How to sell anything

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How is your year going? How are your sales? For your product, your service or selling your message as to how to make the world better.

A successful business (or social enterprise) needs two things …

  1. A product a sufficient number need or want (read 08).
  2. To sell enough of this product to be profitable (or hit other targets).

Today we will discuss selling

Visibility (omnipresence)

A brand needs to be visible to seed a relationship. Building on a solid brand positioning and communications strategy, seek omnipresence, particularly for the core target audience, yet ideally beyond to attract new customers not knowing you exist. DO NOT assume your strategy is working. Monitor brand awareness, communications recall and the impact on consideration and behaviour via regular, robust and representative surveys and other measures.

Demonstration (value)

Allow those intrigued by your brand to easily understand the ‘value.’ This may be a cheaper price. However, this can be risky and tricky. More likely it is a higher level illustration of value via improved price bundling, an enhanced experience, higher quality and a superior reputation. Use market research to define and monitor the optimal value proposition for the entire market and high potential revenue growth segments.

Usage (agility)

Procrastination slows sales, and while discount prices may overcome sluggishness they can devalue the brand and deflate margins. The challenge is how to overcome procrastination without selling your soul. Use market research to provide an evidence based map of the path to purchase and how to remove blockages. Also valuable is experimenting with behaviour change strategies such as incentives; defaults; and leveraging ego (refer to 04 for more).

Advocacy (sharing)

Happy customers are the best sales people if empowered. Net Promoter Score monitoring is trendy and has merit, and we encourage you to do so professionally, confidentially and understanding the gaps. Unhappy customers will likely loudly warn others of their specific frustrations, and need to be monitored and solved pronto. Enthusiastic promoters are unlikely to actually promote without reason, incentives and tools. Monitoring including NPS, identifying gaps, priorities and how to build advocacy are strategically valuable.

Selling is about ‘relationships.’ A relationship customers can trust. An easy relationship.

How can you most efficiently ensure a very large number of people know your product exists? And, from this you will need to intrigue a large number of potential customers to allow you to demonstrate value, efficiently generate leads and convert as many of these as possible to sales.

You will then need to ignite positive word-of-mouth and ongoing sales from customers, lots and lots of customers.

Visibility …… of the product needs to be high, top of mind and omnipresent. Visible to a very large number of people and they are reminded the product exists frequently and ideally on-going.

Demonstration …… of the clear value proposition of the product to a large number of intrigued potential customers is important. Capture the curious, and establish a desire to buy. Tempt them, target them and give them a compelling reason to be a customer.

Usage …… once, twice, frequently and ongoing is vital. Make the purchase easy. Available everywhere, one click, no excuses. Be a critical part of the customers’ lives.

Advocacy …… from users to friends, family et cetera. Leverage the customers’ willingness to tell others, make it easy to share their story, encourage word-of-mouth (WOM). Make the customer own your story, and be willing to help your product to prosper.

Originally posted as our weekly ezine. Read it here.