5 Ways To Increase Your Sales
It's time fr a change of pace. Having owned a successful business in a competitive marketplace for 17 years before becoming a career firefighter, I always receive emails requesting answers to business questions. In addition, when I speak at company seminars, the main question is, "How does my staff drive sales?" My business was split between commercial and retail sales. I opened my business back in the day during challenging economic times. In theory, I should have failed. However, after a bit of learning and listening to great advice from my father, it was a great success. After owning it for 17 years, it was time for me to move on to other things. Being a volunteer firefighter for a few years, I decided to make that my career. I took the tests and got hired. I owned all my service trucks and inventory when I sold my business. Therefore, the sale was all profit.
The best advice I received from my father was, "To be successful, don't try to send your kids to college on one customer." Meaning do not rip people off. Give them a fair price and excellent service, and they will come back and spread the word about your business to their friends. That was my mission, and it worked. Keep in mind that when a customer walks into your store or contacts your business, most are ready to make a purchase. Also, no one likes a high-pressure sales associate, and they are all looking for a deal. A deal that if you don't give them, someone else from a different company will.
WHAT DO CUSTOMERS WANT?:
Indeed, some customers are just shopping around. They may want to buy but are checking out what things cost, and you are not the only source they are looking at. The pandemic reshaped how people made their purchases, and the internet is challenging to compete with. However, it can be done. I know this because I did it. It would be best if you built trust between you and your buyer. No one will buy anything from someone they do not feel they can trust.
Most people like and want personalized service. A service they cannot obtain through online buying. Some keys points to remember are:
Customers want a good return policy,
Customers want competitive pricing. (you make more with volume sales than one sale.)
Customers do not like to be pushed into a sale,
Customers want a deal,
Customers want honesty.
Yes, customers want it all, and it is your job to give it to them. The real question is how? I make no bones about the fact that I love boating and the boating industry. I still work part-time a couple of days a week in the boating industry with all the things I do. I enjoy not for the money, the enjoyment and challenge of sales, and for making people happy in an industry. It is mainly a commission-based industry. Therefore, if you don't sell, you don't make much money. No, I do not sell the actual boats. What I sell is much more complicated. Membership plans and warranties. Why are they harder to sell? Because most people do not understand the benefits. You will not sell every customer, but you can't blow them off because you realize you will not make that sale. That is the quickest way to lose that individual as a future customer, and bad word of mouth will destroy you.
5 Ways To Increase Your Sales:
There are five basic principles you should follow to increase your sales. Each, in its way, is very important, and one builds upon the next. Your only job here is to apply these principles to your particular industry.
It is essential to show a customer that it is not whether they can afford to buy something. It's whether they can afford not to.
Develop your own sales script. Something that comes naturally to you,
Do not try to sell something a customer doesn't need. Consumers are much more educated today,
Know the products you are selling and be able to answer any questions without hesitation.
Let's briefly look at each. I stated earlier, people are either shopping to buy or shopping to inquire. It would be best if you determined which through conversation. If you come right out of ask, the customer will feel that you will not spend the time with them if they are only seeking information. I have turned more inquiries into sales simply by spending time with a customer.
Develop your style. Everyone sells differently. What works for the person who trained you may not feel comfortable for you. Therefore, it will not work for you.
ALWAYS be honest. People respect honesty which also develops trust. No one will buy anything from someone they do not feel they can trust. You must earn that trust. Ask a lot of questions. Find out the needs of your customer. This doe not mean you cannot upsell them. It means you are learning the type of buyer you are talking with.
People know what they need. Many times that is all they want. Trying to push things they do not need upon them is the sure-fire way to lose the sale. However, should you feel they should have something additional? Recommend it and explain in detail why.
Know what you are selling inside and out. When you hesitate, you are silently telling the customer you are not familiar with the product. Therefore, your credibility and trust have just flown out the window. As a result, you will NEVER make that sale.
I am often told that I sell the most memberships and warranties than any other sales rep. That may or may not be accurate. But, I will say this, my commissions on these items far outway what I get paid. I do this because I know the boating industry. Why not? I've been a boater for over 40 years and know what I and others have spent on our floating toys and what a customer will spend in the future. So, I KNOW WHAT I AM SELLING AND THE CUSTOMERS THAT COULD BENEFIT FROM IT.
That is my job. To show that is real terms and real-life situations to my customers. Situations I know as a boater they will at some point face themselves. Like a car warranty, it is not whether it will break. It is a matter of when it will fail. Allow me to give you an example. When I bought my first Corvette many years back, yes, I love Corvettes. I spend 72,000 dollars on the car. It had multiple computer systems that ran everything from the suspension to the digital displays. In today's car market, computers control even more.
The standard warranty was great but only lasted for three years. The sales rep was NOT pushy but explained why I should consider an extended warranty. Honestly, he was probably the most knowledgeable salesperson I had ever dealt with. I opted to go with the best plan. ZERO deductible for 100,000 miles or seven years. Let's face it, at the time, if I could not afford 2,400.00 more, I probably couldn't afford the car. As luck would have it, I do believe Murphy's law exists. We had a severe thunderstorm that came through. After the car warrant was up and the extended warranty kicked in. We had a very close lightning strike that blew four computer systems in the car. The cost would have been over 7,000 to replace them. It cost me "0".
With that said, if the salesperson at the time had been pushy and aggravated me, I may not have purchased the warranty. However, I believe my point speaks for itself. Since that time, I have purchased an extended warranty for every boat I've owned and every car I've owned. You see, it is how you sell your product that matters. That will make the sale. AS I stated, it is all about showing the customer it is not about whether you can afford it. It is whether you can afford not to have it.
Increasing sales is an art. However, consumers know you are going to try to sell them something. They are not ignorant.
It is how you approach the sale that matters. That approach will determine whether or not you increase your sales and continue to increase them. Whether or not that consumer recommends you to their friends or speaks unkindly about you. Word of mouth could either be your best friend or your worst enemy. All of this depends on you and your ability to form a bond between you and your customer—a bond of trust. I've owned seven boats in my life. Six I bought from the same salesperson. I would have bought my last one from him, but he retired. Why? Because I trusted him. He knew me as a customer and was always honest with me. He wasn't always trying to make that extra buck on something I did not need.
Thus proving that a good salesperson will make more money over time with a customer rather than trying to break their bank on one sale.
The same holds in every industry, especially in writing books. I have said this before, and it is worth repeating. A dear friend of mine writes books, is a multi-millionaire today from writing, and never had a best-selling book. He would tell me never to concentrate on having a best-selling book, especially in today's market, where every platform has a different algorithm that computes what a best-selling book is. Rater, focus on consistent book sales. That is how you will make money. Overtime. Of course, there is the rare occasion when an unknown writer writes a book and gets lucky. However, they are far and few between.
We have all seen the cartoon characters, the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise is slow and smooth. The hare runs and burns itself out while it's the tortoise who crosses the finish line first. Remember, "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast."
That is what will increase and continue to increase your sales. Of course, you will not sell everyone that walks through your door, but the principles I have talked about will bring them back to you when they are ready to buy. Thank you.
Stay safe, be happy, and be well,
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