The Sales Culture of Over-Achievement With Marty Clarke

By Nathan Denny and Scott Axelrod

Sales Session Recap: SME Series Session: Sales Culture of Over Achievement with Marty Clarke

ISSUE #1

When defining my company’s marketing model, what are best practices for focusing in on my value proposition and identifying new revenue sources?

1.  Re-stated Issue:

My business employs specialists to diagnose patients / customers. We also want to pitch our products to those customers. How can this be done in a way that doesn’t seem pushy, or a conflict of interest? We want to preserve a positive atmosphere that encourages people to buy, and buy more frequently, without feeling entrapped by our process.

2.  Why It’s Important

  • Estimated financial value: $100,000
  • A sales-only focus runs the risk of coming off as too pushy. Nevertheless, sales / revenue / profit goals must be met.
  • “The ultimate survival of my business depends upon how we respond to this changing demand in the market.”

3.  Clarifying Questions (Background/Understanding)

  • How much of your revenue stream is selling, and how much is consultation?
  • What if you did not act as a consultant? Would you lose business?
  • How do you rate employees on sharing the value proposition?
  • Are there service enhancements you could offer to generate new revenue that sidestep the issue of over-selling the customer?

4.  Suggestions (Solutions)

  • Split the business into sections and have a marketing plan for each.
  • Visit three or four successful competitors. Get a feel for how they tackle these challenges.
  • Offer exclusive benefits like VIP memberships and trade-in programs to encourage return business.
  • Make sure your employees are asking the right questions, and identifying the real needs and values of the customers.
  • Showcase some of your products to entice customers to ask YOU about them.

5.  Action Plan

The CEO is taking specific steps as recommended and discussed in the session, including immediate commitments to:

  • Revisit what happens during a customers’ first five minutes in the door;
  • Visit competitors;
  • Initiate a VIP program; and
  • Redesign the office to showcase items.

ISSUE #2

How can I better present my services so my customers can pre-select according to their needs?

1.  Re-stated Issue:

How can my company give potential customers the basic information they need to qualify themselves, without scaring them away? Is it possible to change the customer’s way of thinking about what they’re looking for, so they might be willing to spend more?

2.  Why It’s Important

  • Estimated financial value: $2,000

3.  Clarifying Questions (Background/Understanding)

  • The CEO is looking to reduce time spent putting together proposals that are unlikely to be accepted.
  • Declining sales have made the company’s margins unprofitable in most situations that had previously been profitable.
  • Since the business is event-based, it may be possible to stave off this problem by proactively contacting venues with various options for budgeting in advance.

4.  Suggestions (Solutions)

  • Create some online documentation or a web interface for customers to weed themselves out.
  • Define a typical customer and how they pay you. Define who it is you want to weed out.
  • How are you defining customers, and the longevity of customers?
  • Can you use contractors to save on travel costs?
  • Can you create packages that bring your discussion/negotiation time down?
  • Don’t be afraid to turn down a customer!

5.  Action Plan

And … action! After today’s session, this CEO has committed to:

  • Splitting up inquiry forms so customers can more effectively pre-qualify / disqualify themselves (to be accomplished by the end of the month).
  • Identifying ideal project stats.
  • Compiling a list of local guys to recommend.

Session date: Apr 10, 2012
Originally published: Apr 17, 2012

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