Selling after the first sale – Step 2 of 3

Making the first sale to a customer is just the beginning of your business relationship with them. This three-step series shows you how to use this ‘platform’ to grow sales (after that first sale) with medium and large sized companies. In Step 1 we spoke about how to better understand the ways your customer buys. Here is step 2 of 3.

Step 2 – Assess Incremental Revenue Opportunities

Assessing the Incremental Revenue Opportunities (IRO) in your existing relationships is a critical, on-going process and must be prioritised. If you map how much revenue you are currently generating in a 12-month period, for an individual product or service offering against each target business unit, you will see opportunities for incremental revenue.

In 2006, I met with the Manager for Automobile Associations in NSW for a major account. Our sales from this account had been on the decline and we were looking at ways to turn the tide within this relationship. We soon built a strong relationship and when we asked, we were told about other areas in the Company that might have a need but where we were not the supplier of choice. Our sponsor agreed, at our request, to hold a lunch-and-learn session about our product range, in their board room. He also sent out invitations by email out to the relevant people.

On the day, we had 26 people from various departments in the Company, visit the lunch-and-learn session, meet with the key members of our Account Management team and discuss their needs. A number of them said, “We didn’t know that you could do that!” Within three months from that event, as a result of good opportunity management, relationship building and follow up, we grew the account revenues by 40%.

While the method of engagement to assess IRO will vary, the process of gaining this knowledge is key to future growth of your business relationship.

In Step 3 of this series, we will look at how to approach internal prospects through relationships and referrals.

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