These 3 mistakes are causing your sales to suffer- here’s how to fix them
We’ve all been there, lying in bed at 3 am wondering how do we get more more people to buy our product?
I know what you’re thinking, ‘I don’t want to harass people, it feels like everyone is trying to sell, sell, sell and I feel pressured to constantly promote”. You feel like you’re doing “everything” you can think of, but sales still aren’t growing. How do I get the customer remember me without being intrusive?
The answer? A softer approach is required.
These 3 reasons I’ve outlined below, highlight where you should be directing your efforts so that you get those sales.
1. You’re not getting enough customers
I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but stay with me. I’m sure you have a fantastic product. And you probably even have a great system for getting the product to the customer and providing a wonderful customer experience. You have a loyal core group of customers who support you. However, if nobody outside of that group knows you exist, then you won’t be able to get number of customers you need to meet your sales targets. If you’ve been collecting information about your customers for some time now and have developed a profile of them, then you’d know what their likes and dislikes are, their habits, hobbies and so on.
Armed with this information you can now, employ different methods of getting attention of others just like them. From there you start connecting with them so that you build trust.
Here are a few things you can do right now:
- Display your product in places that your customers frequent
- Partner with a complementary brand that you know your customer patronises, which cements in their mind that you are trustworthy.
- Reach out to customers in person through markets and pop up shops and provide product demos, showing customers how your product fits into their lifestyle and how it can revolutionise how they feel about themselves.
In this digital age, it’s necessary to take advantage of online methods of spreading your reach beyond your own network:
- Reach out to new customers via influencers
- Hang out in forums or other online spaces that your customer frequents. If you’re in the forums, respond to customer complaints or queries by providing valuable advice and information.
- Use Facebook live or Instagram Live on a specific day to demo your product or answer burning customer questions.
- You can be a guest blogger for a publication or podcasts that you know your customers engage with regularly.
Expanding outside of your network also means looking into international markets. There are customers who share the same traits as your core group. After all, human behaviour is universal. You can extend your international reach by building awareness through trade shows, where you can start nurturing your relationships with buyers.
2. You’re (inadvertently) turning off customers
Up to this point in your business, you’ve been able to build quite a following behind your brand. It’s taken a lot of time and effort, but now you know how, where and when to connect with your customer. You’ve got an amazing website, and a bunch of influencers have reach out to their fan base to sing the praises of your brand. You have your product in some major retail locations,but lately you’ve noticed that your sales aren’t quite what they used to be.
This is probably because the online and offline experience don’t match up. Your customer was given one expectation when they were introduced to your product but then when they actually purchased it or interacted with a brand representative, it was a totally different experience.
You may be getting a lot of customer complaints, such as the product not producing the results as advertised, or issues with the delivery time. Perhaps they were turned off by the way one of your employees interacted with them. For example, they ordered a product only to be later informed it was out of stock or they were given an incorrect product and then when they issue a complaint, it was not handled appropriately.
At all points where the customer interacts with you, the experience must be consistent, delightful and one which makes them want to come back again and again. To help make the customer experience consistent every time, there are two things you can do:
- Have a customer experience manual where you detail all the elements that need to be in place once a customer interacts with your brand. That way your employees will always have a guide to dealing with customers as well as any issues that arise such as handling complaints or returns.
- Provide them with something timely and unexpected. For example,if you run a kids’ clothing store, perhaps you can partner with another company to provide discounts on non clothing baby items such as bottles, pampers or teething rings. You can look at providing a mini care package for expectant mothers that come into your store. Fill it with little things you know she’d need during the first week immediately after delivery. It’s thoughtful things like these a customer appreciates because it shows that you genuinely care about them and their well-being, not just making a sale.
3. You’ve lost sight of your ideal customer
The truth is, it’s impossible for ‘everyone’ to be your customer, and I know you’ve probably heard the term ‘ideal customer’ a million times, but this is REALLY important. If you’ve lost sight of who your ideal customer is, then it’s going to hurt your business financially. Unfortunately, you cannot be all things to all people . You have to choose a group that you want to target based on the information that you’ve gathered from your time in business.
This ties in to knowing who you are, what you do, who your customer is and how to reach them. Once you’re clear on this information, you’re not going to engage in activities that will not appeal to your ideal customer.
Tommy Hilfiger, the principal designer of his eponymous clothing and apparel brand started to suffer financially in the 1990’s because of ‘brand dilution’. This means that his products were in way too many locations and he was sending mixed messages. He became unclear as to who his true customer was. He wanted to appeal to too many different people and as a result, his whole brand suffered. He was forced to remove his clothing from certain stores, and shut down some of his retail locations.
I know you want to grow and expand your business, but you have to keep in mind that in your expansion, you’re still speaking to the same person that you initially sought out. You have to balance the growth of your business with the knowledge that your product is meant for a certain group of people and as such, not every business opportunity is the right one for you. There are ways, however, that you can appeal to a different category of people without changing your image in the eyes of your main customer. For example, you can introduce a cheaper product line targeted towards a different group, or introduce a premium service as an add on benefit to your current customers.
Additionally, statistics show that most of the sales generated by a business is from repeat customers. Once you get the sale, do you forget about the customer? Find ways to entice them back to you, and I don’t necessarily mean by offering sales or deep discounts. Let them know how much you value the relationship with them; that you remember them on their special occasions or other milestones such as birthdays or anniversaries. You have to show them that they are important to you. Relationship marketing in the digital age is about maintaining a genuine friendship with your customers.
Remember these three points:
Getting more sales is more than just a direct effort to try to sell more product. You need to need to make a consistent effort to get your product in front of the right people, you have to continually ensure that what you’re selling to the customer is what they actually get. And finally, you need to maintain relationships with those customers who are an ideal fit for your business.
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Until next time,