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5 easy ways to boost sales in your new business

A common feeling for new business owners, is that they’re not selling enough. Let’s be honest, you didn’t start your business so that you could become a salesperson did you! Unfortunately, it’s a part of the business that you need to excel at, no matter your industry. 

There are a number of things you can tweak to boost your sales, without spending hundreds on a sales course. 

Think like a prospect.

Even many larger companies are guilty of not thinking enough like a prospect. You’ll quickly see results when you put yourself in your audience’s shoes. You’ll also find yourself having genuine conversations and asking questions to better understand your prospect, which is usually the first chapter in any sales book!

 
  • Read your collateral. Does your website/marketing tell the prospect why they should buy it, or does it just describe your product? Make sure you always word your writing based around what the customer will get, how their life will be better if they buy your product, what pain points you’ll be removing for them. This comes across as more caring and customer-centric, which will attract more buyers.
     
  • Look at your buying cycle. Is it easy for someone to buy your services? Ask for feedback and make the process as simple as possible, removing any obstacles. 

Get as many leads as possible.

Sounds simple, but you’d be amazed how many business owners rely on converting the few good leads they have. For example, an established company will know that for them 100 leads = 5 sales on average. So they know that if they need to make 5 sales each week to be profitable, then they need to generate 100 leads every single week. 

Until you know what numbers you need to consistently achieve, just aim for as many leads as you can to fill your sales pipeline every single week. Record how many you have and how many convert, and you’ll quickly discover your numbers. At a basic level, a full sales pipeline is very likely to give you some sales.

Don’t forget about free

It’s also easy to assume that you need a decent marketing budget in order to generate enough leads. Yes it does help, but it’s not the only way you can find new business. 
  • Cold calling. The only cost is your time and your phone bill. A quick bit of research online can teach you what to say and what not to say, and a phone book/online equivalent is all you need. These calls have more than their fair share of bad press, but don’t be put off. You believe in your product, and have the enthusiasm to run your business, so who else is better placed to sell it?
     
  • Free business listings. This takes a bit of time and patience but finding all the business directories and listings online where you can appear for free will help - you never know when someone will stumble across you. Take a bit of time to fill these listings out fully and keep them up to date. Also, did you know that every link to your website from another site helps boost your SEO? 
     
  • Social media. The only cost is your time. But be warned, it’s easy to spend all of your time producing content and posting, which will cost you in other areas. It’s important to prospects these days that you have a profile on the major socials, with up to date info and at least occasional posts.
     
  • Partnerships. Find complementary companies and approach them to see if you can work together. E.g. a dog food company might approach vets and ask them to promote their food to their customers. In return, the dog food company would recommend that vet to their customers. 
     
  • Networking. This really can be key for a new or small business. There are plenty of free networking events, and there are some larger ones with a price tag, but all are valuable. Referrals from networking groups continue to be a strong source of high-quality leads for those who attend regularly.

Don’t forget about your current customers.

It’s between 5 and 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one as a repeat customer. Work hard on retention, but also think about ways to maximise revenue from your existing customers. Is there a new product/service you can offer them, or do you have an upgrade that you just don’t upsell or cross sell enough? You already have a relationship with them, and they trust your brand enough to buy from you once, so make the most of it! 

Look at events

They’re not the right fit for everyone but events, exhibitions and conferences can do wonders for some businesses. It’s a really quick way to build trust with a prospect – you’re speaking to them face to face, you’re in the company of other trusted brands, and the prospect is usually in the buying mindset. There’s a huge range to choose from, with the cost to exhibit varying substantially. 

At the cheaper end of the scale you’ll usually be able to speak to a couple hundred visitors from a table in a local venue. These can be great if you have a low budget, but make sure you work out how much each lead cost you. It can be that only 10 people out of the couple hundred are right for you, which will limit how many sales you’ll be able to make.

At the other end of the scale you have national events. These usually have thousands of visitors and give you a professional booth to sell from. It may cost more to buy a stand, but if you generate hundreds of leads which turn into business then it can be a worthwhile investment. Look for events that offer training to make sure you know how to maximise lead generation, and events that offer a matchmaking, to help you find the visitors who are most likely to buy from you.

Conclusion

These are just some simple ways you can supplement what you’re already doing, and of course there are hundreds more we could list! Right now, you are your business’s best asset, and no one is better placed to take it to the next level. If you do have a small budget, sales courses or coaches can be a worthwhile investment to give you a step up, but I do recommend putting as much free or low-cost marketing in place first.

Of course, now you’ve read this far I do have to mention the Northern Business Expo, which is the biggest business event in the North of England, with 6000 visitors each year. It’s in Manchester, in March 2020. As a small business, you will find the event really useful to visit, and it’s free to get tickets. There are sales masterclasses from experts, keynotes from the best in the business world, networking sessions, suppliers, and even a competition to win £5K for your business, plus loads more. All of it’s free, so why not get your ticket now? Of course, you can always give us a call if you think exhibiting would be more up your street, and we’ll have a chat to find out if it would work for you.

 
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