How do I get a customer to place more than one order with me?
I have a meeting with a new customer later today and would like him to place a lot of orders... any advice? Bit generic I know but any advice is appreciated. What sales techniques do you use?
Hi Ben, It might already be too late for my advise, but hopefully you can use it in the future as well.
Selling one or more products is the easiest part in sales. I presume that you already have established the need with the customer and that he is interested in your products/ services. The next part is a bit more difficult for some people, up-selling. A big misconception of up-selling is that a lot of people believe it is a sales technique when it is actually part of customer service (just to ease the pain a little bit...).
Up-selling means that your customer is willing to buy the original product or service and you upgrade him with additional products/ services. To make it a bit easier to understand, I will use your business in this example (as I don't have a big understanding of your business, some of the things I'm saying here might not apply but I'm sure you can see the relevance):
Taking one of your services/ products: Crane hire. A customer want to hire a crane for half a day for 1000 GBP, this might put him under time pressure depending on what he needs the crane for. Let's say you understand his business and know that yes, it could be done within half a day, but they would cut it close. Knowing your business, you might tell him to hire the crane for the entire day, that would give him enough time to use the crane, do what needs to be done without rushing for just an additional 250 GBP extra.
Now you probably got his attention and he is ready to place the entire order for a full day hire. An up-sell just enhances the product/ service that you're offering.
Because of your understanding of his business, you got him to sign up for a full day hire rather than just half a day. (Of course it needs to make sense and the investment needs to make sense to your customer as well).
Then when you finalised this deal, your next step is to cross-sell.. Again, this is something not a lot of businesses are doing right, because they believe it would be pushing a customer over the edge. A cross-sell although part of the sales process, is again another service that you offer. It has nothing to do with the original product/ service the customer is looking for and it's supposed to be a soft-sell. Think in terms of just because your customer knows you do crane hire, doesn't mean they know that you also offer CPCS training. So, providing your customer with the knowledge that one day they could save some money by having their own staff trained in operating cranes or heavy machinery, and could hire the crane without the need of labour, could save them eventually x amount of money. It's called a soft sale because it is a knowledge based sale, rather than asking the client do you want to buy. You only provide the information, kind of "Did you know that we also do cpcs training and this could save you x amount of money if you have a regular need to hire cranes/ machinery etc? Here is some information. Let me know if you need more..."
What I would suggest you do in order to offer the right services for your clients is to create a sales grid. Write in an xls spreadsheet the following details (I will give you an example below the description):
Main product/ Up-sell product/ Up-sell service/ Cross-sell product/ Cross-sell service
List every product/ service that you offer under Main products.
The up-sell column is then to be used to list any additional products that could enhance the main products/ services.
List any other products/ services under the cross-sell column (products that are not directly benefiting the main product/ services).
Main Product: Crane 20m
Main service: Half day hire
Up-sell product: Crane 30m/
Up-sell service: full day hire/ driver/ pick-up service/ insurance/ warranty etc.
Cross-sell product: CPCS training
Cross-sell service: Specialised equipment services
If you do this for every product/ service you offer, you should see some real results. It will help you to up-sell the right products/ services and also make customers aware of other products/ services that you offer. I realise that you know your products and services well, so you might ask why is the sales grid so important? The reason being is that doing this exercise will provide you with additional ideas and you can use this to help new employees to see relevance in the product range. It will also help you provide a better service to your customers while at the same time increase your sales (a nice side effect of providing outstanding customer service - meaning up-selling).
The sales grid is the best way to help your customers understand your offerings, why they would need addtional products and it will work as a reminder for you not to forget to up-sell the right products and services as well as keep the customer interested in other products and services. (I probably repeated myself a few times here, so apologies for that, but I hope this all makes sense to you).
Please let me know if you need any further information. I'm happy to help you or anyone here to really use the sales grid and utilise on it fully.
Wishing you all the success and happy closing
A few general ideas:
1. Assuming he has never placed an order with you before, you can give him a discount on the first order to prove how good your product/service is.
2. You can offer him volume discounts if he places multiple orders.
3. You can give him value-added stuff on his first order and/or if he places multiple orders such as priority support or project scheduling, after working hours support, better payment terms, certain guarantees you don't give everyone else, etc.
The first rule of selling is: ALWAYS BE CLOSING. The second rule of selling is ALWAYS BE CLOSING.
The third rule is: Tell - Dont sell. Sales is about communication, and creating a common bond with your customers. People are more apt to purchase from someone they trust implicitly. Think about the long term. Maybe they wont buy everything right now - but you open them up for repeat business. Keep them coming back for more as they say in show business...* Be confident in your product/services. - Don't give them any doubt but to buy from you and only you.
* Be knowledgeable - Have answers to questions before they ask them.
* Think about your customer's POV - Put yourself in the shoes of a customer who knows nothing about you. What would you ask about? Why would you buy this instead of going to a competitor? What are the pro/cons to this product/service? Do people NEED this or is it something you have to convince them they WANT?
* Think about a Sales Meeting like a first Date - Wine and Dine your customer, sweep them off their feet. Make them laugh, make them believe your product is as amazing as you are.
Best of Luck to You-
PS if you need help with designing pitch decks, brochures, websites business cards etc, feel free to connect. I'm always around to help out. :)
Listening to the customer is an important thing. Understanding his needs and trying to fill those needs and be helpful is a big help to the selling process.
I recall reading years ago about the top selling tire salesman in the country. Usually when you go in for tires they ask what size you need and tell you what they have.
His technique was different. Someone would come in asking about tires and he would say. How many miles do you drive a year? Is your driving mostly city or highway? Do you usually drive or your wife? Do you drive on bad roads in the winter? Then he would tell them about the premium tire that would be perfect for their needs. Making the customer feel you care about his needs and are interested is one great way to sell.
Having a range of closing techniques is also a plus. Sometimes just asking for the order is all it takes. Other times it may be the silent technique or some of the may ways to close a sale.
I believe in get the customer in first, than make him buy more.
Depend on the type of business you are doing, the timing and offer need to adjust.
Your question cover every parts of your business, however to make it less complex. we shall look at products (or services) and customer.
1. Products - really very attractive and add that value to meet customer' needs. Can the customer live without your products? and finally, increase orders is good to you, but please make sure it is come from good intention and not deliberate productize of your solution aim to make more money. Else it will back fire.
2. Customer - you need better understanding of your customer => psychologically, financially, and urgency. I always do profiling on my customer (group profiling if for group of similar type of customers) and also learn above their egos to make sure I can understand them better and what trigger them to purchase. Than asking what are their budget tactfully help you to know how much you can sell. Lastly, whether the customer really want to buy or buy additional to satisfy his needs.
Great answers already. My take.
They would buy only if they need it. Push selling results in killing the lead and even interest for future.
If they don't know they need it, ASK POWERFUL QUESTIONS and help them realize and create a need.
Know your field and answer all their spontaneous, sensible and even non-sense questions in a layman language specifically.
Do some subtle pressing on implications.
Hope this helps.
Lots of orders of what? Are you talking about repeat orders of the same product? Do you have different products that you believe will benefit your customer?
Build the relationship by learning what is important to your customer. Listen for values and how they expect to be treated. What is your customer's idea of great customer service - and then provide it.
Increase customer loyalty by building trust - meet expectations, provide results.
Forget most of the advice you have been offered here. Do not close, do not discount the price, do not offer more. Build a long term relationship instead, and to do so you need to understand your customer's needs better than he can verbalise them during the first meeting. That means thorough preparation and deep understanding of the industry. Then always deliver what you offer - that builds trust.
As for sales techniques?
SPIN - it helps asking the right questions in the right order (builds your understanding)
"Challenger sales" - same as above
"Joshua principle" - nice & easy description of the various sales models
BE YOURSELF - my preferred one.
Carsten has put an effective grid for upselling and cross seling. May be you have to consider the frequency of orders. When I started my selling career one of my clients requested a one time order at xx value due to budget limitations, representing three months consumption. I manager to negotiate an annual deal on 4 shipments. The benefits the customer got was a higher bulk purchase discount and upgradinh him into elite category which is ntitled to more after sales service.
Simple, think about what big companies do to get you to re order. Keep that personal touch. I have found that sending thank you cards after each order, calling to check up on them, sending them birthday cards, Christmas cards, etc...Letting them know that you value them as a person as well as their business! Most small companies do not do this, but big companies do!
You need to establish credibility with this new customer. Do they have a need for all of the services you provide? Looking forward to hearing more.