Sales: Are You a One-hit Wonder?
If you ask a small business owner what they dislike the most about running their own business, they might say bookkeeping or accounting, they’ll often mention worrying about cash flow, and more often than not they’ll say they really dislike sales.
Ironically, those are three of the key areas for running a business. If only we could all just do the things we love, eh?
If you’re in business then you need sales. They’re pretty important, wouldn’t you agree? That said, they don’t come easily and they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. But needs must, and your business will fail without sales, so it’s on the phones and off to networking meetings you go, right?
Well, yes, but hang on a minute. Do you have a plan for all this lead generation and sales? Do you have a systematic approach in place, and will you be tracking your success for your multiple marketing streams?
You weren’t going to ‘wing’ the most important element of your future business, were you?
We find the low response rate quite worrying when we visit business shows or networking events or even when we send a request to a business via their website or social media. Some will never respond, which to us is a very odd way to run a business, and some will only reply once and then forget all about us.
Way to make us feel special, right?
Are you a one-hit wonder? Do you realise that you’re missing out on loads of business? Do you know that most people will need multiple touchpoints and follow-ups before they buy from you?
Did you stop to think about your one-hit wonder?
Here’s a thought for you…
You have a great connection at a business expo.
You exchange business cards and agree to follow up with some packages and prices.
(All is looking positive.)
You follow up (just once because that’s all you need to do, right?) and you wait. And wait.
You forget to follow up again, but the other company that your prospect met at the very same expo followed up three times and gets the business.
Whose fault is that?
It might not have been the right time…
You see, your lead or prospect may well have been interested in what you had to say and the services and products you had to offer, but the timing might have been wrong. The budget may not have been there. Or maybe, just maybe, they forgot they spoke to you, and when you replied they saw your email or missed your call and moved on with their life or business.
They didn’t say no.
It just may have been a case of bad timing.
There are of course many combinations and variations of this scenario, but you get the idea.
Once is never enough.
How often do you buy first time?
Be honest and think about this: unless you’re buying something that you already have a need for, do you buy it right away?
When you find something that you didn’t realise you could buy, do you go right ahead and buy it?
Or do you ‘shop around’ or research what else there is? Do you head to Google and see who else does it?
We know that your leads and new connections are probably in this bracket too, and they’re most likely looking for the best person to do what you do or can sell them.
Once is never enough – they might find someone keener for the business.
Is it the right time to ask?
We’re going to assume you’re not a mind reader. So you don’t know when the best time is to call your leads or prospects and you don’t have a crystal ball that lets you know the exact time to call them when they have the time, budget and need for your business.
Once is never enough – you might not catch them at the right time.
Don’t rely on once and move on
Far too many businesses are focusing on bringing in new business and not working on what they already have. Don’t ever underestimate a lead or connection. In this busy world, you’re lucky to ever be noticed. To get an email via your website or a request for more information is a big thing. Don’t waste it and don’t spend all your time generating leads (the hard bit) and then forget to follow up and build the relationships.
Once is never enough – work on your leads and stop ignoring them in pursuit of more.
Don’t forget: build a system
We’re going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you know all of that. We’re going to accept that you’re in control of all those facts. Well, you’ve read the other articles on our blog, right?
But even knowing all of that doesn’t ensure you always ask more than once, does it? It’s really easy to forget and let leads slip through the net when you’re working really hard on bringing in new business.
Without a system like SalesRadar, it’s really easy to simply forget to follow up and to only ever ask once, when it’s fresh in your mind.
You’re only human after all, and so are your team.
That’s why having a system and a visual pipeline with timely reminders is so important and so powerful for your sales and marketing.
Ask for the business more often. Stop forgetting to check in on your leads and enquiries and don’t stop after the first time.
Build a record of what you said, where you said it and when you said you’d talk again.
We’re always amazed at how few follow up with us because we know how simple it is to put a system in place that helps you follow up and ask for the sale en masse.
Don’t expect your sales to come in first time, every time – build a system and show your leads that you care!