I have always thought of putting up an article on sales, both direct and indirect selling techniques, recently a well respected friend and a Business Coach Akin Alabi did justice to the topic and I felt it’ll be good to share.
Below is the article from Akin Alabi www.akinalabi.com read on……
I received an email from a reader the other day asking me to suggest what he should do to increase the volume of sales he is making from his small business. According to him, his sales were too little to sustain his business and that means if he does not do something to salvage the situation…
His Business Would Go Under!
As I was about to type my reply to him, a text message came in from another reader asking the same type of question. That motivated me to write this article because I concluded that there are others out there in this type of situation, so it makes a lot of sense to share with them what I know about making more sales with ALL kinds of small businesses.
I’m going to be sharing with you, three sales techniques I learnt from the brightest minds in the world of direct marketing. I have used these techniques in my own businesses and I’ve seen outstanding results. I must confess that not all the techniques can be applied to ALL kinds of businesses but I guarantee that there will be at least one technique you can use in your business to trigger the sales you’ve always wanted.
Are you ready?
1. Going The FREE Line
Free is the most powerful word in marketing. Nothing comes close. If you can use the concept of free properly in your business, there is no way you won’t see instant results. I’ve tested this over and over again and it works all the time.
A few years ago, the attendance for our high priced seminars was dwindling. I came up with a free version and we had about two thousand people in attendance. We sold our books, CDs and paid training and made more money than what we would have made from the paid seminar.
Disclaimer: I talked about running my seminars for free. I hardly do it these days. The reason is because most people that attend free seminars are broke asses that will hardly buy high priced products. If you sell products priced in the range of N500 to N1,000 free seminars are great. But if you are like me and you are selling products priced at N25k, N47k, N97k etc, please don’t try to use free seminars to sell them. No one go by am.
If you can’t give out your products for free, why don’t you give a free sample? There is always a way to apply this technique no matter the business you are in. For instance, if you go to most “suya” spots, as soon as you get there, the seller cuts out a piece of meat for you to taste. Except the taste is bad, you will likely buy from him. That is the power of free samples.
I currently subscribe to an Internet service provider because you can walk into their office and browse the Internet for as long as you want to test their speed and reliability. This way, I knew what I was getting into. I was confident I was making the right buying decision. It is better than buying something and getting stuck with it. We all love free stuffs because it is risk free on our part.
2. Referral Program
The best form of marketing is word of mouth marketing. One form of word of mouth marketing is personally telling others about your product and service. That is powerful but it is not as powerful as other people telling other people about your products. When people begin to tell others about your products, credibility builds and your sales will go through the roof.
Now, except you have an exceptionally innovative and revolutionary product, do not expect your existing customers to tell others about it. Most people have a lot of things on their minds and your product is not one of them. To get them telling others about your product, you have to reward them. How you reward them is however up to you.
Let’s assume you run a restaurant. You can tell your existing customers that if they can bring in five new customers, their next two meals will be free. Now, some of you will be wondering if people will respond to these kind of offers.
The answer is a big YES. People love the fact that they can be rewarded for being loyal.
From my experience, financial rewards work best. You can hand pick up to ten customers and ask them to bring in ten new customers each for a financial reward. Make sure the reward is handsome and make a clause that they will not be able to activate the reward until they bring in ALL the customers.
Using the restaurant example, you can offer ten thousand naira for every ten customers referred. This might look like a lot of money to a struggling business but let me ask you: how many advertising medium will cost you less than N10,000 and bring in guaranteed ten new customers?
Remember you will only be paying AFTER they have delivered the new customers. This is better than any form of advert where you’re going to hope your adverts will bring in people through the door.
3. Satisfaction Guarantee
In marketing, there is something called cognitive dissonance. This is a situation whereby after buying a particular product or service, you begin to feel you have made a bad decision. You don’t want to tell others what you have done. You don’t want to tell them how much you spent on that product because you believe they will laugh at you.
A friend once told me that on his way back from work, he decided to surprise his wife by buying meat from the market. After paying for it, he was uncomfortable with the price. He paid N3,000 for it but when he got home, he told his wife he bought it at N2,000. His wife thanked him and said…
“Honey, next time, please don’t pay more than N1,500”
No one likes to feel he has overpaid for something. Your job as a business owner is to put the minds of your customers at rest by offering a satisfaction guarantee. You can do this in many ways. You can offer a money back guarantee if your customers are not happy with your product or service.
For example, all my products and seminars come with a money back guarantee. If you are not absolutely satisfied with them for any reason whatsoever, you can return them within three months for a “no questions asked” refund. Sometimes, I go as far as telling them to keep the products as a form of compensation for wasting their time.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that people are going to take you for a ride and just ask for their money back after “enjoying” your product. Yes, some people will take you for a ride. There is no question about that. The truth of the matter is that the money you will make because of your guarantee will more than make up for the losses you will incur because of the charlatans that will take undue advantage of your offer.
I agree that you can’t offer a money back guarantee for all kinds of products. For instance, you can’t offer a money back guarantee if you sell cars. You will go out of business within a week. If you are in this type of situation, you can offer a satisfaction guarantee or you will compensate them in other ways.
Let’s assume you run a bar. How can you apply a satisfaction guarantee? You can make a bold claim that says…
“All Drinks Are Very Cold… If They Are Not Cold, You Can Have It For Free!”
That’s a very bold and outrageous offer but if you want to cause a tsunami of sales for your business, you have to be bold, daring and do what others are not doing. If you are too ashamed to do things this way, you will only join the ranks of others making average sales from their businesses.
Let’s take a look at that claim again.
“All Drinks Are Very Cold… If They Are Not Cold, You Can Have It For Free!”
We live in a country with a hot climate and anyone visiting a bar wants a cold drink. Just ensure all your drinks are cold EVERY time and you won’t have cause to fret over your satisfaction guarantee. You will win more customers over and make more money. Your customers will love you and everyone will be happy.
So that’s it. Three sales techniques guaranteed to make you gobs and gobs of cash. The only way these techniques will not work for you is if you do not use them. But I’m confident you will use them.
AKA The Guru
PS: I wrote the article you just read over 3 years ago. You can see that e don tay that I have been dishing out quality, hard hitting, usable, straight to the point money making tips.
Am I not a genius?
PPS: So what happens to my readers that are broke since I no longer sell low priced products? Hmmnnnn. I think everyone can learn from my free articles on this blog. What I serve for free on this blog is way better than what many people are charging money for.
PPPS: Did anyone take offense when I labelled some people broke? Don’t expect any apology from me. Note that I said broke and not poor. Broke is temporary, poor is eternal. Broke is of the pocket and poor is of the mind. There is no shame in accepting being broke but there is shame in accepting being poor. So if you are broke, you are broke. No be insult.