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   Score BIG 
   With these Sales Shots

Every company that wants to boost sales has two ways to go about it: Find new customers and sell more to existing customers.

Of course, finding new customers is important but it can be expensive and difficult. So focus on your established customers to get the most out of their purchasing power.

Delivering a Better Solution

    Michael Dell got the idea for his business while he was still in high school. As a customer, he saw computer stores didn't give him good prices and service was lousy.

   "When I would go to a computer store, I would pay 25 percent retail mark-up for a computer and be served by a person who knew little about computers," Dell once wrote.

   The result of his observations:
Dell Computer sells direct, eliminating the middleman and the premium, and customer service is a top priority. 

   Dell admits that in the beginning, part of the reason for eliminating the middleman was because his fledgling company didn't have the capital to mass produce.   

   These days, he has kept the same philosophy. Some call what Dell does, "mass customization." Many other companies have followed suit and now offer custom products, like BMW and Levi Strauss.  But industry pundits say Dell's consistent execution of this business model has set the company apart from the others.   

   He probably didn't know then that his lack of capital would translate to a philosophy that make Dell a billion dollar company.

Chances are, you already have the elements to accomplish this, such as a sales force, customer database, delivery system and customer service department. Make sure you're using these elements wisely. To get the most profit from established customers, here are seven smart shots to take. 

Smart shot 1.
Boost customer awareness.
Your company may have products or services that your customers need but they don't even know you sell them. Make sure your clientele knows about everything you offer.

Here are just a few ways to use your current resources to build volume:

  • Ask your sales, delivery and customer service staff to let your customers know the full extent of your product line.
  • Train certain employees to listen for clues about other items customers may need. Drivers and customer service representatives are highly visible and can be invaluable in boosting sales. Offer them an incentive to sell additional products or services.
  • Send mailings, catalogues, e-mails and brochures to established and potential customers.
  • Smart shot 2. Take a tip from doctors. Customers often have a vague idea of their needs. Help them see the big picture and provide a solution. Think of a doctorís visit. You donít know whatís wrong but it hurts. The doc asks a few questions, perhaps gives you a prescription and the next thing you know, youíre cured. Itís the same with your customers. Help them hone in on their needs and then fix them. Many businesses say the best ideas come from their customers.

    Smart shot 3. Build relationships. You probably know far more about your prospects and customers than you realize. Capitalize on that knowledge. Maintain contact, find out what they read, what interests
    them, and what groups they belong to. Tell them a joke, wish them a happy birthday or ask how the kids are doing. The more they know you, the more they trust you. The more you know them, the better you can judge what they need, how much they spend and how often they shop.

    Smart shot 4. Stand in their shoes. Remember your own experiences as a customer. What frustrates you? Do you ever feel like sales people aren't paying attention to your needs and don't seem to have a solution? Treat your customers the way you want to be treated.

    Smart shot 5. Bundle, bundle, bundle. Wrap your products and services together so the customers have the idea they're getting more for less. Offer special orders that provide a wider selection of products. Cross selling additional products to existing customers is an easy way to increase revenue. Coach your staff in the relationship between value and pricing so they communicate these differences to customers.

    Smart shot 6. Motivate employees. Do your compensation procedures encourage sales people, distributors and customer service personnel to grow accounts? Base commissions on gross profits, rather than gross sales. Consider paying commissions after payment has been received.

    Smart shot 7. Integrate your staff. Your sales reps, delivery staff and customer service employees all come into contact with your customers. Get them on the same wavelength. Hold brainstorming sessions to develop more revenue generating opportunities. Monitor key sales and customer service representatives and pass their skills on to the rest of your staff through training.

    You spent time and money setting up an infrastructure in your sales operations. Maximize that structure. Use it efficiently and effectively and you'll see your bottom line grow by leaps and bounds.







    Virtualex.com Ronald J. Cappuccio, J.D., LL.M.(Tax) 1800 Chapel Avenue West Suite 128 Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 Phone:(856) 665-2121      Fax: (856) 665-9005 Email: ron@taxesq.com

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