10 sales tips your competitors wish you didn’t know

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Sale (Photo credit: Gerard Stolk (vers les 66))

Your sales are down for the month or quarter. In this economy they could be at the lowest levels you’ve experienced for years, as some small business owners have recently told me.

You need to make a plan to increase your sales but you may not know where to start. The quickest and easiest way to focus on your sales is to come up with a list of what you can do.

Get yourself a cup of coffee, take out a pen or pencil and think about what has worked for you in the past. Recall ideas you’ve seen other small business owners use to increase their sales. Consider ideas that you’ve thought of but have been too busy or timid to try out.

You only need 10 minutes to generate a shortlist of ideas for sales boosters. It’s amazing what you can achieve in just 10 minutes of focused thinking. Even set a timer to “force” yourself to stay focused on your task.

Sales are the lifeblood of your business. Without sales you don’t have a business. Here is a list of 10 tips to increase your sales that your competitors would wish you didn’t know.

1 Improve your customer service. These days friendly service is rare. You just need to be more attentive to customers and their problems. Think of ways you can speed up service or delivery that will delight your customers.
2 Put a product on promotion. Select a product you know your customers or sub-segment of your customers will want. Try and negotiate a deal with your supplier. Display your product promotion prominently in your store or on your website.
3 Create an eye-catching display. I recently saw a computer shop in the Century City mall which had displayed its largest computers on the floor as you walk in. The display added a sense of excitement and said these guys know their customers.
4 Ask for referrals. Set up a simple system for asking existing customers, friends and associates for people who would be interested in what you offer.
5 Tell your existing customers what you have to offer. Write a short email and send it out to customers who have bought from you. Email is still one of the most effective selling mediums.
6 Customise your offering. Segment your target market. Offer something special to business buyers.
7 Make it easy to do business with you. Is your online purchase form easy and quick to fill in? Is your “buy” button prominently displayed?
8 Sample your product. Give away samples of your product. If you can’t give away samples, let customers trial or test your product or service.
9 Take your product to new customers. Could you hold a display at a morning market? What about a street table or a stand at the entrance to the shopping centre where you are located?
10 Train your staff to sell and upsell. Even the best salespeople have been trained. McDonald’s probably doubled sales by getting their staff to ask, “Would you like fries or a shake with your meal?”

Implementing the right sales booster can have a big impact on your business. Each success can lead you to even greater sales performance.

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