THE BLOG

5 Selling Systems to Increase Your Cash Flow

04/02/2015 04:42 pm ET | Updated Jun 02, 2015

To scale your company you need to have a consistent base of sales you can count on so you can make the investment of staff and infrastructure to help you grow.

Here are five simple tactics to systematically increase your sales. Pick one and apply it to your company to help you grow your business.

1. Gateway offers: A Gateway Offer is a special offer that your sales and marketing team has optimized to be the best "first sale" you want to make to bring a new client on board. It's the sale that has the highest odds of leading a new client along the most profitable pathway with your company and hence will lead to the richest, most mutually beneficial relationship with that new client.

Most businesses let random chance dictate the first sale. That's sloppy and bad business. Instead, over time by properly strategizing and tracking your clients' behavior, determine which offer you can make that will draw a new client onto the richest purchase offer pathway with your company.

For example, Dana Smith of Exalt Resources, an HR service company chose as her company's Gateway Offer the purchase of an Employee Handbook. This first sale starts the relationship with her company and from there allows her team to upsell their new clients into a monthly managed HR program of much greater value.

2. Makeup offers: The next time you have a client complaint or a canceled order is a prime chance for your company to make a profit and deepen a client relationship at the same time through the use of a makeup offer.

Here's how it works: Joe calls in and complains about his order arriving late. In fact, he says he wants to return it. You have a special sales script to handle just these types of calls.

"Joe, thank you for telling me about how we messed up. Forgive us for our mistake. I don't blame you for wanting to cancel your order just to teach us a lesson. If I were you I'd have been even angrier and more upset than you are. May I make it up to you?"

When Joe says yes, offer him some special gift such as a discount or certificate valid toward his next purchase. The key is to try to both close this sale (the most expensive thing that could happen is that Joe cancels and never orders from you again) and put Joe on the path to making his next purchase from you. That's the power of a makeup offer that has been systematized for your team to use.

3. Reactivation offer: Go back to old clients who haven't bought in a while to spark them to buy again. This should be a formalized sales system that happens automatically and regularly versus just a haphazard, random decision. Here's the best part: You'll typically have three times more success selling to old clients than you will going after new clients. They just need to be asked and given a compelling reason to buy again.

In fact, a few days ago I was talking with one of our business coaching clients, Dave, who runs a video marketing company. He shared that he sent out 10 "gifts" to past clients roughly 90 days ago and one of those 10 past clients called him up and contracted him again for a major project. (I did give him the suggestion to follow up in future with a phone call after the past client has received the gift just to touch bases.)

4. Unconsummated transactions: An unconsummated transaction is any client interaction that started with the client ordering, but then before the transaction closed the process got derailed. It could be a dropped cart from a website order, or a phone order that didn't go through, or a sales call that got interrupted. The key is to have a formal process in place, ideally technology driven and automatic, to follow up with that client.

For example, you could have your system automatically send an e-mail that says:

"I'm writing to apologize that we dropped your Web order earlier today. I want to personally take responsibility for this mistake and make it up to you. Please call my office at 800-555-1212 and not only will I see to it that you get 10 percent off your order, but I have instructed my staff to have a special gift waiting to send to you. This is my way of letting you know how much I personally value you as a client."

5. Referral systems: Does your company have a formalized process to encourage satisfied clients to refer you more business? Does it have more than one? If your answer is no to either of these questions then you have a real opportunity to increase your sales. Start off by looking at where your current referrals come from. Is there a way to super-size and formalize what your business is already doing? Look at other businesses, especially outside your industry. Is there any way you can apply and layer in their referral systems to increase your sales volume?