In the last issue, I mentioned that one key metric not on your financial statements is the percentage of proactive (vs. reactive) sales in your company.
Thanks to Dean for raising this issue. Thanks to Oriol for his permission to use the 20 ideas list in this newsletter.
Here is the definition:
Proactive sales percentage is simply the amount of sales sold proactively by calling customers vs. total sales for the day of all methods, including reactive customer order taking.
In summary, proactive selling requires effort.
Which of these 20 actions can you do today? This week?
- Pick up the phone and call your client, prospect, former client, referral source, accountant, banker, lawyer, consultant, financial planner, insurance broker, and tell them you can help people with X, Y, and Z. Let’s call these people your business associates.
For example, I help mid-market companies to quickly achieve measurable results in three areas: accelerating profitable growth, attracting financing to fund growth, and developing and implementing succession plans that create and protect business wealth.
- Act like a consultant: Share key industry insights and information that your prospect may not have and can use to increase their success.
- Next time you are at the… chiropractor, doctor, massage therapist, mechanic, favorite restaurant, in-laws, and let’s not forget one of the most connected people in your network, your dentist, mention what you do, how you help people, who your ideal clients are, and how they can refer people to you. Let’s call these people your personal network.
- A powerful marketing strategy from my friend and marketing guru Chad: call your business associates and share an idea (or three) that will help them in their business.
- Give to get.
- Don’t sell; help.
- Focus on your business associate’s agenda, not yours.
- Take people to lunch and strengthen relationships.
- Explain—with stories—why working with you is a great choice and how it reduces their risk.
For example, most of my clients typically receive a 300% to 400% measurable ROI on my services in our first year of working together.
- Host a free seminar that educates your business associates about your value.
- At any meeting, tell stories about your experiences so the prospect can see how you can help them. It might be obvious to you but it’s not obvious to them.
- Share new intellectual property such as reports or frameworks that they can apply in their business.
- Hold an event and have your successful clients sit on a panel and share their experiences.
- Communicate regularly via email, newsletters, or social media with special offers that are relevant to your business associates.
- Provide value for time when meeting with senior buyers. They’re busy. They don’t want to be sold.
- More on senior buyers: They want someone who can challenge their thinking and provide fresh ideas and perspectives.
- Share key industry insights and benchmarks proactively and offer to analyze your business associate within the framework.
- Send a relevant article or book to your business associate with a note that “Chapter Four reminded me of an idea for your business” and then schedule a follow up call or meeting to discuss. That’s two proactive ideas in one.
- Call on your former clients and customers to get caught up and give them a special offer for something that will help them achieve their goals faster.
- Call your best clients today to thank them for their business and offer them something of value for free to strengthen the relationship.
Please share how you increase proactive sales in your business.
Figure 50.1: How to increase proactive sales.
As Woody Allen famously said, “80% of success is showing up.”