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Cleaning the Table: Using Your Resources for New Business

These past five days, I've had relatives visiting -- and it's been great! We enjoyed lots of great food, golf and the beginning of fall in East Tennessee. My sister-in-law is very successful in sales and we spent many moments discussing her career and mine, and talking about everything from cold calling to various sales management topics. Even though she's considered a "top performer" in her industry, she's still focused on net-new business development -- one reason she's still a top performer!

She knows I enjoy cooking and has heard my keynote on creating your own personal menu, "The Passion of Impact." She felt that cold calling was her most challenging ingredient. But the more we talked, the more we realized that cold calling wasn't her biggest challenge -- it was time management. Or, more specifically, blocking out time. Because she's so busy, we explored a resource for prospecting that she has been overlooking. 

Cultivating your existing clients for referrals or gaining access to targeted accounts via your current clients must be included in your sales plan. One idea I used to implement is scheduling, at a minimum, two calls a year to all my "old" clients to perform a quality-control check and see if they had other needs to service. But most importantly, I always asked, "Do you know anyone else we should be speaking with?" (After a few calls, they came to expect that question from me.) Schedule all of your clients into Outlook or whatever CRM tool you're using during the next few weeks and begin the process.

The other marketing activity we recommend is to schedule a "users conference" twice a year. These would include new product updates, client panels, industry or vendor teams, and a special speaker or program. One my clients does this and gets terrific results including not only "up-selling" existing clients, but inviting all of their existing prospects to the same event to let them be sold by their existing clients.

As sales mangers, our strategy is to focus our salespeople on closing every opportunity that is on the table. Tactically, that is correct. However, at this time of the year,   sales leadership must be focused on achieving the sales quotas for the first quarter of 2010. 

What are your ideas for cultivating your customers for more business? Comment below or send me an email at [email protected]. I'll collect your contributions and list them in the next blog.

Ken Thoreson, president of Acumen Management Group Ltd., "operationalizes" sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory and platform services have illuminated, motivated and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead! Acumen Management provides keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. 3f4qb8v9ge

Posted by Ken Thoreson on October 26, 2009