Four Ways to Increase Your Sales In a Hurry

Need to improve your cash flow in a hurry? Try these four wasy to increase your sales today:

1--Upsell--this means to suggest additional items, products or services in order to increase the revenue for a particular order. It's also called "suggestive selling". In a restaurant, it can mean suggesting juice with breakfast, wine with dinner, dessert, a side item, etc. "Do you want fries with that?"

The seller (who might be a waiter) suggests or upsells things the customer hasn't requested. It's good service and it works. You don't have to be pushy--just say " How about our molten chocolate cake for dessert? Or " May I get you some linen envelopes to match this beautiful notepaper?"

Make upselling second nature in your business and train your associates to do the same. Incremental sales can really add up!

2--Ask for referrals--Call your clients and your network and ask for referrals. If you have a referral to pass along, so much the better. If you bake wedding cakes and a bride has just placed an order with you, ask her if any of her friends are getting married and ask her to send them to you. Offer to call your friend at the Tuxedo shop to set up a meeting for her. When you call your friend, ask her if she's had any wedding groups lately looking for wedding cakes. Perhaps you can put flyers or business cards or even discount cards in her shop. Try this with all your "in the same business" friends.

For example, our baker could ask for referrals at her church, the bridal registry associates at a department store, a seamstress, a limousine company, a travel agent, caterers, etc.

Continue to build your referral network on a regular basis and watch your sales increase!

3--Run a special -- Offer deeper discounts for buying today. If you sell a perishable item or provide a service, anything over your operating costs is profit and what you don't sell today you may never be able to sell. If you are a cleaning agency, offer discounts to fill your slow times. Hotels might offer deeper discounts for Sunday night business. Volume discounts work, too--buy three, get one free.

Don't go overboard with lower-priced specials, though. Running too many "sales" can result in customers waiting for sales to buy at lower prices, and can actually devalue your products and services.

4—Dial for dollars -- If you have a database (any listing of customer’s contact information—it could be a fish bowl with business cards in it or a well-maintained computer file), pick up the phone and call these people. If they have done business with you and given you their contact information, you have their permission to contact them. Tell them you just wanted them to know about today’s special sale(see 3 above) and hope they can drop by.

And, finally, once you take care of making some money today, get to work on a marketing plan. Your marketing plan will help you build your business in a strategic, determined way. While it might not make every day a stellar day, it will certainly help decrease those “it’s so slow” days when you wonder if you’ll ever make another sale! It will help you promote your business in an ongoing, consistent manner, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot.

There are many effective solutions to marketing your business that require some time and effort but little or no money at all! Networking, customer relationship management, creating “buzz” or word of mouth advertising, improving your store displays, sampling, and reaching out to your target market on a regular basis are just some of the way you can grow your business. Often, you can promote your business with these solutions and find they are far more profitable than any advertising you could buy!

Consistent marketing efforts can help you increase your sales on a permanent basis.

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One of my favorite sales books. Jeffrey Gitomer's book is overflowing with great ideas: