When the economy is slow, customers are not walking in your front door or telephoning, you must increase your marketing, which will increase your sales and profits. And you must lower your cost.
All you have to do is use what you got.
You got people. We always say our people are our most valuable asset. So start using this valuable asset more aggressively.
- Hit the phones:
- Hit the streets
- Hit the direct mail (postal, e-mail, fax)
Look, there are going to be a lot of businesses go under this year and next. But remember you do not drown by going under water. You drown by staying under water.
So if you are about to go under water, or if you feel you are under now, lower your operating cost and lower your marketing cost, but increase the number of times you touch your customers and prospects. And you will come to the top, above those who sit and wait for the raging waters of recession to settle.
Aggressively hit the phones: Telephone your customers and prospects. The rule of how many times and how often you can contact customers and prospects: You can contact them as often as you want... As long as you are giving them VALUE. Information that will increase the two things we all never have enough of. Time and Money.
Hit the streets: The undisputed best way to build a relationship and increase sales is to put yourself face-to-face with your customers and prospects. But of course you do not have the time to get face-to-face with every customer and prospect. So determine your perfect prospects - the people buying what you sell that you can make the most amount of money from with the least amount of cost (money and time cost). To determine your perfect prospects make a list of all the demographics you want them to have. Examples: Level of income, location, education, number of items or different items you sell, etc. Match the demographics to your customer and prospecting list.
And get face-to-face with them. Use the telephone and direct mail (postal, e-mail, fax) to put yourself in front of the rest.
Hit the Direct Mail: Well composed letters and marketing materials, ones that get you noticed and remembered, are always great marketing tools. And do not forget you need to get your letters and marketing materials opened. Your customers and prospects are receiving more mail than ever. Be creative!
I know my competition is sending letters in #10 white envelopes or larger brown envelopes. To differentiate myself, to get noticed and remembered, I send letters in a zippered bank bag, or a tube. Many of my prospects contact a number of speakers/sales trainers at the same time asking for information. I send my materials to them by overnight mail. I get noticed and remembered. You must get noticed and remembered.
I have always found the best way to increase sales and profits in a slow economy are:
- Go to your customer list. If they bought from you in the past, they will buy from you now. If you have kept good records, you know what your customers have purchased from you and when. You also know what items you sell that they need and want now. If you have not kept good records, contacting your past and present customers will still give you great opportunities to sell them more of your products and services.
- Take customers away from your competition. In today's fiercely competitive markets your perfect prospects are customers who are already in the market for your products and services. If you do not already have them as customers they are your competitor's customers.
Taking these customers away from your competition is not always easy to do. For two reasons we never want to use the cutthroat, lower price tactics. First of all, we will not make the profit we need and desire, and a customer gained through low price will be easily lost when a competitor offers them a lower price.
Secondly, it is usually hard to take a customer away from the competition because of the loyalty people have to their suppliers. The longer the prospective customer has been a customer of our competition, usually the more loyalty they have to our competitor.
Taking customers away from your competition can be as easy as building a better relationship with your competition's customers than they have with them. Become more and more aggressive in contacting your competition's customers and more aggressive in providing them with solutions to their problems, needs and wants. I have 35 Aggressive Actions and 23 Sales Closing Techniques in my book "How to Take Customers Away from Your Competition" (available at www.BobJanet.com).
You do not need to be one of the businesses that stay under the water. You will not be when you become more aggressive in increasing your marketing while decreasing your costs.