How to prepare for targeting clients

Meeting the sales target is never an easy job. Without a systematic approach, it is easy for lots of work to be done in vain equating to lost time and money.

Most salespeople I have met over the years are hor­rified the day they get given their annual or quarterly target. How on earth am I going to sign up $2M in new business this year? Where will we get it from? How can we generate $50M of billed revenues this quarter?

If you find it challenging to meet your sales targets, this post should help you to prepare your mindset which will lead you to get more sales by targeting your clients in a systematic way.

Whether you are a new start up business looking to attract customers, a corporate sales manager looking for small business clients who travel regularly, or an institutional business development manager planning which large foreign exchange cli­ents to target, having a clear strategy and approach to identifying and targeting ideal clients is critically important.

Here is what I learned over my years of working in the financial services sector.

In one of my first financial services sales roles, I was tasked with selling premium commercial cards in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire in the North Midlands, UK. This is largely a cost-conscious, working-class area where premium cards were not really accepted or used. I did not have one sale after six months. I figured out I needed to be targeting informa­tion technology businesses with frequent international travellers, so I asked for a transfer to cover the Heathrow airport business travel area.

I had my first sale within three days.

The message here is spend time carefully identifying what are the characteristics are of your ideal client and what events generate demand or enquiries for your product or service. If you take time to do this, you can quickly build a high-quality, more focused target list.

Determining your detailed ideal target customer characteristics will set you apart from most other salespeople, many of which simply just pursue the business they don’t have as a strategy, without validating first if they meet ideal client characteristics.

Spend some time working out what your specific ideal client characteristics are and importantly what events generate a demand for your product or service, you will be surprised how this helps quickly build a high-quality sales pipeline.

You can find more insights on targeting customers in my TRANSFORM on-line sales courses available at www.markswain.com.au/courses. They include easy-to-use tools to help you streamline your entire sales process. In the package, you’ll also find videos and case studies which will enable you to win big transactions faster and manage your sales activities in a more structured and efficient way.

If you would like to discuss some ideas to increase your sales and get a free sales plan, feel free to book an informal chat below.

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