When I first started working in the financial industry over a decade ago, the bank that I worked for talked about making their products “sticky” for their customers. They explained that the more products we sold, the stickier our company would be for them and the harder it would be for them to leave. Stickiness was their main customer retention strategy.
I now fully understand what they mean and why they focused on "stickiness." In fact, I still bank with that organization even though I haven’t worked there in nearly a decade.
But why? Because the services I have with them truly are sticky - it would be a major headache to switch banks. Read More
One of my favorite jobs when I was younger was waiting tables at a brand new restaurant.
This restaurant was a franchise from a larger chain and I learned a lot about selling from working there. I got great tips, many of which came from up-selling techniques to increase the customers overall bill. For example, I learned that if the first person to order a drink set the stage for what the others were going to buy - if the first person ordered water, the whole table got water, but if the first person ordered a Pepsi, at least half of the table would get fountain drinks.
But all of this was just how to sell when the customer was already in the door. Read More
Sales is an essential component to any business. In fact, I would even argue that it is the most important element for a company - if you don’t have sales, you don’t have a business.
For that very reason, many companies spend thousands and thousands of dollars to provide their sales staff with skills they need to increase their productivity.
But I learned a very difficult lesson early on. Read More
Obtaining new customers is one of the most challenging aspects in business. Yet, day after day businesses leave prospects at the door because they can’t convert them into a paying customer. But what if that could be avoided?
How much would you pay to know why your prospects don't convert?
To benefit my readers, I want to share a personal experience I had this week where I wanted to work with a local business I had never worked with before, but ended up going to the competition. Read More
Sales can be an overwhelming word for a business owner. I know that the hairs on the back of my head rise every time I think about selling my services in the traditional way.
Some people are natural hustlers when it comes to sales - the have no problem pushing their product into a sea of rejection. They weave and wind between objections and are still able to reach the goal line and make the sale. But I am not a hustler and have a difficult time with a sea of rejection.
So the thought of traditional sales makes me very uncomfortable.
Fortunately for me, I know that I can still sell like an all-star quarterback without the skills of selling. Read More
My wife has found a dentist she loves. She doesn’t appreciate him because he makes her teeth whiter or takes away her pain when she has neglected her teeth. She loves her dentist because he has given her $150 in gift certificates.
When she first walked into Dr. Painter’s dental office, she was told about a dental referral program offered by the practice. For every person she referred to the dental office, she would receive a $25 gift card to the merchant of her choice. Having a family of 5, she quickly got her first $100 in gift certificates. Add in her parents, and she was up to $150 with very little work. Read More
I eat out several times a week when I travel. As I usually eat a gluten-free vegan diet, my options are fairly limited and I often find myself eating a Subway salad. I have been to literally dozens and dozens of Subway restaurants, and most often, they are very consistent in what they offer. But I have found one Subway restaurant that does one thing slightly different than all of this others. Read More
Developing a sales strategy is one of the most important things you can do to increase your profits and strengthen the health of your business. A sales strategy is a pro-active means of identifying prospects. It is a carefully designed group of products that meet the needs of customers. It is an intentional effort to usher prospective customers into paying sales. In a day of increased competition, reduced barriers of entry, and overwhelming regulatory burdens, small businesses can no longer sit back and wait for customers to come to them. They must pro-actively see out sales by developing a sales strategy. Read More
As I have been recently writing on the topic of developing an effective sales process, I thought I would show a few examples of how successful sales funnels have been applied. In my post on How to Design a Service Industry Sales Workflow, I broke down the process of how to design a sales funnel for a business in the service industry. Businesses that offer a service, rather than a product, have some unique challenges over businesses that sell physical products. Martial arts marketing can be challenging on a number of levels. Therefore, I think it is worthwhile to take a close look at a business that has done a good job refining their sales funnel. This business is my son's taekwondo academy. Read More
Every business should have a sales process. A sales process is a formalized plan to evolve a prospect client into an ideal customer; it is an intentional strategy designed to systemize sales so that each potential client is given an equal opportunity to become an ideal customer. Without a clearly defined process of how a customer will evolve over time, the lifetime value of a customer will not be as effective as it could be. In my recent post on How to Design a Sales Process in 3 Steps, I discussed general methods on what should be done to develop such a process. In this post, however, I am going to specifically focus on designing a sales funnel for a service-based business. Read More