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Generating Sales from Sales
By Johnny R. Duncan

The more sales we achieve, the more sales we should achieve; for in achieving more sales, we create more opportunities to achieve even more. We stop getting "more" when we either stop believing that there is more we can get or we don't have the knowledge or tools to get them. Good sales people can close, but few glean even more sales from that close. Yet getting sales from sales should be one of the easiest accomplishments. Here are three tips for achieving consistent sales:

Commence: George Burns said, "I had to work hard for 20 years in vaudeville before I became an overnight success in radio." That's a lesson in establishing a sales base. Sales don't just happen "overnight"; a company must prepare for them. Start in the early stages of the sales process when prospecting for new clients, identifying decision-makers, and making initial calls. Ask yourself: "What is the close in this sale? And how can that close lead to even more sales?" Looking at your sales challenges from the viewpoints of building to more sales gives you new insights into those challenges and new ways to meet those challenges. For instance, when trying to gain customers in the sign industry, salespeople typically aim to replace their competitors' services and products with their own. Makes sense. However, sales from sales would only come when the salesperson introduces his or her services to the customer during the rudimentary thought process of the customer's needs. Getting to the customer before they even know they have a need and then assisting them in determining that need.

In other words, began building sales early by including the business owner or purchasing department in the first-stage sales activities. Focus on being the customers' "design partners" - not simply showing them where they could save costs and achieve performance advantages, but also showing them how they could gain market share through creative designing from this new partnership. As design partners, you'll not only get closes but sales from sales by integrating your products and services into the client's business environment.

Commit: Sales from sales happen only when you answer the essential needs of your customers - not the nice-to-answer needs but the truly vital needs. Discover those needs by asking and answering: "What are your customers absolute must-have results? Those "must-haves" are your great sales from sales opportunities. Your products must meet the must-have results of your customers. Your customers absolutely have to grow. Your company's products should materially address those growth needs. Only when the sales people began to develop and sell products that meet those needs will the company begin to use your products and services to stay on the growth track.

Collaborate: Salespeople often fail to get sales from sales because they have a shortsighted view of the customer. They view the customer as only a customer! Whereas, if we want to get sales from sales, we must see the customer not just as a customer but as a "cause leader," one who can lead our cause both inside and outside their company. Instead of aiming for just a close, aim to obtain that customer's leadership. For instance, the salespeople should work diligently on closing with the purchasing agent-customers, and on creating sales from sales by persuading those purchasing agents to be the cause leaders for their products and services within the company. One way to enlist that leadership is to discover what the absolute must-haves of the customer are.

Your sales force can develop a product and service performance package for customers that will increase their productivity. If possible, bring in your own productivity experts to help the customers streamline their business process. They're not only selling their materials. They're selling productivity as well. Seeing that sales people help them meet their vital needs, customers can become the sales people's cause leaders within their own company - unleashing a torrent of sales to sales!

Don't sell yourself short by focusing exclusively on the close. Unleash the sales to sales opportunities that are deep-seated in most closes. By commencing early, committing to results, and collaborating with the customer, you can multiply sales far beyond what simple closes achieve.

Submit your comments or questions to johnny@retailsignshops.com.


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