10 Ways To Make More Sales
10 Ways To Make More Sales
10 ways to make more sales during lockdown and beyond During these next few weeks of the second lockdown and beyond there are practical things you should be doing to get and keep your customers, and make more sales. Obviously, this will depend a little bit on where your business is now because really businesses now fall into three categories: There are some that are forced to close. Although, even now, and there are some opportunities retailers for instance can do click and collect, even during this lockdown, and restaurants and pubs can offer takeaways and deliveries. There are others who are able to a certain extent work normally And there are some businesses that are booming, just struggling to cope with all the demand that they’ve got. And they’re in a ridiculously amazing place. In many cases this is because they provide a service or a product that is relevant to the pandemic. But wherever you’re at these 10 ways will be useful and applicable for you.
1. Existing customers
Make more sales from people that have bought from you in the past. Time and again its been proven that these are the easiest people to sell to – people that already know you. So, what are you doing about them? How are you maximising your income from current and past customers or even from past people that have enquired with you? These are not rhetorical questions. You need to be answering these. What are you doing to make more sales from people that have previously bought from you? How are you communicating with your existing or past customers? Because the pandemic gives you a reason to rewrite the rules. You do not have to do what you’ve always done, you can think differently about how you communicate with your customers. If you are being silent, if you are invisible to your existing and past customers, then they probably aren’t going to spend with you. It’s not their job to remember you in a time of national crisis, it’s your job to remind them things – you need to communicate with them. And when you communicate, be the helper, not a seller. Don’t try to sell something, help them. Bring them ideas. Be the helper, not the seller You can do this in lots of ways, one way would be to just call them, just give them a check-in. How are you doing? Can I help you? Tell them a story, something that includes a really helpful idea. Give them facts – what are the things going on in your market that will be useful to your customers. This might sound counter-intuitive at a time like this. But it could be worth you hiring someone to make telephone calls for your business to make more sales. But only if you know your business maths. If you know the cost of a customer, your gross margin, and the costs to hire a telephone person it might make business sense. Here’s another way to communicate with your customers – email. Send an email to your customers, be empathetic with them and ask if there is any way you can help them. Not in a salesy way but in a supportive way. And I would encourage you to do so.
2. Facebook ads.
There has never been a better time to get your audience’s attention than right now. Facebook ads have really come down in cost over the last six months compared to a year ago. And that’s why I say that there has never been a better time to get your audience’s attention and make more sales. And especially when we’re in lockdown, and here’s why: people browse the internet as they’ve nothing else to do. Of course, they watch everything on Netflix, but they browse the internet. When they browse the internet, for things they want to buy, they might as well buy from you. But for that to happen, you have to be in front of them. And marketing is most definitely not a non-essential spend right now. It’s a really smart time right now to get on the front foot in many markets.
So upselling is about getting customers to spend more with you. There are two very easy practical ways that you can do this. They might not both apply to your business, but one of them probably will. So the first one is particularly good for selling high-end things. So if you want to sell in bathrooms or kitchens or furniture or anything that’s got a reasonably high price tag on it. At some point in the conversation, you ask your customers what their budget is. And this little technique will enable you to increase the budget, it is just two words. At the right point in the conversation in the sales process, you will ask your customer what their budget is for this. And they will say, for example, £2000, and you will reply and you’ll ask, up to? And they’ll give you a higher number. They always will, works every single time to make more sales. And so you get yourself more money too as well as a 25% increase in sales. Those are very, very powerful two words – up to – when they’re delivered properly in the right way. You’ll find that will enable you to stretch your customer’s, your client’s budgets, and it’ll enable you to increase your average transaction size. And if you are tracking your average transaction size, and you go back historically, and you start to implement this, you will start to see a significant uplift, very, very powerful way to grow your business. Then you can make more sales with 10 words. This one comes from a fish and chip shop in Barnsley. When this owner took over a fish and chip shop, what he did systematically, is he asked every customer: “shall I pop a pickled onion in there for you?” And a significant number of them said yes. And that increased the average spend. He worked out it was worth almost £30,000 a year. It’s a lot of money when you think about it, a significant uplift for that fish and chip shop. Now we know the McDonald’s “Do you want fries with that?” from the old days, but we’ve forgotten how it still works really, really well. And at times like this, it’s a really good thing to use. It’s non-threatening. This is non-salesy. This is super helpful for your customers. And in particular, it’s also super helpful for you.
If you are B2B, you probably already know that LinkedIn can be huge. But many people who use LinkedIn make some basic, rudimentary mistakes. The first thing to do with LinkedIn is to make sure your tagline is properly optimised. Your tagline is the bit where you say what you are. Why this is important is because your tagline appears everywhere on LinkedIn. When you post in your newsfeed, your tagline appears. When you send someone a LinkedIn message, your tagline appears. When you reply to a comment, your tagline appears. And when you show up in recommended people to connect with, it shows your name and your tagline. Your tagline is everywhere in LinkedIn. And where most people go wrong is they think of that tagline, as a job title box. So the say they are the CEO of ABC or the founder of x y and z, or they define themselves by their job description, and your prospects don’t care about that. They don’t care about your job title or your business. You need to make your tagline about the benefit that you bring to people. For example, a personal travel consultant could have helping people to find their dream holidays and honeymoons as a tagline. Someone who works on Acquisitions could have: working with successful business owners to go faster by buying a business. An accountant could have: helping business owners understand their business finances properly. A good tagline makes it easier to get results on social media and online marketing. Give some thought to your tagline because when you get it right, you will see a tangible uplift. You’ll start to get an increase in your number of connections and start getting more people paying attention to your profile. It will enable you to penetrate your market much more effectively. Another thing to do on LinkedIn is to optimise your profile picture and model your photo on the same type of pictures that your market has. And create your banner – don’t use the standard blue one LinkedIn provides, but create your own, with your USP on it. But make your images professional, because first impressions count.
5. Google My Business.
Most people love this, although a surprisingly large number, do not use it, at all! So Google My Business can get you on the front page of Google – for free, in the three pack and in maps. When people search for businesses in an area, Google My Business will populate the three-pack of the search results. And you’re on the map. So I would encourage you to get all of this sorted properly and do it today, as Google My Business is a great way to make more sales. There are three main steps to sort out Google My Business: The first one is you have to claim your listing if you haven’t done so already. (if you need some help here’s an earlier article) The second thing then is you have to add as much information as you can. Broadly speaking, the more information you give to Google, by populating all the different parts of your Google My Business listing, the more Google will reward you with higher rankings. That’s a bit simplistic, but it is accurate and true. And then the third thing, is keep it up to date. Don’t just create it and forget about it, once a week put something on there. It could be a new picture, or a post, a new product. Once it is set up you only need to spend about 15 minutes a week. So not a lot of time, and it’s completely free. And the benefits are genuinely very significant. You can add photos and videos. And top tip; before you upload any photos or videos, make sure you name those photos and videos. Name them with your keywords. The words people are likely to search for when they’re looking for your business. Because that will help ensure that your listing gets higher up. That’s really important as a tactic and will make a big difference to how Google My Business works for you. But it can get you on the front page of Google for free. Another little bonus here as well: you can add your own Google streetview to your Google My Business listing. To do that, you need to go to google.com street view, forward slash apps. And again, it’s not a trivial thing to do. But it does enhance your listing. One area that very few businesses make use of on Google My Business is the posts. And you can post things in there that are happening. If you’ve got promotions, or specials, or offers or new products, or events, just anything at all in the business, you can post them in Google My Business. You’ll find Google will reward you and you will appear higher in the rankings more often. How to use Google My Business Posts. And we know, that those Google My Business listings appear at the very top way ahead of anything else that comes up for a lot of searches – if you’ve got your listing optimised.
6. Neighbourhood cards.
If you work in people’s homes, you can continue to work in people’s homes in this new lockdown. Neighbourhood cards are really simple but very, very powerful and they’re perfect when you’re going out to other people’s houses to help you make more sales. What you do is you print a little card, about A5 sized card that just says: “Hi there, you might have seen our van in the street we’ve been working at Rachel and David’s at number 7, feel free to pop by if you’ve any queries about anything electrical, however big or small.” You can even put little magnets on the back of it so the card sticks on the fridge. But it’s a great way to make more sales. Here’s how it works. When you are working in a house, you would drop five of these cards to the houses on the left. You’d drop five of these cards to the right. And then you’d drop 10 of the cards opposite. So it’s all the neighbours that have got a chance of knowing Rachel and David at number 7, and it’s implied endorsement from Rachel and David, because they’ve seen the van on their drive. Simply these work brilliantly. If your core business is doing things in people’s homes, these get a tremendous response. And usually, you’ll get at least one enquiry from the 20 cards that are dropped. The cards are not expensive to print, and if you drop 20 cards, it might take you 15 minutes before you go one night. But when you drop 20 cards, typically businesses get one or two jobs. That is a remarkable return on investment. But of course, you need to do it. So neighbourhood cards are a really great thing to do for businesses that are working in people’s houses.
7. Use the phone!
I promise you and it’s hard to believe, but most people do not answer the phone all the time. How do you know what happens to your phone when you’re not there? When you’re not in the office? It’s a bigger problem than most people realise. If you get leads with phone numbers – whether it’s a response to a Facebook ad, or they fill out an enquiry form on your website, lots of businesses don’t ring them up. If you ring them up, it’s not a cold call, because they’ve given you their phone number. So ring up, and ring up as soon as possible. What we’ve discovered is the Golden 10 minutes. If you ring them within 10 minutes of them submitting the lead your chances of turning that enquiry into a customer goes up dramatically. If you leave 90 minutes your chances plummet, if you leave it 24 hours, then your chances of turning them into a customer is about 20% of what it was if you called in the Golden 10 minutes. So paying attention to when you call your leads, is really significant for how you can make more sales. Really important. And these are not cold calls, don’t forget, they’ve given you their phone number. And what happens when you do ring them within the Golden 10 minutes is these people are surprised. They express surprise, and you say it is just the sort of service you can expect from your company name. How can I help you? And you’re into a conversation and your first impression is as good as it’s possible to be. It’s a really big deal and so don’t be frightened to ring people up to help them. Everything in life comes at a cost. If you’re getting leads in with phone numbers and not ringing them, then the cost you’re paying for that is reflected in your turnover and in your profitability, because you’ve already paid for the lead in a lot of cases. Also, think what happens when people try and call you out of hours. Because people do; now we’re used to working and doing things not quite 24/7, but certainly, people are up at all times of the day and night and they want to do stuff. What is your ability to respond? If they try and call you out of hours, and it just rings and rings and rings, they will not call back. An answering machine message won’t work either, as most people will not leave a message on answering machines. So what can you do? You could use an answering service or a virtual assistant who can handle the phones, with extended hours for you. Often they are very, very cheap, relatively speaking, and you’ll get a big return on investment, typically, when you use those services.
8. The follow up.
So many businesses think that what they need to do to make more sales is to get more leads. In so many cases, that’s not true, what they need to do is just handle the leads they are getting already much more effectively. Most businesses don’t need more leads, they just need to follow up better with the ones that they already have. You can use email and phone and text messages and messenger and physical post to communicate with your potential customers. Think about the follow-up process as about you just wanting to make friends and help them. You just want to understand what it is that they’re looking for. How can I help you? Tell me about yourself? Don’t go into sales mode. Just make friends and help them.
9. The three-line email
It can be part of a good follow up sequence. It can also be like a remedial action that resets everything. It’s super simple. It’s really effective. And it works for any business, I’ve not come across a business category or industry where this doesn’t work. It is what it says, it is a three-line email. You send it to all of your prospects and past enquiries – anybody that’s enquired in probably the last year in most cases. Just think of all the people that have enquired over the past 12 months that you might have sat in an Excel spreadsheet somewhere, or on your CRM system. Send them this email today, now, and watch what happens. It’s not complicated this email. First line of the three-line email says: Hi, and you use their name. Second line: Are you still interested in whatever it is that you do? For example; are you still interested in a new kitchen? Are you still interested in garden maintenance? Are you still interested in getting your car serviced? Or whatever it might be. Third line: your name. (assuming you’ve got some sort of photo and contact details at the bottom of the email that lets them know who you are.) That’s all there is to the three-line email. Don’t overcomplicate it. Don’t turn it into a four line email. Don’t stretch it out, because the only reason it works is because it is so concise, and it feels very personal when they receive that email. So use it. And because people will come back, you’ll get a lot of responses, and you will make more sales. If you’ve got hundreds and hundreds of people that have enquired in the last 12 months, don’t send that email to everyone all at once. Because you’ll be deluged with responses and unable to follow up. Break them into chunks, send a few hundred at a time. It will get you into conversations. You will get conversations. Someone will come and say “Oh, yes. Thanks for reminding me. I’d like to go ahead now please”. It will build relationships, people will reply and talk to you. And it’s such an easy thing to do. All you’ve got to do is go and do it. And genuinely, everyone that does this typically is just amazed at the response and the sales that come out of it. Because it’s such a simple tool. You could use it now, this week, today, to go out to all your past enquiries and help make more sales.
10. Systemized review collection
This is really going to be about securing the future for you and enabling you to carry on in 2021 and beyond. Because every business now needs to systemize. That’s the key word here, systemized review collection. So, here’s a question: I know you’ve got lots of happy customers, you run a good business, why don’t more of your happy customers leave you reviews online? Well, I know the answer why. It’s because they never think to do so. They forget to do so. Or they don’t know how to do it. Those are the three reasons why. It’s not because you’re rubbish. It’s not because they didn’t appreciate your service. But because they never thought to review you, because you never asked them. Or, if you did ask them they forgot. Or they didn’t know what to do or where to do it. Now a clever way to go out with a systemized review collection is not to ask everyone for a review. Here’s the way to do it: Go out with an email to your customers after you’ve given them the service they bought from you, and ask them to rate your service based on their experience – out of a scale of one to 10. Those that rate you nine or 10, you know that they appreciate you, you know that they are happy customers. Then send them a reply. “That’s lovely, I’m so pleased that we were able to hit the spot for you. We’d be ever so grateful if you could click one of these links here and leave a little review for us on Google or Trustpilot, or TripAdvisor”, whatever is the most appropriate one to you. So the only ones that you’re asking for the reviews are the ones that you know love you anyway. It’s a really, really smart thing to do. Those that rate you down the bottom with a one to six, well, they probably should have a little follow up and you can try to find out what the problem is. Because in business, there are always moments of truth. If people are not happy, and if they bother to reply to your email and rate you four or five, you know there’s a problem. So when you then ring them up, and say you’re sorry, that we were only rated a four or five, what’s gone wrong? Let me see if I can make it right for you. All of a sudden, you catapult up their scale of how they think and how they feel about you as a business. But don’t ask them for a review. Not at that point anyway. Only once you have fixed the problem for them. The ideal now, in modern business, and modern life in 2020. The ideal is that as a business, you should have at least 10 reviews for every year that you’ve been in business. So if you’ve been in business five years, there should be at least 50 reviews on the right platform for you to show that you are credible. That’s why you have to get reviews. And reviews are so much more important than testimonials. Because I promise you, your target market looks at reviews and the more people engage online the bigger this is getting. So it is super essential for the long term health and vibrancy of your business. The statistics tell us that a very large number of consumers read online reviews. And you must not get fake reviews, they need to be real reviews from real people. And when you get them, you can call yourself a five-star business. Even if you don’t do the survey beforehand, you still need to be asking for reviews, because good is good enough. For more ideas on getting reviews. Just get on and get it out there and make it happen. I’m not going to pretend that getting through the next few months will be anything other than hard. To make more sales in the last quarter of 2020 your ability to become a marketer of your thing, as opposed to a doer of your thing, for at least part of every working week is a really important element. You can make a lot of progress in two months. There is going to be a difference between the businesses that come out of this healthy and those that limp out of it. If you would like some help with any of this, it is what I am really good at! Schedule a call here