Every business, no matter their history, has the same goal in mind — to make sales. Without sales, it won’t be possible for a business to grow or even to maintain itself. But, ensuring that your company is able to execute a successful sales cycle requires a strong focus on the sales tactics themselves. While there is plenty of debate regarding which sales tactics are effective and which ones are a waste of time, all companies can probably agree that certain tactics are a guarantee if done right.
Though every business may have their own approach to making sales, these sales tactics will surely work for everyone.
1) Believe in Your Product or Service
This may seem like a given, but there are many companies out there that wouldn’t use their own product. How are company leaders, then, supposed to get others to believe in their product or service, if they wouldn’t find it useful themselves? Companies need to believe in what they are selling whole-heartedly. One way to do this is by providing “proof” that it works. Highlight testimonials, show “before and after” photos, or provide your audience with evidence that they can’t deny.
2) Combine Storytelling with Facts and Statistics
Another sales tactic that demonstrates faith in what you’re selling is strong storytelling. Customers need to be able to see themselves using your product or service. And, they need to be able to relate to you as a seller. Customers know when they are being scammed. They rely on a combination of things to determine whether or not what you’re selling is worth it for them.
One way to get them on board is through storytelling. Reel your customer in, whether it’s by a video on your website, an interesting “about” story on your homepage, or community event where you share something intimate about your company’s history. If you’re able to add facts and statistics to what you’re sharing, that’s great, too, but keep in mind that people remember stories much more than the numbers themselves.
3) Never Stop Creating Goals
These days, businesses need to continue to find ways to improve themselves. Customers always respond to different approaches, whether it be an email, a social media post, or a free ebook. Whatever goal it is we have in mind — bring in more leads, make more money, or have the highest ranking on search engines — companies always need goals. By consistently creating observable and measurable goals that all employees are working toward together, companies are likely to see an increase in sales. Even the most profitable companies have to try new sales tactics through goals all the time, for instance, Amazon with their Go Stores.
4) Respect the Competition
Every good company probably is a competitor of another similar company out there. These days, it’s more likely than not that your company isn’t the only one out there offering a similar product or service. Think about ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, dog-walking companies like Wag and Rover, or food-box companies like HelloFresh or Blue Apron. All of these companies are a unique spin on what people are used to, but aren’t really different than their competitors. Still, every person prefers one company over another, sometimes for a reason, they can’t quite explain.
Because of this, another major sales tactic that companies should practice is being respectful of the competition. Don’t talk about them poorly, don’t steal ideas from them, and don’t blatantly go after them in a way to make yourself stand out. Be nice to your competition. After all, customers would rather go with the nice guy at the end of the day.
5) Set Yourself Apart
Finally, one of the most important sales tactics involves doing something to set yourself apart.And, not just setting yourself apart from the competition we mentioned, but across the entire board. Be the first website to offer amazing refer-a-friend initiatives, or the first local business to donate profits. Do something that makes your customers say “wow,” and you’ll see that they’ll be eager to buy from you.
Completing a successful sales cycle can only happen when every step of the process goes according to plan. If there are parts of that process that are not given the appropriate attention or resources, sales can fail. One aspect of the sales cycle is the potential customers themselves. After all, without buyers, there are no sales.
Company leaders, therefore, need to spend just as much time on their prospective buyers than anything else. And, being sure which people to focus on and which people to not focus so much on, helps make that cycle finish faster.
So, who do you focus on? There’s a lot of conversation regarding which type of people companies should be reaching out to. For instance, should the focus be on old customers or new ones?
Here’s why companies should spend more time on their qualified leads than previous customers:
Understanding Previous-Customer Behavior
True or False?
Customers who have purchased goods or services from your company in the past are guaranteed to do so again.
The key word here is “guaranteed.” Sure, while customers return to places they like all the time, that generally applies more to restaurants, nail salons, and car mechanics – not so much for online companies or small businesses with a heavy online presence.
Think about it. If you buy a necklace online from a website like Etsy, you may visit the website again, but probably not the individual seller. If you book a vacation online through a small travel agency, you may use them again, but likely not for a while. And, if you hire a web designer to do your website, once the job is done, you won’t necessarily need them again.
While you shouldn’t completely ignore your previous customers, it’s okay to passively engage them while you focus more attention on other things. Other things being your qualified leads, instead.
Why Focus on Qualified Leads
The sales cycle can run quickly in today’s world with how businesses are being conducted. These days, people can find almost any good or service they need with a click of a button. However, these people still have their own criteria for judging a business before going forward with a purchase.
With the rise of marketing automation, better and faster email marketing strategies, and social media marketing, business leaders can bring in leads very easily. Leads who know what they want can tell pretty quickly if you’re trustworthy and transparent. Also, marketing automation software makes it easy to determine a lead’s engagement with your marketing campaigns. Therefore, you know who to focus on, and who can be placed on the backburner. Sometimes, it’s the previous customers who end up on that backburner more than anyone else.
Qualified leads are more likely to convert when they’ve already shown significant interest. Using a combination of software and strategies, you can know which leads are qualified and how to hook them in before it’s too late.
Create a Healthy Balance
Previous customers are just as important as qualified leads. However, it’s okay to take a look a closer at your own business model, what you’re offering to people, and who is more likely to buy from you. Is it those who have bought from you before and are happy with what they’ve received or is it those who desperately are in need of your goods or services and are willing to buy immediately? Depending on your business model, it could be the former. But, in many cases, it’s the latter.
That being said, previous customers can still help you out a lot. They can refer your business to others. They can write reviews on websites, or may choose to buy goods again for friends or for themselves, if relevant.
But, for the moment, those who have still yet to experience all you have to offer are more likely to buy than previous customers who are already satisfied. Put the attention on those qualified leads, and you’ll have a successful sales cycle. Additionally, be sure to maintain the relationships you have with previous customers. This will help create a healthy balance all around, which will benefit your business if leads start to slow down.
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