Most likely, marketers who are struggling to win customers, are either not prospecting in the right way or are not putting enough effort.
According to SiriusDecisions, “an average seller has only 2 attempts to reach a prospect and 44% of sellers leave after the first follow-up”
Imagine the impact they would have if they only made more attempts!
In this article, I will show you effective business development strategies that I have learned from experts during my sales training process combined with my experience managing retail business and that I have applied in my own business, that will help you grow your business.
Whether you’re selling a product online or heading a business offline, these business development strategies will work for you. They will help you attract more visitors to your marketing funnel and turn them into sales.
7 effective business development strategies
Below are the 7 most effective business development strategies that will help you to boost sales of your products.
1. Use influence to make the value of your products known
The Marketing of influence is here to stay, so you have to hold on tight to it. According to Adweek, almost 60% of salespeople intend to increase their influence marketing budgets in the next 12 months.
Influence is the ability to persuade others to adopt your own point of view. Naturally you believe in your product, so, you want others to believe in it too.
To increase your ability to persuade others in this way, you must appeal to their emotions. Therefore, the influence increases the perceived value of your products.
If you have noticed, influential people tend to sell more products. It is not because they have created the best product – sometimes, that is not true – but because of the years, they have built credibility. People trust their opinions.
For example, in the world of Inbound Marketing, people trust Brian Halligan . This is because Brian is the Co-Founder of Hubspot and created the concept Inbound Marketing that saw the light in the book ” Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs .” He is a coveted public and influential speaker in social networks.
Brian has built his reputation based on the advice he gives to other entrepreneurs, where the social exchange and the response to these messages is incredible.
When you’re selling online, becoming popular should not be the last thing you do. In reality, you must concentrate time and effort in the construction of your influence. Seriously, it’s worth the effort.
In the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion , author Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D., identifies the 6 factors that lead people to do something that they would not normally have done.
In my experience, influence can be achieved through the creation of consistently useful content for a target audience and establishing relationships with influential people and readers.
If you are a young business and have not yet developed a content marketing strategy , you must overcome this first obstacle in the construction of brand authority to influence people. Even if you are a brand that already has a reputation in the market, don’t you think that the best formula to influence people is through advertising ads?
Therefore, give yourself enough time to create content and build friendships. Respond to comments, answer questions, and, from time to time, reward your audience and give them exclusive benefits to follow you. This is reciprocal.
Building your personal brand online is another of the things you must do if you are looking for a loyal audience and become a reference in social networks .
2. You must start by selling yourself, before selling a product
Do not doubt it: You are a product. And, like any product, you have to know how to communicate the value you represent to be successful. Until that happens, you will find it difficult to sell your real products or services.
The email marketing is the most effective tactic for lead generation, followed by web / marketing landing pages and content sites. But guess what? Each of these tactics works best when you first sell yourself, then the product.
Selling yourself is not an insurmountable challenge. There are a lot of opportunities in the current world of marketing. But many opportunities are accompanied by a lot of competition.
In a sea of writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, consultants, speakers, etc., how do you stand out from the crowd?
It’s very simple: become passionate about your product .
When you are selling, you should not be worried about money. Your responsibility is to educate others and convey the central message of your brand.
Learning to sell yourself first is critical to success. No matter which product you are offering for sale, do your best to connect and communicate the essential values of your brand to your potential customers.
3. Use the characteristics of your product to build interest; use the benefits to build wishes
Sell the benefits, not the features.
Most entrepreneurs and companies sell their products and services because of their great characteristics. But today, this is no longer enough.
Harvard Business School conducted a research study and found that products of all kinds are sold because of their benefits. But, the benefits that drive sales are not always evident from the customer’s perspective.
Whether you’re selling through email, e-commerce or social networks, highlight the benefits, as well as the characteristics of your product.
Start by highlighting the strongest benefits of your product, those that reassure your customers, transmit serenity and alleviate their concerns.
Selling using the benefits means that you are being transparent with your customers. That is exactly what they want.
When people are looking for a solution to meet their needs, what they are really looking for is a future that appeals to them. According to BufferApp, ” people do not buy products, they buy better versions of themselves. ”
Consumers are willing to spend money on products that will make their lives better. Before the iPod was invented, there were many MP3 players in the market. But iPod concentrated on selling the benefit: “1,000 songs in your pocket”, the rest you already know …
So, what is the difference between a benefit and a characteristic?
The benefits are what you (or your potential customers) can do with the product. The characteristics are what the product can do.
They sound similar, right? However, they are totally different things.
“Get fit without leaving the house with an elliptical machine” this would be the benefit.
“Time counter, intensity settings, heart rate indicator” – these are all characteristics.
Remember, customers are at different times of their shopping trip when they enter your website or landing pages. However, all of them started that trip first by identifying a need, then looking for possible solutions, evaluating solutions, until they decide to take action and, finally, make the purchase.
If we take this graph as a reference, I recommend that for stage 1 and 2, selling the benefits works much better than when the clients are in stage 3 and 4.
To obtain better results, enhance in your marketing strategy 70% of the benefits of your products and 30% of its characteristics.
Do not forget that people buy products emotionally, and justify purchases rationally. When you generate interest using the features and create a strong desire using the benefits, you help your prospects to give them what they need to feel safe in the purchase.
When you evoke the appropriate emotions, customers may not even know why they are responding to your product. But they will buy it.
Remember that the benefits are the things that can be done with a product, while the features are what the product can do. Let’s see an example of the real world:
Uber is a unique travel platform. It helps you get a car in real time. But, everything started from its value proposition, based on the benefits of the platform: “The best way to get to wherever you go”
It is your responsibility to study your product and know its characteristics, benefits and advantages over the product of your competitor.
4. Sell the results by painting a clear image
Are you selling the results of your product?
If you do not do it constantly, you are probably struggling to acquire leads and increase revenue.
One of the secrets of sales masters is that it is much better to sell the results of a product, rather than the product itself.
Selling the result can be compared to painting a clear picture of where your prospect could be in an ideal future scenario, representing the challenge you have conquered or the problem you have solved.
When you show the image of the results of your product and show people the ease with which they can use it, you will build interest and inspire them to action.
In other words, the product is not the point, so do not make it the focus of your messages, instead it is better to focus on the results offered by the product.
5. Capture attention with the benefit of your product, not with the name of your product
If your product helps reduce 5 hours of work per week, start with that. That is your competitive advantage. If your service helps people lose 10 kilos in 60 days, focus your communication on that benefit.
It shows the before and after results.
Fitness instructors know how to use “before” and “after” using photos and videos to inspire action.
They use photos of people like you, before and after losing weight, to show you the amazing results you can get and inspire you to do the same.
The same applies to makeup products. If you are looking for a makeup training program and you find before and after images, wouldn’t you like to know more?
To sell the results of a product, and not the product itself, you have to use visual elements that allow your customers to see themselves achieve the results they want. Do not limit yourself to describe what the final result will look like, represent it with images.
In many market niches, before you can sell a product you first need to acquire leads, nurture them and convince them to buy . You can use traditional marketing or inbound marketing strategies, but rest assured that with inbound you will be able to reduce the cost per lead by 60%.
Selling is not a one-way street. There are several factors that play a vital role. As we have mentioned before, telling stories using the benefits of your product is the new way of doing business today.
6. Build credibility based on trust and experience
Sell more. Make more money. Everything depends on credibility.
You can build credibility in several ways, including, first class customer service.
Customers want to reach a salesperson who can help them solve problems quickly. They also want to interact with real people and access information to solve any problem on their own.
Confidence + Experience = Credibility
You can not succeed in business if you lack credibility. The best brands can boast of their products, since over the years they have become known and are credible.
That is why it is difficult for a new vendor, organization or company to dominate the market.
Customers are afraid to trust you and your product. After all, you could take your money and disappear. The customer service is the hallmark of credibility. Credibility is built from the beginning.
The viral effect of poor customer service is alarming. More people share negative experiences than those who offer good experiences. 89% of customers who experienced a (bad) shopping experience stopped doing business with that company.
How can you build credibility online?
Here are some simple ways to do it:
a) Answer the questions correctly
According to Edelman Trust Barometer, a survey on trust and credibility showed that trust and transparency are as important for corporate reputation as the quality of products and services.
Customers are beginning to see the world more in terms of true and false. Incorrect answers can damage your reputation.
When people ask questions, and if you do not know the correct answer, then say it. Offer to do an investigation and get back to them.
Whatever you do, do not answer openly about something you’re not sure just because it sounds smart. The more you answer the questions correctly, the more people will trust you.
b) Produce valuable products regularly
There are no shortcuts for creating products. Either you do it yourself or hire a knowledgeable specialist about your business.
Publishing new content helps people achieve their goals more easily while increasing your level of credibility.
Do not limit yourself to creating generic content. Instead, focus on creating personalized content that is relevant to your audience and aligned with your business objectives.
When it comes to personalized content, one study found that “61% of consumers feel better, and are more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized content.” That’s why more businesses are focusing on this.
c) Offer to solve relevant problems
If you have unique abilities, you can offer to solve relevant problems for your target audience.
For example, if you are a ceramics salesperson, you could offer to help your readers on how to choose the right floor for their new apartment, or show them how to put it on their own.
d) Build long-term relationships
Do not let yourself be consumed just for the sake of making money. Instead, again and again, help people for free. Here are some tips to build key relationships.
- Instead of scheduling a meeting with a client in the morning, schedule a meal together.
- Suggests meeting outside of office hours for a coffee.
- Find out the activities and interests of your key customers.
- Extend the invitation to his wife or children.
- Make the relationship grow.
It is also possible to build credibility by showing success stories of your clients. If you do not have any authority in the market, it can be difficult to gain the trust of the people. The best approach is to show that your product really works.
7. In sales, it’s a “give” and “give” relationship
When you are selling a product in an on / off line market, “giving” should be a way to add value.
For example, you could give some percentage discount to customers who purchase your product.
If you are the author of a book, you can give the first two chapters for free.
Your customers are your best sellers. But, before you can recommend your product to other people, you need to make the decision to give and give. That is the new way a relationship between you and your customers is built.
When you establish a relationship from the beginning with a prospect, it becomes easier to sell them. The best sellers are the ones who give the most.
Contrary to what many people think, it is not a “give and take” relationship.
If you really want to build a relationship with your potential clients (and current ones), you should, look for ways to give them the highest possible value and make it more than they expect to pay for it.
To give a more complete experience to your potential clients. Create high quality products consistently.
This is what you need to increase your sales.
Selling is not as difficult as most people think. But you need to create a good habit. If you use these proven business development strategies by today’s sales experts, you will get dramatically positive results.
Do not try to push sales too much. Instead, educate more. Become a teacher Become passionate about helping other people.
When you teach, you are delivering value that people can not find elsewhere. If you continuously educate and inform your target audience, you will sell more products or services in the process .
Which of these business development strategies are you already applying to increase the sales of your products? Let us know in the comment section
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