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Sales Strategy & Management

10 Ways To Get High-Roller Customers Spending More With You

Trust, consistency, quality and branding are all good ways to court high-end customers.

Eric Siu

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High-quality customers can be defined in several ways. They may be customers eager for your products or services and predisposed to spend as soon as they find your website. They may be wealthy individuals with disposable income and desire for status who crave what you offer.

No matter how you define high quality, these are the customers who arrive at your site, look at your offerings, and say “Yes!” with their shopping carts.

What do high-quality customers want?

The best customers are the right customers. These are the people whose needs align perfectly with the benefits your products offer them.

Such clients want:

  • Products that meet or exceed expectations
  • Products perfectly aligned to their wants, needs and desires
  • Exceptional service at all times
  • Prompt responses to inquiries or questions
  • The feeling of being ‘special’ to your business

When the perceived value of a product or service overwhelmingly exceeds the price tag, high-quality clients will spend money.

Psychological tricks, such as imparting value through uniqueness, as well as focusing on benefits, can help you build sales among these valued customers.

To attract high-end clients, you have to make your business appealing.

Related: You Need To Sell, Be A Salesman, Be A Smous

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The following 10 tips will help you attract the high-end clients in droves.

1Increase your prices

This sounds crazy to some, but think of it this way; your high-end customers are used to higher prices. Although they may like a bargain as much as the next person, higher prices denote luxury and exclusivity as well as value. Try increasing, rather than decreasing, your prices.

2Sell the benefits

A common mistake many business owners make is to sell from the features of a product. Benefits, however, are what sells a product. High-end customers crave products with benefits that perfectly align to their wants, needs, and desires.

Articulate the benefits of your products and services clearly throughout all of your advertising. When the benefits of your product align to what high-end clients want, the products practically sell themselves.

3Leverage the uniqueness factor

Every product or service has some unique feature that can be leveraged in your marketing campaigns. Country of origin, craftsmanship, packaging… each of these features should be detailed after you’ve introduced the product through its benefits.

High-quality customers seek high quality (read: exclusivity) for themselves, and setting your product apart from the others is key.

4Hire carefully

Everyone from ecommerce call centre operators to the salespeople greeting customers in a retail store must exemplify the brand image that high-quality customers want to see.

Hire employees carefully, ensuring that they are both articulate and service-minded. High-quality customers will spend more at shops with great service, but to provide such service you need the right people working for you.

Related: How You Can Make Those Sales When Nobody’s Buying (Yes It’s Do-able)

5Reward good clients

Send handwritten thank-yous to your best clients. Thank customers with cards, gifts and unexpected offers. Reward your best shoppers with incentives to return and shop more.

6Consider your add-on sales

High-quality customers will spend more when the add-on sales to their original purchase make sense and make them feel their shopping is complete. Make sure that add-on sales are part of your merchandising.

7Spend on visual branding

The visual branding for your company is very important to attract high-quality customers who will spend more money. If your company looks high-end, it will attract high-end customers.

A good graphic designer can make your company’s image resonate with your high-end customers so that they love the cachet of shopping with you.

8Focus your marketing with laser-like precision

If you use traditional direct mail marketing, print or radio advertising, focus with precision on the demographics you are trying to reach.

Look for advertising venues that reach the high-end, wealthy customers, such as luxury product magazines or radio stations that reach wealthy zip codes. Use zip-code targeting and census blocks to reach the wealthy at home with direct mail.

Think outside of the internet to reach the wealthy, who may already be bombarded with advertisements and general marketing online.

Related: It’s Sell Or Die Because Sales Are The Lifeblood Of Every Company

9Convey scarcity or urgency

Urgency or scarcity always encourages consumers to spend more. If only five of a specific product were made, be sure to state this clearly. Make it obvious that only a select few have what you are selling.

10Establish trust through consistency

There’s a good reason why many high-end brands are also long-lived brands. Consistency establishes trust. Time is one way to build consistency, with customers returning for the same quality items over and over again.

Tiffany, Saks, Hermes and other high-end retailers build upon this theme of consistency and trust. Even if your company is new, you can also boost trust with your brand through consistent marketing, messaging, and product quality.

High-quality customers who will spend more money with your company are out there. It’s your job to focus your marketing message, define and refine your product and brand strategy, and make continual improvements over time to achieve your goals.

Trust, consistency, quality and branding are all good ways to court high-end customers to your business.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Eric Siu is COO of of Single Grain, a digital marketing agency based in San Francisco. He also co-runs Storemapper, a store locator widget for e-commerce stores and other businesses.

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Sales Strategy & Management

Get Those Quotas Moving (Upward!) In 2018! 5 Things Your Salespeople Can Do

Fewer than half of salespeople make quota, on average. Here are some best practices for to help them hit their targets in the new year.

John Holland

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Whether they had a tremendous 2017 or a difficult one, sellers likely hit the re-set button with the start of this new year. And that button push probably was accompanied by more aggressive quotas for those sellers to achieve in 2018.

So, what should sellers do to gear up for the coming year? As 2018 gets under way, here are five things I can share to help sellers get off to a good start.

1. Avoid stale quotes and proposals

Unlike fine red wine, proposals that have been in the sales pipeline more than 45 days old aren’t getting better. Many of them, in fact, are likely to have “no decision” outcomes.

So, if you’re the seller, what’s going on? There may be instances where your prospects have chosen a competitor and not given you the bad news. My suggestion is to send a snail mail letter, “return receipt requested,” to the highest level you’ve called on within the account. State in the letter how long the proposal has been outstanding, noting that you haven’t been updated on its status and that you intend to withdraw if you don’t hear anything back.

Related: 3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018

The hope is that your letter will cause the buyer to contact you and say there is still interest. If that’s the case, you can ask to revisit the opportunity (help facilitate a cost vs. benefit analysis) and see if a revised recommendation can be made.

If your letter doesn’t elicit a response, you can safely remove it from your forecast. While that’s not the desired outcome, you’ll have the benefit of a more realistic view of the size and health of your pipeline.

2. Create add-on opportunities

Sellers often believe that if customers have additional needs, they’ll proactively reach out. Certainly, close rates will be higher when there is an existing relationship vs. when sellers are closing new accounts. That’s why sellers should take a look at each client and try to determine potential business needs that might be addressed through the use of their company’s offerings; they should then proactively contact the key players who might be interested.

The key to initiating add-on opportunities is taking executives from latent to active need for a company’s desired business outcomes.

3. Be realistic with nurtured leads

If the cost of your offerings exceeds $50,000, you may want to take a hard look at the entry level that nurtured leads provide. My view is that many of those leads get sellers in touch with people that are doing product evaluations. So, those people may not be working with budgets and have not identified potential areas of value/payback that can be realised through the use of your offerings.

Ask yourself if the contact you’ve been given is a potential champion who can provide you access to the key players you must call on to sell, fund and implement the offering being considered. If not, I suggest you treat the contact as a coach that may be willing to get you an introduction to a higher level that may then serve as your champion. My thought is to gain access to people who will see value in your offerings.

Related: How South Africa’s Small Businesses Plan To Invest Their Money In 2018

4. Ask for referrals

Satisfied customers can be under-used assets, especially if sellers can help them quantify results.

My preference is that sellers break down benefits and values specific to titles and outcomes that have been achieved using those sellers’ offerings.

Once quantified, sellers can ask if their customers know of any other individuals or companies they could be referred to.

5. Plan a sales cycle ahead

When I was in engineering school, I was a “just-in-time” learner in that I studiously avoided professors who assigned homework and also approached midterm and final exams with some last-minute cramming.

Some sellers follow my academic model – and that’s not smart: In terms of their year quota, many sellers who are not YTD against their numbers believe they can close enough business in the last quarter to make up for their previous gaps. But this is a very stressful strategy, and there will be times when sellers run out of runway.

An alternative I’d suggest is for sellers to break their quota into monthly increments and multiply that number by the months in an average sales cycle. They can then estimate their close rates and set pipeline thresholds they should try to exceed.

Once they’re at the stage of interviewing committee members, sellers can then negotiate their activities and time frames via a written document with buyers (I call this pipeline “E”). Here’s an example of how to project ahead:

  • A seller has a $2.4 million quota ($200,000/month).
  • Her average sales cycle is four months and her close rate is 50 percent.
  • Therefore, her “E” target is to close $800,000 or more every four-month period.
  • At any time, if she is YTD or better, her E target will be $1.6 million in her pipeline.
  • In a given month, any shortfall from YTD must be doubled and added to that $1.6 million; business development efforts must be ramped up.

Being aware of YTD performance to date and projecting the sales cycle that’s ahead on a monthly basis can reduce stress levels during Q4.

And reducing stress is good, right? I hope these tips can help make your 2018 a great, and de-stressed, year.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Sales Strategy & Management

(Podcast) Are All Prices Negotiable?

Person, socialisation, product, place – what are the key differentiating factors between those who negotiate price and those who don’t? And who determines the value of a product?

Nicholas Haralambous

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What is up for negotiation? When should you be negotiating prices, and when should you be open to negotiating prices with your customers?

Person, socialisation, product, place – what are the key differentiating factors between those who negotiate price and those who don’t? And who determines the value of a product?

Listening time: 8 minutes

Related: (Podcast) Phone Calls Often Solve Email Problems

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Sales Strategy & Management

Sales Leadership: The New Frontier

The Leadership skill of Influencing people increasingly trumps “hard selling techniques” as people enjoy the feeling that they are forced into buying a certain product less and less.

Dirk Coetsee

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“Once upon a time only certain people were in sales. Every day, these folks sold stuff, the rest of us did stuff, and everyone was happy. One day, the world began to change. More of us started working for ourselves- and because we were entrepreneurs, suddenly we became salespeople, too. At the same time, large operations discovered that segmenting job functions did not work very well during volatile business conditions-and because of that, they began demanding elastic skills that stretched across boundaries and included a sales component.” – Daniel Pink

The transformation of sales persons to Sales Leaders is not only the essence of this article but increasingly becoming a necessity, considering the skills demand required to convince people to buy your product or service within an modern environment wherein the consumer is spoilt for choice.

Related: 3 Strategies For Closing Sales Without Picking Up The Phone

In general staples in the make up of old school sales training was and in some cases still is: Product knowledge, fielding sales calls in a friendly way yet creating urgency, learning the ability to overcome client objections and of course do not forget the all-important methods of upselling.

All those elements of selling are still important in general yet “soft skills” such as active listening, handling conflict, and above all removing the emphasis from selling a product or service to selling an enhanced lifestyle or life experience has become the new frontier for the sales game.

The Leadership skill of Influencing people increasingly trumps “hard selling techniques” as people enjoy the feeling that they are forced into buying a certain product less and less. The “parrot method” of drilling sales scripts into the salesforce of the company is slowly but surely becoming obsolete as people want to feel that they are being cared about and considered within the sales process as individuals. “Caring for the other person is the only leverage in any conversation”, Gary Vaynerchuk says.

The above theory calls for a balance between Sales Leaders whom inspires their sales teams to create a personal, professional, and vibrant environment for their customers wherein which they are highly motivated to buy, and Sales managers whom monitor the key sales metrics and checks that sales procedures are being followed. In the modern world both Sales Leadership and management are needed at each end of the balancing scale.

Still, to this day an unfortunate large proportion of sales people are like lambs put to the slaughter, within some situations, as the only weapon taught to them is product knowledge and wearing a smile and then suddenly a very unhappy customer unleashes their anger upon them, and now the poor sales person has no knowledge in terms of how to deal with conflict, generally speaking. How to cope with and overcome conflict and other negotiation skills has become paramount in sustaining very good client relations.

Ethical Leadership is also strongly put forward as a necessary component of any sales training or course through this article. Sales techniques filtered through the companies Vision, mission statement and value system to test its validity and alignment to the companies’ culture can be increasingly effective as opposed to simply applying generic methods of selling which is not always aligned to the company ethos. A high level of ethics amongst Sales Leaders can ensure that after sales promises are kept and that the product sold is in effect as good as propagated by the sales person.

Related: The 5 Best Actions You Can Take To Improve Sales Calls

When a servant leadership culture is prevalent within your company it goes a long way to ensure that your sales people create a caring and positive experience complimented by an enhanced after sales service. Servant Leadership within a sales context is to put the customers’ and teams’ purpose above the individual team members purpose and that by itself is a potential multiplier of sales performance.

A highly important factor within the context of sales performance is the sales Leaders’ ability to formulate the right questions to be asked of the client in order to create a very pleasant experience. Statements in general can be quite dangerous as it is normally viewed as final and very hard to take back once communicated. Questions on the other hand requires an answer and when posed in a caring way can quickly establish rapport with a client.

Subtle nuances picked up by the Sales Leader through asking the right questions can greatly assist in creating positive client engagement. A practical example would be to refrain from the very obvious question of:  how are you? People are so used to being asked this question that they are not likely to give you a very open and honest answer and will be likely to provide you with very generic answers such as, “Fine thank you, “Well thanks and you”, and so forth.

By very simply changing the question to: “How are you feeling today? “, the very perceptive Sales Leader can relatively easily pick up on the client’s emotional state and adjust the conversation from there in order to create rapport.

In Summary, this writing actually asks one question to all CEOs’ and/or boards that must take their companies forward towards a desired future state: Do you want sales people and managers whom are likely to maintain the status quo, or do you seek Sales Leaders whom will challenge the status quo and will always be willing to ask more of themselves in terms of increased skill levels and performance?

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