It can be hard to grow sales. I have been doing it for some time now, and as a small business owner there are few things more challenging. Especially when you consider all the things we have to accomplish on a daily basis. I mean, for crying out loud, before lunch today I dabbled in accounts payable, accounts receivable, marketing, and human resources. Oh yeah, and I talked to some clients and prospects as well. And I don't believe that my day was really a whole lot different than yours.
Keep in mind these distractions are happening to a sales thought leader and professional sales trainer. I'm not supposed to have to think twice about the "sales" portion of owning a business, but just like you, I find myself surrounded by all the things that I have to do on a daily basis. At any given moment the need to grow sales can be dwarfed by something more urgent.
So when everything is hitting the fan, I grow sales by focusing on execution in these 2 areas each and every day.
Tell me if any of these has happened to you.
1. You have given a referral to another business owner, whom you trust, but they don't call the lead in a timely manner.
2. You have been given a good lead from a friend/colleague/client and you don't follow-up in a timely manner.
3. You have a great initial meeting with a prospect, but the relationship evaporates quickly and nothing happens after that.
4. You were sure the deal was a slam dunk, but you didn't hear back after you sent a quote.
What's the common thread between these 4 examples? They are all examples of an opportunity where a follow-up plan would have had an impact. They are also examples of money that was left on the table.
Ironically, the pieces of the follow-up plan are less important than the mere act of executing one. The most important part of any follow-up plan is the actual follow-up part.
This is were a good CRM tool can come in handy. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and the idea behind a CRM tool is that a business owner can keep track of all aspects of their client in one place. This could include everything from business and personal information, revenue earned, phone and email communications, as well as scheduled tasks. So anytime I have to follow-up with a lead, client, or prospect I set it up the process to happen automatically in my CRM. No more trying to make a spreadsheet work. No more entering in multiple calendar events reminding me to call. No more notes on my desk. No more forgetting to remember. My CRM will tell me who and when to reach out and grow sales.
"Do what you say you will do" could mean a lot of different things. It could mean...
When I meet someone at a networking or other business social event that I believe may be a prospect, I usually commit to some form of, "I would really like to get to know you and your business more. I am going to call tomorrow. Let's get together next week". This does two things for me. First, because they have committed to it, I am confident they will take my call, or at least call me back, to schedule some time together. Second, I am demonstrating my ability to "do what I said I would" and begin building the trust that is so important in any business relationship. Both are necessary to grow sales.
It may sound crazy, but master these two tasks and you will be light years ahead of your competition. Who knows, you may just find yourself light years ahead of your budget as well.
Matt Middendorp is a nationally acclaimed speaker and sales coach with over 20 years of experience turning connections into customers and advocates. In 2013, Matt founded Sales Math, and debuted his “Formula for Success” sales training system to bankers across the country. From the beginning, Matt’s clients have experienced learning that is fun, meaningful, and makes a difference in the real world. Today, Matt’s core philosophies of “Learn Together, Do Together, Grow Together” are taught through in-person coaching, online as part of the Cool Bankers Academy, and by his leadership of the Cool Bankers Club Facebook Group. His clients are making millions based on the confidence and skills gained from learning a sales process tailored to their individual personalities and businesses. For information about training and workshops visit www.Sales-Math.com, call (715) 897-0879, or email Matt personally at [email protected]
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