Four Questions To Increase Sales Revenue
All businesses want to increase sales revenue – as long as those revenues are profitable. Have you ever had a situation where you have felt pressured to lower your price for a service to avoid losing the sale? Discounting has its place, but as an ongoing strategy for most service businesses, it can lead to cash flow problems and loss of profits.
If you’re looking for ideas to increase sales then start by asking yourself these four questions:
- Am I speaking to the right prospect?
- Have I developed a clear Unique Value Proposition?
- Am I managing expectations?
- Am I prepared to handle objections?
1. Am I Speaking To The Right Prospect?
If you have not defined your ideal customer segments as part of your pricing model development, you may experience objections to your pricing on a regular basis. The very fact that a prospect is pushing back on price is a warning sign that your pricing is not in keeping with market place expectations, or your not qualifying leads hard enough.
Having a qualification process in place enables you to sift the price shoppers and “tyre kickers” from the value shopper. When you entertain any and all comers as prospects your (shotgun approach to marketing) investment of time will be high, whilst your conversion rate will be low.
A series of scripted questions can be asked during a 20 minute ‘phone call to screen prospects before the next step is taken. Your session with them should make it clear to you whether they:
- Have the money to purchase your services
- Have the authority to purchase or raise a purchase order
- Have a near term desire for the services (they want it now or shortly)
- Have a genuine need for your offering (is there a fit between your service and their needs)
2. Have I Developed A Clear UVP?
When a service or product is viewed by a prospect as a commodity, price becomes the main focus. It’s your challenge to differentiate your offerings from the competition by creating a compelling and unique value proposition.
A great UVP will:
- Highlight value that matters to your prospect (you learn this by research/surveys)
- Lay out how you are different from the rest
- Show that you understand exactly what your prospective customer wants and needs
- Promote the benefits rather than the features of your service
- Make their decision to do business with you seem the only option
Are you and your team guilty of not having a clearly defined UVP? You will improve your sales revenue hugely by spending a day or two brainstorming exactly what you excel at doing and how you deliver that to benefit your customers.
Start by asking your current customers why they like doing business with you.
3. Am I Managing Expectations?
Throughout your marketing and sales processes the need to be clear and open on pricing and value, as well as building the relationship, is critical. Especially if you want to increase sales revenue with high end sales. Sometimes the timeline from first contact to meeting, presentation, proposal and sale could be months. To invest so much time to only have the sale fall through because of the prospects’ “sticker shock” is frustrating, for both the service provider and the prospect.
During the qualification process, in the very early stages of the sales process, is when to test for whether the prospects’ expectations are realistic and in keeping with your offer. This clash of expectations, yours and theirs, can be avoided if the research is done up front. You want to charge $XX for your offering and they are expecting to pay $X.
The approach you take in presenting your services is very important. Display clear benefits to the prospect and have a variety of graduated offers which allow you to up-sell or down-sell based on their feedback. Having fall back tactics and flexible package offerings will defuse the majority of objections put forward.
4. Am I Prepared To Handle Objections?
Knowing your target customer segments and what their wants and needs are is the foundation of your business. During your customer research you should document at least ten of the most common objections to you have heard from prospects. These may be along the lines of:
- “Your too expensive”
- “That’s too long a wait for the service completion”
- “I will have to talk to my partner, accountant, goldfish..”
- “This may not work for me”
- ” I am not ready to buy just yet”
- “Last time we paid for services like (with a competitor) these we didn’t pay that much”
There is a great opportunity in creating a set of frequently asked questions that are crafted around your prospects’ most common objections. These FAQs can be incorporated into your marketing materials and website as a start to increase sales revenue. Send these FAQs in an information pack to the prospect prior to meetings or presentations. The FAQs answer a lot of the potential objections your prospect may have, removing a lot of the barriers to a sale.
Do you know your prospective customers well enough to understand their main issues with a service provider like yourself? What are the main objections you hear?