Small-business sales teams are leaving way too much money on the table. That was the message delivered by Marvin Montgomery, author, speaker and sales training consultant, during a recent webinar presented by COSE, titled “How to Jumpstart Sales in 90 Days.”
“It’s no secret: It’s not easy. It’s going to take hard work,” Montgomery says.
Step 1: Weekly meetings with clients. It’s critical that business development professionals keep in constant touch with their clients, Montgomery said. Weekly meetings also give sales teams the opportunity to affirm the client’s buying decision and ask how they can be served better.
Such meetings also open the door to identifying gaps where additional solutions can be presented to the customer. “When you’re not reaching out to your existing customers, someone else is,” he said. “Your competitors will ask, ‘When is the last time you talked to them?’”
Step 2: Make ‘CPR’ calls. Everyone has companies that drop off the radar. But just because they’re gone, that doesn’t mean they should be forgotten. “I call it CPR because you’re going to resuscitate a situation that looks like it’s dead,” he says.
Montgomery relayed a story of one such CPR call. The sales associate called a client to wish them a happy six-month anniversary. “It’s been six months since we got an order from you and I wanted to say happy anniversary because we miss you,” Montgomery says of the call.
Step 3: Follow up on all quotes and proposals. Have you put out any quotes or proposals? If yes, then this represents a prime opportunity to touch base with the client. “You don’t want to have a quote-and-hope mentality,” Montgomery says. And when you follow up, don’t “wing it.” Practice your delivery the same way you would a speech, he says.
Step 4: Cold calling. Cold calling is not dead, Montgomery insists. Prepare a list of clients who fit the profile of your product or service and then work that list. Uncomfortable with cold calling? Start small. Set aside 15 minutes to cold call. “You can make a lot of calls in 15 minutes,” he says.
Step 5: Ask for referrals. Don’t forget to ask for internal and external referrals when conversing with a client, he says. Many times, a client is laser-focused on their own department. “You have to ask them,” Montgomery says. “They’re not going to volunteer that information unless you ask them.”
Don’t be a stranger. Keep in regular contact with your clients to remain a top-of-mind option.