Ask a group of professional services providers how much of their business comes from existing clients and the answers usually will be 60%, 70%, 80%, or even more. Then ask them how much time they put into nurturing those same clients and the answers will be a little, not much, or none. Finally, ask why they spend so little time building relationships when there is potential for so much new business and the answers will be:
“Don’t want to be a pest.”
“Don’t have the time.”
“I am not sure what to do to keep in touch.”
“I feel like a stalker.”
Obviously, doing great work is the first step in keeping in the best graces of your clients. But client loyalty can be fleeting and is not something you should take for granted.
There are thousands of ways to kill a sale. Some are obvious like not showing up to a meeting prepared, not following up, not listening, not establishing trust, going to proposal too early, not speaking to decision makers… the list goes on. These are all pretty easy to see and with some work and practice can be overcome.
Then there are the killers that hide beneath the surface that many sellers and sales managers do not even know exist. They are the sales weaknesses that are a part of an individual salesperson’s makeup that act like weights pulling them down.
I think it is only fair that both you–and your client–should be on notice from day one.
Let me explain.
When you are just starting out, you may have no choice but to audition.
You don’t have much of a track record and to be blunt, you need the work.
So, you do the preliminary assignment (hopefully, getting paid for the work) and you show how good you are.
Accepting every potential customer is a recipe for disaster, not a growth strategy.
Does the hunger for a sale ever get in the way of finding clients that are a good fit for you and your business? Any business owner can be seduced into making a sale when a prospect expresses interest, especially when you’re just starting out or are in your early years of growth. Yet, some clients can be challenging to work with, aren’t profitable or just don’t fit for a variety of reasons.
Not every sales lead is worth your time or effort, so qualifying leads is an essential part of any growth strategy. Here are some guidelines I’ve developed to qualify leads and ensure the client is a good fit for our company strategically: Continue reading
4 Tips to Boost Your Holiday Sales
With the holiday season here, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to end the calendar year positive a positive note with a few easy tips.
Branded materials can be focused on the holiday season, so that customers would be more likely to think of your service or product as a gift for family and friends. A catchy advertisement is also powerful during this time of the year to raise awareness for your product.
Another way to promote your product as a gift is to give away discounts for holiday purchases. Discounts make some people more likely to purchase the product, which will help you out during the season as well. With discounts like this, you could potentially get a lifetime customer after they try out your product for a discount.