This is the fourth in a 7-part Profitability series coinciding with the July 14 release of my new book, Profit In Plain Sight: The Proven Leadership Path to Unlock Profit Passion and Growth by New York publisher Morgan James, AND the accompanying 2015 Return on People Benchmark Report that will help you shatter your profitability speed limits, set the bar higher, and achieve your new goals.
Part 4: 7 Ways to Sell More Products and Services
Did you know that 40% of the companies who increase revenues in a given year will actually decrease their profits? They’re going in the wrong direction! Selling more and ending up with less is never a strategy for success.
I learned this lesson early in my career as a young manager in a company that was hell-bent on reaching a billion dollars in sales (OK, I’m dating myself… in those days that was a big number, these days I think Facebook does that in a month). As a result they took deals at any price, and I vividly remember managers going into calls with their reps at the end of the month and the end of the quarter, undoing months of value-add selling with one simply question: “What’s it gonna take to close this deal by the end of the week?” Naturally our customers came back with price – we’d trained them to – and the company obediently dropped its drawers to accommodate them. That company was the once-proud Digital Equipment, and it ended up downsizing 120,000 people worldwide before disappearing into the arms of a competitor none of us had ever taken seriously – Compaq.
Did you know that 12% of the Fortune 500 are repeating that lesson today? They’re some of the biggest companies in the world… but they are losing money! Big revenues does not mean big profits.
Yet there’s a way to drive revenues the right way, and I call it the “Ramp Up” strategy – you’re “ramping up” profitability with your marginally profitable customers to grow your profitable sales, rather than sales at all costs.
Almost every company is leaving money on the table. In one case, a safety-equipment supply company I worked with realized that they were the “smallest” supplier to their “largest” customers! Those customers had needs that that company could serve… but business was leaking out to their competitors, simply because they had a very well-compensated set of order takers in lieu of salespeople who were looking for more business. Don’t you just hate when that happens? We fixed that in a hurry!
There are 7 different Ramp Up strategies outlined in Profit In Plain Sight, and I can’t do them all justice here. So I’ll share one of the most powerful with you. You know it you’ve experienced it… now its time to use it. It’s called the “Fries With That?” strategy, and McDonald’s has used it to add billions in profitable revenues. Almost every company has a “Fries With That” opportunity – whether you’re in a sealed bid environment where the “fries” are scope changes after being the successful bidder, or whether you’re in the services business where your “fries” could be additional services (the cable and telco bundling programs are prime examples) or even a product (my primary business is consulting services but I also sell books, ebooks, and pre-recorded teleseminars). And if you sell products, there are typically a plethora of “fries with that” opportunities to sell either more products or more services. If you’ve ever heard me tell the story of the ball bearing manufacturer and the Ziploc bag (its in the book) you’ll know what I mean.
If you haven’t already registered for your reminder notice to pick up a copy of Profit in Plain Sight on July 14 and receive over $500 in Launch Bonuses (there are some GREAT ones!) go to www.ProfitInPlainSight.com now and get ready to take your business to a whole new level. I’m told it’s a good read – one serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist even called it a “blinding flash of the obvious”. Enjoy.
How do YOU ensure that you’re selling “good revenues” vs “loss-leader” type business?