Many organizations are afraid to spend marketing dollars these days claiming no one is buying. Some organizations are “hoping” for growth but not willing to make the effort to grow, or try new things to grow.
Normally, I try to teach the cutting edge and challenge executives to try new things, but today here is a reminder of a tried and true technique that need dusted off, that’s old school, but still works.
Growth strategies are not always new and innovative; sometimes the growth opportunities can be easily accessible and right in front of you. In advising a fellow speaker about growing her business I told her the easiest sale I can make is to one of my audience members. They have heard my information, delivery style and feel a connection. They know me and my approach to growth strategies. When they come up to me afterward and start asking about available dates on my calendar I know it’s mine to lose. Why does this happen? It’s the connection.
The same thing goes for my corporate clients who use me year after year — They know I am good; therefore, it’s easy for me to get to the point of sale. What about your current clients or customers? Do they feel comfortable enough with you to open up and share what’s really going on in their organization?
Every company is experiencing its own unique economic ride these days. How well are you tuned in to the specific journeys of your customers? Do the research, interview key executives of the client, get to know their situation. Trust me, right now people want to talk and tell their story. Whether it is a go-against-the-flow story of having a great year, or telling a tale of woe, people like to be heard. Show interest, listen and do not sell. That’s right don’t sell, just be the friend with the ear. Not only are you gathering information for a later sales call, you are being the friend they need right now. The more they know you, like you and trust you, the more they will want to do a greater amount of business with you.
Of course this is nothing new, but I see few organizations grabbing this opportunity. They are still pressing the sales staff to find new sales, to bring home the big new contract, when the best thing these sales people can do is grab a box of Krispy Kremes and a few coffees and make a call on a good current client and talk about the state of the industry, the economy, and that client’s tale to tell.
Be the friend, and set down the order pad for a couple of visits. Be the ear they want to use to brag, let off some steam or just chat with.
People buy from those they are most comfortable with and we all know it’s easier to sell to a current client than go find a new client. The key is you don’t just want current clients, you want current clients who find you indispensable, and not just because of the products and services you offer, but because you are someone they need.