Sales are the backbone of any business, and many of the actions your team does on a daily basis work to bolster your sales figures. There are several methods of encouraging sales and capturing the “low hanging fruit” of individuals ready to buy right now. However, there are multitudes of potential customers in your area who only need a bit of development to realize they need your product or service.
Getting in front of those not immediately ready to buy can be more difficult than taking an out ad or calling up your leads list, but it certainly can be done.
Five Indirect Sales Boosters
Here are five customer development actions your business can be doing right now to increase sales:
1. Have great customer service.
Providing excellent service to existing customers has many sales advantages. By giving your clients a fantastic experience, you produce the ever-elusive word of mouth that so many companies covet. As Will Rogers said, “It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.” Don’t miss out on a moment of building that good reputation.
2. Deliver your product/service as quickly as possible.
Many customers want to be serviced rapidly. Long wait times will lose you customers – in one survey businesses stated that they lost 70% of customers due to long wait times. Many companies have built their entire business model around rapid delivery. Look at Amazon, Uber, and Apple. You can get your order, ride, or app almost immediately with these businesses.
3. Donate to charity.
It is entirely okay to use public relations actions as part of your sales plan. So, make sure your company donates to charity, plant trees for Arbor Day, and participate in a cause. Then write press releases and spread them far and wide to promote the good things your business is doing. It may seem mercenary, but it isn’t. The charity of your choice wins as you support them and your company wins both in improved employee morale and increased sales.
4. Provide something for free.
Supplying a loss leader is a hugely successful method of developing potential customers. It’s also a very traditional sales model that can be used both in a brick and mortar business and online. Bakeries give away free samples, a toy store can have a raffle for a free teddy bear, and your online company can provide a free download to help potential customers. Just be sure to have a plan in place to develop those customers who receive your free sample or download.
5. Ask customers to write product reviews.
Creating an online reputation anywhere that clients will find you is vital. Ask happy customers to write reviews online, on the website of their choice. You will be surprised to see that your business is well reviewed on sites both popular and obscure.
Create Follow Up Systems
Follow up is key to any sales system. You may have systems that kick in automatically with more direct sales structures, but you need to be sure to have a follow-up methodology in place for any indirect sales as well.
Indirect sales can be a bit difficult to track as they don’t always come up in a survey of “how did you hear about us.” However, they are all excellent ways to get and keep your company name in front of potential customers. Remember, it usually takes 6-8 touches to generate a lead, and from there the lead still needs to be nurtured into a full-blown customer advocate.
Having a follow up system in place means thinking ahead. Here are just a few ways you can insert a follow up and tracking system for your indirect sales:
- Dedicate a specific phone number or email to a particular indirect sales methodology. For example, when you send out your charitable action press releases, list an email address specific to that release.
- Find a way to collect email addresses or other contact information. For example, when providing a free download, ask the recipient to provide his/her email address to sign up for a free webinar on the topic. When giving out free samples, give the samplers a signup sheet to enter to win a $10 gift card to your store.
- Send out a survey after your customer has interacted with your team. Ask them about their experience. If it was good, you can then ask them to write a review. If it was poor, they can be contacted immediately so your team can rectify the issue.
Creating an excellent experience for your customers can only lead to increased sales, more referrals, and improved satisfaction. This not only makes your business more money, but it also improves employee morale, too.
Are you ready to implement proven direct and indirect sales strategies? We are here to assist! Contact Business Success Consulting Group today.