The Brevet Group published 21 Mind-Blowing Statistics that challenged the ‘unknown’ and much-quoted National Sales Executive Association figures (pictured)
Have a look at the insights this data provides…..IT’S SALES GOLD!
- 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone.
- It takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect
- The best time to cold call is between 4:00 and 5:00 PM
- 30-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first
- 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting.
- 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up.
- Thursday is the best day to prospect. Wednesday is the second-best day
- Nearly 13% of all the jobs in the U.S. (1 in 8) are full-time sales positions.
- Over one trillion dollars (that’s nine zeros) are spent annually on sales forces.
- In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions
- 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers.
- Email is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter.
- Salespeople who actively seek out and exploit referrals earn 4 to 5 times more than those who don’t
- 91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals.
- Only 13% of customers believe a sales person can understand their needs.
- 55% of the people making their living in sales don’t have the right skills to be successful
- Continuous training gives 50% higher net sales per employee.
- The average company spends $10K – $15K hiring an individual and only $2K a year in sales training.
- It takes 10 months or more for a new sales rep to be fully productive
- Retaining current customers is 6 to 7 times less costly than acquiring new ones.
- The average company loses between 10% and 30% of its customers each year.
- After a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories. Only 5% remember statistics
The data tells a story. Get busy and exploit the gaps in the trends
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There are 5 big mistakes you can do that will kill a deal with a big fish. They are:
- Not meeting the client’s expectations
- Mishandling a client crisis
- Taking on more than you can handle
- Putting all your eggs in one basket
- Up cash creek without a paddle
Any one or a combination of these can not only kill the partnership, but have the ability to take down your company as well. We’re going to take a bit of time to talk about each one of these, in this lesson we’ll cover the first two.
Not Meeting Client’s Expectations
It’s essential you give your client’s exactly what you promised during the negotiation portion of your relationship. If an event does happen where there is no way to meet the client’s expectations, not only do you have to find a way to fix the situation, but you also have to find out where it all went wrong.
A couple of things could have contributed to this problem:
- Bad salesmanship. This could mean the salesperson was trying too hard to seal the deal and didn’t listen to the client’s needs.
- Lack of communication. This breakdown occurs between the salesperson and your operations department.
In order to avoid these mistakes, you need to put a clear plan of action into place that all of your sales staff needs to follow:
- Think before you speak.
- Give yourself a break.
- Perfect your process.
- Pre-format over-deliverables.
- Stay hands-on throughout the entire process.
- Define success.
Mishandling a Client Crisis
Crisis’ will happen, but how you respond and fix them will define your company and interaction with your clients’. You need to respond quickly and effectively. This will help you gain even more trust and confidence from your client.
Some simple tips can help you deal with any client crisis:
- Take responsibility and apologize no matter who is at fault.
- Act swiftly and effectively.
- Step in and take control of the situation.
- Never point fingers or place blame.
- Stay in constant communication with your client.
- Stay calm throughout the situation.
- Keep your eye on the ball.
Now, that you know the top two mistakes you can make to kill a big fish deal, you’ll know better how to avoid making these mistakes in the first place and know how to put a plan of action into place in case of a crisis.
If you need help with any of this, try our GUIDED TOUR to get all the help you could ever need.
Next time we’ll talk about the 3rd and 4th killer mistake you can make in working with big fish clients.
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Three areas are critical to having a good business ecosystem – no surprises here!
Firstly, Operational Excellence – Have smooth and effective operations that look for continual improvement. Have a system to do this as it provides a standard, structure, certainty, and allows replication and scaling. Documenting and measure your process, systems, Quality Control, Scope of Works, Organization chart, training systems.
Secondly, Customer Relations – Have good communication and feedback with customers. Nurture them. Follow up and report to customers where appropriate. What upsell, cross-sell, and down-sell can you offer. Repeat business = profit. Retention is cheaper than new client acquisition.
Thirdly, Financial Management – Money is made in business through Sales, Marketing, and cost control. The rest is cost-based. Know your costs, break-even points, and margins and what revenue is need to meet and exceed these. Consider your billable and non-billable staff. Know your overhead, tax, insurance, and HR costs. Reconcile weekly to avoid nasty shocks at months end. Watch your outstanding invoices and, encourage early payment.
Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!
Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.
Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:
- Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
- Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
- Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
- Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.
There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:
- Quality product/service
- Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
- Offer subjects your customers find interesting
Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.
Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!
As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”
So, there it is! Remember, our FREE test drive can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay offer many-fold.