If you want to boost the sales of your company, there’s only one way to do it— give the customers what they want! Imagine this. If you’re selling gadgets such as mobile phones and tablets, you must find out what exact features would benefit each customer the most so that you will know which models […]
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If you want to boost the sales of your company, there’s only one way to do it— give the customers what they want!
Imagine this. If you’re selling gadgets such as mobile phones and tablets, you must find out what exact features would benefit each customer the most so that you will know which models to recommend and push.
If you’re marketing the products to college students, then you have a good idea of what would be most suitable for them. If you’re targeting executives and managers, the marketing style and the selling points may vary even if the products are the same.
The best way to make a sale is to get your product or service right under the nose of the right person and then present it according to what he or she wants.
In order to do this effectively, here are the steps you ought to master and follow:
Step 1: Know What They Want.
Naturally, before you can give people what they want, you have to find out what it is they want. How can you do this?
Let us count the ways…
The most excellent method is very simple— Just Ask. Yes, that’s it. You need to ask what people want, which can be done in various ways.
Let’s say you have a toy store and you want to know what toddler girls are interested in. Why not set up a game booth wherein these little ones can point to the picture of the toy they want and get something in return? Or how about conducting a survey among their parents? That could work too. You don’t have to stick to one method. The more ways you can carry out, the better. It can bring you greater validation.
On social media, you can also come up with a fun, quick survey. For example, if you have a fashion business, you can show two photos of tops and ask people to comment which one they like more.
Surveys and polls can also be done via email, coupons, and more.
Another method you can try is to arrange for a focus group discussion. Gather a couple of those from your target market and facilitate a discussion to find out what they want. Do they enjoy online shopping? What are their preferred methods of payment? What bonuses would they be interested in? Such a discussion may cost you, but it might be worth it. Don’t forget to give a token or incentive for their participation.
Step 2: Identify Your Top Selling Points.
Now that you’ve done different ways of discovering what your customers may want, you can identify your top selling points already.
Which things about your products/services appeal most to them? Which can actually influence them to make that decision to buy?
List these selling points so you can work on marketing campaigns that focus on them. This way, you won’t waste your time trying to emphasize all the wonderful features and benefits when your customers aren’t really interested in some of them. Just pick out a few that make your offer very attractive and tempting for them, according to what you did for Step 1.
Furthermore, focusing on just one to three selling points will help unify your promotional materials and have better recall among your audience. This strategy is also valuable in strengthening your branding and making it stand out amidst the competing businesses.
Step 3: Focus on Benefits, Not Features.
Believe it or not, even highly experienced salespeople make the mistake of confusing benefits with features. There is a huge tendency to point out features of your products/services without much emphasis on the benefits.
What’s in it for the customers?
This is the question you should be asking when planning your marketing campaign, sales pitch, or presentation.
Rather than talking about the genuine, high-grade leather used in your bags, it’s better to focus on the fact that the material is both durable and comfortable for everyday use. It’s better to highlight the feeling of sophistication that customers are bound to feel and radiate when using these bags.
Instead of posting about the contents of your food supplement, which people don’t understand anyway, why not show a photo that depicts good health and endurance despite a stressful job?
It’s really more effective to go straight to the benefits, also weaving in emotional selling in the process. For instance, when promoting an affordable car insurance with speedy claims, show a video of someone who happily pays the premium and still affords to buy travel tickets and date his wife in a fancy restaurant. Then show him bringing his car for body repair and getting it back quickly without hassle. In the video, the car owner must be shown to have peace of mind. Perhaps he’s smiling as he is driving his newly fixed car.
Step 4: Use the Right Medium.
In giving customers what they want, you don’t just stop with finding it out and highlighting the most important benefits based on top selling points. You should also make use of the right medium to promote your business.
What if you discovered that families who go to your beach resort would love a babysitting service for the little kids? You can’t just put up a sign on the reception area to let the guests know. Once you have established this service, it would be good to draw attention to it through a banner or poster on your website and on your social media accounts. You should also list it in your brochures, hotel/resort descriptions, emails, etc.
There are various media being utilized today for marketing. Hence, it’s essential to pick out the most effective ones that will help you get the word out there to reach your target customers.
Remember that in doing this, there are some other factors you have to take into account— budget, time, availability of resources— aside from who the customers are and what they want.
Follow the 4 steps above carefully and you’ll be well on your way to added success in your sales! Good luck!
As e-commerce continues on a steady rise and outsourcing remains to be a growing trend, it’s no wonder more businesses are veering away from traditional physical offices and actually moving toward bigger virtual offices.
There are, of course, businesses that would really require brick-and-mortar workspaces and stores while still running a portion of their operations through an online team of professionals. There are also those that can actually operate purely with virtual offices, involving experts from around the world who can work from their homes and simply communicate or meet up online.
Having a virtual office has its pros and cons. Depending on your goals and the tasks involved in your daily operations, you may see this as a practical strategy for your marketing and operational needs. Or you may not appreciate it at all. It all depends on the nature of your business as well as your future plans.
The Pros of a Virtual Office
What are the specific benefits of having a virtual office, whether in full-blast for your entire system or only for one or two aspects of your business? Take a good look at the advantages outlined below:
- Significantly Lower Overhead Costs
If you run an offline business with an actual office space, you probably have a very good idea how huge the overhead expenses are on a monthly basis and how much of a hassle it can be to maintain and improve the place. Think electricity, water, cleaning, equipment, supplies, and a lot more, some of which you never even thought of initially.
What if all of these expenses were taken away and you still have the same earnings? This would mean more savings and profit on your part.
There are actually plenty of virtual office providers online and offline which would only cost you a fraction of the usual overhead or lease/rental amount. These are already equipped with all the necessary things your workers would need.
What’s more, you can opt to just hire a main coordinator or project manager who can deal with and supervise your virtual team. Outsourced workers may use their own equipment at home and just connect via the Internet. Online meetings can still be arranged.
In addition, because these people are not your actual employees, you will not have to worry about the usual benefits for them. You are not required to give 13th month pay, for instance, nor to pay them for “sick leaves” or “vacation leaves”. However, these bonuses can still be given at your discretion.
- Convenient International Expansion
The Internet explosion and the growth of e-commerce have made it possible for businesses to enjoy easier and more convenient international expansion. You can actually operate across the globe virtually and have workers from around the world involved, without needing to leave your own country. This allows you to expand your reach immensely and thus make your brand well-known not just locally but internationally.
These days, it is highly probable for even startup businesses to reach out to people from different countries and sell their products and services all over the world.
- Expertise Within Reach
Trainings can be quite expensive when done the conventional way. Usually, you send employees to attend seminars and workshops or you hold your own in-house sessions. These will entail more costs than if you just do it online— through email and social media, for example. You can even deliver your own webinars for virtual office workers.
Oftentimes, you’ll be able to acquire great talent and real expertise online without having to pirate actual known specialists. Today, they do offer their services and skills online on a project basis.
The Cons of a Virtual Office
It’s also important that you are well aware of the disadvantages. These setbacks will give you a clearer picture and help you decide if this is something you should pursue or actually invest in.
- Lack of Control
When you allow your workers to rent in actual virtual offices, chances are they are working with others who are involved in other projects or with other companies. Hence, you don’t have a lot of control over the environment in which they are carrying out the tasks. This can be quite risky because confidential information might leak out and concentration and quality may be compromised, among others.
And if you are handling a team of outsourced workers and working with them online, there is also a tendency to feel that you are not in control. They are not your employees and are likely working on other projects too so they may not give their 100% for your business.
- Challenge in Team Spirit and Coordination
Indeed team spirit and close coordination play a giant role in productivity within an office environment. But when it comes to virtual offices, these are challenged. Because the people involved are not always communicating and they don’t really see each other on a regular basis, the rapport and teamwork may not be developed quickly or may not be sustained.
This is fine if your tasks are made for individuals and are not designed for teams. Thus, you need to also weigh the nature of the project and your goals and objectives before going for a virtual office or team.
- Sudden Unavailability or Disappearance
One common problem that businesses have when dealing with outsourced workers is the sudden unavailability of personnel. These people whom you only met online may suddenly not deliver and can come up with tons of excuses. Your crucial deadlines may be compromised and you may lose clients because of this.
There are plenty of incidents wherein a writer, graphic artist, or online marketer suddenly just disappears. This is why if you have already established a good working relationship with an outsourced worker, make sure that you get to keep him or her. Give incentives and other benefits as you go along.
Remember that you don’t have any hold of them because there are no actual contracts or an employee handbook to abide by. Therefore, it’s going to be challenging to look for the best members of your virtual office team who can work together and deliver amazing results.
With these pros and cons, you get a more vivid picture of how it is like to have a virtual office or team. Do you think it suits your business at this time? If so, go ahead and give it a try. But learn more about it first and interview others who have been doing it for quite some time. This way, you can avoid the mistakes they have committed in the past and thus also avoid delays and problems in your own operations. Good luck!