SmallBuiness.co.uk and Kathryn Lennon, managing director of Tangerine Trees Business Consultancy have these marketing tips to help you boost sales:
Create an irresistible offer – For example, think about McDonalds’ supersize offer. It may only generate another 40p per sale, but more than 30 per cent of customers say yes. And that 40p is almost all profit, as the company’s fixed costs have already been absorbed in the price of the smaller item. The scale of the offer must be relative to the purchase, but once you have acquired the customer you can start to create lifetime value.
Add point of sale purchases – Those associated purchases or impulse buys that the supermarkets put by the checkouts aren’t an accident. Small low-price items that are perfectly positioned will face the least resistance from a buyer who’s already decided to make a purchase from you.
Get them hooked – Giving away a sample or free trial of your product or service can help people recognise its value and continue purchasing what you offer. Or even better, they will get “hooked” on your product or service and won’t be able to live without it. The fact that it was given away free may compel people to return the favour by continuing to purchase from you.
Explain how to buy – Pointing out to people that other customers who bought this product also bought another complimentary product is an approach used by many online retailers to boost sales. It positions more product lines in front of customers who might be interested. Where key components, such as batteries, aren’t included, make sure you offer them.
Communicate – Speak to your customers more often about your full offering as part of your sales process. This could take the form of newsletters, emails, mailshots, letters, advertising and PR, events or brochures.
Gain their trust and confidence – Through your PR, direct communications and website, you can position yourself as an expert by providing information, reviews, reports and details on your specialist area. Customers often don’t know the right questions to ask, so help them out.
Are you focusing on the benefits you offer? – Customers only care what you can do for them. Benefits build rapport by demonstrating that you understand their point of view. If you don’t know what they are, ask your customers. You can never know too much about why people buy from you.
Are your staff selling? – By testing, measuring and analysing all your marketing and sales processes, you can see where the majority of initial sales and back-end sales take place. Are your best people in place to exploit those opportunities?
Do you have enough stages in your sales process? – Constantly chasing potential sales after they’ve shown an interest can be soul-destroying and border on pushy salesmanship. But by having a longer sales process, people are moved from one stage to the next over a period of time, constantly informed and educated and reminded of your services.
See also: Building a strong customer base