6 Marketing Tactics That Quickly Boost Sales
by Rieva Lesonsky, Guest Blogger
- Created: July 16, 2013, 12:53 am
You work hard to market your business, and you’ve succeeded—so well that you’re swamped with work and have no time to market your business. When you come up for air after finally finishing that big project or filling that huge order, you realize you’ve got no new business in the pipeline. Does this sound familiar? Striking a balance between running your business and marketing your business is a common problem for small business owners. The smaller or newer your business is, the bigger a problem it’s likely to be. After all, if you’re a one-person business, there’s no one to pick up the slack.
How can you make time for marketing when you barely have time to breathe? Here are some tips to help ensure you never drop the marketing ball again.
1. Develop a marketing plan. Making a plan will save you time in the long run. Figure out which marketing efforts bring in the most business, so that when you’re really crunched, you can put all your focus there. Plan what you’d like to do each day/week/month, as well as the “bare minimum” you’ll do when you don’t have time for the big picture.
2. Set aside time. Marketing is like having children: If you wait till the time is right, you’ll never do it. You have to make time. Set aside 20 percent of your work hours each week to devote to marketing, and keep it sacred. Without marketing, your business won’t survive for long.
Then try these quick tactics to bring in business fast…
- Touch base with existing customers. It’s easier to make a new sale to an existing customer than to land a new customer, so go where the low-hanging fruit is. Get in touch with existing customers to see what they need, suggest new products or services they could buy from you based on their past purchases, or offer some special deals. You can even set up your CRM system to do this automatically so you can pretty much set it and forget it.
- Request referrals. Let your current customers lead you to new customers. Quickly contact some existing customers (make sure they’re satisfied ones!) and see if there’s anyone they can refer you to who might want to buy what you sell. Be sure to follow up right away.
- Do double duty. Build marketing into business tasks you already do. For example, when you send an invoice include a flier or a hyperlink about a special offer or deal. Include these when you ship product, too. When your salesperson or service person completes a transaction, have them hand customers coupons for $X off their next purchase or servicing. You get the idea.
- Outsource what you can. Is there some menial marketing task you still handle because you think can’t afford to outsource it? Consider your hourly rate and whether you could pay someone to do it for less. If you’re struggling to design marketing brochures yourself, but you’re not an artist and your hourly rate is $200, could you find a designer for less? Most definitely—and you’ll free up your time for more productive things.
- Network-in-place. Don’t have time to go to your usual networking event this week because you’re slammed? Instead, “network in place.” Bring business cards and be ready to promote your business wherever you go—the gym, the grocery store, the kids’ softball game, pumping gas. You never know who you might meet that could be a lead or a client. Don’t be pushy, but do listen and be ready to help.
- Consider raising prices. If you feel like a hamster on a wheel and can barely keep pace with your workload, it might be time to raise your prices. This sounds counterintuitive, but consider: If you’re getting this much business as it is, how much more could you get if you had more time to market? Weed out the clients who are least likely to pay you more (often, you’ll realize these clients are your biggest headaches, too) and try raising prices on some of the others to see what works. You’ll have more time to work on marketing (and more money to spend on your marketing) because you’ll be making more profit for the same amount of effort.
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