Do you need more sales?

Sales is the life blood of any business.  We all like to think (or is it just us?) that customers will find us by magic, or by “word of mouth”, but sometimes you need to give sales a helping hand.

We are building a business for the long term, and don’t want to be constantly chasing sales, so a long term sales plan which involves reaching and nurturing potential clients through social media and emails is key.  However, sometimes, and especially when you are starting out, you just need some cash in the door – quickly.

Here are our top ways to do just that

1.  Ask Friends and Family

Friends and family often make terrible clients themselves but they know lots of people who may make great clients.  Personal introductions are some of the best because the person making the introduction is trusted by both parties.  And they, usually, like to help.  So rope them in.

Send them an email (make it personal) asking if they know people who might be interested in your services.  Something like

“hi, I hope you had a great summer and Cyprus was lots of fun.  We had a fab time in Cornwall, blah blah blah.  You may have heard that I have been retraining as a whatever and I am now fully qualified.  So I am venturing into the world of self employment – it’s both scary and exciting.  I am looking to work with [be specific eg mums who are finding life hard/recently separated men and women/small business owners/whatever as you don’t want a whole load of unsuitable enquiries].  Do you know anyone who fits that bill and might be interested in working with me?”

Send it to as many people as possible and follow up on all the leads.  Many will be dead ends but some could lead to clients quickly.  I know many small business owners whose first customers were gained this way.  What do you have to lose?

 

2.  Ask Previous Clients

The people who are most likely to buy from you are actually people who have bought from you before – previous clients.  Sometimes our services are a bit one off, but previous clients can still help by recommending you to others.

Again a personal touch is usually best – send them a personal message asking how business is going, whether they are still pleased with whatever they bought from you.  Then offer them something to entice them back (which is not on offer to others at the time) or for a referral.

People generally love to support small businesses especially ones they have bought from before.  But often they have just forgotton about you, so a prompt via a message could be just enough – and they may suddenly think of someone who could do with your services.  I did this recently following a discussion with my sister in law about which labels worked best for school clothes.  Not long after this I received an email with 15% off from the small business I have used.  I  forwarded it onto her – and with another 16+ years of school clothes for her to label (poor thing!) – she will be a great customer for them.

 

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3.  Go to a networking event

Many of us shudder when we think of networking events.  Particularly when there are so many – you could spend all your time at them.  But they can be really effective.

The secret (I find) is to be choosy about which ones you go to and make friends when you are there.  Let the people you meet know what you do then ask them questions.  Everyone loves to talk about themselves and, if you can steer the conversation, you can find out whether this is someone who may be a potential client or not.  They will think they have had a great conversation with you (because you have talked about them and their problems) and when you follow up with them afterwards they will already be “warm”.

Just go for it!

We can all dither (I am the master of dithering) and say we’ll approach potential customers when I have my new branding, my insta grid looks great, my email sequence is set up, my website is finished, etc.  But the reality is that you don’t need any of that to make sales.  Yes, they make it much easier to reach new people, to get them to “know, like and trust” you, to automate the process (and therefore save you time), but they aren’t necessary to make a sale…

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© Beyond the Kitchen Table 2019