Three Ways to Multiply Sales

February 2002
by John Huenefeld

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Significant new marketing opportunities have been opened up by the development of order-entry computer programs that let publishers interact personally with customers while transactions are being processed. Of course, actually questioning customers helps publishers track sources of sales more precisely and that, in turn, helps them adjust their marketing plans for better results.

But suggesting appropriate additional or follow-up purchases to buyers may be an even more important new opportunity. In 1999, the publishers participating in the Huenefeld Consultants’ annual survey received 37% of their orders by phone, on the average. This means that with more than a third of their purchasers, the publishers’ order-takers got to talk back–with questions or diplomatic suggestions.

Sometimes there’s resistance to this sort of intrusion into order-taking. It comes not from customers, but from order-entry personnel so thoroughly committed to the customers’ perspective that they resist being asked to try to sell anything a customer doesn’t actually ask for. However, people who take orders at any well-organized publishing company should be able to handle all kinds of customer interactions.

There are ways to avoid irritating callers and to not transfer them from phone to phone in search of information. Whoever answers the phones to take orders (probably entering the information into the computer as they talk) should also answer question…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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