“I stopped drinking on credit after the very first bill I received,” a friend of mine said, still visibly shaken from the memory. “I realised” he went on, “that I was overly generous when I wasn’t feeling the pinch of a cash transaction.” 

So, it’s sill January and customers aren’t buying. Resigning to fate is not productive. In addition to the ones given last week, try out these three activities to jump start your sales.

Credit sells

“I stopped drinking on credit after the very first bill I received,” a friend of mine said, still visibly shaken from the memory. “I realised” he went on, “that I was overly generous when I wasn’t feeling the pinch of a cash transaction.” And that’s the thing about credit-it offers instant gratification and accelerates the sale. What this means is that you can sow in January and reap later. For instance, the buyer interested in the laptop will most likely buy if assured he can pay end month. And because it’s on credit,  spice the deal- throw in the anti-virus and Windows 10 and offer to install them for free. Or, “Let us do the training now, before it gets hectic at work. You can pay next month when you expect your cash flows to improve.” Obviously, for all its ‘magic’ at accelerating the sale, reasonable caution must be exercised in determining whom to extend the credit to.

Engage in non-sales sales activities

A sale is the result of a process. One cannot control the result; one can, however, control the process. This January is a suitable time to focus on the process more. To build on your prospects list (potential buyers) by asking for referrals from existing customers. If selling heavy duty equipment, for instance, to ask for a site visit to appreciate the prospective buyer’s work environment and offer to do an independent audit (on health, safety, efficiency, anything useful) for free. To clear your back-log of paper work which most salespeople detest doing in the throes of the selling season.

Or, to conclusively resolve the pending customer complaints. Like the incorrect spelling of the customer’s name which drives him up the wall every time he opens his statement. And which he has complained about umpteen times.  Have it corrected then call him to sincerely apologize for the error and your tardiness and leave it at that. All these seemingly little processes build momentum to visibly big investments, and a sale.

Deepen your product knowledge

“I happened by the head teacher’s office and was horrified to learn that my by-the-book son sells groundnuts at school”, so a mother revealed at a PTA meeting. If you thought you fully understood your product, you don’t. No one quite solely grasps what their product or service can do. I mean, there is a decades-old cow jelly which women today swear by as the best for skin, and mosquito nets which brides’ use as a veil! Besides knowing the product more from within (like insurance agents gleaning more of the policy document from underwriters), engage customers to find out how the product you sold them is fairing; you just may discover another use for your product and therefore, a whole new market for it.

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