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Three Ways To Bolster Sales In 2016

Every business wants a few more sales. Maybe for you this is a pending New Year's resolution. We'll you're in luck - here's a neat little guide to help get the tills ringing and invoices flooding out in 2016.

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Every business wants a few more sales. Maybe for you this is a pending New Year's resolution. We'll you're in luck - here's a neat little guide to help get the tills ringing and invoices flooding out in 2016.

Guides

Three Ways To Bolster Sales In 2016

Every business wants a few more sales. Maybe for you this is a pending New Year's resolution. We'll you're in luck - here's a neat little guide to help get the tills ringing and invoices flooding out in 2016.

Share this article

Most business-owners want to grow their business and one of the key measures of business growth is increased volume of sales. Here are three straightforward ways to achieve this.

1 Attract more customers

This is the easiest and most obvious route  - but also the one which can easily backfire on you!

The reason lies in the strategies that you employ to increase the footfall. A common mistake is to assume that all business is good business. This is only true if you are the type of business which aims solely at volume. If so, (and especially if you are selling a product that is widely available and easily comparable with its market competitors), pricing strategies such as reductions, discounts and limited offers can work very well.

The problem is that the type of customer who is attracted by this is likely to be volatile, fickle and difficult to please. The minute a better offer is made by a competitor, these customers will  disappear. So you'll be making less profit per unit and probably working a lot harder. There is a place in every business for price reduction strategies, but these need to be linked to your target customer.

It’s important to analyse exactly what area you want to be in, and which areas will bring you the highest return on investment (‘RTI’). This is particularly important if you're in a sector which provides services rather than goods, where it's difficult for the average customer to make an exact comparison.

Work out your ideal customer profile - what are the characteristics of the customer who buys from you and why  do they prefer your product. Work out what type of business you want  -  preferably one which brings you the highest RTI – and use this to develop your  marketing and selling strategies.

customer

It's important to know who is likely to buy your stuff

2 Sell more to existing customers

When it comes to sales strategies, many businesses miss out on what it probably their greatest asset - the existing customer base.

In the race to win new customers, it's very easy to overlook the at least equally important factor of customer retention. Whilst you reward new customers with introductory offers, what about rewarding the loyalty of the customers you already have? Research by the Chartered Institute of Marketing has shown that it costs substantially more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer.

When we talk about selling more to existing customers this can either be selling more of the same services and products, or selling different services and products.

To achieve the latter there are a number of strategies that you can use, but they all depend on knowing your ideal customer profile, or 'customer avatar'. Customer preference analysis (recording what the customer buys and when) is a great tool for informing your strategy for developing new product lines.

Here are a few strategies you may want to consider:

·         Using the customer preference analysis, offer individual customers new products on an introductory basis.

·         Using a broader analysis of your ideal customers'  hopes  and aspirations, develop new products and services which are likely to appeal to them.

·         Train your team to 'cross-sell'   - that is, take every opportunity of drawing customers' attention to related products and services.

·         Differentiate your business from its competitors by offering some low-cost (to you) add-on customer services such as free delivery, customer events, and offers to existing customers only.

·         Enter into strategic alliances with businesses that offer services that your customers are likely to buy and develop a cross-referral system.

·         Massage the ego of your customer by VIP treatment and make your business a 'destination' - contented customers buy more!

massage

This is great and everything, but I only came in for a sandwich...

Increase average order volume and frequency

Finally, if you've got your retained ideal customer base, and your strategy for developing new products and new streams of income is working - how do you go about getting your customers to buy more of the same and more often?  This is where the strategies which can might have attracted the wrong type of new customer really come into their own.

Your customer is already satisfied and is likely to continue buying from you, but may be locked into a regular order pattern which will only change if the customer's needs and circumstances change. You need to drive that change and the following tactics will help you do this:

·         Discounts for bulk-buying

·         Discounts for minimum order pattern

·         Discounts for re-ordering within a specified time

·         Rewards for minimum or regular orders e.g. free delivery

·         Bundling products or services together when a specific spend threshold is reached on one

·         Rewards for referrals

·         'Seasonal' or limited offers

Any of the above can work well for you, provided that they are based on your ideal customer analysis.

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Three Ways To Bolster Sales In 2016

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