Does your business need more sales?

- Keith Brown

Of course it does…but in today’s environment it’s not that easy. There are however relatively simple things you can do to improve.

  • Accept that you need to be pro-active
  • Plan what you are going to do
  • Do it!

I have written on this subject a number of times yet it still surprises and astounds me that so many businesses are not pro-active and do not continually prospect for new clients and do not communicate with the customers they already have.

Consider this example…

I have lived on a small rural property for 12 years or so and I can count on one hand the number of property maintenance flyers I have received in my letterbox. And it is pretty much the same for mower type equipment. I am a prime prospect for such products & services but if I want them I have to go looking in Yellow Pages, the local paper or on-line. Business should be pro-active with their sales endeavours as there are many such opportunities. Putting your business in front of the prospect makes it easier for them and beneficial to you.

How you generate new enquiries will differ and depend on the type of business, the profile of the potential customers and where you are logically best able to find them. You can read further about this at the following link:

Potential customers and where to find them?

Once you have a customer then generating additional sales from that customer is generally seven times more effective than finding a new customer. As consumers or businesses we have all acquired products and used a variety of services yet how often do those suppliers follow up and ask for more?

Banks do it, wine companies do it, travel organisations, motor vehicle traders do it and Bromley Direct does it and so should you, it works!

You can use email, direct mail or telephone as a means to make regular contact with your customers. It can be a newsletter, product update, general information, special offer, upcoming event, pretty much anything that is of interest and/or benefit.

A simple plan will get you underway …

  • Monthly do something to generate new customers
  • Quarterly communicate with current customers

The detail of implementing these strategies needs to be worked out and again it will differ between business types. But it isn’t difficult and if you need assistance Bromley Direct can contribute. After all it’s what we do..

How to use census data to focus your letterbox advertising…

- Keith Brown

Letterbox distribution is a mass medium and therefore the more material you distribute the better the chance of reachingyour prospective customer. This is great for supermarkets but for specialist and particularly for smaller business this can be a deterrent.

As in all things it is better to work smarter rather than harder and with letterbox distribution through Bromley Direct now you can. Distribution areas of 400-500 households have been merged with census data so that you can select or reject areas according to socio/economic profiles. As an example of how this is beneficial consider the following example:

A real estate agent soliciting sale listings is only interested in home owners. A selection of householdsiscarried out in the postcode areas of interest and the census data relevant to home owners matched against that selection. This then provides information reflecting the percentage of home owners relative to each individual area. The areas with the highest percentage of home owners are selected or alternatively areas with the lowest percentage are rejected. The advertiser now has a much better chance of achieving the required objective by promoting only in those areas with a high percentage of home owners.

This same selection logic can be used for many advertisers; retirement villages are interested in people above a certain age, fitness centres in a younger profile, toy shops & theme parks families with children and so on. Why not consider the ideal profile of your customer. Could you take advantage of this selection process?

For further information on all your letterboxdistribution requirementscontact Bromley Direct on (02) 4367 0058 or email dealdirect@bromleydirect.com.au

....It just makes common CENSUS!

So why should prospects buy from YOU?

- Keith Brown

Does your business have competitors? Of course it does, so why should a prospect come to you rather than your competition? What’s in it for them? What do you offer that your competition does not?

It’s a good idea to write down all the reasons you can think of as to why a prospect should come to you, rather than your competitor. This focuses your attention and is usually a good basis for your whole marketing approach.

The five reasons you might consider using Bromley Direct are:

  • we are very experienced
  • we have a wide network of reliable suppliers
  • we are efficient, reliable & professional
  • we accept responsibility for what we do
  • we communicate regularly with matters of interest
  • we charge a fair price for our services

…and the truth is we really do want to help your business succeed!

Once you are comfortable with what you can offer that others may not then make a point of reflecting these differences in everything that you do. If your differences are benefits then prospects will become customers!

Who are your potential customers and where to find them?

- Keith Brown

If you want to generate new prospects where do you start? Ask yourself the question, “Who are my potential customers?” Are they senior citizens or teenagers, or somewhere in between? Maybe your prospect is the grocery shopper, the fitness fanatic, cyclists or mothers with babies. Perhaps you are involved in supplying goods or services to business, doctors, accountants, plumbers, photocopier users, stationary consumers, restaurants and so on. If you know who your potential customers are then you are halfway to knowing where you can find them.

Knowing who your market is then begs the question “Where and how do I communicate with prospective customers?” This question is relatively simple for the local butcher who provides for households in the immediate area. They can advertise in the local paper or organise a suburban leaflet distribution to generate interest. But it is not always that simple.

The best strategy is to use common sense. Choose the medium that best suits. Are you a mass marketer or a niche marketer? Mass market media includes newspapers, magazines, radio, television and letterbox distribution. A motor vehicle dealership would generally advertise in the specialist section of the local paper where we all know they can be found. Swimming pools and spas are best advertised on television as the visual effect of waving palm trees, sunshine etc. is important. Hardware stores use catalogues via letterbox delivery, with lots of illustrations and price specials. If you are marketing to businesses then the Australia Post Unaddressed Mail Service delivers material to businesses via street or PO Box in selected areas.

On the other hand if you are into niche marketing maybe Yellow Pages is a source of the appropriate type of business or perhaps renting a suitable business list from a reputable list broker. And of course there are many magazines relevant to specialist markets.

Looking for new prospects and converting them to customers is an ongoing requirement as your current customer base is always eroding. It may be the competition offering a better deal, a change of address or new management. Whatever the reason your client base, if not continually topped up, will diminish and as a result so will your sales.

In your search for new customers don’t forget to stay in touch with your current customers..we all love to feel wanted! Touch base at least every three months. eNews are currently popular, snail mail is very effective and the occasional phone call never goes amiss. The proven theory is that it is many times more effective to generates additional sales from your current customers than it is to prospect for new ones. So if you don’t have a client list build one and communicate with it regularly. You will be surprised at the success of this strategy.

What is Marketing?

- Keith Brown

Competition today is greater than it has ever been, so sound & logical marketing strategies are essential. To some this is a statement of the obvious but for many marketing is something for the too hard basket.

Marketing is not advertising or selling, those are strategies within the overall marketing objective. Marketing is the overall acquiring and retention of customers. Think of it as putting your house on the market. You clean the windows, mow the lawn, fix the broken down pipe, get everything working well and looking good and then, do you go with an agent? Do you auction or sell by private treaty? Advertise, on the web, in the local paper, flyers? All of these issues are essential to the successful marketing of your house.

To sell a house effectively it is necessary to do a whole lot of things and it’s the same in business. The difference is that in business you never stop marketing. Everything you do that could possibly affect your prospects potential is marketing. It may be a staff dress code, the signage on your premises, the quality of the design & print of your letterhead, business cards, brochures etc. The way you respond to enquiries, how you deliver your goods or services, the way you collect your receivables and even how you pay your bills. A supplier is just as important to your business as a customer. You never know when you might need their cooperation to supply more quickly or extend your payment schedule!

In many ways marketing is IMAGE! You can have the best product or service in the universe but if you don’t present well in all aspects of your business your prospective customers won’t respond to the degree that they should. So take a look around and make sure you are doing the best you can to market your business successfully.

Marketing & Sales ... What's the difference?

- Keith Brown

Surprisingly SMEs often consider marketing and sales to be the same thing and therefore those responsible for each fail to communicate effectively. Marketing alone doesn’t normally generate sales it generates interest, store traffic, phone calls, web hits and so on. If someone contacts a business then they are a prospect and the selling process is still necessary. Accordingly it is imperative that marketing and sales work together to ensure that promotional strategies make sense to all concerned and that systems and procedures are in place to deal with all resultant enquiries.

What’s the point of distributing a catalogue if employees are not familiar with the content or the stock advertised is not available? Why advertise your phone number if it goes unanswered or is answered unprofessionally? And don’t include a “contact us” on your website if you don’t have a system in place to deal with such enquiries.

Of course different businesses supply different products and/or services and go about their marketing and sales in different ways. But in one form or another, the marketing/sales process is common to us all. Marketing objectives, strategies & goals are essential to every business. All resultant enquiries are potential sales. They should be dealt with quickly, professionally & efficiently and followed up until a definitive result is achieved.

Do you have a marketing plan in place for the coming year?

Where/how can I best source prospects? More on that in a future blog..

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