The cosmetics manufacturer L'Oréal has developed a catalog of questions in order to systematically explore the potential of individual hairdressing salons. This was not a questionnaire to the owners, but a template that helped the salespeople find out the customer potential themselves.

Selling Better01

The opportunity is changing

Another classic misconception: If the overall market shrinks, your share will also decrease.
The key word for this is “economic situation”. In times of upheaval in particular, you actually have huge chances of conquering market share from the competition.

By doing the better Concept have, who offer better goods or services, the better service. In short: by your customers offer a real benefit. I don't mean to say that you absolutely have to undertake the complete Industry to take over. That would be overkill. And that's not what I'm about.

It is enough for you to look closely at your customers' potential, which you have overlooked so far. Usually a lot is found.

The principle of large stones

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In his lectures on Time management bestselling author Prof. Lothar Seiwert likes to demonstrate the following: He has a bag of stones, a bag of gravel and a jar full of sand.

If he now places pebbles and stones on the glass with the sand, then the glass swells over. But if he first fills the big stones, then the gravel and finally the sand, then it fits.

Set priorities: A customers, B customers and C customers

It is important to him to get the important appointments first to plan and the smaller ones Tasks only to be done afterwards. In other words: the right prioritization. And this is not only needed in self-organization. But just for you as Seller also in dealing with customers.

Every salesperson who wants something from his Shop understands, divides its customers into A customers, B customers and C customers. He takes care of the A customers first, those are the big stones. Then around the B customers, the gravel. And if there is still time left, it's the turn of the C customers, the sand.

For this prioritization you have to classify the customers correctly. And to do this, you need to know as much as possible about them in order to be able to correctly assess their potential for your business relationship. How do you find out? There are different ones ways. For example, you can use the information you already have or light can determine, draw conclusions.

Find information about the customer

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To estimate how much of the product or service you are offering your Customer really need, you need an idea of ​​that customer's annual sales. If it is not a publicly traded Companys that publishes an annual report is the Turnover not publicly accessible. But that should not deter you from your project. Because you can open up the sales wonderfully.

Ask the company owner according to the number of employees. Or find them out on the company website. You know how much sales a Employees must generate in order to be lucrative for the company; so you can calculate the minimum turnover of the company based on the number of employees.

Or: With a car dealer, you can easily estimate how many used cars he will sell from the number of new cars he takes from you each year. From this you can then tap the sales.

How L'Oréal increased its turnover

In the L'Oréal questionnaire, questions such as:

Overall, 42 questions should help sellers to take a closer look, understand the customer's situation and draw their first conclusions. From the answers, the management was able to determine very precisely the market potential of each individual hairdressing salon - and thus divide it into A, B and C customers.

A, B and C customers

This gives you an idea of ​​how much potential each of your current customers has. Perhaps you have already assessed some companies that are not yet part of your customers, but are interesting for you. And how do you now split them up into A, B and C customers? You have to define your own criteria. What is important and what is not is different in every industry.

My personal classification is based on the principle:

What else you need to consider

But apart from the present and possible sales, there is still more to pay attention to. For example the questions:

Once you have categorized your customers, set your priorities so that you can take full advantage of the potential.

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