by Joe Gracia www.givetogetmarketing.com
Remember those old water pumps they used to use on the farm? You would pump the handle up and down until water finally came pouring from the spout. You took action and you got a result.
But what do you think happened as soon as the pumping stopped? You got it! -- the water stopped flowing.
Well, it's the same with your marketing. While you're proactively marketing, you get results. But if you stop marketing -- your results stop flowing.
You've got to be proactive to keep new prospects coming and your sales growing. But not all action is effective action. It's important that you know 'what' to do before you start doing it. Otherwise you may find yourself pumping a dry well -- a lot of action, but no results.
Here are five proactive steps you can take to increase your sales.
1. Set Weekly and Monthly Sales Goals
Before you can get somewhere you need to determine what your destination is. I know you've probably heard this before, but it's very true.
If you don't have any idea how much you want to make each month from your business, it will be very difficult to make it.
Whatever you want to make each month, it's important that you set that amount as your monthly goal. Once you know how much you want to make each month, then you can figure out how much you need to make each week. For $1,000 a month, you'll need $250 each week. That will be your weekly goal.
You need both monthly and weekly goals.
The reason goal setting works is because without a goal you will have a tendency to keep putting off your prospecting and sales activities until it is too late in the month to do anything about them. You're planning to fail.
It's like our tendency to wait until the night before a deadline, and then rushing at the last minute to get it done. Remember those book reports in high school?
While it was actually possible to get a book report done at the last minute, it's impossible to achieve your monthly sales goals in one night. You need to do a little bit each week.
By breaking your goals down by the week, you have made them much easier to attain because they're smaller.
Set your goals, and then compare your actual weekly and monthly results with them. Don't worry if you don't make your goals right away. As long as you are proactive, each week and month you will get closer and closer until you eventually meet them and then exceed them. It works!
2. Set Weekly and Monthly Prospect Goals
In order to achieve your monthly sales goals, you're going to also have to meet monthly prospect goals. The more prospects you attract to your business, the more customers you will have.
There's no getting around it, you can never stop attracting prospects to your business. If you do, your sales will eventually begin to dwindle.
The reason you need so many prospects, is because not all prospects will become paying customers. Only a percentage of prospects will convert. For some businesses it can be a high percentage, but for most businesses, you can expect 1% - 10% of your prospects to convert into paying customers.
If you convert 10% of your prospects into paying customers, then you need 10 prospects to generate one new customer. You'll need 100 new prospects to create 10 new customers.
You'll have to determine how many new customers you want to generate each month, and then determine how many prospects you'll need to attract to generate that number of customers. That will be your monthly prospect goal.
3. Create an Effective Prospect Generator
In order to attract prospects to your business, you'll need to give them an offer they can't refuse. You'll have to create an enticing prospect generator, also called a lead generator.
For our marketing business, we offer a free marketing Idea-Kit filled with free marketing tips. For our organizing business, we offer a free organizing Idea-Pak filled with ideas and tips to help you get organized.
With these prospect generators we consistently attract thousands of new prospects to our business each and every month.
Each of those prospects receives our free newsletters and offers twice a month. Each time we send out one of our newsletters and offers, we receive thousands of dollars in sales.
It's important for you to have a lead generating process, and a follow-up process to convert those leads into paying customers.
It doesn't matter what kind of business you're in, you need to attract new prospects with an enticing lead generator and then you need to follow-up with those prospects to convert a percentage of them into paying customers.
This is the obstacle to business success most small business owners face. They simply don't have a simple, reliable prospecting system in place to attract new customers.
4. Generate More New Customers
Once you have established a consistent method of attracting new prospects to your business, you need to follow-up with those prospects over and over again to convert them into customers.
Your prospects will buy from you only when they are ready to buy -- not when you want them to buy.
Some of them may be ready to buy now or within a week. But many more will not be ready to buy for a month, or six months or perhaps a year.
If you are not uppermost in your prospects' minds when they are ready to buy, they will most likely buy from one of your competitors rather than from you.
How do you follow up?
There are many ways to follow-up with your prospects. But you want to make sure that you follow-up as a welcome guest, as opposed to an unwelcome pest.
If you follow-up with an annoying approach like, 'Are you ready to buy yet? Are you ready to buy yet?' you will convert very, very few of your prospects into customers. When they see you coming, they'll run for the hills!
One way you can follow-up with your prospects is like we do with a newsletter offering valuable tips to your prospects. Of course, along with your tips, you will include information about your product or service, along with a special offer.
Always provide your prospects with useful information that is related to your product or service, and you will be welcome and not avoided.
You can follow-up periodically in-person, by phone, by fax, by postcard, by letter, by e-mail, etc.
With enough prospects on your prospect follow-up list and a solid offer, you will convert a certain percentage of your prospects into customers each month.
5. Generate More Sales From Your Current Customers
Your golden list is your list of customers. These are the people who know you, like you and trust you. They are the easiest people to sell to again and again.
Make sure that you have back-end products or services that you can sell to your customers in the future. Find more ways that you can help them achieve their goals with better products and services.
Provide your customers with special offers that they can't resist. Preferred Customer offers, Frequent Buyer Discounts, Volume Discounts, etc.
If you want your customers to buy from you again and again, treat them right. People want to feel special and important, and they like to do business with people who make them feel that way. Treat your customers like gold, and they will reward you with their business in return.