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Jeff Schmidt

Increase Your Sales Its Simple!


At the risk of sounding obvious, there are only two ways to increase your sales:
1. Sell more to your current customers.
2. Find new customers.

While selling more to your current customers is a simple solution, its by no means easy. It requires focus, effort, communication, and value. Its shameful to admit, but I have actually witnessed sellers calling current clients near the end of the month and saying words to the effect, Im short of my goal. Our station needs to make its number. Can you help me out by buying a little more this month? Ill make you a great deal. Ive also heard that in the automotive business. Let me say clearly that this is not an acceptable way to increase the billing from your current clients. Sadly it may work once or twice, but the long-term impact on your image and relationship with the client can be extremely harmful.

How do you sell more to your current customers? Here are some thought-starters:

1. Dig deeper. Create relationships in more departments and look for more problems to solve. If you call on a car dealership, most people stop at the new/used manager. Go to HR for recruiting, parts, and service; go to financing and insurance, etc. In any category of business there are multiple profit centers. Develop relationships with each one. Banks have consumer lending, regular savings/checking accounts, but they also have a commercial lending department and even a community service department, etc.

2. Bring ideas. Remember rule number one of buying: People do not buy products or services; they buy what the product or service does for them. For example, people dont buy a mattress. They buy a good nights sleep. They dont buy a Rolex to tell time. They buy it for the status it brings them. So focus on what your product or service does for the client. What problems can you solve. What ideas can you bring to help their business improve. Focus on the customer rather than your product and you will find opportunities. Youre not selling spots, you're solving client problems.

3. Communicate consistently and regularly. Its sad how often we sign up a new client but in our panic to grow our billing we ignore the clients we have and focus all our attention on generating new business. You need a consistent, repeatable process to stay connected to your current clients. This can be hand-written thank-you notes, articles of interest, ideas, promotions, and opportunities. In advertising, we tell clients they need to generate a frequency of 3 to be on the radar for potential business. Are you communicating with your current customers frequently enough and with enough value that they think of you first when they have a problem?

4. Get results for your clients. Nothing motivates better than achievement. Satisfied customers continue to do business with you. If youre solving their problems, getting success for them, why would they not want more?

Item number two on the list of How to grow your sales, is get more customers. I have a confession to make: I hate making cold calls. The thought of creating some slick script and calling someone I dont know, who didnt invite me to call, and who has no prior knowledge of me, makes my stomach ache. Dont get me wrong, having an aggressive call-out strategy for new business is critical. As much as I detest cold calls, I make them every week. I try however to reduce the cold calls and at least make warm calls. Here are a few ways to warm up your cold calls.

1. Referrals/Testimonials. Just last week I spoke with a current client. He told me how our services were having an incredible impact on his business. He allowed me to record the call. Ive been sending out that testimonial via email as a lead in to my calls. Who better to warm up the call than a happy customer with a positive experience? I also asked the happy customer for names of others in his circle of friends that I can call. Those arent cold calls, those are referrals and those are fun calls to make.

2. Become a thought leader/expert. Technology is your friend. With LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogging, you can become your own publisher. If you write consistently about your area of expertise, you become known as a thought leader in your particular industry. Do this consistently and people will start calling you because they heard from someone else that youre the one to talk to when it comes to X.

3. Get involved. Are you a member of a service club or charitable organization? Bring your expertise to these organizations and you are exposed to a wide variety of people in a non-threatening environment. Work on a fundraiser, be part of a Chamber committee, youll be amazed at how many people you will meet, who could become clients simply because you are both there to serve.

To grow your business you either need more from your current customers, or you need more customers. Simple. So why arent we doing it more? While it may be simple, its not easy. Hopefully Ive given you some thought starters.

Interested in more tools like these? Consider signing up for The Radio Sales Success Expander. We have two upcoming live sessions. The first two sessions are available for on-demand viewing.

Please take two minutes and go here to learn more. Wed love to have you on the next session.

Jeff Schmidt is EVP and Partner with Chris Lytle at Sparque, Inc. You can reach Jeff at:
Twitter: @JeffreyASchmidt

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