When you work as a salesperson one of the best ways to rise to the top of your industry or to get a hold on your market is to target the bigger clients. Here are a few facts for you:
- The larger clients buy more products and services
- These bigger clients buy more frequently and seasonally
- The large customers give you credibility as a top salesperson in your market
- You can value add your services and spread your offering more easily in a top clients account
- These bigger clients want productive and problem solving solutions.
- These clients want to streamline their activities so they can improve the bottom line.
It is notable that many top prospective clients are already serviced by your competitors, so they are easy to find. That being said, it may take some time to convert these prospects to clients so a systemised contact process is required. Set up a good database in your business to help the sales team coordinate their efforts in contacting the right prospective customers.
In today’s business environment where productivity and the bottom line means just so much, it is a very wise strategy to look at your client base and refine it to higher quality clients in this way. Your smaller clients may stay with you but they should not get the same focus as a Key Account or big client.
These large prospective clients can be defined in a number of ways, depending on your business type and location. Here are some ideas to help with that:
- The locational factors will drive better business for you. To some degree, the convenience of the client to your business location will allow better supply and demand of product and services. For this reason you should define your territory for both primary and secondary business.
- A top client or top prospective client can also be defined by the type of product or service that they buy from you. That may be by volume or by sales total.
- A good client is one that can take you into other locations as part of their business model, or take alternative products, and add on services from you.
Look around the current market and see who your competitors are servicing. Those relationships are ready to be tested. You can open the door through any of the following:
- Alternative supply solutions
- Better customer service
- Discounted prices and bulk discounts
- Value add products and services
Building your business with better quality clients is a wise strategy for an established business that is looking for market dominance.
In business today I see far too many sales people that take things the way that they are. These salespeople fail to adjust to the market and learn more skills to build better market share under changing market conditions.
Let’s face an important fact here; the market is always changing, and yet if you keep doing the same old things, nothing will change for you. One of the toughest things to change in business is your habits. You have spent years building on your habits; whilst that can be a protection process to keep life under control, it certainly does nothing for you in getting more sales and better customers.
The best salespeople know that adjustment is a wise process; everything we get out of business and our market will come from our efforts. They are the only things that we can control.
In most locations, towns or cities, the selling season is limited to no more than 11 months of the year. In some cases it is far less than that. All of your effort has to be directed into the core selling time in the best possible way. That will include the right factors of:
- Target market in your town or city
- The right products or services
- The right time of day
- Product and service knowledge
- Knowing what people will want and when
- Building strong relationships with the right people
- Keeping on top of the competition and their activities in your area
- Capturing all of your contacts into a database of relevance and quality
- Communicating frequently into your market and customer base
Now would be a good time to look at just what you are doing in your business and customer base. Can you improve any of the above items? What will it take to change old restricting habits to a new process of growth and change?
As a final tip in this topic it is worthwhile noting that most customers will move on to others at some stage; you cannot keep the same customers forever. All things being equal, some of your customers will move location, change business focus, or be attracted the competitors in your market. On that basis it pays for you to develop a process of new client growth as part of your prospecting processes.
Plan to lose some of your current customers each year, so you then fill the void with new customers. It is a fact that new prospects and customers in some industries will take time to nurture and convert. Top salespeople know how to do this; they have a system to support the entire process. Develop the focus and start to build your market for the long term.
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