B2B Sales–build your business –getting more customers

19 10 2007

One of the things I love in business is watch the different ways businesses grow through discovering new customers. I love business owners that like to think out of the box. See a lot of business owners think that if thy advertise in the right places or market to the right people then people will show up at their doorstep. I say “maybe” but what is your back up plan if that doesn’t happen? If you don’t have a good back up plan I’ve got a successful one I have used in all the businesses I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of.

Being in outside and retail sales for many years I learned that if my customer wasn’t standing in front of me it was my responsibility to go out and find them. So I used to ask myself a series of questions in order to find my BEST customer. Notice I didn’t say just “a customer” I wanted to find the person or company that most desired my product or service. So I would imagine somebody using my product– sounds stupid but the details of the visualization were extremely helpful. Rather than explain this let me show you how I did it.

One of the companies I worked for was Sprint. I was lucky enough to get in right when people where realizing how much having a cellphone could change their life for the better. I primary enjoyed focusing on business customers when I wasn’t busy at the store. So I asked myself the most powerful question that you can ask in sales “who would benefit most from having the ability of the features that my product offers?”

Then I just sat down and wrote out a list of who and more importantly why they would be able to use my product to better their business. If I understood and could communicate the reasons why it showed them that I had their best interests in mind. What also separated myself is that I wasn’t just a salesperson rather I was someone that was trying to help them achieve their long term goals while achieving short term savings. Then I looked at the areas that I had the greatest opportunity of positively impacting the bottom line. Why did I do this? Those where the areas which I would be able to utilize my time and get them to say yes the fastest. After that I look at the who and wheres of that industry, company of division.

Who is the best person in this segment to prove my products worth to? I never looked at normal purchasing channels which really helped my success in that I never fought through red tape. So if I knew that a sales manager could make the most money I lent him out the phones for a couple of days so he could see it himself then he sold the purchasing manager on the decision. Most others started with the purchasing manager instead of the end user.

Where is the best place to find get in touch with that person? I molded my schedule to where and when was the best time for them. This was critical for me because I into place that others couldn’t access. I was always looking for the back door if you will. So if they were on the road I met them for breakfast, or I would show up at a trade show that I found out they would be attending. Needless to say I was never that guy waiting in the office for the appointment unless I absolutely needed to be.

I have this little thing I say to myself in business to business sales “If I can find the area which I can make the most difference to any business it will help me to penetrate the whole business”

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