Strategy 1: Use Content Marketing
“The key is not to call the decision maker. The key is to have the decision maker call you.” - Jeffrey Gitomer
A few years back, when you had a product or service to sell what did you do to get the word out? You tried press releases, television ads, paper ads, cold calls, banner ads, display hoardings and any other means you could afford. Business went to those who had the largest marketing budgets.
Fast forward to present day, people are no longer paying attention to the thousands of marketing messages that they come across each and every single day. With internet usage on the rise and people becoming more aware, all of these traditional marketing approaches are weakening day-by-day.
Individuals who embrace relationship marketing has already understood the power of content marketing. As compared to traditional methods of marketing, content marketing means getting found by prospective customers rather than trying to push your product or service to the uninterested masses.
With content marketing, there is a host of benefits
Lower marketing costs
Higher conversion rates
Higher customer satisfaction
Lower customer acquisition rates
Everyone with the knowledge that helps people, should embrace content marketing, not just for the benefits. Although it takes time, it’s what works very well now, and probably the only marketing technique that will work in the future.
Strategy 2: Use Upsells Effectively
If you are not using up-sells, you are leaving money on the table. How many times have you ordered fries just because the sales guy asked you “would you like fries to go along with it?” or perhaps you were given a discount on something when you already made a purchase?
Up-sells are very useful to increase sales. Once they buy from you and are in a buying mood, it’s easier to close an additional and related sale.
Many people who run online businesses give 100% commission to their affiliates on their product. Once people buy this product, they are presented with an additional high-end product as an upsell. This is how many people make most of their money selling info products online.
Strategy 3: Create a Product Which Has Demand
“Supply always comes on the heels of demand.” – Robert Collier
This is a no brainer. Understand what your customer want. Is there some product already in the market that delivers the solution to your prospective client? If not, provide it!!!
If there is already a product or a solution, try to think of a better way to satisfy the needs of the customer. This can be in the form of a better quality product. You can even bring about a twist in the actual offering to make your product more attractive.
Strategy 4: Clever Pricing Is the Key
“Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.” - Benjamin Franklin
Most of us who are not born to sugar daddies do ‘price comparison’ shopping.
You may have an excellent product everyone needs. However, if you price it insanely high compared to your competitor, you are going to find it hard to make decent sales (unless you are Apple).
Five strategies to price your product -
Do market research and understand your competitor pricing. With this data in hand, either develop a product with lot more features and charge more or produce the same quality product and price it lower
High price can provide a sense of “high quality” since people have a deeply-rooted notion that higher the price, better the quality. If you price high, be prepared to deliver what your customer expects to get
Similar to point #2, a lower price can indicate inferior quality. The best way is to charge higher prices by providing more value to your customer
The price of a product is directly proportional to “perceived value”. If you can make your product seem superior to your competitor, you can charge a premium over your competitor
Price is again proportional to perceived brand value. If you have a brand value attached to your product, people will more readily pay a higher price for your products or service.
Your customer is willing to pay what the customer thinks it’s worth.
Strategy 5: Run a Customer Reward Program
You don’t need to be a fortune 500 company to run a rewards program. Just make it a simple program where people can get discounts for being a customer and satisfying certain simple criteria’s such as
Being a customer for one year, they can enjoy 50% discount on the first bill of their second year as customer
Collect points and redeem points for discounts, gifts, and so on
10% discount on your purchase if you shop for more than £100
You get the idea.
Strategy 6: Advertising Is a Necessary Evil
“A magazine is simply a device to induce people to read advertising.” - James Collins
Many people take to advertising as a means to sell the product in any way possible. What the marketer does not take into consideration is that customers do not like to be deceived or being sold to. Advertise only the benefits the product/solution can give and never hype anything.
Only if your product lives up to its claims will people return to buy from you the next time.
Advertising is essential to bring your product to the spotlight. Make use of the advertising medium that best suits your product, and the time it is released. Radio, television, print and internet are some of the mediums you can rely upon to advertise your business.
Never give your entire advertising contract to one firm. If you have a line of products, ensure that you give each product to a different agency and do a split test on who can produce the maximum benefits.
Strategy 7: Give Out Free Samples
It’s proven time and again that giving away samples to your customers can help you increase sales. If you have a book for sale, make a chapter or two available for free. If you sell products, give small sample packets for users to try out. If you provide a service, offer a free initial consultation.
Once your prospective customer starts using your product or service, they will have increased confidence in their purchasing decision. This will lead to a faster sale.
Strategy 8: Reach Out To Your Customers
It’s not enough that you just advertise your products. They only make the buyer more open to embracing the product. Once you test your product, reach out to your customers and ensure that they can buy the products with ease.
Strategy 9: Looks Matter
I almost always end up buying products based on the design. Whenever I go shopping with my family, I tend to pick products with excellent illustrations.
If it looks like a school going kid made the cover I am almost certainly not going to buy that product. Include a touch of professionalism and also convey the meaning. This holds true, especially for food related products.
What about Apple? Apple focused on the design and let everything evolve around it. The simple touch interface, a sleek and highly usable design made Apple the most valued Tech Company that it is today.
Strategy 10: What’s In a Name or Is There Much More to It? (Hint: There is much more to a name than just being a “name”)
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” -William Shakespeare
Always choose a product name your customer can pronounce easily and can remember without jumping through hoops. Take extra care to name the products in such a way that the name itself gives out the product details. The name you choose must proliferate into the mind of your target customers.
There is nothing wrong with choosing a unique name and trying to brand it. The minimum you have to do is make sure people can write it down correctly if you just pronounce it.
Do you think people who are not familiar with the car brand Chevrolet will correctly write it down if we simply pronounce it (Phonetic Pronunciation: shev-ruh-LAY) and not spell it?
Strategy 11: Quality is King
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs
Never, ever compromise on the quality of your product. If your customer loses the trust on your brand, your business will collapse like a pack of cards.
Some people tend to sacrifice the quality to prevent price hikes. But, if needed increase the price and serve the same quality rather than producing a low-quality product. You can also choose to serve less quantity for the same price.
If you plan to stick around with your business for a very long time, any compromise on quality will never get you even remotely close to your goals.
Strategy 12: Give Your People a Reason to Sell
Nothing can be more devastating than people refusing to sell your products. It could be that they are getting better pricing from your competing brand or that they do not see a reason as to why they should push your product. Give them good commissions and always deliver on time. This way you can build a long lasting relationship with your dealers, and they will push your products more.
In the online world, we come to affiliate marketing. Affiliates are the ones who sell our products for commissions.
In the information publishing business, you can expect to give up to 75 % of the commission to the affiliates. If you give them lower commissions, they will promote your competitor who offers them a better compensation. It’s always the rewards that motivate the affiliate.
Very few affiliates promote based on value. That’s the ugly truth online. So make sure you pay 50-75 % commissions for your info products to increase sales through affiliates. Some even give 100 % commissions to build a list of buyers.
If you sell a service or software, figure out the maximum commission you can afford to pay your affiliates while not incurring a loss. I have seen software vendors and service providers offer commissions in the range 3%-25%.
So now you’ve read these strategies, and they’ve all been proven to work, you must take action on at least a few of them. Go out and make more sales…Now!