather than your mouth. Find out what their challenges are, either by asking directly, or by using modern media to gen up on them.

Instead of ramming your awards and achievements down their throat and trying to sell them on the features and benefits of your offering, ask questions. Build a relationship. Listen.

Take an individual approach to problem solving, from your customers’ point of view. What can you do to make their life easier, without giving the farm away? Tailor your solution for each client, focusing only on the aspects of your product or service that are of value to them, rather than rattling off every potential benefit.

Focus on the value you can provide, rather than the cost, and your customer will most often follow you down that path. Here comes the tricky part. Some prospects will always focus on price, and try to screw you to the wall to get the best deal. That impacts on your ability to provide quality customer service, not only for them, but to all your clients.

If you succumb and succeed in closing the deal, you’re weakening your business, not strengthening it, leaving you with reduced capacity.  Worse still, these customers are often the most demanding, troublesome and unforgiving when the impact of their behavior hits home. Learn to walk away from a deal that doesn’t benefit both parties. Your other (profitable) customers will thank you for being consistent with your good service and quality each time they order.

 





Get a feel for what we do!

Our FREE sample packs are full of great print ideas. They’ll give you a taste of what to expect when ordering your design and printing from us.

Request free sample pack

 

Keep control of your sales process

Why closing the deal isn’t always a win.

Sales cycles are often a feast or famine affair. When you’re in the feast stage, it’s difficult to keep up with demand, and that often leads to lost business.

Even harder to deal with is the famine stage, when it feels like no one wants your product or service, and you start to panic about cash flow.

That’s when many businesses slash prices or agree to unreasonable demands, leaving them working too hard for too little reward in the long run, and limiting their ability to take advantage of the next feast when it comes along.

Breaking out of this cycle and regaining control of the sales process can be a challenge, but if you want your business to survive and thrive, it’s important to know your figures, and implement best practices you can adhere to even when the going gets tough.

First, you need to know your breakeven point, and never take on business that’s going to lose you money. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how often desperation can cause a business to overlook this., especially if you are in a panic to quote a customer maybe over the phone without first getting all the costs together and working them out thoroughly.

Second, know your capacity. Understand how much investment would be required to scale up to take on larger clients, and factor this into your tender process. There’s no point going after that mammoth client if you can’t meet their expectations, you let them down and they’ll never return again.

Third, look at your figures and work out which clients earn you the most money, and which are less profitable. Profile these customers to find common ground, and use this knowledge to focus your efforts on retaining these clients and finding more like them.

Now you know who your ideal buyers are and what you can (and can’t) offer them, set yourself apart from 99 percent of other sales people by approaching them with your ears, rather than your mouth. Find out what their challenges are, either by asking directly, or by using modern media to gen up on them.

Instead of ramming your awards and achievements down their throat and trying to sell them on the features and benefits of your offering, ask questions. Build a relationship. Listen.

Take an individual approach to problem solving, from your customers’ point of view. What can you do to make their life easier, without giving the farm away? Tailor your solution for each client, focusing only on the aspects of your product or service that are of value to them, rather than rattling off every potential benefit.

Focus on the value you can provide, rather than the cost, and your customer will most often follow you down that path. Here comes the tricky part. Some prospects will always focus on price, and try to screw you to the wall to get the best deal. That impacts on your ability to provide quality customer service, not only for them, but to all your clients.

If you succumb and succeed in closing the deal, you’re weakening your business, not strengthening it, leaving you with reduced capacity.  Worse still, these customers are often the most demanding, troublesome and unforgiving when the impact of their behavior hits home. Learn to walk away from a deal that doesn’t benefit both parties. Your other (profitable) customers will thank you for being consistent with your good service and quality each time they order.

 





Get a feel for what we do!

Our FREE sample packs are full of great print ideas. They’ll give you a taste of what to expect when ordering your design and printing from us.

Request free sample pack