Tuesday 11 March 2014

Winning and keeping new clients

All businesses need customers to survive (hopefully we are not telling you anything that you do not already know).  What is surprising is the amount of businesses that we meet that have no plan as to how they will win new work.

Any sales pipeline or funnel needs to be managed and that requires a plan (your plan should be slightly more detailed than 'I need to sell more stuff to more people)  Without this plan, how will you know how long your sales cycle is, how many suspects, prospects and qualified sales leads you have and what your business needs to do to survive in the coming months and years

The definition of ‘Sales’ according to the English Dictionary is
“…the exchange of goods or services for an agreed sum of money…”   and
“..creating the opportunity to sell ..”

The key words here are ‘money’ and ‘opportunity’ without both of these things you do not have a sale (and it could be argued that you do not have a business

Managing a sales pipeline is a process – just like many other processes in business – and once you have found a process that works, you should stick with it

An example of a sales process might be;

Suspect – a wide range of potential people who may or may not be the right target for your business  
Prospect – a subset of your ‘Suspects’ who have been narrowed down by a set of criteria that is specific to your business
Qualified Prospect – a prospect who has been contacted and identified as being interested in the types of products or services that you offer
Lead -  a qualified prospect who is interested in YOUR products
Client/Customer – someone who has bought from you and who will potentially buy from you again

Please note that this last category is very important (for more than one reason) – a ‘Lead’ is not a ‘Customer’ until they have bought from you.  Do not confuse the two.  You MUST treat your ‘Leads’ as such until they confirm and pay for an order from you

In each stage of the sales process you must be moving towards a sale

Don’t be sidetracked by ‘Leads’ that will never turn into ‘Customers’.  This kind of wishful thinking will distract you from your core business and will ultimately lead you down a path of wasted effort and frustration.  When a ‘Lead’ is not moving through your sales pipeline REMOVE them and take them back to the qualification stage

We would love to talk to you in more detail about how we could help you to develop a plan to win and retain more customers.  

Call us on 084 3289 3288 or drop us an email at enquiries@blueboxconsultancy.com and we will get right back to you

Learn more about Blue Box, our people and the work we do at www.blueboxconsultancy.com

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