Work Smarter, Not Harder, To Get Your Sales Game In Shape
By Bob Kosobucki
Have your sales been cycling up and down for years without any real change in trend? Does the occasional big order keep you in the black? Do you depend on just a few customers, year after year? Does it seem that you’re winning fewer RFQs? Well, unless you do something different, you’ll be ill-prepared when times get tough. The solution? It’s time to change your sales approach. You can no longer depend on your long-time customers to continue buying from you. Change is the new constant. Your smart competitors are ready to step in when you falter. What’s worked in the past, will not work in the future. Here are a few myths that may be stalling your ability to evolve:
- My customers know me and will contact me. Customers do not spend time thinking about what your business does. They also might have forgotten what you’ve told them. You have to visit your long-time customers regularly, and have to repeatedly tell them what you can do for them.
- We sell to that company already, so they know all about us. People, not companies, buy from you. Help educate their team and contact other departments, employees or locations to present your products and services.
- My website will bring in new customers. Ninety-nine percent of new customers that you directly contact will look at your website. Make sure it’s been updated and that it speaks to your targets and goals.
- Customers will know what I can do for them. You must connect the dots for prospective customers, and tell them exactly where and how your offering meets their needs. Understand what their goals are, and help them achieve those goals. It’s about them, not you.
- Working harder and faster will get me there. Step back and ensure that that you are calling on the right customers with the right messaging, and that your sales and marketing efforts are really working. Contact your customers when the economy is strong and your business is good. When the economy is down, and you need new customers, your competitors will do everything they can to keep you from getting their customers. Some ideas to help you beat your competition:
- Aggressively pursue new customers when your business is good. Don’t fear growth; grow on your own terms.
- Target the right growth. Pick good work from good customers in good end-user markets.
- Go after the tough jobs. Get your foot in the door by filling in a gap where a customer’s existing supplier has faltered. Good customers will remember that you pulled them out of the fire in a tough situation.
- Bring in outside help with proven experience and results in helping small companies implement a path to obtain and handle growth that is unique to their company and circumstances. Insyte has a 35-year history of helping Western New York small manufacturers innovate, grow and profit.