Aug 17, 2016

RANK YOUR CUSTOMERS PERIODICALLY


If you are working several customers (or thousands customers) at once, it’s helpful to rank them in order of urgency. You might have an ‘X list’, ‘Y list’. Or an ‘X, Y and Z list’. You might have ‘long term prospects’ and maybe ‘suspects’. And of course ‘Network’.

‘Xs’ are the people who you are working on right now, and who are most likely to give you business in the next few days or weeks. People who you have pitched to and who have to get back to you. People who you’ll pitch to this week. They will either become customers very soon or they will slip into another prospect category.

‘Y’s are those who you are working on, and for whom you have not yet structured a preposition. May be they will become ‘X’s or maybe they will become ‘Z’s.

Long term prospects and ‘Z’s are similar. The difference to me is that long term prospects may only receive your attention at irregular intervals- they may be people to whom you have pitched and lost or others who have become inactive. ‘Z’s you have not lost yet; they are just lower priority.

Suspects are ideas. May be you have heard of someone who does something in which you could be involved. You need to research the background. They are merely suspicious of a prospect. You are objective is to convert them to one of the other categories.

Network is that category of people who don’t give you business directly but who know people who cn give you business- you might think of them as influencers or referrers. They may be competitors, or former business colleagues. They may be former clients who have moved on or former employees. Whoever they are, they are critically important, and should be treated with the same sense of importance as your business prospectus.

This is how your frequency of contact or consideration of contact should work out:

category
Frequency of contact or review for contract
objective
1.       X list
Daily
Make a customer
2.       Y list
Weekly to monthly
Move to X list
3.       Z list
Monthly
Move to X or Y list
4.       Long term prospects
Once in Two Months
Move to X, Y or  Z list
5.       Suspects
As it happens
Move to X, Y or Z list
6.       Network
Monthly
Strategic Skills

GET TO KNOW YOUR PROSPECTUS

The more you know about your prospects; the better will be your opportunities to do business. I am talking about personal information, such as their hobbies, interests, family facts and so on.

THE CUSTOMER OF YOUR VISION

Imagine that in tomorrow’s post you receive a letter offering you your absolutely best, most magnificent, ideal, superb, appropriate project, assignment or piece of business. You could not ask anything better!

Who is the letter from?

Name

Organization

What is the deal?

What do you have to do to make it happen?

What are the Roadblocks?

You’re Plan of Action?

This exercise can produce some amazing results for you. If you give yourself permission to get the ideal kind of project or piece of business, you can find new opportunities opening up that you may have pooh – poohed as being unachievable. All you have to do is, identifying the goal, establish what you have to do to get there, and do it.

This is one of the most popular exercises and some of the realizations that surface are a delight to behold.

An awful lot of what gets done because somebody said ‘Let’s do it’. You might have seen and experienced that many great people, businessmen, Prime Ministers, Presidents, Journalists, Scientists set the goal of putting big tasks and it was done. Nothing is coming easy without effort, planning and craving desire. So identify the result you want to achieve, ask the magic question ‘What do we have to do to get there?’ and do it.

VISIT OFTEN YOUR BUSINESS CARD FOLDER

Who do you know? Have you gone to the trouble of analyzing your contacts lately? Do you go out of your way to meet new people? Haven’t met anyone new lately? Well, what do you do with all those business cards people keep giving you? Would it be worth your while going through them again? I will bet 100 cards, you find ten people to call whom you’d forgotten about. What about your personal telephone directories (saved contact list in your smart phone/iPod/tab) and diaries? Go through them. One of those calls could be very productive.

MAKE ONE EXTRA CALL A DAY

You will increase your new business by increasing your customer – contact rate. Every contact with a potential customer is an opportunity to obtain an order. Every non – contact is a lost opportunity that can never be recovered. So look at the number of contacts you are making each day, and make one more than you have been. Since it is a number game, you will surely do more business.

APPROPRIATE DIRECT MAIL CAN BE SPECIAL MOMENT

Keep on sending relevant mails to your customers on each and every subject you discussed in the sales call. Whenever you receive a phone call from your customer, just send a reply by mail even if you made conversation on telephone/mobile. Such mails to your customer create interest more in your product and can understand better about the quality of the services you offered. You can also attach related files, document, design etc while sending the mails. You will surely make company awareness on customers. The list is all-important. And so is the relevance of the message to the audience. Think off your dearest hobby or past time. Now imagine a really interesting piece of news that was mailed to you cold – would you feel responsive? Probably. It’s that type of impact you should be striving for in any mailing you do. The easier it is for addressees to reply, the better reply rate you will have.

READ THE INDUSTRIAL/TRADE MAGEZINES AND LOOK FOR INFURIATING INFORMATION

Every industry has its literature – the trade press. If you have been in business, a while, you unquestionably receive some publications free. (Subscribing to industrial news letter by mail) On the principle of you get what you pay for, quite a few people I know never even open these publications, or give them only the most cursory of glances. I am suggesting that, since some people have gone to the trouble to put together publications for you, the least you can do is return the favour and look at it. You may be amazed at the ideas you get.

Better still; read the news magazines, journals of other industries. Like those of your customers. If you sell computer, and you are trying to reach accountants’ magazines, read the accountants magazines. A good business library will have scores of these available for perusal. When you make a sales call on someone who’s in an industry away from your own, ask for some back numbers of his or her industry’s literature that you see lying around the office: ‘I’d like to know more about the business. Have you any back numbers of this magazine I could have? What do you think is the best magazine for your subject?’

BECOMING AN AUTHOR FOR TRADE MAGEZINES OF YOUR BUSINESS

Make a point of getting to know the editors of the trade journals in your industry. Then suggest articles for their publications that you could write. If you cannot write, hire a freelance writer to ghost it for you. What you want is your name on the byline of a story relevant to your business, so that you will become associated with the subject as an expert. You will be quoted. And you can use reprints of the article in your own promotion.

CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT WORKSHEET

Use this to help you manage your prospecting initiatives.

What I am going to concentrate on today? Date
Which clients/prospects will I target?
What action shall I take?
What barriers will I encounter?
What kind of help will I need?

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