The Art of Protecting & Growing Your Market Share

Building a stronger market share rests on being able to defend what you have and take from others, in terms of customers. Simple to say: not so simple to do.

It involves adopting various elements of ‘war gaming’ and has been expressed in terms of defending what you have, making yourself a highly desirable ‘partner’  and being ‘lucky’ by combining preparedness with opportunity. The latter aspect is based upon being well planned over targets and being well trained and skillful in implementation.

 

UK based Andy Preston ( http://www.andypreston.com  ) has spent much time in supporting ‘hard end’ sales (cold calling) and elaborates some of the elements to concentrate on to grow market share successfully.

1. Defend Your Territory.


If you want to get ahead, and stay ahead, the first thing to do is ring-fence all your (profitable) existing customers.  What are your relationships like with your existing accounts? The ones you don’t get on as well with?  Would they tell you if a competitor had been in?  And if they did, would you retain the business at the same price, or would you have to price match to keep it?

2. Focus Prospecting

The quality of prospecting will be one of the biggest factors in being successful.  As the individual salesperson is asked to do more and more, it’s vital that the time spent prospecting is time well-spent.

There will be certain specific criteria that make certain prospects better than others.  What are the key criteria for clients to buy? If  not sure, take a look at your existing client base.  What was it that made them purchase at the moment they did?

3. Have A Plan For Your Attack

This means taking customers from the opposition. Map competitor accounts: develop a call plan, see them in person and focus on what criteria need to be fulfilled to win the business.

Experience shows that dedicated and focused approaches like those above have a far better chance of success – and also put a big dent in your competitor’s motivation at the same time.

4. Become A ‘Valued Resource’

To be seen as a valued resource, you have to earn it.  You have to give value first.  Get updated on industry trends, technological advancements and understand the impact that these could have on your client’s business.  Be able to hold a business conversation with the level of decision makers you’re meeting.  Invest the time to do things like this, and it will pay you back tenfold!

5. Increase Your Activity

Once prospects are targeted, ‘crank up’ the volume. High activity levels build the pipeline quicker and gives a certain cushion in terms of conversion rate. Purely by increasing your plan activity, the chances of success increase, bringing in better sales volumes and margins.

6. Develop Consistent Motivation

Motivation to achieve the plan is important for a salesperson.  But it’s the salesperson’s ability to be consistently motivated that will help them stand out from the rest.

7. Sharpen Your Sales Skills

Staying ahead of the competition requires sharpening sales skills. Practice, train, apply.

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