With these Sales
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.
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.
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
The result of his
observations: Dell Computer sells direct, eliminating
the middleman and the premium, and customer service is a top
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
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
didn't know then that his lack of capital would translate to a
philosophy that make Dell a billion dollar
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
Here are just a few ways to use your current resources to build
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
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
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