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The 6 Marketing Principles You Must Know To Make Your Sales Soar

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by Peter Sun, (abridged version by Richard Simmons)

This is the an abridged version of chapter 2 of Peter Sun's amazing manual 'How To Increase Your Profits In Any Economic Climate'. Follow these principles and watch your sales soar. I certainly have.

Principle 1 : Monitor ALL Responses To Your Adverts And Marketing

Most business owners have not got a clue whether their adverts, letters or promotions are working or not. They spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on a particular advertisement or promotion every week just because they feel they should.

This is sheer lunacy.

As a business owner you should NEVER, I repeat NEVER run a promotion unless you have a method of monitoring the results.

Don't just fire in the dark and hope you hit something. That's a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately most businesses do this because that's what everyone else is doing.

Answer this for me - If you place an advert in more than one magazine or send out a letter can you tell exactly how much profit or loss that promotion generated ? How many leads did you get from that promotion and what was the cost per-lead?

If you are like most business owners you'll probably have a hard time answering those questions. At some point you will need to make a decision as to what promotions to drop and which to continue with. Without hard facts that monitoring provides you'll have a hard time.

Remember, Don't leave your advertising and marketing to chance. Monitor everything that you do.

Principle 2: Find And Develop Your Unique Competitive Advantage (UCA)

What should I buy from you ? What can you give me that your competitor can't ?

90% of businesses that I have spoken to cannot answer these questions. Again they fall into the 'me too' category. Basically they are saying because I'm here that's why.

If you really want your business to grow then you need to define your UCA. It doesn't have to be complicated.

Here a few examples :

  • I personally offer a 1-Year No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee On All Non-Digital Products . I also make sure that real-world tried and tested information is given to visitors of this website and that all our products are the best around to help any small business grow (Richard).
  • Amazon.Com make sure that they have the largest selection of books on the planet, over 6 million.
  • Domino's pizza offer to deliver your pizza piping hot within thirty minutes otherwise it's free.

Tell people what's so special about you and they will buy.

Principle 3 : Test Different Strategies, Advertisements And Prices

How do you decide what products you sell and at what prices ?

It's amazing how many business owner "know" what will work and what wont. If asked how they "know" you'll discover it's pure guess work. Let the marketplace tell you what it wants.

You can make a whole heap more money in your business just by testing different strategies. Here are a few things you could test :-

  • Different Prices
  • Different Headlines
  • Different Approaches
  • Different Copy
  • etc.

For example lets consider price testing. If you get 10 calls per week for your product and you manage to sell 4 items at £400. What would happen if you tried to sell the products for £350. Would it increase sales and would you make more profit do to volume. Another week you should £500 and monitor what impact that has on your volume of sales and profits.

Doesn't that make more sense ? A small change could double your profits almost overnight.

In a nutshell rather than deciding what you think the price should be, let the market tell you !

Principle 4: Ask Your Customers What They Want

What need, want or desire are you filling in your customers mind ? Have you ever asked yourself what your customers really want or need in the product or service you offer ?

Most businesses have no idea. When I ask them 90% of cases they say "All The Customer Wants Is Price - and Sometimes Service". This is laughable.

If people only wanted the 'best price' there would be No Rolls-Royce or Mercedes cars, no designer-label clothes or bigger houses.

As for service, a lot of business cannot pinpoint what kind of service they offer.

The best way to find out what your customers want is to...ASK THEM!!

The answers may surprise you. For a supermarket it may be home-delivery and easy parking rather than "price". A wholesale garden centre's customers wanted delivery on time, plants that would last in the sun and availability. Price was the last thing on their list. Why is that ? Well imagine this. You are a landscaper and you have five men, two trucks and a crane on site. All you need are the plants. Every hour's delay costs you about £350. You're tearing your hair out.

Next time what will be more important, a saving of £50 on your plants or a reliable delivery? And if the plants die in 2 months time who is the customer going to blame ? Thats right. YOU !!

Cheap Plants? No thankyou - I want plants that will last.

What do your customers really want from you ? Ask them. They'll LOVE to tell you and it also shows that your business is considerate.

Principle 5: Tell Your Customers The "Reasons Why".

Everytime you make an offer, ask for a sale, reduce your prices or make any other proposition to your customer- always tell them the reason why ?

Why is your price cheaper than your competitors ? Is it because you have a lower overhead or can buy more in bulk ? Will you still give me good service ? Is there the something wrong with the product? Your customers want to know why. Tell them.

Customers are naturally sceptical due being burnt in the past. Give them a good HONEST reason and they will buy. People want to feel that what they bought was a good deal. So give them the reasons.

Principle 6: Mail Your Existing Customers.

Most people make a sale to a customer and then go out looking to find a new one. But did you know that:

It is FIVE times easier to sell something else to an existing customer, than to convert a new one.

The first sale is just the start. There is no business that cannot benefit from mailing and making new offers to their existing customers.

What if you have a once-only product ? Well for a start not too many products are once-only. You will buy 35-45 pairs of shoes, 6-7 cars, 3-4 houses and probably paint, carpet and renovate 5-6 times in your life.

It does not cost much to send a few letters to some who has spent money with you. If you don't have another product to sell find a related product and negotiate a deal for your customers.

For a 4WD it could be a roll bar, caravan or camping gear. For a house it could be carpets, curtains, alarms etc. For a dress shop it's shoes, accessories, handbags etc.

If you have a repeat product such as shoes, why not take the customers size, favourite colour and mail them with advance notice of new lines ? Or with first notice on specials in 'their' size ?

A menswear shop does more business in its "Customer Only" four day sale than in a month of normal trading.

Every business can profit from add-on sales. If you do it and consistently test new approaches you will start making more a lot money for a tiny investment.

Richard Simmons is a respected IT and Marketing Consultant and has been involved in Internet technology since 1996. He works with major blue-chip companies and investment banks and advises countless small and home based businesses. Richard is uniquely gifted in that he has a deep understanding of both Technology and Marketing industries combined. Contact him personally at richard@crimsondirect.com. You'll also discover some of his uniquely creative business building articles and resources at http://www.crimsondirect.com.