I need quick sales before the end of the financial year. What should I do?

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The end of the financial year is fast approaching and our budgets for June are looking a little sick. I want to get all our sales people working on a big end-of-year push, but I am not sure what I should tell them. Can you give me a sure-fire strategy?

This is a problem that lots of entrepreneurs will be confronting right now. The last few months of the 2010-11 financial year have been unexpectedly difficult and the recovery that we were all hoping would come through just hasn’t gathered any steam.

The easiest way to approach any short-term sales drive is to focus on existing customers rather than trying to drag new clients through the pipeline – frankly, you don’t have time for that.

So dig out your customer lists and hit the phones. Concentrate on the customers who bought from you most recently (in all probability they will be most familiar with you and your products) and work your way back.

While I am loathe to recommend discounting at the best of times, it sounds like you might need a special offer to close a few deals very quickly.

That’s okay, but make sure your customers (and your sales staff for that matter) understand that it’s a short-term offer that will not be regularly repeated. You need to be very careful that you don’t unintentionally train your customers to wait for your special end-of-financial-year deals.

Finally, impress on your sales staff that they need to pull out all stops to meet their targets and remind them that there are bonuses on the line if they fail to do so.

The combination of carrot and stick is a powerful one.

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