A few weeks ago my wife was working late at the office when a client called. She needed to raise her income and sales, and in a hurry. “What”, she asked, “do I do about getting the income and sales up to a more viable level urgently?”
She asked the right question. Claire gave her the basic plan to increase her statistics. “You won’t see the results in the first couple of weeks,” Claire warned. “You have to stick to this plan religiously and you will see the results in a month or two.”
So the client crossed her fingers, charged her credit card and implemented the plan.
And what were the results? Exactly as predicted her income and sales are up.
Now, assuming your business provides quality, useful and desired products and services, the same 6 steps will work for your business, too. So I won’t hold you in suspense. Just read on to find out how to increase your business sales and income within 6 weeks…
Step 1: Get Together a Mailing List of Every Client and Lead
The first step is put together a list of every possible lead and existing and past clients. The most significant and remunerative mailing list you can possibly get your hands on is one that only your business has access to—your own!
An existing customer spends an average of 67% more than new customers.
Step 2: Send Out a Newsletter
Create a newsletter with interesting and useful information relevant to the services and products your business delivers. RESPONSE! can create, print and mail your newsletter on your behalf. We will also break up your mailing list at no charge and mail it out in 4 weekly parts so you send out the newsletter all month to get the best results.
If your mailing list does not have enough names, print a postcard about your business and alternate with your newsletter so that every week you have a mailing of newsletters or postcards sent out to your best possible source of income and referrals – those who have bought and enjoyed your services and products before.
A mere 5% reduction in customer defection rate can result in increased profits of 25-125%.
Step 3: Talk To Everyone You Meet about Your Business and Learn the Technology of Sales
You started your business because you’re Interested in what you do and you want other people or businesses to benefit from the services and products you provide. So don’t be afraid to talk it up. Mention to everyone what you do. If you had a recent good result, talk to them about that or mention how exciting it is to work in your field. Even the receptionist of your office supply company may get interested—or she may mention your business to her boss! One chiropractor turned his favorite waitress into a patient when she mentioned she had a headache. If you don’t talk to people you will never find out that they are a prospect (or know someone who is).
At the same time, talking to people without a specific purpose can get you no results. We recommend reading the book How To Sell by Harry Frisch, to learn how to turn conversation into sales!
Step 4: Write Letters, Lots and Lots of Letters
Write to your prospects by email, snail mail or fax. Get all your staff to write letters. Write to them to give them advice based off past purchases, to tell them about new products and services, to find out how their kids are. Find any excuse. At RESPONSE!, when we have a conversation with a client or prospective client, we always follow it up with an email or fax to confirm the details. Or send a sample pack.
“Seventy-eight percent of your customers are lost after six months of no contact,” according to Forrester Research.
Step 5: Promote For New Business
Advertise, send out postcard mailings to targeted lists, drop off fliers, do radio shows.
Postcard mailings to targeted lists is very effective and low maintenance. For best results, we recommend breaking the list up and mailing part of it every week. When you do a postcard mailing with RESPONSE! we will keep rotating through the list based on what you can afford and how many leads you can effectively handle every week. Breaking the list up gets the best results as you create a steady number of new clients instead of having high peaks and low troughs on your statistics—i.e. weeks with too many leads to follow up followed by weeks with no leads at all.
Direct mail is the most powerful advertising medium available returning on average thirteen dollars for every dollar invested (Direct Marketing Association).
Step 6: Update Your Web Site to Reflect Your Business Accurately
As people get interested many of them will go to your web site without your knowledge, to “check you out”. When they get there the web site should be interesting, accurate, up-to-date and make it easy for them to contact you. My wife will not make any major purchases without researching the product or the company online. And she’s not alone:
74% of people research one or more products online before buying in a store. (BIGresearch)
Remember to monitor the statistics to see which postcards or newsletter articles, ads or fliers get the best response. And always do weekly mailings to existing clients and weekly mailings to targeted lists, especially during “slow” periods. In fact, if you can predict “slow times” based off past experience and statistics, compensate by increasing mailings for the 4-6 weeks preceding the predicted slump and your slump may not even happen!
And if you have any concerns about the slow economy, the best kept secret is that this is the best time to promote.
91% of small businesses don’t do anything to retain existing customers.
While your competition is economizing on his promotion budget, you will be out there grabbing the available business with aggressive, consistent promotion.
For help creating a tailor-made promotion campaign, call me at (314) 646-7935. We can discuss what you are currently doing, what has worked in the past and figure out a specific plan of action to stabilize and increase your income and sales through an effective promotion campaign.