Archive for February, 2009

Fire Your Customers! – Business Sales

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

The beginning of a new year is the time when most people take a look at last year and set some goals for next year.

In our personal lives we don’t stick to them for very long, I hope in your business life that’s not the case.

This year do something a little different. This year try analyzing your customers. See who’s been naughty or nice. I am sure you have heard of the 80/20 rule. If not basically it states that 80%  comes from 20% . Regarding your customers that means that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customer base.

Hard to believe you say. Ok, if you can do a computer print out of your customers in order of sales dollars. If you have 100 customers I’ll bet the top 20 on that list are about 80% of your sales. If you can’t do this by computer do it by hand, it’s worth it.

Now that you have your list there is a lot of planning you can put into this year.

You already know who to focus your efforts on. (The top 20%) You should also look at this list and decide who the up and comers are. Those are the customers with potential. Make sure you nurture them because there is the Blase rule of business that applies also. It states that your present customer list will be 100% different in 5 years or less.

Also look at the list and think about who did you do the most work for, but really didn’t come through for you with purchases.

Who are the biggest complainers? Not the ones you messed up on and have a right to complain, I mean the ones that are never happy no matter what.

Who are slow to pay their bills?

Do you have some customers that you know just aren’t a good match for you your salespeople and your business?

Fire them!

I know that sounds harsh, but you are wasting time and money on customers that will suck up your profits instead of making you money. You need to focus on the up and comers and the 20% that support 80% of your business.

I had a young man from church ask me if I would mentor him in sales. I agreed to do it on one condition. He had to do everything I told him to do or it was over.

When we started he was making $28,000 per year in a base plus sales job. He had over 300 accounts to call on. We sat down and reviewed all of his accounts and fired 257 of them. I even had him tell his boss he didn’t want those accounts so the liability was gone and he could focus.

That year he made just a little over $65,000 and wasn’t as stressed out by his job.

I know this is a hard thing to do, but there really are bad orders and bad customers, so FIRE THEM!

Now go sell something.
Take care,