Do employees (other than sales people) pro-actively generate sales for your business? If not, get excited! You may just have discovered a great revenue boosting opportunity for your company. You're also not alone. Most of the businesses that I review do not come close to maximizing the sales opportunities through their customer interacting personnel. Some of my most successful sales boosting results have been largely due to the contributions of individuals who do not consider themselves to be sales people. This is where you can improve competitiveness and make more money. Find selling opportunities through these people!
What do I mean by this? Here are a few examples:
1) Turn a customer inquiry into an upsell opportunity.
Suppose you sell insurance. A client calls your office. Your CSR does a wonderful job handling the auto renewal policy. The customer is delighted with the professionalism demonstrated by one of your employees. This is a wonderful time to ask, "How will you protect your family in case something happens to you or your spouse?" This is a qualifying question for life insurance. Questions like these often turn into great sales opportunities to pass along to a sales person. It can't happen unless the CSR is trained to ask these type of questions. In order to maintain the initiative, the CSR requires reinforcement, encouragement and recognition to continue asking on every call.
2) Turn a quote that didn't close into a sale.
This is an amazing opportunity that many businesses miss. Employees give out quotes. Not all quotes convert to sales right away. Many companies don't follow up on quotes at all. Others don't put in a solid effort on follow-up activities. If this is your company, you have a lot of opportunity for more sales!
Most of my clients (and past employers) increase their quote close rate 50% or more simply by passing any quotes along to a sales person to follow up on. One other key, the sales person and any supervisor needs to be held accountable for a resolution to that specific opportunity. Bottom line. Follow up on all quotes at or above a specific dollar amount (determined by you) and watch the sales increase.
3) Before hanging up the phone or leaving a meeting, ask for a referral. (This is my favorite)
What is the number 1 reason that companies don't get referrals. Answer: Their people don't ask for them. Seems so simple, but its true. Another huge opportunity. Let's use the insurance scenario from bullet 1). Again, the customer is delighted with the service just received. They are ready for a quick dialogue about how wonderful this insurance company is and how great of a relationship they have. This is a perfect time to ask, "Who do you know that could use some of our friendly service, while protecting themselves and their families?" The CSR can be trained to ask this question. Remind them of "Joe Girard's Law of 250". The typical person knows at least 250 people.
I explained 3 situations that you can use non-selling people to generate great opportunity for your company. There are many more. Want to share an idea? Post a comment or e-mail me please! This thought process is conceptual and the example used for insurance agencies applies to almost any business that involves sales transactions. The language would vary slightly for other lines of business, but the upsell opportunity, the quote follow up and the referral opportunities are real. Just think about what a good upsell, quote minimum amount, and referral approach would be for your company.
Be assured that, unless held accountable for such activities, most of your current sales people do not consistently ask all these questions or have this approach. It's not up to them to make it happen. It's up to the owner or another leader to insure that employees are trained and supported to deliver the right sales productivity to the organization. Incentives and recognition are key to success. Thanks for reading. Feel free to email me with any comments. Thanks again! Chris