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Building a Successful Sales Career or Business

By Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey |

To be effective in sales and business in general, we must deal with these three areas as they relate to our customers:

  • Pain
  • Gain
  • Sustaining

Your profitability and long-term viability will be impacted to the degree that you work with your clients to effect these diverse areas or concerns,. Each area has its focus and resulting 'profit' center.

If we help people with their pain - will they need us when it is gone? Helping them gain offers a bit more opportunity to serve and build. But, if you can work with them through their pain, help them gain in the process, and then take them through to helping them grow and sustain growth you will be a major part of their team for years to come. Repeat buyers are built on this premise.

They will deal with you time and time again, if you help them see and receive the value you provide. How do you currently sell in relation to these three areas?

When all is said and done, there are essentially THREE productive ways to increase your business:

  • Increase the number of clients you attract and retain to deal with you
  • Increase the average size of the sale for each client
  • Increase the frequency or number of times each client returns and buys

Look for ways to attract more clients in the services and product mix you offer. How many of the 51 reasons can you give them as an incentive to choose you?

Condition your mind to look for break through ideas and creative solutions. Investigate other industries, look at their success stories and best practices and see if they hold a secret that you can transfer to yours. (i.e.: Fed-Ex simply copied the central distribution system used by the banking system for courier delivery. Fred did ok with this transplanted break-through!)

As author Jay Abraham says, "Break Throughs let you out think, out leverage, out market, out sell, out impact, out defend, out manoeuvre, and continuously outwit your competition at every level."

Break through
Look for break through or transferable ideas in marketing, innovation, creative, operations, sourcing, technology, systems, process, selling, financing, product mix, service list, and distribution.

How about looking for ways to add-on or cross-sell? Adding on helps move the client to a larger or superior product, package or service. It is based on really 'understanding' the intended use and realizing the basic product or service will fail to meet the real needs of your client. If so, you are doing the client a disservice by allowing them to buy something that will not meet their needs. Additionally, you are building in a possible unsatisfied result, which will impact your repeat sales potential.

Cross selling introduces your client to additional products or service. Offer them alternatives that perform better and are in their best interest. Telus does this well with bundling: Voice mail, call waiting, auto call back, 2nd line, autodial, calling cards, caller ID, 3rd line for security, 4th line for fax, cable and computer information delivery systems.

Test market your offerings, product mix and services offered. Experiment with your Website, advertising, promotional materials, sales and direct mail letters, live sales presentations and in store demos, guarantees, USP's, pricing points, volume purchase and discounts, or financing. Nothing is sacred! Keep refining and tuning until you find something that is effective; and then continue to update it to keep it fresh and relevant to the changing market place and evolving client needs.

Look for ways to form strategic alliances or co-op with those companies or non-competitive sales reps who are already dealing with the people you would like to attract. Those companies or reps who have already earned their trust and respect.

If you offer complimentary, non-competitive services or products that assist them in better serving their clients, you will find a more favourable response. Look for opportunities to offer this kind of connection to people who want to deal with your clients, and who offer something you don't offer or are unable to do so profitably at this moment. Who would you like to have as an alliance?

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