Everyone wants to start a business and increase sales as their business grows. Most people prefer online business as it is the most cost effective way to get started.
In this article, I will list out 25 of the most effective sales techniques anyone can implement in their business to increase sales and make more profits. Increasing sales volume is not just enough. You need to increase profits as well.
Increase Sales: 25 Sales Techniques That Work
Strategy 1: Use Content Marketing
The key is not to call the decision maker. The key is to have the decision maker call you. -Jeffrey Gitomer
A few years back, when you had a product or service to sell what did you do to get the word out? You tried press releases, television ads, paper ads, cold calls, banner ads, display hoardings and any other means you could afford. Business went to those who had the largest marketing budgets.
Fast forward to present day, people are no longer paying attention to the thousands of marketing messages that they come across each and every single day. With internet usage on the rise and people becoming more aware, all of these traditional marketing approaches are weakening day-by-day.
People who embrace relationship marketing, has already understood the power of content marketing. As compared to traditional methods of marketing, content marketing means getting found by prospective customers rather than trying to push your product or service to the uninterested masses.
With content marketing, there are a host of benefits
- Pre-qualified leads
- Lower marketing costs
- Higher conversion rates
- Higher customer satisfaction
- Lower customer acquisition rates
You should embrace content marketing not just for the benefits. Although it takes time, it’s what works very well now, and probably the only marketing technique that will work in the future.
Strategy 2: Use Upsells Effectively
If you are not using upsells, you are leaving money on the table. How many times have you ordered fries just because the sales guy asked you “would you like fries to go along with it?” or perhaps you were given a discount on something when you already made a purchase?
Upsells are very effective to increase sales. Once they buy from you and are in a buying mood, it’s easier to close an additional and related sale.
Many people who run online businesses give 100% commission to their affiliates on their product. Once people buy this product, they are presented with an additional high end product as an upsell. This is how many people make most of their money selling info products online.
Strategy 3: Create a Product Which Has Demand
Supply always comes on the heels of demand. – Robert Collier
This is a no brainer. Understand what your customer really wants. Is there some product already in the market that delivers the solution to your prospective customer? If not, provide it!!!
If there is already a product or a solution, try to think of a better way to satisfy the needs of the customer. This can be in the form of a better quality product. You can even bring about a twist in the actual offering to make your product more attractive.
Strategy 4: Clever Pricing Is the Key
Even peace may be purchased at too high a price. -Benjamin Franklin
Most of us who are not born to sugar daddies do price comparison shopping.
You may have a wonderful product everyone needs. However, if you price it insanely high compared to your competitor, you are going to find it hard to make decent sales (unless you are Apple).
5 strategies to price your product
- Do market research and understand your competitor pricing. With this data in-hand, either develop a product with lot more features and charge more, or develop the same quality product and price it lower
- High price can provide a sense of “high quality” since people have a deep rooted notion that higher the price, better the quality. If you price high, be prepared to deliver what your customer expects to get
- Similar to point #2, a lower price can indicate inferior quality. The best way is to charge higher prices by providing more value to your customer
- Price of a product is directly proportional to “perceived value”. If you can make you product seem superior to your competitor, you can charge a premium over your competitor
- Price is again proportional to perceived brand value. If you have a brand value attached to your product, people will more readily pay a higher price for your products or service
Final Takeaway: Your product is worth what your customer is willing to pay for it.
Strategy 5: Run a Customer Reward Program
You really don’t need to be a fortune 500 company to run a rewards program. Just make it a simple program where people can get discounts for being a customer and satisfying certain simple criteria’s such as
- Being a customer for 1 year, they can enjoy 50% discount on the first bill of their second year as customer
- Collect points and redeem points for discounts, gifts, and so on
- 10% discount on your purchase if you shop for more than 100$
You get the idea.
Strategy 6: Advertising Is a Necessary Evil
A magazine is simply a device to induce people to read advertising. -James Collins
Many people take to advertising as a means to sell the product in any way possible. What the marketer does not take into consideration is that customers do not like to be deceived or being sold to. Advertise only the benefits the product/solution can give and never ever hype anything.
Only if your product lives up to its claims will people return to buy from you the next time.
Advertising is essential to bring your product to the spot light. Make use of the advertising medium that best suits your product and the time it is released. Radio, television, print and internet are some of the mediums you can rely upon to advertise your business.
Never give your entire advertising contract to one firm. If you have a line of products, ensure that you give each product to a different agency and do a split test on who can produce the maximum benefits.
Strategy 7: Give Out Free Samples
It’s proven time and again that giving away free samples to your customers can help you increase sales. If you have a book for sale, make a chapter or two available for free. If you sell products, give small sample packets for users to try out. If you provide a service, offer a free initial consultation.
Once your prospective customer starts using your product or service, they will have increased confidence over their purchasing decision. This will lead to a faster sale.
Strategy 8: Reach Out To Your Customers
It’s not enough that you simply advertise your products. They only make the buyer more open to embracing the product. Once you test your product, reach out to your customers and ensure that they can buy the products with ease.
Strategy 9: Looks Definitely Matter
I almost always end up buying products based on the design. Whenever I go shopping with my family, I tend to pick products with nice illustrations.
If it looks like a school going kid made the cover I am almost certainly not going to buy that product. Include a touch of professionalism and also convey the meaning. This holds true especially for food related products.
What about Apple? Apple focused on the design and let everything evolve around it. The simple touch interface, sleek and highly usable design made Apple the most valued Tech Company that it is today.
Strategy 10: What’s In a Name or Is There Much More to It? (Hint: There is much more to a name than just being a “name”)
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet -William Shakespeare
Always choose a product name your customer can pronounce easily and can remember without jumping through hoops. Take extra care to name the products in such a way that the name itself gives out the product details. The name you choose must proliferate into the mind of your target customers.
There is nothing wrong with choosing a unique name and trying to brand it. The minimum you have to do is make sure people can write it down correctly if you just pronounce it.
Do you think people who are not familiar with the car brand Chevrolet will correctly write it down if we simply pronounce it (Phonetic Pronunciation: shehv-ruh-LAY) and not spell it?
Strategy 11: Quality is King
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected – Steve Jobs
Never, ever compromise on the quality of your product. If your customer loses the trust on your brand, your business will collapse like a pack of cards.
Some people tend to sacrifice the quality to prevent price hikes. But, if needed increase the price and serve the same quality rather than producing a low quality product. You can also choose to serve less quantity for the same price.
If you plan to stick around with your business for a very long time, any compromise on quality will never get you even remotely close to your goals.
Strategy 12: Give Your Dealers a Reason to Sell
Nothing can be more devastating than dealers refusing to sell your products. It could be that they are getting better pricing from your competing brand or that they do not see a reason as to why they should push your product. Give them good commissions and always deliver on time. This way you can build a long lasting relationship with your dealers and they will push your products more.
In the online world, we come to affiliate marketing. Affiliates are the ones who sell our products for commissions.
In the information publishing business, you can expect to give up to 75 % of the commission to the affiliates. If you give them lower commissions, they will promote your competitor who offers them a better compensation. It’s always the rewards that motivate the affiliate.
Very few affiliates promote based on value. That’s the ugly truth online. So make sure you pay 50-75 % commissions for your info products to increase sales through affiliates. Some even give 100 % commissions to build a list of buyers.
If you sell a service or a software, figure out the maximum commission you can afford to pay your affiliates while not incurring a loss. I have seen software vendors and service providers offer commissions in the range 3%-25%.
Strategy 13: Set Up Production Centers in Different Parts of the Country
Always try to diversify when it comes to setting up a production center. It is always best to have various centers spread over a large geographical area. When you concentrate more employees in one region, problems are bound to come up.
Put on your thinking cap and decide the next site for setting up a production center.
When you have an online business, it is best to diversify your support staff. It is also good to have a local presence since people will trust you more. If you have a SEO company for example, it is easier to rope in US or UK clients if you have an office in the US or UK.
Strategy 14: Diversify Your Product Range
A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets- Steve Jobs
The trick is to increase your market share in other related markets. If you concentrate on one particular product then the risk of MNC’s coming and replacing you is huge. So always spread out your line of products.
If you produce ham, produce different frozen food items, not just ham. If you have field staff and you need to make the most of them, it is necessary that you have a range of products to sell. You won’t make enough profits to pay a decent wage to your field staff if you concentrate on just one product.
In the online world, to increase sales, diversification is essential. You may have one product that teaches how to build muscle. You needn’t have the info about how to build six pack abs in the same product. You can instead have two different products.
This strategy to make more sales will help you price the two different products competitively as well as make more money through upsells or cross promoting the products to the two buyer lists you have.
Strategy 15: Listening To Your Customers Does Wonders for Your Business
Find out what they require. Why do they use the current product if they use any? What could have made their job easier? Always have an eye for details for such things.
The reason why you should be listening to your customer to make more sales is because it helps you learn the customer’s language. Once you start interacting with them and understand their problems, you will learn to convey your product marketing message in a language your customer understands.
Strategy 16: Be Unique With a Great USP
A good voice isn’t so important. It’s more important to sound really unique – Stephen Malkmus
Whatever product you bring to the market, it must have a unique angle to it. If you produce normal pencils, make it unique. Maybe the pencil has additional features such as higher resistance to the writing lead breakage or a comfortable grip or something like that.
Have a simple, yet effective USP.
If you are selling a book online about “making money online”, make sure that you have something to differentiate yourself from the rest of the people out there. If you have an online store, what makes it unique? Free shipping or do you have same day delivery?
Strategy 17: Test Locally and Deploy Internationally
Make sure that you release your product to a local audience first. Test it and see how it fares. If you can’t make sales locally, there is not much chance that you will make huge sales on an international level. Choose your local test market in such a way that there is a demand for the product there.
If you have an email list of people who have subscribed for information from you, try selling them your product at a discounted price. Some people call it internal launch. See how well they receive it. Make tweaks and improve constantly. This way you can increase sales online.
Strategy 18: Reinvest Your Profits
How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case – Robert G. Allen
It’s always a good bet to reinvest what you get from your business into your business. Never try to spend your business income for unnecessary things (Do you really need a new couch or a fancy office?). You must always have a cash reserve in case you plan for expansions in the future.
In order to increase sales, you must have a good product. TO ensure that you have a good product, you need to invest in research and development. Use your business income to fuel the R&D process and not withdraw a huge salary for yourself.
Strategy 19: Be Professional
I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away. – George Carlin
As your business expands, it would be difficult to manage your business on your own. When required, make sure that you recruit people who can align themselves with your values and business goals.
Being an online business, not many can afford to hire a HR. So, handpick the people you want. If you want to increase sales, then you need a dedicated team to help you with your goals.
Strategy 20: See Your Employees as Your Co-Workers
Never try to be bossy. Always make your employees feel that you are a part of them. If you try to portray yourself as the boss and others as workers, it may affect their morale.
Most people, who have online businesses, hire work at home people or have a virtual team. In that case, make sure you don’t sound arrogant and always pay them on time.
Strategy 21: Your Employees Are Your Greatest Assets
In case of delayed payments, it must never occur to your employees that you are purposefully delaying payments. In case of dire situations, inform your employees beforehand that there will be a delay.
If you have field staff, give those people hands on training. You must make sure that they are well versed with answers to any questions your prospective customers might ask.
Try to bring up people within your team. This will greatly boost the confidence and morale of your employees. Employee people local to the place whenever possible and if you have outstation employees support them as much as you can.
The quality of your employees can have a direct effect on how well your product sells. If you have a great team, not only will you products be great, but your team will find and solve issues faster and innovate easier.
Strategy 22: Be Honest
Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honesty are what matter. – Tiger Woods
File your income tax correctly. If you are not well versed with accounting, hire someone who can do it for you. If you provide services, give a money back guarantee to your customers. If you cannot provide the service as described, never hesitate to make a refund (If possible, a no questions asked refund).
Strategy 23: Provide Unmatched After Sales Service
If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will. -Bob Hooey
This is one area which I see many businesses fail in. They market their product, sell to their customers, and then no news from their support team.
It is equally important that you provide support to your customers. Only happy customers result in repeat buys and quality referrals. Do not forget the fact that word of mouth is still the best mode of establishing a brand and increasing sales.
Strategy 24: Set Up an Incentive Program for Your Sales Team
What motivates your employees to sell more other than your monthly pay check? If you have no incentives, then when most people reach their sales quote, they won’t try to sell any more. After all, what’s in it for them to work harder just to make a few more sales?
Provide incentive to your sales team and you’ll see that your sales will mostly increase after setting up the incentive. It can be anything from getting featured for the month on your company website or extra pay. See what works with your employees and give them what they want.
Strategy 25: Keep Testing
Keep testing your products or service. Experiment with your ad copy, your price points, your website structure, promotions you are running and so on. Only after a lot of testing can you come up with the most effective way to increase sales.
If your business is web based, then make sure you use conversion optimization techniques to test and find out the most effective way to close the sale.
Strategy 26: Always Over Deliver
It really makes your customers smile when they get something extra. You want your customers to smile and be happy for them to come back to you.
When I do consulting, if there are small jobs like helping customers with some technical aspects of their website, I do it for them without charging anything extra. Sometimes when they come to me with small tasks, I do it without taking payments. These small things has helped me retain my most loyal and highest paying customers.
What do you do to increase sales volume? Do you find any other sales techniques that should have been mentioned? What is your #1 sales technique that out performs all others? Let me know in the comments.