Posts Tagged sales techiques

How much are you prepared to do for free to win a piece of work?

All businesses whether new or well-established encounter quiet periods where it can be difficult to secure work and at times will consider incentives to encourage sales.

However, cashflow must always remain a prominent consideration and should influence the degree to which you are prepared to provide work without charge.

Businesses need to consider each client on an individual basis to establish whether you should do some work for free or not.

When you’re making a presentation to a client you need to factor in the cost burden within the presentation and make your expectations clear.

It’s all about business respect and if the potential client respects you they will expect to be charged for something or at the very least for third party costs.

Only spend a limited amount of time on work that you’re not being paid for and don’t get too involved in giving too much away.

Say you will create an invoice, but if you are successful at winning the piece of work you can credit the initial work as a gesture of goodwill.

Remember always in business: Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity but cash is reality.

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Techniques to control sales staff and make them accountable

Sales staff are a necessary component to all businesses and can influence whether your
business succeeds or fails.

If you’re considering taking on additional sales staff to help push your products or
services, there are important factors to bear in mind to ensure they bring value to your business.

When looking for sales staff, it’s important not to recruit in your own image. This
basically means employ people who use a different way of doing things and a different approach, so that they can complement your business offering.

It’s a good idea to use a professional recruiter to find sales staff because they can sift
through the good, bad and mediocre candidates more skilfully and effectively than you can and bring quality people to the table.

Many business owners simply think to themselves ‘this person’s in sales, I’ll try them out’ which can be an expensive process if it repeatedly fails. We should never take on people just because they have come to us with a sales background, it’s worth spending time and money on getting the right people in the first place and maximising your chance of success.

In any sales department, there needs to be a strong reporting infrastructure so the managing director fully understands what the sales staff are doing on a daily basis.
Sales should be about going and getting sales and maximising the opportunity, once you have got past the gatekeeper.

Owners of businesses should ask themselves when they last spent a day with their sales
force making calls. It’s impossible to set sales targets if you don’t understand the issues they are up against.

Overall you need to be more hands on and create realistic targets which people can achieve – so they are motivated.

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Discussion summary from our March events

          Selecting personnel who will make you a profit and not just provide a service.
          Techniques to close a sales order after finding the buyers ‘pain’ and real reason for purchase.
          Creating a business organisation that knows how to sell.
          Our changing approach to marketing and communication in the current climate (spend and tactics).
          How social media can be part of your business and customer development.
          Group feedback with regard to this years salary reviews.
          Systemizing your business to make it scaleable and attractive to a purchaser.

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Discussion summary from our February events

This months meetings went really well.   The main issues across several discussion groups included:-

How to be good at time management. – The need to prioritise important tasks without emails taking you off track.
How to incentivise senior employees without giving them a share of your business.  – The advantages of an EMI scheme as opposed to a Long Term Incentive plan.
How and when to begin finding a replacement business partner in readiness for their retirement.
How to get bigger customers.
How to deal with an important member of staff who continually plays the system.
The merits of a full time financial controller, or an outsourced function, or a part time senior strategic financial director. – The pros and cons.

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Salary Reviews, Are you paying out too much?

We discussed the subject of salaries at a recent Business Exposure Group meeting and received some interesting feedback…
There were numerous responses from what was a very good cross-section of both traditional and service-led business owners.

Here are some of the comments…

“Salaries should match inflation”
“No salary increases, but bonuses would be better”
“We can’t give pay rises this year because of business uncertainty”
“I only give a wage increase if someone asks”
“Increases cannot be across the board, but we’ll look at specific individuals”
“The market is dictating a 10% increase”

Please let us know your opinion.What answers are you giving your staff at the moment?

How is that affecting your recruitment programme?

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Discussion summary from our January events

We now have 9 Business Exposure Group forums in Leeds, Wetherby, Manchester, Sheffield and Bradford.

This month’s January meeting went really well and the issues across several discussion groups included:-

  • How to make your business offering in 2011 stand out.
  • What techniques are we using to get past the” gatekeeper “and arrange meetings with new prospects.
  • How to offer discounts running alongside normal trading terms, without down- valuing your core business.
  • How to make your staff feel passionate about your customer service.
  • The value/cost of a pay per click campaign.
  • Business opportunities arising because of the recession and how to finance them.

The high value of the group advice was commented on by many of the members.

The dynamic within each of the groups is maturing well.

The next meeting of the Manchester Premier Business Forum will be on Tuesday 1st March at 1.30pm, at the Forsyth Centre, The Triangle. Exchange Square. Manchester.

Please let us know if you may be interested in being invited to one of our groups by emailing philipdrazen@bxgroup.co.uk

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