Three Things You Can Do Right Now to Increase Sales
If you need more sales, there are three things you can do right now to get more sales. Understand your customer, speak in words your customer relates, and go out and sell. Some of you may be thinking. But I already do that! Let’s find out.
How well do you understand your customer? Remember that your customer exists whether or not your product exists. They have a set of problems, goals, fears, and wishes. Do you understand what they are? Often, when I ask a client to tell me what their customer’s problem is, they describe the problem in relation to the product my customer is selling. “They need a software system that does ….” No, they don’t. They have a problem. Their employees are making mistakes, something takes too long, or they aren’t getting the information they need the way they are doing things now. That is the problem you need to understand. Once you fully understand their problem and what they could be doing better if they didn’t have that problem, like getting home before 9 PM, then you can start thinking about how you can solve that and how your solution is better for this client than your competition. Stop focusing on your product and start focusing on your client.
The next thing you can do to increase sales is to start speaking in words your customer relates to. Now that you understand what really matters to your customer, start talking to them about those things. They want to understand how, in general terms, your solution solves their problem. They don’t want to get into the functionality or specs of your product until they understand conceptually that you can fix their problem, help them achieve a goal (business or personal) help them avoid something they fear or get them something they want. Whether you sell business-to-business or business-to-consumer, your customer is a person who is thinking about all kinds of things. They don’t want to be bogged down in details unless those details answer the questions they have about how you are going to solve their problem.
One of my favorite examples of a buyer-seller conversation gone wrong is the day I went car shopping with my stepmom many years ago, long before the proliferation of cup holders in cars. She wanted 3 things: a red convertible, it had to have pep and it had to have a cup holder. That was what mattered to her. Her concept was that she would look at the car, drive it to see if it had pep and then look for a cupholder. When we got in the car with the salespeople, they droned on and on about warranties and v-whatevers and safety features until we wanted to scream. None of that information had anything to do with what she wanted to buy. That is just how they sell cars. You have to talk to your customers about the things that matter to them. If they ask about a warranty, talk to them about it; otherwise, it is not a selling point.
The third thing is to get out and sell. Often when I talk to businesspeople about selling, they tell me they have a Facebook ad or are using SEO or social media. Those are great, and hopefully, that marketing is bringing you some leads. Chances are you need to physically get out and meet people who can buy from you and start the conversation. For many businesses, their prospective customers don’t even know they exist or that they should be looking for that product. It is most effective when you meet your customers where they are. You can do that with social media, but then you need to engage with them and get them to start the conversation about buying from you. You can get referrals, which is one of the easiest ways to sell. Ask your happy customers to introduce you to people who might need what you sell. Then call, email and/or go visit them. Let them know you understand the problem they have and you have a solution that might be perfect. You can network, as long as you do it effectively. Find out where your customers are, decide who you want to meet and get to know that person. (Don’t sell at networking events, save that until you have a relationship). You might have to pick up the phone or show up at their location. This time, when you pick up the phone or walk in their door, you are going to be armed with an understanding of their problems and how they talk about their problems so you can have a conversation that matters to them.
Alice Heiman LLC