Pushing sales amid a sluggish economy may require the owner of a small business to get more creative, as the sales strategy should not cost too much but must be able to deliver the volume and revenues. The target is to keep the business going as well as maintain or even increase its share of the market during the difficult times.
First, make sure there is demand for the product or service the company is offering. It should address a particular need that target customers have a reason to seek it out. SMEs can also contemplate on adding a twist to an offering or tweaking the product or service to generate higher interest in the market.
Second, consider offering a diverse range of products to tap business opportunities in other related markets. As other entrepreneurs warn: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Relying on one product can be dangerous because another company, maybe even a large corporation with a lot of marketing and sales resources, can come up with the same offer and corner the market.
SMEs should not expect too much on just one product or service. They increase their chance to succeed if they offer an array of services or spread out their product line. Diversification also allows the company to price its range of offerings competitively and maximize its sales staff by pushing a collection of products that they can upsell or cross-sell, thereby helping increase sales.
Third, invest in a quality product or service. The business should never compromise on quality. Otherwise, customers would associate the brand with an unsatisfactory experience that they may even echo to friends and followers online. Without a quality product or service, the business is set to fail because customers would have no reason to keep coming back.
Change is the only constant in life, according to Greek philosopher Heraclitus
Fourth, SMEs need to learn to adapt to the times. The market is constantly changing and economic activity tends to pick up or slow down for certain periods. Allow the business to be adaptable by continuously testing until it achieves the best way to improve sales. Test the products and services as well as different price points, and explore new marketing options such as limited promotions, among others. If the status quo still works, the company can stick to it but should be open to implement changes once the current business landscape calls for it.
Fifth, embrace social media. If the company still has no online presence to date, then it is losing a lot of potential to market its brand and sell its offers in a very affordable yet highly effective manner. Regardless of the industry or type of products and services, SMEs that do not reach out to their customers are making a big mistake. Since customers are on the internet, the company should also be able to interact with them through this medium.
Today, it not enough to simply advertise and wait for the customers to come. The traditional ways of selling have to be complemented with the new methods that harness the potential of the internet, particularly social media. Now is the time to create an online strategy as this medium can no longer be ignored. Customers expect to find more information about the company or brand when they browse the web, or check out what other customers say about it in popular social media sites.
Sixth, hear out what customers say about the product or service, what they need, what they currently use and what would make them change their minds. As the company adapts to the ever-changing business environment, understanding customer behavior can help it modify its marketing and sales content and strategy in a way that customers would appreciate.
All told, whatever strategies the business intends to implement to drive sales, even when facing a challenging economy, will bring results if it delivers on its promise to customers – to solve or address a need using the product or service. It also helps to deliver beyond expectations, such as excellent after-sales support or offering an extra or freebie, to entice customers to come back and put in a good word for the company.