Sales are the absolute lifeblood of your business.
So when I’m working with people, one of the first questions I ask is – who are the people that you need to be selling to? How many of those people have already bought from you? And what do you do to remain connected to them?
Quite often, the answer I get back is that most people are too fixated on achieving new sales opportunities and not focused on the clients they’re currently serving.
There are multiple ways you can increase revenue in your practice or business. And to get there, these are the three key sales meetings that you need to conduct in your business right now to increase revenue growth.
Meeting number 1: Your top 150’s meeting
Robin Dunbar, the social anthropologist and author of the book “How Many Friends Does one Person Need?” has spent his career researching tribes and identifying the metrics for a tribe, to not only survive, but also thrive. He has spent time with tribes in places like the Amazon jungle, right through to indigenous communities in Australia and Africa to identify these numbers. Through these studies, he has identified that as humans we only have a capacity to manage relationships with up to 150 people.
The top 150’s meeting is about the people who have bought from you in the past and most likely to buy from you again. It’s about remaining close to these people, paying attention to what’s going on for them and keeping in touch.
You should be talking to them once every quarter or so, not necessarily to sell them something, but more to be interested. As a result, the research tells us that they spend 47% more than any other customer.
Find out what’s happening and be curious to learn what challenges they’re going through. And most importantly, find ways to help them.
To help with the meeting, look out for things that you know interest them. To prove you know your customers, New York Times best-selling author, Harvey Mackay says that all salespeople must be able to answer 66 questions about their customers – none are about which products they buy but rather focuses on the person who does the buying.
It’s questions like – what are they like as human beings? What are they proud of accomplishing? What’s their life like outside the office? How do they want to be seen by others? In other words, what makes them tick?
You can keep connected to these people by simply picking up the phone and being interested in their success. Find things to help them, send them articles or book suggestions that will be of value to them. Or even better, send them a signed copy of a book from an author. You’ll be surprised to find that if you get in touch with the author, they’re often more than happy to sign a copy for you. And what a delight it would be to send to a client!
Meeting number 2: Your database meeting
Earlier this year I picked up the phone and rang a lady who was reading all my newsletters, just to see how she was going. I noticed she was opening them every week and clicking through to events, so I was curious to know why she was opening my newsletter so often, but not attending any programs. I decided to pick up the phone and reach out to say hi personally, to find out how her business was going, without any pressure at all. When I called her, she was happily surprised and said, “Look, I’ve been wanting to call you, but I don’t know if you can help me. I felt like you only work with people who have multimillion-dollar budgets. I don’t know what you would charge to help me and I was worried that I couldn’t afford you.”
So I asked her what the challenge was that she was having and I said, “Well you don’t need all XYZ, you just need this little bit for now. So why don’t I tailor this part for you? Would that help?” She said she was so relieved and excited that she decided to go ahead. We did a small part of the program that she needed, which would set her up for the next 12-months. She didn’t need the whole enchilada anyway, but just a few small steps that suited her budget. She was beyond thrilled that she could get started on a solution to her problem and without breaking the bank.
So your database meeting is when you go through the people who are opening your EDM’s (newsletters) and other communications. Find out who the top openers are, because these people are generally people who are interested in what you have to say, in fact, they’re fans if you like.
Whilst these are people who like what you have to say, they may feel like their problem isn’t ready to be solved just yet. Or they may be afraid of asking you for help or worried they can’t afford you. They could be afraid of looking stupid or afraid of you judging them. They may even feel like they’re not good enough to work with you. On the flip side, they could really like what you have to say, but are struggling to find relevance for them. They’re trying to find a fit, but they don’t really know how to make it work. Your job is to create access in a way that is genuine, interested and thinking openly and creatively to find solutions to problems people are having, and the key to doing that is being curious. In fact, it was Walt Disney who said “ideas come from curiosity.”
Meeting number 3: Your creative sales meeting
A creative sales meeting is thinking about what else is going on in different industries, organisations or people you might know.
Think about some of the challenges people are having. What’s going on in the news? What’s on the front page of the papers and business magazines this week?
Who is going through a royal commission at the moment?
What experience do we have in that industry? What ideas have we got?
Who are we working with at the moment that we could ask for a referral to a particular client?
This is generally a brainstorming meeting that is not about coming up with X amount of sales, but more about having the conversation together as a team, collaborating on your ideas and paying attention to what’s happening in the world. By doing this, you find ways to connect, build relationships, be curious and solve problems that people are having.
After all sales is just that; helping to solve problems.
Over to you
I find that some people are doing one or two of these meetings, but they’re generally not doing all three. And, as a result, they’re missing a lot of opportunities and potential sales revenue that they could be achieving.
So, I’d love to know, do you have a version of these three different meetings? Do you have these three as an agenda in your sales meetings? What are you doing to drive your sales meetings, so that you can work out the marketing and lead generation communication strategy to improve your sales revenue?
Jane Anderson is a communication expert, speaker and the author of 6 books including “TRUSTED: The Level Above Influence.” With over 20 years of experience helping people step into their personal power, she is obsessed about creating human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.