Selling more, and more often
We would all like to generate more sales….right? Of course we would! Knowing where to start with ‘how to’ can be difficult and will leave many people floundering. Below are some tried and tested techniques frequently used by those that succeed in generating more sales, more often.
Examples of how to encourage customers to spend more each time
1 The right question - Ask every single customer the “right question” so that they end up getting exactly what they really need - rather than what they might have mistakenly believed they needed.
2 WOO charts - Use a “windows of opportunity” chart to make sure that every single customer knows about every single thing you sell - and as a result never buys something from somebody else that they could have bought from you.
3 Pricing high - Use the “magic formula” to get the best price on everything you sell. Remember, with sales of £100, cost of sales of £50, and overheads of £40, every 1% increase in prices increases profits by a staggering 10%. What are the equivalent figures in your business?
4 Bundling - Bundle together two or more products and offer them at an advantageous price. For example: “Buy this toothbrush and get this tube of toothpaste at half price”.
5 Go large! - Offer larger quantities at an advantageous price. For example, at Burger King the question “Would you like to go large - that’s a large fries and a large drink - for just an extra 30 pence?” encourages an enormous number of people to spend more money on every visit.
6 Value levers - Businesses that work hard to provide better benefits and improve their customers’ perceptions, are able to command higher prices. So start providing sensational service, adding new benefits and managing your customers perceptions… and you’ll be able to charge more.
Examples of how to encourage customers to buy from you more often
1 Persistence pays - Research shows that patient and persistent sales people win, on average, 31 times as many sales as their impatient counterparts. So, the more systematic you are about keeping in touch with customers - in a way that they value - the more often they will buy from you. So you must have a regular customer contact programme. Build relationships with your customers. Care about them. Treat them with respect. Tell them about your new products. Share ideas and tips with them. And add value to them - even when they’re not buying. You will be rewarded!
2 Offer “follow-ons” - These are things that follow-on naturally from what customers are already buying from you. In some cases they will be consumables - ie a fax machine supplier can also sell fax paper. In other cases it could be a “continuity sale” - an ongoing way that you can add value eg a plumber could offer an annual plumbing inspection scheme for a small annual fee (and could no doubt discover other billable work on at least half of the inspection visits he makes!) Or how about selling your products under licence (rather than outright) and charging ongoing royalties, or a subscription service for annual upgrades, producing a subscription newsletter, automatically delivering products on a sale or return basis, organising a user group, or running a privilege club for your best customers? There are many types of profitable follow-ons. How many are you using?
3 Make it easy - Make it so easy for customers to buy from you again that they don’t even consider going anywhere else. For example, Viking Direct put their phone number and product code on many of their stationery products so that you can order replacements even without a catalogue. And many plumbers know that by sticking their emergency phone number on your hot water boiler, they’ll be the one you call when it goes wrong. Do you make it ridiculously easy for customers to contact you at the precise time they most need your products?
4 Other people’s products - Your customers trust you. So if you tell them about other people’s products they will probably buy them. So why not strike a series of deals to systematically tell your customers about other people’s products - in the form of glowing endorsements, of course. You should be able to earn a substantial commission for every sale made.
5 Targeted pricing - Offer special deals to encourage people to buy more often. Frequent flyer discounts are one way. Another is to identify customers who haven’t bought for a while, and then make a special offer only to them.
Phil Tarbun FCA CTA
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