I recently reviewed my sales business plan and assessed what strategies were bringing in the business sales and which ones were not. While in the middle of the assessment I happened per chance to stumble across a guy who redefined for me the term sales. To say the least it turned my thinking around and kicked me into high gear. When I went back to my sales business plan I reoriented the strategies around this new key understanding.
We’ve all heard it said that when it comes to sales you should be in the seat of your customer and think in terms of their view rather than what you want to say.
We’ve all heard of the term new sales now, which is rather old, infact about 15 years old now. New sales takes the sales out of selling and puts the understanding and helping into the sales process. So what we do now when we sell is come from the perspective of the customer and help them make a decision rather than sell directly to them.
Traditionally the word sales has meant: the total dollar amount collected for goods or services provided; the exchange of goods or services for an amount of money or its equivalent; the act of selling. In short sales has meant money, exchange and hard sale. Small wonder sales agents have to work hard. With this concept it also makes it difficult to implement a successful sales business plan because you, as a business owner can’t control any of those process and guarantee business sales.
How can you plan for cash if you can’t control the process? You can’t coerce cash out of someone for too long without gaining a barracuda reputation. Exchange is hardly sales because you haven’t made on the deal by much as you’ve lost something that cost you money to gain something. Hopefully you made enough of a profit to cover your costs and grow. For many this is not the case. The act of selling has no control what so ever and dependent on the good will of the person selling.
What if we were to understand sales from this new perspective, according to the man who opened my eyes, sales would be redefined as choice plus yes. If your customer doesn’t say yes you have no sale. Customers don’t like being bullied into or being sold to especially if it’s something they don’t want. Every customer wants choice. If you don’t offer your customer choice its a monopoly not a sale.
Nowhere is this more successfully demonstrated than with infomercials. They are very clever in their offers. There are two options in any sales transaction. Either the choice between two products or add -ons for acting fast or the choice between winning a good deal and losing out.
So I applied this new found knowledge to my actual sales business plan and looked at the strategies I had in place. I changed one thing – the actual communication message itself. One thing from this new perspective and my entire sales business plan came to life and a month later I can see the increase in business sales because of it.
So as you look at your sales business plan or think of adding sales to your existing business plan ask yourself “What choice are you giving your customers?” “Can you offer a choice between products or successfully communicate win/loose as a choice?” Is the pain of not having your product or service greater than the pain of paying for the product or service? All customers perceive loss when they hand over their money unless you can successfully communicate to them the gain. And that’s the key you want to apply to increase your business sales. So make sure you reorient your sales business plan to include the is communication message and then strategize on how you are going to communicate it.