Ten Simple Ways to Increase your Salesby Dave Cottrell
Ten simple ways to increase your sales is far from a complete list of ways you can increase your sales, but it is a very useful list, just the same.
We humans are funny creatures. We have the ability to think in very abstract and creative forms, yet we generally work best within a structured environment.
Creating lists and framing business plans is an absolute necessity, if you want to be successful.
Such frameworks and instructions, even when written by ourselves, to ourselves, give us a track to run on and a way of keeping our focus. They give us the ability to gauge whether or not what we are doing is working, how well it’s working, and where we need to work harder. We need a “track to run on!”
There is no surer way to fail than to “wing it.” Few people would even dream of trying to run a business this way in the offline world, but it seems that majority try to do it this way in the online world. No wonder so many people fail!
Without a plan, people tend to jump all over the place throughout their day and at the end of the day, have little, if anything, to show for all the effort they’ve put in throughout the day, other than being tired and having that nagging feeling that they’ve done a lot of nothing!
This is likely the primary reason so many people in the online world jump from one “business opportunity” to another. They have been deceived by their lack of success and all the hype that the problem is the program they are in, not themselves. The truth is that most people would get a lot more serious about their business if they even made one five dollar sale! But they never make that sale, because they are not focused on doing what they need to do, because they don’t have a plan.
So, the first thing you need to do, if you haven’t already done it, is to create a plan that you will stick to. You will treat your business like a job, clock in at the same time every day, and work that plan like it’s your boss. If you’re not doing this, your business is in trouble. That’s the bottom line.
Once you are actually running your business, there are some simple and ongoing things you can do to increase your productivity and make more money.
With this in mind, here are ten simple ways to increase your sales. These are all things you can do that work. They have been tested over time by many people, and have proven to be successful in multiplying the effective reach and sales of virtually any business.
1. Make copies of your web site in multiple languages. This will make it easy for foreign visitors to read your copy. There are good tools available to do this. Google Translate is free and can translate entire pages. Be aware that you MUST use very clear, grammatically correct, non-idiomatic English if you want a good translation. Keep your sentences short. Keep your advertising copy as short as possible.
2. After the sale, give your customers a surprise bonus. When you give more than expected, there is a greater chance your customer will buy from you again.
3. Ask for the referral. Always ask your customers if there is someone they would like you to contact or who they would like to send to your site. A referral form that they can use to quickly invite their friends to your website works very well. You can also give them something extra when their friends come to visit.
4. Send greeting cards to your clients on holidays. You can do this online very easily, but nothing beats a card sent through the mail if you really want your customer to feel appreciated! You can have your cards printed with a short and tasteful ad inside. There is even a company called, “Send Out Cards,” for this purpose. I have often received cards from people who use that company, and they are very nice. (Send Out Cards also offers what I am told is a very good business opportunity.)
5. It shouldn’t be necessary to say this, but make sure you are matching products and services to your target market. Offering kitty toys on a hunting site may not be the best way to advertise.
6. Offer people the option of buying other products, services or add-ons on the way to the checkout.
7. Offer free bonuses, easy payment options, trial periods, different payment processors, fast shipping or economy shipping, etc. Put yourself in the customer’s seat and ask yourself what would kinds of incentives would help you decide to buy.
8. If you’re selling a product or service of your own, offer other businesses the opportunity to sell your product or service. You could do one time or simple joint ventures, or you could set up and affiliate program. Clickbank is one example of a site that makes it very simple for anyone to set up an affiliate program for an information or digital product.
9. I has been said so many times it’s probably the oldest cliche in the marketing world, but it still rings very true: The money is in the list. Put a prominent way to subscribe to your email list on your website. Send a one time followup email to your customers to see if they are satisfied with your product or service and offer them the ability to sign up for your newsletter. Send regular newsletters and updates to follow up with your customers. The more people get to know you by the good quality information you send them, the more likely they are to be returning customers. Always remember to make them NEWSletters, not ADSletters!
10. Study. Read and study other companies’ advertising and marketing copy. Study your competitors. Take notes. Watch commercials. Read brochures. Read your email. See what subject lines catch your eye. Create a “Swipe File” on your hard drive to store sales copy ideas you find in your email and around the web. Subscribe to blogs from leaders in online and social marketing who are willing to share their expertise. Read, sign up for online marketing seminars, take advertising classes. Never stop learning and never stop trying to improve what you’re already doing.