Monthly Archives: May 2022

Under promise and over deliver – really?

How many times have you heard the above phrase used by suppliers and various sales people?

Despite Oscar Wilde’s famous words, consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. When it comes to building a relationship, there is a lot to be said for providing what you need, consistently. All businesses plan their activity based on their own resources as well as those of their suppliers and sub-contractors. Whether you run a time-critical operation such as manufacturing or a service business like marketing business, you need your suppliers to deliver on their promises so you can deliver on yours.

When viewed in this context, under promising and over delivering is not particularly helpful. The problem here is twofold:

  1. When you first start to work with a client, you have a certain amount of guess work to do, and you can’t always guarantee your performance at that stage.
  2. We all get excited about taking a new client on board and sometimes feel we must be willing to provide extra services or do things differently to complete the sale.

So how do you manage new clients’ expectations whilst building a good relationship, without going out of your way and affecting your bottom line?

Here are some words of wisdom from Dwayne Johnson, ‘Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.’

I could not agree more, the key things to consider are:

  • As a business owner or sales manager, you need to have confidence in your product and its ability to deliver to your target market. The key here is to know what you are good at and with whom. That’s not to say that you should not develop new products or enter new markets but do so using the knowledge you have already gained. People generally understand that it’s hard to provide full proof guarantee in advance and respond well to honesty and social proof. So even if they are a new client in a new market, tell them it is so and then use examples from other markets to explain how you approach things and what worked for you in the past.
  • Bespoke service is one of those buzz words that’s easy to sell and appeals to some customers, but it can be hard to deliver on. To scale and grow your business, you need processes and every time you agree to provide a service outside of this, it affects your bottom line. It also makes it that much harder to deliver and is likely to cause issues and to affect your service.  Tell your new clients about your systems and how consistently they work, question their need to have things done differently and learn to say no. Most customers will appreciate an established business who isn’t a push over.
  • To work well with a new customer, there needs to be some synergy between your business and theirs. If you are finding that they constantly push for extras and question the way you do things, they might not be a good fit for you. In my experience, success comes from partnership and shared values, and this is definitely not an overrated buzz word.

Having a key definition of the products and services you deliver as well as understanding your target market and how to reach them is key to identifying quality prospect sand closing sales. Click here to find out how we can help and get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Developing the hidden opportunities in your customer base

Whatever way you look at it, generating additional sales requires additional time and resources to maximise the opportunities available to you. As with most other things in business, working smarter rather than harder is the key to achieving the best return on investment.

You doubtless already have strong working relationships with long standing clients, but how well do they understand you and the full range of services your offer? Research conducted in 2021 for a leading B2B business portal found that 65% of the companies surveyed sold just one product or service to their top ten customers. There are two points to take away from this:

  1.  There is an audience who is already convinced of the key benefits to them of dealing with your company.
  2. Sales of one product or service is more vulnerable to your competitors than a wider range of sales would be.

A client who benefited from YBDT’s help in selling more products to existing clients is Harrier Pneumatics. Their core business was built around supplying new and replacement compressors to industrial customers. Working with our Sales Enablement Consultancy service helped them to identify the best routes to adding to the suite of products and services that their existing clients would benefit from. As in this example, an important part of YBDT’s sales consultancy is analysing your existing client base and their activity. This improves your understanding of the best opportunities to add sales, and to strengthen customer relationships. This goes well with another measure from the said report which states that 70% of the businesses surveyed said that they welcomed proactive approaches from trusted suppliers that saved money or improved their own customer service.

When working for Harrier Pneumatics we discovered that many of their customers were replacing components when regular maintenance would prevent failures, preventing costly production downtime and emergency call outs. Planned maintenance helped Harrier by keeping them in more regular contact with clients and putting them on the spot to discuss upgrades and system expansions. It moved them from being just suppliers of a single part to being a dependable partner in the upkeep of compressed air systems.

YBDT’s sales consultancy service is ideal for companies who need to understand how, why, and when their customers buy. It may be that purchases are made cyclically meaning that you need to be ahead of the competition in discussing renewals of maintenance contracts. Products bought irregularly mean that you need to be in front of the decision maker often enough to seize the opportunity when it arises. Likewise, if you depend on distributors to feed your business string relationships and knowledge of exactly what you do is critical to enable them to sell your products and services effectively.

A final relevant statistic: “It is six to seven times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.” I mentioned earlier the risk associated with supplying a single product into a major client. YBDT’s sales consultancy service can help you make the transition from supplier to partner, safeguarding existing work, and building firm foundations for the future. Get in touch with me to learn more about how YBDT can help.