Even if you have the best products or services on the planet, you need to sell them, or you won’t be making any money. Without a well-designed sales strategy, a business will fail.
Thankfully, you don’t need a big budget to market and sell your products effectively.
Here are a five ways to create a sustainable and scalable sales strategy for your small business without breaking the bank.
1. Cultivate Customer Relationships and Loyalty
Did you know that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining one?
Putting some of your time and resources into customer retention is a sure-fire way to generate more sales.
Nurturing customer relationships is the key to retaining more customers and getting them to spend more at your business.
Cultivating loyalty often requires some one-to-one interactions, such as listening to your customers’ needs and satisfying them by going above and beyond.
In addition, you can use online survey tools to gather customer feedback or use emails to send out highly-valuable content to position yourself as a trusted ally. The key is to establish a two-way dialog to show that you truly care about your customers.
2. Leverage the Power of the Internet
Being a small business doesn’t mean you have to stay local! You can use online marketing to reach more potential customers while leveraging your time and resources to generate more sales.
Communicating with customers online doesn’t mean you can’t add a personal touch to the interactions, which is essential to building customer relationships and converting sales.
Your website should be user-friendly, and the content should speak to your ideal customers. You can use personalization marketing technologies to deliver targeted content and offers.
Allow customers to get in touch in multiple ways (e.g., phone, email, live chat) and provide outstanding pre- and post-sales customer service.
Technologies such as chatbots and messaging apps are making it possible to have one-to-one interactions with customers in an efficient and scalable way so you can leverage the power of conversational selling to make more sales.
3. Offer a Free Trial or Samples
“Try before you buy” is still a great way to get prospects to experience your products or services before they make a purchasing decision.
Not only will you be able to attract more potential customers but you can also reduce the number of refund requests or customer complaints.
When you offer a free trial or sample, you can collect prospects’ contact information to build your mailing list and continue communicating with them to nurture relationships.
To get the most out of this strategy, design a follow-up email sequence so you can educate potential customers about your products, provide more value, nurture relationships, and eventually close the sales.
4. Upsell, Cross-Sell, and Bundling
Since your customers are already buying something on your website or in your store, it doesn’t take much more effort to recommend products that they may also like based on the items they’re purchasing.
Upselling, cross-selling, and bundling are powerful ways to increase average order value (cart value), increase profit margin, and improve customer satisfaction.
Once a customer is in a “buying” state of mind, it’s much easier to get them to purchase more with less friction. Also, they’ll often appreciate the thoughtfulness when you recommend a product that’s relevant to their needs.
These techniques also give you the opportunity to introduce new products to customers. If they like the additional items, they’re more likely to come back and buy more. This can be a great way to increase the average customer lifetime value.
5. Incentivize With Loyalty and Referral Programs
Encourage your customers to buy more or refer their friends to your business with incentives.
A loyalty program can help you strengthen brand affinity, improve customer engagements, and increase repeat purchases from existing customers.
If you have a click-and-mortar business, make sure customers can track their loyalty points seamlessly across all channels to avoid frustration and abandonment.
You should also reward loyal customers for telling their friends about your business with a referral program. To run a successful referral program, make it easy for your customers to spread the word for you.
For example, give them ideas on how to share their experience with your business on social media.
Be transparent about the terms and details of your referral program so you can deliver a mutually beneficial and satisfying experience to your best customers.
Conclusion: Finding Your Sweet Spot
There’s no one-size-fits-all sales strategy for small businesses. A sustainable and scalable sales strategy depends on many factors, such as your business model, industry, target market, and location.
The best sales strategy is to put your customers first so you can provide the products and services that best meet their needs.