Being an entrepreneur also means that you are a salesman and therefore need to make sure you have an excellent sales process in place. Selling is where you make your bread and butter and if you are not able to sell, you are not running a business.
No matter what your budget may be, you can always find ways to improve your sales and help your business grow. But this is a tricky aspect of running a business, especially if you have a tight budget. Whatever your reasons may be, increasing your sales can be quite a challenge while keeping your advertising and marketing money under control.
Let us look at some of the best techniques you can use to boost your business sales even if you are working under a tight budget.
1. Communicate with your current customers
One of the best resources for increasing your revenue are your existing customers. It is much easier and faster to up-sell a client who has already incorporated your services to their business, is familiar with the quality of your services and products, and your work.
If you have built a strong relationship with your current clients and they perceive you as a trusted partner, then they are more likely to share challenges they are facing with you. By listening to them, you can assess easily how you may be able to help your clients address their challenges. This can build a foundation for offering alternative or new products. Using this approach, you can continue to prove yourself as a good partner and also increase revenue in the process.
2. Bundle your services and products
Several small businesses have established success by selling bundled services and products as a package rather than selling them as individual offers. Customers associate a service bundle with savings, even if these savings are nominal. This makes it all the easier for you to sell your product. One good technique is to keep bundles a little flexible. A potential customer can reject a bundle if he or she feels that only 3 of the 6 services are relevant to their business. You are sure to find success if you offer your customers the flexibility to swap one or two products or services from the bundle with others that align with their business needs.
3. Request referrals
Your existing customers are also great assets in getting you client referrals. If you are aware that customers are happy and satisfied with your products, you can ask them for the names and contact information of other similar and small businesses who can also benefit from your products and services.
Ask for testimonials from your satisfied customers and upload the same on your website, newsletters or in sales emails. However, always ensure to obtain your customer’s permission before using his or her testimonial in any of your public platforms.
4. Have a limited time promotion or sale
Placing a discount on your products can seem to go against the idea of generating revenue through sales, but even a slight discount on your services and products can make them more attractive to prospective clients. Ensure you have clearly defined all the sale parameters —which should include start and end dates—so that there is no confusion if the customer wants to continue with your services even after the promotion ends.
Listening may be the most overlooked and simplest tactic when you are trying to boost sales. Listening to your potential customers and clients is the best way to understand their needs and address them. Without this open communication, you increase the chances of misunderstandings, giving rise to frustrations. Ensure that you and your sales team have a clear understanding of how to listen actively, ask the right and leading questions to obtain more information and are comfortable with brainstorming solutions with the clients.
However, your sales team need not employ the above tactic with every customer, as it can be a long process which would risk losing a potential customer. Prioritize initial contact and closing sales over consultative selling.
6. Take advantage of social media
Even if you have a small following on Facebook or Twitter, using social media to tout and promote your services and products is a good way to increase customer awareness and get new customers. You can use your customer testimonials, and post them on social media feeds. This is sure to spark interest in what you have to offer.
Moreover, do not view social media as just a sales tool, but as an open communication line. You can use it to circulate interesting information about your industry, re-post or re-tweet significant articles or illustrate further the workings of your business, with perhaps behind-the-scenes videos or photos. The idea of social media is to be social. You can use this to your benefit to add a personal touch in the points conveyed to your audience.
7. Raise prices
Increasing your product prices may again seem to work against the whole idea of increasing sales. It can make some current and potential clients hesitant to continue your services. However, one good tactic is not to increase prices quietly. Announce the price hike to your current client base and set a date after which the new prices will be applied to your products. This will give your current clients and even some potential clients to purchase services and products and renew their contracts before the hike is implemented.
Hiking prices is not to be taken lightly. Make sure you analyse all pros and cons of increasing prices for both long and short-term.
While none of the above strategies needs an upfront outlay of cash, they will take commitment and time from you and your team to take off. But by continuing to connect with potential and current clients, you have the best chance at increasing your sales revenue and giving your business its best chance to grow.
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