10 Things You Can Do To Boost Sales Now

While long-term planning is vital to a company's success, sometimes a business needs a boost in sales sooner rather than later.

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10 Things You Can Do To Boost Sales Now

By Michelle Y. Stevenson

Here are ten sales-boosting strategies you can implement now:

1. Launch a customer marketing campaign.
Few businesses market to their own customers as well as they could and, consequently, they leave a potential goldmine of opportunity behind. Your customers could be your most valuable resource. Get to know as much as you can about them and update your customer database. If you dont have a database, start one. Send frequent mailings to your customers and give them reasons to come back and do business with you, such as preferred-customer offers.

2. Target your best potential customers.
What you learn about your customers can help you target market to your most profitable group of potential customers. Conduct a survey of your current customers to determine their demographics, such as gender, age, income and where they live, then analyze the results. The results of your customer survey can help you select targeted mailing lists or the advertising media that best reaches your most profitable audience.

3. Ask your customers what they want.
Dont assume, ask. By asking your customers and potential customers what they like and dislike about your business specifically as well as about your industry in general, you will be better prepared to give them what they want. You can also use that information to make all of your advertising more effective.

4. Find out what your competitors are up to.
Find out what your competitors are doing and what their ads say theyre doing. Take a look at their strengths and weaknesses, then do the same for your business. Figure out what you do better than competitors, make sure its something customers want, then run with it. Give your customers a reason to do business with you instead of the competition. You dont have to have the lowest price. You do have to provide a compelling reason for customers to choose your business over the competition, and you have to market that reason well.

5. Rewrite your existing print ads with direct-marketing techniques that get results.
Take a look at all of your advertising as if you were a customer. Is it compelling? Does it persuade the customer to do business with your company? Use some of these direct-marketing techniques to improve response:

Create a powerful headline. The headline is the most important part of your ad. Its what stops the readers and gets them to read the rest of your ador not. It doesnt have to be funny, cute or clever. It does have to compel readers to read the ad and take action.

Write your ad copy to sell. Use your ad to tell readers how doing business with you will benefit them. Most companies talk about themselves more than they talk to their audience. People want to know whats in it for me. Make sure you tell them. Include testimonials to boost credibility.

Include a call to action. Tell them exactly what you want them to do: call today; visit our showroom; call for more information; order now. People need to be nudged in the right direction. The right call to action can dramatically improve the results of an ad.

Include a good offer. Give readers a reason to act now. Offer a percentage off, limited-time sale, free gift or valuable information. Be sure the offer has an expiration date so the reader doesnt procrastinate. Effective ads give people a reason to act now.

6. Expand your Networking Efforts
Get out of the office and meet people. Attend networking events that reach your audience. If youre buried and cant escape, send someone else to represent your company. Follow up with the people you meet.

7. Start a Direct-Mail Program
Start with your own customers and purchase a targeted mailing list that includes your best prospective customers. Create a series of mailing pieces to persuade recipients to do business with you, using the direct-marketing techniques mentioned in this article. Since frequency is the key to success, make sure you create a mailing schedule and stick with it.

8. Launch an Effective Advertising Campaign
Select the media that best targets your audience, then create a campaign using direct-marketing techniques to drive results. Just as in direct mail, frequency pays off.

9. Track Everything
If youre not asking your customers how they heard about you, start. Keep track of exactly when and where your ads ran and which ads they were, then analyze the results. You can discover which media, which target audience, which days, which offers and which messages generate the best results. You can then reallocate your budget to maximize your return-on-investment.

10. Improve your Follow-Up
Eighty percent of sales are made on the fifth or later sales call, yet most salespeople give up after two or three attempts. Dont give up! Keep in front of your prospects with mail, phone calls or opt-in email. Be friendly and persistent. By improving your follow-up, you can increase sales from your current stream of prospects.

About the Author
Michelle Y. Stevenson is a marketing and public relations consultant, author, speaker and the president of MYS Marketing, a marketing, advertising and public relations company. MYS Marketing helps clients reach their business goals for growth, revenue and visibility. The company is based in Turlock, California, which is located in California’s Central Valley, near Modesto, and serves clients throughout the United States. Michelle can be reached by phone at 888-223-4697 or by email: michelle@mysmarketing.com.