Want a simple, cheap and easy way to increase profit? Increase how often people buy from you!

It is very common for business owners to be so caught up in trying to find the best ways to gain more customers, that no one is thinking hard enough about how to increase their current customers’ average number of transactions. Yes, gaining new customers will most definitely increase profit, but think about this… your existing customers clearly already like what you do, which makes it about six times easier (and cheaper) to get a past customer to buy again than to acquire a new one.

Now, I want you to ask yourself this question…

How many times a year do your clients buy from you? How can you increase this frequency? And what will you increase this average to? It’s time to start devising the ways you can encourage past clients to buy from your more often. Get brainstorming!

Need a few ideas? Consider these…

Hairdressers often end their appointments with asking their client when they would like their next appointment to be. Not only does this lock in their next sale, but it also gives the hairdresser a great opportunity to build a relationship with their client and to get to know them more.  When you’re with a customer, be sure to position their next purchase as well.

Boost Juice is a company which any business owner could learn from. They have a very simple and easy-to-use membership program which gives their customers a free boost for every 10th visit. As well as that, they make sure to say thank you to their client by using the name that comes up on their membership card. This is a great incentive to encourage clients to come back and buy, as well as making them feel good by knowing their name.

Imagine how much your cash flow would improve if all your customers bought once more from you each year or quarter. You would be steps closer to your financial goals!

So here’s a note to leave you with… Have a good think about creating products and services that encourage clients to buy off you more often. Then be sure to proactively trigger more purchases.  It is a great way to build your business more quickly.

Need help brainstorming some ideas? Click here or call me today on (02) 9146 4439 to book an appointment with one of our coaches.

Till next time…

“Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back…”

conversion rate

Improve your conversion rate with these 5 simple tips!

Are you frustrated with how many of your leads never turn into customers? That is a quite common stress for small business owners. You’re doing all the marketing activities you planned, and are sticking to your target market, but why isn’t your customer base growing?! Unfortunately, the businesses who experience this challenge more than often ‘wing’ their sales process and hope for the best. I am here to tell you… that isn’t good enough! If you want to see a great conversion rate, you must build, follow and track a documented sales process.

“Conversion” is the percentage of leads which actually end up becoming clients. So I want you to think about this… of everyone who calls you, or walks into your shop, how many end up buying something? By tracking your conversion, you are already one step forward to increasing it! Once you understand your current conversion rate, it is time to start improving it.

There are around 80 different strategies that can be used to improve your conversion rate. Out of those, here are my favourites:

  1. Sales Process: When you get a lead, do you follow a clear, step-by-step process through which you lead your prospects? A sales process allows you to interact with your leads in a way that builds trust, that identifies their needs and that communicates the right messages at the right time. As well as this, by implementing a sales process you are able to track the stage that your leads are at, and measure the success of your process, allowing you to recognise the biggest areas of improvement. Many may think that constructing a sales process is a timely task, however it is not only among the cheapest ways to improve your conversion but you will also save time as through converting prospects in the most efficient way possible.
  2. Sales Scripts: A sales discussion consists of a number of important sections including the opening, the questioning, and the close. Many business owners believe that they are skilled enough not to follow a script. However, many of those business owners have not tested nor measured the response from script use. If a script is not used, how can you ensure that you employ rapport-building and persuasion techniques? Following a sales script not only allows you to feel in more control, but ensures that you are getting the most out of your sales discussion. Furthermore, this is the only way you will ever get multiple sales people all converting prospects at a rate that will truly grow your business. And once again, it requires little-no cost, saves time and increases your conversion success.
  3. USP: Your Unique Selling Proposition should be clear, tangible and differentiated. You want to give your prospects complete clarity about how their lives will improve as a result of working with you. If your USP does not communicate this, it is time to make some adjustments. After all, prospects become more emotionally interested when they are told about how it will help THEM.
  4. Guarantee: Now that you have a clear, tangible and differentiated USP, is it backed up by an effective guarantee? A common factor contributing to losing a potential customer is the prospects fear of making a wrong decision. How do you overcome this, you ask? Give them a guarantee that makes them feel safe and confident in buying from you! With an effective guarantee, they won’t have a reason to say no!
  5. Testimonials: As technology expands, prospects look for reasons to buy through researching the internet. So take advantage of it! Are your prospects receiving sufficient evidence of the quality of your products or services, of how many people are using them and just how much they have benefited from them? Make it a process and ask your current clients to make a testimonial following their purchase. You will be surprised as to how much it impacts a prospects buying decision.

Whilst these are my personal favourite conversion strategies, there are countless more that may fit into your business better.

Any lead who has failed to turn into a customer has used up some of your time, effort and money… so why not increase your conversion rate with simple, easy, and cost-effective strategies! Can you afford to have a low conversion rate?

Click here to register for a FREE 1 on 1 meeting with our very own coach, or call me today on 9146 4439 to discuss the best strategies for your business!

Here’s a thought to keep in mind…

“Every touch point in your sales process is an opportunity to delight…”

marketing plan

Get your marketing plan into shape with these 5 easy strategies!

Have you ever felt like your marketing activities just aren’t generating enough profits for your business, so you just give up on them? Or do you pause your marketing plan in order to save more money? Well consider this…

…If you put an end to your marketing plan, will you really save money? Yes, you will… in the way that stopping your wristwatch saves time. In other words, don’t kid yourself.

A marketing plan needs to be clear, simple, and most of all, consistent. Then you have to actually stick to it and, rather than halting its use, update it and make it better. If you let it go after 3 months of not seeing any results, you are guaranteeing that you’ll never see results.

Most business owners think that you must be a marketing guru to generate and implement a strong and profitable marketing plan. Well this should be music to your ears… there are only 5 key areas of marketing and sales that you need to focus on to build your business!

Over the next few months, I will cover each key area in detail. Here is a summary to start your journey to becoming your own marketing guru:

Number of leads – This area is all about how many potential clients you attract. Unfortunately, being unable to generate leads is one of the main reasons that so many small businesses fail in the first few years. The lead generating strategies we will teach you are both simple and mind-blowingly effective.

Conversion rate – Now that you are generating enough leads, how many of them do you convert into clients? Many business owners ‘wing’ the sales process and hope for the best. If that’s you, how is that going for your business? Having a detailed sales strategy will not only improve your conversion rate, but make it much more reliable.

Number of transactions – How many times a year do your clients buy from you? Increase this frequency by devising the ways you can encourage past clients to buy from your more often. Think about this… your existing customers already like what you do, which makes it about six times easier and cheaper to get a past customer to buy again than to acquire a new one! Get brainstorming!

Average dollar sale – How much do clients spend with you each time they buy? Imagine what would happen if you increased the value of each sale by 10%. That’s not a big jump, but it makes a big difference. By executing only one well-implemented price increase strategy, you could make a big difference to the bottom line.

Margins – What is the gross or net margin your business achieves? Improving your margin is one of the quickest way to improve your cash flow. Our clients are often left shocked when they learn that this, the easiest part of a marketing and sales plan, is the fastest and least costly to implement and will have the most immediate impact.

If you are thinking ‘this is too much to work on right now’, remember that all you need is a slight 15% improvement in each area, and that will be sufficient to double your profit! These 5 areas provide you with more than 350 different strategies to explore. All that’s left for you to do is to select the ones that are right for you, implement them effectively, and watch your business soar.

If you feel like you are investing in expensive marketing; that being, marketing which you do not receive a profit from, and just aren’t seeing the return, join one of our coaches for a coffee to discuss the ways in which we can help you.

Can you afford any more expensive marketing? Register here or call us today on (02) 9146 4439.

In my next blog, I will dive deeper into Lead generation and share with you my favourite strategies which will help you increase the number of quality leads attracted by your business. Till then, here’s a thought to take with you…

“…Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans”

lead generation

It’s never too late to increase your lead generation!

Okay, so we’re three months into the year and how are things looking for your business? Are you doing as well as you’d hoped or could it be better? As we all know, action speaks louder than words and it’s never too late to plan for a successful 2017, especially when you look at implementing lead generation strategies that work for your business.

The first thing you need to do is think about your lead-generating strategies in 2016.  Did they measure up to your business plan and expectations? If you were less than delighted with the results, what’s your game plan to improve on that? It’s an important question that’s linked to the success of your business.

Bottom line: what are the methods you use to generate leads and are they working for you? For example, if you’re not looking at your existing customers as the first port of call to generate leads, this is something you seriously need to re-evaluate. Use your current customers as “crusaders” for your business, and you’ll very much be on the right track. If they like your business, it’s human nature that they will want to pass on their recommendations and experiences by word-of-mouth to their family, friends, acquaintances and so on. Be sure to prompt them with appropriate questions or promotions so that is activity is maximised.

So what’s the best way to implement lead generation strategies that work for your business? Customer service counts for a lot. Do your staff know what to say to your customers and how to say it? Do they know how to talk about your business? This can be an extremely valuable method of lead generation.

Its also vitally important for businesses to understand that you don’t just get customers, you buy them. When you have that mindset, you can begin to understand just what you need to spend on your marketing. What can you afford to spend (in marketing activities) to buy a customer? Now go and spend that amount as often as possible in ways that generate them!

Similarly, it’s critical to have an online presence for lead generation. Having this, and especially a presence on social media networks like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, is a great way to market to potential customers without the concerns of outrageous costs while creating the buzz every business needs to thrive.

One of the greatest resources for generating leads for your business is other businesses. Working in harmony with other organisations that sell to the same group you target as customers, but sell a different product, can be incredibly beneficial to all parties, including the customer.

As you can see, actions really do speak louder than words and there are countless ways to implement lead generation strategies that work for your business; in fact, there are more than 80!

To set up the right lead generation and sales and marketing strategies for your business, speak with one of our coaches here or call us on 02 9146 4439.

Business value

Are you sitting on a goldmine? What is your business value?

So you’ve decided to sell your business. You may have all sorts of ideas about how easy it’s going to be, after all it’s your “baby”, right? Well, one of the first things you need to work out is are you sitting on a goldmine? What is your business value?

The reality is that selling your business is a complex process. If you’re looking to sell your business right away, you probably won’t get the highest value you deserve.

It typically takes a good year of preparation to sell before you should actually put your company on the market; selling requires planning, patience and panache. And as for sitting on a goldmine, you will achieve the highest value if all the right prep work has been put in place.

Working out your business value depends firstly on determining what kind of sale you ought to proceed with. It is a financial, emotional or synergy sale?

A financial sale is common, yet it generally offers the least amount of value to the seller. This type of sale is often undertaken with little or no planning. No plan means no high return.

An emotional sale involves a nostalgic connection such as someone who loves the brand, the product you sell and so wants to buy it.  It can be good for you, but you won’t be able to plan too much for that type of buyer, so it is very unpredictable.

A synergy sale typically produces higher valuations than a purely financial sale. The reason this type of sale gets a higher value is that it involves selling to another business who can make more out of your business than you can and, as a result, values your business at a higher value.  Best of all, it can be planned for by the vendor.

Now that we’ve established the different types of sales, you need to put several steps in place. They include:

  1. Mastery – moving from chaos to control with an in-depth examination of your goals for the business and understanding where your money’s going. Strong delivery systems and time management are crucial here too.
  2. Niche – ensuring a growing and predictable cash flow by asking some big questions such as Is your data in good shape? Do you have a solid marketing plan? Do you have a system that converts leads into customers? And so forth.
  3. Leverage – creating systems for efficiency, thereby knowing what you have to work with, and what you need to focus on to create the right sales package for prospective buyers. Systemising your business to the point that it doesn’t depend on you is also a necessary pre-requisite to getting a good price when you sell it!

The above are basic steps to start planning the sale of your business.

We have worked with many business owners who are planning to sell their business. If you would like some coaching assistance through this process, speak with one of our business coaches today. You can also check out this eBook called Selling your Business.

Unique-Selling-Point

USP – not just another acronym – how to make your business stand up and be noticed

As you start the New Year have you thought about what your Unique Selling Point (USP) is? Remember USP isn’t just another acronym, it’s how to make your business stand up and be noticed.

You need to find a way to be unique and for others, particularly customers, to recognise that at once. Your product or service won’t be truly unique but your customer offering must have a unique approach that instantly makes your business stand up and be noticed. This will give you an edge over your competition.

Take for example a pizza company. Many years ago in the US, a family-run pizza joint in Michigan was looking to find a way to make it stand out from the crowd in the 1960s as one of the family members took over the business. This new owner, Tom Monaghan, was living rough in the store. So he desperately wanted to boost revenue and if things went well, create a franchise. So he came up with a USP – pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free. Bingo! He had found a unique way to make the business – which most of us would now recognise as Domino’s Pizza – stand up and be noticed.

Other companies who have done similar USPs include FedEx (“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”) or Woolworths (“The Fresh Food People”). The message from each is that if you really want your business to be successful, you have to have a clear USP.  The alternative is to compete primarily on price and that really only leads to one outcome…..and it’s not a pretty one!

Here are a number of questions you might consider to develop a strong USP. They are:

  • What are the most important customer problems, challenges and needs that you solve?
  • What would you say are your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is the reason repeat clients and customers like your business?
  • Name the distinguishing feature that puts you ahead of your competition?

If you can answers these with clarity, you are on your way to developing your own USP.

A USP can be a few words or it can be whole paragraph.Defining then encapsulating what makes you different, unique, and desirable is more important than the word count.

Remember, a successful USP answers this question: why should a potential client or customer buy from you? When answering this question, promise something special your competitors cannot deliver. You will need to crystallise and communicate your Unique Selling Proposition and it might be grouped under: price, service, speed, selection, quality or guarantee to name a few.

If you examine all these points, you will be well on your way to understanding that a USP isn’t just an acronym – it’sthe way to make your business stand up and be noticed.  If yours is clear, compelling, specific and speaks to how it makes your customers lives or business better, you’ll also be well on your way to winning!

Including all of the right elements into your business plan this year, can make this your best year yet. Check out these free business planning resources for more help.

how-to-improve-sales

Discover the hidden strategies on how to improve sales

Sometimes it can be hard to appreciate or even remember that asking and looking for what you want in the business world is perfectly okay and in fact it will help you discover the hidden strategies on how to improve sales.

Presumably, you know the nuts and bolts of getting sales off the ground but lately you’re aware that they could be better. So what to do?  There are at least 80 ways of generating leads. However, as a starting point, make sure that you are actively implementing four fundamental marketing activities:  proactive referral campaigns, building a strong online presence, understanding your customer acquisition costs and developing strategic alliances. If you do those four well, any business can generate enough leads to keep their enterprise in great shape.

Let’s start with referrals.  What’s one thing many of us do online when we are researching products and services? Read the reviews and testimonials. Referrals are the key to any successful business and if you can turn your top customers into raving fans of your business, then you have gone a long way to ensure the long-term viability of your business.

Buyer behaviour has changed tremendously in recent times.  Research now shows that around 60 per cent of the buying decision is made before someone even picks up the phone to speak with a sales person. There is so much information available online, deciding which business to work with is easier than it’s ever been.  It goes without saying that companies with a strong online presence consistently find new customers at a higher rate than their competitors that don’t.

How do you view your marketing? Is it an expense or an investment?  Gaining customers is an investment and it is vitally important for businesses to understand this. You don’t just get customers, you buy them! When you have that mindset, you begin to understand what you need to spend your marketing budget on. Know what acquisition cost is allowable and then test and measure you activities to know which ones are a good investment.

One of the greatest avenues for generating leads for your business is other businesses.  Working in strategic alliances with other businesses that sell to the same group as your target customer, but sell a different product, can be very beneficial to all concerned.

So it’s important that you begin by looking through your current database to see how you can generate more leads from your existing customers. Remember, these various hidden strategies to improve sales are there for the taking.

We have helped hundreds of businesses implement sales strategies that have provided a massive impact on results. If you would like to implement the right strategies that drive the right results in your business, check out this eBook for sales and marketing here. Or book a session in with one of our Business Coaches here.