So many people return from holidays and realize they haven’t done nearly enough planning, scheduling and preparation with clients. They spend most of September trying to connect, get started or re-kindle lost momentum. In order to reduce slowdowns and eliminate being at a standstill, you’ve got to have a plan in advance! There are 2 key things to remember to ensure you are ahead of the game, not falling behind ….
Plannng Future Projects.
Whether you’re a business owner or in sales, often our relationship with clients is only planned out as far as the next transaction. Ideally you want to engage clients in conversations that get them thinking about their future purchases and also the timelines to those things. Often clients say, lets tackle it in the fall. Well, let’s set some dates! The other issue is: does the client realize what type of preparation and lead time is necessary to hit “fall”? We need to be asking clients about future projects and purchases while they are in the thick of the existing ones. We need to educate them on all the steps and time requirements (which often educates them on just how much value you provide).
Know your Client
When I go buy clothes in the winter, my favorite clothing salesperson, Kelly is already asking me if I golf and telling me when the spring/summer lines come in. Then he always asks if he can call before then to book a VIP appointment so I have first pick on new items. He made me feel special by taking an interest in my hobbies, positioning things so I was a VIP and ensuring I committed to a future appointment. Another great example is the printer that calls 3 months after you order business cards as a courtesy to ask if you need cards again now or in one more month before trade show season starts – note that NOT re-ordering wasn’t a choice.
Or how about the pumps/compressor salesman asking clients about 24 months of upcoming projects and selling 5-10 units at a time simply by suggesting clients look at their long term needs (and again created more value for customers as a planning facilitator versus just a salesperson).
Sit down with clients and plan for this coming fall season now. There was no reason to be slow this summer and fall should be rolling … if you start to book up the whole season now.
When you’re in demand and make the effort to plan and guide people on when they need to buy, they will!