Whether you’re stumped for ideas or looking for a few new ones, we’ve put together a comprehensive bread & butter list of some of the most important. Have we missed any? Include your suggestions following in the comments.
Here they are in no particular order.
1. Ask for referrals. Your social and business network may reach farther than you think. Get in touch with others who know and trust you, your products and services. Ask them if there’s anyone they know that they’d suggest you contact. When you make the contact, be clear who referred you.
2. Ask for Feedback. Learn what’s working and what’s not about your product or service. Show that you care about your current customers feedback, implementing changes based on it. They’ll love you for it and tell their friends.
3. Know your Customer. You’d be surprised how few business owners really know who their customers are. Do a survey, keep track, do whatever works. By knowing your customer you’ll be able to refine your market and target more accurately; leading to less wasted time and increased sales.
4. Know your Products & Services. Also known as “eating your own dog food” and “drinking your own champagne”. Don’t just know about them, but use them yourself. When you look through the eyes of your customers you’ll learn a lot.
5. Make it Easy to Buy. Take out as many obstacles as possible to the sale.
6. Ask for the Business. Don’t leave a sale open to chance and don’t shy away from closing the sale. If your prospect show they’re interested. Always be clear on the next step and when the sale can happen.
7. Include a Call to Action. On all of your marketing material, always include a Call to Action. What is the next step you want the prospect to take.
8. Consider an Incentive or Referral Program. As mentioned in #1, referrals are important. If you want to increase the scale of your referral network, try creating an incentive or referral program. This is no substitute for one-on-one relationships and requests for referrals from people who know and trust you.
9. Up sell & Inline Sale. Not usually considered a strong method of attracting new customers, but one of the best ways to increase sales with existing ones. Your customers already know and trust you. Offer them something else they’ll also find valuable.
10. Be professional. On your website, in printed marketing material, how you dress. Professionalism encourages trust. Disorganization and sloppiness promote the opposite.
11. Be Customer Focused. Focus on the needs of your customer, not on your own needs. Look closely at your written material. Does it focus on “I”, “We”, “Me”, or “you” and “your”?
12. Give Outstanding Customer Support. We’ve all waited on hold or worked through a labyrinth of phone menus trying to reach a support team. Don’t be them. Be easy to reach, approachable, and friendly. It doesn’t mean always saying yes, rather it means showing you care – even when the answer is no.
13. Develop a Sales System. Any system – just make one and use it.
14. Provide More Value More Often. Listen to feedback, produce and iterate. Do this regularly and let your customers know you’re doing it.
15. Toot Your Own Horn. We’ve all seen this done distastefully. Done thoughtfully, it’s a great way to build up customers turned promoters. Everyone wants to be part of a winning team.
16. Be Trendy. Don’t go out of your way to be trendy. But if you notice a trend that correlates to your offering, consider including it.
17. Don’t be Shy. Make sure everyone you know, knows what you’re up to.
18. Tell Everyone About Everything. You might be selling XYZ, but at some point, make sure you let the prospect know about your other products and services that are appropriate. Sound obvious? It is. Yet, still this gets forgotten or ignored more than you’d think.
19. Give your Customers the Inside Scoop. Make sure you let your customers know about what’s happening. They’ll feel like they’re “in the know” and a stronger relationship will be developed.
20. Give Something Away For Free. Something of real value to your customer, but doesn’t necessarily cost you very much.