If you've ever wanted control over dialing up your sales volume. Or if you if you've ever wanted the ability to systematically scale up your sales efforts, versus having to do it through heroic effort and longer hours, then here are 5 of my favorite sales systems that give you these abilities.
The key to all five of these powerful systems is that they aren't one off efforts that you have to manually recreate each time, rather they are repeatable processes that you can make part of the automatic infrastructure of your company.
What this means is that even when you're busy, or your staff is cognitively taxed and feeling overwhelmed with too long to-do lists, these sales systems will still be there to help your company consistently create sales.
1. Create a Gateway Offer(s)
A Gateway Offer is an intentionally crafted first offer that your sales and marketing team has perfected that has the highest odds of leading a new client along the most profitable pathway with your company. It's the first sale that leads to all the other sales.
Most businesses let random chance dictate the first sale. That's sloppy and bad business. Instead, over time by properly strategizing and tracking your clients' behavior, determine which offer you can make that will draw a new client onto the richest purchase offer pathway with your company.
Take the example of one of our business coaching clients Dana Smith, owner of Exalt Resources. At Dana's company, and HR services firm, one of their prime Gateway Offers is their "Employee Handbook" offer wherein they sell a company a personalized HR Handbook. This sale leads into a richer and much higher value offering for Exalt to take over the needed HR services as an outsourced vendor.
The right Gateway Offer is something that your best clients hunger for that you could provide, and which would likely lead a healthy percentage of buyers into a deeper relationship with your company.
Ideally you'd make your Gateway Offer a repeatable and systematic offer you attractively make to all new prospects. This could be done by rethinking what you present on your webpage, or what your "New Prospect Email Follow Up Campaign" offers, or the scripting your sales reps use with new inquiries.
2. Makeup offers.
The next time you have a client complaint or a canceled order is a prime chance for your company to make a profit and deepen a client relationship at the same time through the use of a makeup offer.
Here's how it works: Joe calls in and complains about his order arriving late. In fact, he says he wants to return it. You have a special sales script to handle just these types of calls. "Joe, thank you for telling me about how we messed up. Forgive us for our mistake. I don't blame you for wanting to cancel your order just to teach us a lesson. If I were you I'd have been even angrier and more upset than you are. May I make it up to you?"
When Joe says yes, offer him some special gift such as a discount or certificate valid toward his next purchase. The key is to try to both close this sale (the most expensive thing that could happen is that Joe cancels and never orders from you again) and put Joe on the path to making his next purchase from you. That's the power of a makeup offer that has been systematized for your team to use.
Don't leave this to chance. Build this into your email autoresponders. Or script this out and train your support team to reflexively use this when they are dealing with an upset customer. Again, the emphasis of this article is on making these five sales systems automatic.
3. Reactivation offer.
Go back to old clients who haven't bought in a while to spark them to buy again. This should be a formalized sales system that happens automatically and regularly versus just a haphazard, random decision.
Here's the best part: You'll typically have three times more success selling to old clients than you will going after new clients. They just need to be asked and given a compelling reason to buy again.
One dental group that was part of our business coaching program, Cottage Dental, used this simple system to control their patient load. When their coming month appointment schedule looked light, they followed the scripted process to get past patients who hadn't been in for a cleaning and exam in over 9 months scheduled for an appointment. They had an immediate conversion rate of 25 percent of their past patients they spoke with, with another 15 percent asking them to follow up with them to schedule their next appointment in 30 days.
How can you set up a scheduled, systematic process for going back to reactivate your past customers on a regular basis?
4. Unconsummated transactions.
An unconsummated transaction is any client interaction that started with the client ordering, but then before the transaction closed the process got derailed.
It could be a dropped cart from a website order, or a phone order that didn't go through, or a sales call that got interrupted. The key is to have a formal process in place, ideally technology driven and automatic, to follow up with that client.
For example, you could have your system automatically send an e-mail that says: "I'm writing to apologize that we dropped your Web order earlier today. I want to personally take responsibility for this mistake and make it up to you. Please call my office at 800-555-1212 and not only will I see to it that you get 10 percent off your order, but I have instructed my staff to have a special gift waiting to send to you. This is my way of letting you know how much I personally value you as a client."
A sales call that gets interrupted (the bane of sales people the world over) is another "unconsummated transaction". How could you set up a system to move a percentage of these interrupted sales interactions to the next step?
5. Referral systems.
Does your company have a formalized process to encourage satisfied clients to refer you more business? Does it have more than one? If your answer is no to either of these questions then you have a real opportunity to increase your sales.
Start off by looking at where your current referrals come from. Is there a way to super-size and formalize what your business is already doing? Look at other businesses, especially outside your industry. Is there any way you can apply and layer in their referral systems to increase your sales volume?
For example, one simple referral system we suggest to many of the service businesses we coach is the "Compliment Campaign". Here's how it works.
Create a "referral question" that you train your team to ask your potential referring client every time he or she compliments some part of your business. This question should be scripted out and memorized by all your team members, and you should drill them to make sure that the question is an automatic and clear request for a referral using your best scripting.
Here is the referral question that my business coaching company Maui Mastermind uses when a client gives us a compliment about how much value they got from some aspect of our program.
"Erin, I really appreciate what you just said. It means a lot to us that you get great value from our business coaching program. May I ask you, who are two business owners you know who like you are serious about growing their business by reducing its reliance on them the owner?"
In the end, you don't need to use all five of these sales systems, but if you want to sustainably scale your company you do need to start to build in systems to help you sell instead of relying on individualized sales brilliance of one or more key sales people.
As you can tell from this article, finding ways to sustainably scale a business is something I'm very passionate about. It requires that you prioritize both growth, and reducing your business's "key person reliance"--and this means systems, well trained teams, a defined and potent culture, and solid internal controls.
In fact, I'm about to teach a new webinar that will show you the five steps to grow your business without sacrificing your life, health, or family to do it.
If you'd like to join me on this special webinar training, please just click here to learn the details and to register. (It's free.)
Good luck scaling your business.