There are a million theories out there about how to increase business. Some people gain knowledge through experience. Experience is the result of trial and error. Through experience I learnt the number 1, ultimate rule for increasing turnover.
As we all know you can’t sell a secret so most of us have to do some form of advertising. This advertising can take many forms these days; print, radio, TV, all the social sites on the internet plus advertising on other people’s websites, getting listed high in the Google search engine and many more. They all have their place and depending on what you are selling you need to advertise in some form of media like this just to get your name out there.
Advertising in the media is necessary to build your brand, create awareness for your products and services and generate some enquiries, however what I’m talking about here is the most prudent, measurable and sure way to actually increase turnover and make money from the enquiries generated through your advertising efforts.
I gained this experience with the very first company that I owned. The best way to illustrate it is to tell the true life story:
My friend Victor was 64 when he came to work for me. I was very hesitant about hiring him, to start with computers were definitely not ‘his thing’, he seemed like he didn’t work that hard and didn’t seem to want to. I’m ashamed to say it now, however, his age was a concern as well.
Victor’s story applies whether you are in B2B or retail sales. The company I had was in B2B sales, the average dollar value of each item was $19.62 and, apart from my personal sales, the average rep turned over slightly more than $35K per month. Victor came on board and brought with him about $20K worth of sales per month and a promise of ‘I’ll do my best to increase that’.
To my astonishment his sales per month steadily and surely increased until they were a record $94K after 10 months. I couldn’t believe it! When he came on board he told me straight out that he likes to finish by 3pm then go home to do his paperwork. He also said that most Fridays he spends at home ringing customers rather than out in the field. I was wondering to myself how someone who gives the appearance of finishing at 3 and not working Fridays could achieve so much.
One afternoon I rang Victor and said that I’d like to go out with him the next day to visit some customers with him. To my amazement he said ‘great, be here at 6.45am tomorrow morning’. 7am the next day we started out, by 10am we’d seen 15 people and got 12 orders. That afternoon, among others, we also saw a couple of new prospective clients that he was told could use our services. He brought them on board over the following few days. All up we saw 25 people that day. Victor did this every working day including Fridays.
I sold that company a few years ago and even though he’s 74 now Victor is still there. I was talking to him recently and asked if he still sees the same amount of people per day. He told me that he’s getting older so he’s slowed down a bit, he only saw 20 people the day before!
I hope you see what the point is here:
The No.1 rule to increasing turnover is to keep in constant, regular contact with as many of your customers as possible.