Many companies struggle to have predictable and growing sales. The most common problem, especially with small companies, is they don't have a systematic sales process.
Fortunately there are a few quick ways of getting your sales machine firing on all cylinders even on a limited budget:
1. Ask for referrals from everyone. Don't just ask existing customers for referrals. Ask your friends, family, dentist, or dog walker. You never know who is connected to your ideal client.
2. Define your ideal client. Trying to appeal to everyone? You'll appeal to no one. Being very specific about who your customers are and the problem you are solving makes selling much easier.
3. Make it easy to buy. This is a big one. If you're selling services, package them like a product. For example, a lawyer specializing in real estate often provides a home buyers package for a fixed fee. This little shift makes it easier for customers to buy since they know exactly what they will get.
4. Target existing customers. So many companies are focused on acquiring new customers, all while they have an easy market to sell to right under their noses! Cross selling to existing customers often costs nothing and usually leads to referrals to new customers.
5. Give it all away. If you're very knowledgeable on a topic, consider giving away your best information. Hosting free workshops or giving away content in an e-mail newsletter is a great way of providing value up front and proving that you're the go-to expert. Never underestimate the value of reciprocity.
6. Follow up. Opportunities fall through the cracks if you don't use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Some good options include freebies like Streak, all the way to tools like Salesforce.com. I personally use Contactually, but it's important to find the one that works for your business.
7. Bring in outside help. Everyone has blind spots with their sales processes. Having a trusted mentor or coach help you refine your processes and messaging is crucial to succeeding.
8. Pay per click (PPC). Google Adwords can result in an immediate increase in targeted web traffic. And unlike search optimization, the results are immediate. To avoid costly mistakes, considering hiring a PPC specialist.
9. Reward programs. Offering someone a cut of the sales they bring in can be very effective if done right. Best of all, it has no cost until you close a sale.
10. Get on the phone. Cold calling works, especially in business to business. Having said that, it's very time consuming and should be used a last resort.
Having a consistent sales system is critical for your business' long term success. These strategies work, but it's more important that you consistently take action to continuously find new business even when you're busy and have work lined up for months.
After all, nothing else happens until a sale is made.
Andrew Seipp is the principal consultant at SellClarity. A sales and marketing consulting firm that helps companies grow their sales using automation, process and best practices"
The url for Sellclarity is sellclarity.com