Sales, or rather how to increase sales, is one of the most important issues within any small business. Fortunately there are a number of ways in which you can increase sales and improve conversions by integrating your sales and marketing functions:
“Do you want fries with that?” is a classic up-sell. You catch people when they have already made the commitment to buy from you and suggest an additional item to your customer. Now this isn’t just a technique for product-based businesses because service businesses can suggest support contracts or training on an on-going basis to support the purchase.
2. Build a Database
Every day you have contact in some shape or form with customers, clients and prospects. The more you know about them, the easier it is to find ways to provide more to them and as a result increase sales.
3. Get permission to follow-up with people
If you spend all your marketing efforts on getting new leads and expect to sell to people the first time you contact them, you’ll quickly exhaust your contact list and your staff. Instead find ways to capture people’s details – ethically – and follow up with them.
4. Plan ahead
It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day running of the business, but take a moment to look a few weeks, months or even years ahead to try and anticipate what people will want from you and even more importantly who is buying. You may have a seasonal business and you need to take this into account and plan for when you’ll have stock in or be thinking about different offers you might be running.
5. Have a PMA – Positive Mental Attitude
Attitude can make a big difference in business. If you expect the market to be tough, well, you’ll find evidence that it’s tough out there – you’ll find evidence which supports your theory. If you know that there are people out there who are buying, you’ll do whatever it takes to find them. This applies to everyone in your business – not just your sales people.
6. Reward your rainmakers
Every organisation has people who work week in week out to deliver the goods in terms of bringing in the business. Make sure you they feel appreciated and recognised for their work, and this doesn’t just mean rewarding them financially – a sincere “well done” goes a long way.
7. Ask for the business
Stop skirting around the issue. Ask people to place an order with you and more often than not they will! Give them a reason to buy now. I’m not talking about dropping the price to close the deal, what I mean here is give them a logical reason that they should buy now for example – prices are going up next month, we have limited stock available, order now and you’ll get it by Easter, Christmas or whatever the seasonal offer is.
Of course there are many, many more ways in which you can improve your sales, but these are some of the ones that will give you almost instant results.