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Holiday Marketing Tips to Maximize Sales

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The holiday season is here, and everyone is getting ready to fill their shopping carts with goodies. This is a great opportunity for business owners to increase their revenue. Entrepreneurs should start planning early to make the most of this excellent occasion. You need to have some definite strategies to attract more customers. Maximize profits this holiday season by following these expert tips.

Customer Expectations

Try to get a hint about customers’ expectations this season. Extensive research on the latest trends is vital to increase the sales. A consumer always wants a seamless experience from the retailer. You should balance the marketing and operations of the business to provide your customers with unmatched service. Creativity is the key to winning the customer’s heart. Promote your products while keeping in mind the trends of the season.

Limited edition offers

Try to market some limited-edition products this holiday season. Promote these products in a creative way to catch the interest of the customers. Get some attractive posters for your store and give some suggestions specific to the holiday season. You should keep some brochures ready for the shoppers and also promote your limited edition products on social media. If they know about the offers in advance, the chances are high that your products would be sold quickly.

Better promotion

Let your customers know about your holiday season offers and repeat them frequently. However, make sure that these promotions are interesting and not annoying. Repeating the same thing a number of times may reduce the interest levels of your potential customers. Send direct mailers or holiday cards to your loyal customers and make them feel special. Your special promotion plan can include a sneak peak of the new products launched, extended return policy, free shipping, and complimentary gift wrapping services. You can also include gift cards with every purchase. The customers can use the gift cards when they visit your store again.

Use social media

Social media is one of the smartest ways to promote your upcoming holiday deals. Let your customers know about the products and offers through multiple social media platforms. Develop special holiday themes for your Facebook or Instagram page or website. Share the news of ‘back in stock’ best sellers. The idea is to engage your target audience and catch their imagination.

Hire more staff

For brick and mortar shops, if the sales go up suddenly, you need more staff to handle your customers effectively. Customers always expect unmatched service from the retailers. So, hire some trainees for the holiday season. Before the holiday sale starts in your store, strategize how much pressure your existing staff can handle. If you have an online store, you should keep the shipping time consistent and ensure there are no delays. If you cannot deliver your products on time, your customers would definitely migrate to your competitor’s site.

Loyalty Program

Promote an exciting loyalty program as a part of your holiday sales promotion. Price-sensitive shoppers buy some products from your store only during the peak season, and they never come back again. Add some holiday shopper’s points to the loyalty cards. The customers will be tempted to return to spend those points and will drive sales.

Community Service

It is an excellent way to earn the respect of your customers. You can organize a charitable event or sponsor the prizes for a friendly competition. You can also raise money for a social cause or arrange a scholarship for a local talent. When you cannot make generous donations, these small gestures from your venture can create a positive vibe in the customers’ minds.

 

Growth Hacking

Why You’re Not Able to Get Leads For Your Business

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It’s important to keep your pipeline busy to keep leads flowing and sales soaring. As a result, looking for prospects or prospecting is an important activity that sales and marketing personnel should always be doing. In most cases, the marketing department is usually tasked with bringing in leads but this does not mean to say that sales can just drop the ball. Even though inbound marketing and marketing automation has done wonders in bringing in leads for the business, sales personnel still have to rely on the traditional way of bringing in business.

Here are some of the best prospecting tips to help inspire you today.

Prospect Everyday

If you want to be good at prospecting, you have to set aside time everyday to do it. if you’re one of those people who go to the gym regularly, think of prospecting as going to the gym. However, instead of building muscles, you’re building relationships and bringing in leads. Unless it rains prospects, your calendar won’t start filling itself. Set aside at least 1 hour a day to prospect. Pick up your phone and start making those phone calls. Prospecting is not the most fun activities but being consistent will yield good results.

Focus On Your Target Market

As they say, it’s a big ocean out there. It is composed of different people, industries and companies. So where should you start?

Before diving into the ocean, take time to find out who your ideal customer is. Do some research. Who are your 5 best customers? Who are your 5 worst customers? Who are the most profitable? Who are the least profitable? Create profiles for each group of customers. Just because these people are in your data base does not mean to say that they fit your ideal customer profile.

Once you know who your ideal customer is, it will be easier to start prospecting. Once you know who to focus on, it can help you land leads and secure sales more efficiently.

Use Every Method Possible

Prospecting is about building relationships. But that’s not what prospecting is for. Prospecting is about getting results from cultivating those relationships and there are many ways to do this. You can do cold calling, email marketing, networking, tradeshows, direct email, social networking, referral and many more.

Make a list of all the methods that you should and will use. For every method you use, plan which customers you will use the method on and the expected results. For example, you plan to attend 1 trade show per month and promise to get at least 2 prospects per event. Measure the results of each type of method and focus on the method that generates the best rate of return.

Be The Best At Cold Calling

Cold calling is still the best way to schedule appointments and open relationships. There are many ways to become a great cold caller but that’s for another blog. Find ways to do it and make sure that this is in your prospecting arsenal.

Nurture Relationships

Even if you’re the best in cold calling or use the best prospecting methods consistently, you’re still going to a No, and you’re going to hear it a lot. But relationships including those in business are built over time. A consistent and unrelenting pursuit of your clients should be a long term plan for success and not an overnight sales fix.

This means that your clients need to hear from you consistently, like the sun rising every morning. Some of the best business relationships will take a long time to win and consistently nurturing this relationship will open opportunities over time. Being consistent and nurturing means that you are not going to disappear like some of your peers. It means that you really want to work with them. It means that you are determined and you can execute. This is one of the characteristics businessmen look for in salespeople.

Build Your Social Media Presence

In case you were living in a rock these last few years, social media is where everybody is at. 91% of adults are on social media. 80% of internet users visit social networking sites and blogs. 57% of marketers acquire customers through social media. Companies that blog have 44% more customers. 61% of global internet users use the web to research products before purchasing.

This means that social media is where you need to be. Boost your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram presence. Hire bloggers to talk about your products or service and writers for press releases. Remember that social media should be another tool in your arsenal and should not replace any of your other prospecting activities.

These are just some of the best examples on how you can be better at prospecting. It doesn’t have to be difficult or uncomfortable especially if you cultivate relationships and have a routine to help you get on track every day. No matter what tool you use for prospecting, always remember that salespeople open relationships and good prospectors can bring in good leads.

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Business

Tips For Starting A Profitable Business

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How many entrepreneurs do you know start a company with the intention of failing? We hope that this number is zero, but failure can be the result of a business even if it is unintentional. Serial entrepreneurs know many different ways to fail. This is because success in not guaranteed no matter what business you get into. They also share their tips to avoid failure to help you start a profitable business.

Surround Yourself With The Right People

The phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” also applies to a profitable business. Without talented individuals working for you, it will be very hard to survive. Surround yourself with amazing friends and successful business owners so that you can have access to different skills and knowledge that can help you grow a profitable business and make it thrive.

Build a Strong Foundation

Before starting your business, ask yourself why you’re starting it in the first place. How is your product or service going to help your target audience’s lives better? How does this idea align with your core values? Do you have a solid profitable business plan to make this dream a reality? The answers to these questions will help your business have a strong foundation.

Perfect Your Pitch

You should be able to describe your company in 3-5 words.  Think of AirBnB: a place to stay. Describing your business concisely will make it easy to understand. If it is easy to understand, it is also easier to sell. When working on your pitch, stay away from mistakes like using industry jargon that is hard to understand for the layman, asking the wrong questions to those who listened to you, not making the pith relevant to the listener or only talking about yourself.

Know Your Competitors

Keep your enemies close and your competitors closer. They are not the enemy but not knowing what they’re doing could be harmful to your company. Don’t hesitate to use tools to analyze your competition. Tools like SEMrush, SimilarWeb or even Google Alert can help tell you what your competitor is up to and increase your chances of survival.

Build a “Must Have Product”

Sites like Hacker News have a ton of really cool startups ideas. However, if you really want to increase your chances of survival and success, build a must-have-product instead of a nice-to-have product. The difference between the two is easy to spot. The former is a product that is hard to live without while the latter is more disposable.

Build A Company That You Can Scale Independently of Your Staff

It’s better to grow a company that can be scaled using technology and automation. Take Groupon for example that did the opposite. They have a massive staff because they need it to keep new deals flowing everyday and to service their customers. Their company is not scalable because their growth is dependent on the number of staff their hire. This is why their balance sheet is awful.

Find Ways To Keep Costs Low

You can think of cash as your company’s lifeblood and high cost is equivalent to a hemorrhage. Remember that all the cash in the world is not worth anything unless it’s a positive cash flow. Find ways to keep your costs low like going directly to the supplier or negotiating for better prices. Find better ways to finance transactions and ways to work out deals.

Focus on Sales and Marketing

Nothing happens in business unless a sale is made. From the start, find ways to get leads and ways to convert those leads into sales and make sure you are getting repeat sales from your customers. To do this you need an effective sales and marketing funnel that you can work, test and measure.

Always Find Ways To Increase Profits

Don’t rest on your laurels yet. Don’t just be happy with getting customers and making them buy from you. Always find ways to get them to buy more.

Embrace Creativity

Brands like Apple and Ikea stand the test of time because they have followers who are loyal to them. They also differentiated their companies from their competitors by embracing innovation and creativity. Reach out to your employees and don’t be afraid to use their ideas. Launching new products and developing a clever marketing campaign is a good way of retaining that competitive edge your company needs.

Test and Measure

Are your marketing campaigns increasing sales? Is your social media presence helping drive traffic to your website? Testing and measuring everything gives you perspective especially if you want to find ways to increase traffic and keep costs down. Use tools like Google Analytics and Unbounce to help you test and measure marketing campaigns.

Empower Your Staff

No matter how big or small you are, empowering your staff by letting their voices be heard can help boost your profitability. When they feel that they are contributing or when you give them freedom to work, you are making them feel wanted which can greatly affect their productivity and self confidence.

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Secrets to Getting Consistent Sales For Your Startup

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No matter what industry you’re in, sales is your oxygen.  Without consistent sales, most startups simply can’t function. Unfortunately most startup companies don’t invest enough in their sales process until it’s too late. Here are the strategies successful startups have adopted to consistently meet their sales goals.

Building a Stronger Network

Consistent sales doesn’t happen automatically.  For larger accounts, it’s often best to start with referrals and be introduced organically to your prospect instead of cold calling.  And having a well connected network of friends and peers willing to help support you is the key to getting more organic referrals.  Meeting someone and getting their business card is easy. Maintaining your relationship and keeping yourself relevant is the real challenge. If you’re not already using LinkedIn, now’s a good time to start.

Focusing on Weekly Results

Without setting weekly goals, your team may believe staying busy and filling their calendar translates to sales success. Unfortunately activity doesn’t convert into sales unless it’s focused. Get into the habit of setting achievable weekly goals for your team. Weekly goals provide your team a compass to follow and keeps their attention laser focused on just a few important items. Try to make your goals specific, realistic, and achievable. Ambitious vague goals are often demoralizing instead of empowering.

Do The Unnatural/Uncomfortable

It’s our natural tendency to avoiding people and things that make us uncomfortable. Success is usually found outside our comfort zone, not within it’s confined walls. Having the courage to withstand natural discomfort will allow your team to reach more daring goals and achieve results outside their normal capabilities. Get your team into the habit of doing ONE thing each day that they’re normally uncomfortable with.  Just make sure they’re staying well within the confines of your state and federal laws.

Under-promise Over Deliver

No one likes to be lied to.  And no one likes to be promised something and have it delivered sub-par.  It’s often easy to over promise a customer just to get the sales in and be overly enthusiastic about it.  Be honest with your customer and lay out all the unknowns and what they’re REALLY going to get.  They will trust you more and can feel your sincerity.  Now after that’s done, make sure your team over deliver.  Your client will be 10x happier and be more likely to refer you.

Ask Directly

Ask your client “Are you ready to begin today?  I can have the paperwork ready in 30 mins”.  Don’t be shy or give your client too much time to think over everything.  It may be uncomfortable at first, but asking directly can help you seal the majority of deals that otherwise would’ve been lost. Even the most secure and sure deals can often fall in between the cracks if we missed the opportunity to strike while the iron is hot.

Any startup can learn and adopt many of the strategies above. Despite their simplicity and low financial investment, the strategies above have only yielded success when they’re consistently followed and built into the work culture. As with any sales or marketing strategies, consistency is key to achieving desirable results.

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