Great salespeople are always looking for ways to increase their customer base. Right now during this pandemic, you might be scrambling to deal with the effect on your current customers. And think you are too busy fighting fires to look for new customers. But then why would this time be any different? More intense maybe but great salespeople are always looking to find new customers. So slow down, take a breath and think about ways to grow your sales.
Where Do New Customers Come From?
Check out the graphic on this post. Growing your sales can only come from four sources. 1. Selling more of an existing product to an existing customer. This might be a challenge during this time of economic uncertainty when your customer might be struggling when demand for their product is falling. Or maybe one of your competitors is faltering in serving their customers and you can move in. 2. If you have a new product which solves another problem for your existing customers you can increase your sales to them. You already have the relationship and trust. So be growing your sales by leveraging existing relationships. 3. Most salespeople increase their sales by finding, winning and keeping new customers for existing products or service. They look for companies which have a problem for which the salesperson has a proven track record of solving. 4. The most exciting way to grow your sales is to develop a new product for a new market. New problems are continually cropping up. Preparing businesses to be safe during the pandemic is an opportunity for developing a new service for a new market.
Growing Your Sales Takes Imagination
Early in my career I worked for a company which made custom drying equipment. These were large cylinders which rotated around the horizontal axis. Wet material flowed into one end and dry material out the other. Hot air from a burner or electric heater provided the drying energy. One day I got an inquiry from an aluminum company wanting to heat scrap aluminum beverage cans to remove the coatings before it was melted to make new aluminum. By modifying the design my engineering team made a new product for a new market. We not only sold these machines for aluminum scrap but also iron, steel and brass. It was a new product line which increased sales.
My father always believed that even if there was a recession you didn’t need to participate. I took that to heart as the recession of 2008 was upon us. I worked for a Virginia based metal fabricator at the time. The craftsmen were very skilled at fabricating and installing high end architectural metal work for new and renovated buildings. As the recession began, the voters in Virginia passed a bond issue for construction at the state colleges and universities. I realized those construction companies which built for the colleges and universities would be busy during the recession. So I focused my sales efforts on those companies. By targeting those particular construction companies the metal fabricator was profitable through the recession.
Salespeople Are The Connection To Customers
Great salespeople know their customers problems and needs. And they understand the strengths of the companies they work for. The salespeople are the best hope for a company to survive and thrive during disruptive times. They are driven by the desire to provide excellent service to their customers. Great salespeople have built strong trusting relationships with their customers. So who better to lead the company during challenging times. Invite your associates to a Zoom conference. Open up the white board. Draw the four quadrants. Brainstorm together how to grow sales in each quadrant. Then select the one with the most promise and get to work.
What You Can Do Right Now For Growing Your Sales
- Think about the four ways to sales growth.
- For each of the four ways brainstorm companies and products.
- Be creative in imagining how to grow your sales