When it comes to process improvement, most job shops are understandably focused on manufacturing. However, ignoring some common sense ways to optimize your sales processes could mean leaving opportunities—and money—on the table.
Here are five practical ways to boost job shop sales:
1. It’s all about the customer.
Like individuals, companies are unique. They cannot—and should not—be solely defined by their market or product. The key to the sale, then, is to abandon the canned sales pitch and have an honest conversation. Listen for the needs your customer expresses, and respond with potential solutions you can offer.
2. Get out of the “process” mindset.
Manufacturing, by nature, is driven by detailed processes that delineate steps from project start through finish. That’s a great approach in the shop, but making a sale isn’t always that straightforward—and doesn’t always require a long series of steps to successfully close. Holding each transaction to a “checklist” could be unduly cumbersome, and may rob you of time you could be spending on another deal.
3. Remember the 80/20 rule.
When you consider that most of your income stems from a small fraction of your customers, it makes sense to provide high touch service and support to the top 20% of your accounts. But, don’t ignore the up-and-comers in the remaining customer pool. Identify smaller accounts with “20% potential” and the ways you might grow those relationships.
4. Target key decision makers.
When dealing with larger companies, keep in mind there’s often a group of people involved in approving job shop projects and the budgets that go with them. The person you initially speak with may have to pitch it to their manager, and that manager goes up the chain to an executive, who often needs an okay from from the purchasing or accounting department. Get as many decision makers as possible involved early on, so they can collectively understand and get excited about the value you can provide to their project. Their motivation to bring you on board puts you in the best position to make the sale.
5. Be prepared to walk away.
The reality of doing business is that not every prospect you pursue will become a customer, and you won’t make every sale. Acknowledge when your job shop isn’t a fit and reallocate your resources and efforts to the next deal as soon as possible. You’ll save time, money, and frustration.
By rethinking your sales processes, you put your job shop in the best position for sustained growth. Contact Wipfli today to learn more about how to leverage your opportunities.