Regardless of the business you are in, to keep your business going and maintain profitability, you will be constantly selling your services to both new and existing customers. Before you start, its important to identify your marketplace and prepare a marketing plan. Since there are many ways to reach your targeted customers and prospects explore what options are most cost efficient for your business.
Small Business Sales Avenues
Increase Your Sales and Productivity
In a 21 st century replete with ever-changing technological devices, small business owners quickly espouse "networking" and "customer relationship management (CRM)" when talking sales strategies. Sometimes, they do so without the full realization of what these activities entail. Seldom does "pounding the pavement" form sound waves during roundtable business meetings mostly because the phrase conjures up images of door-to-door vacuum salesmen circa 1954. Is there really a difference? After all, the common denominator to all of these approaches is personal contact.
Links or Kinks: Distribution Chain Option
If money were no object, every ambitious entrepreneur would implement the simplest method to facilitate a product's path to its end users. With plentiful resources and manpower, any item could and would glide seamlessly from manufacturing to market.
Actually, the above scenario does define a real business process. Distribution chains or marketing channels are the ways in which products and services move from factories to consumer outlets, where they are purchased. A distribution channel or chain would also include a product or service moving from one business to another.
Sometimes, a chain employs a complex process involving distributors, jobbers and brokers. Other times, particularly with smaller businesses, the owner's only option is to make the sale himself.
Customer Management: A Tracking Tutorial
Every budding entrepreneur understands that building a strong customer base takes time. However, wrapping up one's customers into a gift box tied with pretty ribbons often elicits an anti-climatic reaction equivalent to a fruitcake on Christmas.
Initially, extensive market research helped you identify your target audience - and your product is ripe for picking. But even with successful marketing efforts enabling you to bring your "fruit" directly to hungry customers--who, by the way, also have enough money to purchase said fruit-your strategic plan still may fall flat in the long term.
Store Front Small Business Sales
In a competitive 21st century, consumers demand value for their money, or they are out the door. On the other hand, if, as a retailer, you deliver extraordinary service with attractive product displays and discount incentives, you will convert an ordinary consumer into a lifetime patron. This process starts in-house with a strong customer service action plan that includes:
Retail Selling Making a Difference
Brick and mortar stores remain the primary method consumers use to purchase products and services in America. According to the 2002 U.S. Census of Retail Trade, more than 1.1 million retailers in the United States operate store outlets. By far, most consumers visit a physical location, while others shop virtual space through the Internet or telemarketing. Many store-based sellers do not limit themselves to a single distribution method, but have multiple mediums for small business sales.
Retailers optimize their daily interactions with customers through their employees. Meeting customers face-to-face or working behind the scenes can potentially lead to customer service problems. Improving these relationships will improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and, ultimately, profits.
In a competitive 21st century, consumers demand value for their money, or they are out the door. On the other hand, if, as a retailer, you deliver extraordinary service with attractive product displays and discount incentives, you will convert an ordinary consumer into a lifelong patron. This process starts in-house with a strong customer service action plan that includes:
How to Sell: Savvy Selling - Moving Products Faster
Retailers know firsthand that customers often make purchasing decisions based on product information presented in catalogues, newspaper ads and online promotions. E-mail provides a fast, simple way to stay in touch with existing customers and to entice new ones.
Despite the effectiveness of these strategies, though, experts suggest that "in-store" advertising probably provides the most effective medium for stepping up sales. While these promotions account for annual revenues topping $15 billion, they cost retailers far less money than most mass media tools. What's more, a well-planned display or an interesting demonstration can entice shoppers to buy more products on the spot.
Invented over a hundred years ago, the telephone remains one of our most effective marketing tools. The right campaign can have a significant impact on your bottom line. In fact, many retailers count on telemarketing as a permanent fixture in their marketing plans. Besides outperforming other forms of marketing media, the method's adaptability allows real-time adjustments to strategy. A single phone call can boost revenue, simply by changing product offerings or switching target audiences. Other reasons telemarketing really works:
Outbound telemarketing is an invaluable asset in data collection, as well as appointment setting, lead generation, surveys, market research, list cleaning, database updates, client reactivations and, of course, phone sales.
Inbound telemarketing applications are excellent for order taking, customer service and responses to virtually any form of advertisement.
Once you have a telemarketing operation set up, it can be easily adapted to a wide range of functions, including:
Industry experts confirm that telemarketing stimulates the growth of any start-up or small business. These services represent a considerable investment in time and money, so before launching a telemarketing campaign from scratch, it's smart to decide whether to set up a call center in-house or to outsource the process to a third party. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, and the answer depends on your situation.
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