Growing revenue for established businesses can be easier than you think. Sure, it’s great to have those breakthrough ideas – changing the packaging on an existing product to target entirely new markets or repositioning a product meant for one use in a totally different way. Those are game changer ideas and in truth, probably why many entrepreneurs got started, because we love to think up those BIG ideas.
However, you can’t really force that type of breakthrough. It’s more a matter of continually looking for those opportunities and being ready to act when you find them.
In the meantime, there are the more mechanical options to organically growing sales. You can hire more sales people and/or you can increase marketing spending. Whether you’re breaking into new markets or increasing market share, really boils down to one of those options. The problem is that both have considerable risks associated and the return can be months or even years down the road.
But there is good news. Believe it or not, virtually every business has the pieces needed to increase sales by at least 10% sitting right in their hands today.
Whether you’re in a retail business, industrial manufacturing, professional services, ecommerce, IT or something else, you’ve got customers and you’ve got prospects. The difference between the two is where the low hanging fruit is.
Customers walk into your store and leave without having purchased a thing. Your sales people make cold calls and only a fraction of the prospects they speak with buy. What if we could easily increase the percentage of those “prospects” that purchase something?
You can. Best of all, it won’t require rebranding, remodeling, pricing changes or retraining your sales team. All you have to do is build a list of all those prospects that don’t purchase anything and use that list to keep the lines of communication open with them.
Really! Growing Sales Can Be Very Simple!
You see, people that walk in your store or visit your website are telling you that they are generally interested in what you sell. People your sales team does presentations or proposals for would not invest their time in talking with your sales rep if there isn’t a general interest in your product or service.
The problem is that your sales team is going to focus in on the ones that do want to buy now. That’s a good thing, of course. However, it means that they may not do such a good job of following up with the folks they did a proposal for last quarter to see if things have changed.
So, let technology do the work for them! Let people sign up for a drawing on your website or in your store. Have your sales team build lists of all the leads they develop.
Then put those new contacts into an email marketing campaign that will keep them engaged with your brand. Then, when things change in their world, those prospects will contact your company.
You know your customers have an interest. But, what you may not realize is that most customers that choose not to buy do so not because they’ve chosen to purchase from your competitor, but because they chose to do nothing.
That means keeping your company in front of them via an on-going email marketing campaign ensures that when things change in their world, they’ll contact you because you’ve made it easy for them.
Here’s how the math works:
Say your average “close” rate is 20%. That means 80% of prospect do not purchase. So, in two months, your list of past prospects is greater than the total number of new prospects you’ll talk to this month. If your team talks with 200 leads per month, in seven months, you’ve got a list that’s over 1,000 strong. And of course, things keep building from there. In a year, you’ve got almost 2,000 leads on your list.
Typical email marketing response rates are 2 to 3%. That sounds low but, as your list gets bigger and bigger, it adds up. At the end of a year, you’re seeing a 10% increase in orders or more!
And what have you risked?
A little time invested in writing 4 or 5 emails. Don’t make this too complicated. You know your business. Write about the things you know your customers need to know about your product or service before they buy it.
A little time getting organized so you can collect the prospect emails. A simple CRM solution or even Outlook can do the trick can make this easy.
A little time or money to send out the emails. You can use Outlook and your current mail server up to a point. If you have a lot of prospects to email or in order to increase the “delivery rate” or number of emails actually received and read, use an email marketing solution. It shouldn’t cost more than a couple dollars a day.
The investment is minimal and the payoff is virtually assured.