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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous



Tea Time with Liv



Boost your sales

You have started a new business and through your efforts you still can't seem to bring in sales. Patience is a virtue in the business world. Nothing comes fast. If you have only been at this 1 month, you may not be patient enough. Keep plugging away. You have been at this 3-6 months with little to no sales? It is time to revamp your strategy.

The easiest and best thing you can do for any customer or potential customer is follow up with them. Don't give them an ad and wait for them to come to you. Go to them. Thank them for their time, letting you show them your product, for coming to such and such party, or for making a purchase. Here is your opportunity to hook them. If they have yet to make a purchase, they are thinking about it. This is your chance to answer their questions or address their concerns. Don't leave them hanging.

Start a referral program of your own. Don't feel limited to what your company offers. If they refer so many people to you, give them a free product. Avoid giving samples here. Give a full size product or service. If you sell candles, give a jar candle. Sell makeup, give a free full size lipstick or eyeshadow. Referrals are your best source of repeat customers. Use these to your advantage. Referrals are worth their weight in gold. These are your customers and while you may have to foot the bill here, this can be worth every penny in the long run.

When talking to someone who has never heard of your products or service, give them a brochure or catalog. If they can visualize what you offer, they are more likely to buy. Get them excited about your product or service. This is great for those skeptical of what you sell. They are able to see if for themselves. For those who say no today will have a catalog or brochure in hand so they will keep your product or service in mind and become a yes tomorrow.

Someone comes to you and buys a product, up sell. Just because they are specific about what they want doesn't mean they aren't open to other products. This is especially true for customers who buy the same item all the time. Offer them an additional item at a special price. If they always buy foundation offer a blush. If you sell stuffed animals, offer an outfit. There is always something you can upsell. Listen to your customer's needs and address them.

Sometimes sweetening a deal is just the trick to hook a new customer. Offer a special coupon or small gift certificate when they make an order. This will make them come back. If for some strange reason they can't use your coupon or gift certificate they can pass it on to a friend.

Have you tried it all and still nothing? Look at your approach. How are you advertising? Are you just giving a link and telling them to come by? Just because you are giving a link does not mean people will click on it and visit. They need a reason. Gain their curiosity. Step into the shoes of the consumer and step out of the shoes of a salesperson. Test out your ad approach on others who will give you their honest opinion. If you know what others think, this can be a great deal of help. Encourage honest critisism and not the typical "that is a great ad" comments. Be specific. Create a list of questions; a survey.

Here is a list of questions to ask:
What do you LIKE about this ad?
What do you NOT LIKE about this ad?
Does this ad make you curious?
Does this ad tell you what is offered?
Is this ad easy to understand?
Is this ad fun?
What makes this ad fun?
Does this ad make you excited about what is offered?
Is this ad boring?
What makes this ad boring?
Would you buy what is offered based on this ad?
Why or why not?

Not only evaluate how you are advertising but also where. Do you belong to a bunch of ad groups? This may be the problem. Ad groups can be great but who is reading these? Are they general groups or specifially aimed at your target audience? Are you reading any of the ads or joined just to advertise? If you aren't reading them, chances are others aer not reading these either. Maybe your target is women but what you sell is geared to the wrong group of women. Are you trying to sell baby items to those without children? Are you selling chocolate to strict dieters and health concious people? That doesn't mean don't market to these people but you need to know your target audience and market to these people the majority of the time.

One thing many forget is how they feel about a product. You can do all the right things but it can come down to attitude. When talking about a product do people find you excited about it? If you are not excited, how can potential customers be excited to try it. Do you use the product? If you don't use it, potential customers will ask themselves if they don't use it why should I. Do you sound desperate when you talk? Now this one sounds strange but hear me out. When you tell people you aren't making any money and you really need the sales, that is desperate. When you beg people to help you earn a kit or win a prize, you can appear desperate. Here is the reason - you have address your needs and it all sounds like me me me. You don't make the customer feel important and address their needs. These tactics are fine with immediate family members and extremely close friends such as your best friend. These do not work on others. When it comes to your customers, it is about them and never about you. Be excited, use the product, make the customer want your excitement feel important and your sales will increase.

You may be doing all the right things you just need to reorganize.

Olivia Vidal
© Copyright 2008

1 comments:

k-rosenberg said...

Olivia,

You've presented some great advice here, and when it comes down to it, it is all about networking! You have to get yourself out there in order to get your company anywhere! Brochures and business cards as you said, are great ways to do this. Referral programs are also a great way to get your customers telling their friends, which will noticeable expand business! Great blog entry, it was a fantastic read.

Now, I'm an official Microsoft ambassador and right now we're really trying to scale up our connections with influential bloggers like yourself. I'd love to share with you some of the stuff we've been doing in the last couple months to help women entrepreneurs; we're really committed to providing all the necessary resources to help women start, grow and expand their business.

We just wrapped up a women's entrepreneurial tour across the US called “Vision To Venture;” the response and turn-out was great!

I'd really love your take on these offerings we have right now; I would have contacted you via email but I didn't know which was the best way to reach you.

Thank you so much, I hope I didn't overstep my bounds by directly contacting you. Definitely get back to me if I’ve piqued your interest-- I’d love to share more info with you.

Best,
Kimberly
Official Microsoft Ambassador
k-rosenberg@live.com

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