• Dennis Kelley

    David Kelley

    Dennis Kelley is a seasoned professional with over 30 years experience leading teams and coaching people to success. Dennis is in high demand as a speaker, consultant, trainer and an author... Read More

    David Kelley

  • Inspirational Quote

    “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” -- Michalangelo
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  • June 2018
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Quick…When I Say Salesmen What Comes to Mind?

salesWhen I ask most people that question the typical responses are a wrinkle of their nose and words like, pushy, intrusive, won’t take no for an answer, an interruption, and even rude. It is a reaction born from experience and stereotypes. Just think of the last time you interacted with someone trying to sell you something. Was the experience a good one? Did you find yourself becoming defensive?

Salespeople who act in ways that make us uncomfortable have confronted us all.  For example, there is the sales person that just would not leave you alone or tried to push you into buying something you didn’t need. Not all of our experiences have been bad, but they are the ones we remember…and tell others about! The good experiences tend to be ones that feel right and you did not feel pressured into the purchase. The salesperson may have been very persuasive, but their style and approach did not leave you feeling pressured.

Many times, I find my clients struggling with the concept of truly selling in their business. They are concerned others will see their business in this same negative light. “If I’m just nice to my customers and give them a good product, then they will buy,” is the common position many owners take.

But, here’s the real shocker…we are all salespeople! That’s right; we are all salespeople.  We sell every day…in our personal life, with our spouse, kids, friends and others we meet, during our normal daily activities. In your business life, you are selling to your employees, co-workers, vendors, and yes, even with your customer.

You see, selling occurs anytime you are trying to persuade someone else. In fact, the most successful sales people are those who can talk to people, listen actively, and uncover their needs to reach agreement. Selling is actually a very positive activity and extremely important in every business. No business can survive if selling is not a key priority that is practiced and coached daily.

It is also critical to understand your sales numbers. Three areas you must focus on in order to improve your results are: your conversion of prospects into paying customers, the average amount each customer spends with you each time they make a purchase and how many times they buy from you. Let’s take a quick look at each one.

Sales conversion rate – set up a simple process to measure the number of prospects your business generates and how many of them make a purchase. Your business already generates prospects so converting more of those prospects to paying customers is a low-cost way to increase revenues. This includes how many people contact your business through website visits, phone calls, personal visits, pro-active salesperson contacts, etc. Improve your conversion rate and your marketing efficiency increases making your business more profitable.

Average amount sold to each client – measure the average ticket size per sale in your business. Increasing this average through cross-selling and up-selling will increase revenues very cost effectively. Your average will increase by offering your prospects and clients additional services or adding value to their purchase. It goes without saying that this must be done ethically and be in the interest of the client. However, there are many ways to increase the average amount sold. Some of these include offering additional products or services, service agreements, or other valuable items that are in the best interest of the customer.

Number of times a customer buys from you – keeping your current customers coming back again and again is cheaper than finding new people to buy from you all the time. Build a base of loyal customers and keep them coming back to grow your business. Successful businesses know how to keep their customers coming back while also attracting new ones. Build customer loyalty programs, communicate with them on a regular basis, understand and meet their on-going needs and be sure to thank them for their business.

I define selling as “professionally helping others to buy.”  Note the term professionally as that is a critical part of the process.  It is not about being pushy, rude, aggressive, etc.  It is about finding a need and showing the prospect how to meet the need through your business and its products…professionally. 

Changing perceptions, either yours or those of your team, about what selling is and how to do it will help you grow your business revenue and even more importantly your profits. 

Now go sell, sell, sell…professionally!

To your success,
Dennis

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One Simple Idea to Increase Revenues

Watch Sales Grow
Watch Sales Grow

Here is a simple idea that will help you increase your revenue with just a little focus and effort.

Calculate the dollar amount of each sale that you make. Take the total dollar amount of sales you make and divide it by the number of sales made. This will give you the average of each sale you make and a starting point for measuring your improvements.
Once you know what your average is, make it your goal to increase this average. Start a simple system for keeping track of your average on a daily or weekly basis and keep a record of it. Your objective is to create ideas to increase the average.
These will be the sales tactics you employ. Some ideas to get you started include;
  • focus your sales on the higher dollar value items
  • use suggestive selling to add items of value to the sale. Think about Wendy’s and their supersizing strategy
  • bundle items that compliment each other to create a package that creates value for the customer and a profitable sale for you
  • add service contracts or similar support programs to the sale

You get the idea. Come up with your own list by brainstorming with your team. There are many ways to do this that can benefit your business. Just be sure to keep your customers at the forefront of your thoughts. Make sure you are adding value to their relationship with your business.

Just making this one minor adjustment to your sales process can increase sales significantly adding profits to your bottom line.

To Your Success,
Dennis

Creating Trust with Your Customers

business-people3Over the past several months there have been many instances where consumers have been left with trust issues about business. From E. Coli in spinach, to lead in toys — there have been many concerns about product safety lately. Add to that the trust concerns consumers have about price increases in energy, food and health care and trust in business would seem to be taking a hit.

It’s interesting then that a recent study called the “Edelman Trust Barometer of 2007” indicates that 58 percent of U.S. college-educated opinion leaders age 35 to 64 say they trust business, up from 44 percent in 2002. That is a significant increase over the last five years. The study indicates that overall, people trust local brands more than global ones. That could be a major factor in the message you convey to your clients and prospects.

Another interesting finding is that, “People are nearly twice as likely to believe a regular employee of a company as they are the CEO,” says Laurence Evans, president of StrategyOne, the research arm of Edelman. Typically, your customers are interacting with your team members on a day-to-day basis so empowering your team to make decisions and take action to WOW a customer will pay big dividends in your customer satisfaction levels.

Take the time to train and build credibility with your team. Create a culture of truthfulness and integrity in your business and this culture will come out when serving your clients. If they trust you and they believe you then they are much more likely to buy from you … and come back for more!

Creating and Keeping a Healthly Business – Part II

Creating Great

Creating Great

This is the second part in a series about the steps that are critical for you to focus on and understand in order to build and maintain a strong healthly business. In the first part I addressed the issue of key financial drivers and how important it is to know them and understand how to use them in your business.

In this post, I will deal with the importance of understanding the business. While it may seem obvious that you need to understand your business, it isn’t as simple as it sounds. You must take time to really analyze the different aspects of your business and how they work together.

Here are some questions to ask yourself and explore to truly understand the workings of your company.

  • What functions directly affect your performance?
  • What’s the primary role of each functional area within your company?
  • What are the key skills required to succeed in your business/industry?
  • How do functional strategies affect your overall performance?
  • What systems are required to create maximum leverage?

When you analyze these issues, make sure you dig deep with your answers. Don’t just answer them in high-level generalized ways. Be very specific and get to the root of each area. Keep digging deeper until you are at the very core of the issue.

For example, when you address the functions affecting your performance, don’t just list out the obvious functions. Instead, think in very specific terms to identify ALL the functions that impact each area. What functions affect marketing, sales, technology, personnel, pricing, etc. The more you understand,  the better prepared you are to impact their influence on your bottom line.

Be sure to seek out others to help you in this evaluation. Find subject matter experts, inside or outside your company, and interview them. Get an outsider’s perspective from a mentor or coach to validate your internal findings.

The next time, I will discuss the importance of developing a culture in your business. Whether you are a business of one person or hundreds, a company culture exists. We’ll discuss why it is important and how to create it.

To Your Success,
Dennis

Creating and Keeping a Healthy Business

Know Your Business Vital SignsThis is the first in a series of post where I want to address the four things you must focus on and understand to keep your business healthy and strong.

By paying attention to these areas, you will find that you have a much better perspective on your business and more control over it. These four main areas will help you to recognize when changes may be needed or adjustments made to keep the business growing and prosperous — or to build it if you have been struggling.

The first critical focus area is understanding your Key Financial Drivers. Ask yourself, “What make my company money,” What costs us money,” What are our key performance indicators (KPI) that tell me if the business is performing effectively,” and “How are we performing against our stated goals?” By asking yourself these questions you will be addressing the key financial areas that drive your business.

What naturally happens when you ask these questions is that you go gather the data to answer the question. If you keep asking these questions on a regular basis then you begin to understand how your business works from a financial perspective and you start to make better decisions. The quality of the decisions you make is in direct proportion to the quality of the questions you ask.

Here are some action items to get you started using these questions to understand your businesses financial health.

  • Review the financial reports and indicators for your business (if you don’t have them, that is your first step – create them today!)
  • Assess anything that is unclear about the financial performance.
  • Determine what areas of your business need to be monitored that will tell you if you are on track. These become your KPI’s and should be tracked and reviewed regularly.
  • Spend time with your CPA or accountant to talk about ways to improve your results.
  • Make a list of areas you want to focus on and tie them back to your long-term goals to make sure they are supporting your vision.

Understanding your financial situation is absolutely critical to your business health. History is littered with failed businesses that had a great product, a strong market and competent workers and still failed because the owner did not understand how to manage the money. Cash is king and cash-flow does not equal profit — know the difference and manage using the numbers. Your business will be much stronger for it.

Next time I will talk about the importance of understanding the business and what you should focus on to keep it growing and healthy.

To Your Success,
Dennis

Join Dennis on September 19th and Increase Your Profits

If you are in the Akron, Ohio area you won’t want to miss our upcoming seminar:

5 Proven Ways to Increase Profits in a Tough Economy

Discover how to keep your business growing and profitable no matter what the economy does. Learn our proven 5 step formula for increasing revenues and profits. Call me today to learn more and register for this business changing event.

Hampton Inn – Akron, OH

I hope to see you there!

Dennis