Early in my career, I had the epiphany that more sales would fix everything. The challenge, however, is figuring out how to consistently increase revenue. My sales philosophy is comprised of three main concepts, and each one drives hundreds of ideas and tactics. Over the next few months with this column, we’ll delve into each one.
The three primary concepts are: new sales, more frequent sales and sales growth from existing customers. In this article, we’re going to focus on new sales.
I’m sure along your path as a pizzeria owner you’ve encountered at least one salesperson who was trying to sell you the next big thing that will change your business. But how do you know what products and services to choose? More importantly, how do you know what’s going to work?
When going after completely new sales there are so many options to employ. I like to find something that works for me rather than take an old idea that’s been used before and beat it to death. First, I begin by deciding what medium I want to use. I like to think of building sales like building a house. You must lay the foundation before you can put the walls up, the roof on, etc. I never like to use just one medium. I like a broader approach.
Let’s look at direct mail, for example. If you want to take the first step towards gaining more customers, you may begin with direct mail. Once you’ve made that decision, my first step would be to line up at least five companies and have them pitch me their spiel. I want them to sell me on why they’re unique and worth pursuing over their competitors. I’ll then compare and contrast the companies. I don’t always pick the cheapest option — I try to envision how they’ll help my business the most. The more you talk to each company, the more you personally learn about the subject. So, you pretty quickly become knowledgeable about your options, and that allows you to make an informed decision about the product you’ll be engaging and adding into your business practice.
Keep in mind you should not just buy a service or product and expect the salesperson to take care of the rest. You need to monitor it for results and optimize it to your liking and needs as the campaign progresses. When the results do start to come in, it’s important to track them and utilize the data in a way that will inform your future choices in terms of spending.
Once you feel like you have a solid grasp on a particular medium, hopefully the additional sales generated will have given you more dollars to use towards even more marketing. This will enable you to pursue other strategies and tactics that will enhance your existing marketing efforts.
In the next installment we will look at ways to increase sales through securing more frequent purchases.