The best way to improve sales performance for your business depends on the business. But in general, there are some things that you can do to improve sales performance in any type of business – whether you do it almost all alone or you have salespeople or affiliates working with you.
1. Understand Your Mission – You should be able to tell anyone who asks what your point of existence is. What are you trying to accomplish? What is your mission? Writing a mission statement may help you accomplish this. Pin it up on the wall so you can look at it any time you need to speak to someone about your business.
2. Develop and Clarify Goals – Once you know your mission, you should break down the goals that you want to accomplish. Keep them clear and to the point. Remember that goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
3. Set Up Processes and Systems – Even a solo business person will benefit from having processes and systems set up. If you’re not technologically in the know about what will work best for your business, find someone who has done what you want to do and ask them to help you. Pay someone for the knowledge; you’ll succeed faster.
4. Sell to Your Customers What They Already Want – It’s so much easier to sell someone something if you’re attracting the right audience and creating products that you know the audience wants. When they say that they want XYZ, you say, “Here you go.” It’s that easy.
5. Keep Your Products Top of Mind – Once you have contacted anyone, they should end up on your list. Make sure that they do, so that your products can stay top of mind. This also can work by using paid ads on social media platforms and posting on social media platforms.
6. Ask for the Close – When you are talking about your products, you should always ask for the sale. If you don’t ask for the sale, you won’t make any. Ask for the sale in Facebook Live, YouTube posts, blog posts, sales pages, and yes, in person too.
7. Listen to Your Audience – Find ways to listen in on your audience so that you know what they want and need. A great way to do that is to join groups of which they’re a part so that you can study what they say, ask questions, and be a resource.
8. Improve Your Weaknesses – When you realize you have a weakness in a particular area, either learn how to do it or hire someone to do it for you. You can always fill in any weakness by outsourcing, and often that is the best way to go about it.
9. Be Committed – When you have a great product, it’s simple to be committed. By committed to your product, your joint venture partners, your audience, and yourself by being proud of what you’ve created.
10. Show Enthusiasm – People love passion and enthusiasm. Show that for your products and services. Show excitement. Show them how much you love it. Tell them how proud you are to offer it.
11. Be Persistent – Don’t give up on the first try. You’ll need to contact your prospects more than once to get a yes. You may have to reach out to them 100 times in various ways, both online and offline. Do what it takes until you get an emphatic no and they unsubscribe from your lists. After all, if they really don’t care about what you’re offering, do they really need to be on your list anyway?
12. Use Your Resources – Resources include you, money, people, and technology. Maximize your time by using everything you have at your disposal to make it work easier. Email autoresponders, virtual assistants, and advertising can all go far in helping you make more sales.
13. Provide Training – Whether it’s a contract worker, an affiliate, or an employee, training always makes a big difference. People tend to stick to jobs longer if they know what they’re doing and feel good about it. For example, it may take a lot of time to set up training for a new virtual assistant to do a task for you, but over time that training is going to pay off.
14. Use the Right Data – Know your goals and what data you need to study to find out if your efforts are working. Ignore data that isn’t relevant to your goals so that you can focus on what you’re doing right now, which is trying to improve sales performance. What key indicators will help you with that?
15. Create Products That Do What They Say – Outside of getting the word out about your products, knowing your products, knowing your audience and how to talk to them, creating products that deliver on promises is very important to help improve sales performance. If a salesperson knows that the product is fabulous, they’ll be much more enthusiastic selling it.
Improving sales performance is vital to any business – even a successful one. There are many areas that can always be improved. Start with one thing at a time and build on it as you become more successful.
No matter what type of business you have, it’s important to find as many ways as possible to show your customers love. What’s great about that is that they’ll return the love to you in numerous ways – such as sharing with their friends, buying more, and becoming devoted fans shouting your praises to everyone.
1. Personalize Where You Can – When you personalize the service you give your customers, they do notice. Sending an email with their name, and sending thank-you notes with their name mentioned, help build the relationship closer. Even though most consumers realize that automation is used, they are still impressed, and they still appreciate it and notice it.
2. Build Relationships – The way to build a relationship is to open communication so that it’s both ways. Ask them questions, respond to their questions, and help the communication become two-way instead of one-way. Make it easy for them to contact you too, otherwise it will be hard to build a relationship.
3. Call Them Personally – When someone spends a lot of money with you for the first time, a nice phone call is always appreciated. Even if you just leave a voice message, they will know that you thought enough about them to thank them. It’s amazing how great a personal phone call can make people feel.
4. Offer Them Something Free – Even after someone makes a purchase, you can still offer freebies to them. Let’s say they purchased your amazing Fat-Free Cookbook. You could send them an easy-to-follow pantry guide for free with the purchase.
5. Thank Them – Never pass up an opportunity to thank your customers. Thank them on social media. Thank them personally, and thank them on your blog and website. The more thanks you show to your customers, the more they’re going to trust you and want to buy more from you.
6. Send a Satisfaction Survey – One way to connect with your customers is to give them some time to use whatever they bought from you, then send them a simple survey that asks about their satisfaction and takes another opportunity to thank them.
7. Provide Excellent and Fast Customer Service – Your customers need many ways to contact you. Don’t make it difficult for them. They need many ways to get service, from email to phone. Don’t make them spend time trying to figure out how to contact you.
The more you can surprise and delight your audience, the better. Doing just that little something extra can make all the difference in the world. Try to think outside the box about ways that you can please your customers – ways that are inexpensive to you but mean a lot to them.
Statistics show that keeping a customer happy is a lot less expensive than getting a new customer. Therefore, it’s imperative to form a customer-centric attitude that you pass on to every part of your organization.
1. Listen – You know the saying as well as anyone: “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Well, it’s a good analogy for what you should do in any situation, not just business. Zip your lips and listen to what the customer has to say and you’ll see that they’ll calm down and give you just the way to help them.
2. Study Your Audience – You should always be conducting research on your audience. Audiences grow and change even while maintaining the same demographics over the years. Think about how different 25-year-olds are today from what they were in 1950. The more you know about them and their lives, the better you can serve them.
3. Get Feedback – You can nip some problems in the bud immediately simply by asking for feedback from customers as a matter of practice. Give your customers some time to enjoy their purchase, and then send them a survey asking for feedback. Use text that will let them know you want to improve your services or product and their input is essential to this process. Offer an incentive such as a discount, or a freebie such as a checklist or something to help them with their purchase in exchange for giving feedback.
4. Anticipate Needs – When you know your customers, you can anticipate the types of questions they’ll have and the types of products and or services they’ll need. In fact, you want to be able to know your audience so well that you only offer them things that they already want. Plus, it means you know the type of help they need to use your product or get the most from your services.
5. Treat Them Like VIPs – Once someone is your customer, you should treat them like very smart people or VIPs. This will make them feel special and it will cut down on problems. Give customers a special number to contact you, or a special email address or even a special text number to get help.
6. Smile – Even if you’re talking to your customer on the telephone, it’s important to smile as you help them. Smiling releases endorphins that make you calmer and happier, thus enabling you to deal with even the most difficult customer in the best way.
7. Answer Positively – Even when you have to say no about something, try to phrase it in a positive way. Instead of saying, “No we can’t give you a refund”, say something like, “I see what you mean, and we can offer you XYZ and ABC. How does that sound?”
8. Apologize – Always say that you’re sorry even if you’re not at fault. “I’m sorry” goes a long way to helping people calm themselves down if they’re upset about something. Often, people are upset even before contacting customer service, and will be taken off guard when you apologize fast and get to the problem instead of being defensive.
9. Give – The more giving you can be during any type of customer support interaction, the more your audience will become loyal to you. Try to answer customers fast; and when it’s possible to give them what they want, do it. It will pay off.
10. Train Customer Service Staff Well – If you have a team handling customer service (and you should at least have a VA doing it), then you need to train them well about your customers and about your products and services. Create a searchable FAQ for your agents so that they know the best way to respond to customers – to put them first and elevate customer support.
Finally, put systems in place that help you treat your customers the best. Allow them to communicate with you in a variety of ways and don’t hide your contact information from them. Most people like doing business with people who are transparent and helpful. To be honest, the competition for good customer service is easy to win since most businesses provide such lousy options. You can come out on top here with just a little extra effort.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is something every single small business owner should understand. Whether you’re a blogger, a product creator, a marketer, or you own a bricks-and-mortar business, SEO is important if you want to get plenty of visibility for your business.
SEO isn’t a difficult concept to understand and isn’t all about keywords. Let’s go over some SEO tips and tricks that you can use to boost your visibility.
Title Tags – When you create a title for any content that you will publish, it’s going to become a title tag. If you’ve set up your website correctly, each page of your site has a keyword-rich name and not a number. Additionally, each page should be different for best results.
Meta Tags – Some people think meta tags aren’t important any longer. But, they do work to help search engines as well as blind people navigate your website. Whether it’s a “buy now” button, or another type of image, a meta tag will work. Use keywords in the meta tags. Instead of “sign up” say something like “sign up for my free 7-day Facebook Marketing course.”
Header Tags – When you post contextual information, using header tags (H1 and H2) helps the search engines know it’s part of the topic. All H1 and H2 tags should be keywords and important. Don’t make anything a header if it’s not important and adds to the information for the search engines.
The Body – Within the content that you publish, be sure to have enough words to make a difference. The rule of thumb today is that you need at least 400 words. Put plenty of keywords in, but only if they make sense. Use good formatting with bolding and other things to add interest for your readers.
Linking – A lot of people spend tons of time trying to get links back to their content, but then they forget to add internal links to their content. There are plugins that can help with this if you use self-hosted WordPress. Otherwise, try to always recommend related content at the end of any blog post or article. To get more external links, share your content with all your social media accounts and ask others to do so as well.
Pick a Good Domain Name – Your domain name should include a keyword. Unless you’re a large brand with the funds to spend money on advertising, it can be hard to be found. But, if your domain name uses a familiar keyword that your audience may use, then you’re going to be more likely to get more organic traffic.
Audience First – Always consider your audience before you even think of the search engines. Your content should be well-written, even leaving out keywords if they appear awkward. Most of the suggestions will enhance your content for your audience, but do be cognizant of adding too many keywords and making the content clunky.
Finally, always remember to conduct thorough keyword research, because you’ll get ideas for new content – plus have more of an idea of what your audience is after. The more you please your audience, the more likely you are to also get more traffic from search engines and to get your audience sharing.
Many business owners decide to outsource their social media, for a number of reasons. A lot of them consider it to be a chore that they would like to have handled by outside experts. They might not have skilled people in-house, and don’t want to hire a full-time staffer.
However, outsourcing the task means handing over the representation of your brand to people who don’t really understand it very well and to whom you are just another client on a long list of businesses who all want to get noticed on social media.
Reasons for Doing Your Social Media Marketing In-House
There can be a learning curve for each social network you joint, but in most cases you as a business owner are going to be your own best brand advocate. This is because you understand exactly what your brand represents and what you are trying to portray through your brand.
Your business mission statement and business plan should focus your efforts. Brand is like a “shortcut” for instant recognition. If we hear McDonald’s, Nike or Coke, we immediately know what they do or sell, and what their values as a business are (whether or not we agree with them).
In most cases, social media marketers are just trying to get their job done. They are posting content regularly just for the sake of posting. They don’t necessarily take the time to analyze the best content to post and when to post. They also probably don’t interact with others who engage with you. If they crank out post after post, it might not reflect well on your business.
In addition, posting too often can actually mean LESS engagement because each post will push down the previous one – meaning that some of your best content might not be seen due to poor quality content taking its place.
Another reason for doing your social media marketing in-house is to keep your finger on the pulse of who is trying to contact you. Depending on the network you are using, you might be contacted by people who have genuine opportunities you might wish to explore, such as at LinkedIn.
Another important thing to note is that participating on a social network when you are a business is quite different from when you are an individual. A lot of people who are experienced social media marketers started out with their own personal accounts and decide they enjoy it so much they want to make a career out of it. However, this does not mean that they are able to represent a brand and business effectively, or even know all of the most important features of the network/s they are using.
Managing your Facebook business page, for example, is a very important skill that needs to be handled strategically. Treat your page as you would a full website, by including everything they need to know about your business. Include your logo, an attractive top image, and publish content consistently with high-quality images that show what your business is all about.
If you are going to outsource, ask for an account contact and train them. Make sure they have all the data at their fingertips to represent you well.