Take the Lead: Top Tips for Increasing Sales in a Competitive Market

Business.com / Sales / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Whether you run a fairly new startup or have a well-established business that has been trading for decades.

Whether you run a fairly new startup or have a well-established business that has been trading for decades, it is always beneficial to look at creative ways to land more sales. While you might be inclined to offer discounts to draw in more customers, this can have an adverse effect on your profit margins and end up being counter-productive if shoppers end up waiting for discounts before they will make a purchase.

If you’re looking for some simple yet effective ways to increase sales without offering discounts today, read on for some other ideas you can try out instead.

Sell Benefits and Competitive Advantage Rather Than Features

It’s important to remember that people buy based on the benefits they will receive from a product or service, rather than due to the features that it is said to have. Customers look for results, and simply won’t be enticed to pull out their wallet if they can’t understand how your offering will make their lives better or easier.

As a result, you will increase sales dramatically if you identify your ideal customer and then put together a list of all the benefits that this target market can enjoy by using your product or service. You should also get clear on your particular competitive advantage (how your offering is unique) so that this can be highlighted. These benefits and differences must then be presented in all of your marketing and sales efforts.

Group Products Together

A great way to move more stock is to package up multiple products or services together and sell them as a special package. It pays to let customers know that the package is available for a limited time only (this helps to create a sense of urgency), and to group the items together according to a theme. You may choose a specific type of product or service, or package things according to a color scheme, gift recipient or occasion, season, topic, or the like.

Give Away Samples

This won’t necessarily work for all types of products or services, but if you sell a lower-cost item then it often pays to entice people in with free samples. If customers are a little worried about trying something new you can typically get them over the line by letting them try a sample first. This will encourage them to then make a purchase for a full order. This technique can be used for services as well as products — for example, you may decide to offer the first 10, 15, or 30 minutes of your time free.

Offer Bulk Order Incentives

Another great way to increase sales significantly is to introduce incentives for customers who place bulk orders. What qualifies as “bulk” will vary from business to business, but the concept is the same. Provide clients who buy larger quantities than normal a reward of such kind, such as a free promotional item, free membership, or free shipping.

Provide Free or Discounted Shipping

Many customers will also be enticed to complete a purchase if they can take advantage of free or discounted shipping at the time. You can look at providing more cost-effective shipping (or even faster delivery times) as an incentive to customers who make a purchase within a certain time frame or who spend over a set dollar amount.

Give Away a Free Gift With Purchase

You will have undoubtedly received a free gift with purchase yourself at some stage over the years. This technique is often used in the beauty industry, and nets many such companies plenty of additional sales throughout the year. Customers love to receive “something for nothing,” and a limited-time free gift will often spur them on to buy when they otherwise would not have done so.

Get People Involved

Another effective way to increase sales is to get shoppers more involved with your business and more interested in your products and services. For example, you might like to think about running a contest to draw people in and encourage them to purchase. You could get customers to suggest or name new products or services for the chance to receive that item for free, or run a competition to reward the person who buys the most of a certain range or a good within a set period.

Provide a Guarantee

Oftentimes the thing that will stop many customers from completing a sale is their worry about the risk involved with purchase. They might be prevented from buying because they:

  • Are concerned about the quality of the product or service
  • Wonder if they will really make use of it
  • Are not sure if they should spend the money
  • Are not convinced it will suit their needs

You can remove the risk and increase your sales by providing a guarantee instead. Make purchases risk-free for shoppers by stating that you have a “30-day money-back guarantee” or similar type of assurance.

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