A Simple Lesson About Growing Sales

Feb 24, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

It is really amazing to me how people, like me, complicate things that are so simple.  If you are a small business person like me, which you probably are if you are reading this, then one of your primary goals is to get more business.  Basically, you want more revenue.  That could mean getting new clients, selling more to current clients, or re-engaging past clients.

I have 20 years of business background in starting and growing businesses.  I have learned all about traditional brand marketing, new internet marketing, direct sales, and so on and so on.  At the end of the day, every time I do it, there is one simple thing that immediately increases my revenues.  Are your ready for it???  It is……

quick and energetic follow-up and responsiveness!

Following-up on Client Calls and Inquiries

If someone calls me to inquire about my services there are only a few different scenarios that can happen:

scenario 1:  I let it go to voicemail because I am busy and then I don’t remember to call back until the next day.  Time has passed and I don’t get the person on the phone or they find someone else.

scenario 2:  I leave a message with general information and tell them I will call back and check.  I don’t hear back from them and then assume they aren’t interested.

scenario 3:  I answer the phone when it rings or call back within the hour.  I catch them while they are still thinking about the services and with enthusiasm answer all of their questions and assure them I can help.  Then I ask right then if we can set up an appointment.

90% of the time with scenario 3 I set up the appointment!

A Client Wants to Reschedule

I see many clients a week in my business.  It is a given that at least one person will call to reschedule in any given week.  If I get the message and delete the appointment and make a mental note to call them back to reschedule, almost 90% of the time I wait to long and we end up pushing the appointment off until the following week.  That is one less appointment per month for that client or a 20-25% decrease in my revenue.

On the other hand, if I react quickly and with excellent customer service call the client right back with 2 or 3 alternative appointments for that week….Guess What?…almost 90% of the time I reschedule for that week and we stay consistent on our coaching or counseling program.

New Project Ideas

Part of my role with clients is to help them brainstorm and come up with new ideas to help start, solidify or grow their business.  We always come up with wonderful ideas.  If I put it in the coaching notes as a potential idea, 90% of the time (okay probably only 50% of the time) we don’t focus on it until much later if at all.

Of course, if I jump on the idea with the excitement we had when we were throwing the spaghetti at the wall, and quickly follow-up with a proposal sent attached to the coaching notes, voila, a new project is born.  New projects = More Revenue

Moral of the Story-What Would Jesus Do?

If you have a consulting or services business and you want to improve your business do  the main simple thing Jesus would tell us to do – love others as we love ourselves.  Jesus says it directly in Matthew 22:37-40, but I like this verse from James because the book of James reminds us that our fruit (or works) flow from our faith, not to prove our faith.

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. James 2:8

How do we want to be treated?  Don’t we want quick follow-up when we are in need?  Don’t we want help from someone who is interested and enthusiastic?  Just like much of the guidance in the bible, if we follow with the right heart we will bear fruit much of the time.

So I am going to keep it simple and do my best to follow this simple plan:

  1. Following up quickly and enthusiastically with people who call me to ask about my services.
  2. Follow-up quickly and enthusiastically when a client needs to reschedule.
  3. Follow-up quickly and enthusiastically when their is a hot idea on the table that would absolutely benefit the client if we follow through on it!

This is how to quickly grow your revenues!  I have done it over and over again and continue to amaze myself when I slack off because;

  1. I like growing my revenue since I am not independently wealthy – I have measured it and usually increase my monthly revenue by 20-30% when I follow this philosophy consistently.
  2. I really like adding value and helping my clients – the quicker I respond the more assurance I have of delivering on that desire!
  3. I want to glorify God in my work and to do that I need to provide others with the service that I would want to receive!

Okay, I know this is simplistic, but what low lying fruit do you have hanging in your business.  Are you 100% following up and following through?

Reader Interactions


  1. S_Miley says

    Actually Pedro, it is a joke between my husband and I…I started college as a journalism major and my English teacher said I couldn’t write (and was mean to me) so I changed my major to business. My husband says I have post traumatic stress from the incident. So thank you…positive feedback is healing :-).

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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