So you need to increase sales but you don't have the money to increase your advertising or hire a new salesperson.
What can you do?!
There is a lot you can be doing right now to increase sales without spending more money. Here are a few things you can start today to help increase your sales without busting your budget.
Create a Lead Nurturing Program
Lead nurturing, at its core, is all about having regular and relevant communication with prospects regardless of their position in the buying cycle. Lead nurturing is a process that builds relationships with prospects by having a defined path for them to follow.
Many times leads that are not ready to buy at an exact moment in time slip through the cracks. Creating a solid lead nurturing program can help you engage with your prospects at any time in the buying cycle. Every customer goes through a journey to buy and you must be there every step of the way.
Some components of a good lead nurturing program include:
- A series of emails and voicemails
- Original content (podcasts, blog posts)
- Offers (white papers, eBooks, case studies)
When developing your lead nurturing program try to put yourself in your customer's shoes. What information or resources could you provide to push them down the sales funnel? You should have content that is relevant to each stage of the buying process. A person who is just starting to find out if they need your type of product or service would be looking for different information than someone who knows they need your product or service and is just deciding if you are the right person to provide that product or service to them.
Have a Defined Sales Process
Leaving things open ended, and leaving the "ball in the prospect's court" is a huge time-waster for both sides. Create steps in the sales process for you to introduce on the first call, and then refer to every step of the way.
- Assessment (This call is a discovery call to see if the prospect might be a good fit.)
- Goal Setting Call (Work with the prospect to set defined goals for how an engagement of your product or services would run, and most importantly: what results they'd like to see from the engagement)
- Plan Presentation (Based on everything you spoke about, discuss what a plan of action would specifically look like. Go for the "trial close" here and ask a question like "If all these terms are agreeable, and I draw up a contract, will you be ready to close?")
- Contract Signature (This appointment is simply to sign a document that confirms what you have verbally confirmed.)
Never let one step end without setting up an appointment to carry on with the next step. This will help you keep the ball moving down the field with fewer delays.
Ask for Referrals
One way to generate more sales that doesn't cost a cent is to ask for referrals. Many times people feel uncomfortable asking for referrals or they just don't know how to ask. The truth is that if you have provided your customer with exceptional service than most of the times they would be happy to give you a referral.
When asking for a referral make sure you are clear on what you are asking for. Are you asking them to send an introductory email to someone or do you just want to use their name in a phone call you will be making? Decide this ahead of time and go in with a specific request so that you and your customer are on the same page.
Always thank your customer for their referral. Whether or not you get the business you should make a point to reach out and thank whomever referred you. If you fail to show this common courtesy your customer may chose not to refer you to others in the future.
Keep Your Current Customers
Did you know that a recent Rockefeller Corporation survey shows that 68% of customers leave because they think that you do not care about them? That means over two-thirds of customers are leaving over your company's perceived indifference! It costs a lot less to keep your current customers than it does to acquire new ones. You should be working hard not only to satisfy your current customers but to truly delight them.
You can keep your customers happy by:
- Communicating on a regular basis
- Under Promising and Over Delivering
- Getting to know them on a personal level (use a CRM to keep track of birthdays or special events)
Up-sell Your Current Customers
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to generate move revenue is to sell more to your current customers. Many customers are only aware of the products or services that they have previously bought from you. In many cases, simply informing your current customers about additional product offerings or services is enough to bring in more business.
Think about what additional products or services that you could offer your customers that they would find useful. If your customer is the focus of your efforts they will see you as someone who is looking out for them rather than a pushy salesperson.
Increasing sales doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. Start now where you are, with what you have. You will be surprised and elated with your results.