Retaining customers is an essential part of the sales process, but adding new people to buy your service or product is vital to growth. If the same well-used methods are no longer doing the trick to increase sales, boosting your sales strategy may be the best way. If you have a great product or service but need to get the word out, try a few of the tips below.
Sell the Benefits
You've done everything you can to create a reliable product or service. Your next step is to tell consumers why your product is superior to others like it. In other words, what benefits do you offer? Let them know if you're a value added reseller that provides support before, during and after the sale. They may appreciate real-time inventory, same-day shipping, follow-up after the sale and an easy return process.
Make sure you clearly state your product's benefits in your sales materials. If you have multiple services that appeal to different types of customers, you may need to develop other campaigns.
Of course, the best benefit you can offer (other than your product) is superior customer service. Listening to their wants and needs and offering your attention from beginning to end is very important because it helps you keep your current customers and attract new ones. Your sales team should make the customer feel valued throughout the sales process.
Offer Quality Solutions
Once you have listened to your customers, you're in a position to help solve their problems. To begin the sales process, a consumer must realize they need your service or product. The trigger to buy can be:
Internal: If they are cold, they may want a warm cup of coffee.
External: If they walk past your coffee shop and smell the aroma of brewing coffee, they may want a cup.
Once customers realize they have a need, they will look for solutions. They will evaluate the benefit of a product compared to its cost. Here is the point at which featuring your product's benefits will help you. A low price may not always be the solution, and sometimes it can work against a sale if the consumer believes the price reflects low quality.
Using the example above, if the consumer walks into your coffee shop and you suggest flavors they might like, offer a free sample from your bakery and a discount if they buy a reusable cup, you have given them benefits. They may choose to buy a cup of coffee from your shop instead of the vending machine in the food court. Both cups of coffee would warm them, but yours has added value.
Learn How to Negotiate
Negotiation is basically good communication. It's not a competition, as many might think. When both parties get what they want, it's a win-win situation. There are several steps to good negotiation:
Find common ground — on price or other factors
Consider timing — for example, the end of the month or a slow season
Frame the negotiation in the best perspective for both of you
Give and take — when you ask for something, offer something
Thinking of negotiation as a conversation, not a confrontation, might make it more comfortable for both parties. Be patient and know your must-haves, and you'll be prepared.
Identify Your Customer
Do you know to whom you are selling your product? No business sells everything to everyone, especially in a market where consumers can purchase nearly anything online from around the world.
If you haven't done so yet, developing a clear picture of your customer would be beneficial. Start with data you have stored in your customer records. Pinpoint specific demographics, such as age, gender, location, products purchased, occupation, employers and education level. Look also for family status, hobbies and income.
Think of their needs and wants and define how your product will be a solution. What problem will it solve? Will it add value to their life or work? Is it cost-effective? How much are they willing to spend? Is there anything about your product they don't need? How do they perceive your product compared to others?
Once you have defined your customer, you can direct your advertising accordingly. People will buy products relevant to them, so once you've communicated to your target customers that you have something they want or need, you will establish that relevancy.
Now is the time to try a few new sales strategies if your current methods aren't growing your business as fast as you want. It's not always easy to use novel methods, but if it increases sales and helps you maintain your current customers, it's worth the effort.