For sales professionals in any industry, finding the right balance between maintaining existing customers and attracting new prospects is a continual battle. Should you devote most of your time and focus on nurturing new leads who could result in a sale, or an existing client who is guaranteed to follow through? Is it more important to offer incentives to new prospects, or to reward your loyal clients? The following explores these tough questions and investigates a variety of selling techniques that are destroying your sales opportunities. It’s time to make a change.
Concentration on Maintaining Current Customers
There is no doubt that customer retention is a vital aspect of being a successful salesperson. However, by setting client retention at the forefront of your sales strategy, you are destined to miss out on the prospect of exploring new leads in your pipeline. While retention is necessary, an untouched funnel will result in minuscule sales. In order to sustain long term growth, you need to spend equal time marketing to new customers as well as to your established clientele.
Failing to Set New Client Goals
In most instances, the best place to start attracting new clients lies within your existing customer base. Fill your sales pipeline with referrals supplied form your most satisfied customers. However, remember that relying on your clients to produce leads will not result in sales. Create opportunity by reaching out to customers. Failing to set new prospect goals accordingly, is just as detrimental as focusing exclusively on current clients. Re-evaluate your goals regularly to ensure you maintain a steady stream of new sales opportunities, both retrieved from clients and from your own research.
While sales from returning clients or progressive referrals are easy to facilitate, concentrating and relying almost solely on them will result lost opportunities; you have to take the risk to see and reap the rewards. Of course, focusing entirely on making expensive sales can cost you in the long run too. They may or may not pan out, thus, wasting a significant amount of time on a sale that doesn’t happen. In addition, customers tend to be put off when they are only directed toward the most expensive items, especially if they have purchased in the past.
It’s important to be aware of your customer’s world, so you can concentrate on making certain your products and services meet their requirements. There is no technique more detrimental than showing a customer you only care about the sale, not how you are going to assist them in the long run. By pushing products and services on your clients and prospects, you are breaking the delicate balance of trust in your relationship; a bond that is essential in sales. Push products, and you will push sales away as well.
Incentives and Loyalty Recognition
According to Marketing Tactics, the probability of selling to a current customer is 60 to 70 percent; if you’re continually nurturing your relationship. A great way to alienate loyal customers is by offering deals to your new clients at their expense. Existing customers will quickly begin to resent that their loyalty is not being rewarded. In the end, they will take their business to a competitor who offers them a new loyalty program. By offering incentives that your current customers will appreciate, you will retain their business and in turn, increase sales.
It’s Time to Reach Your Goals
If you are struggling to create a successful and efficient sales strategy that drives sales, consider evaluating your current process for the holes that are destroying both your current relationships and your sales funnel. Investigate which techniques are hindering your success and implement next steps to begin reaching your sales goals.
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