In this economic recession, it is imperative that you use all the means at your disposal to help your business not only survive, but thrive! Let’s take a look at these Four Ways to Increase Sales.
1. More Customers. There are two types of customers, new ones and your current ones. A healthy and prosperous business needs a good combination of both. Through the law of attrition, you are bound to lose some customers over time (or fire some that you don’t like) and some will no longer require your product or service. If you are a one-time type product or service, then you need to have a very aggressive new customer marketing campaign. However, if your product or service is one that people use/reuse on a regular basis, then keeping a large current customer base is important for you. The best way to keep customers is to make sure that they are HAPPY with their experience with you. Tell your clients, “I want you to be HAPPY.” Averages show that a happy client will tell 1-2 other people, but a NOT happy client will tell 11-15. Make them HAPPY and NOT satisfied. Deeper emotions and feelings come from happiness; it is hard to link solid feelings on satisfaction levels. 80% of businesses do not use follow-up services to check for happiness (satisfaction) levels; therefore, it is imperative that you do! And one more great tip for new and current customers; always give more than you promised - always over deliver.
2. Sell More Stuff to Your Same Customers. This point works well with both new and current customers; but has greater revenue possibilities from current customers. It also piggy-backs on the points made above about keeping current customers happy. A not-happy client will not buy more from you if they were not happy with what they originally came to you for. Selling more to your same customers goes a couple steps farther by requiring trust and credibility from you personally, as well as from your product or service. The sales term, up-selling is part of this selling more stuff to the same customer strategy. The McDonald’s franchise has mastered this technique with their famous slogan, “Would you like fries with that order?” They also introduced the ‘bundled’ mentality for fast food – a sandwich, fries, and drink all bundled together for a price which is less than if you purchased those same 3 items separately. How can you use up-selling, bundled-selling, and product add-on selling in your business? Sell a book or CD with your counseling session? Sell a tie with the new suit? Sell extended warranty protection on an appliance or automobile? Sell a home study CD/DVD program as an adjunct to your book or seminar? You get the idea.
3. Increased Frequency. Selling your product or service on a more frequent basis is the third way to increase your revenues. There are three ways to increase sales from increased frequency:
a). Expiration Dates. If you have a perishable product, then you are used to having an expiration date. However, more and more companies are using this technique even on products that are not perishable. What was the famous product that added a “born on date” to their product to play into a psychological illusion of ‘better freshness?’ If you said Budweiser Beer, you are correct. We now see that practice on canned goods and other soft drinks. Can you incorporate an expiration date into your product or service?
b). Smaller Packaging. Most consumers will not notice an ounce or two missing from a product. Package your item in a smaller offering but leave the price the same. This will show an immediate increase in your bottom line. What products have we seen shrinking in size lately? Spice containers? Candy Bars? Can you offer a smaller size package to your product?
c). Other Uses. Find new and creative ways to use your product for things other than its original intention. Arm and Hammer started this trend by selling their baking powder as a refrigerator/freezer smell eliminator besides the intended cooking uses. Someone recently sent me a list of 101 uses for WD-40, all are for applications other than loosening a rusty bolt. You could really have some fun with this one and use it as a contest with your customers. Do a ‘new use’ marketing campaign and let people send in their wild uses for your product. The top 10 will receive a case of your product or $50 gift certificate. Let your creative mind work on this one. Start a list now of other uses for your product or service.
4. More Expensive. Increase your prices! We have recently seen this in the airline industry charging now for checked bags, plus fuel charge fees. Delivery companies like UPS and FedEx have added an additional fuel surcharge to their rates. Another great way to offer a more expensive product or service is to stop giving away your time with free estimates and start charging for them! There is one point to this; you need to give something of perceived value during the ‘charged estimate.’ For example, if you have a lawn service, schedule appointments for a $50 lawn review. This could include a soil sample analysis along with your measurements for quoting an estimate. You can also offer a $50 off certificate on their first visit from your company; thus in all purposes, they did get the estimate for free, but you also confirmed them as a customer. Your time is your most valuable commodity and you need to find additional ways to charge for it!
I hope that these strategies will give you some ideas on how to increase revenues. Much success to you for a very prosperous and busy year!