No matter what you sell, how high the retail price, what time of year or how bad the economy is, people are still buying almost everything – Houses, Cars, Boats, Insurance, Interior Design, etc.
Are they buying as many as last year? Maybe not. Are they buying less expensive models than they used to? Could be. Are there fewer buyers on the market right now? Probably – so what!
I have purchased 9 homes in my life. Two of these homes I bought on the 24-25th of December. Who the heck buys homes on Christmas or Christmas Eve? Not as many as the weeks before or the weeks after Christmas, but homes still get sold then. I even bought a home when mortgage rates were over 12%!
Despite what you’ve heard or read, people ARE still buying. Your job is to stop justifying why your sales are flat or down and find a way to get those people to buy from you. Now is NOT the time to give into what I call “the down disease” – (everyone is down in sales so I don’t feel so bad that my sales are down too).
In times like these, your competitors will slow down or even eliminate some or all of their marketing efforts. This creates an opportunity for you to capture their customers if you already have systems in place to do so.
Your job is to take advantage of this opportunity and find those prospects that ARE ready, willing and able to buy and make sure that they buy from you, not your competition. Sounds logical and simple enough. But if it was that simple, wouldn’t more companies be doing it?
The sad truth is that many businesses continue to do what they’ve always done in the past regardless of the mediocre results they are now getting.
You don’t necessarily need more marketing money to increase sales.
Instead, it’s your ability to use the marketing money and resources you already have more effectively. What it really comes down to is not having sales generating systems in place that they can use to get a predictable and constant stream of sales regardless of what is going on around the block or around the world.
These systems can do more to increase your sales than just about anything else you could invest in. Why? Because it concentrates on the one thing that ALL businesses can’t get enough of…new customers. Doesn’t that make sense?
Systems are what make so many franchises successful. Why do you think McDonalds®, Dunkin Donuts® and other franchises are so successful? Because they have, over time, developed systems that work.
Make no mistake about it, people who buy a franchise aren’t buying hamburgers, donuts or coffee, they’re buying a program that has proven the test of time, they are buying a successful system.
That’s why the most successful franchises cost so much…because if you do what they tell you to do, if you “connect the dots”, if you “paint by their numbers”, your odds of success go up dramatically.
What type of sales generating systems do you have in place in your business?
Listed below are 4 easy-to-implement systems that you can introduce into your business fairly easily.
1 – Website Lead Capture System
One of the most effective lead-capture systems is the humble newsletter. Electronic newsletters (e-Zines) are much like paper-based newsletters in that they inform, entertain, and make product or service recommendations.
The difference is that you can send an electronic newsletter instantly to thousands of people with the simple push of a button for almost no cost whatsoever. It’s truly amazing.
Of course you need people to send your newsletter to so you should start collecting the email addresses of your prospects and clients today. A surefire way to persuade a prospect to share their personal email address with you is to offer them a low cost premium such as a free report about how to buy your products and services.
The key to making electronic newsletters work is to write, in a personal voice, as though you were talking to your prospect or customer face-to-face. Also, provide interesting and useful content so that your reader looks forward to receiving your newsletter. Be consistent. Send your newsletter on a bi-weekly basis, such as the 1st and 15th of every month.
If you want all the fuss taken out of the newsletter process you can use an all-in-one tool such as http://www.1ShoppingCart.com (that’s what I use) or ConstantContact.com or Aweber.com.
2 – Telephone Lead Capture System
How would you like to capture the name and address of all your lead sources and know exactly where they all came from? Capturing this information would allow you to do follow up marketing with your prospects and compute the exact return-on-investment of each of your marketing and advertising campaigns. Telephone hotlines allow you to do just that – and more.
A telephone hotline is simply a recorded telephone message that can either, (1) ask for and record a prospect’s contact information that can later be transcribed, (2) play back a pre-recorded educational or sales message, or (3) allow the caller to be directly transferred to a live person after listening to a message.
Most telephone hotlines use toll-free telephone numbers that are rented to your business on a monthly basis. You’ll also receive multiple extension numbers with “message boxes” that can play different messages depending on the marketing campaign. I use http://www.AutomatedMarketingSolutions.com for my telephone hotline services.
Imagine offering an interesting free report (or audio / video) in your advertising by asking the prospect to simply call your toll-free number and a specific extension number to request your information product.
The prospect calls up the advertised phone number with its unique extension number and then requests the report by leaving their name and address.
Their name and address gets transcribed that night, entered into an MS Excel spreadsheet, and then sent to you in the morning ready for you to follow up on.
At the end of the month you go online, click a button, and a report spits out the exact source of each of your leads and when they came in. Now you have some powerful information that will allow you to precisely track the return on each marketing campaign.
3 – Internet Pay-Per-Click Advertising System
More and more people are going to the Internet to search for power sports product information before they call up a dealer. It’s critical to be the first power sports dealer that your prospect finds in their search. Pay-per-click advertising allows you to do that in a low risk way.
Let me explain.
Pay-per-click advertising programs such as Yahoo and Google’s Adwords program allow you to bid for search engine placement. If you’ve ever searched for something in Google and saw those text ads on the right side of the screen you’ve seen Google Adwords. With Google AdWords or Yahoo you create your own ads, choose keywords to match your ads to your audience and pay only when someone clicks on them.
For instance, suppose your power sports business is in Chicago. You might bid on the keywords “Chicago” and “motorcycle,” which is a likely keyword combination for a Chicago resident looking for a motorcycle. You may only have to pay $.10 per click to be at the top of the search engines. In less than one hour any power sports dealer can launch their own pay-per-click Internet advertising program.
4 – Follow-Up Marketing System
Now that you’ve generated interest and prospects are coming to your website or responding to your advertising, you need an effective lead follow up system. In the previous paragraph I referred to an “autoresponder service” and now it’s time to learn what they are and why they’re important. An autoresponder service automatically sends multiple email messages that you create on a scheduled basis that you define.
For instance, imagine that you sold golf carts and offered a free 6-part email course on your website titled, “How to Select the Perfect Golf Cart.” After your website visitor signed up to receive your email course by sharing their email address with you, your autoresponder service would automatically send them one email containing your course content every other day over the next 12 days.
Every other day your prospect would automatically receive a useful tip or technique for selecting the right Golf Cart, without any manual intervention from you. Included in each day’s tip could be an offer to visit your website to take advantage of a special offer or to visit your store to receive a personalized educational session.
There’s no magic to how many emails you can set up in your autoresponder system. I know of one power sports dealer who has over six months of weekly emails pre-written and set up to automatically be sent in his autoresponder system. Each email has a unique teaser that drives prospects back to their website.
For instance, one email says, “Click here to see one of the most unique Golf Carts ever built.” The link then takes the reader to a page with a beautiful Golf Cart and also includes a story about some of the problems that cheap Golf Cart owners encounter and how this new Golf Cart overcame those problems. It may also include a testimonial from the prospect raving about the Golf Cart. It’s quite powerful.
One last thought, for a sales or marketing system to be effective it must:
1. Be Quick to get started, Easy to implement, and Simple to maintain
2. Leverage all your other sales and marketing efforts and be capable of producing fast results
3. Continue to produce good results for long periods of time – it must be “viral”
The 3 systems I’ve shown you certainly meet these 3 criteria. Now go out there and start systemizing. If Ronald McDonald can do it, so can you!
For a free consultation to see how we can help you set up lead generation and follow up marketing systems in your business, give us a call at 858-442-3131.