I have met and collaborated with thousands of business owners in various fields in the past decade. Let me elaborate on one of the most frequent recurring points: what it is that businesses lack. Some problems include the following: We’ve got a great product and service, but we can’t attract enough customers. We put in much time and effort, but it’s not paying off. These are but a few instances illustrating the absence of infrastructure to facilitate productive business expansion.
Over 90% of Australian businesses lack a structured sales process intended to regularly generate outstanding customers who will invest as much as possible in their products and services and then nurture those clients into returning again and again. All businesses, regardless of sector, are affected by these three factors.
Here is a six-step plan to significantly increase your chances of attracting and retaining high-quality clients.
First, you must choose what it is you want your company to do.
One must know what one hopes to achieve it. Starting with the objective in mind is essential for any planning. So, what do you want to accomplish with your company, and why do you want to do it? Why, strictly, are you acting in this way? Why did you start this company? When you’ve done that, it’s time to tell the people who can assist you in getting there about your goals and aspirations. Many people don’t plan, and as a result, they prepare themselves to fail. Small and large businesses alike that are thriving in Australia today can attribute much of their success to three factors: they know their why, they communicate that why to their employees and customers, and they seek out new ways to innovate so that they can continue to expand and make a profit. One of the most important steps is to write out specific goals and a strategy for reaching those goals. Don’t be vague.
Step 2: Find your most lucrative clients.
It stands to reason that if you want to increase your company’s profits, you should zero in on the clientele you consider the most lucrative. Current clients are the first and most excellent location to start looking. It’s possible that your largest customer isn’t also your most profitable one. They might even be costing you money. Therefore, you should investigate who your most lucrative clients are. Who are they, exactly? From where do they originate? What percentage of their budget do they allocate to purchasing your wares? They buy from you how often? Who exactly are they targeting? Is this a group that only exists in this field? Can you see yourself working with those vendors? Do you think your customers could also become your clients? This poll aims to provide you with solid clues as to where you might begin looking for profitable consumers. If you put more effort into finding good consumers, your profits will rise.
Third, create a plan for making proactive contact.
Look at your client communication methods once you have established your target audience and why they should buy from you. Most companies use promotional activities and word-of-mouth to bring in customers and revenue. They have little say over the expansion of their firm unless they track and evaluate the performance of these tactics. The premise is that your chances of succeeding in attracting new customers will increase considerably if you employ several different methods. Imagine instead of using two tactics; you have four or five at your disposal.
For instance, one of my clients in the travel industry explicitly focused on bookings from business travelers. We devised four tactics to target specific industries that regularly booked corporate travel rather than just advertising in publications to let people know they provide corporate travel services as many competitors do.
One tactic was to have people respond to a fax advertising substantial discounts on business travel. The second tactic involved disseminating an electronic newsletter that instructed potential business clients on better organizing their trips. The third tactic was polling selected corporations to find out how they may improve their business travel management. Seminars instructing business travelers on how to cut costs without sacrificing convenience were the fourth tactic. In just two months, these techniques helped nine clients bring in almost $4.3 million in travel bookings while only being directed at one hundred firms.
This travel agency could not have won over a corporate client by just placing an ad, as they could not have adequately communicated the value of their services in a single ad. However, by adopting a more targeted and strategic strategy, the company was able to achieve a remarkable level of success. How many different customer-focused techniques do you employ, and do you monitor and adjust their effectiveness?
Fourth, educate and direct your sales staff.
The poor performance of sales management or sales staff is a common source of frustration for business owners. Most problems arise from a lack of sales management resources, such as training, organization, and tools to manage and evaluate salespeople.
Training people rather than placing blame is the key here. There needs to be constant training in specific skill sets to boost the performance of your sales team.
Conduct communications skills training on selling and relationship building to help your team develop stronger rapport with prospects and customers. Provide regular product training and educate the salesperson on the product or service’s benefits.
Time management and other life skills training will help your employees be as productive as possible. Training in other areas of personal development will help them find a healthy work-life balance and reach their full potential.
You must implement continuous training to emphasize the basics for your sales staff to perform well constantly.
Fifth, oversee sales operations.
Successful sales management is all about tracking the right metrics. One of the issues I pose to business owners is whether or not they have established goals and whether or not all team members who are expected to contribute toward those goals are aware of their roles and responsibilities. While they may have a budget, they often keep it a secret from those around them. You can’t expect your sales force to deliver the outcomes you need if they are in the dark. You could laugh at this, but you’d be amazed at how few individuals plan for and track their earnings. And you don’t understand why 90% of new firms fail within the first five years?
Clients have benefited dramatically from the budgets and targets I’ve helped them establish and the measurement structures I’ve implemented for their salespeople’s performance. As an illustration, I once collaborated with a printing company to develop a quarterly goal of 25% more than the company had ever achieved. Then, we decided on a realistic quota that all their salespeople could hit. We began monitoring their progress every week, and by the end of the first month, they had increased their revenue by 25%. We bumped the budget by 40% and saw a 65% rise in three months. We could do this by regularly reinforcing and refocusing the team’s efforts toward the goal. As the saying goes, “Your attention attracts your reality.”
A straightforward strategy for boosting sales:
Establish quarterly sales goals; schedule monthly reviews; assign specific sales quotas; track team and individual performance; and celebrate successes together.
Remember that if you, the business owner, are also the sales representative, you should treat yourself with the same respect.
Sixth, take measures to teach, care for, and keep
Ensuring you keep your most profitable customers for as long as possible by educating them and building strong relationships is a crucial element of the sales process.
The goal is to optimize sales by ensuring potential customers know all your products and services and helping current customers get the most out of their relationships with you.
One telecoms firm I consulted with, for instance, had built an excellent customer relationship management solution to attract and keep “A” list customers. This is a sample of the program that they eventually implemented.
First, a monthly newsletter, available both online and in print, was sent out to all customers to notify them about any new services and to provide them with suggestions for improving their business operations through advice from renowned business authors.
To ensure that all customers are receiving the best service possible, contracts will be reviewed and improved quarterly at no additional cost to the customer. They would receive free lectures and unique events all year long and personal development programs twice a year focused on inspiration and business.
They also developed a program where they contacted their clientele by sending them small tokens of appreciation every other month. The program aimed to express gratitude to the client for their patronage. A book, magazine, movie ticket, or bottle of wine was the form of the gift. The sales team was able to tailor the program to the individual by collecting data on their preferences.
The program’s outcomes far exceeded expectations. They had a 99% customer retention rate. They discovered that contract renewal rates were doubled and that client recommendations were consistently high.
Think like the top dogs in your field. Take note of the methods of sales they use and how they have helped the company expand. There is no need to start from scratch when developing a successful sales process. The most important thing is knowing precisely what you want and giving everything you have to make that happen.
John Logar provides consulting, coaching, keynote speeches, seminars, and training in leadership, values, team performance, marketing, and risk management to help businesses achieve more than they ever imagined possible. Over a thousand companies, government agencies, and nonprofits have sought John’s advice and seen him speak. Visit for FREE marketing and sales tools and materials.