When you get a lead, you need to convert them into a purchaser, into a sale and make them into a customer. And then make them into a repeat customer. And then into a regular customer.
From that point, they become a preacher and build your business. But what if the market is on a downward spiral?
The UK has just voted to leave Europe which has certainly created a downturn in the economy, and in the UK economy it has made anything that is imported or exported more expensive.
That’s not good, but there was already a recession type global problem going on. So what do we do? Well first of all, and I have said this before —
Stop Making Excuses
Please do not blame the economy, because you are in the industry and there are other competitors. People are going to survive.
Those who embrace change and who adapt will survive. Let me ask you one question — is there anybody in your entire trade wealthy?
If you say yes, and there will be, then guess what? It is not the industry. It’s not the trade, it’s not the business.
Customers quite often don’t have money. You have been speaking to a customer who has been affected by the economy, who has been affected and says they cannot afford your products or services so what do you do?
So you change your approach.
Provide a Solution Not a Sale
Firstly — sales should not be thought of as sales, even though that is what it actually is. But the way you should be thinking is that you are not selling something to someone, but that you are providing a solution to someone’s problem.
You are scratching their itch. They have a need for something and you have the answer. You just have to show them the value of your solution to their problem.
Then they will want it. They will ask for it. They will come to you asking for it. So getting that mindset, that thought process going is very very important.
So don’t annoy people. Don’t go phoning them up, asking for their orders when they don’t want to place an order.
Don’t think it’s all about relationships either, although sometimes that helps.
I recently reviewed a book called the Challenger Sale. The author did a huge study of the top performing sales people. They found the top 5 personalities and the top one was the challenger.
No matter what they market, they far outperformed every other sector. They didn’t go about selling things, they found solutions for people.
The way that they worded it, they way that they offered a solution for that customer is that they saved them money.
Now, this is very important because, you want to give them what you want them to have. The customer at this point is only interested in themselves. But they have problems and that is where you come in.
You have to offer them things that will take care of their problems from their point of view.
In a downward economy, the main thing on their mind is money. They need to save money. They need to cut costs. They don’t need to spend more money. They need to save.
Show Them Why Yours is Better
Of course, it is your job to show them that investing and spending their money on your solution will help them save.
And there is always a way to show them and tell them that there is a way to save them money. Don’t tell them that this will happen in the next 10-20 years or long term. They are looking for something that can help them now.
There is a way to show them that they can save money now by doing this, then they won’t have to do that.
Now this will be different in every industry.
For example, in my business, the fire protection industry, everyone needs a fire extinguisher. They can buy them anywhere, and they pretty much all do the same job.
Some of those will last for 10-20 years and they will need to be serviced every 5 years or so. If we can show our customer how much it is going to cost in the long run, then we can show them why our fire extinguisher is the better investment.
Our maintenance costs are pretty high, however, that price includes all possible maintenance scenarios that could ever happen.
Then we show them what it would cost them in real life if they bought a much cheaper version of what we offer them, and in the long run, it costs them so much more money.
From that point, our customer is happy and will buy that because we offer them exactly what they want.
It’s not selling. You are helping your client save money. Remember that when times were bad, they have bought your products, they have purchased your services.
Isn’t it time that if they are suffering, that you help them? How about putting yourself out for when they are supporting community events, and they can no longer afford to? Why not chip in and help with that?
Add extras and do the other things that other companies will not do. This will help you to become the defacto supplier.
Yes — this can be done so take some time and think about it. Give it from the customers point of view. Remember — you are the customer sometimes if you are buying something.
You don’t want to be sold to. You want to buy something you need and that will save you money — and it only has to be worded in a way like that.
Monday Book Recommendation
The book is called Zero to One and the premise of this book is if you want to grow a large business and do something that is already done and doing it better, it just takes it from one to end.
You are adding more of something familiar.
So — what he says though is you should do something new, so you go from zero to one. For example, he explains that the next Bill Gates does not need to build an operating system.
Try to think in other industries, in other things. What can you bring that has not been done before? Now, we are just simple folk, but think of how you can do something in your industry that has not been done before.
Make that difference and you can corner the market. It is the 21st century. It can be done. The old established businesses cannot change, but you can.