I recall a quote from Mark Twain that said, “Common sense ain’t all that common”. I now know what Twain meant. Every day I speak and listen to business people that face possible extinction, yet they show no interest in using powerful and free common sense marketing ideas to help their businesses grow.
I list eight for you:
- Formalise a referral strategy
The success or failure of many businesses depends on the referrals they get, or don’t get. List your twelve best referral sources and then work that list. Don’t be shy. Just ask! Most people given the opportunity to help you, will. Add to the list as soon as you get new referral sources.
- Become a master at converting leads into customers
Get trained. Do whatever it takes to be good at converting leads. You’re in the business to generate prospects so that you can turn these prospects into customers. Has your sales staff mastered turning prospects into buyers? No amount of advertising or marketing can replace a conversion expert.
- Write an article that challenges your industries rules
When a person challenges an industry perception that seems to be reasonable, then that challenge receives attention. Standing out from the crowd is the perfect way to position yourself as an authority figure in your industry. The benefit for your reputation and sales will be immense.
- Write “how to” pamphlets or e-booklets for your customers and prospects
The more you educate your prospects, the more chance you have of being the expert to whom they turn. This will help you become a personality in your field.
- Use sampling as a sales tool
If you have a product or service that you can give away for free, you’ll find this a lucrative way to market your business. This is a great way to introduce your product or service to a prospect. You can also sample by offering a product or service on a trial basis.
- Send out a newsletter
A personalised newsletter can be educational, informational, interesting and entertaining. It can also be a powerful sales tool. Your newsletter does not have to be lengthy or complicated. It’s a low cost way to maintain critical customer contact. Send it out fortnightly, monthly or even quarterly, but send it out!
- Establish three ways to make it easier for people to do business with you
Most businesses have systems and processes that seem designed to make it complicated to do business. Look at every aspect of your business and ask yourself, “If I was a customer of mine, what would make it easier and more convenient to do business with me?” List three strategies that would make it easier for people to do business with you, implement these and then repeat the exercise every three months.
- Stay in touch with your customers
The best place to find growth for your business is right under your nose, in your current client base. Companies though, seem more hell-bent on the more difficult option, that being, focusing on constantly looking for new customers. Regular and effective contact with your current customers will increase your sales by a big margin. Have you re-sold, up-sold or cross-sold to every single one of your current customers? Don’t wait for these customers to return to you, go to them.
John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.
Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.
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