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Solution Selling: Want To Increase Your Sales Immediately?

Want To Increase Your Sales Immediately?


March 31, 2008
By Kelley Robertson

Topics

Virtually everyone wants a quick, easy solution that will help them
increase their sales. Fortunately, in all but a few situations, this is
not an impossible task. The key is to sell to the right people. This
doesn’t mean trying to connect with the key decision-maker in a
particular organization or creating a list of ideal companies to
contact. I’m talking about tapping into your existing customer base.

Virtually everyone wants a quick, easy solution that will help them increase their sales. Fortunately, in all but a few situations, this is not an impossible task. The key is to sell to the right people. This doesn’t mean trying to connect with the key decision-maker in a particular organization or creating a list of ideal companies to contact. I’m talking about tapping into your existing customer base.

Most people in business today have probably heard about the importance of marketing and selling to their existing
customers. However, I’m not sure everyone fully appreciates the significance of this strategy. In fact, even though I have heard (and sometimes preached) this concept, it wasn’t until recently that I figured out the impact it can actually have on a business.
This past fall I ran a campaign promoting my new book, The Secrets of Power Selling, to my newsletter subscribers and the response astounded me – I ended up selling a few hundred books during this 14-day campaign. Most of the sales were completed electronically but I quickly recognized many of the names of people who had ordered a book, or in some cases, multiple copies.
After speaking to dozens of other people who called to place their order, I discovered that most of them had purchased a copy of my first book or another one of my products in the past. A few weeks later, many of these individuals also signed up for a tele-seminar I promoted. This taught me a huge lesson – focus on your existing customers!

I’ll be the first to admit that I have attended workshops and seminars and listened to a presenter stress the importance of marketing and selling to existing customers. However, in the past I only focused on applying this concept to some of my speaking and training clients. Needless to say, that’s going to change – fast!

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Start by creating a database. Depending on your business, this can be relatively simple to set up, and in many cases, your company may already have this type of database in place. The purpose of your database is to record what each of your customers orders. Tracking this information enables you to see who your best customers are and to see exactly which are your most popular products or services. This can be invaluable information when it comes time to replenish inventory or determine which services you should or should not keep.

You can also use this database to suggest additional products that may complement your customers’ current purchases or existing situation. Amazon does a remarkable job of tracking what their customers buy and every time someone logs onto their website, the system makes recommendations to that particular customer. Not to mention, that when you buy one book, they automatically suggest several other titles. It would be interesting to know how much additional revenue this generates for them.
Use the information you have captured every time you market new products, services, and offerings. Your goal is to market directly to people that have purchased from you in the past because assuming your goods or services have met their expectations, they will likely buy from you again, and again, and again. Unfortunately, most businesses miss this opportunity.

Here is an example:
I have purchased a variety of products several times from a particular retailer. They have great products but they don’t market to their existing customers except to send them a discount card from time to time. This company sells a consumable product and I’m sure that they could set up a reminder to contact their customer when that person’s supply of an item would start to run low.
Dentists use this approach all the time. When a dental patient is due for an appointment, their system triggers a reminder and the office calls to set up a day and time for the next appointment. Imagine the impact on the customer, if a store or business called their customer and said something like, “We notice that it’s been a while since you’ve ordered this particular product. That means your supply of product XYZ may be running low. We have some in stock, would you like to place an order?”
Lastly, it is also important to create a relationship with your existing customers. This means providing them something of value from time to time or finding unique ways of demonstrating your appreciation of their business. This helps reinforce to them the importance of continuing to do business with you. If you’re not maintaining your client relationships, it becomes easier for a competitor to steal them away.
As a final note, I should state that this concept may not apply to you, particularly if you sell a complex and extremely expensive product/service. However, in all but a few cases, it is worth considering because your current customers are the best form of revenue. And they are usually the easiest sales to make.o