Are You Producing Customers?
Successful businesses focus on generating new customers in multiple markets while servicing current customers constantly strengthening the value being offered by their product and service. This enables a business to add additional product offerings to customers and increase the lifetime value of each customer to their business.
Where do your new customers actually come from? As an owner entrepreneur or business manager, you should have a good handle on how a prospect becomes a customer within your organization. What type of sales team do you have? Do they have the correct incentive plan motivating them to convert prospects to customers and generate sales? Are they properly trained and managed? Can you use Rep’s to plug some of the holes in your sales territories? Do you know where the holes are? Does your product or service have a good presence at area trade shows? Is your company getting any business from trade shows? How many new customers do you generate each month? Again, where did they come from? What are the average sales per customer?
As the owner entrepreneur or business manager, you should have the answers to these questions. Cash is King, but without sales, there is no cash. Every business should be generating new customers and trying to increase the average sales per customer.
How are you spending your advertising dollars? What market segments are you targeting? Are you hitting those targets? How do you know? Metrics should be in place to determine how successful each advertising campaign is doing. How much is spent and on what type of campaign? How are the prospects being handled when they come into contact with your company representatives? Is each prospect contact being documented, presented with the correct response to their inquiry and then later followed up on with additional information, offers for product or service or personal sales call scheduled to close a sale?
Today’s businesses cannot allow themselves to sit idle and wait for sales to come to them. If they do, aggressive competitors correctly going after business will find your customers as their prospects and convert them to their own customers. They will gain one new customer and you will lose one valuable customer; how many times can you afford to have that happen?
With today’s social media and online presence, it is very fast, easy and inexpensive for savvy small business competitors to show up almost daily and begin to chip at your customer base potentially weakening the market position you worked so hard and long to create.
Here is a “Must Research & Do List” to help you prospect, convert, grow and retain your customer base:
- Identify who your customer is
- Learn where that customer can be found or where they do their business
- Define what their needs are (from your product or service perspective)
- Ask prospects what products or services they currently are not able to get adequately
- Learn the different ways to approach your prospect
- Develop a sales training program and train your sales team
- Present your value offering with three ways to become a customer
- Close one of your three ways during your sales cycle
- Analyze what your customers are buying, their average sales and quantity of sales
- Find out what they are not buying and why
- Research your customers and find out what they may need or have trouble getting
- Provide new products or services to fill customer’s needs
- Add new customers
- Incentivize your sales team
- Manage your sales team
- Deliver an acceptable quality product or service quickly for a fair price
- Provide great communication often and customer service promptly
- Take care of any problems customers have with your product or service quickly
The growth, prosperity and longevity of your business depends on how well you fine tune your prospecting and customer conversion process. Make sure you are producing customers that want to purchase more and more from you.
Gary J Kiecker