By Charles Alvarez , Contributor, the Price of Business Show. * Sponsored
Sometimes I ask my management audiences, “If you were selling twice as much as you are today, could you fulfill all the orders?” In most cases, the business leaders will all agree that they could quite comfortably deliver twice as much of their products or services with their current resources than they are currently selling.
I then ask them, “Well then, why aren’t you selling twice as much? What is holding you back?” They often just look at me blankly, as if that were something that had never occurred to them.
Your Untapped Market Potential
The fact is that probably 80% of your potential customers have not yet been approached by your sales or promotional efforts. Most of them don’t know about you and about how much better off they could be with your product or service. No one has told them.
You could probably be selling twice as much as you are today, if you could just figure out how to do it. This is your main job.
The Great Sales Question
When I conduct marketing strategy with my clients, I give them this key sales question to answer. It has taken me 25 years of study and experience to devise this question, and it deals with every part of the sales and marketing process, like a formula or recipe. By answering this question, you can conduct a quick analysis of your sales situation – past, present and future. Here is the question:
“What is to be sold to whom and by whom, and how, and at what price and how it is going to be paid for and delivered satisfactorily?”
The failure to accurately answer any one of these questions can lead to a complete failure of the sales effort. Unfortunately, most companies cannot correctly answer one or more of these questions.
What Is To Be Sold?
The first question is, “What is to be sold?” To answer this correctly, you have to define your product or service in terms of what it does, and how it benefits your customer. How does it improve his or her life or work? Of all the benefits that a customer enjoys from purchasing your product or service, what is the primary benefit, the one thing that you offer that makes you superior to any other competitor in the marketplace? Do you know the answer to this?
Who Is Going To Sell It? The second question is “By whom?” Who is actually going to sell the product or service and get the check from the customer? How are you going to recruit, train, manage, field and support the sales person? How is this salesperson going to uncover the necessary leads and get face to face with the prospective customer?
Since the salesperson is like the foot soldier in the army, before you go to war, you have to think carefully about how this soldier is going to be recruited and supported, and exactly what the salesperson is going to say and do when he gets face to face with someone who can buy what you are selling.
Who Is Your Customer?
The next part of the question is “To whom?” Answering this requires that you define your ideal customer clearly and focus your sales efforts on this specific type of person. You should have a clear psychographic and demographic profile of exactly the person who is the most likely to buy your product or service, the prospect who can most benefit from it the most readily. Without this clarity, your salespeople will be like machine gunners, spraying the market, calling on many people who are not prospects at all.
How Much Are You Going To Charge?
The next part of the question is, “At what price.” Sometimes the answer to this question is fixed and cannot be changed. In many cases however, the way you price your products and services is a key factor that determines your level of sales and profitability.
As the market changes, or in response to either customer reaction or competitive pressure, you must be prepared to revisit your prices as often as necessary. Imagine that you were starting over again today to set your prices, knowing what you now know about the current market. Is there any price you would raise, lower or modify in some way?
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