It’s the start of the New Year and we are all cranking up the energy again to get your businesses moving. But what are you changing in your approach to ensure we get an improved result. Back to my blog in December if we keep doing the same things and expecting a different result is just madness!
So, to start gaining more sales in 2017 I have come up with 10 things that you can do which is from an excerpt from my book which will be published in February called “10 Things to know about Successful Product Sales”
Here are the 10 in no particular order
- Focus on the unconverted leads
This is one that everyone seems to ignore for some strange reason. If someone contacts you and expresses an interest but has not followed through and bought then they are still a potential customer.
Many businesses I talk to are too busy following up on new leads they have yet to talk to rather than the ones that have already made contact with them.
You need to stay connected and should be included in all of your communications ie blogs, social media etc
Remember it takes at least 7 communications before they may be ready to buy. This is just a rule of thumb, it may even take years
2. Use referrals
Before spending any money on advertising eg pay per click, ask for referrals from your existing clients
A lot of businesses exist on referrals alone so have a referral culture within the business
Think of this if every customer bought a client along into the business you would probably never need to have any more business!
This can also be true of a supplier you have so find out who they are and who knows they may introduce you to a new client.
Ask yourself when was the last time you reached out to a trades person from a directory without seeking further advice. What probably happened was that you asked your friends or colleagues who they use to gain some kind of reassurance
Referring is a staggering 20 times more likely to develop into business than the cold approach or starting from scratch
3. Improve your sales skills
You have to consider that everyone employed by your business sells right down to the cleaner
A true fact however is that most people go into business themselves because they want to get out of corporate or want the independence of working for themselves. Not because they are sales people.
The ability for your company to sell your products will be down to your collective ability to market and sell your product
In a nutshell get great at sales
4. Overcome the objections to buying
Know your sales conversion rate and look to improve it.
Why should somebody contact you and then not buy? It`s because of the customer’s objections
The top 2 reasons here are money and time but there are a few more that will be specific to your business
Action: List them all and come up with smart answers to them and share them with the Team
5. Ask for the sale
Yes, probably the most obvious one but you do have to ask for the sale – closes such as how would you like to pay, are you happy to sign the contract, Are you ready to start enjoying this now etc…
Make sure you and your Team is asking for the sale
Also, anybody who is working in the sales process needs to be compensated/rewarded in a way that is linked to the sale
6. Use a compelling title in all your emails and other communications
I am a keen advocate of keeping in touch with your audience via email on a regular basis – regularity is down to you but once a month is a good start and then increase it as you see fit.
This could be a blog or an offer
To do this you need an interesting title that has some intrigue to grab their attention so that you can engage your target audience otherwise you are wasting your time. You also need a good story
Please bear in mind that it is linked to what you offer so that you can provide knowledge and insights that can be of value. Education can develop you into experts and the ones to refer to in your business. It is not all about sell, sell, sell.
Conversely if it is an offer, make sure it is a compelling offer with a proper call to action.
Important thing here is to include a deadline. Fact – Sales offers without a deadline are not offers and deadlines encourage people to act.
7. Improve the SEO on your website and experiment with pay per click
With the right key words on your website copy you can help to attract more customers. This of course may depend on what you sell but if you want to get seen then this is a good way of doing it. Experiment with Pay Per Click but make sure though that you put a limit on your spend and ensure you are getting value. Otherwise you are just lining Googles pocke
8. Free Trials
These do work
What you are doing with a Free Trial is effectively reducing or eliminating the risk for your customers to do businesses with you. Used in the right way this can help your sales sky rocket.
This will give your potential customer an experience of what you have to offer without them giving you any money however based on potential future sales revenue
This can be applied to most businesses and the more radical you are the more effective it will be
9. Use of Time
Time management in your business is an important aspect. Looking at most businesses owners on average they spent only 5/10% of their time on advertising and marketing
You have to remember that this is the most important thing in your business. Log the time you are using in your business and it will astound you.
If you cannot make the time – employ someone who can on a part-time basis
If you want more customers guarantee what you sell
This is a great way to engage with your target audience to make them feel comfortable about doing business with you. This takes out any risk for the client so that they can do business with you. Remember they probably do not know you from Adam
Have strong compelling guarantees throughout your sales and marketing material
Make guarantees a core part of your marketing message
Put guarantees everywhere it is feasible to
Conclusions and Action
Hope this has given you some great ideas for your business but like any advice or training, if you take no action it is just interesting information and reading
In a nutshell `you get paid for what gets done` so just start with a couple of these examples – action them today and keep adding more. Do it now and my guarantee to you, is that it will improve your sales conversions and your business. Please feel free to call me for advice or help in improving your sales plans on 07813 898936 or email email@example.com
Make 2017 a great year and Good Luck