It happens to every business at some time. A lull in sales or a seasonal trough that creates a cash flow dilemma. It pays to have strategies you can implement to smooth out these rough patches in your business revenues.
Below are 5 proven and effective ways to generate sales whilst showing your customers the value they receive by staying with you. So here are the five strategies:
- Ask for referrals
- Employ loss leader marketing
- Flash sales
- Awaken sleeping customers
- Exclusive offers
Ask for Referrals
Part of your marketing system processes should include a formal referral program. By formal I mean it is baked into your everyday focus when dealing with customers or prospects. Your current happy customers will be more than willing to provide you with referrals – if they are asked.
Referrals are a warm introduction to a lead and therefore has a higher probability of ending in obtaining a new customer. Have a structure template or script for requesting the referral and include an incentive if it is called for.
Even if only one in 4 customers offer a referral this could still amount to a significant amount of revenue (based on average lifetime customer value). Don’t be shy. You will be able to offer your unique value to even more people!
Offer a Loss Leader
A “loss leader” is basically low-priced product or service, which on its own, is not a profitable deal for you. The idea is to draw in a lot of customers into your sales funnel which will feature other higher value offers (upsells) along the path.
If you are aware of the lifetime value of your customer (LVC), you will be able to formulate how much to spend in gaining a new one.
Let’s say your average customer spends $300 each year and you retain them for around 5 years. The LVC is $1500. If a loss leader actually cost you $50 to deliver, then that’s a reasonable cost to purchase a new customer.
Even if customers do not buy your upsell or cross sell you will have them on your email list for marketing to later.
Announce a Flash Sale
Flash sales are a great way to produce a jump in sales in a short period of time. Offer an appealing discount on a high value product or service over a 24 to 48-hour period.
The trick here is to make sure you announce and promote the sale well ahead of the actual scheduled date and time. This can be done via an email campaign, social media or well-placed signage.
Disclaimers and terms of the sale should be documented and made clear to avoid any confusion. Staff should be informed of the sale and terms to ensure they are on the same page.
Awaken Sleeping Customers
Your current customer database may contain a gold mine of potential sales in the form of dormant customers. Perhaps you have not contacted them for a while. If not, then putting in place an outreach program will pay dividends.
These customers may have not purchase anything in the last six months.
Existing customers know you and are so much easier to sell to. As such, your path of least resistance to a sale is existing customers. A great deal or bundle (product plus services) offering could reawaken their interest and result in sizeable sales activity.
By researching what these customers have purchased in the past you might discover a product they have not been offered.
If you have a new product or service offering a great way to promote it is to offer a free demonstration, trial or webinar. Limiting the number of customers that can access the offer also creates demand.
To create urgency a limited time offer can be promoted. This type of offer appeals more to your raving fan customers.
V.I.P. nights or events are a great way to gather interested customers or prospects into a venue (or online event).
All the above strategies work. Don’t try to execute all of them at once. Instead build a tool-box of techniques you can apply at the appropriate time in your business cycles.