As a business owner or sales manager, your aim is to generate profit for your business, and preferably lots of it. Before that can happen though, the business has to have revenue.
- Revenue comes from making sales.
- Sales come from customers.
- Repeat sales are made to satisfied customers.
- Profits result when overheads and costs are less than sales revenue.
In order to continue to make profits, and for them to increase, you can either reduce overheads or make more sales.
Overheads can only be reduced so far. You can try to cut the phone and power bills, reduce other expenses but that may reduce costs by 5%. That really doesn’t make much difference to the profit line – so all you can do is sell more or buy better.
In this article, I want to focus on selling more. It stands to reason that without sales, we’d have no revenue and therefore no business.
Some business planning purists would say that the starting point of the enterprise is a vision; a goal of where we want to be in two, five, ten years. That’s fine but in the everyday battle of making money, those admirable aspirations are forgotten; especially by the staff whose main motivation is the next pay check. Most staff don’t share your vision or aspirations.
Improved sales and customer service are the result of improved interaction between your staff and your revenue source – the public.
Yet typically we don’t take any time to train our support teams in customer communication skills or in how to really sell our products or services.
By really sell, I mean understand exactly the benefits our service provides and how to identify the buyer’s motivation.
Generating new clients comes down to identifying what you have to offer them and then packaging your advertising, marketing and presentations to meet that need.Â
By asking astute questions and listening attentively to their answers, you can find out what issues they are concerned about. What are astute questions?
These are questions that help you identify what’s going on in their business or in their lives. You’re looking to uncover how you can give them pleasure or help them avoid pain.
These are the simple motivators for all decisions:
The gaining of pleasure or avoidance of pain. Sometimes in business, we’ll hear this expressed as making or saving money. When you think about it, both expressions mean the same thing so take your pick!
OK, so there will be more complex theories expressed about buying motivation. Fear, hope, reward, saving face and more but when you boil them all down, they’re all the same.
Ask yourself this question right now:
“How does what I sell help generate pleasure or help avoid pain?”
Answer this one simple question and you’re on the way to gaining loads of new customers. Make sure that you and your team fully understand this simple motivator, and you’re well on the way.
You have to understand the benefit of whatever you sell. Your entire reason for existence is the value you can bring to your customer. You’ve heard this before: “What’s In It For Me?
Remember that all along, your customer is saying to themselves “What’s in this for me?”
This might be a knockout punch to you but let me tell you this straight – if what you do doesn’t add value, people won’t come to you.
Here’s a simple check to tell you whether what you sell is a benefit:
When you explain what you do in such a way that your buyer can answer “So what?” you have not provided a benefit.
By comparison, if they reply “That’s interesting” or “Yes, I see” the chances are you’ve provided a benefit.
Whatever you do, don’t get wrapped up in your product. Your focus is to sell what people want to buy. This means you have to package and present what you sell in such a way that they find it irresistible. (For instance, you don’t want to buy sales training. What you want is to learn a proven process that will make you more sales.)
It stands to reason therefore that in order to make more profits, your business needs to gain and retain more customers.
(c) James Yuille