How do I increase my sales?
Whenever I talk to people and tell them what I do (sales is my ‘thing’) they inevitably ask me “how do I increase my sales?” My response is simple “Employ a sales person!” It’s not always the best or cheapest thing to do and can require some planning and thought. After all, you are adding a resource and overheads to your business. Then questions seem to grow: Where do I put them? What do I need this person to do, or achieve? How much more business can I handle? (In both revenue and quantity depending on the business you are in). What type of person am I looking for? Where can I find them? How much do I pay them? STOP! Let’s start back at the beginning. The question is, “How can I increase my sales?” The answer is that it depends on what you want to achieve and how you can do that while expending the least amount of time/money and energy. So think about your business now. What are your business goals (with regard to sales) for the next 12 months?
Ways to achieve this increase:
- Marketing or advertising; think website, online marketing, print media, radio, flyer drops, word of mouth referral system (for example, member-get-member programs), targeted promotions and special rates for your demographics.
- Sales; cold calling (either do this yourself or outsource the function), scheduling face to face meetings with clients, phone discussions, directing sales to your website (if your sales are transactional-based), presentations and holding information sessions for groups of potential clients.
- PR or publicity; You can do this yourself or outsource and use radio, print media, articles and interviews that are topical, interesting for the general public and relate to your product and/or service.
So, if any or all of the functions listed above fulfill your needs and increases your sales, if you can undertake them yourself (or outsource them) and if you are happy with the results, then your mission will be accomplished! If not, it might be time for you to consider employing a full-time or part-time sales/marketing person to fulfill the above functions and allow you to focus ‘on’ your business, rather than working ‘in’ it. You can set key performance indicators (KPIs) for your new employee based on what you want them to achieve (including offsetting the cost of their salary), by incorporating this into the return on investment. While KPIs can be expressed in terms of quantity (number) or revenue ($),you should ALWAYS set targets that are Quantifiable, Achievable, Attainable and Sustainable to work successfully.
How do you find a good sales person?
Word of mouth! Ask around, you’d be surprised how many people know just the right person you’re looking for – and they come recommended, which is a bonus! You can advertise in industry specific publications/associations or utilise the services of recruitment agencies. One thing I would recommend is that since he or she is going to be the ‘face’ of your company and/or or in the ‘front line’ of your business, choose wisely and don’t skimp on the salary/commissions of an exceptional candidate. Simply increase the required revenue in their KPIs to reflect their higher salary.
Be aware of your Profit Margin
One last thing…..base your sales/marketing person’s KPIs both on achieving an increase in revenue AND profit….you don’t want to end up with doubling your revenue but only a small increase in actual profit! What is more important at the end of the day?