Just about everyone who has started a business is initially quite upbeat about finding customers, making sales and getting profits.
This early gusto soon dwindles though when it becomes apparent that making substantial sales takes more than just being open for business.
Established businesses on the other hand are always looking to increase their sales volumes and therefore earn more profits.
Are you really doing things right?
How about approaching salesmanship as an art form?
This way you can perhaps start enjoying the process instead of merely thinking about it as something that needs to be done.
This shouldn’t be too hard.
In fact, all the suggestions here are nothing new.
Implementing them with a new mindset, however, may be just what your business requires. Start enjoying the sales part of your business and let the enthusiasm rub off onto your customers and prospects.
1. Implement an effective pricing strategy
For most people, price comparison shopping, online or otherwise, is the only way to shop; it’s all about making smart purchases.
If you are therefore selling your wares at astronomical prices as compared to your competitors, making decent sales is bound to be quite difficult.
You, in this regard, need to adopt an appropriate pricing strategy for your products and/or services. These two guidelines should be helpful:
- Find out what your competitors are charging for their wares.
If the quality of their products is similar to yours you may consider lowering your price slightly.
If the pricing is influenced by product features, you can consider adding several more features to yours and then set your price slightly higher.
- If you are convinced of your product/service’s superiority and that your high price is therefore justified, then by all means let customers and prospects know of the extra value they’ll get by using the same. Breathe life into your message!
2. Making the most of business upsells
Think about it.
You’ve most likely gone out to shop for something you really needed and ended up spending more than you had budgeted for simply because the sales guy convinced you that you needed one or two more things related to the original purchase.
The ease with which you agreed to buy these extra things surprised you – especially because you consider yourself a responsible buyer!
This is the power of upselling.
The sales guy simply got you into a buying mood, made the necessary suggestions, and you obliged.
How about you try this in your business?
Hint: First try it on regular customers; practice makes perfect.
3. Name your product/service appropriately
Effective naming of products or services typically takes into account several considerations:
- Easy pronunciation
- Ease of remembering
- Simple association between the name and the product/service features and benefits
Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with going for a unique product/service name. If this is how you opt to proceed just ensure that the name is easy to pronounce and write down. Coupled with effective branding, your product/service will very soon no longer be associated with outer space.
4. Embrace targeted content marketing
Dispatching your marketing contents all over the place simply because you have the budget for it is a haphazard and cost-ineffective tactic to gain more sales.
Away with these hit and miss marketing tactics!
A statement I came across recently made me smile: “Wonder why there are no Lamborghini and Porsche ads on TV? Rich guys don’t watch TV!”
This is what targeted content marketing is all about. Don’t demean your product/service by marketing it to everyone; direct your messages to your customers and prospects.
This approach will deliver the following benefits (in addition to increased sales):
- Lower marketing costs
- Lower customer acquisition costs
- Higher conversion rates
- Higher customer satisfaction – which is very essential
5. Offering free samples
Giving out free samples is an effective way to increase prospective customers’ confidence in your product/service. After all, seeing is believing.
If you have a food catering business, for example, you can offer to treat some prospects to free delicious lunch. Practically convincing them of your culinary expertise will most likely see them hire your services.
6. Advertise your product/service effectively
Ads help to spread the word about products and/or services 24/7 and they’ll therefore greatly augment your marketing effort.
Effective advertising has everything to do with attracting prospects attention and describing what the benefits of using a product/service are.
In designing your ads therefore, ensure that they are so well designed that it’s impossible to ignore them. A creative graphic designer’s services will come in handy here.
Secondly, spell out your product/service benefits honestly – no hyping; nevertheless, under-promise and over-deliver is not what you want to do.
Thirdly, choose appropriate advertising mediums. Think about where the ad will be more effective – your target market’s behaviors and preferences will help you in this regard.
7. Introduce rewards programs
You can go for basic ones like “buy 2 get 1 free” and more complex ones e.g. the token economy style whereby shoppers earn points which can be redeemed for certain products once they accumulate to a certain number.
In addition to marketing your products/services, these initiatives will actually help to increase sales, and additionally help to create customer loyalty.
8. Make the purchasing experience more convenient
How much effort do prospects have to put in before they can use your product/service?
If transacting business with you borders on the laborious then you can be sure that your sales volumes will be proportionally low.
Whether you have a physical or online store, you have to do all you can to reduce customer effort.
Get practical about it.
A brick-and-mortar store has to be conveniently located. Purchasing should be just as simple; customers shouldn’t have to shuffle from one office to the next to get clearance – a one-stop desk will make all the difference.
For an online store the concepts are really quite similar.
All the links should be functional. Filling out forms should be easy. The shopping and shipping processes should be easily understood and doable. Any potentially troublesome processes should be made easy for customers e.g. through the use of screen shares on Google Hangouts.
9. Practice superb telephone etiquette and offer quality customer support
Placing your business’ telephone number on your product or ad implies that customers and prospects can reach you over the phone.
It therefore makes no sense why no one at your end bothers to pick up the phone.
You don’t pick up = Lost business.
Telephone etiquette is really a no-brainer; handle prospects poorly over the phone and say goodbye to a potential sale. It’s that simple.
You and the team should therefore style up with regards to telephone conversations, and more so when handling regular customers. Answer the phone graciously, strike up a brief conversation just to ease the tension, and then handle the business.
Creating a cordial business relationship will go a long way in helping to foster customer loyalty, a win-win situation.
10. Tier your customers
It’s true that regular and new customers both bring revenue to the business by purchasing products and services.
There is however need to show and treat regular customers in a manner that portrays your appreciation for them. It is really their continued support for your business that has enabled you to reach your present success.
Appreciation can be shown in a variety of ways, starting with the most basic e.g. greeting them by name and even ushering them into your office while other customers are served at the storefront.
Appreciation can also extend to tangible benefits e.g. discounts, extended credit, free delivery, etc.
Why would such an esteemed client want to take his/her business elsewhere?