Entrepreneurial Selling

5 Brutally Effective Ways to Boost Sales

Written by Ashwin Satyanarayana for Gaebler Ventures

No business will survive without sustained sales. How do iconic brands manage to do so well despite having been around for so long? Read this article to find out how.

Without sales, no business ever functions -- a simple statement with profound implications.

In spite of that, you barely have a handful of entrepreneurs whose focus would be on sales and marketing alone. Partly due to the design of their business or partly because for these entrepreneurs, business is like fire fighting, sales is rarely a point to talk about. Wasn't it supposed to happen automatically? Won't they just come and buy? No. They won't. So what can be done? Here are 5 brutally effective ways to boost sales for your business.

Give away something for free as bait

It has been in practice for eons but it is a surprising fact that most businesses don't use it as effectively as expected. Giving away a free trial or a free sample is an incredibly effective way to get your foot into the door when it comes to lead generation - notwithstanding the trust your customer develops due to this act of giving something away for free. It speaks volumes about the confidence on your products and services that you seriously think customers can use your products and services for free and then decide about a possible purchase.

Use a powerful loyalty program

One of the other powerful tools in a marketer's arsenal is the introduction of a loyalty program which could work by total points collected - much like air miles programs most airlines run. There are a lot of reasons why you should run a loyalty program and one of the most important ones are that it immediately boosts sales due to repeat orders and recurring purchases. Other reasons include brand recall, more reasons for a customer to do business with your company.

Upsell like your life depends on it

Can you guess what's common in the usual sales process of KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, Apple, and other such iconic brands? It's their tastefully implemented upsell process. Think about KFC: no sale is ever completed with just a burger or fries. Any random customer would pick a burger with fries, with some beverage or cola to go with it. In the case of Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch is usually accompanied by chargers, accessories, protection covers and a horde of other things that you would need. Up selling your products or services is a sure-fire way to boost your sales numbers.

Train and incentivize your sales force

Here's another reason why your sales numbers look like a 2nd graders number practice: you have staff that barely has skills to cope with the rigors of the sales process. The prospecting, the meeting, the approach a sales person must take (like the consultative approach, for instance), the nurturing and finally, asking for the sale. An effective sales approach can come through only by training your sales force properly. Now for the training to be effective, your sales staff should also be incentivized heavily. Up the commissions and make them go for the kill.

Thank customers for their purchase and throw in a powerful referral program

Usually forgotten but tremendously profit-pulling, thank your customers by calling them or by visiting them and introduce a referral program which awards them handsomely if they could refer their friends or acquaintances to products and services. Now, most people are motivated by real fat incentives and by introducing an affiliate program or by converting all your customers into automatic affiliates you open a flood of sales opportunities that could really pump up your sales figures. The key is to drive the point home convincingly and by having a really attractive commission for each referral.

Ash has an undergraduate degree in engineering and an MBA from Ohio University. Today he is a corporate trainer, business coach and a freelance writer.

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