Graham McGregor

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Graham McGregor: Your idea gold mine

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Image / Thinkstock
Image / Thinkstock

We all have an 'idea goldmine' that is full of great ideas to improve our sales results.

One way to tap this goldmine is a simple creative thinking system called 'The 20 Idea Method.'

To use this method you will need a pen, paper, 10-15 minutes of time and discipline.

Here are the steps involved...

Step 1: Write down at the top of a clean sheet of paper a sales goal you want to achieve.

Step 2: Write down 20 answers to this question.

Step 3: Take one of the 20 ideas and implement it immediately that day.

It may take you anywhere from 10-60 minutes to complete this exercise the first time. Most people find that the first 5-10 ideas are pretty simple. The next 5 are more difficult . The last 10 can seem like squeezing blood from a stone.

Here is an example of the 20 idea method being used on a sales goal.

The sales goal is pretty simple:

"What can we do to increase our sales by 25 per cent in less than 90 days?"

Here are 20 possible answers to this question.

1. We could talk to 25 per cent more prospects in the next 90 days.

2. We could increase the average value of each sale by 25 per cent.

3. We could get our customers to buy 25 per cent more often.

4. We could improve the effectiveness of our closing techniques by 25 per cent this month.

5. We could get 2 good quality referrals from each of our existing customers.

6. We could do a joint venture for lead generation with another person in a non competitive field.

7. We could talk only to potential customers who could spend 25 per cent more than our average sale.

8. We could put my prices up 25 per cent.

9. We could speed up by 25 per cent the time it takes for a sales presentation so we do more presentations in less time.

10. We could get 25 per cent more prospects to enquire this month about our products or services.

11. We could improve our conversion rate of enquiries to sales by 25 per cent in the next 90 days.

12. We could spend 25 per cent more time actually doing sales presentations.

13. We could develop a new sales presentation that is 25 per cent more effective than our current sales presentation.

14. We could concentrate on selling our products and services 25 per cent better.

15. We could differentiate our products and services so our customers perceive them as 25 per cent better than our competitors.

16. We could get 25 per cent more sales people to sell our products and services.

17. We could get 25 per cent more repeat business from existing customers.

18. We could find 25 per cent more benefits for our products or services and explain these new benefits to potential customers.

19. We could get existing customers to start enthusiastically recommending our products and services to all their friends and colleagues.

20. We could reduce by 25 per cent some of the common reasons customers give us for not buying our products or services.

In the sample exercise above you may want to implement idea 20 which is to reduce by 25 per cent some of the common objections customers give you for not buying. Collecting a dozen great testimonials might be one way to reduce common sales objections.)

The key to success with this creative thinking method is to use it regularly and implement one of the ideas you come up with each day.

One idea put into action each work day is 250 ideas a year you are actually using.

The more ideas you generate using this method the more likely you are to come up with a good idea that will actually work.

'I invent nothing, I rediscover'
Rodin

Action Exercise:

Try the 20 idea method on one of your own sales goals for 10 days and implement one idea each day that you come up with.

Graham McGregor is a marketing consultant and the creator of the 396 page 'Unfair Business Advantage Report.' www.theunfairbusinessadvantage.com (This is free and has now been read by business owners from 27 countries. ) You can email Graham on graham@twomac.co.nz

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