Tuesday, June 4, 2013

3 Ways to Get a Bunch More Sales

Here's part one in a 3-part series of postings to help you grow your business faster.

You may know that my next live event, on June 14 in Maple Grove, is aimed at helping entrepreneurs and small business owners work less and earn more.

As part of the registration process, every attendee is asked the same question:

"What's the most challenging or stressful thing going on in your business right now?"

And 80% of the answers are similar. Take at look below and see if you can't spot a trend ...
  • Would like to make marketing efforts more effective
  • Securing new clients 
  • Getting prospects to listen to something that could change their life for the better.
  • Lack of clients and not knowing how to go after new ones.
  • Long, slow sales cycle. Not being able to have a conversation with the decision maker. They want to email. 
  • Budget cuts for our customers (making our prices harder to afford)
  • Getting enough people to come in to try our product, then getting them to come back.
  • Complex sale & long sales cycle combined with keeping enough work in the pipeline results in "roller-coaster" workload. How can we smooth it out?
  • Thinking of new ways to advertise. Also I'm adding a few new services to my business. Trying to get new ideas for that too.

Their words may be different, but their problems are the same: "I need more people to buy."

Good news: Solving that one problem -- by getting a bunch of people to buy from you -- will solve just about every other problem you face in business.

So, how do you get a bunch more sales? Here are 3 ways:
  1. Attract more prospects, 
  2. Convert more of them to clients, and 
  3. Sell more to them

Today, I'll help you with that first part: How to attract more prospects. 

Now, if you want to attract more prospects, 3 of the easiest and most effective methods are:

1) Find referral partners
Not referrals -- referral partners. There's a BIG difference.

You already know that referrals are the easiest people to sell to. The only problem? They tend to happen in small numbers, one at a time, days or weeks apart. Think of referrals as glasses of water.

Referral partners, by contrast, are like wells that deliver streams of referrals to you on a regular basis. Example: If you're a blacksmith and you have a referral partnership with a horse farm, you could get all the referrals you need to stay busy for months. Anyone who sees your clients before you do is a potential referral partner.

In my business as a direct-response copywriter, a single referral partnership has brought me nearly $31,000 in revenue in the past 9 months, by delivering a steady stream of referrals almost weekly. At my June 14 event, I"ll share this story with you -- and my friend Jim Bear will show you exactly how to set up your own referral partnerships. 

2) Give first
You've heard it said that, "Givers gain." It's true. We tend to buy from people we know, like, and trust. And one of the fastest ways to get known, liked, and trusted by people -- and turn them from strangers into buyers -- is to give.

Give what, you ask? Try giving value.

You can give value to prospects by giving your expertise, knowledge, and time to prospects.

On top of that, you can give value through appreciation. Notice the things that people do that make a difference, no matter how small, and point them out. Then, say thank you, and mean it, by way of thank-you notes. Not emails, but handwritten notes, mailed with a stamp.

Example: my copywriting practice is now self-referring and booked for weeks in advance. This is largely a result of my mailing thank-you notes nearly every day for the past three years.

Of course, I’m pretty good at what I do, but given the choice to do business with a vendor who doesn’t show appreciation and one who does, who will get the business? In many cases, it’s me. That can be you, too.

I call this concept "Thank-You Marketing" and I’ll share the whole thing with you on June 14.

3) Use more testimonials
I'm a sneaky person. And I've secretly been visiting the websites of people who signed up for my seminar. Know what I found? A huge lack of testimonials on most of those web sites.

How do you get great testimonials, without hiring somebody like me to interview your clients?

Do these three things: listen, write, ask.

Specifically ...

1. Listen for signs that your clients love what you do.

Any time a client compliments you in any way, your ears should perk up like a dog hearing the UPS truck. This is your cue to ...

2. Write down what your client said, word for word, as best you can -- right away. Then ...

3. Ask if you could use their comments in your marketing materials. Say this:

"Mike, thanks for saying that. I really appreciate it. Would you be willing to let me use your comments, with your name and city, on my web site and other marketing materials? It would mean a lot to me. And it would tell others what to expect when doing business with me."

Nine out of 10 times, your client will agree to let you use their testimonial. Just email their comments to them, along with this note, which often prompts them to add more to their testimonial:

"Mike, thanks again for agreeing to let me use your kind words about my business. Below is what I think I heard you say on the phone today. Would you please add to or subtract from it until it says exactly what you want it to say, then send it back to me? Thank you!"

Stay tuned for part two of this 3-part series tomorrow, when I’ll show you how to convert more prospects into paying clients.

Meanwhile, if you want to more clients like your best clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. Grab your free copy now, while they last

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