What comes to mind when you think of the word marketing? For some, it’s advertising. Others might think of networking, branding, or the idea of “getting your name out there.”
Of course, marketing includes those things, but marketing is actually everything you do to attract prospects to your business. Phenomenal marketing delivers a meaningful experience that educates, engages, and entertains. A phenomenal marketing system is a group of working parts that duplicates results consistently.
What kind of results? Enough of your perfect target prospects to reach your sales goal consistently. A phenomenal marketing system consistently produces your perfect target prospect. If you are attracting the wrong kind of prospect, your marketing isn’t working. And if your sales are up and down because you don’t consistently implement marketing, then you don’t have a system. Too many business owners spend lots of time and money “getting their name out there” but have no real system of attracting prospects consistently. Most often, a small business owner’s marketing is a gamble more than a planned effort. You now have the opportunity to be one of the few who escape that trap.
Regardless of the type of marketing you do, it must increase sales. Of course, the sales process will determine whether the prospect will actually buy, but that also depends on the quality of the prospect you are attracting. When you attract the wrong kind of customer (because your marketing isn’t what it needs to be), it doesn’t matter how good your sales process is. You may even close the sale, but you won’t build the kind of business you want.
The Only Three Ways to Increase Sales
Regardless of the type of business you are in, there are only three ways under the sun to increase sales.
The three ways are:
1. Increase Sales from Existing Clients. The first (and possibly the easiest) way to increase sales is to get your existing clients to use your services (or buy your product) more often, or to use more of your services (or buy more of your products). This can have a dramatic effect on your income. If you are not marketing to your existing client base, you could literally double your business with this strategy alone. This is assuming that you have something compelling and valuable to offer your past and existing clients.
Marketing to your past and existing clients is one of the most important marketing activities. In fact, not marketing to your past clients is what I call “The Biggest Marketing Mistake of ALL,” but we’ll get to that in a later article.
It is estimated that it costs an average of 500 percent more to gain a new client than to keep an existing one. They already know you. You already know them. They have already paid your price. They are the most likely to do business with you, assuming that you have a repeatable service, other products, and you want referrals from them.
2. Increase Number of Clients. Speaking of referrals, the second way to increase sales is to get more clients. This is the one that people usually think of first. Most small business owners say that 85 percent of their business comes from repeat and referral business. Yet they don’t have a system in place to maintain and increase repeat and referral business. Most small business owners say they build their business through “word of mouth,” but they don’t have a referral system in place. There are many ways to get more clients, but the best way is through referrals. However, without a system you won’t get all the referrals that you can.
3. Increase Price. This is a powerful way to increase sales, but probably the last one that small business owners think of. In fact, you only think of it briefly, because after all, “With the economy being what it is….” I hope to change your mind on this, because when you increase your price without losing too much in sales volume, your top line increases. If you raise your price 20 percent and lose 20 percent of your sales volume, you are still making more profit. If you raise your price 50 percent and lose 50 percent of your sales volume, you are still making more profit.
By positioning yourself and your company differently—by creating a different message—you will be able to continually raise your price. The beauty is that you probably won’t lose any sales volume! If you do lose clients, it’ll be the unprofitable ones you don’t want anyway. And if you do this right, you’ll quickly replace them with clients who are willing to pay a higher price because you will have developed a compelling experience they want to have.
In future articles I will help you understand how to create a marketing system that best works for you and your business.
If you need help in creating systems to work in your business, I want to help you! I want to meet you at one of my business growth conferences. For more information, click here.
See Howard in action April 9-10, 2014, at Ziglar Business Boot Camp
Howard Partridge is Ziglar's Exclusive Small Business Coach. Get Free Business-Building Resources from Howard!