If you don’t think increasing order size and frequency is important, consider the alternative. Small orders and one-time clients can kill a business. You can spend an enormous amount of time tracking down one small order. And if you do a lot of that with a lot of different people, you can be busy, busy, busy, all day long, but not generating the revenue you need to sustain, let alone grow your business.
David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, cohost Jay McFarland, and I will be discussing increasing the size and frequency of your client orders. Welcome back, Jay.
Jay: Thank you so much. And I have to tell you, I really love this topic. Because I think people get in a rut where they think the only way to increase profit is to add more customers, instead of looking at your current client base and saying, well, how can we expand on what they’re doing and using them as a lead source?
David: Right. Yeah. And there are lots of different ways that people can engage in this. And the reason that I raised the topic is that Chris Ruvo from ASI recently published an article about a survey they did at the ASI Show in Chicago recently. And they talked about the biggest concerns that promotional product distributors have.
And the one that came up as number one in the options that they were given was increasing the size and the frequency of client orders. So I thought, okay, this is a really good topic to discuss. Because it has such a tremendous impact on people’s businesses and it’s hardly ever considered. Right?
A lot of times, as salespeople, we go out there, we get an order and we bring it back and you know, it’s just like hunting.
You go out. You hunt it down. You kill it. You drag it back. You cook it and eat it. A lot of people take the same sort of approach in sales. And we don’t recognize the fact that different clients are going to behave differently. Different orders are going to be different.
When we combine small orders and one-time clients, that combination — small orders, and one-time clients — can really be a business killer. Because you can spend an enormous amount of time just tracking down that one order.
It’s a small order and you spend a lot of time on it. And if you do a lot of that with a lot of different people, you can be busy, busy, busy, all day long, but not generating the revenue you need to sustain, let alone grow your business.
Jay: Yeah, such a good point. And I think for a lot of companies, their biggest expense is that customer acquisition cost. Right? And if you can lower that or make it so once you’ve experienced that cost, you don’t have to experience it over and over again. Because you’re increasing sales with your clients and increasing their orders. That’s just a really smart way to go, I think.
David: Yeah, exactly. And so when we have clients who are able to spend more, place larger orders and are willing to do so more frequently, then that’s a real winning situation.
But for people who don’t have that, it becomes a real struggle. Because they say, “okay, well I’ve got all these different customers, and they buy from me once a year and they place small orders. Where do you go with that? And the reality of the situation is that if you don’t have clients like that and you want to create a better, more sustainable business, you’re going to have to actually go out and hunt them down.
As you talked about, it’s better when we can do it with our own internal customer base. Unfortunately, that’s just not always possible.
Jay: Yeah. Not always possible. But I’m sure there are some tricks to the trade. I’m wondering, do you do this by offering or adding different product lines so you can offer something new to these clients? What’s the smart way to go about this?
David: Yeah, it’s a great question. And again, a lot of the work that we do is in the promotional products industry. So there’s no shortage of different ideas and different products. There are literally hundreds of thousands of products that can be represented by a promotional product distributor.
So to some extent, that’s already baked into the equation. You can recommend different things, new ideas, all that sort of thing. But particularly when the economy is a little more challenging, I think ego advertising goes out the window.
When the economy is good, if I’m feeling good about things, yeah, I might think nothing of slapping my company logo on some mugs, shirts or tote bags and just get it out there because I think it’s cool to have my name on a tote bag. But as things get tougher for people, as expenses go up and people are looking for ways to cut back, one of the first things that’s going to go is essentially ego advertising.
To get people to place larger orders and order more frequently, tie the products to the results they can get. If I think I’m going to buy tote bags, just because I think it’s cool to have my logo on something, that’s one thing. If I think I’m going to buy tote bags, because I’m going to get it in front of the right people that I need to attract to my business and it’s going to generate revenue for me, then it’s far less likely that I will cut that sort of expense.
Jay: Yeah, so instead of just saying, “we’ve got a sale or special on this product,” there’s an education curve. You’re helping people understand, “Hey, this particular product can expand your sales.”And maybe get them excited about using that product so that they can expand those sales.
David: Yeah. And it may even be a product they’re already using, but maybe they’re not using it in a way that is designed to get them a result. There are people who will buy a product, keep it in a box by their desk and never hand it out.
That’s not doing anybody any good. You’re not going to get a reorder from that if the stuff’s still sitting there. But more importantly, they’re not going to get the benefit of the reason they spent the money in the first place, which is to create awareness or get some sort of result.
I feel as if a lot of people in our industry get products for their clients and forget that there’s a whole other end to that. How are these products going to be utilized? How are they going to be used to get a really good result for the person who is buying them?
If they’re just buying it as handouts, that’s one thing. But if they’re buying it because they want to attend a trade show and get people to the booth, now that exact same product can be better utilized to create a result. If you’re going to use it to get appointments with people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get an appointment with, then that’s a way of utilizing a product to better results than if you’re just handing stuff out like candy.
Jay: Yeah, this is such a great line of thinking, because there’s no way they’re going to place another order with you, at least for that product, if it’s sitting in a box next to their desk, like you said. So you have to help them understand how to best use these types of products so that they can get rid of them faster. And then they’ll be calling you sooner.
David: Yeah. You know, one of the other things, particularly in this industry, is the fact that it takes a promotional product distributor, roughly the same amount of time to process an order for a hundred items as it does to process an order for a thousand items or 10,000 items.
Now the supplier, they’ve got more work to do, the people who are actually doing the imprinting. They’ve got a lot more work to do. But from a distributor’s standpoint to sell an order for 10,000 units is just a whole lot more profitable than selling an order for a hundred units.
So the question is who are the people that can do this? What types of businesses do I need to be able to identify and introduce myself to, and create awareness with? Because those are the types of things that will allow you to build a business that will service people who are able to spend larger amounts of money on orders and purchase from you more frequently.
And in some cases it might not be both. Because it’s probably unusual that somebody places really large orders and does that all the time. More often, you’ll find clients who will place a big order, maybe once a year, and then the rest of the year, you’re waiting for somebody else to fill in the gaps.
Or you’ll have clients who place smaller to medium size orders frequently throughout the year. Given those two, generally the more consistent business is better because it gives you far more stability, at least the feeling of stability, when you’ve got that recurring revenue coming in.
Jay: Yeah. That’s such a great point, because I think people are always looking for that big fish. Right? And…
Jay: not understanding that it could be the smaller fish who comes to eat more often that, over time, is going to really be your bread and butter.
David: Yeah. And clients who order frequently are sort of like an annuity. They just continue to pay out. And so they really are worth looking for. A lot of times, we just take whoever comes in the door. But if you actually start looking for exactly the types of clients that you want and need, to grow the type of business you want to operate in, then looking for these type of traits is really important.
Jay: Yeah. Very good. I’m curious. What do you recommend that they just get out your current client list and say, how can we do this? Expand sales and increase order size with each one and generate a game plan from there?
David: Yeah, looking at who’s already doing it in your current customer base is a great place to start and then targeting similar industries, similar types of businesses. That’s a good way to do it.
Another thing that we recommend for our clients is identifying companies that may be a little larger. For example, if you have a company of a hundred people and you’re buying something for your employees, you’re going to buy a hundred things. If you have a company with 10,000 people and you’re buying something for your employees, you’re going to buy 10,000 things.
That’s a pretty obvious example, but that type of thing. When you’re dealing with companies that generally have larger budgets to spend on these types of products, that’s key. Identifying the industries that historically spend a lot of money on the products that you represent is also important. A lot of times people just try to reinvent the wheel.
They just go out and they do prospecting in their local area and they don’t take the time to say, okay, well, which industries actually do tend to spend a lot of money on this? And historically it’s been things like education. It’s been healthcare, manufacturing.
Industries like that have typically spent a lot of money on these types of products. And so if that’s what you’re looking for, then those are the types of clients it’s likely you’re going to want to cultivate
Jay: Yeah, this has been great information, David. How do people find out more?
David: Well, if they want to know more, you can join us online: TopSecrets.com. And actually, if this is something that you’re really interested in pursuing, what I would say is it might make sense to schedule a call with our team.
You just go to TopSecrets.com/call that’s TopSecrets.com/call. We’ll talk to you about where you are, what’s going on, where you need help in your business. And if it makes sense for us to work together, we’ll do that. If it doesn’t make sense for us to work together, hopefully you’ll still get a lot of great ideas from the conversation. So that’s what I do next.
Jay: All right. Fantastic, David. Thank you so much.
David: Okay. Thank you, Jay.
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