CRM as an Investment in Growth and Profitability*
by Jeffrey Bowe
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is typically thought of as the software package that keeps track of your customers and all of your communications with those customers. While CRM is that, it is more importantly the complete set of all activities, which are used to collect data from and disseminate information to customers and prospects. A recent survey asked respondents how marketing would be different in the year 2020 and 84% felt one to one marketing will increase. (Carlson Marketing Worldwide, 2008) This is a pendulum swing from the 1970’s to 1990’s when mass marketing became the rage. CRM is about understanding customers in today’s global economy the same way the neighborhood grocery store did in the 1950’s where the local storeowner understood how his customers spent money, what they liked, and what they did not like. (Groves, 2002)
My question is if you are wanting to market to physicians, and physicians are a “protected” group (by managers, and office staff) what is the best way to approach the physicians on a plan that can help their office succeed without just placing an advertisement in a medical magazine?
Business might be rough in some sectors, but others are growing and expanding. Increasing sales is as much an attitude as it is a strategy. Even in a down economy, some companies expand—they choose not to participate in the decline. We have several clients who are not participating in the decline and want to hire outside and inside sales people. We don’t do paid recruiting but we do help select and train sales teams. If you or someone you know are looking for an inside or outside sales position, email us about your goals and we’ll see if we can help.
One of the greatest freedoms in America is owning your own business. Businesses are started, bought, and sold every day. People start businesses to chase a dream and to have control of their own destiny. Many businesses are sold because the time is right for the seller. It could be family, a change in interest, retirement, or part of a planned investment strategy. At ACTUM, we talk with business owners all the time who want to sell for any number of reasons. If you have ever thought about owning a business, even in a remote fleeting moment of anti-employer anguish, give us a call. We do not do full scale business brokerage but we do know of opportunities that include a golf course, retail stores, restaurants, small manufacturer, and various franchises right now that might be perfect for you. If we can connect you to your dream, great. It you want help buying and growing the business, that’s even better—we would work for you and not the seller. Either way, if we know what you might be interested in, we’ll keep our eyes and ears open for the perfect match.
The Two Most Dangerous Words in Sales are Not “No” and “Maybe”
by Jeff Bowe
“No” and “Maybe” are bad words in sales when it comes to getting cash in your pocket, but they pale in comparison to the worst two. Without a doubt, the two most dangerous words in sales are, “I think.” It is not that I do not want sales professionals to think. Rather, I want them to know. I want salespeople to know why their last customer bought from them, why this prospect bought a similar offering from a competitor last time, and how much this prospect will gain from purchasing from them. Why is “I think” so dangerous?
Let’s look at the difference between “I think” and “I know.” The former is a guess of questionable reliability while the latter is a fact that can be substantiated. When you “think” you know the answer to a question, you are hoping that you are right. You are making an assumption. You are playing the lottery that the reason you pick is correct. Just like the lottery, the odds of being right are stacked against you. CONTINUED (The Two Most Dangerous Words in Sales)
Your Customer Service Reputation
by Scott Seibert
What makes your customers buy from you twice? What makes them never buy from you again? What makes your customers tell everyone they meet that they should buy your product or service? What makes them tell everyone they meet to run for cover? The answer is simple. It is Customer Service.
Successful marketing gets you in front of potential customers who are in your target market. Successful sales techniques get those prospects to buy (at ACTUM we make you an expert at turning prospects into customers). Successful customer service then keeps them buying from you. There is little reason to invest in the first two if you don’t have a plan to make your customer service better than your competitors.
How would you define Customer Service (CS)? Think about it. What CS has made your day brighter? On the flip side, what CS has made you want to strangle somebody? What examples can you think of where a company’s CS has negated all the effort and money that went into their marketing and sales effort? Where have you made what you thought was going to be a routine purchase but because of outstanding customer service, you’ve become a regular purchaser of that product or service? Write those answers down. Then apply them to your business or organization. CONTINUED (Your Customer Service Reputation)…