Well the holidays are definitely over and everything is back in full swing, with most of the people I'm coming across brimming with positivity and confidence about the year ahead. As always at this time of year, it's important to re-evaluate your goals and what you want to achieve this year.
Remember, if "nothing changes, then nothing changes" so it's important to reflect on what worked last year, what didn't work and what you will do differently.
I am currently recommending to my clients that they do some analysis on their existing customers, what revenue they have brought in, what they have bought and what opportunity there is to cross sell and upsell.
Many people spend so much time and effort trying to generate new sales that if they simply focused on cross-selling or up-selling to existing customers, the same results can be achieved.
Besides, you can find new customers from referrals within your existing client base.
Here is a couple of quick tips to help you build your revenue in 2010.
1. Analyse your Customer spend
Analyse your customer database and find out what percentage of sales each customer contributed to the overall revenue. Classify your customers into A, B and C level depending on the spend, percentage or value to the business.
Dig deeper and list out what products or services they bought and what else they could get some value or benefit from.
2. Love your Customers
When was the last time you sat down in front of your customers and had a strategic business discussion regarding plans and goals? tMake appointments with all your A class customers and those B and C customers that are valuable to the business or have the potential to grow and ask them
- what does 2010 have in store for your business?
- what are the goals of the business this year?
- how can we make dealing with our business easier?
- is there anything else we can do for you?
- are you aware we also offer (insert new product/service)?
We often take it for granted that our customers know all about our business and the products and services we offer. Take the opportunity to inform them of your plans for the year and what products or services they aren't buying that you feel they could benefit from, and why.
3. Develop an Account Management Plan
Based on your A, B and C tiers develop a plan on how often each of tiers should get a visit from yourself or your salespeople. This will strengthen or improve the relationship and help to keep competitors at bay. The goal should be to have not just satisfied customers but LOYAL and satisfied customers. The frequency of visit depends on the type of business you have but as an example:
- A Class must be visited at least 4 times year
- B Class must be visited at least 2 times per year
- C Class must be visited at least once per year or at least proactively contacted by phone
4. Go back in time
Go back through your records and do a comparison of sales from 2008 to 2009 (calender or financial year, whichever is appropriate). Are there customers that have reduced their spending? Are there customers that stopped spending with you?
Just because they haven't bought from you last year, doesn't mean they don't need you this year. Pick up the phone, make an appointment and get back in contact with your old customers
5. Never underestimate face to face time
Although we live in a time of technology, where just about everything can be done without meeting face to face, never underestimate the value of sitting in front of people. It may seem like a time-consuming, costly exercise but I can just about guarantee that sales will be made (and quicker) when you sit in front of new and existing customers.
It might seem easier to email a proposal but how many times do you play phone tag, wait for them to cal you back and suddenly two weeks has gone by and your still waiting to talk to them? When you sit in front of someone and present your solution in person, you have their complete attention, you can answer any questions and determine their readiness to buy. It really does improve your conversions (quote to sale ratio) and speed up the sale.