What should you do this year to boost sales?

Forget about new year’s resolutions, what should you really be doing to bring in more business?

Marketing is the driving force of all business from new enquiries to long term customer relationships. How and why you communicate with your customers can make all the difference to your bottom line. Here’s a checklist of things to think about at the start of this new year:

The Absolute Basics – Sales Review

Review your existing customer base. Are you spending more resources on a select few who gain all your attention but gain little in sales from? Is it time to ditch those resource-hungry / sales-lite customers?

Put aside time for prospecting for new customers.  Seems obvious but if you can schedule it into your diary now, you should do so. Make prospecting a regular habit.

Find out why people buy from you. Ask your customers the key reason they buy from you – the most common answer will probably your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). With that you now know how to open conversations with prospects.

Work out your sales process and make it as simple as possible.  Stop overcomplicating your job. How do you get leads? What do you do with them? How do you get repeat business?

Make it easy for customers to do business with you. Don’t make them jump through hoops with credit applications, terms & conditions, or long-winded online forms. Keep it simple and once they’re onboard you can manage the relationship.

Be positive. We all watch Dragon’s Den every week and see the bloke bumble and fluff his lines under the ‘pressure of the Dragon’s gaze.’ Nonsense! It’s all about practice. Prepare beforehand, be positive and engaging and know your product or service.

So that’s the basics for boosting sales. What else can be done?

Going Next Level

Get a CRM – If you have a sales team, is it time to get serious about managing them? Keep track of the team’s upcoming deals and all their activity by implementing a CRM (customer relationship manager). Something like BuddyCRM, a UK based online software solution for sales teams, could be the answer to your spreadsheet nightmares.

Review your prices. Is what you’re selling worth what you price it at? Are you giving it away too cheap? Does your price build a perception in people’s heads before they even get into nitty gritty of a sale. This probably applies more to Business to Business sales and services but regardless, take a look at your prices and your competitors.

Update your website. Do you have a website!? Is everything about your company on the website. Have you updated it to include your latest offering? Are your product / service details on there along with pictures / videos, help, contact details, prices etc.?

Turning it up to 11

Refresh your marketing materials. Does your brochure / website / leaflet etc. have your latest and new products / services in it? Why not? How is anyone going to know about them unless you tell them.

Advertise! Again, how is anyone going to know who you are, what you sell, and why they need it unless you tell them. Get out there in the market place. Have a cheap leaflet made and get it put through the door of your potential customers. Can’t afford an afford in the newspaper? Maybe an insert in that paper is cheaper? Then do that.

Word of mouth. If you can’t afford traditional media, then you need to be your own permanent walking advertisement. Talk about your product all the time to as many people as you can. If you do it right, that word of mouth will filter through to others in their conversations over time. Find a Facebook group for your area and post in that. Don’t try to figure out targeting yourself, hit as many people as possible. Coca Cola didn’t get massive by only trying to target kids.

Event /  Exhibitions. Marketing works even harder when you get to meet prospects in the flesh. Show off your products, collect business cards in exchange, ad get honest feedback about your ideas. Do a trawl of the internet to find out what trade shows you can attend to meet new customers. TradeFairDates is an excellent site for finding trade shows.

If you can’t see one you can attend, then why not set up your own event? That way, you control who attends and what you want them to see in. We produce an annual event for MKG that yields fantastic results for them.

Local publicity – Don’t forget the community that your company lives in. Can you boost your image through sponsorship or positive PR? Perhaps you could write a column in the local newspaper?

Directories and Listings – Are you included in the local or national directories, both printed and online for your business category? Make sure your Yell listing is accurate, you are on Google Business, you have a Facebook page profile.

Make a Video – possibly in the too-hard category, but video is the most consumed item on the internet. It’s also the easiest way to show a product or service when you’re not in the same room as them.

Case Studies / Testimonials – Your existing customers are your biggest fans. Can you leverage their support even further by getting some quotes from them? Turn your best advocates into a case study that you can use in marketing to prospects.

Winners talk to Awemous

If it all looks too complicated, then talk to us. As experts in marketing for small businesses, we know what to do and would love to help you.