Having originally titled this post “Double Your Business In Three Steps” I thought it more believable to the reader if the title were simply to imply we could grow your business in three steps. I have no doubt the original title would stand scrutiny and in fact have personal experiences where my clients have doubled their businesses. However, follow these three steps and you will increase Sales and improve profit.
Step 1 – The Customer is Key
Make sure your after-sales care is good and Customer Service is faultless. If you get this right you will be at liberty to ask for referrals but what you really want are ‘ambassadors’- those customers that speak highly of you without being prompted. To achieve ambassadors you need to deliver the ‘wow’ factor, not just satisfactory service but sensational service. Have a customer survey done, asking them how their experience has been with you, either at the point of sale (shop, restaurant, etc) or by a survey sent out on Mail Chimp. Then you can use quotes like “In a recent survey, 97% of our customers said they would recommend us”.
Read ‘Raving Fans’ by Ken Blanchard.
Step 2 – Have a Marketing Plan
A Marketing Plan is essential for keeping you on track with your activities. Make it for one year and work the plan. Ask your new customers how they found you and put more emphasis on the marketing budget in those areas. Your product or service is not necessarily needed by everyone. Consider how your customers buy and why they buy. Is there a demographic trend? Do you have a certain type of business or consumer that you provide for? Is there a certain time when they buy? Could they buy more often? Work out trends and define who you should target. Think about what it is that you provide and how this matches your customer’s needs. By identifying a business (or personal) need in your prospect, make sure your service or product fulfills the need. Always try to put a monetary value on the benefit. That way, there will be less pressure to discount.
Read ‘The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book’ by Dee Blick.
Step 3 – Increase your Sales
Fundamentally, this can be done by increasing the number of your customers, getting those customers to buy more and having them come back more often. To achieve this you will need high activity levels and strong Sales methodology. If your business is the size that justifies the purchase, get yourself a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. If you cannot justify that investment, use spreadsheets to hold contact details and activity. This will prevent things from being forgotten and remind you to follow up on Sales leads. There are two types of Sales – Hunting and Farming. The former means actively going out looking for new business and going for ‘the kill’. The latter means working your existing relationships and keeping in regular contact with your customers. Think about what else you can sell to your customer, that is, the ‘up-sell’ and ‘cross-sell’. When you sell more to your customer than they were thinking of buying by suggesting other products or services, you are up-selling – “would you like fries with that?” When you ask “who else in your organisation (or family, or friends, etc) would benefit from this?” you are cross-selling.
Read ‘The Go-Giver’ by Bob Burg.
If you need further help with any of these ideas, drop me a line and I will be able to explain how you can use Government subsidies to double your business for very little cost.
“Since working with Peter my profit has doubled in six months” – Nigel Stephens, AS Technology