Doom and Gloom in the Sales Sector

Now more than ever am I hearing salesman complain that times are very tough. This often makes me smile as, in my opinion, sales people can be divided into two groups, those that will go out and find the business and those that will wait for the business to come to them. Be it challenging or fruitful economic times, the latter are always moaning and the aforementioned content and happy.

I remember when I had a dive shop creating a list and categorising my clients into these areas:

will probably purchase,

may purchase

and doubtful they will purchase.

These were based upon the clients that I had dealt with up to 12 months back. Regardless of the category they were in, everyone was called; some were just called more than others.

Whenever I got new stock or were running a course these clients were called. Many dive centres feel that a mere email will do the trick. I feel that it needs to be followed up with a personal call. If you are complaining about business and are not calling your past clients, how are you going to keep your doors open?

So what can you do to assist you with your sales?

1. Work with you existing satisfied customer
If someone has purchase something from you in the past, you have more than likely built a good relationship with them. This should open up opportunities for later sales. Keep in regular contact with them; call them to ask them if they are satisfied with the product that you have already sold them.

2. Create new customers
Ensue that you try to build a relationship even with a customer that is “just looking”. Find out there interests, don’t try to pressurise them into a sale if they are unwilling, rather build a connection with them so.

3. Bring a Friend
We all know how effective word of mouth is; PADI has, in several surveys shown that divers will tell their friends if they have had a good experience. Get these names from your clients and send out an email introduction and then follow up with a telephone call, invite them into your facility for a coffee or a Discover Scuba Session. Visit Recruiting new divers – DSD for more information.

4. Make that call
During tough times, don’t just make a call for the sake of it, have a staff meeting and find out which of your clients are more likely to actually make a purchase during these times, look at clients that will probably purchase, or may purchase.

5. Networking
Whether you are going for a social drink, to a sporting event or just going out, you are always meeting people, ensure that you have a business card and an up to date website, the address of which is on the business card. You now have many opportunities to exchange details with prospective clients and they can always go back to your website for more information. If you have eLearning linked to your website, they can start the course immediately if they are not already a diver.

6. Corporate, Banks and your local corner cafe
These are good source for any new business. To quote Douglas Nash, PADI Vice President of sales and marketing: “The success of the diving industry relies upon bums on seats.” My question then is why do we not go out and find new business? Having new divers ensures your facility will be selling more equipment and continued education. Start by researching other businesses it will give you credibility when you meet with them to offer them a Discover Scuba Diving Voucher.

7. Become a Counsellor
You need to become a problem solver, not only when it comes to sales objections but we sell a product that solves people’s problems. People are becoming far more stressed and uptight, people want to get back into nature, people want to reconnect with themselves, people want excitement and fun. We have a product that can fulfil all of those needs, all we need to do is to sell it to them. No one wants to hear about all of the features of a product ask them about their wants and needs and give them what they are asking for.

8. Self Belief.
Many of my regions are currently experiencing tough economic times and sales in general are never easy but you need to believe in yourself. Woes and tough times are all a part of life. Many of us have experienced similar times in the past, and we will experience times like these again. Don’t spiral into negativity, doom and gloom, go out there and do something positive. I know it’s possible as many dive centres are reporting their best seasons yet.

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