It is possible to improve in several aspects, adopting simple procedures.
To have better results it is not necessary to adopt complex solutions. Small changes, measures that are easy to implement and attention to details can bring significant gains.
An example of this lies in prospection, i.e., in the ways of identifying new customers. This is an essential work to increase sales, finding more people willing to buy your products and services. However, before seeking out customers, it is necessary to organize the process: planning is essential.
The consulting Endeavor, specialized in support to entrepreneurs, listed ten basic measures which help those who aim more success in sales. See the following:
1. Offer your product to those who need it
Study the market and the target group (companies and professionals) that you intend to prospect. Check that what you have to offer fits the interests of this group. Going after those who do not need your products and services represents a waste of time and money.
2. Do not mix tasks
Prospecting is not selling: if you make a visit a company on order to know it, do not try to transform this occasion into a sales meeting. The customer is not expecting it and probably will not be prepared to negotiate at that moment. The objective of the prospection is to build a first part of the commercial relationship between you and your future customer.
3. Request recommendations to customers
A good tip is that current customers lead to future customers. These indications can occur spontaneously, but you can have a strategy for this, offering discounts, bonus, gifts or any advantage so that your customers work on your behalf.
4. Look more closely at your customers
The opportunity of sales can be closer than you imagine. Do the prospection of customers in your own portfolio, checking how long each one of them has not bought from you. Answer contacts, schedule new visits, understand the reasons why certain customers have stopped buying from you. Serving the customers that you already have is as important as gaining new ones, and is usually cheaper.
5. Be online
Nowadays, it is essential to be present in the digital world: have a site, a page on Facebook, a good list of contacts in Whatsapp. You can prepare exclusive information to send to your contacts and encourage them to buy. Read more about digital marketing here, and put it into practice in your company.
6. Know your potential customer
With better information, you achieve better results. Seek to understand your potential customer: what are his requirements, how does he behave, which benefits does he value. All of this is important when contacting him.
7. Visit trade fairs
Events of your sector are excellent places to have contact with professionals and to understand how the market is behaving. One tip is to take part in lectures and courses, as at them there will be people willing to learn and who are interested in new trends. Prospecting customers in these places opens doors to the future.
8. Adjust the focus
Planning and information are essential for efficient prospecting and successful business. Prepare relevant contents in disclosure materials. Know well the person you are talking to on the telephone and if this person has autonomy to take decisions. When prospecting, be sure that the customer has the right profile for what you will offer.
9. Be prepared for contacts
Avoid improvising when talking to the customer. Prepare a list of subjects that you want to look at. Present yourself, say the name of the company and products/services which you sell. And remember that listening is also part of prospecting. Let your contact talk, transform prospecting into a dialog.
10. Define the next steps
At the end of the first meeting with a potential customer, define with him, in a clear way, what the next step will be: another conversation, a written proposal, a meeting with other people involved, etc. Give continuity to what was arranged, even though the business takes time to be closed. It is this frequent contact that generates confidence and safety.
Together with the prospecting, it is necessary to dedicate time and energy to improve other aspects. A good start is to use the best techniques related to service. The table below shows some of them, which ones are easiest to adopt and do not generate requirements of investment. Implement them in your daily routine!
SERVING WELL BRINGS GAINS
A quality service helps maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty, which is reflected in better results. See below tips of Sebrae (Brazilian Service of Support to Small Businesses and Small Companies) concerning this issue:
Be aware and polite: serve everybody well. Do not form biased and distorced impressions of customers. The treatment “sir” or “madam” shall be directed even to young people, unless the customer authorizes using “you”.
• Give a lot of attention to the customer: make him feel welcome and treat him as someone important to the company.
• Answer immediately: never leave a customer waiting. Even though you are busy, demonstrate concern and indicate that you will answer him soon.
• Act quickly: usually, the customer wants his requirement to be satisfied as soon as possible. However, be careful not to give the impression that you want to be free of him quickly.
• Show willingness to help: start the contact with an expression, such as “How can I help you?”, but leave the consumer at ease.
• Be clear: speak in a simple and direct manner, so that the customer understands you. It is important to be patient when it is necessary to explain something.
• Do not be angry: before meeting with an authoritarian customer, who thinks that he knows everything, try to serve him in the best way possible and get around any misunderstanding. If you perceive that a determined situation can get worse, seek aid from another professional in your team.
• Speak the truth: it is preferable to say that you do not know or to admit a mistake than to give the customer the impression that you are telling a lie or omitting problems.
• Pay attention to complaints: be attentive to any complaint or suggestion and seek ways of solving or forwarding it to the right person in the company.