Talk about pressure!
Then there’s that rumor everyone is talking about, about the economy slowing. Whether that’s true or not, really doesn’t matter. However, that rumor has an impact, and you feel it. It’s making your customers and prospects a little more diligent about whom they will buy from and how much they will spend.
Yes, this is certainly shaping up to be a challenging year; you need sales, a strong first quarter, and full pipeline that will promote sales success in 2019. How do you get there when we are halfway through January, and you and the team are just getting your processes in place and your systems working?
You begin by understanding how sales works in 2019.
Oh yes, it is different. It has changed. How your customers get information, make decisions, and buy has all changed. The powerful way to grow sales now is to understand that sales growth happens from the inside out.
What do I mean by inside out?
Well, for most of us in sales we were trained that selling meant new business, which is finding prospects, getting in the door, and landing the deal. While that is still part of sales, it is not the most important. No, the most important sale you have in today’s marketplace is to your existing customers.
Why? Because the happier your existing customers are the more business, they will do with you, the more referrals they will send to your way and the more they will tell others how amazing you are. In today’s marketplace, the sale may initiate with you talking to a prospect, but it closes when a prospect verifies you with one of your customers.
Buying decisions are made by Googling reviews, asking peers, and listening to industry experts and gurus. So, no matter how strong you connect is with your prospect, how sure you are you have positioned the close, you need to understand they will look to some outside source to finalize their decision to do business with you. That outside source will be someone (they know or don’t know) that have heard of you, about you or done business with you.
Strengthen your existing customer relationships.
So, your job in 2019 is to begin your sales growth strategy by strengthening your existing customer relationships. The worst thing that can happen to you in today’s marketplace is NOT that you do not get the sale. It is that your customers find out about a product or service they need from someone else other than you.
3 EASY Strategies To Drive Sales NOW
- Make A List – a top 10, 20 or even 50 of your best customers. Those customers that you enjoy doing business with, and they enjoy doing business with you. Those that love your products and pay you without quibbling about price. If you want to grow sales in 2019, you need to be very clear on who these customers are, and what current products and services they have with you. Most likely, they are doing a fraction of the business with you that they could be. Make a list of what you know about them, but more importantly what you don’t. Future sales lie in what you don’t know about your current customers.
- Ask & Listen – then take those things you do know and should know and make your interview sheet of open-ended questions. Things like: what are your goals for 2019? What was your biggest challenge in 2018? What changes do you see making the first quarter? Who are your biggest competitors and what changes do you see coming with then? What is shifting in your customer base? You get the idea. You need to a check-up with your best customers and ensure that you know everything about them. Then really listen to both what they are saying, and what perhaps they are leaving out. Don’t worry about selling anything at this point – just listen!
- Be Aggressive – and now that you are armed with this information, it is time to be aggressive. Why do we ask all these questions? To gain knowledge, right? When we get that information, our head should be going crazy with ideas on how our products and services can solve their problems and help them achieve their goals. That’s the time to be aggressive, we have discovered ways to help our customers be even more successful, and the bonus is that we sell more of our products and services to make that happen. Listen – existing customers trust us – so if you are not coming to them with ideas on how to take their business next level – then someone else will.
In today’s marketplace taking care of your existing customers is your fastest path to growth. The happier they are, the more they will tell others, making it so much easier for you to prospect, get in the door, and close more deals!