The graph of easy sales ain’t so easy.
Jeffrey, my question is…
I am looking for a sales graphic that an associate of mine told me about. It has 4 quadrants:
1 selling current customers current products;
2 selling current customers new products;
3 selling new customers current products;
4 selling new customers new products.
Supposedly, the theory goes (and the graphic shows) that the best return is in quadrant 1 current products to current customers. Do you have any materials that show such a graph, or support the theory that selling current products (that they aren’t using) to current customers gives the best return? I appreciate your input (and love your column).
Sales Genius in Pittsburgh
Dear Sales Genius,
I have never seen the graph.
Your graph has four scenarios, but as with most statistical graphs, it’s too generic to mean anything and would vary from industry to industry and between product and service businesses. This graph also assumes that all your present customers love you. Big assumption.
If I were to make the graph I would combine categories one and two
1 selling current customers current products; and
2 selling current customers new products;
The idea of selling is to build your business through your present base of customers. You could argue into the night about current or new. I believe “new” has the slight edge, because most of us associate “new” with “better”
Do you want the new computer or the existing one? The new version of the software, or the existing one? Most people would take new.
And as to #3 and #4, let’s combine them as well (selling new customers current products and new products). AND I would add another category “Selling new customers referred by current customers buying new or current products.
We now have three categories in the Gitomer “easiest to sell” Graph:
1. Selling current customers current products and new products;
2. Selling unreferred new customers current products and new products
3. Selling new customers referred by current customers current and new products.
Now let’s put them in order of (obvious) best return for sales hour invested:
1. Selling current customers current products and new products. *
2. Selling new customers referred by current customers current and new products. **
3. Selling unreferred new customers current products and new products.
* Assumes happy customers.
** Assumes that you can earn referrals.
The “new and unreferred” customer is the hardest, most frustrating, lowest percentage sale, and often the biggest waste of time in a salespersons day. The involve the “prospecting” element of sales at it’s least productive level the cold call, the unsolicited letter, direct mail, and the like.
Why do salespeople use category three the worst category as a main source of selling? Here are the 5.5 big reasons:
1. Their boss said they had to.
2. They think it will work, because someone trained them to “do it this way.”
3, The think it will work in spite of what anyone said.
4. In their mind, they think they have no other choice.
5. They have no or low relationship with existing customers.
5.5 They are unwilling to do the hard work to position themselves as a resource for answers or leader, and become known to their prospects (new customers) before they make the call.
NOTE WELL: There is no easiest place to make a sale there are places where the percentages favor you, but no sale is easy. Every salespersons dream is to make the most sales, with the least hassles, in the shortest time this is accomplished by establishing a base of customers who love you and love to do business with you. Sounds simple but it ain’t easy.
Hope that helps.
Very truly yours,
EPILOGUE: There is no graph of sales, there is no system of sales, there is no best way to sell that can’t be proven wrong. There are better ways than others, there are smarter ways than others, there are even easier ways than others the answer for you is learn several “ways” and “systems” select what you feel fits your personality and adapt what is comfortable (and real).
FREE GitBit… Want to know the best way to get referrals? Be careful it requires work on your part. Just go to www.gitomer.com click Free Stuff the click GitBit register and enter the secret word, “REFERRAL”.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
1999 All Rights Reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written
permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112