Sales. It's the lifeblood of a business. The proverbial heartbeat of an organization. Without it? A business would cease to exist. With it? Endless opportunities await for expansion and world domination. But try as they might, most business owners struggle with sales. Entrepreneurs around the world grapple with the inability to make more money. The truth? It's not easy. Especially when you don't understand the mechanics of what it takes to increase sales in any business.
So why is this so complex? Why is it a problem that's plagued business owners since the dawn of time? Today, in the so-called digital age, the struggle is most certainly real. Is it for lack of information? Certainly not. There's plenty of information out there. In fact, there's so much information that it's often overwhelming. Add that to all the misguided information out there, and it's enough to frustrate any entrepreneur trying to drum up more sales. In the end, who do you trust? Where do you turn to? What method or sales strategy do you implement without breaking the proverbial bank?
You see, here's the thing. It doesn't matter where you start. Most entrepreneurs think that in order to increase top-line revenue, they need to have a massive marketing budget or major influence in an industry. You don't. In fact, the evidence is all around us. What you do need to understand are the key performance indicators (KPIs) in your business. Things like traffic, leads and conversions. Clearly, sales don't come automatically. But you certainly don't need a massive budget to get the proverbial word out. Especially these days.
How to Increase Your Sales
My good friend, Maritza Meza Giusti, co-founder of the Meza group, came to this country as an immigrant and decided to sell real estate. With no money, no connections and zero resources, she managed to become a top real estate agent in South Florida and recently sold the most-expensive condo resale in Fort Lauderdale history. I asked her what were the skills that led to her ability to build such a thriving business. Her answer? The ability to build rapport and understand the needs of her customers. That's it.
Parham Donyai, the founder of LA Muscle, one of the leading supplement companies in the world, has a similar immigrant story. His family moved from Iran when he was 14. They lost their home and struggled immensely. Growing up, he wasn't handed anything on a silver platter. Yet, with no money and no connections, he built a supplement empire. I asked him how he took a concept and entered into a crowded market to dominate the sphere. His answer? Add an immense amount of value to the marketplace.
Donyai also tells me that it's not about the price you sell your products or your services at. He introduced products that were sometimes 500% higher in price than his competitors. Yet, he managed to secure a huge market share. Sure, some consumers are very price-aware. They'll shop for the best deal. But when you add an exceedingly large amount of value to the marketplace, price objections begin to fall like dominoes. Add to that your ability to gain the market's attention, and it's a winning recipe for skyrocketing sales.
That got me really thinking about the mechanics of sales and what it takes to exponentiate results in business. You don't need formal education. Nor do you need a massive budget. But, whether we're talking about the real estate industry, supplements or any other business or niche, you do need real discipline and the ability to stay motivated no matter what. We're talking about real commitment here. Because let's face it, it's really easy to get discouraged and give up. We all want to throw in the towel from time to time. But that's where the real gains happen.
1. Solve the customer's problems
If you're not solving problems for your customers, then the likelihood of you increasing your sales over time will dwindle. However, if your products and services solve major problems, your chances of exponentiated sales climb substantially. In business, it's all about problem-solving. Find the pain point, and then solve that pain. Clearly, pain equates to problems. And the bigger the problem, the bigger the potential for earning a windfall of cash by solving it.
So how do you implement this into a sales process? Easy. Talk to your customers. Understand them better. What are they struggling with? How well does your current products or services solve their problems? Are there things that you could be missing? Until you actually talk to your customers, there's no way of knowing firsthand. Don't just chalk this up to something you know and don't want to do. If you don't take massive action, you can't expect massive results.
2. Money follows attention
There is no such thing as overexposure. Often, we think about scaling things back. Especially when we get criticism. But the truth is that money follows attention. So why would you scale things back rather than push things forward? What does that mean? Write that article. Record that podcast. Shoot that video. Post on social media 5 to 10 times per day. If you're afraid that you might be over-doing it, think again. That's not your problem. Your problem is obscurity.
Don't shy away from attention. Take every chance you can get to be in the spotlight. Whether that means social media or big media, do whatever it takes. Give a resounding yes to those podcast interviews. Say yes when asked to speak in front of a group, no matter what the size. You see, the more attention you get, the more people know your name. And the more people know your name, the more chance they have to buy more of whatever it is that you're selling.
3. Handle objections like a pro
Objections are the not-so-silent killers of the sale. Ever have a potential customer tell you that they need time to think about it? Maybe they told you that it was too much money and they had to talk to their spouse. Or maybe it was that they're already using your competitor's products or services. Whatever it is, these objections can destroy the sale. And it's your job to handle those objections like a pro. How? This is not just about what you're selling or the industry or the niche. This is about understanding the customer implicitly.
Why do we buy things in the first place? How come one person can justify spending $10,000 on a watch while another can't bear to spend $100? You see, price is merely an objection. It's not about the price. If price becomes the focus, you move into dangerous waters. It then becomes transactional and not based on what value the product or service can deliver. Like Donyai, you can introduce expensive products or services into the marketplace as long as they add sincere value.
Oftentimes, the best way to overcome any of these objections is to use customer testimonials or examples of how your products and services have helped others. Social proof is one of the strongest factors that help overcome these types of objections, along with your ability to provide a bulletproof guarantee that it will deliver. In that way, you can easily crush most objections that come your way and increase sales in your business as a result.
4. Utilize old-school persuasion techniques
Sometimes, we need to be persuaded to buy. Now, there's nothing wrong with persuasion. It boils down to a true understanding of human nature and why we do the things that we do. If you want to persuade someone to buy something, you have to understand the nature of human beings in the first place. Understand things like influence through micro-commitments, you can literally crush your sales goals. When you can get someone to agree to very small things, they are far more likely to agree to something bigger (like the offer or the sale).
This is where your ability to build rapport, much like Giusti, will help to skyrocket your chances of closing the sale. Why? Because people buy from those that they like, and with who they can find common ground. It's very much about understanding the customer. Yet, it's also about finding commonalities and building rapport. The best salespeople in the world instantly work to build rapport off the bat. Even if this means simply using the person's name if you don't have any common ground or looking them in the eyes confidently.
5. Create an affiliate army
Affiliates are the key to massive rollouts of any product or launch. If you can successfully leverage an affiliate army, you can substantially increase your chances for securing any sale. That's especially true when your affiliates are influencers in your field. How do you do it? First of all, you have to create an affiliate program and define a percentage that you're willing to give up from the sale. Keep in mind that even if you have to give away half of the sale to an affiliate, it's far better than having no sales at all.
Some affiliates can also drive substantial amounts of traffic towards your products, services and offers. Yet, not all affiliates will want to help you sell whatever it is that you're peddling. You can use existing websites to find affiliates or you can simply build out your own affiliate program and do it on your own. Either way, affiliates can certainly add fuel to the fire in any sales scenario. However, vetting the right affiliates is certainly the key to success in the arena of affiliate marketing.
6. Use urgency and ethical scarcity
Two of the most powerful forces when it comes to sales are both urgency and scarcity. How does it work? You see it all the time. There's a sale that's going to end soon. That gives some urgency to take action. Or, there are only 10 spots left for a particular event. That's scarcity at play. These two forces play off of basic human behavior. As humans, we often want what we can't have (or soon can't have). And, when there's a deadline for action, it forces us to act. Plain and simple.
Think about it yourself. It comes back to basic supply and demand. When supply is low, demand often increases. When there's a so-called run on the banks, that's scarcity at play. We often call this FOMO in pop-culture. When you have the fear of missing out on something, it forces you to act, and often rather quickly. However, you have to use ethical scarcity. It has to be legitimate. Otherwise, you risk the chance of upsetting customers. You can't say that a sale is ending tomorrow then restart that sale two days later. It's simply not ethical scarcity.
7. Provide something for free to get customers in the door
There is real power in the word "free." It gets customers in the door. And it's a powerful motivator for taking action on many levels. Dan Ariely, a Duke behavioral economist and author of Predictably Irrational, conducted an experiment using Hershey's Kisses and Lindt Truffles. The goal? To see how powerful of a motivator "free" actually is. Test subjects were offered a Lindt truffle for 15 cents or a Hershey's Kiss for one cent. Smelling a bargain, 73% bought the truffle. Then the price dropped a penny off of each — a 14 cent truffle or a free Hershey's Kiss. Now, only 31% choose the truffle. Although the difference was merely a penny, suddenly people couldn't resist the lure of a free snack.
There is real power in the word free, and it's hard to acquire new customers. And anything you can do to increase your odds of getting those customers is something you should consider. But you can't just give something away for free. That free offer should start in a sales funnel and lead into things like one-click up-sells, order bumps and even one-time offers. This way, your free front-end offer ends up yielding a substantial increase in sales across the board.