In saturated, ever-changing markets, staying on top of the latest sales strategies is vital. If you’re not seeing ideal sales results, it’s time for a new approach. Adopting a new sales strategy helps widen your customer base and increases your profits.
Find Your First Paying Client
Snagging your first paid clients provides you with a variety of options. You might think your lack of experience puts you at a disadvantage, but there are things you can do to inspire people to patronize your small business and turn your inexperience into a positive.
- Talk to journalists looking to interview people with your expertise. Being seen on the news or quoted in a major news publication may inspire clients to come knocking on your door.
- Network in your community. Instead of hard-selling your products or services, listen to people and share information that can help them solve a problem.
- Reach out to your competitors. They may have overflow business to send your way.
- Negotiate favourable prices and terms. Special promotions such as deferred payments for goods and services sweeten deals with potential first-time clients.
- Offer top-notch customer service, which sends the message you care about the client’s experience with your company.
Properly implemented, direct marketing can yield surprisingly impressive results for your small business. Depending on your field, fliers and mailers may be beneficial, but email is really the way to go. Building a solid email list is a great way to keep your current customers informed while also engaging new potential customers. To build your email list, try offering incentives for signups, such as coupon codes or entry to a contest.
Another way to boost your sales is through social media advertising. Most businesses are on social media, but the vast majority of them aren’t using these outlets to their full potential. Look into sponsored ads, and make sure to tag your posts with relevant hashtags. It’s a good idea to produce top-quality content, and encourage or incentivize your audience to share it and tag their friends.
Create a Customer Database
As you try to create new customers, make sure you don’t forget about your current ones. A database allows you to track details about people who patronize your business, as well as those who show an interest in your products and services. This makes it easier to build rapport and provide a better customer service experience for the clients. If a customer calls you to ask about a product, you can reference your database to offer an ideal product for that person based on past purchases. Upgrading your data management software can be a powerful step toward better selling.
Cold Calling for New Leads
Don’t forget about the classic cold call. It’s an effective sales technique, but only if you do it right. Avoid calling a random number at dinner time. Instead, call prospects who have expressed an interest in your company previously, people who fit your target demographic, social media followers, and past satisfied customers. Keep your pitch polite and brief, and make sure you’re fully prepared before you pick up the phone.
Cross-sell Your Existing Clients
Cross-selling is a technique to sell more products and a larger range of items to your established customer base. When you cross-sell customers, you try to sell products in other categories that may complement what they’re already buying. As a common example, when you go to a fast food restaurant and order a hamburger, the cashier always asks if you want fries with your hamburger. When this happens, the cashier is trying to cross-sell you.
To cross-sell a customer, take the following steps:
- Based on what your customer buys, determine the customer’s interests and needs.
- Recommend relevant products that you think add value to what the customer is buying.
- If possible, offer a bargain to the customer. For example, it’s beneficial to offer a combo price on multiple products.
Upsell Customers for Increased Profits
Thoughtful retail upselling is a win-win for your business and customers. Your company can squeeze more revenue out of each client, and your customers have more of their needs met. Whether you’re selling to customers in-person or online, there are a few things to consider for successful upselling.
Rather than throwing random items at your customers, take the time to listen and uncover their additional needs. It’s a good idea to think logically about their purchases — often, purchase decisions offer insight into a problem you can solve.
Suggest Products Your Customers Need
When a customer buys a product, sometimes the purchase itself indicates a potential need for additional items you offer. An obvious example is shoes and socks.
Some retailers make the mistake of suggesting additional shoes for a customer buying running shoes, or they recommend a product only tangentially related, such as a t-shirt or windbreaker from the same brand. One thing you know for certain a shoe buyer needs is socks. Consequently, you can make an easy upsell to help fill the customer’s basket with additional items.
Imagine your business sells electronics and a customer comes in for a video game console. You know right away that a console doesn’t do much good without games. You don’t want them to walk out of the store without ascertaining what games they or the recipient enjoys playing, and selling them at least a single game to play on their new system.
Solve Their Problems
The best upsellers uncover customer problems and offer solutions. Imagine that a customer enters your electronics store and asks which smartphone takes the highest-quality pictures. Right away, it’s beneficial to ask the customer questions about their needs. Is the customer a professional or aspiring photographer? What kinds of photos do they plan to take?
The customer’s answers, more often than not, highlight an additional need you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. If the customer is an aspiring photographer, your store likely has other photography equipment they need. If they just want a top-quality camera to take selfies with their friends at concerts and parties, you could upsell a selfie stick.
Another upselling technique includes providing an incentive to purchase ancillary products. Maybe the customer buying running shoes believes they already have enough athletic socks at home. However, if they can purchase three pairs for the price of two, or receive 30% off for buying multiple pairs, they might be more motivated to stock up on extra socks.
The best salespeople can even turn customer questions and objections in to upsell opportunities. For example, if a customer likes a particular laptop but worries the speakers don’t produce enough sound. A confident salesperson who knows how to upsell might respond, “”No worries. We have a set of speakers that work perfectly with that laptop. If you buy them together, I can give you 25% off the speakers.”
There are no guarantees in sales, but these strategies can help tip the odds in your favour. Every potential sale is a learning opportunity, so keep refining your techniques.
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