Strategic Marketing™ – Part III

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In part one of this article we discussed the seven organizational
resources that are critical to optimize, and three questions you
must answer in any prospects mind if you are to successfully
market and sell your product or service.

In part two we talked about the four groups you should consider
marketing to. Now we need to look at The Four Phases To
Marketing Success.

There are four specific phases that you can incorporate in your
marketing program.

1. Generate, identify and acquire prospects

If you are to fill your pipeline with possible prospects and
potential sales, you will need to gain as many qualified
prospects as possible, and that you can realistically work with.
This is considered the starting point of marketing programs for
new companies, or companies that need to grow their client base.

Advertising is a common way to gather prospects. Many companies
fall in to the trap of institutional advertising. Institutional
advertising has no immediate proposition, no call to action, and
does not deliver measurable results. This type of advertising
may work for a bank or for McDonalds, but it is expensive and
does not usually yield anywhere near acceptable returns for the
businesses I work with.

Direct response advertising does offer a specific proposition
that causes the audience to respond now and ultimately generates
profits that justify that form of advertising. It is measurable
and you get immediate results. Direct response advertising is
profitable (at least it should be), and you should be able to
justify your advertising based on the profits you generate.

I teach clients four or five excellent ways of generating
prospects. You should have several in your arsenal as well,.
Then you will have a consistent flow of new prospects to work

2. Convert Prospects into Clients

Some organizations are great at generating prospects. They have
hundreds or even thousands of new prospects a week. But, they
are relatively weak at converting those prospects in to clients.

It is a waste of money to just create prospects. If you are not
converting your prospects at an acceptable rate, then you are
wasting advertising dollars.

One of the best ways to convert a prospect is with “Risk
Removal.” Clients have to feel comfortable parting with their
money. They must feel at least as comfortable with your product
or service as they do with their hard earned dollars in their

You can remove risk one of two ways. The first is that you can
reverse the risk through a great warranty. Maybe you offer a
money back guarantee or you guarantee that your price is the
lowest. You could guarantee a specific level of service. All of
these types of guarantees gives your prospects a sense of
comfort, and increases their willingness to invest in you.

Secondly, you can also share the risk. One on my clients has
thousands of letters from his clients saying how great his
company is and how the price and service is superior to everyone
else they considered before making the purchase.

When prospective clients see and read these letters, they are put
at ease and the sale is much easier to make.

3. Make Every Sale More Profitable.

Why make a $500.00 sale when you could turn it into a $750.00
sale? “Up selling” is a very important part of growing your
business. McDonalds does this with their “Super Size” package.
They used to ask you if you wanted an apple pie with your order.
If you sell cellular phones, you could add on a leather case, an
extra charger, or extended warranty. Get the idea?

For all of your major products and services you should have
pre-created products and services that you can add on after the
client makes the purchasing decision. The initial choice to buy
is the toughest for your client. Once they make this choice it
will be relatively easy to decide to add additional value to
their purchase with one of your add-on items.

Other ways to increase the size of your order are with unique
services and exclusive products. Create three ways that you can
increase the size of your sale and start using them right away!

4. Make Every Client More Valuable Over Time

Since selling to existing clients is the easiest and fastest way
to increase your business, this is the first phase that an
established business should look at if they are to strategically
grow their business.

Know your clients needs. If they invest in one product, are they
likely to need another similar product or service? Can you make
a special offer to existing clients to see an immediate boost in
sales? Maybe you could form a joint venture with another
business that could sell your clients services. Inserts and
coupons to existing clients work wonders in many industries.

Manage your relationships with your current clients and look for
ways to deliver more value to them. This will lead to a growth
in business and profits.

Look over all four of these areas. Where are you the strongest?
Which area might you be weak in? As you look to build your
business, you may choose to focus on one or two areas. If you
are a new organization you will be looking to create more
prospects. If you have been in business for a while, then making
every customer more valuable over time is critical.

Ultimately you should excel in all four phases as you look to
Build a Better Biz.

Strategic Marketing™ – Part II

Sam Silverstein Articles 0 Comments

In part one of this article we discussed the seven organizational
resources that are critical to optimize and three questions you
must answer in any prospects mind if you are to successfully
market and sell your product or service.

With that information in hand, it is not time to look at whom you
should be marketing to.

There are four groups to consider marketing to.

– The Universe
– Target Market
– Prospects
– Clients

The “Universe” is everyone outside of your immediate presence.
If you sold life insurance then the “Universe” would literally be
all the people in your country, state, or city.

“Target Market” is those people who meet a specific set of
criteria. They are the best fit for your offer. You can define
your target market in terms of demographics, needs, experience
based on your current customers, or an industry segment that you
wish to penetrate.

“Prospects” are those people out of your target market that have
responded to one or more of your marketing efforts and have shown
some interest.

“Clients” are those people who have used your products or
services in the past.

It is very common for business professionals to see the greater
numbers in “The Universe” and try and market to them. The
reality is that it is much easier, more cost effective, and you
will get better results if you try to be a big fish in a small
pond then a small fish in a big ocean.

Most companies do not have unlimited marketing budgets. Since it
takes nine marketing impressions to move someone to buy, and the
average person misses two out of every three marketing attempts,
you need twenty-seven marketing attempts to get those nine
impressions. That is a very costly proposition in a large pool
of people.

I have worked with companies that have been “land locked” by
franchise agreements. They operated in a small town of 24,000
people and could not market in other towns only 40 minutes away.
At first this concerned them, but they realized that now they
could focus on the “pond” instead of the “ocean.” In their
industry no one made a buying decision in their city without
giving them a chance at the business. Over the course of a few
years they had built up a very enviable marketing position.

First and foremost, market to your clients. They already have
shown that they trust and like you. It is always easier to go
back and sell an additional product or service to an existing
client. These sales will be the greatest in size and the highest
profit. You will spend less time generating more dollars then in
any other market segment.

After you exhaust your marketing efforts with your clients then
look to your prospects. They make the next most logical and
effective market segment to penetrate.

After you exhaust your prospects you will need to think about
working your target market. The better defined your target
market is, the more productive your efforts here will be. Look
at your existing clients. What do they have in common? Can you
categorize them by any common characteristics? Do they have
similar incomes, marital status, or family size?

Once you specifically know what your target market is, or your
“best fit” client, you can then begin to communicate with that
market in order to generate prospects.

You should probably never even think about marketing to the
universe. If you are a bank or McDonalds Hamburgers, then maybe
the universe is a viable market. But for the rest of us we just
do not have the resources to justify that kind of decision.

The next step in marketing is to look at “The Four Phases To
Marketing Success.” We will do that in our next issue. In the
meantime look at your business history. Spend some time today
carefully defining your target market. You will need that
information as we move forward.

Great marketing can help you achieve great results. Work with
these principles, and you will be on the road to Building a
Better Biz!

Strategic Marketing™ – Part I

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Sales are often referred to as the lifeblood of an organization. But, it is impossible to have an effective sales program without a corresponding and effective marketing initiative. Most organizations just start trying things in the hopes that one will generate some leads and resulting sales. Like all facets of your business, you should take a strategic approach. You should have an elaborate and systematic plan of action.

I begin by defining marketing as everything that happens before and after the sale to identify, acquire, magnify, and keep customers. In other words, any activity your company is involved in outside of the moment that the sale is made can be linked to your marketing efforts.

How your receptionist answers the phone will impact your clients, and also affect your marketing program. If the janitor does a good job, your place of business will look great and have a positive impact on your marketing efforts. The manner in which you bill your clients will resonate with them and contribute to your marketing efforts.

If all of these activities are involved in marketing then what does that say about all of the people in your organization? Right! They are all part of the marketing effort. They should be aware of this. They should also be consulted as to how they can best interact your prospects and clients.

Strategic Marketing involves the creative application or organizational resources designed to produce dynamic marketing results. Your organizational resources are valuable assets that when leveraged properly help you reach your goals. The resources you should focus on are:

– Money
– People
– Information
– Fixed Assets
– Technology
– Clients

“Money” is the funds you have in the bank. These are dollars that you can invest to work for you. Anyone can spend more money in an effort to generate a greater marketing impact. A great Strategic Marketer works to use their money wisely.

“People” refers to your team. The people you work with can have a tremendous impact on your success. Most highly successful business people I know attribute their success to the outstanding people they work with.

“Information” refers to product and industry knowledge that you have. I have a marketing philosophy that says, “It’s not what you know that counts, it’s what you help your prospects and clients know that will determine your marketing success.” We will discuss this in more detail later in this article.

“Fixed Assets” are your phone system, your fax machine, your computers, and anything else that you have invested in that is at your disposal. Many companies let their fixed assets only be used for one thing or let them sit idle much of the day. There are some great ideas for leveraging your fixed assets that we will discuss.

“Technology” refers to the technology that is available to you. Some of this technology you may already be taking advantage of, some may be available but you have not taken the time to learn or invested the money to own.

“Clients” are simply those people or organizations who have bought from you before. This includes those currently using your services and those who have in the past but for one reason or another have stopped.

The goal of strategic marketing is to produce greater results from your current resources.

To market any product or service you must be able to answer these three questions for your prospect:

1. Why should I buy?
2. Why should I buy from you?
3. Why should I buy now?

People buy to satisfy a need. It is that straight forward. Look at all of your clients and ask yourself why they bought and the answer is because they had a need. Maybe they needed to be more secure. Maybe they needed to be more comfortable. Maybe they needed to be better equipped. Any way you slice it it always comes down to need fulfillment.

It is important to understand that the need can be real or it can be imagined. Think of a football quarterback going into his local Mercedes Benz car dealer. The sales person walks over and asks which model the quarterback is interested in. The quarterback is looking at the E320. “Very nice automobile,” says the sales associate. “You’re the quarterback of the football team aren’t you?” she confirms. “You know,” she continues, “Last week two of your teammates were in and they invested in new automobiles. They each bought a shinny silver E320. You’re the quarterback. They block for you don’t they? They’re the ones down in the mud? You are the leader of the team. You really deserve the SL600.”

The quarterback could drive to work in a Hyundai. The need for a Mercedes may be real or it may be imagined. It really doesn’t matter as long as you help illustrate the need and make the sale.

It is your job to make sure that your clients all realize they have needs. If you do this then the only logical next step is to fill that need, or sell your products and services!

Clients buy from you for several good reasons. Below is a list of these reasons:


One of them, price, can be misleading. Some people buy from the lowest price supplier. Some people buy from the highest price supplier. And, some people like to do business with someone in the middle. You have to decide where you fit in.

Your goal is to give your clients as many reasons as possible to do business with you.

Clients should be encouraged to buy now. Your time is valuable, and so is theirs. If they do not buy from you now they could end up buying from someone else or their needs could change or disappear. The proper use of sales and incentives will help you make the sale now.

In Part II of Strategic marketing we will look at who do you market to and the four phases to marketing success. Understanding the importance of your Memorable Marketing Message will be important as we move forward. Work on developing as many reasons as possible for someone to do business with you, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!

Sales Lessons From A Mentor

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Over the years I’ve been blessed to have worked with some great sales professionals. I looked at these older and more experienced sales pros as my personal mentors. They taught me a lot, and they really made a big difference in my ability to build my businesses.

One such pro, Mike, taught me three critical lessons. I want to share those with you today.

1. If you’re not in front of a prospect or customer you are unemployed.

The bottom line is that if you are in your car, or behind your desk, or at the lunch counter, you are out of business. If you depend on selling something to make a living or build your business, and you want to consider yourself employed, then you have to be in front of someone who has the potential to buy.

Over time, great sales professionals realize that they are in the people business. They are in the business or serving people and helping them achieve their personal or professional goals.

You can’t serve people, and you can’t close sales unless you are in front of prospects. You may sell your products face-to-face, or you may sell over the phone. Either way you must be in front of someone or have someone on the phone if you are to have a chance to make a sale.

The key point is not only to be in front of people, but to find a way to increase the amount of time during the day you are in a selling situation. Here are three ways you can do that:

— Manage your time carefully. Certain hours of the day are best for face-to-face or phone sales. The hours may be different for each of these as well as for different industries. What are the best hours in your industry? Schedule your day so that you do your paperwork and other non-revenue generating activities during the hours that you are least likely to be able to put yourself in front of a prospect or repeat customer.

— Evaluate all of the activities that you participate in during the day. Which ones could be delegated to an assistant? Which activities can you do after hours or on the weekend? Which activities are wasting your time? Now fill your day with activities that will put you in front of buyers.

— Stretch your day. Find organizations and activities that meet early, before the normal work day or in the evening. These specific networking opportunities extend the traditional work day and give you more productive time. If you can meet an extra two people a day, that will turn into ten people a week and five hundred people a year! Just think of what that will do to your sales productivity.

2. If you don’t ask for the order, you are just practicing and you are doing yourself and/or your employer a disservice.

Many sales people just don’t like to or don’t think to ask the final buying question. If you are in sales then you have to ask someone to buy. If you don’t, then you do not have a career, you have a hobby.

Your company pays you to ask for the order. If you own your own company then you should already know this.

The bottom line is this; it’s your job to sell. It’s your customer’s job to buy. If you are not asking for the order then you are not doing your job. Simple?

When you do ask for the order, remember to remain silent until your customer speaks. If you speak first, you will relieve the buying pressure and probably lose the sale. If they don’t want your product or service, trust me, they will tell you.

3. Sell the sizzle not the steak.

I know we’ve all heard this before, but it is well worth talking about. People are looking for the excitement. They want what’s special, different, and unique. People buy emotionally and justify the purchase after the fact rationally.

If emotion is a big part of the buying process, then the “sizzle” or emotion arousing characteristics of your product or service is what will attract the customer and help make the sale.

Let’s go further then the sizzle though. People don’t just buy features. They buy the benefits they will receive after they own the product or service. So with every feature you offer, each sizzle must have a related benefit for your prospect or customer.

What is exciting about your product or service? You must be able to answer this question. Maybe there is something different or unique. Maybe you have features that set you apart.

— Here is an exercise that will make you a pro at selling the sizzle and making it relevant for your customer.

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side of the paper list every feature of your product or service. It does not matter if your competition has some of these same features because they are most likely not talking about them.

No matter how minor you may think the feature is, put it on the list.

Now on the right side of the sheet list at least one benefit your customer receives from each feature. If you can list two or three, then do it!

If your product comes in red or blue and you sell 98% blue you may not think that the fact it comes in red is important. Here’s how it works. The resulting benefit of these two colors is that your customer has a choice. If they change their mind before delivery they can get the other color. Maybe your competition does not offer the two colors. Get it?

Remember, it is not a feature or a benefit if only you know it. Tell your customers everything!

Even minor features can have real benefits. And, since I know your competition is not going into the detail that you will, unless of course I’ve trained them myself, you will gain a tremendous sales advantage.

Use this exercise alone or with members of your mastermind group. Develop sizzle. Turn all of your features into benefits that will compel your customers to buy, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!

Are You Easy To Do Business With?

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Recently I had a speech for a large home-builder. It was an annual meeting, and they wanted to send their management team off with a bang. I arrived at the Westin Hotel and was greeted warmly at the front door. The doorman escorted me to the room that I would be speaking in and made sure that all of my things arrived properly.

Once in the meeting room, Mike, the hotel manager in charge of the event greeted me. He asked if he could be of service. There were a few things missing and he said that they would be taken care of immediately. I asked if we could have an extra table off to the side for props and he said, “This is the Westin. Everything is possible.”

When the table arrived Mike asked me where I would like it. I asked if a particular spot would be in the way and he responded, “Nothing is in the way. We work around you.”

Mike was there to serve me. He wanted my experience to be exceptional. He wanted me to know that working with him and his hotel would be different from any other hotel experience I’ve ever had. It was.

Are you easy to do business with, or do your customers have to “work” at doing business with you and your organization? This may be the one single determining factor in whether or not you get the business. Below are the steps you need to take to become an incredibly easy person to do business with.

It is important to fully understand what you client goes through in doing business with you.

Build a short list of some of your clients. The list should have old clients, new clients, and medium term clients. It is important to get a cross section of length of service for accurate data.

Create a survey to distribute to your list of clients. Your survey should ask questions like the following:

Why did you initially choose to do business with us?
What is the best part about our process of doing business?
What is the worst part about our process of doing business?
If you could wave a magic wand, and, we as your supplier could offer any service or convenience, what would that be?
What would another supplier need to do to be able to “entice” you away from us?
If you were in charge of this company what would you do to best take care of your customers?
What prompted you to change suppliers the last time you did so?
Would you recommend us to your friends?
More importantly, DO you recommend us to your friends?

With the results of your survey, start thinking of what you can do to make doing business with you and your organization a treat, and not a terror. How can you be different? How can you improve? Do all the steps involved in doing business with you make sense? Do they add value to the relationship? Would you do business with you? (Tough question, but you have to ask and answer it!)

Products and services are abundant. Suppliers are everywhere. Just pick up the newspaper, the Yellow Pages, the phone, or open up your Internet browser. Create an experience of doing business that can’t be replicated, and serve your clients as if they were golden; because they are, and then you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!

Three Questions You Must Answer To Make The Sale

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Ultimately, if you are going to sell any product or service, there are three questions you must answer in your prospect’s mind. This is true whether you are selling face-to-face or running a display ad. No sale has ever been made without these questions being answered either directly or indirectly.

The first question is: Why should I buy?

This question is all about need. It is the sales professional’s responsibility to illustrate need to the prospect. You cannot wait for the prospect to realize that they need your product or service. You are the expert. You fully understand the benefits of your product and the needs and pains that your product or service addresses. Many times, someone just doesn’t understand his or her needs fully.

Perhaps you sell a product that will reduce someone’s cost or overhead. If the prospect doesn’t realize how high their costs are, or that there is a way of reducing them, then they will not know that they need your product. Long-term health insurance is a prime example of this. Many people in their thirties or even forties do not realize how expensive it is to care for an elderly person. They don’t realize the needs they either have or will have in the future. If you are in the business of selling long-term health care insurance it is your right and obligation to help people realize what their needs are.

Another aspect of this is that a need can be real or imagined. Imagined needs could be ego based rather than just on hard facts. Someone who is buying a car to get to work could use a Ford, but they feel that a Mercedes “looks good” on them. The need is imagined. The real need could be filled with any automobile.

The second question is: Why should I buy from you?

Unless you are a total exclusive in your industry, the only source, the only option, you must help your prospect determine that they must indeed do business with you. If you successfully illustrate a need for your prospect, and then are unable to answer this question, they will eventually invest in your product or service, but unfortunately they will use one of your competitors.

Why should someone buy from you? Here is a short checklist of areas you can use to answer this question in your prospects mind.

Expertise – The product and industry knowledge you posses
Bonding – The relationship you build with your prospect
Price – Low price, middle price, or high price – All can be a reason to buy from you
Security – The warranty or guarantee you offer your client
Quality – How your product stacks up against your competition
Solution – Your ability to apply your product’s/service’s benefits to the specific problem your prospect has
Service – The support you offer after the sale
Uniqueness – The way you differentiate yourself from your competition in exclusives and product/service packaging
Value – Overall relationship of what your offer compared to the investment

You must give your prospects as many “whys” to buy from you as possible.

The third question you must answer is: Why should I buy now?

If you have built up the need so that it is great enough in answering the first question, you will be ahead of the game here. Urgency is the biggest reason to buy now. The urgency may be based on need or it may be based on a promotion or sale you currently have running.

Everyone wants to stall making a decision. They are worried about making a bad choice or giving up their value, money. By applying a little urgency to the situation you are helping your prospect deal with the decision instead of procrastinating.

It is easier to deal with a “yes” or a “no” then to have to deal with, “I want to think it over.” Your ability to help your prospect make their decision and move forward is in their best interest as well. Now they can turn their focus to other issues they face and be efficient with their time.

Answer all three questions in your prospects mind, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!

Eliminate Objections and Increase Sales

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You close your sales opportunities 100% of the time when you make a
presentation, right? You don’t? Why not?

It’s a simple question with a simple answer: objections! People don’t buy
because they have objections. If, and only if you can overcome all of a
potential customer’s objections can you then close the sale.

I went to the baseball game last fall. My favorite team, the Cardinals,
were playing the Padres. It was a sold out game, and for the first time in a
very long time I went to the stadium without a ticket in hand. We hoped that
someone out front would be selling some extra tickets.

There were people everywhere. Boy was it crowded! But as expected, there were
several people buying and selling tickets, and the professional ticket scalpers
really stood out.

In addition to having a hand full of tickets, the scalpers had something else
that really caught my attention; a laminated seat diagram of the stadium. Can
you believe that?!

When buying a ticket there are two pieces of information that every buyer wants
to know, the price and the location. You can negotiate price all day long if
you like. The ticket will have a printed price and you can pay more or less
based on desire, availability of seats, and whether the game has started yet or

The major objection that the scalper must deal with is location. If he says
the seat is in a good location, are you going to believe him? Maybe, or maybe

By having a laminated seat diagram of the stadium, the scalper totally removes
this possible objection from the table. You can see where the seats are, and
you can immediately decide if you like them. He is now in a position to make
the sale.

Actually, by eliminating the location objection up front the scalper may be in
a stronger position to get a better price and make the sale.

Are you as prepared to eliminate your prospects objections and make the sale?

Here are three steps to better handling objections and closing the sale:

1. Bring Up The Objection First

If you know an objection comes up a lot, you should bring it up before your
prospect can. This will disarm them of this objection, and if you deal with it
properly it will eliminate the issue altogether.

For example, if you are selling a home and there are power lines nearby you
might talk about the fact that the power lines are on an easement and this
extra land behind the house will provide a buffer creating a quieter and more
enjoyable back yard.

No one is going to miss seeing the power lines back there. Beat the prospect
to the punch, and turn the possible objection into an advantage.

2. Know Your Competition

If you know your competition, then you will also know some of the issues that
your prospect will be thinking about.

Let’s say you sell health insurance, and your price is a little higher than
your main competitor. Your health plan includes some Term Life Insurance and
the competition doesn’t. With this information you are prepared to overcome a
possible price objection.

It is not enough to be well versed on the features and benefits of your
products; you must know your competitor’s features and benefits as well.

3. Know the Main Objections and be Prepared

Most sales professionals hear the same objections over and over. You should
know all of the possible objections that you will hear and have a prepared way
of dealing with each one.

Take the time and do your homework. List all possible ways of dealing with
these objections. My clients that are in a Mastermind Group share possible
solutions among themselves so that they are best prepared to deal with all

There is a difference between an objection and a condition. An objection is
based more on opinion. A condition is a situation that can’t be changed in the
short term. The only condition that should keep you from making the sale is if
your prospect doesn’t have any money or doesn’t have a way to get funds or

Some people see objections as barriers or stalls. You should be able to deal
with any objection that comes your way. Work proactively so that you are
prepared, and you will be on your way to closing more sales and Building A
Better Biz!

Give Them a Chance to Buy

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I recently registered a new URL. (It is for those of you who are curious.) I used to handle the transaction. When I purchased the URL, a screen came up that asked if I would like more information on tools that would add value to my new URL. I had the option of saying yes or saying no.

Right before hitting the final submit button there was a “special customer” offer that made one of their services available at greatly reduced prices. After the transaction was completed I was taken to a thank you screen where another offer appeared. This screen thanked me for the order and offered a special “Thank You” discount of 30% off of select additional services if ordered within the next 30 minutes.

There was no pressure. The offers were real, legitimate, and beneficial to me. I ordered two items and then went about my business. They turned a $9.00 sale into a $39.00 sale. Let’s see, that’s a 435% increase in business.

What did they do? They researched my needs. They knew, based on my original purchase that I probably had additional needs based on their prior experiences with other clients. They made offers to me that were very appealing. They let me choose between several offers. The choice presented to me wasn’t “do you want to buy or not” the question instead was “which items would you like to buy”? They gave me a reason to buy, the discount. And, they gave me a reason to buy now, the 30-minute promotion.

These guys are great at what they do. Are you?

In sales, if you are not in front of a customer, then you are unemployed. And, if you are not asking for the order, you are not doing your job. It’s basic, it’s simple, and these are the facts.

Look at your business. What possible add-ons could you offer to your clients? The first sale is the hardest. After that, you have a relationship with your clients and they will be willing and most likely eager to make additional purchases from you. You are not required to wait a long time before asking for the up-sell or to sell additional services and products.

Do you really know your clients needs? Great organizations know their clients current needs based on past experience, and because they go to the trouble to ask their clients. Don’t think you know everything. Once a year, ask your clients in a formal survey what their needs are, and you will be amazed.

Predict the future and you’ll most certainly be rich. If you know your industry and your clients, then work to understanding what their future needs might be. The better you can anticipate those needs, the better you will be able to beat your competition, take market share, and grow the value of your existing clients.

Know what your clients and potential clients need and desire, work to filling those needs, and ask for the order — you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz.

Synergistic Sales Growth™

Sam Silverstein Articles 1 Comment

At the beginning of the year, many business professionals set sales goals as a way of building their business.  They might say, “I’m going to increase sales by 10% this year.”  If you want to make significant strides in your business this year I would suggest a different approach.

There are only four ways to increase sales.
1. You can increase the number of clients that you serve.
2. You can increase the average sale per client.
3. You can increase the number of sales or transactions per client per year.
4. You can increase your prices.

Instead of setting a goal to just increase sales, I would like to suggest a focused synergistic approach to your business growth.  Set a goal to increase all of the four areas by 10%.  The difference between these two models is astronomical!

Let’s say for example that your metrics look as follows:

200 clients
$1000.00 average sale per client
1 sale per year per client

Your annual sales would be $200,000.00.  If you increased sales by 10%, that would mean   your sales this year would increase by $20,000.00 for a total of $220,000.00.

Now let’s look at Synergistic Sales Growth (SSG).  Say that you increase each of the three major components listed above by 10%.  Your metrics would look like this:

220 clients
$1100.00 average sale per client
1.1 sales per year per client

This is where it gets exciting!  Your annual sales would be 230 x $1,100.00 x 1.1 or a total of $266,200.00.  That is an increase in sales of $66,200.00!

The SSG approach has you focus on all three components of your sales story.  By not focusing specifically on “sales” but rather the components that make it up, you will be able to create a far greater opportunity to accelerate the growth of your business.

First of all, let’s look at your clients.  You need to continually think about how you can increase the number of clients you serve.  Do you have a good referral program?  Are you prospecting enough?  Are your marketing efforts and investments supporting your growth desires?

Increasing your clients by 10% will allow you to reach the original sales goal you set for yourself in the first example.  But this is only the beginning.  Now analyze the average sale per client.  Are there ways of increasing how much you sell on an average order?  Are there add-on possibilities?

McDonalds asks you if you want fries or an apple pie with your order.  They also ask you if you want to “super size” the order.  Their additional costs are minimal compared to the additional revenues they generate.  Look at your products and services.  What additions can you add on?  What could your client use that would make what they have already invested in even better?

If you track how many times a year your clients make a purchase, (and you should), then you are taking a step in the right direction.  Now I want you to think about ways to increase that number.

I go to get my hair cut every four or five weeks.  If I go every five weeks that translates into 10.4 hair cuts a year.  If I go every four weeks, then that translates into 13.0 cuts a year.  The difference is 1.6 cuts a year.  This doesn’t seem like much, but if a stylist has 200 clients and charges $30.00 a cut, not counting any possible additional services such as manicures, color, perms, etc. then the additional revenue of making sure their clients get their hair cut every four weeks would equal $8,400.00 per year!

Instead of waiting for the clients call to make an appointment to get a hair cut, the stylist should be calling and setting appointments based on the optimal length of time that each client prefers.  This means more money for the stylist and even better service provided for the client.  Everyone wins!

So you see how SSG can have an incredible impact on your bottom line.  There is one factor that I left out, –the raising of prices.

Most business people that I know hate to raise prices.  They are worried about their competition, what their clients will think, or what the market will bear.  Although all of these concerns are valid, I find that most business people are just scared.

When they finally do get around to raising prices, they have lost months and even years of additional profits and opportunities.  Also, by waiting a long time to raise prices you sometimes have to raise them so much to get them back in line that you upset your client with this huge increase.

Your quality and service must always justify your price.  If in the above example we raised prices by just 5% then the total sales figure would be $279,510.00.  Now that is a year worth having!

Look at the four areas you can increase your business.  Work diligently on all f of them, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Business.

Staying Focused In A Fragmented World

Sam Silverstein Articles 0 Comments

A recent Gallop poll revealed that 71 percent of workers are “not engaged” in their work. The longer a worker stays with a company the more disengaged they become. They begin to sabotage the company’s efforts, look for ways to hide out rather than produce, and lose interest in the organization’s success.

Here are five ways for you to stay focused and to keep those working with you engaged as well.

1. Have a mission that is bigger than you

It is easy to fall into the trap of driving a business by and for the bottom line. “We need to increase profitability,” is the battle cry of many a manager or owner. The truth is that most people do not care about the company’s profits unless they are part of a profit sharing program, or have heavy incentives.

The mission needs to be bigger than money. Providing the most unbelievable customer service in the industry, providing the highest return on investment, or creating the reputation for being the best in the class all provide a cause that people can rally around.

People want and need a cause. They want to excel and earn more, but most of the time money alone is not enough. If your mission is big enough, you will attract others to it and your road to success will become immensely easier.

2. Create short-term goals

Short-term success can be a real boost to morale. By having weekly, daily, and sometimes even hourly goals we can measure and gauge our success. Do you know what you want to accomplish this week? Do you know what you want to get done by the end of the day?

Think back over the past year. What are the two or three most productive days you’ve had? Were they “Mondays” when you were trying to dig out from a weekend off and a list of phone calls to make? Did those days come mid-week as things were cruising along? Were they “Fridays” as your week came to a close?

If you are like most people, I would be willing to bet a lot of money that your most productive days were the single days that fell right before you left your office for vacation. The reason that those specific days are so productive is because you have defined tasks and defined deadlines. Those defined deadlines become your short-term goals. If you have to return five phone calls, submit a report, and finish a proposal for a major account before you can leave town, you get it done.

This Herculean effort is possible because you have such specific goals with specific deadlines that force you to ignore anything going on around you. You stay focused. This is the mind set that you should work toward achieving on a regular basis.

3. Reward successes

Whether you are dealing with employees or just yourself, it is great to reward your successful endeavors. Determine the reward ahead of time, and then use the reward as an additional motivator.

What do you really want? What is a realistic and appropriate level of performance that will justify a specific reward? A reward may be as simple as a half-day off, or buying yourself a small gadget that you’ve been wanting. If you are dealing with a major project that may have significant bottom line impact, your reward could be larger.

If you reward your successes and celebrate them you will find that your energy and attention will grow for your next project.

4. Be accountable to others

It is real easy to procrastinate or to have good intentions but never quite get the job done. Share your goals with others. Now you are in a position to have to work towards them. It is great to be accountable to yourself, but it is even more powerful with you are accountable to others.

Sometimes I share goals with my wife, children, or other professionals. I am a member of a mastermind group. We meet monthly and share our business plans and goals. This creates a high level of accountability. If you have a business coach, you may find accountability there that will help keep you focused and on track.

5. Focus on “why” not just “how”

Too often we just focus on the “what’s” and the “how’s.” When someone knows the true reason why something is being done, a whole new light is shed on the issue.

A job may seem boring or a waste of time. Once you understand why you are doing something, a new significance to it is born. A meaningless task becomes important when you find out it leads to someone’s success or well-being.

If you are in business and you are dealing with your activities, remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. If the “why” is not good enough to keep you focused, then maybe it is time for some new “why’s” in your life.

Don’t let your employees or yourself slowly slip away from the focus and excitement of your business. Stay engaged. Work on all five techniques, and you will be on the road to being accountable for your organizations success.