Turn Missed Sales into Profits

Making enough sales has been a challenge in recent months. Most businesses feel there isn’t enough opportunity for getting sales these days because not enough people come though their doors.

When you follow up on missed sales in the right way, it can lead to new frame jobs and create more satisfied clients.

In times like these, it can be very beneficial to make the most of EVERY opportunity- even those we miss converting into sales the first time we get the chance. Staying aggressive and re-contacting those who fail to place orders with us takes a very organized and consistent approach and also requires a specific state of mind which allows us to be aggressive.

Creating the correct mind-set:

Most sales people don’t follow up on missed opportunities for one reason- they fear being rejected again, and are unsure how to open the subject with past customers. They justify this by convincing themselves that they will only bother the client if they call about the sale they missed getting.

The key to overcoming this fear is to develop a new mindset concerning your role in the relationship you have with these clients. I use the word client instead of customer in this discussion because this difference is the beginning to understanding the relationship. When you define those you serve as “customers” you are describing a purely transactional relationship. An example is standing in line at Walgreens by buy a newspaper, and handing over the money and the clerk puts your paper in a bag, gives you change and reminds you to come again.

Describing your patrons as “clients” implies something much more. This is a two sided relationship where the client leans on us for protection which we are obligated to provide. That’s some pretty heavy stuff if you’ve never thought about it like that before. It’s heavy because we have an obligation to go above and beyond to protect and provide what the client needs. Obligation means we don’t really have a choice- we must provide it and it is what the client expects from us in our new relationship. It is our responsibility to take that obligation very seriously and to make sure every client receives the maximum effort we can give.

Looking at our patrons in this way changes how many of us view our responsibilities as salespeople. When you really stop to analyze the relationship, you realize that there is a new empowerment that accompanies this obligation. Suddenly you perceive it as your duty to make it possible for your client to buy what they need from you. This empowerment gives you permission to aggressively pursue fulfilling the needs of your client. Remember, they came into your shop for a reason- hoping that you could fill a need for them, and even though you may have been unable to fill it immediately, you are still obligated to continue helping them- until they notify you that they no longer have need for the relationship.

Once you have learned to recognize and understand your role in a relationship with your clients, you realize that you have the obligation and therefore permission to pursue making the sale even if it takes longer than normal. Understanding and committing to the relationship is a very important part in getting more sales, however it is just the beginning.

Building a follow-up system:

Having the correct intent to follow up is only half the battle. A system that organizes follow-up procedure is critical to doing a good job. Such a system requires detailed analysis of all sales opportunities coming into your shop, and what transpires with each. If you don’t already record sales opportunities – defined as any chance to provide a custom frame for a client, and sales conversions- the number of times the opportunities are converted into sales, you are missing a key measurement of your ability to meet the needs of your clients.

But good analysis doesn’t stop there. It’s great to know that you convert 90% of all opportunities that come to your shop, however, what are you doing to fulfill the remaining 10% that reject your first attempt to fill their needs- probably not much if you are not keeping track of WHY these sales were missed. A simple chart with the most common reasons for missing sales can be used to record missed sales. They will be reasons like: price, needs approval, didn’t like design and others. Assigning the correct reason for missing the sale is the key to converting it later. Many times a client will give a false answer as to why they are putting off the purchase. A trained sales person learns to ask the right questions to truly understand why the sale was missed.

Knowing why the client didn’t commit is the key in correct follow up. The strategy you choose in your message when you re-contact is tied directly to the reason for the missed opportunity. It also can help determine how long you wait before re-contacting the client.

Let’s explore some strategies for re-contacting missed sales for based on the most common reasons sales are missed.

  • Missed Sale Due To Price:
    Most price base misses come from new clients- ones unfamiliar with costs of custom framing and the benefits that come from using the correct materials and creative designs. Most of these new clients leave your shop determined to find less expensive framing. It’s likely they learn that custom framing is just more expensive than they had anticipated, and they have yet to commit to the investment. The key to converting this client is a quick follow up. This is because they really want to do the project, but they are discouraged by the cost. Since they most likely heard very similar pricing in two or three other shops, they are starting to cool on the idea of framing the project, and they need a gentle nudge from someone. Be that person. Talk to them about their experience; ask if they are still looking for help to get this done. Since price was the objection, have a few alternative methods to quote them that would lower the price. If they still aren’t ready to commit, ask permission to re-contact them in one week to see if they still want to look at new ideas. Record this permission in your follow up chart and call them again in one week to see if they are ready to discuss alternative ways to frame the piece. Remember it’s your obligation to make sure they find a way to get this piece framed- they are depending upon you for that service, until they tell you differently.
  • Missed Sale Due To Needing Approval:
    Many clients cannot make the decision to buy in your shop because they are not the family decision maker. This can be frustrating because you have spent time designing and detailing the benefits of your design to your client and they are excited about doing the work- then they inform you they must review it with their husband before purchasing. You can bet husband hears only the price tag- he wasn’t there to hear the great benefits of your creative design and the justification of using the correct materials. Because it’s up to the wife to become the sales person and she won’t have the same translation. What do you do? If you have a virtual framing software system, use it to email the husband a picture of what the piece will look like when it is framed. A picture is worth a thousand words, and now the wife will not have to describe the benefits of the frame package. Also, try and keep the art in the shop. This will make it necessary for them to revisit. Hopefully you can call and arrange a time for the decision maker to visit with the wife and a sale can be made at this time. Above all, remember to call the person who visited the shop after only one day. This gives her a chance to review it with her spouse without allowing them to cool off as prospects. You can strategize with her on how to get his consent based upon their conversation. Offer to visit the home during the evening with the piece and the materials if another visit to the shop seems too difficult.

A Re-Contacting Script

Here’s a suggested script for a re-contacting by phone. “Hi this is (your name) from (your company), I’m calling to see if you have found framing for your project.” (Remember to review the project before calling so you can describe it). If they say no, they are still thinking about it, ask if they have time to look at other designs that would meet their framing objectives (lower price, different materials etc.). If they say no, remind them that you POS system will keep all their design information so that a revisit will go quickly. Ask permission to call again to check with them in another week. Record your commitment to follow up and call again the next week.

If you have to leave a message, remind them that you haven’t forgotten about them, and have all their project information ready when they have time to re-visit. Leave your phone number, and let them know you’ll call again. Make a note to recall in one week.

Creating a follow-up routine in your business will grow sales. Doing so reinforces your commitment to the relationship you have with your clients. Understanding the obligation you have to those who want your service empowers you to do a great job for them, so start today and you’ll not only enjoy increased sales, but the satisfaction that comes with going above and beyond to help your clients solve their framing needs.

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