We often are asked the simple question: Can you help me increase my sales?"
Below is a list of five simple small business marketing tips to help increase sales. Following these five simple things will help build more customers, more traffic to your website, and more opportunities for you to increase your sales.
1. CREATE A GREAT BROCHURE
Creating a great collateral piece or brochure that outlines your product or services to your potential customers is step one. This doesn’t have to be elaborate but it should cover the basics. It needs to be printer friendly so it can be printed and put into a folder and/or you should have a digital copy of the file in PDF format but it should be printed out professionally so you can leave it with the potential customer with or without a computer. Think of the type of customers you’re looking to attract, the kinds of questions they ask and the answers they are most often looking for. Frame your brochure with those things in mind so you can proactively being to make a positive, meaningful impression from the first interaction. Your ‘Leave Behind’ should not need any further explanation. When your potential customer looks at it they should know exactly what you can provide for them. Here are some tips that should be included:
· A list of your services
Simple, clear language that can easily be digested by someone not familiar with your industry. It’s best to think in terms of how customers receive benefit from what you do. Marketing 101 – Features and Benefits of and/or products and services.
· Testimonials of on how you’ve provided value to previous customers
It’s a good to get a cross section of testimonials that represent the various types of customers you serve and solutions you provide. A testimonial doesn’t have to be more than a paragraphs outlining what the problem was, what solution you provided, and the results of the solutions your business provided.
· Answers to questions most commonly asked
Try to answer the questions before they get asked. The best questions are often the ones not asked. You are the expert in your field. Your customers need you advice and direction because you’ve been there and done this far more than they have. Deliver answers to meaningful answers they haven’t yet thought to ask and you can eliminate objections before they come up and start building a relationship. These questions and answers are great to add to your website as well.
Customers like to know who they are dealing with and the more personal, human, and real you can make the information, the more likely you are to build a connection.
2. LOCAL SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
Increasing the visibility of your small business in Google is a crucial component to getting better ranking and more traffic. To increase your ranking for searches in your community for the products and services you offer, be sure to:
· Claim your Google local business listing
· Content is King. Write meaningful and relevant content on your website. Write your content in a way that someone would like to read it not for a computer to ‘crawl’ it.
If you look at your website in terms of solving the problems or needs your customers have, you’re on your way to having a more valuable web presence. Don’t be afraid to provide content that shows your potential customers how you do what you do. This will position you as an expert and demonstrate the level of service you provide to you customers.
Other things to consider are:
· Is your company phone number and address easily visible and usable from the home page – and every page?
· Is there a clear and obvious way for potential customers to request more information? Make sure you have an online form for inquiries and monitor those incoming inquiries and respond quickly to them. This is a great way to help build your email lists too.
· Can a customer tell in a matter of seconds what you do and who you do it for?
· Are the elements listed above (testimonials, email sign up, product and service info) visible and accessible in your website?
· Have you tried to use your website on your phone, tablet and different computers? A responsive website (one that conforms to all devices) is not just a nice to have anymore it’s a need to have.
· Are you using analytics and webmaster tools to review traffic trends, page usage, and see where your site needs improvement? Tracking your customer’s browsing habits is not a guessing game. All that information is readily available today.
3. BUILD AN EMAIL LIST
Email Marketing in the form of consistent emails is a low cost, highly effective way to stay connected with your customers and provide value on a regular basis. One of the easiest ways to start a plan is to have a list of email specials that you send out once a month. Beyond that, creating multiple lists based on interest categories is an excellent way to be specific with the type of information you send to your customers.
Integrating a form into your website to gather emails is an easy and effective way to grow your email list.
There are many programs available that will allow you to keep in contact, build top of mind awareness, and build traffic to your website.
4. ASK FOR CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Seeing comments from customers who have actually engaged in your services is extremely powerful. Having testimonials on hand accomplishes two key things:
· It provides objective proof that you do what you say
· It lowers the anxiety of the unknown
· Reviews can make or break you today. It is much easier to keep an existing customer happy than find new customers. If they are happy and write positive reviews then that will help you grow your business. Critical reviews are opportunities to improve your business so don’t disregard less than favorable reviews.
Anytime you can lower the anxiety and provide proof you’ll be able to strengthen the sales opportunity. And while testimonials you share are powerful, so too are online reviews.
Getting an online review program is a great way to build credibility and sales power for your social media accounts. Getting accounts set up for Google+, Yelp, Bing Local, and Yahoo Online will enable you to request reviews from a variety of areas. The Grim Digital Media Dashboard consolidates all the reviews into one place. This is a great tool track and monitor what your customers are saying about you.
When it comes to getting your reviews posted, don’t be afraid to make a courteous and sincere ask of your customers to post their experiences on the various sites. Experience shows us that businesses that take the time to make a thoughtful ask will see reviews grow.
5. CREATE A LOCAL MEDIA / INDUSTRY MEDIA LIST
If you don’t have to be a public relations pro to communicate and provide information to the local media. Local media outlets are always interested in knowing what types of things businesses are doing.
To build your list, consider the various types of media in your local area (tv, radio, online, print, social media) and find out who the contacts would be for your business or ask us how the Grim Digital Media Press Team works.
For a small business looking to find more customers and get more sales, using these five elements together will be the foundation for a strong and effective marketing effort.
If you have any comments or other ideas about how to increase sales for small business please send me an email. It would be great to hear from you. You can email me at GeneSmith@GrimDigitalMedia.com