5 ideas that you may wish to consider to help you improve your sales in 2019 and focus on the business & people who benefit the most.


1 Focus on the people / businesses that benefit most from what you do

  • there will be a group of people or businesses that really get and like what you do
  • there will be others that could feel the same way if they got to know you

Hopefully, your products and services have been organised to delight these individuals.  That's not to say that what you offer is perfect.

there is always room for improvement in everything 

But for some people whether they know it yet or not, what you offer is just what they need. And, it’s this group that holds the key to you making those huge leaps in sales you’ve dreamt about. Ironically, one of the temptations to avoid when it comes to ambitious sales planning is to think about all of the possible customers that are “out there.”  Yes, in time, the sales potential for what you offer may be huge, but for solid gains in the short-term, you need to narrow your focus, not widen it. Determine first to serve the people for whom you make life wonderfully better, easier or more profitable.

Be clear on who and where they are and what it is they value most.

2 Heal client pain - your sales team can tell you where it hurts

The people who sell whatever it is that your company offers (i.e. your sales team), will be able to enlighten you about the things that are most important to your target clients. If you are one the people who sell you will have heard many of those things yourself.

look at your notes

  • think back to the conversations you've had and the comments you've read.
  • extract the same information from your sales colleagues and look for the important links and themes; but, be focused.
  • your interest should be with the concerns and complaints of people who meet your ideal sales profile.
  • what is this group of people really telling your business about the problems, concerns, and pressures they face?

What can your business do to remove one or more of those problems?

Conveying how you will heal that pain, relieve the stress and provide a solution that works should lie at the heart of your marketing messages.

3 Build your sales story around the needs of your would-be clients

Our thinking is often, even if we don't think this consciously, all about what we want. A business has inventory that needs to be sold, there are people that need to be gainfully occupied. These needs are often at the forefront of business thinking and they often create the focus of our sales and marketing goals and what we, collectively as a business need to achieve. Ironically, turning things around 180 degrees and focusing on what our would-be clients need to achieve can make our businesses more successful. For a start, it colours how we will communicate and resonate with the target market. Instead of pushing things at them, we invite them to connect with us to discuss issues they feel are important to them.

how exactly do you do that?

By offering them valuable advice and insights.

Some people call this content marketing but essentially it’s marketing.

It’s all about showing how your business can make life better and more successful for the people that buy what you sell.

4 Clean up your data

This is one of the fastest ways to improve email response rates. Fill in the holes in your data fields especially in the email and first name/surname fields. And take a look at the data within your database. Who is in there and who more importantly, isn’t?

you might be surprised - you could be shocked!

For instance; If you want to sell to financial software companies or some other industry group, how strong is your database in relation to businesses in that sector? It’s not just about company names either, it’s about the coverage of people within those target businesses. What level of coverage, of seniority and relevance are the people held on your list within those target businesses and sectors?

Fill in the gaps and build-out your depth of coverage.

5 Change your focus - change your results

If last year didn’t deliver the gains that you were hoping for, its time to analyse why that was. Create space in your schedule for this thinking work.

usually, it’s because the value that your business offers

  • has not been communicated clearly;
  • has been directed at the wrong people
  • has not been fully focused on by your business and the people in it

My email signature encourages readers to “Change your focus: Change your results.”  By moving the focus away from what you want to what current and potential clients want and need, you’ll start to see things differently. If you serve a focused niche better than anyone else, you’ll not only win new clients, you will retain them in the years to come.

For help on shaping this kind of thought and action in your business, feel free to get in touch. My contact details are shown below.

Wishing you sales success in 2019 and beyond!


David O’Beirne
The Exhibition Agency Ltd
63 Vera Avenue, London N21 1RJ  
T. 0203 633 4665
M. 07858 374 051

Exhibitors Only

The views and opinions expressed in these blogs are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ESSA, its members, board or staff. Our members represent a broad range of views within the event industry, and we have provided this section of the website for their opinions to be openly heard and discussed.

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