In my earlier article on the same subject I talked of the 74 year old Victor and his super successful way of making sales by following some very simple principles in getting face to face with his customer.
I have what I call the 10 before 11 rule: Contact at least 10 people before 11am every day!
No matter what anyone tells you, increasing turnover is a numbers game. The more people you contact the higher your chances are of selling more of your product or service. I’m not saying to rush each contact so that you can get to the next one, I am saying that your time should be spend either in front of your customers or communicating with them in some other way. “Researching” over the internet is not selling to your customers.
There are many ways you can keep in contact with your people. I’ll talk about some developments in technology in a minute that perform well however face to face contact with your customers and potential customers is still the absolute, hands down, best way to increase your turnover.
- If you think about it; it’s easy to throw a mail out into the bin – it’s referred to as junk mail and destined for file 13. Studies tell us that a good response to this form of advertising in terms of number of mailers sent out to converted customer is up to 0.5%
- It’s just as easy to delete an e-mail. There are some scales of economy here that do make this a good option though (you can send an e-mail to a database of 40,000 for free).
- It’s almost as easy to say no over the phone. Telemarketing studies have shown that a good response in terms of achieving the goal of the phone call (most often to get appointments) is a 2.5% strike rate
- It’s a lot more difficult to say no to someone when they’re looking you in the eye. Depending on the ability of the sales person you can expect between a 10 and 35% or even 40% conversion rate talking to people face to face if you have pre qualified them properly.
- You do have to be repetitive when contacting customers. The statistics I mentioned here all take into account multiple contacts through the same medium.
With the company I mentioned above, when I opened a branch some distance away we desperately needed to increase sales, I tried fax outs, mail outs and ads in the local papers. While all of these forms of advertising got between a 1 and 3% response, by miles the best results were achieved when I was out on the road visiting at least 10 people before 11am face to face and that is how we grew there.
I’m lucky enough to have helped a lot of companies with their sales teams and it has been my experience that the number one reason for underperforming sales people is that they simply are not keeping in contact with their customers.
If you are in a retail environment and rely on advertising to bring the people in you’ll have to adjust this rule to suit.
After I sold that company I worked in a furniture store, the doors didn’t even open until 10am and no-one seemed to come in until at least 11. Keeping to the 10 before 11 rule seemed totally unachievable until I figured out how to contact 100 people before 10am. This was great and it worked like a charm. I did this by printing off information about a couple of the products we had on special, attaching my card to make it personal and therefore more likely to be read, then walking around the more affluent suburbs and putting the information in letterboxes. This was fantastic because I also got 35 minutes of mild exercise as well as the potential to generate more sales. I must warn you though, like all sales, this does take persistence I had to do this for a few weeks before I got any response, however once the ‘ball was rolling’ ….it was rolling!
If you are in retail there is no excuse not to do this; if you haven’t got business cards get some made its not expensive compared to the extra sales you’ll generate; if your company doesn’t have brochures take some photos of your products and put them on an A4 sheet with a blurb about the products. (of course check in with your franchisor on what procedures they have for producing such things – they probably already have the material you need!) This is what I did and it makes it more personal and therefore more likely to be read. You’ll get customers coming in asking to speak to you personally.
This may sound like extra effort is required, of course it is, success isn’t going to just walk in your door, you have to walk out and grab it.