How to generate sales
Understanding sales in the time it takes to pot a plant.
In the time it takes to do a bit of gardening, this post will help you understand the sales process and five ways to generate sales for your business.
Understanding these basic sales concepts will help you sow the seeds of success for your business, and it’ll only take you about five minutes.
Sales is one of the most important business activities – after all, making sales is what keeps the cash flowing and keeps your business financially healthy.
By understanding the steps to achieve a sale – and retain customers – sales can be broken down into a business system, to make sure sales come in regularly.
Understanding the sales and marketing process
Making sales and keeping your customers happy can be broken down into four main objectives:
- Awareness: This step is just about getting as many people as possible to know about your business.
- Interest: Some of the people who know about your business will be more interested in it than others. This part of the process is about getting the potential customer to consider purchasing from you.
- Conversion: Of those who seemed interested in your business, some of those will actually buy your product or service. This is the exciting part – converting a person from a potential customer into a real customer.
- Loyalty: This is the final – and often forgotten – part. Loyalty is important – how can you turn a one-off sale into repeat business? This phase is about keeping customers engaged with your business – and hopefully telling others about it.
Finding potential customers
Businesses need customers to make money. Once you understand the sales and marketing process, you’ll need to identify potential customers and connect with them.
There are many strategies and sales techniques you can use to identify potential customers for your business. They include:
Cold calling or emailing: This is one of the oldest sales tricks in the book – directly calling or emailing companies or individuals who could benefit from your product or service. Many businesses have their phone number and email address listed on the internet, which makes this process a lot easier than it used to be.
When using this technique, it helps to think about the way you want to engage your customer. Also think through any reasons they might give you for not wanting to talk to you or buy from you – and brainstorm good responses ahead of time.
eDM or newsletter: If you’ve managed to create an email list of existing customers and potential customers, sending them a regular newsletter or e-newsletter with updates about your business and special offers will motivate some of them into purchasing from you. At the very least, it will keep you top of mind.
Networking: Networking is just about meeting people and talking about what your business does. Meeting potential clients in a face-to-face situation is often a winning strategy, as it allows you to express your passion for what you do. This is where an elevator pitch comes in handy.
Content and SEO strategy: Making content that potential customers find useful, helpful or entertaining will help them engage with your brand. It’s an opportunity to show potential customers how your product, service and brand are relevant to their lives. As well as helping you get new sales leads, content is a great way to build loyalty with customers who have already bought from you before.
Customer referrals: The strongest type of marketing your business can use is word of mouth. If your customers are happy with your product and/or service, they’ll most likely recommend you to their friends and family.
You can also encourage customers to refer you to their networks by offering discounts or specials for every referral they bring you. This works especially well for businesses with eCommerce stores, where you can use discount codes to see exactly how much of your business is being generated by loyal customers.
Read more about other ways to find potential customers here.
Top 3 takeaways
- Systemising sales for your business is about understanding each step to making a sale – from generating interest and awareness to helping customers decide to purchase from you.
- The sales and marketing process has four main objectives: awareness, interest, conversion and loyalty.
- There are a number of ways to generate sales for your business. Some of these include cold calling or emailing, through an e-newsletter or eDM, via networking, with a content and SEO strategy and though customer referrals.
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