This is the first in a five-part series about a fundamental error in thinking small businesses make when sales are flat – as they are for many companies in this economy. The series is based on Part 1 of my book, “Small Changes That Help Small Companies Make Big Increases in Sales.”
The error I’m talking about is management’s conviction that what is needed to fix the problem is more leads and a wider group of prospects to sell to.
On the surface this approach seems eminently reasonable, but in fact it is exactly the wrong thing to do.
If you are differentiated and solving a real problem for even some of your customers, then it’s possible for you to create a value proposition for those customers. If you can make that value proposition even more compelling for a smaller market segment, even better. The game is about being able to define your highest probability prospects and successfully sell to them, not about expanding your market segment and trying to fit your value proposition where it doesn’t really belong.
The real road to increased sales is narrowing your market focus and only selling to prospects where you can provide compelling value. When you have a laser focus on those prospects, your closing ratio will soar, your sales efficiency will increase, and you will close significantly more sales using the same level of effort you are expending now.
My experience working with small business clients is that even when they’ve done a good job of figuring out their primary market segments, they haven’t gone the next (and most important) step of refining those segments into small groups of companies that are their highest probability prospects.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll show you how to focus on your prospect instead of your product, how to build a value proposition and define your ideal prospect, how to quit wasting valuable sales time, how to manage your sales force to focus where you want them to, and how to attain an unfair advantage over your competitors.
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