Increase your sales – It’s simple, part 2
Last week we shared the overly simplistic concept that there were only two ways to increase your sales:
Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB
1. Sell more to your current customers.
2. Find new customers.
Easy, right? Not. After focusing on selling more to current customers in last week’s Sales Tip, this week we talk about everyone’s favorite subject – prospecting and new business development. (Sarcasm)
I have a confession to make: I hate making cold calls. The thought of creating some slick script and calling someone I don’t know, who didn’t invite me to call, and who has no prior knowledge of me, makes my stomach ache. Don’t get me wrong, having an aggressive call-out strategy for new business is critical. As much as I detest cold calls, I made them every week. However, I try to reduce the cold calls and at least make “warm calls.” Here are a few ways to “warm up” your cold calls.
1. Referrals/Testimonials. When I would speak to current clients, I would ask them for feedback on how we were doing. If a client told me how our services were having an incredible impact on their business, I would ask to record the call. Then I would send the audio via email as a “lead in” to my calls with people the client knew. Who better to warm up the call than a happy customer with a positive experience? I also asked the happy customer for names of others in his/her circle of friends who I could call. Those aren’t cold calls; those are referrals and those are fun calls to make.
2. Become a thought leader/expert. Technology is your friend. With LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogging, you can become your own publisher. If you write consistently about your area of expertise, you become known as a thought leader in your particular industry. Do this consistently and people will start calling you because they “heard” from someone else that you’re the one to talk to when it comes to “X.”
3. Get involved. Are you a member of a service club or charitable organization? Bring your expertise to these organizations and you are exposed to a wide variety of people in a non-threatening environment. Work on a fundraiser, be part of a Chamber committee, you’ll be amazed at how many people you will meet who could become clients simply because you are both there to serve.
To grow your business, you either need more from your current customers, or you need more customers. Simple. So why aren’t we doing it more? While it may be simple, it’s not easy. Hopefully, I’ve given you some thought starters.
Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development for the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can email him directly at email@example.com. Other ways to connect: Twitter: @JeffreyASchmidt; LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/schmidtjeffrey.