BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Sales 101 – How to Sell More, to More People
By Space Coast Daily // February 18, 2019
Sales is a tough job. If your results aren’t what you’d like them to be, your sales team is not performing to their best level, or you’re looking for fresh ways to increase sales, this one is for you.
Your first step is to get to grips with the problem you’re facing. Then you need to figure out how to increase sales in the most effective and appropriate way. Here’s how to sell more goods and services, to more people, more often.
What’s your problem, exactly?
You can’t fix a problem unless you know what the problem is. So why are you not hitting the mark? It could be seasonality, where the things you sell only really sell well in the summer, or the winter.
Have your competitors undercut your prices, or are they offering better deals in some other way? Have you got your pricing right or are you doing yourself a disservice? And is your sales technique working, or does your pitch need work?
Fixing issues with seasonality
Most products and services have peak periods. Fewer people, for example, buy barbecue equipment in winter compared to spring and summer. And very few buy Christmas presents in January. Maybe it’s subtler, and you just need to make your offering more attractive even when it isn’t front-of-mind. How can you mitigate the effects of seasonality?
Your marketing department might suggest this type of thing, being adept at creating compelling promotions to generate interest at quiet times:
- Early bird deals
- One time only and time-sensitive offers
- Ongoing reward and loyalty schemes
Knowing your competitors… intimately!
A dramatic price drop by a competitor can seriously affect your sales. But retaliation is rarely the answer – you only end up in a price war that benefits nobody. If the price reduction is temporary, you can meet it with a drop of your own. But permanent price drops are harder to deal with. You might face a deeper evaluation of your pricing strategy.
It’s vital to stay ahead of your competitors, and of developments in their camp.
When you’re entering a new market, for example, the Dubai market, you might want a qualitative UAE companies directory to exactly define your competitors and get valuable insights about them, including company financial status and specific pricing possibilities.
Your main competitors on the high street will probably be very different from your main competitors in the online search space, so make sure you pick the right weapons.
If your offer is worth more than theirs, you can sell it for more. Premium pricing is great when you want to attract an audience looking for a better quality product or service, and they don’t mind paying for it.
There’s more you can do to keep rivals at bay. Bear in mind, for example, that if your audience trusts you more than they trust your rival, you’re onto a winner. Can you make that happen?
Getting to grips with database marketing to current customers
You want to encourage repeat purchases, cross-sells and up-sells. You want lapsed customers to return to the fold. But how about your existing customers? If your business can thrive by selling more to existing customers, you’re onto a huge winner. But that means attracting plenty of customers in the first place.
Are your marketing people generating enough leads for the sales team to convert? Is there any mileage in setting up an incentive campaign to persuade existing customers to bring a friend, introduce their family, convert colleagues?
Once you’ve created a big, detailed enough customer database you can dive into database marketing and make the most of the people who already think you’re brilliant, preaching to the converted.
Making sure your price is right
With so many of us shopping online, pricing is more important than ever. It only takes minutes to search Google for goods and services, and your pricing needs to stand up against your rivals.
It’s actually a balancing act between attracting the right audience, increasing sales and making enough profit to thrive, not just survive.
Come in way too high and you’ll put large numbers of people off. Price things too low and you risk people thinking your offer is poor quality, or too good to be true.
Your pricing must be competitive yet correct, accurately reflecting the service you provide. Remember this: as long as you can convince someone that your offer is worth the money, sales should flow.
How do you know if your price is wrong? Salespeople have the answer – ask them how many times they’ve been rejected on price and a useful pattern should soon emerge.
Creating a better sales technique
53% of customer loyalty is driven by the sales experience (The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, 2011 ). Brand, price, service and the product itself are all less important.
So it matters a great deal what you say, and how you say it. As a salesperson you might even be the voice of the company, the only voice people ever hear. And as such it’s your approach that’s the deal-maker or breaker.
Good sales practice means never making a hard sell, never being pushy, never going overboard and offering too many solutions before dealing with people’s pain points. Why not evaluate your sales team’s performance to see where changes are necessary?
It might mean working one-to-one with individuals in the team or working at the departmental level. Either way, when they’re properly motivated and educated to be the best they can be, you’ll soon see their results improve.
If you’ve been wondering how to boost business sales performance, tackle all of the above and you should soon see that needle beginning to move in the right direction.
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