By Richard Weinberger, PhD, CPA, CEO of the Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants and author of “Propel Your Small Business to Success: Accelerated Actions to Maximize Profit“
You’ve developed a solid marketing plan. You have competent sales assistants inside your company, and good sales reps on the road. Your customer services gets good ratings, and your products get great reviews.
So why are your sales numbers flat?
Sales plateaus can be caused by a number of different factors, ranging from things you can control, such as your pricing, to things you can’t control, such as the economy.
But when sales flatten out, here are three quick ways to get those numbers moving in the upward direction.
Customize your efforts for a specific customer.
Are sales efforts designed to win over a single, specific customer? Sales efforts certainly have to be broad enough to appeal to your company’s general target market, but sometimes those efforts have to be customized to land one specific customer. Has your company been trying to close a potential customer, but just not made any inroads? If so, consider making changes with this one purpose in mind. Forward momentum always starts with one positive gain.
Get involved with your company’s closing style.
How are sales at your company actually closed? Is your rate of closing sales good–and could it be better? Many times the sales pitch is right, but the closer is wrong. If this is the case, think about getting someone else involved in addition to the original salesperson to close the sale–or to get fresh ideas on how to close the sale. Customers are often impressed with the owner or another senior company member getting involved–it demonstrates their importance to the company.
Realistically evaluate your own sales effectiveness.
Selling is both an art and a science; some people have the talent, others don’t. On the flip side of the above suggestion, should you and/or a manager really be handling sales? Selling is certainly not for everyone. Or you might be too busy handling other daily functions to concentrate on this important company function. If either one of these situations exists, consider hiring someone experienced in sales, and determine how much additional profit could be added to the company (additional sales and gross profits less the cost of the new employee).
Try these three suggestions and see if your sales numbers change. Sometimes it only takes small tweaks in your selling strategy to get out of a plateau.
Richard L. Weinberger, PhD, CPA, has over 30 years’ experience as a financial and management consultant for small businesses. An esteemed thought leader and speaker, he is CEO of the Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants. His new book, “Propel Your Small Business to Success: Accelerated Actions to Maximize Profit“, gives small business owners a step-by-step method for reviewing and analyzing every aspect of their company in order to increase profitability. Learn more at www.aampapproach.com.