How do your sales numbers look this year? Are you starting to scramble because you might not make your sales goals?
There still is time to reach your goals as the year-end approaches. While you don’t have a lot of time to close new business, you certainly can implement a few strategies to increase the probability of more business ending up on the books for this year instead of next.
You already know your best customers.
You may be looking to close new business, but new business might take longer to sell. Instead, why not look at your existing business to make more sales? Review your customer purchases and look for gaps in products they could be buying from you. Ask yourself, is every one of my customers buying everything they could be buying from me? The answer may surprise you.
You may think your customers know all the products you sell. They don’t. If you simply ask the question, “Are you buying all the products you could be buying from me?” you are asking your customers to know all the products you sell. They don’t know this.
Your job as you meet with every customer is to include a discussion of all the products you sell to determine if, in fact, they use those products. Group your products into categories so you can clearly explain what you sell. Then describe the categories you sell to your customers. Ask if they use any of the products in any of those categories. For instance, if you sell insurance, there are many different types of insurance products. List all the product categories that you sell, from workers comp to E&O insurance. Then ask your prospects if they are buyers for any of the categories.
Your existing customers already know you and trust you; you’ve already set them up to buy from you so there won’t be any delays serving them. Your existing customers are the easiest prospects to quickly put more sales on the books now.
Check what you’re doing.
You may be wasting time on prospects who are least likely to buy–and you don’t have that luxury. Now is the time to focus on the prospects that are most likely to close this year. You can determine which prospects to focus on with a quick analysis.
Do you know what your ideal prospect looks like? If not, now is the time to determine who your ideal prospect is. Do this by looking at your last 10 deals and whether you won or lost the sale. Next, develop some criteria to describe those deals. Criteria could be years in business, deal size, urban or rural location, with which department did you start the sale, and more.
Determine which criteria best describe the deals you have won according to the results you see. If you see that most of your sales are with young businesses, years in business would be a characteristic of your ideal prospect. Do you do better when you start selling in operations versus purchasing? The entry point of operations becomes a characteristic of your ideal prospect.