Many businesses with potential seem to understand the basics of maximising sales, yet still find themselves missing sales targets. While there may be a host of factors, the issue often lies in the small details and execution thereof. This read highlights five great ways to effectively boost your sales and gain a strong competitive advantage.
Make the transition seamless
In other words, the relative advantage of choosing your product above competitors must prove greater than the costs involved. So from marketing, to product innovation, to brand communication you must consider the consumer perspective. Ask these questions: ‘Will my customers easily understand my offering?’ and ‘Will they quickly identify my products uniqueness?’ If the answers are ‘No’ then the chances are your market won’t understand what you are providing, and (since convenience is priority for modern-day customers) they are unlikely to go to great efforts to explore your product. They will remain with their existing product that satisfies their needs.
The ‘plug and play’ approach
Flowing from the above, after a customer acquires your product the initial convenience must extend into his or her interaction with your product. You’ve heard the term ‘plug-and-play’ before, often with tech products. But in essence every product should offer this convenience in the sense that the consumer shouldn’t have additional work trying to figure out how to use a product that should be self-explanatory. For example if your business supplies slow-cookers, the average consumer of your product should not require extensive effort before understanding how to enjoy its benefits. This places you at a competitive disadvantage as functionality and in essence ‘user experience’ are such crucial components in the development of virtually all products. The product you provide must also work as intended the first time and the hundredth time.
Pronounce your benefits
Packaging and presentation are crucial and if handled creatively, will allow your products to sell themselves. If for instance you supply stick-on frames that don’t damage walls and surfaces, then a professional copywritten description – strategically displayed on clear packaging – can greatly distinguish your product. This is especially effective in retail and in front-line marketing endeavours.
Let customers try it
Particularly with new products or promotional launches, one of the best ways to capture your market is to allow them an opportunity to simply test your product. The consumer will not be defensive as this is a clear no-strings approach by offering a sample taste or try. This has worked remarkably well in the digital space where customers enjoy free app trials, but can work equally well with retail and other products.
Superior care from start to end
Make sure your target market is well attended to from enquiry level up until the sales transaction, as well as with aftercare. Although this is understood by most companies, there is often a weakness or gap at one or more points. And while there may be service, we are especially talking about ‘superior’ service that sets you apart from other competitors that also likely understand the importance of service. So to gain an edge, staff members must be trained on sincerely understanding and attending to customers’ needs.
Customers should enjoy the entire experience dealing with friendly and helpful frontline sales personnel and staff that are as enthusiastic at the point of checkout. Normally most businesses try to bridge this gap, but where they often still fall short is when it comes to after-sales queries and dealing with complaints. These should be as promptly attended to and clients should be made to feel important not only up to point of sales transaction – but afterwards too. There should be a complaints department that is trained to de-escalate volatile situations and legitimately help dissatisfied clients.
Start with these five tips to assess and realign your sales for greater results.
Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).