Dec 162011
 

Tom Hopkins is a master salesman and here’s his advice on selling

There are thousands of different sales tips and techniques out there; some of them are very hard sell, some are focused primarily on specific sales areas like door to door or car sales.  One question I’m often asked by clients is “What sales techniques work?” and one of the best and most effective sales techniques I have come across that is useful in all areas of sales is by Tom Hopkins, which he covers in his book ‘Sell it today, sell it now’. Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

Working out the true cost of selling something is difficult – but vital

It’s vital to survival that the cost of your products is known and controlled.  If you don’t know how much it costs you to produce then you can’t be sure that you’re making a profit; many companies have found out the hard way that they have got their costing policies wrong.  Here’s how to avoid that happening to you. Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

How to increase your sales

Are you making the most of the sales opportunities open to you and your business?  It’s a well known psychological fact that once a buyer’s resistance has been breached by them agreeing to purchase one item they are then more open to buying something else – and that’s where you can take advantage. Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

Top tips on how to help the customer to make a purchase

The chances are that over 90% of the people who come into your store are looking to buy something so why not help them? Yes, the occasional visitor will just be sheltering from the rain or waiting for a bus to arrive but the majority will have a reason – however small – to be looking around your store.

Helping the customer to buy in the first place is the key hurdle to get over and the best way to do this is through the use of scripts for your sales team.  How many times have you been in a shop and the salesperson has come up to you and said “Can I help you?” and you’ve automatically replied “No thanks, I’m just looking”.  Even if you are looking for something that tends to be the automatic response to the closed question. End of conversation; opportunity to help them buy lost. Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

Are your customers innovators, early majority or laggards?

In the 1908s it was realized that different people buy into products or services at different times, depending upon how new the offering is and their own psychological traits.  Knowledge of how all this works is useful to us as business owners as it helps us with our marketing.

Studies indicated that the adoption of a new product/service was not uniform but followed a bell curve pattern, sub divided into 5 major discernible areas as follows: Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

A little bit of sales psychology

There are a lot of things that influence a customer making a decision to buy something.  To improve the chances of you being the person they buy from it’s worth having a little bit of knowledge of the psychology behind buying.  Here are the five main stages in the decision making process: Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

Be specific with your marketing and reap the rewards

As a business coach I’ve talked with a lot of companies who, when asked what their market is, have said “everybody”.  Generally speaking they have turned out to be the companies that are struggling – often due to lack of focus.  There’s a lot of competition out there and you don’t want to be trying to beat it all so how about taking a more proactive approach to targeting your market?  Here are a few quick tips to help you focus in on the most profitable market area for your business. Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

Getting the customer is just stage one; now you need to really make them love you

If you want to build a successful business you need to build your customer base.  Building a customer base is always easier, better and cheaper if you are able to keep the customers you have rather than lose them after every purchase and have to start again.  Ideally, the longer you keep a customer the higher they will move up your relationship ladder.  Here’s how the ladder works. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

How to make your adverts really work for you

Regardless of where your ad is – newspaper, magazine, website – they say you have about 3-5 seconds to make an impact on the reader before they move on to something else.  There are lots of ways to attract a reader’s attention (through the use of color, photos etc) but the thing that will grab their attention and keep it is your advert headline.  Here are a few ideas you should keep in mind when you’re advertising your business with an advert. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

It’s cheaper to keep present customers than to find new ones

Someone has done studies to look at how/why customers stop using a business and the results are startling.  A few percent move, another few percent move because they get a better offer, some die (literally) but by far the biggest percentage – around 69% – move on because of indifference from the business they were using.  That sounds like bad news but in fact for you, if you’re going to run your business properly, it’s going to be good news.  If 69% of companies don’t have a good customer service program the it’s not going to take much from you to become one of the 31% who do.  Let’s look at a few ways to keep those customers. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

If you ask the average business owner what their sales conversion rate is the chances are you will get a blank look in response to the question or you will get a figure about 4-5 times higher than what it really is.  Why is that?  Because most small business owners don’t measure it or use a sales funnel to help them identify where they’re going right or wrong in the sales process. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

Subtle differences can make a big difference to your advertising success

Have a look at these two advert headlines and think about what makes them different:

“Ten reasons why you need to buy a new car”.

“Ten reasons why you should buy your new car from Jim’s Autos”.

In the first headline your advert is not targeting anyone in particular, you are just trying to put the idea into people’s minds that they need a new car.  In the second headline you are much more specific because you are targeting only those people who have already decided to buy a new car – all they need to do now is decide where from, and you’re helping provide that answer. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

Every business needs to make a profit to survive and, generally speaking, the more profit we make then the better the business is, the more likely it is to survive a recession and the more likely it is to grow and flourish.  There are five fundamental ways to increase profits that you need to know when starting a small business and they are as follows: Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

How to set up a host beneficiary

First of all, what is a host beneficiary?  It’s a relationship between two businesses that helps each one make more profit by working together in a non-competitive manner.  For example, a hairdresser might do something to help out a beauty salon – it works because ladies getting their hair styled will probably want beauty treatments too.  Host beneficiary relationships are also a great way to advertise your business because someone else is promoting your company and people see that as a referral.  So how do you go about it? Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

The DISC profile is your friend in a sales situation

In the 1920s an American psychologist developed a way of looking at the human character that can still be used today by sales people aiming to boost their conversion rate.  The system is called DISC profiling, which stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance.  Understanding where your prospect sits within the DISC profile can make a huge difference to you being able to ‘connect’ with their way of thinking and, as a result, make the sale. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Top tips to increase your average sale value

Do you know what the average sale value is for each customer who buys from you? It’s a simple calculation to make – just make a note of what every customer buys, add up the total and then divide by the number of customers. Then, once once you know what the figure is, you can work on increasing it. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

The best person to buy from you today was the person who bought from you yesterday…

It costs about 7 times more to sell to a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, therefore, to realize that if you can keep your existing customers for the long term then your profits are going to be much higher – plus you won’t have to spend a huge amount of time and effort wondering how to get business in through the door. Below are a few strategies to help you keep hold of the customers you have. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Top tips for making the sale

Getting people through the door of your shop or on to your website is only half the battle; getting them to buy – converting them from prospects to customers is what adds money to our bottom line.

There are hundreds of ways of improving your conversion rates but I’ve chosen just three here to give you an idea of the sort of thing you can do to get you started. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Sales is a game – make sure you know the rules

Regardless of the type of business you’re in or the product or service you provide, everyone has to sell. Some people are born to sell but the majority of people have to work at it a little before success comes their way. From my experience as a salesman and also from watching people as a business coach here are a few things that I see all successful sales people doing when making a sale. Continue reading »