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4 Highly Effective Selling Tactics by Bob Leduc
Many businesses overlook these 4 simple but highly effective selling tactics. How many are you using?
1. Avoid "What To Buy" Choices
Promote only one product or service at a time. It limits your prospect's buying decision to a simple "yes" or "no".
Don't complicate your customer's decision making process by including a "which one" option. Some customers will have difficulty making a clear choice. They will avoid the risk of making a wrong choice by making NO choice - and you will lose a sale unnecessarily.
You can develop separate promotions for each product or service you sell. Or you can combine several products and services into one package for one price. But always make your prospective customer's buying decision a simple "yes" or "no". It produces the maximum number of sales.
2. Offer Many "How To Buy" Options
Offering choices of WHAT to buy reduces your sales. But offering choices of HOW to buy increases your sales.
Offer many different ways for customers to buy from you. The same method is not convenient for everybody. Prospective customers are more likely to act immediately when their favorite way of ordering is available.
For example, many online marketers only accept orders online. They could easily increase the number of sales they get by including options to order by phone, fax and postal mail.
3. Use A Simple Buying Procedure
You can get more sales by making it easier for customers to buy from you. Look for ways to make your buying procedure easier and faster.
For example, many online marketers use a shopping cart to process their orders - even when they are selling only 1 or 2 items. Don't force your customers to endure the complicated process of a shopping cart just to order 1 item. Some of them will abandon the process ...causing you to lose sales unnecessarily.
Use a simple online order form instead of a shopping cart when you only offer 1 or 2 items.
4. Follow Up Every Sale With Another Offer
Customers are very receptive to more offers immediately after they buy from you. Offer them another product or service related to the one they just bought. Many will accept your offer, producing an easy sale for you.
If you don't already have additional products or services, find or create some.
For example, offer instructional material related to your customer's original purchase. It can be a printed book or e-book, a group of books or e-books, a training course, computer software, membership in a fee-based web site or any other type of instructional material related to their original purchase from you.
Tip: Look for an affiliate program selling the kind of instructional material you can use. All you have to do is sign up as an affiliate and announce the product or service to your customers. The affiliate program handles everything else and pays you a commission for each sale you generate.
How many of these 4 simple selling tactics have you overlooked? Start using them now. They will produce an immediate increase in your sales - with little or no increase in your expenses.
Advantage of a Small Business by George Torok
Small business has powerful advantages over big business when it comes to marketing. You can get these advantages working for you now. The typical approach to marketing by big business is use the resource they have most of - money. They tend to throw large dollars at expensive advertising campaigns. If your small business is to survive and grow you must learn quickly to avoid the temptation to act like big sister or big brother. Never go head to head with the mega corporations. You should compete by playing your game - not theirs. David did not try to go toe to toe with Goliath, instead he slue the giant with a sling shot. Your small business is a David in a world of Goliaths. Change the rules. Don't wish to be like the giant with their resources. Instead, discover your uniqueness to your advantage.
In marketing your business you would be wasting your time emulating big business and subsequently going out of business. Instead of trying to launch an unaffordable advertising campaign discover and use your unique resources - like the sling shot.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is about sending messages. Everything you do or don't do sends a message. Examine all the ways you can send messages. Advertising is only one way. Big business tend to wear blinders that only allows them to see advertising as marketing. Partly because they have always done it that way and partly because spending large sums of someone else's money is fun and seductive.
How else can you send your marketing messages? Here are some possibilities you can use:
- Media news releases
- Guest appearances on radio and TV
- Customer service
- Sponsoring events and awards
- Holding a contest
- Volunteering for a community event or business association Networking events
- Product information seminars
- Public speaking at special events
- Exceeding expectations
- Forming partnerships
- Through your staff
- Through your suppliers
- With the help of your clients
- Personal correspondence
Marketing is part of everything you do. The most important P's & Q's to mind with your marketing is to be consistent and persistent through all the channels of communication. If you preach about quality but buy the cheapest components you are not consistent. That conflict of messages will destroy your intended message. It should not take a genius to realize that if you dump on your staff they will dump on your customers. If you lie to your suppliers it is reasonable to assume you must be lying to your customers.
Use your advantages
As a small business owner you have several advantages in the marketing maze. You are closer to the customer. You can build personal relationships. You can use the CEO factor. You have less money and therefore must be creative. You are nimble like the sail boat while the huge ocean liner takes time to change direction.
Closer to the customer
You make the cold calls to prospects, close the deals and follow-up with your customers. You get to know how they think and feel. You know why they bought from you or why not. Try to tell me that the president of the big bank knows what goes on at the front counter.
That proximity to your customer gives you a special advantage. When you launch a new product you can use the information you have gained from your relationships with customers. What is important to them? What packaging is the most attractive? What features are most valuable? You are in the front lines. Ask questions, listen and remember.
There is something special about being able to speak to the president. Just try calling the president of your bank or automotive company. You will get the frustrating run-a-round. Make it easy for your customers to reach you. Return everyone's call - even if it is to say no thank you. Most will appreciate the response.
A friend of mine wrote to the prolific science fiction author and scientist Isaac Asimov. Asimov answered his letter. He wrote that my friend's idea had merit but needed improvement. My friend in his disappointment destroyed the letter. I thought, "Wow you got a letter from Issac Asimov!" My friend did not realize the value of a reply.
Make it Personal Life is personal - so is business. We make buying decisions based on our personal feelings then we find the logic to justify the decision. Don't hide in your office. Your most important responsibilities are selling, and building relationships. Build relationships with prospects, customers, staff, suppliers, and colleagues. We would rather deal with people than with faceless corporations. Even when we must do business with corporations it often is because of the trust built with individuals.
In a small business your character becomes the company culture. Treat your staff with respect and pride and they will show respect to customers and pride in the company. Your customers will feel the pride and respect - and they will feel good about doing business with you.
Build relationships with your customers. Learn their names, their buying habits, and important information about them. Be sure to store this information on your database. Include personal information such as birthdays, hobbies, alma matter and family members. Make it a habit of staying in touch with all of your customers by phone or by personal correspondence regularly. Send them hand written birthday cards, postcards, and notes about significant events in their lives.
Use the CEO factor In your business you wear many hats. That grants you intimate understanding of the company, your customers and the market. Depending on the time of day you play the role of CEO, sales representative, or shipping clerk, accountant, quality control or telemarketer.
When your customer talks to you they are talking to the CEO. Your customers love it when they can speak to the CEO. Make it easy for them. Be available and accessible.
Remember how frustrated you get when you can not talk to the person in charge. Imagine walking into your bank and asking to speak with the CEO? Or when you are shopping for a car just try and speak to the president of the car company. I dare you. Try it and drop me a line on what happens.
Large corporations are falling all over themselves lately to apologize for their misdeeds. You name it; banks, airlines, tire manufacturers, automotive companies. They are putting their CEO in front of the media to say sorry for the bad service, stupid mistakes and faulty product. We are suckers for those who admit their mistakes. We are willing to give most anybody another chance. Why? Because we all made mistakes and have probably asked for a second chance ourselves.
Maybe you have not yet really screwed up with your customers - but it will happen one day and when it does you must say sorry. The advantage you have when you make a mistake is that we believe it more when you are the CEO. If we know you, we want to forgive you - all you have to do is ask for forgiveness. And when you do - call or send a hand written note. The CEO of the bank or national airline can't do that.
You present a human face to your business. Notice how few corporate CEOs are able to be the human face of their company. The skills that enable CEOs to battle it out in the boardroom are not the same skills you need to build rapport with customers. It is so much easier for you to present your face. When we do business with small companies we like to know the owner. So get out there in the front lines. Volunteer your time in your community, for your chamber of commerce or industry association.
Although a large corporation, Marriot does a fine job of humanizing their business. They have the picture of the founder in every lobby. Although you do not meet the founder or even the current CEO you still feel a personal contact. At the other end of the scale is Holiday Inn. Who is the founder and CEO? Who knows? You pay much more at the Marriott than the Holiday Inn. It's not the beds that make a difference. It is the perception of personal service.
When is less money an advantage? When it forces you to be creative. If you have millions of dollars to spend on marketing you might hire some Madison Avenue advertising agency and buy 30 seconds on the Super Bowl game. If your budget is considerably less - say a few thousand or a few hundred, you will have to be creative. You might put extra effort in being nice to your customers. Happy customers are your best marketing agents. They talk about you. It costs nothing and they have much more credibility then a paid spokesperson. When you don't have tons of money to throw at expensive advertising campaigns you should put more effort into the simple marketing techniques like exceptional service, respecting your customers, returning phone calls promptly, guaranteeing results, free advice, contests, …
The best marketing is free marketing. That comes when people talk about you. Do things that cause customers to talk about you. Something outlandish. In the old movie Cool Hand Luke, Paul Newman boosted he could eat 50 eggs. I don't suggest that you eat 50 eggs but maybe you could cook a 50 egg omelet for charity.
If you can't be bigger and stronger be smarter and faster. Be a practitioner of business judo. How many times have you been annoyed by someone quoting company policy? "I'm sorry, but company policy won't allow me to help you."
Company policy is created to protect the company - not help the customer. I get so frustrated dealing with employees who are hired to enforce company policy not help the customer. You can adapt to customer needs and unique circumstances. When you do, let your customer know that you have intervened with policy to help them in this unique situation. Treat them special and make them feel special.
Sometimes it is smart to provide your customer with something extra at no charge. Send them an invoice for what you would normally charge but with the price stroked out and your hand written note - "Regular fee Waived" or "Policy Over-ruled."
Develop your company policy for efficiency and be prepared to change policy to delight your customers. It will be some of the best and cheapest marketing you can buy.
Find the most annoying 'rule' of your business. What do customers hate most about buying your product or service? The most annoying rules tend to be around time and process. Break that 'rule'. It will gain you a loyal following and provide fantastic marketing opportunities.
Marketing is part of everything you do. Marketing is about sending messages. Decide on the message that you want to send. Then audit everything you do for the messages you want to send.