5 Top Questions to Make More Sales

I honestly believe if you take these five questions, take the fundamentals of each of them, and apply them to your business you could quite possibly see a considerable growth in your turnover. These five questions are designed to increase turnover, limit your losses and analyze and realign your business all in a very short space of time. Wrapped up in a few hundred words and the advice is free… Does life get any better?

Would you like fries with that?

Before I get a few hundred emails telling me that your business does not sell hot chips, don’t take the question literally, think about the thought process behind it. I think anybody older than twenty five will remember the first time they heard that question. I would love to be able to gauge the financial gain those six words provided for Ronnie, but rather than ponder someone else’s success, how can you apply the same logic to your business.

Up-selling is not a new concept but one that is rarely used to its full potential. You may already have the stock to be able to pair items off against one another, or perhaps you need to introduce a new line? I was actually putting this theory to the test the other day and I walked around 5 shoe stores… do you know that only 2 of them sold socks and one of them didn’t even sell shoe polish… To me that just seems crazy! The perfect up-sell opportunity when someone buys a pair of shoes has to be shoe polish… doesn’t it?

Do you sell shoe polish? Are you offering it to you clients when they buy a pair of shoes? Metaphorically speaking of course… on both counts.

Can I ask you why?

We don’t make sales to every customer that makes an enquiry or walks into our store, business would be too simple if we did. I would guess that if you asked the majority of business owners out there they would know exactly why their customers buy their products, but have you ever considered why other customers don’t? Asking a customer why they haven’t bought your products or decided not to use your services is an essential activity for the business owners really looking to be at the top of their game.

Simply by asking the question you can find out a myriad of ways to improve your business, or even save a sale. We don’t ask the question because we believe the answer will be a negative one and no one wants to hear negative things about their business… seriously what are we, twelve?

It is vitally important that we either ask the question or have some sort of survey in place to give us these answers. A lot of the time we find out it is not something negative with our product or service but bad marketing communication. People make assumptions about inclusions or omissions with product packages and services… you’ll hear statements like, “I would have bought it if it came with a stand”, chances are the product comes with a stand and we just didn’t communicate it properly in our marketing…

Think out of the square on this one and try and get to the bottom of the lost sales. If someone has visited your website or come into your store you have already done most of the hard work, so don’t lose them now when you are so close to the sale!

Do you know anybody else that might…?

When you have a paying customer consuming or purchasing your products or hiring your services it is the perfect opportunity to make a second sale. They are obviously keen on your products’ and probably think the price is right too… this is the golden opportunity to ask for the referral. The chances are the people your customers know and associate with like similar things to them…

It’s another form of up-sell but not directly to them. What about asking questions along the lines of… “Out of interest sir/madam, would you know of friend that might like these as well? I could do you a very good price if you were to purchase two today?”

Maybe you don’t make a double sale right then, but maybe you ask the question and they then refer the customer back to you when they get home… just because you planted the seed.

If I was the customer would I…?

If you don’t already you have to put yourself in the shoes of the customer… over and over and over again. You must see your company as your customers see it in order to give an objective opinion of the service you are supplying.

Even the big bosses of multimillion dollar conglomerates have twigged on to this one and are going under cover, not only as customers but as employees as well. It is an important tool for us to gauge our business, so get out there with your customers and see what the interaction is like when they buy your product or service… would you come back?

Are there things you can improve on? Whether it’s the surroundings in your store or office space or perhaps the appearance or cleanliness of you facilities… There is always room for improvement so why not set yourself a goal and promise to take yourself from start to finish of your customers experience once every six months. After the experience promise yourself that you will improve at least one thing, it doesn’t have to be revolutionary, although it can be, but if you know that you are constantly improving your business… so will your clients…

Can I have my money please?

It sounds simple, but so many business owners avoid the debt collection phone calls until it’s too late and it’s already damaged your business, and not just from the lack of payment. You may be in a coveted position where your business does not give credit, but a vast amount of businesses do and when the service or goods have been supplied the money comes afterward… or perhaps doesn’t.

I have seen it so many times where businesses have a seven day payment policy but even after the debt is two or three weeks old they have still not asked the customer for the money. It is out of some ridiculous idea that we might upset a good customer by asking for money… it’s your money and they, I’m sure, agreed to the terms of business when you supplied them in the first place.

If you have seven day payment terms and haven’t been paid by day eight, you need to make a polite phone call or email gently reminding your customer about payment. If there is an issue you will find out in enough time to fix it and it may just have been an oversight. The money is much better in your bank account than theirs.

If you let big bills grow with your customers and they are in trouble, not only do you not get paid but then they feel awkward that they owe you money and buy the products they used to buy from you elsewhere… so now you have lost another sale as well… You must bring this under control.

In summary there are just 5 simple questions to either ask yourself or others that can make a massive difference to you companies performance… What are you waiting for?

Peter J Martin

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