Chances are good that your organization, right now, may not have anyone who has the capability, time, training, or technical prowess to accomplish these follow-up tasks. You may not have a person whose job consists of creating those emails or making phone calls. As an industry, we are so focused on quote delivery as the be-all and end-all of our sales tasks. Because of this, we staff to that level by building organizational structures that allow us to keep our noses above water in the race between quote requests and responding to them. This leaves little room for closing or prospecting. But if you have ever sat in, or listened to, a sales training by the likes of Tony Robbins or Zig Ziglar, you will recall the fact that a good sales or marketing person will not cost you money; they will make you money.
Initially, hiring a person for that particular job can be hard to stomach as you watch your payroll go up. Done consistently, however, these activities can’t do anything but help you grow, and the key to doing them consistently is having someone whose sole job is to make that happen.
The last thing I want to touch on is anniversary-based selling. Remember how I asked you to find out whether a customer anticipates doing a particular move on an annual basis when you’re in the middle of the quote process? The answer to that question is a veritable gold mine.
If you’re willing to accept that most customers won’t be inherently loyal as a result of using your services once, and you know that they are going to be doing the same type of move on an annual basis, you can begin to harvest that business before it ever becomes available to a competitor. This technique works like you can’t imagine, and the reason it works is simple: people are willing to work with you to avoid the process of getting quotes. Calling to say"I see that you booked about this time last year with us, and I wanted to see if you were ready to book again?” will lead to more business. Alternately, when you don’t call, some customers will go to other providers, and some will forget to book again. In many cases, however, this step will get them to book directly, eliminating a lot of the price sensitivity that comes from the shopping experience.
The stuff we’re talking about isn’t simple, and I’d wager that, in most cases, you probably already know that these things would help you grow your business. I’d also wager that in almost every operation in North America, all three of these things aren’t happening all of the time.
Consistency is king in the sales and marketing world—and prince, and queen, and every other royal title. It is the only thing that matters. I have seen people who took marketing in a tacky, weird, cliché direction, but because they did it routinely, consistently, even religiously, they were wildly successful. Contrastingly, I’ve seen others invest in beautiful, well-crafted marketing that was used inconsistently at best, and those efforts became little more than a reminder of what could have been when they actually decided to belly up.
Supply and demand are what drives our ability to increase prices. If you were sold out every day, you could raise your prices, replace low-profit business with high-profit work, pay drivers more, and fill up your driver pool. With increased demand comes the control to hire the right people, pay the right people, and keep the right people in your operation.
This is hard work. I realize it’s virtually impossible to manufacture more time in a day or add more work to someone’s already-overflowing plate. But I also know that if we invest in people that can help us accomplish these three things, we’ll grow, see measurable changes in our businesses, and absolutely sell more charters, to more people, for more money.