Growing your business doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. These simple, cost-effective ideas are designed to help you increase your sales, without draining your budget.
1. Focus on helping instead of selling
You shouldn’t be trying to force people into purchasing your product or service. You should find people who may want your product or service and then focus on offering helpful information so that they can make an informed decision. There’s an old saying, “You can get everything you want, by helping enough people get what they want.”
See 5 things your customers want for tips on what your customers want.
2. Be persistent
Persistence is power when it comes to increasing your sales and profit. Far too many businesses fail because they don’t follow-up leads repeatedly. Most sales are made after the seventh or eighth contact — the sale is rarely made after just one – so be persistent.
3. Focus on benefits instead of features
Spend your time focusing on how your potential customers will benefit if they purchase your product or service. For example, if you’re selling central heating, don’t sell the power of the unit — sell the warmth. Selling insurance? Don’t sell the coverage — sell the peace of mind. Rather than using words like I, me, and my use you and your. Put the customer at the centre of your business and always look at your marketing from their point of view.
4. Listen to your customers
Ask your customers how you could improve your products or services. If you listen to their recommendations, they will feel valued. You’ll also be able to give them exactly what they want — not what you think they want. In turn you will get more of what you want — sales!
5. Give a free demonstration
If possible, give free demonstrations of your products or services to people who may be interested. Follow-up with these potential customers in a timely manner to attempt to convert their interest into sales.
6. Distribute free samples
If possible, get samples into the hands of people who may be potential customers. People like to try before they buy.
7. Target the right people
If you try to market to everybody then you end up targeting nobody. Decide who might be interested in your product or service and target them. For instance, people who live in flats or apartments are unlikely to purchase a conservatory so don’t target them. It is a waste of your time and money.
8. Trust Is A Must
Sales are rarely made after just one contact because potential customers need to get to know and trust you before they are willing to progress to the next stage. In order to build this trust you must work at relationships with your potential customers. Take your time and show that you are trustworthy, reputable and reliable so that your potential customer will be in no doubt you will do what you say you will do. Once they are comfortable with your company the sale will follow.
Networking is a great way to get your message out to a large number of people, for free. Since each person knows about 250 other people, you can spread the word about your business quickly. Go to your local Chamber of Commerce meetings. Shake hands at business functions. Exchange business cards with associates you see in stores, churches and community events.
10. Make it easy for people to do business with you
Your customers are not going to work for you — you have to work for them. Do anything you can to make doing business with your company a pleasure.
11. Generate referrals
Referrals are a great way to generate new business. Don’t just wait for people to refer you. Proactively ask for referrals from existing customers, acquaintances, family and friends. Don’t forget to graciously thank anybody who refers your business to someone.
12. Distribute informative literature
Make sure that the benefits and features of your product or service get into the hands of your potential customers. If people don’t know what you do, or what you sell, or the benefits of using your product or service then how can they make a decision to purchase it?
13. Listen to your employees
Nobody knows their jobs better than your own staff. They see all the problems and issues on a daily basis. Chances are, they also know the best ways to solve them too. Ask your staff what the biggest issues are and get their ideas on how to solve them. Then give them the power to go out and change things so they can do their work as easily and simply as possible. Not only will you make your employees happier, you will get some brilliant cost saving ideas too.
14. Make it clear what to do next
You have written the best marketing letter or advert you can. It puts the customers requirements first but you still get very little response. Sound familiar? This is a common problem caused by not making it clear what should happen next. Do not leave your contact details and hope for the best. Make it crystal clear so potential customers know what to do. For instance write “Call today and ask for your free no-obligation copy of 101 marketing tips for business”. This simple instruction makes it easy for someone to respond.
15. Use testimonials
Whenever an existing or potential customer says something positive about your company, ask them if you could use their statement in your marketing materials. Your company’s credibility will increase with the use of testimonials from happy customers. This credibility then helps build trust, which in turn will lead to sales.
16. Offer to be a speaker
Business organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce are always looking for speakers for their meetings. Contact these groups and offer to talk about your area of expertise. Not only will you be viewed as an expert in your field you will also generate interest in your business that can be turned into sales.
17. Focus on the lifetime value of your customers
Don’t focus on generating one-off customers. Build a relationship so that your customers become repeat, lifelong customers. Remember it costs roughly 10 times as much to find a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
18. Learn from the experts
Marketing is an important skill based on both knowledge and experience. The fastest way to gain that knowledge is to find someone who knows what works and can advice you on the best solutions for you and your particular business.
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