Nothing happens until something is sold, yet small businesses tend to focus on — at best, one sales program, maybe a few ads, some marketing, or perhaps not. The overwhelming sales program involves opening up, creating a primary website and waiting for the customers to stand in line. This doesn’t work. Sales must be aggressively pursued in as many ways as you possibly can. One sales program is not enough, whatever it may be. But many sales efforts working together will produce the results you want.
Here are some tips:
- Work with Your Brokers
- Nurture Your Brand
- Market through your existing clients using referrals
- Have a higher purpose
1. Work with Your Brokers
One could have brokers but you have to work with the brokers. You can’t just hire them and let them run around. You have to work with them and go to clients, train them and support them and talk to them and help them succeed. But that’s not enough.
You can also have:
- A direct mail program
- A telemarketing program
- An active website with Google AdWords
- A book that uses your higher purpose as your sales program
Blog talk radio or a radio show are terrific marketing platforms to support sales. It’s the left hand of the sales program; the right-hand is the sales. Here are some questions to ask yourself when it comes to marketing. Are you:
- Going to trade shows?
- Creating media material for people to read and know that you’re an expert?
- Following some higher purposes program?
- Doing social networking?
Ask yourself these key questions about how you can best market and sell your plan.
Here are some other tips:
2. Nurture Your Brand
Let’s break this down: All of the different sales programs we mention can work together. First, let’s define marketing. You have to have marketing to set the stage for sales, and marketing is exactly that: informing, educating and creating the desire for you and your product.
Branding: a word we often hear. It’s attaching a brand to a relationship with the marketplace: who you are, what you stand for, what your values are. Others with similar values will be attracted to what your business is offering, what your brand stands for and therefore be willing to buy from you.
Marketing is an essential part of any program. You can market in many ways. You can use advertising, social media, public relations, articles, magazines, books, mailings, tradeshows – particularly valuable are regional tradeshows. Get close to your marketplace and communicate with them.
3. Market through your existing clients using referrals
This is an efficient way to attract sales. They’re already with you; they’re already committed to you. Whom do they know that they can bring in? All this is a marketing effort. It’s building a wall with each brick. Growing and expanding that wall, making it stronger and more significant, taller and broader. That’s what marketing does.
Now let’s go to sales. Direct sales effort – having a salesperson committed to your product go out there and talk to clients in a typical way, having brokers represent you and they represent other products as well. They must be supported; they can’t be left alone to wander around. Direct sales on the telephone, direct sales through the mail: these are all great ways to create revenue.
Examples of Successful Approaches
We have a client that has built a multi-million-dollar business giving t-shirts to the local Little League teams. Any football team, any sports team that wants t-shirts, he’ll give them to you. On the back of it, it has his business’ name, and the parents are sitting there in the stands watching their children play and seeing the title of this business knowing those t-shirts were donated. This demonstrates incredible goodwill and excellent marketing.
Another client has built his business on lawn signs. He goes to a particular home to perform a service, and he puts a lawn sign out there. It stays there for three, four days a week and it brings in more business. He also puts outdoor tags. He goes to a particular client to do a job and runs around the neighborhood and puts door tags on the doorknobs that advertise his work; another valid form of local advertising. It’s marketing that creates revenue and creates sales. Education, training, webinars, courses, Saturday morning DIY opportunities: whatever it takes to bring the consumers into your market, into your store, into your services and create that goodwill that results ultimately in sales.
4. Have a Higher Purpose
Running a golf outing for cancer research, running any activity, whether it’s a bake sale, tag sale, anything at all that involves the community is part of your higher purpose. This creates an image and supports within that concept of what your values are and why people should work with you: all part of a marketing program that results in sales and revenue.
So here’s the point: First of all, a business owner must relate to the concept of marketing. You don’t get sales without marketing. It’s the set-up, it’s the education, the branding, the expressing and exposing of your values, the reasons for being involved in your particular business. It sets the stage, warms up your audience, and creates interest and desire.
Then, there’s the sales program. The sales program must be multifaceted: Have up to seven programs, all of them successful but combined, massively successful. Individually none of them may be compelling. However, combined, build your business with valuable revenue.
A sales program should have many different avenues: A peppering of proactive, reactive, passive, and dynamic will steer you in the right direction, as long as you have a balanced approach. Going out and banging on doors is too aggressive. Waiting for the world to come to your store and website and respond to your mailing is passive, so all of it is needed. All of it works together. Passive and active, proactive and responsive: It all comes to form one evolving sales program!