To help kick off Education Day at ASI Chicago yesterday, industry consultant David Blaise offered up several ideas to quickly expand a distributor’s sales. The first step to achieving more success is “to identify high-dollar buyers and get more of them. You want to look for low-risk, high-reward opportunities,” said Blaise, in a session titled “Start Your Engines.”
To do that, Blaise told attendees to qualify prospects. Ask potential clients: What events do you have coming up? What promotions do you use? What kind of customers do you want to attract? What’s worked for you? “If people provide negative answers to these questions or show little interest, run, don’t walk, away,” said Blaise, co-founder of consultancy Blaise Drake and Company.
A second key to boosting your sales is to position yourself as the only viable solution for a prospect. “This is your unique selling proposition,” Blaise said. “Let customers know how you’re different and better than your competition. Make sure you quantify things, like your availability.”
Just telling prospects that you provide great customer service isn’t enough. “Lots of people can do that,” Blaise said.
A third idea from Blaise: Convert one-time buyers into multi-buyers by having a repeatable strategy. “You need to have a post-sale, follow-up process,” he said. “This might be sending a thank-you note. It might be sending an order reminder card. Clients will appreciate you more.”
As you win more repeat business from clients, you should also work to multiply your current customer base. Getting more referrals, testimonials and case studies should be at the heart of your efforts, said Blaise.
One final tip: “Ask for a client’s artwork early in the process,” Blaise said. “If you get it, you’ll dramatically increase the likelihood you’ll get the sale.”