08 Apr Selling From The Inside
Selling From the Inside
The second of the three keys to profitable growth is to sell more to the clients that you already have. Many acquisitions are pursued and consummated with the belief that a firm’s existing base of clients presents a ready marketplace for new services or line extensions. Growing organically in this manner is efficient, readily available and fairly low risk – or is it?
One problem (and we’ve seen this a lot) is that the execution seldom lives up to the strategy. There are several systemic reasons for this.
Account managers operating successful services are typically relied upon to leverage the reputation and trust they’ve built with their clients to introduce the new service. All too often they are less enthusiastic than management expects, because:
1. They are operators, not sales people, so they may well lack confidence,
2. They are inwardly more resistant than we would think, simply because things are probably going pretty well right now – and they hesitate to introduce new risk to the core relationship,
3. They’ve probably heard some negative buzz about early ‘stumbles’, and,
4. The WIFM (“What’s In It For Me?”) has not been clearly thought through or communicated to them.
Senior leadership needs to clearly articulate their expectations of current account managers and operators, as they launch the cross-selling initiative. At the same time, they will need to invest in their current cadre of operators, in the same way they set aside the investments they will make in launching the line extension or funding the acquisition. These investments should include the following components:
- Training – A customized course covering comprehensive product/service knowledge, persuasive selling/influencing paradigms and responding to common objections.
- Revelation Xsm – A detailed understanding of the inherent risk existing with “satisfied” clients and how the “Value Gap” can be closed by extending the service offering.
- Incentives – Decisions covering compensation and non-monetary aspects of recognition, incentives, internal communication and feedback that address hesitancies and model desired behaviors.
“Selling From the Insidesm” is one of the core curricula Tenacity offers our clients during this stage of their growth cycle. The course prepares account managers and operators to achieve success with their clients, by profitably expanding their service relationships.
We’d be happy to tell you more about it and to work with you to successfully execute your plans for organic growth. It’s usually not quite as easy as you first think, but given proper preparation, it can powerfully leverage the hard-won success you’ve already achieved.
John and Steve