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Tip 4. Increase Your Current Sales Without Any New Clients

It's tempting to spend a lot of time trying to increase your market share. The drive to acquire new clients is like panning for gold. It's time consuming, often speculative, but can be quite lucrative if successful.

There's a better way of making money. You will find that selling to existing customers takes less work and will be more time and cost effective.

Still allocate time to prospect for new clients, but always try to sell to existing customers first.

My experience is you'll find it difficult to survive if you rely on "once only sales".

People who have never bought from you before are "prospects". They're unreliable by nature because prospects may or may not buy from you.

To grow your business you'll need some prospect sales. But to sustain your growth and have confidence that money will continue to flow in regularly, you'll need many "qualified" buyers.

Once you have qualified a buyer, sell them more.

What does "qualified" mean? It means someone has gone to the trouble of buying from you before and now they're "qualified" to buy again.

Don't wait for customers to come back of their own accord. Take the initiative and invite them to return.

You need to constantly remind a qualified customer that you exist and can continue to help them. Most businesses send out a catalogue. I don't like this idea - it's too time consuming and expensive.

Amazon.com has a much better system. When you log on they recommend you buy something new based on your prior purchases.

What a great idea! I suggest that you do this too.

When someone buys from you, consider recommending another product which improves or enhances their first purchase. For example, if you're selling puppies, wait a month then offer the owner a special deal on obedience training.

A great way to achieve more and have higher sales is to establish an "after care" program. Just like when you buy a new car, offer regular servicing, or training on how to get best performance.

I recently bought a new bicycle. The store had a policy of giving a free service after four weeks. I rode my nice new bike everywhere for four weeks and when it was time for a service I decided that I wanted a trip computer (to see how fast I was going) and a pulse light to help cars see me from behind. This cost me about $140. I would imagine this service cost the owner about $20 to do, and about $70 in parts. This means that the owner made a profit of about $50. If they sold 1,000 bikes per year and I was the average client, that's an extra $50,000.

If the same bike shop only relied on new bike sales and we assume the average cost of a new bike was $400 - the first "free" service is the equivalent of selling an additional 125 bikes (or an additional turnover of 12.5% on the 1,000 bikes sold). And that's before other sales initiatives (see my next tip for more "back-end" ideas).

Never, ever, ever recommend something that isn't in your customer's best interest. This is bad business.

Steps For Immediate Results

  1. Work out how much of your business is from once only sales. If you don’t already know this then consider tracking sales for one month and analyzing the results. If your business has more than 25% of once only sales then you have an untapped opportunity.

  2. Maintain regular (at least monthly) contact with your qualified buyers. The latest craze is to send a newsletter via e-mail (e-zine). Keep clients in the loop by telling them about the new benefits available from the latest developments in your business.

  3. Establish an after-care program that enhances the value of the customer's purchase. Use this as a prompt for them to provide you with feedback about their initial purchase, which you can use as a list to qualify them for later purchases.




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