How Every Business Can Increase Sales Guaranteed!

Home » Blog » How Every Business Can Increase Sales Guaranteed!

When I start sales consulting with small business owners, the very first thing I get them to focus on is increasing sales from their current customers and prospects. Without a doubt, the fastest way to grow a business is to increase what your current customers and prospects are buying from you!

In this video I cover the five best ways to increase sales quickly and at almost no cost.


Amazingly, this is one area that most small business owners ignore!  Some form of outbound advertising is usually the first thing the typical business owner does when they want to increase sales.  The easiest thing to do is to call up the newspaper and place an ad, or get some flyers printed and pass them out.

Yes, outbound advertising has a place in your marketing plan.  But marketing to current customers is the fastest and easiest way to increase sales.  These are the people who already know you, trust you, and like you.

A few other benefits of selling to your current customers:

  1. The additional sale or work they need is often much more fun and profitable.
  2. When you concentrate on meeting your best customers’ needs, you make it almost impossible for your competitors to steal them from you.
  3. They are much more likely to refer their friends to you. Since people tend to be friends with people similar to them, the quality of the referral is very high.

Here are four areas you should concentrate on first:

  1. Convert a higher percentage of prospects into paying customers.  Count how many prospects you meet with who actually turn into paying customers.  When I started, about a third of the prospects I met with turned into paying customers.  Now this number is close to 80%.  In fact, I am in the enviable position of turning away customers who are not a good fit for me.

These are some of the steps I would take to improve in this area:

  • Measure your current closing rate. If you don’t have a baseline, how will you know if you are improving?
  • Identify every first contact point with the prospect.
    • Determine what the goal of that first contact is. Is it to sell?  Is it to educate?  Is it to get a meeting with them?  Plan accordingly.
    • Impress upon everyone who has first contact with a prospect that your goal is to get a customer for life, not a one-time sale.
    • Script out the first contact in detail. Too often the first contact with a prospect is made with a sales clerk or receptionist who has not been trained in sales.  It just makes me cringe when good advertising has brought me into a store and the first person who greets me (or too often ignores me!) makes a bad first impression!  What a lost opportunity.
    • Measure your new closing rate to see if there was improvement.
    • If not, determine why not, and make one change in the process.
    • Measure again and repeat.
  1. Turn your first-time customers into long-term customers who come back frequently.  This is too important to leave to chance!  Get a plan in place to WOW your prospects so that they will never consider anyone else.  Think of this as a first date where you and your staff are on your best behavior.  Give your new customer your undivided attention, and really work to determine their true needs and solve their problems.

Contact your best customers and ask them what they like best about buying from you.  Also contact customers who bought once and never returned.  Find out what you could have done differently to make them return.

Give your customers an incentive to return.  Frequent buyer cards, customer discounts, and special events for your best customers are some common ways of accomplishing this.

Educate your customers regularly on how your product or service improves their lives.  An educated customer buys more!

Don’t let your customers believe you don’t care about them.  Stay in contact.  Emails to customers and print newsletters work well.  Remember, your customers are not walking around thinking about the next time they will have the pleasure of spending money with you.  In fact, they are bombarded with so many sales messages in an average day that they may have already forgotten about you.

  1. Increase your customer order size each time they purchase.  Plan in advance what related products you will offer during the sales process.  When McDonald’s trained their employees to ask, “Do you want fries with that?” they perfected upselling to the point that it became a running joke with many people.  But it worked!

Online, Amazon has implemented upselling effectively by adding a section that says, “Customers who bought this item also bought…”  How many times have you purchased the recommended add-ons?  I’m sure you have at least looked.

Train yourself and your staff to ask the right questions that will lead to add-on sales.  Be sure that they know to offer the added product as a solution to a problem the customer may not even know they have.  After all, you are the expert in your products and know what other products they may need.  In fact, it could be argued that you have a responsibility to offer the add-on product to your customer if it will truly solve their problem.

  1. Review your current customer list with an eye toward identifying customer needs that you can offer a solution to. Start with your largest customers first.  In most businesses 80% of the sales come from only 20% of customers.  It is only obvious that you should start to sell to them first.  Remember, these people have already shown that they both have a need for your products or services and the money to spend on solving their problem.
  1. Entice your customers to refer their friends, families, and associates.  The best way to get referrals is to do such a good job solving problems, in a way that is both enjoyable and convenient, that people just want to brag about you to their friends.  So make sure you WOW them!

Then simply ask them for the referral.  But don’t just ask them for names of people who you can contact.  No one wants to unleash a hungry salesperson on their unsuspecting friends.  Ask them for names of people who have similar problems.  For example, let’s say you just took photos of a couple getting married.  When you go over the finished pictures with them, ask them if any of their friends are getting married, graduating, just had a baby, etc.  This is more likely to get a referral because they can remember people in those situations easier than the mysterious someone who may want their picture taken.

Offer an incentive for referring.  A discount for both them and the new customer often helps overcome people’s hesitance.  Just look at the power of affiliate marketing.

Now I know that this all seems like a lot of work, and it is.  But the rewards of doing the work are huge!  I have worked with numerous business owners who made improvement in these five areas and experienced an increase in sales of 25% to 100% without any additional costs in advertising.