If you are in this industry then you will know that no numbers of tools are sufficient. There is always scope for more. For that extra project, for incentive, for referrals. How to get there?
From my limited experience in sales for 2 years in 3 different companies [a stable company, a failing brand & a start-up]; I can suffice with 5 of my personal best.
- Relations /customers:
There is always room for improvement in the service delivered to your existing customers; they are the relationships you have in the industry. They can generate credible word-of-mouth. You have already spent productive time & effort in delivering to them. If further efforts can generate a wholesome experience go for it. Ask them for a testimonial, take their feedback. Follow-up with them after the sale/project completion. Trust me it works, people prefer working with a company that’s always around when needed.
- Reward referrals:
If there exists a person/company or customer that is willing to refer you to others; make sure you reward their efforts. Some may ask for an incentive directly but all will expect it. Rewards may differ. A retail company can give some redeemable points, others can offer discounts on future purchases, and service companies can add bonus features to existing packages. But the key should be to inform them that each referral will reward them significantly and give them something others may not have access to.
I say targets are not to be emphasized. They are important of course. But focus more on reach. Widen your reach. Broaden the spectrum of services you provide. Pitch to more people. Adopt conventional and unconventional means. Have 24/7 mediums of communication apart from the traditional office hours. Adapt & adopt strategies based on your target market i.e. youth market can be reached better on social media channels while investors are accessible on newspapers & weeklies. Aim for Retweets & shares rather than Likes and Favourites
The importance of face-to-face interaction is not to be undermined but it is not always practical, especially in the tech age we live in. Make sure you are not just available on email and phone but also try to reach your contacts every now and then. For gentle reminders and regular follow-ups. A well-written email can at times seal the deal. Moreover it is always available for reference and more people can be involved. Make sure you don’t become the annoying mail/call that always ends up in spam/voice-mail. Keep it simple!
- The “oregano to your Pizza”
There is always that special ingredient. The spice nobody wants to disclose. Something, that sets you apart from others. It could be the niche market you develop, a unique service/product you have. Perhaps the way you present yourself, your service, your persona. If you don’t already have that yet, Go Ahead, build one!
That’s all for now! I’ll be glad to hear from you on what I may have missed or your comments on these above.