For over 11 years we have collected information concerning what makes successful network partners outstanding in their markets. Here’s what “THE BEST OF THE BEST” revealed:
- We recognize that a Sales-Ready Referral is like a nugget of gold. Shred Nations refines information culled from the tons of information on the internet. A Sales-Ready Referral represents an immediate shredding opportunity, from a customer who has identified themselves as having an urgent need for a shredding service in our own service area. Contact information is included along with the nature of the customer’s shredding need. We don’t have to search for the right contact.
Some perspectives about Sales-Ready Referrals:
- If you are into baseball – it’s like a perfect pitch.
- If you’re into peaches, it’s like picking a sun-ripened peach just as it separates from its stem.
- If you’re into sales – it’s like a dream come true: “Just give me customers to call who need my service NOW. They are easy to sell”
- If you like referrals from happy customers, they are also high quality referrals
- We cultivate every customer we get from sales-ready referrals into “ONGOING BUSINESS.” Smart selling requires converting each referral into more than a single transaction. When we follow these practices every dollar invested in referrals yields 8X to 16X the profit over the next 12 months. It explains why we have many long-time customers.
When we first used Sales-Ready Referrals we looked at each opportunity as a single transaction. We evolved into seeing each referral as an ongoing opportunity – since almost every customer we encounter has continuing shredding needs.
One of our most successful techniques is to leave a security container with every pick-up as a free 30 day trial.
- Our speedy response creates high closing rates: Virtually all people searching on the internet want a speedy and responsive reply to their inquiry.
- We build rapport with every customer call. We sell responsiveness and professionalism. We always ask, ‘What will we be shredding?” The customer’s reply begins to establish the importance of our service to the customer. We never fail to mention how our service helps the customer avoid identity theft and protect confidentiality of valuable information. We always build confidence in the customer by saying, “You are at the right place.”
- We protect our profitability with a minimum stop charge.
- Whenever a customer brings up “price,” we explain what they get included in the price:
- A state-of-the art truck that will service their account costing over $200,000
- All employees are shredding professionals and that they wear good looking uniforms so there’s never doubt who is on your job
- We mention that our service includes a “certificate of destruction” and a follow-up call to verify that our performance lives up to or exceeds all of our customer’s expectations.
- We end each conversation about price by saying our charge is ONLY $ _____, and then we add “you’ll be left with no doubts that your materials have been completely destroyed and that won’t become a source of identity theft or any loss to associated with their confidentiality.” “When would like us to shred your confidential records?”
- We arrange our pickups to achieve route density and truck productivity i.e. when we are already scheduled to be in the same building or area.
- We use drivers as “our best salesman.” We always leave business cards at our customers. We ask about neighboring businesses. We ask drivers to write down neighboring business names, if possible, contact names. We reward our drivers for building our business. We believe what gets recognized and rewarded is what gets done.
- After servicing each account we make follow-up calls. When the profit potential is high we also make face-to-face follow-up calls.
10. We use Shred Nations to target specific zip codes to build business in our hot zones.
- Zones near our operations facility
- We target zip codes where we already have a high-density of customers
- We target far-away areas where we want to build a cluster of customers
- We target areas known to be “under-served”
- Zones along transportation corridors
11. We use an inside salesperson to respond to all Shred Nations inquiries. We train a former receptionist with a friendly demeanor to close all exclusive, basic and standard referrals and pay a small incentive for each closed referral. The inside salesperson refers Plus and Prime referrals to our owner or to an outside sales person. We do this to avoid paying heavy commissions for business that is relatively easy to close. When a customer has a high profit potential we send outside salesman to conduct face-to-face service follow-up calls and whenever we leave a security container for a 30 day trial, they also make follow-up calls at the end of the trial period.
12. We see contacting prospects as a critical task in our business. We do not accept excuses for not getting in touch with a prospect until after 12 phone calls. All contacts are added to our customer database and contacted periodically. Our attitude is that “sooner or later” they’ll become our customer.