Want Quick Sales Growth Now?

In this lean economy it is often the little things that make all the difference in the world to your clients.   I have a few simple recommendations to light up your sales success.

Strike While the Iron is Hot!

  • Return that call:  One of the most common client complaints I hear surrounds follow-up.  Sometimes we put our work activities ahead of those pesky calls and e-mails we need to get to.  Big mistake!  Put your clients (sales) first…period.  Empty your voice mail queue and get to those calls on all of those sticky-notes.  As a general rule, return calls within an hour.  In no case should a call be left for more than 24 hours.  In this internet economy, your clients expect immediate feedback.  From a practical perspective, Strike While the Iron is Hot!
  • Jump on those e-mails:  Believe it or not, clients in this day and age expect a response to their e-mails as quickly as any other form of communication.  We have Amazon.com and the web enabled retail community to thank for that.  No problem.  Simply jot a quick note if you don’t have time for a complete response.  Better yet, build a few “boilerplate” response e-mail templates that you can quickly modify and send out quickly.

Do Your Homework

Do the homework for your client.  This often means spelling out your offer in terms that they understand and can use in their own organization.  Speak their language.  Write your proposal assuming that they’ll be doing your selling job for you when your not there.  By doing their work for them you help them put the best foot forward.  Here’s a quick example.  In working with a client recently, I found that their proposals were getting held up.  After interviewing the client and the buyer, it became clear that both were not on the same page.  I found that by creating a proposal that clearly spelled out “WIFM” (What’s In It For Me) from the buyer perspective the proposal aligned with their internal messaging.  For instance, if your client is implementing or adhering to a certain business process be sure you reference that in all of your client materials.  If they are LEEDS compliant, reference that.  If they use PLANETREE as their customer interface solution, make sure your proposals call out your support of that methodology.  If their internal financial structure calls for a twelve month return on investment (ROI) make sure you do the math for them and call out the specific ROI for your proposal.

Some Homework for You

So how do you find out what internal client messages to align with?  You’ve got to ask.  The difference here is that this is not a “sales” call.  This conversation with your client needs to fall into the interview style I’ve discussed before.  Go ahead and schedule your next client visit but be prepared with these questions.

  • “What is the outcome you are looking for from this project?”
  • “Who is the ultimate audience or beneficiary of this proposal?
  • “Tell me about how my proposal needs to meet a certain internal ROI?”
  • “You mentioned _____ (LEEDS, PLANETREE, ISO, etc.) during our meeting.  How do you see my proposal integrating with that?”
  • “Help me understand what I can do to make this proposal meaningful to senior management.”

Try using open ended questions that do not elicit a “yes” or “no” answer from your client.  It’s best to start with questions like:

  • “Tell me about _____.”
  • “Please explain more about ___ to me.”
  • “I’m not sure I’m clear about ____.”

There’s no time like the present so go out and jump on this right away.

Happy Selling!