Statistics say the economy is getting better, but good sales are still hard to find. Here are four areas that you should be looking at to help keep your numbers up.
A few tips on how to sell more in tough conditions.
According to the news we are officially out of recession and the recent good summer has definitely helped everyone but we are not, as they used to say, out of the woods yet.
As the economy slowly improves, there will be new business around but there is also going to be a lot of competition for each and every sale.
You need to work hard to build your turnover while protecting your margins and there are four areas to concentrate on while you are doing that.
Work harder on your marketing.
It’s all too easy to sit there and think, ‘I wish the phone would ring more often,’ and during the depths of the recession we perhaps all got used to the phone hardly ringing at all.
But if things are getting better than you need to work hard to get the phone to ring more, get more people through the door and get more enquiries from your website.
During a recession, businesses can go quiet and some can disappear.
If your customers haven’t heard from you in a while, who knows what they might be thinking?
Get yourself seen and get yourself heard. Whatever form of marketing works for you, get busy doing it.
Start looking for new business and one of the best ways to do that is to have new things to talk about. You might have started selling new products that are energy efficient or eco-friendly. If so, they can form the basis of new and interesting stories to tell people about and gain some attention.
Don’t wait for new business, work for it.
Make the most of your network.
You might have a traditional network of customers, friends and potential customers and stay in touch with them at the pub or on the golf course or actual networking events.
You might have a network of social media contacts and stay in touch with them on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Most probably, in this day and age, you will have a mix of both.
Are you making the most of all those contacts?
Are you spreading success stories about your business? Are you letting everyone know about new contracts or new products? Are you passing on positive feedback and testimonials from satisfied customers?
Success breads success, and spreading the word gets that job done much faster.
Keep your existing customers close.
Existing customers are important. They are important to you but, potentially, they are important to your competitors too.
Don’t take your regular customers for granted; they might just end up being poached by someone else.
Loyal customers like to feel appreciated and if they don’t they will ‘vote with their feet’ and look elsewhere.
Another strong reason to look after your existing customers as well as you can is that they represent an investment in your time and marketing budget and if you need to replace them, you will have to ‘spend’ that time and money all over again.
Always be looking for opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell.
It is easier to sell to your existing customers than to go out and find new customers.
Easiest of all is to sell to someone who is actually buying something from you at that very moment.
If they are buying chemicals, perhaps they would like some pool toys as well?
If they are enquiring about an LED lighting setup for their pool then do they know how well that could work with an automated, digital control panel?
If they are in the market for a spa cover, then surely a cover lifter should be on their shopping list too?
It’s as simple as asking, ‘Would you like fries with that?’ You aren’t going to come across as a pushy salesperson, merely someone who has your customer’s best interests at heart.
Hopefully, the economy is getting better. One thing is for certain, the harder you work at selling, the quicker the recovery will be for you.
We hope that this article has been of use to you.