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Issue May 2003                               "Keeping Businesses Moving Towards Success"

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5 Steps To Increase Your Sales

Remember the old trains? Coal would be shoveled into the engine in order to keep the train moving. You took action and got a result.

But what do you think happened as soon if the shoveling stopped? You got it! -- the train stopped moving. Itís the same thing with marketing. While you're actively marketing, you get results. But if you stop marketing -- your results stop too. 

A good salesperson has got to be proactive to keep new prospects coming and your sales growing. But not all action is effective. It's important that you know 'what' to do before you start doing it. Otherwise you may find yourself shoveling for nothing -- a lot of action, but no results.

Here are five proactive steps you can take to increase your sales.

1. SET MONTHLY & WEEKLY SALES GOALS

Before you can get somewhere you need to determine what your destination is. I know, you've probably heard this before, but it's very true.

If you don't have any idea of how much money you want to make each month from your business, it will be very difficult to make it.

Do you want to make $1,000 a month? $4000? $10,000?

Whatever the amount is, it's important that you set it as your goal. Once you know how much you want to make each month, then you can figure out how much you need to make each week. Want $4,000 a month? You'll need to make $1000 each week.

Set your goals, and then compare your actual weekly and monthly results with them. Don't worry if you don't make your goals right away. As long as you are proactive, each week and month you will get closer and closer until you eventually meet them and then exceed them. The system really works!

2. SET MONTHLY & WEEKLY PROSPECT GOALS

In order to achieve your monthly sales goals, you're going to also have to meet monthly prospect goals. The more prospects you attract to your business, the more customers you will have.

There's no getting around it, you can never stop attracting prospects to your business. If you do, your sales will eventually begin to dwindle.

The reason you need so many prospects, is because not all prospects will become paying customers. Only a percentage of prospects will convert. All business conversion rates differ but by knowing what your conversion rate is you can easily figure out what how many prospects you need to reach your sales goals. If you convert 10% of your prospects into paying customers, then you need 10 prospects to generate one new customer. You'll need 100 new prospects to create 10 new customers.
 
Know your conversion rate so you can easily figure out what how many prospects you need to reach your sales goals.


3. CREATE AN EFFECTIVE PROSPECT GENERATOR

In order to attract prospects to your business, you'll need to give them an offer that coincides with your product or service. You'll have to create an offer to entice prospects. 

If you are a insurance company maybe a free information kit on how to buy insurance,  a dry cleaning business may offer a booklet on cleaning tips or you can try a discount coupon book for products or services.


It doesn't matter what kind of business you're in, you need to attract new prospects with an enticing lead generator and then you need to follow-up with those prospects to convert a percentage of them into paying customers. You are creating a relationship with the prospect and that's the best way for a business to grow and succeed.

4. GENERATE MORE NEW CUSTOMERS

Once you have established a consistent method of attracting new prospects to your business, you need to follow-up with those prospects over and over again to convert them into customers.

Your prospects will buy from you only when they are ready to buy -- not when you want them to buy. Some of them may be ready to buy now or within a week. But many more will not be ready to buy for a month, or six months or perhaps a year.

If you are not uppermost in your prospects' minds when they are ready to buy, they will most likely buy from one of your competitors rather than from you.

How do you follow up?

There are many ways to follow-up with your prospects. But you want to make sure that you follow-up as a welcome guest, as opposed to an unwelcome pest.

If you follow-up with an annoying approach like, 'Are you ready to buy yet? Are you ready to buy yet?' you will convert very, very few of your prospects into customers. When they see you coming, they'll run for the hills!

One way you can follow-up with your prospects is with a newsletter offering valuable tips to your prospects. Of course, along with your tips, you will include information about your product or service, along with a special offer.

Always provide your prospects with useful information that is related to your product or service, and you will be welcome and not avoided.

You can follow-up periodically in-person, by phone, by fax, by postcard, by letter, by e-mail, etc.

With enough prospects on your prospect follow-up list and a solid offer, you will convert a certain percentage of your prospects into customers each month.

5. GENERATE MORE SALES FROM YOUR CURRENT CUSTOMERS

Your golden list is your list of customers. These are the people who know you, like you and trust you. They are the easiest people to sell to again and again.  People put trust in you and you now have to capitalize on that trust.

Make sure that you have back-end products or services that you can sell to your customers in the future. Find more ways that you can help them achieve their goals with better products and services.

Provide your customers with special offers that they can't resist. Preferred Customer offers, Frequent Buyer Discounts, Volume Discounts, etc.

If you want your customers to buy from you again and again, treat them right. People want to feel special and important, and they like to do business with people who make them feel that way. Treat your customers like gold, and they will reward you with their business in return.


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*Article by Patricia Kopp.  Visit www.creativeBUSINESSworks.com for more original content on marketing tips, sales strategies and business success.
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