Maximising Profit 1
Maximising Your Profits 1
From seeing our best selling customers and how they work, I can say that the most important part of the selling process is building your customers' confidence in you and that this is often more important than product or price. Here are some of the things that companies use for a confidence building and succesful sale which ultimately means a profitable sale. Not all of these will agree with everyone's selling methods but remember that just one improvement could make a significant different to profitablilty.
1) Maintain a sales force over a long time. Experienced sales people that understand your product, your prices, and margins, are essential to building customer confidence. A lot of companies say that salemen should not know margins but ultimately this means they have less confidence when selling. If they have been with you a long time and get rewarded for helping you increase margins then everyone wins.
2) Show the customers what they are going to get. Sample cases, presentation folders and conservatory software are an important part of building customer confidence.
3) Work out your costs and use these to work out your selling prices. This can be done by applying a consistent margin across the board. This has lots of benefits including the following important ones:
- Every conservatory you sell will make a known margin.
- When faced with tough competiton you will know exactly how much margin is available for discount and when to walk away - let your competition do the work that is not profitable.
- You and your sales force will have confidence in your prices
- You will no longer accidentally sell conservatories at a loss !
- You won't be afraid to discount that final few percent to get a big job because you will know it will still be profitable.
4) Reassure your customers with evidence of your abilities. Some simple marketing material to back up your claims of product quality gives enormous reassurance to your customers. If you don't have this then maybe your supplier does.
5) Be confident to go into details where appropriate. It is better to clear up potential issues and costs at the point of sale than try to increase the price at survey. It means less cancelled jobs and actually improves buyer trust. This is a tricky one for some salesmen. The philosphy goes that it is best to ignore problems at the point of sale and clear them up at survey but how often does that impact on profitability - again, it's better to do less unprofitable jobs.
6) Create problems and solve them. Create a problem in the customers mind but carefully ensure that you can solve it. If your customer is on the ball they will think your competitors didn't talk about the problems because they can't solve them. Let them know they are safe buying from you.
7) Don't criticise your competion. If you follow 6 above then your customer will do it for you.
8) Price on the night with confidence (if you want to). Some companies have great showrooms, and if you do, by all means bring customers back to sign, but otherwise an exact price calculated efficiently and comprehensively with confidence is often enough to close and close at a higher price. Consumers have more confidence in computer generated prices than invented on the spot prices or even paper and calculator derived prices. This one point alone can allow you to close at a price higher than your competition.
9) Deliver the right product. Everyone knows this but it is amazing how many mistakes are still made between sale and final installation. Record each sale in detail, print out a contract, base plan etc to avoid confusion and send the orders for windows and roof electronically wherever possible. Even when you spot mistakes early it is costly and time consuming to put them right later and this can stop referrals dead - your best marketing tool spoiled from the start.
10) Collect and use testimonials - your potential customers will feel reassured that you have other satisfied customers, and your existing customers may be flattered to be asked for one. "You arrived when you said you would, left the site tidy every night and even cleaned my windows for me afterwards!" says a lot more than "Thanks for installing my conservatory"
I hope this information is of use - selling and marketing is a huge subject but this information could help you to improve sales and profit margins.
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