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Business Advice

How to sell more

These are some ways through which you can win more customers and increase sales revenue
ST701 Editorial Team - July 27, 2010
By: Sheila Lim
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How to sell more

Managing a small business isn’t easy as you have to constantly find ways to sustain or increase your "sales target” to keep afloat. 

The kinds of sales approaches you should employ will depend on the kind of business you run; but whatever selling techniques you choose to use, your ultimate goals would be to keep your customers happy rather than drive them away, and to achieve an edge over your competitors.    

These are some ways through which you can win more customers and increase sales revenue:

    Increasing sales-closing ratio through a thorough knowledge of customers’ specific needs.

    Building customer loyalty by keeping them satisfied or even delighted.

    Shortening the sales cycle through referrals from satisfied/loyal customers.

    Beating competitors by offering your customers the best solutions.

The PLEASE principle

As customers, we don’t mind waiting in line for ages and are able to tolerate shabby treatment when we want to acquire something that we desire, or is scarce or unique. For instance, the foodies among us may be willing to wait for up to an hour for favourite grub to be dished up by a famous but grouchy and rude hawker because we simply have to satiate our craving for it.

In normal circumstances, however, we would rather get what we need from business establishments that we’ve grown to like and trust, as we know that we’ll be less likely to face disappointment.

Thus, if you are a business owner, likeability and trust should be the basis upon which you develop a mutually beneficial relationship with your target customers, keep them coming back and ensure a steady or growing stream of revenue.

And in order to win your customers’ hearts and minds, you have to apply the PLEASE principle. Think of “PLEASE” as the attributes of your corporate image/brand personality – Personable, Likeable, Extraordinary, Attractive, Sincere, Exciting – that will help position your business organisation as your target customers’ top choice.

As customers, we all like to feel special and be treated well. That’s why basic selling techniques like making eye contact and acknowledging customers are often inculcated by sales trainers. A simple greeting or smile can sometimes do wonders in putting a customer at ease and getting them to be more open to your sales recommendations. Staff can be trained and motivated to add a personable touch to their sales approach, but they’ll have even greater impetus to excel in their job if they have a boss who’s personable, nurturing and likeable too!  

This quality is essential if there is little to differentiate you from your competitors. Do everything you can to develop a positive image in your customers’ minds, not only by consistently meeting their needs but also forging a good relationship with them. They’ll choose to continue doing business with you if they are drawn by the benefits you offer, such as quality products, attractive prices, reliable service, convenience and flexibility.

Besides being liked by your customers, another way to stand out from the competition is through product differentiation or niche marketing. There are various strategies you can adopt, like selling products that are uncommon or unique, providing unbeatable service or customisation services, offering the best value, or being the best in the market in specific areas like expertise, product attributes or range. 

If you’ve succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of your customers, great! Now that you’ve made them like you enough to keep coming back, how do you to get them to increase their purchasing volume and frequency? In this aspect, knowing your target customers well helps. For instance, if you are in the stationery business, you could help your clients and boost your sales at the same time if you can provide them with products or solutions that will help them perform their work more efficiently and thereby improve productivity as well as your relationship with them.     

Sincerity sells. From the body language and behaviour of a salesperson, it is very easy for a customer to tell whether this person is genuinely seeing to his needs or only interested in closing the sale. A customer is more likely to trust those who have his interests at heart, particularly if he is intending to purchase a product or service of high value or great importance, such as financial investments, insurance packages or healthcare services.    

The marketplace is constantly changing as organisations strive to retain or attract customers through product innovation and creative marketing strategies. Because of the multitude of choices available, consumers have higher expectations and are becoming harder to please. This means you have to keep your creative juices pumping and be pro-active in stepping up your advertising and promotional efforts, particularly during lull periods or an economic slowdown.


Lessons from the 'international school of business' - America