Category: Target Market

Who’s Your Most Appropriate Sales MVP for the Job at Hand?

In the last post, we talked about making first contact with your prospective clients and how to make a positive first impression. In this post, we’re going to talk about feeling out the personality of your prospective large clients to match them with the appropriate salesperson.

You need to do this in two steps:

  1. Profile your salespeoples’ personalities.
  2. Match the right salesperson to your target prospects.

There are essentially three different selling personalities:

  • The Sage
  • The Pal
  • The Pit Bull

The Sage

This salesperson offers knowledge, experience, comfort and trust. They can make a concerned customer feel at ease. In order to be successful, they need plenty of information, a demo of the product/service, and references and case studies, if possible.

The Pal

Much like it sounds, this is a salesperson that shines at building relationships. They can instantly relate to the prospective client and make them seem like old friends in no time. They work best with clients who are looking for friendship, information and are in a similar peer group as the salesperson. This can include anything from age and culture to hobbies and nightlife. While, sharing experiences can be beneficial to creating a new relationship, your salesperson must always keep it professional and dignified. The resource’s this personality type needs is help in pairing with the right client, entertainment budget and the appropriate and timely information to meet the client’s needs.

The Pit Bull

Obviously, this personality type is a little more aggressive than the others. They are all about business and the bottom line. While this may seem harsh to a lot of people, there is a set of business people out there that want the same thing and respect someone who can get down to business and the benefits of a partnership. This salesperson will need to be trusted with a little authority as they will likely be closing deals on the spot. They’ll need plenty of resources and access to products and services. They are best placed in environments where they can work independently, exercise their authoritative discretion and seal deals quickly.

These can all be successful when each is used in the right selling environment. You can easily see how matching the right salesperson for the client can secure more large client wins and for a longer period of time.

If you need help figuring out which of your salespeople fit into these three areas, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our amazing coaches to get your big fish plan in action.

https://ascensionbusinessacademy.com/guidedtour

First Contact Equals First Impression!

In our last blog post, we talked about how to capture those large clients and prepare for the first contact you’ll make with them.  Remember that:

  • This first contact is essential to your success.
  • You need to instill confidence in them.
  • They need to know you can fulfill exactly what you are offering on time, at a good price and at the quality you promise.

Today, we’ll actually go through the correct approach and how to make that perfect first impression. Before you put together your approach plan, you need to create the prioritized list of prospects. Take a look at your notes and the research you’ve done about prospective fish. Then decide which one will be the easiest approach to start out with.

There are a series of things to go through in choosing which fish to start with. They are:

  • Position Your Business
  • Compile Your Hit List
  • Select the Best Target

Position Your Business

You need to position your business to make the first move by listing your revenue streams, identify and list your operational procedures, where your target prospects are initially positioned, your big-customer research, and lastly, putting it all together.

Compile Your Hit List

Start with a list of all the companies you’ve been considering as prospects. Then narrow it down to the ones that you know could use your products or services and be most likely to convert. Don’t overlook obvious choices, whether they are big or small. Even small companies could be very profitable for you in the future.

Select the Best Target

Once you’ve got your list narrowed down, you need to decide which one is the best to start with. You need to consider the following:

  • Which have the most purchasing resources to spend?
  • Does their company vision compliment yours?
  • What encompasses their employee incentive program as it relates to your products/services?
  • What’s the company’s real need for you?
  • Will the partnership lead you off-course?

Now you should have a target in mind to start with. It’s time to plan your approach and execute that plan.

Here’s the step-by-step plan to help you make a good first impression:

  1. Build and analyze your database. Divide your leads into three different categories: hot leads, great fits and secondary leads.
  2. Send out introductory mailings in your medium of choice to your target(s) to introduce yourself, your company, services, products, and vision. They need to be short, clean and concise.
  3. Follow up with your first phone call 2-3 days after they would have received the reach outs. During the phone call, find out whom you need to be speaking with in the future and try to set up a meeting with this person.
  4. Follow up your phone call with another reach out that thanks them for taking the time to speak with you and then offer more details about your products/services. Use this letter and opportunity to set up a meeting to do a presentation.
  5. Follow up the letter with another phone call a couple of days after they would have received the letter. This phone call is to help you further develop your relationship with the prospective client. You should also be able to set up a presentation meeting with them.
  6. Call again a week later if they haven’t agreed to a meeting or presentation. Ask if they received your creative letter (the second one) and if they have a minute when you can stop by and introduce yourself in person.

Now, don’t be upset if you don’t seal the deal right away. Some people simply take a little longer to make a decision. This can all be a little intimidating at first, but when you know you are offering a quality product/service, you can’t go wrong.

Once you’ve gone through this process and make first contact (and most importantly a good first impression) it’s time to put your best face forward, which means sending the right salesperson to seal the deal.

If you need help putting together your approach and make a good first impression, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with a coach and have access to a wealth of great resources and tools.

https://ascensionbusinessacademy.com/guidedtour

Know Who Writes the Checks

In our last blog post we talked about how to bring the big-company mindset into your business and to your team, and how it will help you overcome the mental obstacles that will keep you from being successful.

Two of the most important things to know about your high-profile clients is their purchasing habits and procedures. Following this thought, there are four main things you need to monitor and address in order to be successful:

  1. Purchasing Responsibilities: You need to know who has influence over purchasing, who does the actual buying and who can kill a deal if they want.
  2. Get on Their List: You need to know how to get on their list of people to buy from. Your company needs to not only be on the list, but at the top of it and in as many categories as possible for the more interaction and ultimately, MORE TRANSACTIONS. Ask about a procurement program and what you need to do to go through the application process.
  3. Corporate Terminology: You need to learn the company’s unique language and communications methods. These could include report names, buzzwords and even the nicknames they have for their employees.
  4. Fiscal Budgets: It’s essential you know the their fiscal budget and calendar, so you know exactly when they are planning their expenses for the year.

If you need help with any of this, see this two part series for more information:

 

2 Part Series – How To Increase Transactions And Customer Revenue

 

Becoming One With the Big Company Mindset to Win Big Clients

In the last post we started our series on acquiring larger clients that will sustain your business over the long run. Today we’re going to take that a step further by talking about how to understand and think and conduct your business like a “large client” company and how that can help you plan your approach and find success.

Before you can start the process of landing these types of clients, you have to make sure your entire team is onboard with your approach and vision. Here are six key ways to finding big client success. They are:

  1. First Impression: You must remember you sometimes have one shot to land a large client. If you make a mistake, they are most likely not going to consider you again. Never give them a reason to doubt your abilities on that first call.
  2. First Priority: Your large prospect must always feel like they are your first priority. Return their calls and emails immediately and find solutions to their problems or questions as quickly as possible.
  3. Be flexible: You need to be flexible in your negotiations. If they need a special service or have a need for you to customize a product or product bundle, then simply accommodate them for the benefit of the long term.  A little hassle now will be a big pay off later.
  4. Long-term: This goes along with the last one a bit. As you are approaching and negotiating with large prospects you need to think about the long-term benefits for your business. If you go for a one-time big score you will lose their interest.
  5. Have Fun: Work should be fun, even when trying to land big clients. In fact, this should be the most fun. You are sharing your vision with new people and including them in your future success and likewise. People simply work better in a fun, happy environment. Your passion will also be contagious and acclimate your larger clients into your vision even more.
  6. Help Them: If you take just a little bit of time and offer your clients ways to save money or time by introducing them to potential business partners, this will show you really are invested and interested in their business. Strive to find balance between your business’ needs and your client’s needs.

There are also a few tactics you can use to bring in a big-company vision to the people on your team. You can:

  • Post these six keys for all to see.
  • Put together a performance-based incentive program.
  • Conduct frequent team meetings.
  • Use a “right now” policy that dictates high-priority client calls be answered immediately and handled with urgency.
  • Offer awards/recognition for big-company ideas and executions.
  • Put together a training and certification program based on the six keys above.

 

These six keys and tips will help you instill a big-company mindset throughout your business which will help you be more prepared and more likely to land the larger clients. Once your team is thinking this way, you’ll be unstoppable.

If you need help putting together an incentive program or other way to push your team toward the big-company mindset, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with one of our coaches or check out our resources and tools.

www.ascensionadvisingsolutions.com/guidedtour

Establish a Consistently Achievable Customer Service Experience

In last week’s blog post, we talked about how to ascertain what your customers want and view as a positive shopping experience. In this week’s blog post, we will discuss how to establish and deliver a consistent customer service experience and how this approach can take your customer service to the next level.  I’ve decided to partition this post into next week so the next one will cover the 1% Rule.

Consistency is the key to any great customer service experience. If you want to take your satisfied customers upward into Raving Fan status, you clearly have to challenge yourself to go above and beyond the average customer service experience.

There are three ways to develop consistency:

Avoid offering too many customer service options.

We sometimes get so caught up in giving customers what they want that we get away from our original vision. Instead, stay true to your vision and offer one or two solid customer service techniques that will set you apart from the competition.  This is like a restaurant that has too large of a menu and as a result, they do not tend to do anything particularly well.

You need to fine tune the current systems you are using before you can add anything to the mix. There’s nothing worse than launching a new program when you haven’t even worked out the kinks of an old system—learn how to correctly analyze and then optimize your processes.

Put solid systems into place.

Once you know what you’re going to offer, you need to have a system in place to execute it flawlessly every time.  This system needs to consistently position the right people in the right roles (along with the corresponding responsibilities and technology) that guarantees a positive experience every time. Emphasis needs to be placed on the results, which ultimately is the satisfaction of the customer.

Good training is the key.

Once you have your system in place, you need to train your employees to follow it properly and efficiently. This helps your people deliver the results that your customers are looking for. While appropriate and timely training is essential for the system to work and for all your people to work together cohesively, always remember you’re your ongoing appreciation for their efforts will go a long way.

I hope this has given you a look into what you need to do in order to have a quality customer service system in place. If you need help, try our GUIDED TOUR and gain access to a wealth of resources, tools and as always, our game-changing coaching sessions.

www.ascensionbusinessacademy.com/guidedtour

 

How to Accommodate your Customers Within your Company’s Vision

In last week’s post, we talked about the foundational steps to building a solid customer service plan and how to decide what your company’s vision should be.

In this post, we’ll talk about the second secret in elevating your satisfied customers into raving fans. You must know what your customers want. Know who your customers are and you will know better how to serve them. Demographics are really important here. Obviously, an upper-class woman in her 30’s can have completely different expectations than a working-class man in his 50’s.

There are four main areas you need to consider and plan for when figuring out what your customers want:

  • Listen to Your Customers
  • Ask Your Customers Sincerely
  • Offer More than Just a Product/Service
  • Know When to Direct Them Elsewhere

These are all important aspects to consider when deciding what your customers want out of their shopping experience.

Listen to Your Customers

You need to listen to both what they say and what they don’t say. Customers may say they want one thing and really mean something else. For example, if your customers are begging for lower prices, you may find out after some probing that their real priority is quick delivery.

Also, listen to your “silent” customers. These customers don’t necessarily bother to complain, but because they feel that service is so bad, that they’ve just given up and don’t feel like their voice matters. They feel unwanted and when a competitor shows up, they’ll be gone.

Lastly, you need to listen to customers who only reply with “fine”. These customers are similar to the “silent” customers in that they are so used to bad customer service that they only give an unengaged response.

Ask Your Customers Sincerely

If you aren’t sincere when you ask their opinion, they are going to see right through you. You may be thinking, “What about the customers who aren’t saying anything?” You need to ask them sincere, open-ended questions that get them thinking about their experiences. Make them feel like you really care– and you should!

Offer More than Just a Product/Service

Your customers are looking for much more than a simple product or service, they are looking for a reciprocated and evolving positive experience. They gauge every step of the process with a value. When you take this into consideration and treat them like valuable members of your customer base, they will feel like they belong.

Know When to Direct Them Elsewhere

You may think this goes beyond providing good customer service, but in reality, you can’t give them everything, and, of course, some people will never be completely happy for one reason or another. You have to set limits and stick to them. If your vision for your company doesn’t meet the needs of a particular customer, they will be best suited somewhere else.

These are some steps to discerning what your customers want and how you can use them as a guide to develop your customer service vision and plan.

If you need some guidance in building your customer service vision for your company, try our GUIDED TOUR and let us help you through the process:

www.ascensionadvisingsolutions.com

 

Don’t Undervalue the Ongoing Value of Stellar Customer Service

Effective customer service is crucial to your success and as a deliverable, and easily can make or break your business. Consumers have little patience for poor customer service and easily get tired of waiting in long lines, trying to get a live person on the line, seemingly going through an interrogation to return something or trying to communicate through a language barrier.

If you provide them with a simple, efficient and pleasant experience, they will revisit your business over and over. More importantly, they will tell everyone they know!

There are three secrets to good customer service, the first one we’re going to conquer is knowing exactly what YOU want.

You are the captain of the ship and the visionary for the future of your business, so you need to have a clearly defined plan for your business that includes a plan for stellar customer service. There are three main goals you need to consider:

  1. It needs to be easy for your customers to do business with you. You can do this with advertised discounts, kiosks, your website and other technology-based programs to help them shop.
  2. Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your staff has to be knowledgeable, approachable, warm and patient. Your customers need to feel like they are getting a good value for their time and money. Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends into your customer’s shopping experience.
  3. Change your mind set and ask yourself, “How can I NOT afford to do these things?” This shouldn’t be a question of expenses, but a function of making and keeping happy customers.

With these thoughts in mind, you also need to take a few things into consideration when deciding on the actual programs and standards you’ll put into place:

  • Share and solidify your customer service vision with the rest of your staff.
  • Connect your incentive programs and bonuses directly to customer service.
  • Monitor the level of customer service your staff is putting out.
  • Know when you can ignore what your customers want.
  • Continuously focus on your goals.

Now that you know what you want to accomplish, you can start thinking about how to realize those wants and create a positive customer service experience.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on what you want, the tools, resources and coaches using our Profit Acceleration Software Assessment can help you define the wants and needs of your company in relation to customer service.

www.ascensionadvisingsolutions.com

 

Stop Wasting Your Resources!

Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:
  • What do people really want to buy from me?
  • What related products are they already buying?
Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can customer share with. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores. The basic concept is this: You want to find existing businesses who have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to. Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses. As a result, you have an audience to market to and they generate an added value from their current base. So, how do you figure this out? There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success. LV = (P x F) x N – MC Here’s what it all means:
  • LV is the life time value of a customer
  • P is the average profit margin from each sale
  • F is the number of times a customer buys each year
  • N is the number of years customers stay with you
  • MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)
Once you know how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, you will know how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help attract new customers. So, here’s your step-by-step process:
  1. Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
  2. Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
  3. Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.
If you need help working through this process, please contact us and we’ll set you up with the most comprehensive system of marketing tools and resources.