Frank Speaking Live

Google+ Badge

Friday, May 08, 2009

Increase sales - It's Back to Basics

Working all over the world with organisations and individuals, I often hear the same questions, “times are tough, what shall we do?” My answer is always the same, go back to basics.

If I look at some of the top sports people that I work with, they follow four basic steps:
· Planning – what do we need to do
· Preparation – how are we going to do it
· Execution – actually doing it
· Review – what went well and what do we need to change to be even better

These same rules apply to business.

I always tell my clients that they need to do two basic things right now:
· Look after your existing clients better than ever before
· Double you marketing and sales efforts and keep prospecting for new business

Look after your existing clients better than ever before:
1 - How well do you know your existing clients? Here is an exercise for you and your team:

List your top 10 clients and then list 10 things you know about them. This exercise surprises some of my clients at how little their sales team really know about their key clients. Here are some of the ‘back to basics’ things we should know:
· Who is the key decision maker and how much do you know about them.
· What is their personality type?
· How and when do they like to be contacted? Is it face to face, email or phone and when is the best time to contact them? Is it the beginning of the week, the end of the week, first thing in the morning or later during the day? In fact have you ever asked your top clients these questions?
· What are the motivators for doing business with you – are they motivated by cost/value/service/relationship
· What are their buying patterns – how often do they buy and what are their budgets or average order size
· Why do they do business with you rather than your competitors
· What would cause them to move to your competition
· What level of service do they expect and are you delivering that service

Remember, four Critical Advantages Your Competitors Can Never Have
• Your knowledge
• Your marketing
• Your people
• Your systems

Rate yourself in each of these areas and see what needs to be improved.

These days customers are…
More demanding
Less forgiving
Less loyal
Harder to satisfy
Price conscious
Contacted by more competitors

What are the basics needed to keep your top clients?

2 - Double you marketing and sales efforts and keep prospecting for new business

Now is really the time to get back to basics and review your prospecting efforts. Get the team together and have a brain storming exercise on ways t o find new business. Here are some of my suggestions:
• Warm/cold Calling
• Referrals
• Clubs & Social contacts
• Centres of influence
• Professional connections
• Observation
• Old Clients
• Networking
• Internet
• Websites
• CEO marketing
• Associations and trade bodies
• Give speeches where potential clients can see you as the expert in your field or type of business. (Take a look at my resource)
• Article marketing
• PR and advertising

Once you have identified potential ways of finding new business, prepare an action plan. Each quarter, review and see which methods are the most effective and bring the most results. Most importantly, which are giving you the best return on investment in terms of time, effort and cost? Now concentrate on doing more of what works.

Take a look at the resource I have developed on ‘Finding new business and clients’

Frank Furness CSP is a bestselling author and international conference speaker on sales and technology. To book Frank for your next conference email

Get more resources and free eBooks at

No comments: