Making a sale is exhilarating; it’s a real boost to your system – and to your revenue numbers. Now what? What are you doing to maximise the opportunity? As a small business, you want to ensure you get real value from the sale – and that’s not just the cash value. Here are 8 ways to get real value from making a sale.
Why did they buy from you?
Chances are you weren’t the only company they were talking to. So why did they buy from you? What made you stand out from your competition? Knowing the answer to this question can help both your Sales and your Marketing operations.
Whether you set up a survey on SurveyMonkey or Mailchimp, or you have someone, ideally not the sales person, call them to ask the question, as long as you get the information, all is good.
Sales people get to know what works for them, particularly if they have tried or said something different. Marketing can use the information to focus or alter the marketing as needed.
What do they want to achieve?
If you haven’t already asked this during the sale process, this can be really helpful in different ways:
- It gives you something to measure against. Did your help mean they achieved their goal? This is particularly useful for when you produce a case study later on.
- Once in a while, someone will use what you sell for something completely different. Is this something you’ve considered and is there a market opportunity to promote your product/service to others wanting to do this?
Who else do they know?
The more usual time to ask for referrals is after you’ve delivered, but there may be an opportunity to ask just after the sale, particularly if they are a repeat customer. Someone who is happy that they’ve found a solution to their issue may well make some introductions for you.
Starting this conversation as early as possible, and ideally during the sales process, will mean that when you start asking, it won’t be a shock and they may have already started thinking about introductions and referrals they can make.
After you have delivered, do you ask what happened? The answer to this question is relevant to the whole company, particularly Operations. Did their purchase from you help them achieve their goal? Of course, this may take some time, so make sure you ask the question at an appropriate time.
What was it like?
Was it a good experience working with your organisation? Some companies sell products or services you never want to use. But even a funeral director or insolvency practice will want to know whether they did a good job. You want to know so you can use their comments in your marketing/sales, or so you can make changes as needed.
What else can they buy?
Assuming they’ve had a good experience and you helped them to achieve their goal, now is absolutely the time to look at what else they can buy. Is what you sell a regular purchase (can you set up automated reminders for them?) or are there additional products/services you can sell that complement or work with the first sale? It is extremely rare that someone is buying everything they can from your business. There’s a great tool to help you map out what more you can sell them here.
Who else do they know – again
Once you’ve done something you are in a much stronger position to ask for introductions and referrals. You’ve proved (at least once) that you can deliver on your promises and that you can help them. When they are happy with what you’ve done and they trust you, they are more much more likely to make the introductions you seek.
Just to put some context around this, 91% of people say they are happy to make introductions and give referrals, but only 11% of people ask for them!
This stage is something that can be repeated on a regular basis, throughout your relationship with your client. But it relies on one key factor – that you deliver for the person/organisation they refer to you. There is more detail about getting referrals here, so just remember that they are taking a risk by referring you. A little bit of their reputation goes with the introduction, so make them proud.
Get a case study
This has deliberately been left until last for a couple of reasons:
- Because this can help you more than any of the others over the long term.
- Because too many people produce case studies too soon, usually leaving off the key part.
Case studies are tremendously powerful. They provide evidence, supported by your client, that you can deliver. They will help you to close sales opportunities for years to come. Remember that you don’t have to remove a case study when you stop working with someone . Case studies help prospects to align themselves with you, because they recognise their peers and the issues they have, that you solved. More can be found about how to effectively use case studies here.
So that’s 8 (alright, 7) ways you can increase the value of each sale you make. Once you have brought on a new client, the benefit to your small business doesn’t have to stop at the value of that sale.
Of course, if you would like to talk more about implementing an action plan to maximise the value of your clients, give us a call: 020 8634 5911 or click here to book something directly into Nigel’s calendar.