By: Bryan Martin, Sales at Nexstar Network

In order to survive, companies must accomplish two things – increase sales and improve performance.

Typically companies do little more than cutting costs while assuming that sales and marketing are the key factors for improved business. My job at Nexstar® Network gives me the great opportunity to lead PHCE contractors to business growth, profit and an improved lifestyle.

CRUCIAL MISTAKES many companies make when attempting business growth:

Doubling the ground coverage does not equal double ROI!

A common reaction for most managers is to require their team to double their efforts on the phone, but doing more of the same will not always mean the same results. Companies need to work smarter, not harder. You need to anticipate the benefits of focused key messaging, while reviewing your client needs and expectations.

Discounting to increase sales.

This tactic is frequently a panic measure brought about by the first blunder I mentioned. If you have not correctly positioned your product and services, no amount of discounting your product or service will persuade your customer that it’s an even better value for the money.

Do not train your staff – ever!

Many companies consider the training budget a cost, but you should actually look at it as an investment. Are you holding weekly business training meetings? Instead of wondering if employees will leave after you train them, start believing that if you train them, they will stay!

Don’t target your customers.

Blanketing an entire area with marketing will not only result in an increase of low value customers, but will force technicians to travel great distances to pick up any job, while competitors grab the biggest and best customers. Understand that not everyone is your customer. Know who your customers are, and make that your target market!

Don’t set goals for your sales team.

By not setting goals your sales team will not know what is expected of them, not know which customers to target and the sales manager will find it difficult to motivate them to a better performance. Sales people who stay within their comfort zone are “just filling orders” as they fly below the radar, along with your business. Give your sales team targeted goals and build an environment that produces success!

Don’t bother with all that motivation stuff!

Selling is a tough occupation and motivation needs to be a regular part of the sales manager’s activities. Identifying the motivation of an individual will help turn an average sales person into a star! But start with your own attitude. Attitudes are contagious – is yours worth catching?

Don’t ask for the business

More than 70% of sales people do NOT ask for the business! They may well build trust and rapport with the customer during their presentation as they identify the benefits while answering all the objections, but then they don’t complete the sale! Often fear of rejection is at the root of this issue. But by not stepping outside of your comfort zone and asking for some form of commitment, you are leaving the door open for the client to say “I’ll think about it.” If you allow a stall, you’ve probably allowed a sale to slip away.

Work smarter not harder! Train your employees, target the right customers, set goals for your team, build a winning attitude and always ask for the business. Stay away from the blunders mentioned above, and your company is sure to grow.  Take this Free Business Assessment to see how your business aligns. I would be glad to help you take a closer look at your company’s direction and goals – Feel free to contact me any time.

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Nexstar Network is a business-development and best-practice organization for residential PHCE contractors.