Each sale you close is not a good sale unless it leads to the next sale.

I’m a firm believer that if you’re doing your job as a salesperson, when you make a sale you’re also creating a customer for life.  Yes, we’ve all heard this, but here’s how I believe the process works best:

When you’re meeting with the customer, you’re naturally uncovering needs the customer has. Some of these needs are the ones you’re leveraging to make your sale.  The opportunity is in uncovering not just needs you’re going to solve now, but needs you can come back to later and create additional sales.  To do this requires you to end the first sale having earned the right, the privilege, opportunity and respect to be able to meet with the person again.

One way you do this is by always leaving the customer with a next step as to what you intend to do for the customer.  By creating an on-going process of being in touch with the customer, you will now be in a position to explore more comments the customer has shared with you in previous meetings.   It’s your ability to then take these comments and ask follow-up questions in subsequent meetings that will then help you create the next sale.

One of the reasons I’m a firm believer in always being in a position to start working on the next sale is simple. It’s far more effective to generate additional sales from an existing customer than it is to get a sales from a new customer.   In all of the sales profitability studies I’ve done, the results are almost always the same — the cost of generating sales is at its lowest point 1/3 of the way through the life of the customer relationship.

I won’t attempt to go into a full explanation here, but basically the cost of generating sales is naturally high with a new customer and also is high with a well-developed customer.  The reason it’s high for a well-developed customer is because many times this type of customer is granted additional services or price breaks, etc. because they are so loyal or because the personal relationships run so deep.  What this means is a customer is generating its most efficient sale approximately 1/3 of the way through their sales life-cycle.   The way you can maximize this is by making sure each sale opens the door to the next sale.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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