When sales are good, meetings are short. – Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, FPSN, MON, OFR
I believe in principles and strategies. Over the years, applying principles and strategies have enabled me to achieve outstanding results in my personal and professional life. I once developed what I call the selling champion’s 10-5-5 rule. The rule is a model that ensures high sales performance. I invented it after over 24 years of practical sales experience.
Explaining the rule
The 10-5-5 rule states thus:
The salesman should reach out to 10 prospects daily.
The salesman should reach out to 5 current customers daily.
The salesman should reach out to 5 old customers daily.
The first category of prospects represents people who are yet to commence business with the salesman but there is hope that they could be converted to start buying his products. The model proposes that salesmen should reach out to 10 prospects that are within this category daily. This helps in discovering new buyers. Salesmen must try to develop a new market daily.
Current customers in the rule, as stated in number two, represent the people who are already buying from the salesman. The model encourages salespeople to visit at least five of this category daily. You can visit them for supplies, for follow ups, for introducing new products or services, for keeping in touch or for any other reason that could enhance the business relationship.
Old customers in the model, as stated in number 3, are people who were buying the salesman’s products before but stopped because of one reason or the other. Several reasons could make a company’s customer to stop buying from them. The reasons could be from the company, from the salespeople or as a result of reasons relating to poor services or failed promises. The reason could also come from the customer. The 10-5-5 rule proposes that salesmen should identify five contacts within this category and reach out to them daily, with a view of winning them back to start buying again.
Research has shown that it is six times more expensive to win a new customer than to retain an existing on. Reaching out to revive a business relationship is a smart approach.
Winning back an old buyer takes a process. But it is worth the effort. It usually requires that the company or salesman follow a procedure. The company is expected to come up with win-back strategies which should include ensuring a win-win business relationship. The company should also make adequate effort to make peace with such customers.
The 10-5-5 rule is a 360 degree approach
Successful sales professionals maintain a healthy sales reservoir. Your sales reservoir contains a database of your customers and prospects. The more you apply the 10-5-5 rule, the more you expand the reservoir. 10-5-5 rule recommends 20 sales calls daily. When you have a shortfall in implementing the rule, then take the shortfall to the next day and add to the day’s calls. You need a healthy sales reservoir to succeed as a salesman. The more you grow your sales reservoir, the more you keep your customers; and the more you convert prospects to customers.
I recommend the selling champion’s 10-5-5 rule to salesmen and businesspeople. It is a smart strategy to reach out to all the categories of customers.
Remember, business is about customers
No business succeeds without customers. Customers are the reason for business, and business is the reason for the customer. Without business there won’t be customers and without customers, there won’t be any business.
Customers might sometimes stop buying your product for one reason or the other. Activities of competitors might divert the customer from buying from you. According to the American Society for Quality Control, among other things, competition contributes 9 per cent to the reasons customers stop doing business with organisations. A customer that the salesman does not have a strong bond with may easily move to another brand because of an insignificant reason. Therefore, it is the duty of the salesman and his company not to allow any gap that could cause a customer’s exit.
Staff exit and transfers can also make companies to lose track of their customers. Where there are poor follow-up systems, companies often lose these customers. This is one of the challenges the 10/5/5 rule seeks to provide solution for.
There shouldn’t be a gap in managing a customer. Salesmen who are alert to their duties should know when competing brands want to gain competitive advantage in the market. Your competitor could come up with better products, services, prices and process. It takes smart sales and marketing team to decode happenings in the marketplace.
It is your duty as a marketing professional to keep your company informed. Be proactive. Issues concerning the customer should be taken seriously. No serious organisation toys with its customers.
George O. Emetuche is a Brian Tracy endorsed bestselling author, accredited training consultant, life coach, sales and marketing consultant.