There’s no doubt that selling more is the object of sales. Revenue generation keeps your company operational.
However, is selling more the same thing as selling smart? Selling more increases short-term cash flow. Can this tactic keep your company financially solvent, profitable and sustainable?
Selling smart creates the type of targeted customer pipeline and profit structure that not only keeps your company afloat, but allows your company to grow, expand and sustain itself.
Selling smart emphasizes the types of customers you want to do business with. These customers value the business outcomes you deliver. They are they loyal. You are their favored vendor-partner.
These are your A-List customers. Have I just described your current customer base or not?
Selling more to your current customer base may keep you from growing your business with A-List customers: the ones who bring out the best of your core capabilities.
Let’s thoughtfully evaluate your current customer base. If you do business with C-List customers, they constantly beat you down on price. They consider your services and expertise as a commodity.
A base full of C-List customers impacts your company’s brand and image perception by A-Listers. How do you expect to attract larger and longer term contracts from A-Listers when they perceive your company as a low-ball, commodity provider of outsourced services? Ouch.
When your pipeline slows down or dries up, it’s difficult not to do business with anyone and everyone who will hire your company. You end up digging yourself into a deeper hole filled with C-List customers.
Selling more of the type of work that keeps you in “C-List customer limbo” is fine, if that’s your business model. C-List customers can be your ideal target market to achieve your end game. Are you satisfied with this scenario?
Companies which target A- and B-List customers assess whether their core capabilities fit the vendor-partner requirements by these clients. If that’s where you are heading, here’s a guide to help you out.
My advice: Be realistic about which types of customers your company is best able to serve. Evaluate the opportunity costs involved in recalibrating your business model if you want to move from a C-List customer base to an A- and B-List customer base.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a professional development coach and management consultant. She develops Playbooks for startups and small to mid-size companies experiencing unpredictable revenue streams. Then she brings these Playbooks to life. Her Playbook on business development and sales collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.