Tips to Grow Sales in Ireland
Whether you sell products or services, you want to grow sales. We’re going to look at developing sales with business clients & private clients, and how to encourage new customers, while nurturing your existing client base.
Be Clear About Who You Are:
Are you selling a product or a service? A lot of businesses may have a mix of the two, but most of your profits will usually come from one or the other. Increasing sales of products will need a different approach to selling a service.
Open For Business:
Before you develop your new sales strategy, make sure you’re letting everyone know that you’re open and ready to do business. A clear message on your website and social media will let future and current clients know you’re there. If some of your services are currently unavailable due to COVID-19, be clear about that too. Manage their expectations.
Core Customer Groups:
You’ll need to work on Developing New Customers, but don’t forget to cultivate your Existing Customers. Creating a new customer can cost up to 5 times more than the cost of retaining an existing customer.
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Your Existing Customers:
Who are your existing customers?
- Reach out to them
- Remind them that you’re there
- Tell them what’s happening with your company
Why do this?
It reminds them that they’ve purchased from you before. An existing customer doesn’t need to check for reviews, they already know how well you or your products perform.
You already know how different your customers can be from each other, but the biggest difference is between dealing directly with a client, and dealing with other businesses.
*Remember GDPR rules for using your customers’ details, and make sure they’ve given consent for marketing emails*
Connecting with Existing Customers – Business to Client:
- Email Campaign
- Social Media Solutions
1. Email Campaign:
- If you have your customer base’s details, reach out to them by email.
- Use automation! Sending 200 individual emails is a waste of your valuable time. Applications like MailChimp will allow you to send secure, private bulk emails. Best of all, you can check who opens your emails, to gauge interest.
- Know your customers – if they recently purchased from you, ask for a review of the product or service. If it’s been a while, tell them what’s new, and any offers you currently have.
2. Social Media:
- Check the platforms you use & curate your feed.
- Make posts promoting your product or service.
- Boost those posts! A short term boost can be more cost effective than using something like Adwords.
- On social media, you have an option to display your business to a wide audience, allowing you to target ages, areas, and interests.
- Make sure you’re available to take messages on your apps. It’s a fast, direct way to answer potential customers’ questions, and make an impression.
- Your loyal customers can cheerlead for your business.
- Vouchers and discounts can encourage them to refer your business to their friends and family.
- If you sell fast-moving products, or classes, you can explore using a loyalty program for multiple purchases.
*Make sure you check the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) if you start a new offer program, and check for updates with the Distance-Selling Directives, where applicable, if you’re selling online. Remember, we can’t meet clients during COVID-19, so we’re all distance-selling right now*
Connecting with Existing Customers – Business to Business:
- Ring your clients
- Ask them how their own business is going
- Ask them how they are
Why do this? Like with private clients, you’re reminding them that you’re still there, and you’re still working. You’re in a great position to find out more market information while you have them on the phone. Finally, it’s a very human thing to do. No matter how great your product or service is on paper, ultimately, people like doing business with people.
1. Ring your clients:
- Make the phonecall, and make a connection.
- You’re reminding them you’re open, and increasing your visibility.
- This will also allow you early warning of any potential problems if you have invoices outstanding.
2. Ask them how their own business is going:
- Ask them about current problems & get a broader view of your shared marketplace.
- Offer to work on solutions together. This allows you to pool your resources
- If they aren’t in a position to use your services, ask them at the end of the conversation if they’d be willing to pass your details to any of their contacts who might be interested. Make sure you offer to do the same.
3. Ask them how they are:
- Make a human connection. This is always memorable.
- After you’ve finished your call, send them an email to recap & thank them. Even if no sales were made, it’s a record that you’ve spoken & kept contact. If you discussed sending on any information, remember to include it.
- Make sure you’ve connected with them on LinkedIn.
Getting New Customers:
Whether you’re aiming to add new customers, or to start building your client list from scratch, you’ll need to get leads. There are plenty of lead-generation tools on the market, each appropriate for different industries. Bark.com and Trustedpeople.ie are both options aimed at businesses providing services.
Expand your business network, on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can make opportunities for cross-promotion with other businesses.
Find complimentary trading partners, and you have a chance to boost each other’s visibility across your own networks.
Remember that your LinkedIn profile is also a sales tool. Make sure that your profile shows that you’re actively promoting your business, instead of using it as a CV.
If you’re selling online, whether products or services, don’t leave your website to do all the work.
There are numerous other small marketplaces where you can directly make sales. Facebook & Instagram will allow your customers to purchase, as well as allow you to communicate with your customers directly.
*Remember that most online sales platforms will require both your time, and an outlay of fees. Factor in the commitment & cost to you*
TALK ABOUT IT!
- If there’s an opportunity to chat directly with your potential customers, use it.
- Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and various other chat plug-ins for your website will allow you to answer questions about your product or service in real time.
- If you treat your online customers like they’re walking into your bricks and mortar business, they’ll appreciate it.
- If it’s feasible in terms of cost, try to give something for free.
- You can offer samples in return for signing up to your newsletters, or discounted shipping for higher value baskets.
- It could also be worthwhile making videos to demonstrate an aspect of your stock or service. A demonstration can really give a full understanding of what you offer.
MAKE A PLAN!
Lastly, plan your strategy, before you commit your funds to it.
Make sure the cost of an app, or joining a directory makes sense before you do it. If you think paid advertising, or a new e-commerce website would make all the difference for your company, investigate any state supports you can find.
Don’t be afraid to fight for your company, and grow your sales.