If you are a business or a sales professional, the key to your success is your client base. Your clients are the bloodline to your financial health and the reason for your existence. Let’s be clear, you have no business having a business if you have no love for your clients.
1. Know your industry.
Your clients will not be clients for long if you do not understand them. A sales professional without product knowledge is like a soldier without bullets.
2. Understand your product or service.
Having an intimate knowledge of what you have to offer will allow you to define the target audience that you need to be talking to.
3. Define your target audience.
In other words, you need to understand who you want to talk to. If you sell dresses, you do not want to talk to restaurant owners. (Unless you want to sell them a dress for their wives or mothers.) We want to be talking to clothing store owners.
4. Define your agents of influence.
Agents of influence are individuals that can help you obtain a client, but will never be your clients. An example would be someone that works as a teacher in a school, and you sell school uniforms.
5. Define your watering hole.
Clients are like the animals in the wild. They all have a favorite watering hole. If you hunt for deer and you place yourself near the watering hole where they go to drink, you will kill all the deer in the place. People in the same industry behave the same way. They like the comfort of being with people that understand them. The teacher (the agent of influence example we talked about above) will go to conferences or conventions or read the same periodicals as other teachers.
6. Create a marketing plan.
Let’s be clear, marketing will not make you money. But without marketing, there are no sales and you depend on sales to make money. A marketing plan must have a defined reach. Make sure the marketing plan takes the watering hole into consideration.
7. Know your client.
The more you know the prospective client, the bigger the chance of the prospect becoming a client. Bottom line, the prospect is going to be approached by people that offer your same service and have your same knowledge. Clients want to do business with people they like. So find the affinity and you will find your sale.
8. Realize the 60 seconds counts.
60 seconds will determine if you have a client or a 0 in your commission check. You have secure deal down in the first 60 seconds. The prospect will decide in those 60 seconds whether or not they like you. Make sure that you’re clean, well groomed, and professional. If they like you they will give you the time you need, and you will be able to show them why you are the best thing since the Coca-Cola was invented.
9. Secure the deal.
You did it! You got the client. Don’t relax yet, the job is not completed. Now the real work starts. Make sure that you keep the client. Believe it or not, large corporations spend 85% of their marketing dollars looking for new clients, and those clients only account for 17% of sales. The client is yours now, love him/her, nurture and protect them and they will reward you with their loyalty.
10. Create a referral program.
Remember the watering hole? Your client hangs around with the other client. He/she is a fountain of fresh clients. He/she will open the door for you and will become your marketing department.