As a startup, your immediate goal needs to be gaining the attention of your customers so that you can sell your products or services. Too many startups waste time trying to make their business perfect, instead of pushing their offering into the marketplace to make money and gain valuable feedback. If you are not marketing, then you are not selling. If you are not selling, then there is no money coming into your business. This is the simple economics, but so many entrepreneurs seem to forget this equation when it comes to their business. Therefore, their business is struggling to exist because it has no customers.
As soon as your business is open to the public, it means that you need to market it and start selling. You cannot forgo either activity just because you do not like doing them. If you want your business to succeed, you will learn to love both activities. This is because these are the two necessary functions that will help your business grow. Therefore, you will need to learn how to effectively market and sell your products or services.
Provided are 9 sales tips that will help you become a better marketer and seller. If you want your startup to be successful and grow into a thriving business, continue reading to learn how.
1. Sell the value of your business
Customers do not care about all the features that come with your product. They do not care about how well your services compare to your competition. What customers want to know is how your product or service will bring value to their life. Customers have problems that they need to be solved and your business needs to be their solution.
Do not make the mistake of marketing how you are in compared to the competition. This hurts your ability to sell because you are more focused on the competition, rather than your own business. You need to determine why your offer is unique and effectively communicate why customers should spend their money with your business. If you cannot do this you will find it very hard to acquire customers for your business. This is because you are not giving them sufficient reason as to why your business is their best option.
You determine the value of your business by knowing exactly how your product or service will help your customers. When you can explain their problems in accurate detail, and then explain how your offer eliminates their problems, you will find it becomes easier to gain customers for you business. You will also find it easier to effectively market your business, and close the deal with great selling — just by explaining the value of your business.
2. Listen to your customer
Never make the assumption that you know what your customers want without speaking to them first. Making assumptions leads to you creating products and services that are not purchased by your customers. You will try hard to market and sell your offer, but will be frustrated when your efforts prove useless. This is because you are not providing your customers with the products and services they actually want.
Demand is created when you provide an offer that your customers have been asking for but they could never find the right provider. Therefore, you need to do the research to learn what their needs are so that you can provide them with the exact products or services they want.
You need to engage with your customers on social media, create focus groups, and participate on forums that are used by your target market. When you become a part of your customers’ conversations, you understand how to create the products or services they will purchase without hesitation. This enables you to create marketing campaigns that they identify with because you are communicating using language they find appealing.
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3. Market your product before it’s ready
It is a very bad mistake to wait until your product is complete to start marketing your business. Doing this makes you anxious and nervous when your product is actually available. This is because you have been spending money on developing your product and getting your business started. Therefore, you have lost money on development costs and are continuing to lose money as your business is not experiencing any sales. So you need to immediately start bring in revenue so that you can erase your debts and start making a profit.
The number one objective when operating a business is to make money. It does not matter if you do not have anything to give your customers at the moment. You know the value that your product or service will provide and that is what you sell to prospective customers. When you can tell them how your offer will bring them better results in their business, or alleviate their current problems, they will feel compelled to make a purchase based on the results you guarantee. This is why you need to start marketing your offer so that you can experience sales while your product is still in development.
4. Think outside the box
You are not limited to the size of your marketing budget. Just because you do not have the money to spend on television and radio advertising, it does not mean that you do not have marketing options. Social media and the internet have allowed people with shoestring budgets to reach their target market. These platforms allow you to reach people all around the world and engage with them. Having a website, blog, and active social media presence will allow you to grow your business with limited money if you are providing valuable content on all these platforms.
5. Test your marketing campaigns fast to improve quickly
It takes time to learn which marketing campaigns are providing you with the best results. This is especially true when you are running multiple campaigns to bring in a large quantity of leads. Just because you see some initial success, it does not mean that you should keep all of your marketing campaigns running. You need to determine which are providing results, and which are costing you money that could be spent on the better performing campaigns.
You will need to track your marketing campaigns so that you can analyze how they are performing. Instead of spreading your money out and wasting it, you are now investing only in results and not assumptions. Your money is then being used wisely to help your business produce more sales and accelerate its growth.
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6. Market from multiple angles
Your marketing needs to be distributed through multiple channels, instead of just depending on one source. Marketing from multiple angles allows you to communicate with consumers on various platforms so that your marketing message produces better results. When people see your business being promoted on popular websites, radio, YouTube commercials, and Facebook ads; they start to believe in the value of your business. Your constant presence is helping you build your authority and brand recognition, which are great sale enhancers.
7. Focus on getting good PR
You need to utilize the media to build the credibility of your business. The reason being, is because these are trusted outlets that only tend to cover people and businesses of importance. Therefore, your appearance in these publications will boost the perception of your business tremendously. It is even better when you make multiple appearances in these publications, which increases your authority status.
You will need to develop relationships with different media professionals. Start off small by targeting blogs in your niche, and then building your way up to top publications, such as Entrepreneur and Forbes. This helps you gain more inquiries about your business because people will perceive you as being the best of the best since you are receiving this sort of coverage.
8. Give customers a place to talk to/about you
You need to provide customers with a place where they can share their experiences about your business. This can be a forum on your website or a Facebook page. Do not take this as an opportunity to police the conversation that your customers are having about your business. If your customers have had a bad experience, that is your opportunity to correct any issues that occurred. This is good publicity for your business because it shows that you care about providing your customers with the best experience possible — even if it means admitting your mistakes. It is better for your customers to discuss your business in a space you provided, rather than anywhere else. Good experiences being discussed can probably lead to a new customer. Bad experiences being discussed will definitely result in an individual avoiding your business.
9. Reward your existing customers
Treat your existing customers right and they will reward you with their loyalty in return. When your customers are happy, they will want to tell all their family and friends why they should become a customer of your business. Therefore, you need to continue to provide your existing customers with discounts, specials, and other rewards that demonstrate your gratification for their business.