Starting with one small success
Many of the sales successes I’ve seen have started with one small success — where a company has offered something interesting to one customer and built on that success by offering the service more broadly and systematically to a broader customer base.
Why not start with selling more of what you’re already providing successfully?
A direct marketing firm had been producing highly personalized programs — to help auto dealers attract visitors to their showrooms.
They did weekly projects for one customer, and then a second customer found them. All of a sudden, they realized they were experts in personalized marketing for that industry sector. They put together an automated ordering platform, created a sales story built around the problems they solved for clients and why they were a better alternative, and started calling on firms throughout the country. Soon they had three new clients in that market.
They hadn’t realized it, but they had become event marketing specialists. Then they did it again in another industry.
They packaged an “everything’s included” turnkey solution and built a carefully tailored sales approach that led to four new clients within the first year.
What was it that made them special? They had insights into both markets and what they needed: their clients ran a lot of events, had small staffs and needed the entire process to be easy and fast.
Physically producing the marketing programs wasn’t that difficult. It was their grasp of their clients’ issues that made them valuable. And the improvement in turnout for the events made them even more valuable.
Look at your successes — the clients with whom you do regular business; the clients that fit you perfectly.
- Are there other companies with similar needs?
- Is there a broader vertical market with members who share the same needs and face the same issues — where your experience, insights and successes would add up to a real competitive advantage?
- Can you build a search mechanism for identifying new candidates to be customers, and an inbound marketing funnel that will move people from outsiders to meaningful prospects?
- Can you put together a sales story focused on the problems you solve for that market and the reasons why you’re a better
- Alternative than the other suppliers they might use?
If any of the answers is “yes,” then you should build a process for pursuing the new prospect candidates in a focused and consistent manner — learning whether their needs fit the profile you’ve built, and then finding ways to explore how to begin doing business together.
Build on your successes
Why not grow your sales by selling more of what you’re already providing successfully?
No awards: just profits
It’s not rocket science, and they won’t write business school case studies about your insights, but the new business will fit you so well that you’ll be able to create real sales momentum.
Building on your existing strengths might not put you in the business hall of fame, but your sales success will give you plenty of reason to be proud of your new profits.