In another article, I said that it is possible to double your sales in 3 years. And then keep doing so.
To achieve that, you need a vivid vision of the desired future, clear and measurable goals and a focused action plan that includes a timeline and budget.
The actions that you take are of crucial importance.
To help you get started, here are ten strategies to help double your sales.
1. Introduce new products or services
This is a strategy that requires you to first do some homework because you need to know what your customers want.
The easiest way to do this is to ask your existing customers.
What else do they need that they cannot find, either in your business or on the market? This will give you an idea of products or services that have a built-in product. Meaning, you already know that you will have customers who want this.
I have spoken before about the importance of focusing on your most profitable customers. These are the customers that bring in the highest profits. They are also the customers who will help you grow your business faster.
If you are considering adding new products or services, focus on this group of customers first. Doing so may also help you come up with ways to improve your customer retention.
2. Expand to new markets
One of the ways in which you can sell new products and services is by entering new markets.
For example, if you are a bakery selling to private individuals, you can easily expand your business by also selling to businesses. Or by selling your products in another part of the country. Depending on how strong your business is, your could also consider international expansion.
Expanding into new markets can be expensive, but it can help you attract new customers and increase your sales. Before making the decision however, do your market research to make sure that you understand what the new market is looking for. That will help you design a market entry strategy, including what kind of marketing, distribution, and production is needed.
Review this article I wrote to see which of the 4 main growth strategies is best suited to your business.
3. Improve your marketing results
Marketing is the one business expense that does not have a maximum.
Unless it is not doing what it should do.
It can take a long time to get good results from marketing. Just running an ad one time will likely not get you the results that you want.
Some experts believe that a customer needs to see your advertisement 20 times before they take action!
I don’t know whether that is true. But what I do know, is that it is important to use effective marketing strategies if you want to get good results.
You should also fully understand your own unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is the answerr to the question, Why should a customer buy from you?
4. Increase your price
Many business owners fear that if they increase their price, their customers will abandon them.
This is true if you are competing on lowest price or if your business does not have a strong USP.
However, increasing your price could actually help you attract better customers!
People believe that more expensive products offer a higher value. When you increase your price, customers will interpret your product or service as more valuable.
Of course, your product or service must indeed offer value! If that is not the case (or if you are worried about it, look for ways to add more value for your customer at little cost to yourself before you increase your prices.)
Note: you will still need to keep paying close attention to your competitors and make sure that you can clearly distinguish your products and services from theirs.
5. Hire contractors or freelancers
You may not be able to do all the work of increasing sales by yourself. But it may also not yet be the right time to increase the number of employees you have.
This is where contractors or freelancers can be very helpful.
First of all, they let you add people without having to pay taxes or employee benefits. Secondly, a contractor or freelancer is often specialised in a particular area. Meaning that they can add value to your business faster than you can (or less-qualified employee).
You can bring in contractors or freelancers to help you with sales and selling. But you can also delegate work to them so that you have more time to spend on customers.
Consider outsourcing the following kinds of work:
- administrative jobs
- short-term projects
6. Upgrade your customer service
If a customer is not satisfied with you, it is estimated that 13% of them will tell 15 other potential customers about their bad experience.
So, if you have 100 customers, 13 of them will tell 15 other people. In the worst case scenario, this means that 13 customers will leave you and also tell 195 other people not to do business with you. That is a lot of potential customers – and business – to lose!
So bad customer service has two results:
- you lose your customer
- you lose potential new customers
Summary: great customer service is one of the best ways to retain customers and make higher sales. So, know how your customer feels about your business!
7. Increase word-of-mouth promotion
According to research, if customers are satisfied with your business, at least 72% of them will tell six other customers.
So, again, if you have 100 customers, this means that at least 72 of them will tell 432 other customers about the good service.
This kind of positive word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best ways to get new customers and increase your sales!
Make it easy for your customers to promote your business through word-of-mouth. Some examples:
- Organise a raffle on Facebook and encourage your customeres to share it.
- Feature your customers on your social media channels
- Offer them incentives to bring other customers, like a 10% discount or a small gift
- If you keep detailed customer records, send your customer congratulations on their birthday and offer them a discount
- Use customer loyalty cards that let customers save for free products
8. Add new sales channels
Adding new sales channels can help you reach more customers and improve profitability.
There are many ways to do this. You could:
- Start selling online
- Open a new point of sales
- Use independent sales representatives
- Sell through retail outlets
Another way to add sales channels is through partnerships with other businesses. A sales or distribution partnership might be a good way for your business to reach new customers and sell more products.
9. Eliminate your worst-performing products
One of the more interesting strategies to help double your sales is to get rid of any products or services that are not performing well.
If you have products or services that have low profit margins, that are hard to sell or that cause you headaches in any way, eliminate them. This can be a good way to save money and reduce stress.
The money you save can then be reinvested in products or services that bring higher profits.
Note: getting rid of products or services that do not perform well can also form part of your strategy to focus on the most profitable customers in your business.
10. Do better than your competition
Always be aware of what your competitors are doing.
This information helps you understand their behaviours, capabilities and limitations. Knowing what they do will help you be better prepared to defend your market position.
It also helps you know where they are failing and how to use that knowledge to distinguish your business from theirs.
Listen carefully to customer complaints to find out why customers leave your competitor. If you can offer something that is better, those customers may start buying from you.
You can also use that information to further improve your Unique Selling Proposition.
There are many strategies to help double your sales. The key is to choose the right strategies for your business..
To increase sales you may have to introduce new products or services, expand your market, increase your marketing activities or improve customer service.