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3 Steps to Immediately Increase Sales
Want to increase sales within your company? It’s not as hard to do as some might have you believe. Though we as a nation are in the midst of an economic downturn these past two years, your company does not have to be. What follows are three simple steps to increase sales, no matter the economic conditions.
- Simplify your advertising
Consumers today are inundated daily with advertising campaigns and solicitations. Frankly, most of these advertising campaigns are not worth the money spent on them. Why? Because they continue to use the same methods as their competitors (direct-mail, billboards, Internet advertising, television advertising, and radio advertising) and in the same manner. What has resulted is a society immune to “pitches,” “angles,” and “tricks” that get them to become consumers of your products. Some tips to simplifying your advertising:
- Avoid clichés. Most are overused anyway.
- Be better, not best. Most products are pitched as “the best” of their kind. Consumers don’t always need the best, however. They just need products that are better than most.
- Less is more. Don’t allow your message to become lost in the tidal wave of stimuli thrown at consumers. Shorter, succinct messages work well.
- Target the few
Once you have begun to simplify your advertising, focus your message on those few people who begin trends rather than follow them. Perhaps you have friends like this: they revel in finding new products to love. They enjoy having the “newest” product, the “coolest” ideas, the “different” gadgets. These types of consumers become walking billboards and should be the focus of your advertising. They actually do most of the advertising work for you.
- Know what makes your product better. Make it the theme of your advertising message.
- Know what makes your product different. Emphasize this.
- Worry less about those who are apathetic toward your products. Worry more about those that are extremely enthusiastic. Cater to them.
- Build the relationship rather than the sale
Becoming a better salesperson is easy: improve your relationship skills. Most consumers are looking for peace of mind rather than products anyway. Seek to first build trust and understanding in your relationships with consumers. There are over a dozen hair salons within five miles of my house, yet I always drive twenty minutes longer to get my hair cut each month. Why? Because I enjoy my relationship with the individuals that cut my hair at this particular shop. We talk, we laugh. I enjoy the experience. Thus, I return, even though it is over ten miles from my house, and somewhat inconvenient. I don’t pay for the haircut as much as I do the relationship. I’m a loyal consumer.
- Focus on producing value more than selling products. Make quality products, hire quality people.
- Learn about your customers at every opportunity.
- Talk price last, not first. If price is the determining factor for buying your product, you’ve lost control of the sales’ conversation. Focus instead on the consumers’ needs and wants, then seek to meet them.
Leif Smith, Psy.D., President of Personal Best Consulting, LLC, has worked with athletes and coaches from The University of Iowa, The Ohio State University, and the College of Wooster. He specializes in improving performance and production, and has also worked with corporations such as America Online. Subscribe to the free monthly email newsletter, "Personal Bests: Techniques for Living an Extraordinary Life" when visiting his Web site at www.personalbestconsulting.com.
Published in Networking Today, May 2004.
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