Make the most of your summer by seizing new business opportunities while your competition takes time off!
While it’s true that most people do vacation in August, I don’t know anyone who goes away for 4 weeks straight! What does this mean for you? It means people are at their desks, often in good moods and are more likely to pick up their phones to speak with you.
Seize this valuable opportunity and boost your business!
Follow these 7 key strategies in August.
1. Add 20 new “A” level prospects to your list and call them. An “A” level prospect is the person with whom you most want to do business. He/she buys the right amount, at the right price, in the right time frame. Criteria for an “A” level prospect can include industry, size of company, department, level of decision-maker and geography. One way to determine the makeup of your “A” level prospects, look at the makeup of your “A” level customers. Then, using the criteria, replicate the recipe. Block out a minimum of 1 hour twice a week with your office phone off, email closed, cell phone off and hammer away at the prospect list. You may even need to hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your office door!
2. Catch up with your current clients and up-sell by offering incremental programs and add-on services. Capture “Sweep-up Dollars” from the “use it or lose it by year end” client budget. One Sales Director in the media industry called one of his clients and said, “We have a really interesting program, and if you have any budget available for this year, I’d like to discuss the benefits of the program with you.” That simple call resulted in a $100K sale. That’s why I call it “sweep up dollars”. The money is lying around and you sweep it up!
3. While you’re talking with your current clients, ask for referrals to other departments, divisions, parent companies, sister companies, and subsidiaries who have a bucket of money to spend on what you have to sell. Surprisingly, this low lying fruit is often overlooked. Leveraging your relationships to capture all sales within any one company will quickly increase your earnings as well as solidify your position with your customers. When you are on the phone with your client, ask him/her to transfer your call to one of the referrals. Whose name is on the caller ID? Not yours! Your call is more likely to be picked up if it shows up as an internal call.
4. Look through your files and make a list of prospect decision-makers with whom you’ve met, but sales have not yet closed. Call to schedule September meetings to discuss what is new since you last spoke, and whether there is an opportunity to work together now. Projects can come off hold and prospects can misplace your contact information. Make the most of the time you already invested in developing business. Stay in touch and be top-of-mind so when they are ready to spend, you will be there to collect.
5. Look through your pending proposals and identify 3 strategy ideas which will move each proposal closer to a close. Choose the best one for each and execute! Here are a few suggestions:
- Email the decision maker a direct question, “You mentioned you needed ____ by ______ (date) and that was important to you because __________. How closely does the proposal as outlined match what you need?”
- Text your prospect and ask for 10 minutes at the end of the day to discuss next steps.
- Or, perhaps you can discuss a new opportunity.
These strategies will help elicit a response and move your sale toward a close.
HINT: Ask for a follow up date and time when the decision-maker initially asks you for the proposal. That is when the proposal is MOST important to him/her. At that moment, securing a next step is easy. Trying to get someone back on the phone to discuss it later can be time consuming and sometimes futile.
6. Half-day HOORAY! Make calls after 2pm on the Friday before Labor Day, and you will reach those hard-to-reach decision-makers. Office staff usually unplugs after 2pm, leaving your decision-maker at his/her desk, relaxed and ready for your call! Were you thinking of ending work early that day? So is your competition. Don’t miss this valuable opportunity!
7. Prospect Purge. Delete prospects that don’t belong on your list. If they are not “A’s”, “B’s” or “C’s”, they aren’t worth your valuable time. This is true for referrals, as well. Just because you were given a referral doesn’t mean you should call. Spend your time on prospects who represent “important wins” for you. Check against your criteria and move on if it doesn’t fit. This will streamline your new business efforts with less stress and more financial success!
Implementing even a few of these key strategies can lead to a huge payoff this year. It may be tempting to set aside this article and move on to your next task. Big mistake! Can you really afford to forego this opportunity to develop new business? Take a moment, decide which strategies you will follow, and set a time on your calendar to make it happen!
Caryn Kopp’s 7 Tips to Boost Sales in August checklist:
- Call 20 new “ideal” prospects. Your definition of “ideal” may have changed.
- Catch up with current clients as their needs may have changed. Offer support & value.
- While talking with current clients, ask who else they know who needs you.
- Re-engage “ideal” prospects who said “no” or “not now” and see if they are now ready.
- Look through pending proposals, identify 3 ideas to move each closer to a close.
- Connect with 5 new Centers of Influence (who can and will refer “ideal” prospects).
- Purge prospects who don’t fit your definition of “ideal,” so you don’t waste time.
Reach out to Kopp Consulting if want more (or better) prospect meetings than you or your team can get on your own. We can help you.