Want to grow business?
Communicate more. Because the more that people hear from us, the more they buy from us. The less that people hear from us, the less they buy.
So, regularly and systematically, we must communicate more with customers and prospects. Tell them more about what they can buy from you, and what you can do for them.
Then, ask them questions. Here are three simple questions that you should be asking regularly.
The ‘Did You Know’ Question
“Tom, did you know we also do x or y or z?”
Most customers only know about 20 percent of what you can sell them.
Think about the tragedy of this. They need other things you can do for them. In fact, they probably buy these things somewhere else right now. And, of course, you would like to sell them these things, or services. But none of that is possible, because they simply don’t know.
Let’s do some math: Let’s say you have five salespeople, who speak with five people per day, each. That’s 25 conversations per day (and I’m not even considering all the emails they send here). This is 125 conversations per week, which is 6,500 conversations per year.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the “did you know” questions result in a sale approximately 20 percent of the times you ask it. With the math above, that’s 1,300 new sales. What’s the dollar value of your average sale?
Whatever it is, the math is interesting, the sales techniques is simple, and it costs nothing. The key is that you and your staff ask this question systematically.
The ‘Reverse Did You Know’ Question
“Tom, what else are you buying elsewhere that I might be able to help you with?”
Instead of you suggesting the product or service, this question involves you asking the customer what, specifically, they’d like to buy from you.
You might add: “We’re just as good at that as what we do for you now.” Or: “We both know that one P.O. is better than two P.O.s.”
Ask either question. You’ll be surprised that customers will answer it and then enter a conversation with you about buying that product or service from you.
The ‘Percent Of Your Business’ Question
Here’s a terrific, powerful technique:
“Tom, what percent of your business would you say we get?”
Tom may answer 20 percent.
“Let’s talk about moving that up to 30 percent. I’d like to help you more. What would that look like?”
It’s an easy “yes” for the customer. You’re asking to help him more, help him better. And they only need to move 5 percent of their business from a couple of other suppliers over to you.
It’s a small increase for the customer, but it’s 50 percent growth in business with this customer for you. Further, these things add up quickly. Imagine this kind of increase with 10 customers. Or 50. That’s a lot of revenue in a hurry.
All we have to do is ask for it.
Pivot To The Sale
With every one of these three questions, we need to pivot to the business. That is, ask for the sale. That is, close the deal.
I was teaching a workshop recently, and one of the participants — a business owner — shared that the vast majority of the salespeople who call on him don’t ask for the business. He said, “Some of them have me sold, I’m reaching for my wallet, but they leave without asking for the sale!”
We must ask.
Here are some pivot questions which ask for the sale:
“Would you like me to add it to this order, or write it up separately?”
“I’d love to help you with that – should I write it up?”
Or, gentler: “Should we talk about that now, or schedule a call for Tuesday?”
Getting Over The Discomfort
Why don’t we ask these questions? Why don’t we pivot to the sale? Because we don’t want to offend the customer. We don’t want to lose the customer. We don’t want to be rejected. We don’t want to appear rude, or demanding. We don’t want to take their time.
All of these are self-limiting beliefs. You’re not taking their time, you’re offering to help them more. You’re not going to lose the customer; there’s a reason they’ve been with you for 10 years, or 20 years. They love working with you. They’re not going anywhere.
With these questions, you are simply offering to help your customers more. They want to be helped more by you. And the beautiful thing is, they’ll pay you for it.