Operations

How To Dramatically Increase Sales

Lexi Tucker
Posted on January 16, 2019
(l to r) Bill Faeth speaks to John Boyens, president of The Boyens Group (Photo: Blake Russell)
(l to r) Bill Faeth speaks to John Boyens, president of The Boyens Group (Photo: Blake Russell)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — If you are trying to sell bigger deals faster, most people focus on new customer acquisition — but that’s not what selling is all about. Retention is what you should set your sights on, said John Boyens, president of The Boyens Group and who was a special guest of Bill Faeth’s LAB Live 2018 last April.

[LAB Live 2019 starts Jan. 21 and LCT will be there to cover it].

“The whole idea behind growing your business is to get and keep clients,” he said. “If you keep your existing customers happy, it allows you to grow successfully by increasing their stickiness to you.” It allows them to become references for you and helps you set your books. “If you have 100% of your customers who buy with the same frequency next year as they did this previous year, everything after that is growth. If you only have an 80% retention rate, that means you have to get 20% new customers in order to be able to make up for what you lost…and that doesn’t count as growth.”

Solidifying Relationships

What do you do to make sure your customer is delighted and wants to become an evangelist for you? If someone else tells another person about the quality service you provide, that’s the best kind of marketing because it costs nothing at all except living up to your promises.

Too many single point failures occur, Boyens said. This refers to when a salesperson has a good relationship with someone else, but when that person leaves or gets promoted in the business, the relationship with the company as a whole is at risk.

“You need to have multiple points of contact to be able to insulate that relationship,” he said.

Selling is about uncovering and prioritizing a need, and then matching it with a solution. Whether you’re trying to win back a client or impress a potential one, there’s a question you should always ask: If I was fortunate enough to earn your business, and it were a year from now, how would you know it was a good decision? “I’m not trying to sell you something, I’m not even trying to get you to buy; it helps them understand you will work hard to earn their trust.” Their answer will also help you learn exactly what it is you need to do to win that business.

Why Yes Or No?

If a prospect says no, do you ever ask why? “If they give me a no but also a reason why, it gives me a chance to understand why they feel the way they do. Get objections early in the process, and create an objection response library. Ask yourself ‘what can I say or do that would minimize or eliminate those objections?’”

If they tell you they are happy with their current provider, ask them what they like most about working with them. If they could change one thing, what would it be? Ask how long they have used your competitor and if they’ve been able to document the impact it had on their business. Tell them if you are fortunate enough to earn their business, you’d want to schedule regular meetings to make sure they were receiving the value you want to provide them with.

“Say something like, ‘I understand you’re happy, but what would it take for you to be delighted?’ They start thinking about what that next level could be. I’d rather be able to defend my price than apologize for poor quality of service. Remember, you’re having a sales conversation, not confrontation.”

What about if they say yes? “If they say yes, most of us are going to Michael Jackson moonwalk out of there. But that’s the data you need in order to retain that customer. If they say ‘I like your follow up, the way you communicated, where you’re located,’ whatever it may be, if you see themes and trends, that’s what will increase the stickiness of that relationship,” he said.

There are five points to building trust with new customers and ones you want to retain.

No. 1: Do what you say you will do; under commit and over deliver.

No. 2: Understand and schedule appropriately. Show up on time and be prepared.

No. 3: Listen more than you talk. Ask questions instead.

No. 4: Remember buying is an emotional decision based on logic. Focus on what they are buying versus what you are selling.

No. 5: Be sure to conduct a professional and timely follow up and follow through.

The 5% Challenge

To grow, you need to build a hit list — a list of companies you want to do business with that would significantly change your revenue stream forever. Every month, you want to do activities that will drive you to a close. A yes or a no is good, but a maybe means you still have to follow up. Pursue accounts that won’t waste your time with a wild goose chase.

In 2019, you may want to take on what Boyens calls “the 5% challenge.” Think about what you can do to improve your client retention rate by 5%. Identify 5% of your customer base who would be a reference for you. Look into 5% of your customer base who you can cross-sell additional services to. If you have a great relationship with a corporate account, why wouldn’t you go deep and wide to find other needs you may be able to fill? Try to improve your close rate by 5%, and win back 5% of your former customers.

“Most companies don’t mine that database. I imagine something has changed since those clients left; maybe you bought new vehicles, hired new chauffeurs, or invested in new tech. You have a chance to double your book of business if you take on these challenges.”

Related Topics: Bill Faeth, building your clientele, client markets, customer service, How To, LAB Live, revenue growth, Sales & Marketing

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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