Dear M & M:
Any tips on something I can do to help generate sales. 2015 seemed sluggish and I see trends compared against 2014 going the other way, decreasing instead of increasing.
There is no quick fix solution to your problem. Two quick ways to generate new income would include finding new customers or doing more business with existing customers. It is always cheaper to do more business with someone who knows you than to bring in someone new. Take a look at what you currently are selling and find solutions to sell more to existing customers first.
A great example might include; Wedding photographer being more of an event planner, lining up tuxedos, flowers, food, entertainment, and getting a piece of the action from each service provider they connect with to expand product lines offered for sale. Other areas could be to sell in more channels. Let’s say you have a storefront location and are receiving income and sales from people walking through the front door.
Creating a web site, having sales agents make sales calls, becoming the wholesaler and selling to others to sell in their locations would allow you to receive multiple sources or streams of revenue. Do not be so reliant on the store traffic generated from people walking in the front door. Do not be afraid to ask existing customers if there is anything else they might need. Then go and get it.
Developing new product lines is quick and an inexpensive way to do more business. Most of the time you already have customers, space to sell in and everything else in place, so adding another product line might easily fit into what you already are doing. Remember the key to selling is having products and services that people are ready, willing, and able to purchase.
Communicating to prospective buyers that you are the one offering these products or services at the right location, at the right price, and at a time convenient to them is essential to be successful. Choosing what message you will broadcast to show why they should buy from you is part of every marketing strategy. Why are you different from your competitors? Why should they buy from you? What is the benefit?
Deciding what medium (TV, newspaper, radio, or direct sales) you should use to broadcast your message can only be done efficiently after you have identified who your customers are and what message you are trying to communicate. Different segments of the population receive news in different ways. Why do you think children’s cereal companies advertise on TV during Saturday morning cartoons?
Different mediums carry the message more effectively than others. Coupon ads in newspapers and magazines are an effective way to generate sales and will allow an advertiser to measure the effectiveness of an advertisement. That snappy tune to catch a perspective buyer’s attention can best be communicated effectively on the radio. What section of the newspaper is your customer reading?
What radio station does your customer listen to? What time of day are they most likely to be listening? Most importantly, what is the message they want to see or hear that will cause them to take action to buy? Take the time to do a marketing plan.
You need to know who your customer is, what your competitive advantage is, what geographic area you are trying to serve, what are the needs and wants of your customer, what pricing strategy will work before you can develop a promotional campaign that will best reach the potential customer most willing to make a purchase from you.