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How can you sell more of your products and services? How can you increase your sales? Your business sales may have levelled off, your turnover may be growing more slowly than you would like or you may have experienced a dip in sales. Whichever category you are in, what can you do to increase your sales?
Identify who your ideal customer is. Who is your ideal customer? What are their characteristics? How do they prefer to buy? The more you understand about your ideal client (whether businesses or individuals), the easier it is to target and market to them and get more sales.
Sell more to your existing customers. What products and services are your existing customers buying from you? Are you in regular contact with your existing customers? Your existing customers may buy more from you of what they currently buy or may buy some of your other products and services if you tell them about them. Regular communication with your clients will encourage them to buy more from you.
Understand your customers' requirements. What do your customers want from your business? Are their requirements changing? Understanding your customers' requirements and making sure you keep up with their changing needs will help you to increase sales as you will know what they want and are better placed to meet their needs.
Improve customer service. What do your customers think about your service? Are you losing or upsetting customers due to poor customer service? Improving customer service will help with client retention and thereby sales.
Identify your warmest prospects and market to them. Who are your warmest prospects? Who is most likely to buy from you? Marketing can be very costly so targeting your resources to the warmest prospects is the most cost effective way to generate sales. Your warmest prospects are likely to be your existing customers, potential customers who your existing customers can recommend you to, enquirers to your business who have not purchased yet and other contacts of your business.
Manage your enquirers to maximise the chance of them buying. How do you manage and follow up enquirers? How do you encourage enquirers to buy from you? Marketing experts say that it takes an average of 7 contacts with each enquirer before they become a customer. You can increase your sales by good prompt follow up and keeping in regular touch with your enquirers and not giving up if they don't buy after the first contact with your company.
Reduce the number of different products and services you offer. Do you have too many products and services? Would you increase sales by specialising more? By focusing on your best selling products and services and being a specialist in those you may find that you can sell more overall.
Increase your prices. Are you selling your products and services too cheaply? Are your prices in line with the value that you are offering to your customers? You may be undercharging your customers and be able to increase your prices for new customers or all your customers. This way your sales may increase even without increasing volumes.
Increase your capacity. Are you struggling to increase your sales because of capacity issues in your business? Are you turning customers away? To enable your sales to increase you may need to increase your internal resources (e.g. take on more staff, upgrade your IT systems) or become more efficient and productive.
Expand your market. What area do you currently operate in? What products and services do you sell? What types of customers do you service? To increase sales you may want to look at expanding your market (e.g. selling over the Internet, selling in a different location, selling to a different type of customer, increasing your products and services).
Do something different to your competitors. What do you do differently to your competitors? Why should customers buy from you? How can you stand out from your competitors and be the company that customers flock to? Think about the companies you buy from and what attracts you to them to get ideas. If you can stand out from the crowd this may result in increased sales.
Be where your customers are. How do your potential customers find out about you? Where do you need to be for them to notice you? Think about where your potential customers are and how you can make contact with them (e.g. if they are all iphone users do you need to have an iphone app?). If you can be where they are you have more opportunity to get them to buy from you.
Get testimonials from satisfied clients and show them to prospective customers. What feedback do you have from your customers? Do you ask them for testimonials? We are more likely to buy from a company if we can see what their customers say about them so use customer testimonials in your marketing.
Focus on sales. What are you doing to increase sales? Are you reviewing your sales strategy on a regular basis? By focusing on sales and what you can do to increase them you are more likely to see an increase. You may find that you have to try different strategies before your sales start to increase, so keeping focused and being flexible will give you the best chance of success.
There are many more ways to increase your sales but hopefully this article has given you plenty of ideas to think about in relation to your business.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: November 2011
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
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