Help! I Need More Sales!

Dear M & M:

I can’t stay open if I don’t get more sales. Help!

– William

Dear William:

This isn’t an overnight fix and it takes a commitment by everyone in the organization. Many times companies get caught up in what they are selling and don’t realize all businesses are really in the people business. Paying attention to each individual customer “every time” they do business with you and providing them the “best” experience “always” is the silver bullet. You can’t fake this.

You have to believe it and deliver. Everyone in the organization has to do it and believe in it. According to phrase finder an online service the phrase “The customer is always right” was originally coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London in 1909. The “Customer is always right” philosophy is typically used by businesses to do two things:

1) Convince customers that they will get good service at this company.

2) Convince employees to give customers good service.

Now that we have determined customer service is king we need to set ourselves up for success. We need to determine how much do we need to increase sales by? We need to identify what percent will come from new customers or existing customers? We need to calculate how many opportunities for a sale or lead we have to generate to reach our sales goals? We need to monitor along the way if we are reaching the goals we have set up.

Simply put, is it working? Have room in your calculations to account for people that might be attracted from your marketing activities that didn’t close or make a purchase. Look at what worked in the past to help determine marketing messages going forward. Develop what successful marketing campaigns call the “big idea”.

Concentrate on your company’s why. Why would a person want to do business with me? Is it because we care? Is it because we always offer the latest greatest technological solution? Are we the company you trust?

Keep your message simple. Show how you solve their problem and why you are the best choice before, during and after the sale. Finally, you will need to determine how you will tell your story. What activities are you going to do? When are you going to do them and who is going to tell the story? Set up a calendar, forecast sales expectations, and fill gaps where you think you will fall short.

We all have heard John Wanamaker’s famous quote, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the problem is I don’t know which half.” In today’s competitive environment no business can afford to lose half of any monies spent on anything. You need to schedule in your planning calendar time to evaluate performance during the promotions and immediately after all major campaigns.

Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reviews need to take place. Companies that have precise marketing plans generate sales 60% faster than organizations that don’t. – Source: Act-on High Performance Marketing Plan

-M&M

To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email  hollism@svedf.org

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