54 ways to increase sales like a rock star


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54 Ways to Increase Sales Like a Rock Star is an e-book that teaches you how to generate marketing ideas within the context of three critical strategies:
1. upselling and cross selling;
2. building customer loyalty, and;
3. acquiring new customers.

Within these three strategies I share a long list of proven ideas and tactics that I've used to grow sales at consumer products and retail businesses.

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54 ways to increase sales like a rock star

  1. 1. 54 Ways to Increase Sales Like a Rock Star By Gary Sanchez www.garyasanchez.com
  2. 2. Who the HECK is Gary Sanchez? I’m a veteran consumer products and retail marketing leader, cover rock-band drummer and outdoor enthusiast. After almost 20 years of working for large companies, I remembered that the long term professional goal I stated in my business school application was to help small business owners grow companies. I do that by helping them increase sales with decisive marketing programs. Building new programs and seeing them come to life and work magic is what I love most about marketing. Being of service to small business owners is what I love most about working. My nickname is “Cheese” (a derivative of San- cheeeeese) and that’s what my friends call me. I share that because my goal is to help people have more fun getting their marketing created. As I like to say,“If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.” And if you can’t have fun with a guy named Cheese who writes about marketing in the context of rock and roll, then when are you going to have fun? 54 Ways to Increase Saleswww.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  3. 3. Legalese Disclaimer The author of 54Ways to Increase Sales Like a Rock Star cannot be held responsible for business, personal or emotional losses achieved by following any advice within this e-book. While I am sharing my best advice, I am doing so without explicit knowledge of your business or your business circumstances. As always, you should take responsibility for your own choices before starting any new business program, digital or otherwise. Copyright I am sharing this 54Ways to Increase Sales Like a Rock Star under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs. Feel free to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work but please give me credit as the person who made you feel it was worthwhile enough to share. My social media handle for twitter, facebook and LinkedIn is “garyasanchez.” Also, please don’t sell this book and don’t alter, transform or build upon the work without my permission. Affiliate Links I do not have any recommendations to other providers, be them information, software or affiliate links in this document. Photo Attributions I’m providing attributions to all photos I’ve used (all but one from Flickr) on the last slide. Thank you photographers for allowing your work to be shared! 54 Ways to Increase Saleswww.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  4. 4. 54 Ways to Increase Sales CONTENTS ROLL Customer Acquisition Ideas / 22 RATTLE Loyalty Building Ideas / 13 SHAKE Upsell / Cross-Sell Ideas / 6 BACK STAGE Warming Up / 1 PHOTO CREDITS / 36 ENCORE Closing Notes / 35 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  5. 5. BACK STAGE www.garyasanchez.com 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 1415 407-8345 “Get out from that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans Get out from that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans Well, roll my breakfast 'cause I'm a hungry man I said shake, rattle and roll I said shake, rattle and roll I said shake, rattle and roll I said shake, rattle and roll Well, you never do nothin' to save your doggone soul” ~ Bill Haley AndThe Comets How cool is it that a band is named “The Comets?” To me, the word “comet” conjures up a body racing across the sky that is emitting a visible and beautiful display of light. And in their classic song, Shake, Rattle and Roll, Bill Haley says “get out from that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans.” Both of these ideas are about taking action to create change and a desirable outcome. That’s the essence of good marketing. But Bill Haley and the Comets didn’t write the song. It was originally recorded by Big Joe Turner. That’s one reason I like to frame marketing in terms of music. None of the ideas I’m about to share are originally my own. But like Bill Haley, I hope I can help you identify the ones you can “cover” to make your signature song on your way to increasing sales. Click to Listen
  6. 6. BACK STAGE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 2www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 There’s a big difference, however, between merely covering a song and turning that song into a hit that makes you a rock star. So how do you become a rock star? Aside from the most common advice of “practice, practice, practice,” there are a few skills, behaviors and attitudes that can help you along the way. My suggestion is to focus on developing five of these, at least to start:  Learn to sing or play an instrument – How do you learn to sing or play an instrument? You take lessons from somebody more advanced than you are. It’s the same with marketing. Find an advisor, a coach or consultant and commit to weekly conversations about marketing. Read about marketing, such as this eBook. At the very least, find yourself a peer to “practice” with and discuss marketing news and how it could relate to each of your businesses.You can’t get better at anything without learning the fundamentals,exploring new techniques and practicing them.  Play some local shows – No band is ever booked as a headliner at Madison Square Garden without having first paid its dues and proven it can attract an audience. Performing at small venues, testing a variety of songs and song arrangements, learning how to create crowd excitement are all skills learned by rock bands coming up the ranks. It’s the same with marketing. Early on, try some new marketing ideas and test them. If they don’t increase sales, rework them until they do, or scrap them and pick a different one until you’ve worked out a program that’s a hit with your customers.
  7. 7. BACK STAGE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 3www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345  Love it! – Jimi Hendrix is quoted as having said “Music is my religion.” U2’s front man Bono has said “As a rock star, I have two instincts, I want to have fun, and I want to change the world. I have a chance to do both.” Passion, an ability to connect through the emotions of music, and the exhilaration of performing to audiences often drive rock stars to share their craft and talents. It’s the same with marketing. Sell something you love. When you’re proud of your products or services, you will understand the benefits they give you, and in return, the benefits they offer your customers. When this is the case, you’ll be able to communicate the benefits more effectively and with passion. It will come naturally to you to want to share it, to offer it, to sell it, heck, even sing about it.  Be unique –Whether it’s the voice, the wardrobe, the hair style, the makeup (a la KISS), the dance moves, or the message, all rock stars are unique. They’re different. They’re memorable. As with the Sex Pistols, they may not be enjoyable to all audiences, but they’ve found a way to be viewed as special to their core, rabid, money paying fans. It’s the same with marketing. Your products or services need to be different AND desirable in order to gain rock star status. It could be your communicated benefits, your packaging, your customer service, your follow up, or your ability to teach, train and inspire in your category that sets you apart from your competition. However you do it, you should be striving to answer the question, “Why should somebody buy from me?”
  8. 8. BACK STAGE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 4www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345  Always be creating, promoting and performing –The rock stars who have endured the longest have also created an extensive library of music and albums. Often, in the early days, they embarked on multi-year tours to connect with their fans and reach as many people as possible. When they are between tours or recording new music, they find ways to stay connected to their fans through news, special appearances, and promotions. It’s the same with marketing. Once your business has gained traction and a loyal group of customers, you should seek to maximize your stardom. Do this by continuing to connect with them with new products that meet their needs, with incredible “performances” and customer service they remember and want to share with their friends, and with new promotions and marketing programs that solidify your relationship with them. While these are five behaviors and attitudes that help you become closer to being a rock star, what are some more practical ideas? “How do I increase my sales, Gary?” Whether you have a commodity product in a highly competitive industry, or are fortunate enough to have a highly differentiated product with little competition,I believe there are always ways to increase your sales.
  9. 9. BACK STAGE You see, ideas are never the bottleneck. Making choices, developing a plan and taking action are the bottlenecks. To hammer this point home, I’ve compiled this list of 54Ways to Increase Sales. Not all of the ideas will work for your business (since I don’t know what your business is yet), but I hope that after reviewing the list, they will inspire you to take the steps needed to select one or two, and at the very least, test them or “practice” them. Now on to a few house rules. First, some of the ideas I share will seem similar to other ideas. That’s because they are. Don’t freak out. Don’t email me and claim that I cheated you out of a handful of ideas or accuse me of taking the lazy way out. The goal of this book is to help you explore how to identify new ways to grow your sales. Sometimes learning about an idea that has been explained slightly differently will make all the difference in your ability to learn it. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 5www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  10. 10. BACK STAGE Second, these ideas were compiled based on my experience as a B2C / consumer marketing manager. The majority of my marketing experience is in consumer products (picture Kingsford Charcoal, Pine-Sol household cleaner, Formula 409 spray cleaner or Del Monte canned tomato sauce) and in retail (picture Peet’s Coffee & Tea or CocoaBella Chocolates). Having said that, I do believe that many of these ideas are applicable to B2B as well. For instance, a professional services firm like a dentist or accounting office could follow idea #50. A solo-preneur such as a coach or consultant could use idea #49. A B2B firm could easily use idea #54. And there are more ideas that cut across different business types. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 6 These ideas are meant to be transferable to many different types of businesses because the principles of customer acquisition,of building customer loyalty, and of cross selling and upselling are generally the same. That’s why I’m categorizing each idea into one of three buckets. I find these buckets to be helpful ways for me to think about growth strategies, with each having slightly different economics. If this is slightly confusing, I apologize. Read my blog post titled “There are only three ways to grow sales” in the shaded box on the next page This book is my follow up to that post with less theoretical concepts and more practical examples. www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  11. 11. BACK STAGE FromThere Are Only 3Ways to Grow sales “From a mathematical point of view, there are only three ways to grow sales: 1) Increase customer count 2) Increase purchase frequency 3) Increase average purchase price This falls out from the basic equation of: # customers X purchase frequency X average purchase price = TOTAL sales If you start with any one of these three goals in mind, it will help you more clearly establish strategies to help you grow, rather than chasing the latest trend or tactics which may or may not lead to growth. Always remember to start with a strategy before choosing your tools or tactics to achieve it, rather than the other way around. It will force you to be more rigorous around your planning, more efficient with your limited resources, and more effective when you implement your programs.” 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 7 So what I’ve done for this eBook is to take the three ways of growing revenue, and translated them into more common and familiar marketing terms. I’ve also reordered them going forward to fit within the rock and roll theme: 3) = Shake: Increasing average purchase price. This works when you upsell to larger or more expensive items, or cross-sell more than one item. 2) = Rattle: Increasing purchase frequency which is similar to increasing loyalty. 1) = Roll: Increasing customer count is the same as acquiring new customers or growing traffic. www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  12. 12. BACK STAGE If you pick one of these strategies, it often forces you to think of who you are selling to (your target market) in very different terms. When you think of your customer differently, you can usually start to see that they have different beliefs about your products and this will affect how you communicate with them, what benefits matter most to them, and where you reach them. Third, I’ll try to give you specific examples of how the idea would work. Some ideas will be drawn from my own personal experience, some will be drawn from case studies I have observed. A very small number will be drawn from my imagination of how I think it could work. Fourth, if you read an idea and need to understand more about it, by all means, send me an email and ask [gary at garyasanchez dot com]. My goal is to help you create a thriving and rocking business. Building new programs and seeing them come to life and work magic is what I love most about marketing. Ultimately, the goal of this book is to help you see new paths to success and to help you implement change. After all, if you don’t change your behavior, you’re never going to change your results. OK, enough of the house rules, and brown M&Ms. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 8 ARE YOU READY TO INCREASE SALES LIKE A ROCK STAR!!? www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  13. 13. SHAKE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 9 “Oh shake shake shake, shake shake shake, Shake your booty! Shake your booty!” -- K.C. & the Sunshine Band Your customer has found the perfect purchase and is ready to pay you. Now’s the time for you to focus on increasing the purchase amount through upselling and cross-selling techniques. Upselling is convincing your customer to spend more money than they were originally considering. It can be accomplished by persuading her to buy a more expensive option. Cross-selling is convincing your customer to buy something in addition to what they originally came to you to buy, such as accessories or add-on / related product sales. In both cases, you are attempting to increase the total value of the purchase transaction. If you only take one idea away from this section, it should be “sell a party instead of a cake.” The following ideas are meant to help you identify ways to be shaking your booty all the way to the bank. Click to Listen www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  14. 14. SHAKE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 10 Bundle pricing - also known as “The Happy Meal” approach. Assemble a collection of products and offer it as a bundle and at a price that would be 10-25% less than if they had bought each item separately. Perhaps its shoes and six pair of socks. Maybe it’s a gift box or gift basket of three different flavored chocolate bars, a tin of cocoa and a bag of chocolate covered raisins. Maybe it’s a night at your hotel plus a day pass to the local ski resort. Offer a package of products that will entice your customers to spend more. Sell accessories - If you’re a retailer selling running shoes, you probably already sell items that are useful when used along with your shoes, such as socks, and colored shoe strings, but what other products could you sell that would make running more enjoyable? Perhaps headlamps for nighttime runners? If you wholesale to retailers, what could you co-promote in the store to add to the purchase bundle? When I was at Kingsford Charcoal, we promoted meat sales, BBQ sauce sales and even beer sales via cross-ruff coupons. 1 2 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Cross-promote -This is identical to #2, selling accessories, it’s just being proactive about it rather than waiting for them to buy it. Again, using my Kingsford example, when somebody is having a barbeque, they need more than charcoal. They need lighter fluid, they need meat, they need buns and condiments, they need beverages. Promote all of these items together and you’ll sell more. Sell a party rather than just selling a cake. 3 Share This Ebook
  15. 15. SHAKE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 11 Raise your prices - Most people fear raising their prices because of concerns that their customers will complain and stop buying from them. But there are two magical ways to approach this. 1) Restate the value proposition: At Peet’s Coffee, I was able to charge more for Holiday Blend coffee by putting it in a special red, decorative holiday bag. I was also able to raise prices of pastries by relaunching the segment as Artisan Baked Goods and better communicating that the items were baked hours before delivery to the stores. If you manufacture a product, better packaging, a new flavor or communicating more important benefits can allow you to achieve higher prices. 2) Implement line pricing: At Del Monte Foods, sweet pickles were priced differently than dill pickles or pickle chips. By working out the math based on average unit sales, I was able to move all the same sizes to the same price point in a way that delivered higher sales to the entire line of pickles. . 4 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 New products - As alluded to in #4, new products are a great way to “hide” price increases. Deliver greater value or stronger benefits than existing items and charge for the added benefits. If you run a restaurant, introduce a new line of desserts and take a higher margin on them than other desserts. If you have a special Holiday product or service that will only be available for 2 months, charge more for it being special. At CocoaBella Chocolates, I was able to charge $85 for a collection made up of only Bay Area chocolate makers when the same sized collection of European chocolates sells for $60. 5 Share This Ebook
  16. 16. SHAKE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 12 Larger sizes - In some product categories, all you have to do is replace one size with a larger size. When I worked on Pine-Sol, our largest customer,Wal-Mart, wanted us to lower the price of our 28 oz. product. Rather than do that, we showed them that the biggest users of the product used a TON of the product (I guess they really did love that pine scent) and we convinced them to replace 28 oz. with our higher priced 40 oz. bottles. At Christopher Elbow Chocolates, I wanted to offer a sleeve of 10 chocolate bars. 6 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Volume discounts – Often you can encourage customers to buy larger sizes, or more units (e.g., ounces, hours, widgets) if you give them a discount on the per unit price. More realistically, however, is that you will probably be rewarding your best customers, those who buy lots of what you sell. High volume customers aren’t likely to be a large percentage of your customers, but following the Pareto Principle,* they are often your most profitable customers. 7 Pareto Principle Also known as the 80 / 20 rule, this rule “states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” When applied to your business, this often means that only 20% of your customers generate 80% of your sales or profits. If this is the case in your business, chances are that they are customers who are high volume purchasers. Share This Ebook
  17. 17. SHAKE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 13 Subscription service – Subscriptions were pioneered by magazines and newspapers and have become a popular way for software companies to sell access to their programs. Do you have a product that people buy throughout the year? If you’re a restaurant, you could presell 12 dinners for the price of 10, redeemable once a month. This is different than a punch card program where you give somebody a free meal after purchasing 10 in that you get all the sales now instead of waiting for later, and your customer gets the benefit now. Subscription services not only give you more sales sooner, but it helps forecasting, cash flow and inventory management. Dollar Shave Club (dollarshaveclub.com) has built its entire business on selling a tangible product via subscriptions. Selling a pre-loaded debit card at a retailer is another example. Sell related services –This could be a service that works with your physical product and isn’t the focus of where you started your business. There’s an engagement ring jeweler in Dallas that sells marriage proposal consulting to the men who are buying engagement rings. What man wouldn’t like to find a creative way to ask the most important, nerve-wracking question of his life and have an expert guide him through the process? A simple related service could just be delivery. Florists often make money with delivery services, could you? A gym could sell outdoor boot camps, a running shoe store could sell a marathon training course. 8 9 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  18. 18. SHAKE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 14 Sell information with your products - Do you sell something that people could use some training in learning how to use? If you sold high end women’s scarves, you could write a guide of “101Ways to CreativelyTie a Scarf,” and sell it for $15. If you operated a tea or coffee house, could you sell a class on how to learn about proper brewing techniques or how to explore varieties from around theWorld? Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco (a grocery store) wrote a book called “Eat Good Food:A Grocer's Guide to Shopping, Cooking & Creating Community Through Food” that sells for $32.50. I’ve been trying to get an heirloom tomato farmer to create a recipe book to sell. He sells to some of the finest San Francisco Bay Area restaurants and his chef / customers would love to promote their recipes and restaurants. Displays - Sometimes if you want your customers to buy higher priced items, you merely need to present it to them in a display. Did you know that at most grocery stores, the items that sell the best are the ones that get stacked up on an end cap display? Can you create a display in your store, or a display of your product to go into other stores that will capture the attention of customers walking by? Heck, even if you sell pastries to a coffee shop, I bet you could get the owner to stack your items up nice and high if you give them a creative idea to work from. Then of course, the owner will have to buy more product from you to keep up with demand. 10 11 End cap display www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  19. 19. SHAKE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 15 Change menu board - Do you have a physical menu hanging inside your store? If you do, you need to change it more often than you already are. Use it to promote featured items. Give customers who are used to staring at the same old message a reason to get disrupted and to take notice of items that can be cross- sold or upsold. At Peet’s Coffee, I promoted adding flavored syrups to a latte and guess what, we sold more flavored lattes. There’s a company calledYum Brands which owns KFC,Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. These businesses change their menus ALL THE TIME because it changes behavior. Staff training / contests - Giving your first line of sales people the training they need to ask for an upsell or to offer a cross-sell is extremely important. For every promotion I ever launched at Peet’s Coffee, at CartridgeWorld, at CocoaBella Chocolates, I created a launch document that taught our sales people what was being promoted, how to sell the benefits of the featured items and how to upsell and cross-sell. If you don’t do much regular training, kick it off with a sales contest. Find a way to track individual sales of featured products and reward the winners with a gift certificate or dinner or larger than normal employee discount. Ongoing sales training is critical to helping you shake shake shake your booty to growing sales. 12 13 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  20. 20. RATTLE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 16 “I walked forty-seven miles of barbed wire, I got a cobra snake for a necktie A brand new house on the road side, and it's a-made out of rattlesnake hide Got a band new chimney put on top, and it's a-made out of human skull Come on take a little walk with me baby, and tell me who do you love? Who do you love?” -- GeorgeThorogood Sorry, but I had a heck of a time finding a familiar song that uses the word “rattle” in it. Hopefully I’ll make up for it with a 6 minute version ofWho DoYou Love. :) “Who do you love” is an apt way of thinking about customer loyalty. Does your customer think of your business and only your business every time they want what you sell? If they do, then you’ve achieved loyalty. While it’s not a perfect definition, I like to teach loyalty in terms of increasing customer purchase frequency. The more times they buy from you, the more loyal they are. Click to Listen www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  21. 21. RATTLE 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 17 How do you get customers to return to you every time they want to buy what you sell? How do you become their preferred store / brand / vendor of choice? Ultimately, the million dollar question is how do you get your existing customers to love your business more than all of the alternatives she has to buy from? Rewards are traditionally the most common answer, but rewards can take a variety of forms. Great customer service also helps. But how is this defined? I’d also like to propose a concept for you, as the business owner or manager to consider and that is “Who do YOU love?” as your best customers. When you think in these terms, you’ll want to create new products and solutions for your very, very best customers. Loyalty works both ways, baby! Let’s explore some examples of how to provide rewards and service that increase purchase frequency. www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  22. 22. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 18 Promotions –This is about creating a planned and coordinated event meant to sell a specific product or service for a limited time and that meets a seasonally relevant consumer need. I like to explain a promotion as throwing a party for your customers. You’ll schedule the dates, create a theme, send out invitations and offer gifts (your promoted offer) to your guests of honor. As a program to increase purchase frequency, bringing back a familiar but limited availability customer favorite is a powerful tactic. McDonald’s does this with its McRib sandwich and with Shamrock Shakes during St. Patrick’s day. Rewards /VIP program - A formal program where you issue a card, collect email addresses and birthdates, track spending and issue points in return for offering benefits to your most active shoppers is a great way to show your love. You can provide free product upon achieving specified point levels, you can invite the best customers to special events or deals only available to them, and you can stay in communication with them via email newsletters. Many of the service providers that administer rewards card programs can let you enter the customer’s phone number instead of presenting a card which lets customers avoid having to carry “yet one more card.” RATTLE 14 15 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  23. 23. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 19 Punch cards - Punch cards are a lower tech option to a rewards card program. Typically you’d issue a paper card that gets punched each time a purchase is made and the customer redeems the card after 8 or 10 purchases for a discount or free item. RATTLE If you’re enjoying this book, would you share it with your friends and followers? Thanks 16 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Follow up with customers via email – After a customer makes a purchase from you, why not send them an email that gives some helpful advice on how to use what they just bought from you? If you’re not collecting email addresses from all customers, then this will require you to start doing so. If you sold a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, you could send an email the next day with three dinner entrees that would pair well with the wine. Then a week later, ask if they enjoyed the wine and suggest another varital that others who bought the same also enjoy. It’s a step sequence of relationship building tips and advice sent via email. Derek Halpern has an excellent blog post about how to use email, combined with a loyalty program, to maximize repeat purchases and purchase frequency on his SocialTriggers blog. You can read it here. 17 Share This Ebook
  24. 24. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 20 Charitable tie-ins - Does your business have a preferred charity that it supports? Do you proactively promote this to your customers? You’ll often find that customers will change their shopping behavior to buy from companies that support charities they like. That’s exactly what General Mills does with BoxTops For Education,and what programs like eScrip are that generate funds for school programs. Also, if you do support a charity, ask them to promote your products to their employees and donors. While this last point is technically helping increase customer count rather than loyalty, it’s an important tactic to add to your plans. RATTLE 20 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Birthday offers –Whether part of your formal loyalty /VIP rewards program, or a standalone option, this is a particularly strong option if you operate a restaurant, because, let’s face it, who likes to eat alone? By giving customers a free meal on an important day in their lives, you’ll probably pick up a group table that may have gone elsewhere. One way to implement this is to collect birthdates during an email newsletter sign up and send coupons just before the special day. Sometimes just an acknowledgment works wonders. Southwest airlines merely sends a birthday card (with no coupon or offer) to its rewards members. Happy Hours – A classic tactic in expanding purchase frequency, bars have enticed customers to stop in right after work (typically slow times of the day) for years by offering free hors d'oeuvres, drink specials and live music. 19 18 Share This Ebook
  25. 25. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 21 VIP events - I touched upon this in idea #15 with the rewards program, but if you have a store, what if you opened your doors only to your best customers, by invitation only, and poured them champagne, served them food, hired some music and let them shop leisurely without the chaos of large crowds during the Holiday shopping season? What if you invited an expert in your industry to teach, or serve (a guest chocolate maker) your best customers? Could this encourage customers to purchase more frequently in order to be on the “VIP Guest List?” RATTLE 23 Free Delivery – I mentioned delivery as a related service you could charge for in idea #9, but what if you offered delivery free of charge? One of the reasons your customers may not be buying from you more frequently is that they’re not near your business at all hours of the day. If you made it easier to get your products by delivering to her home or office, would she buy from you more often? 22 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Value-added premium – The one marketing program I regret not pushing harder for was when I worked on Pine-Sol. Even if you’re a die-hard, pine scent loving woman, who really enjoys cleaning the house? Pine-Sol had the tagline “the smell of clean” and my idea was to offer a CD called “the Sounds of Clean” that would have upbeat, rhythm and blues, shake your booty type music that could be played while cleaning the house. The CD would have been sent free with proof of purchases, making it a value-added premium. See, even 15 years ago I was thinking of ways to combine music and marketing. 21 Share This Ebook
  26. 26. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 22 RATTLE Lay away – I grew up in a pretty poor family and I remember mom hauling me and my brother down to Kmart (remember the blue light specials?) where she would start Christmas shopping in October by using its layaway service. It’s basically an installment plan and it helps customers who can’t always afford your services to pay for them over time. Think of it this way, you’re helping to remove one more barrier to purchase for your customers. Many people who sell expensive online information products offer installment plans. And believe it or not, it’s making a comeback at some major retailers, includingWal-Mart. 25 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Thank you letters – I know, you’re probably raising your eyebrow at this one, in this day and age of email, texting and social media, but what could be more authentic, more heart-felt and meaningful than you taking the time out of your busy day to write a letter (yes, with a pen) or card and send it to your customers thanking them for shopping with you? Who do you love?. 24 Share This Ebook
  27. 27. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 23 RATTLE A Note About Discounts I believe that discounts should only be offered in one of four situations: 1) If you need to get rid of seasonal inventory that you will otherwise have to throw away due to obsolescence; 2) As a cost of new customer acquisition; 3) To encourage a more lucrative sell via upselling or cross-selling; 4) As a reward to your highest value customers. There may be exceptions to the rule, but these are the guidelines I try to live by Temporary price reductions – also known as discounting.I’m not a fan of discounting products except for when you have seasonal inventory that you really need to sell (or else give it away), when you’re encouraging a more lucrative exchange for you (via upselling and cross-selling), when you’re rewarding a high value customer or when you’re acquiring a new customer. IMHO, discounts offered to the masses are basically a confession that your prices were too high to begin with. Instead of discounting,think of how to raise the value of your products. 27 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Lowest price guarantee - Unless you’reWal-Mart, or a category leader with significant influence over every single one of your suppliers, I would never recommend this idea. I just have it here to see if you’re still paying attention. 26
  28. 28. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 24 Bag stuffers – Bag stuffers are promotional materials that you place into customer bags after they’ve made a purchase. You’re basically being proactive in encouraging the next purchase. It could be to announce a new seasonal product or line that’s coming out soon, or to announce an event at your store. Make sure your sales staff explains what’s being promoted. RATTLE Flash sales – Flash sales originated from the ecommerce world in which the company offers a larger than normal discount on a product for 24 hours or less. Because it requires you to send the offer via email, this is mostly useful to target your current customers and get them into the store one more time than usual. Consider an offer that is an upsell even after the discount such as buy one, get 50% off a second. 29 30 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Fortune cookie discounts – I know, I know, I JUST said I don’t believe in offering discounts. Having said that, some of you are going to keep offering discounts,and if so, you may of well do it in a creative way that gets your customers talking about you. This idea requires you to fill fortune cookies with a range of discounts,and you let the customer pick a cookie to reveal how much they save. I strongly recommend you don’t give out cookies until the customer is at the cash register ready to pay. 28 Share This Ebook
  29. 29. ROLL 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 25 “It's been a long time since I rock-and-rolled It's been a long time since I did the stroll Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back, let me get it back mm-baby, where I come from It's been a long time, been a long time Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time” -- Led Zeppelin I’m a drummer and one of my drumming superheroes is John Bonham from Led Zeppelin. Not to get too technical, but while he played in a hard rocking band, he actually played drums with a funky (as in R&B, we got the FUNK) style. Wikipedia says he “was esteemed for his speed, power, fast right foot, distinctive sound, and "feel" for the groove.” What I love about his role in the song Rock and Roll is his drum introduction. It screams “wake up” and “I’ve got something amazing I’m about to share with you.” When it comes time to talking about attracting new customers, you’ve got to wake them up and somehow convince them you have something amazing to share. If they already knew your product was amazing, they’d already be a customer. Click to Listen www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  30. 30. ROLL 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 26 *Guerrilla Marketing The term “guerrilla marketing” was coined and defined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing and has come to represent low-cost unconventional advertising or promotional activities that are typically local in nature, and that rely on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget So how do you do this? Sometimes it’s as simple as communicating your benefits to a wider group of people. You can get the word out to more people either through outbound marketing (advertising, public relations, sampling, events, for instance) or through inbound marketing where potential customers find you based on the online content (blogging, videos, eBooks, webinars, social media, for instance) you create and share. Another way to wake up new customers to your offerings is to start being different. I’ll share some ideas on how you can use guerrilla marketing* to be different and to stand out. Still another way is to partner with other companies and to expand distribution to sell your product in new channels, or in new ways. The goals here are to get your product and your message out in new and different ways. If you don’t, you might just be finding yourself having a “lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time.” And that’s the furthest thing we want for you and your business. Let’s get the ball rolling. www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  31. 31. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 27 New products - I talked about new products in idea #6 as it relates to selling your existing customers something new, or as a way to take price increases. This variation would have you create new products for a group of people who are not currently shopping from you. A classic example is when McDonald’s added chicken sandwiches to its menu when before it only sold hamburgers. Another example is when Subway started selling breakfast items. Both of these were meant to attract a new customer into their restaurants. Advertise – traditional media – Not all budgets can afford it, but advertising via television, radio, magazines or newspapers is a good way to expand your message to a wider target market. As with all marketing communications, focus your message on delivering a clear benefits to your target customer. ROLL Advertise – online – Google AdWords, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads are all ways to deliver your advertising to a broader audience. Be sure that you set up split tests of different messages and calls to action to determine which work more effectively and always refine your ads to the best performing. 31 32 33 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  32. 32. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 28 Direct mail - Direct mail has often been considered “junk mail” by many recipients, but many a financial kingdom has been built on this practice. Buy a mail list (or build your own if you have the time) and send an offer they can’t refuse. At CocoaBella Chocolates, I acquired two sizeable business accounts who purchased in excess of $7,000 of chocolates to send as client holiday gifts from an unsolicited mailing with a list I built through internet searches. These new customers easily generated a high Return-on-Investment. ValPak –Valpak is a bundled direct mail marketing service that sends multiple flyers or inserts to households. Consumers know that each blue envelope will contain lots of coupons and it can be a more affordable way of distributing your offer than with your own standalone mailing. As with most coupon offers, the risk is that existing customers use the coupon which is a subsidized discount you wouldn’t have had to make (since they are already a customer). ROLL New distribution channels – Can you sell your products through additional retailers? Can you add online sales to what is currently only brick-and-mortar? Can you find a vacant space and create a short term pop-up store? If you currently only sell through grocery channels, can you create a food service option that major suppliers like Sysco can distribute to restaurants and commissaries? 34 35 36 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  33. 33. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 29 Private label - Do you make a product that another company wants to sell under its own brand? Private labeling your product may bring you lower margins, but you don’t have the sales and marketing expenses associated with developing the business. Also, if you have excess production capacity, it could add significantly to your bottom line. Publish remarkable online content –There’s a phrase going around marketing that all companies need to start acting like a publisher. You may have heard the phrase “Content Is King.” Whether you deliver it through blog postings, white papers, eBooks, infographics, videos, or industry charts, if you can help prospects solve their problems or find answers to their questions, you’ll develop trust and authority with them that you can turn into sales. This is true whether you sell B2B, at retail, or wholesale. The bottom line is that consumers increasingly look to their search engines to solve problems and find solutions before buying, and having online content that does this will get you found. ROLL 37 38 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  34. 34. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 30 Teach – Instead of thinking like a publisher, I personally believe there’s more power in thinking like a teacher. Whether you teach how to use your products more effectively, how to solve problems, or how to save money, by creating online classes, autoresponder* courses, or hold in-store seminars or webinars, people who learn from you are more likely to buy from you. One of my favorite autoresponder training courses was offered byThe Republic of Tea which delivered 6 lessons on tea. Public Relations – A well written and well timed press release sent to magazine and newspaper editors can bring your brand into the homes of thousands if it’s picked up. If you’re writing the release yourself, always remember that you’re helping writers and editors to do their jobs which is to create stories their readers want to read. They’re job is not necessarily to publicize your business. One great tip is to pitch a trend or human interest story in which your brand plays a role and bring the story to life. ROLL *Autoresponders Autoresponders are a series of emails that are sent to subscribers over a period of time. They are effective means of delivering training on a subject without being a “hard sell.” 39 40 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  35. 35. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 31 Sampling - If you have a food or beverage product, there are lots of ways for you to let prospects try your product. Many grocery stores will let you set up a table and sample to their customers. If you have a retail store, get out on the sidewalk and offer samples to passersby. You could hire a street team to take your product to outlying locations such as college campuses. Or be creative and call a neighborhood business office and tell them they’ve been selected as the business of the week and that you’d like to bring by samples for their employees to enjoy in their break room. ROLL Cash mobs – A cash mob is an organized group of people who join together to shop at a specific business, often a struggling locally owned business, on a specific day.An alternate version, led by organizations such as Carrotmob,organizes people to shop at a store to help them make socially responsible changes to the business. Getting sponsored by a cash mob group may take some lobbying on your part, but when they come together, they are likely to bring you new sales and often media coverage. 41 42 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  36. 36. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 32 Grow email list - Make it as easy as possible for new visitors to your website to sign up for your email news. Have clearly visible email sign up forms in your store and near your cash register and actively encourage customers to sign up. If you’re a service business, create a useful guide, report, eBook or other content that you offer in exchange for an email address. If you blog, end your posts by asking readers to sign up to your list. Rubio’s Restaurant in San Diego offers a coupon for a free taco when people sign up. ROLL Street teams – Hire a group of people, dress them in hats and t-shirts with your business name on them, and send them out to locations where there are lots of “starving people”* to pass out flyers, coupons or samples. *Starving People Gary Halbert was a famed direct response copywriter who once posed a question to a copywriting class that asked: "If you and I both owned a hamburger stand and we were in a contest to see who could sell the most hamburgers, what advantages would you most like to have on your side to help you win?“ Some of the students say they would like to have the advantage of having superior meat from which to make their burgers. Others say they want sesame seed buns. Others mention location. Someone usually wants to be able to offer the lowest prices. In response, Gary says “"The only advantage I want is A Starving Crowd!" 43 44 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  37. 37. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 33 Picket yourself - Hire a group of people, dress them in hats and t-shirts with your business name on them, and send them out to locations where there are lots of “hungry people” to pass out flyers, coupons or samples. ROLL Offer consultations and advice –This is a tried and true tactic for consultants but it can also be used for service businesses and to a lesser degree, for product based businesses. A hair salon in Cambridge, MA offers in-home styling consultations to prospects via skype. If you monitor twitter for key words in your category, often people are asking for advice and you can provide it. Host workshops, events,meetings, private parties – If you have the space to accommodate groups, host workshops and events at your store or offices. Publicize to your best customers or your neighborhood groups that you have space for them to use for meetings. If you’re in the food business, let customers know you can accommodate private parties. Getting groups of people into your store is sure to include prospects. 45 46 47 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  38. 38. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 34 Give lotto tickets away with purchase - When your state lottery jackpot reaches the size where media coverage starts to happen, buy 50-100 $1 tickets and offer to give one away with each purchase. Contact the media and let them know you’re supporting“lotto fever” and people may go out of their way to buy from you rather than from their regular business. ROLL Affiliate sales – Affiliate sales is a term more common in the online world where a website sells a product from another site in exchange for a cut of the sales. But it can also work in the offline world. Can you get the concierges from local hotels to refer business to you (for a commission)? If you have products suited as gifts, could you partner with a florist to refer business to each other? What other businesses in your area can you trade referrals for as a “preferred” partner? If you have a consulting business, offer a referral 10% of the sales you generate from the new client forever. 48 49 Promotions –This is the same tactic as #14, but it’s offering a product to new customers rather than existing customers. One of my favorite examples of this is by the Oregon Urology Institute who sells vasectomies to men during the NCAA basketball tournament. “Vas Madness” encourages men to get a vasectomy in March so they can time their recovery to stay on the sofa and watch the first two rounds of the tournament. Brilliant idea and it gets free media coverage every year. 50 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345
  39. 39. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 35 Group discounts – Do you offer products or services that customers can persuade others to take advantage of? Tell your best customers that you will create a group special or discount if they bring in their co-workers, neighbors or friends. You could own a coffee shop and offer the discount if 3 or more employees from neighboring businesses come in together for a coffee break. Or a fitness boot camp could offer a group rate to these same employees if 5 or more sign up together. ROLL Sweepstakes,contests – Create a high value prize that your target customer would value to give them an incentive to visit your store to sign up. Peet’s Coffee used to offer a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area and a private cupping with its coffee bean buyer and a tour of its roasting facilities. Please note that there are laws you must follow for most sweepstakes. Another idea is to have a photo contest of people using your product. With platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, consumer interest in photography is at an all time high and you may be able to get these hobbyists to contribute to portraying your products. 51 52 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  40. 40. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 36 Co-marketing – If you wholesale, create a program whereby your retail accounts feature your product. At Clorox, I created a program withWinn-Dixie in Florida to create direct mail pieces FROMWinn-Dixie to promote Clorox cleaning products to drive people into the store. In return for Clorox paying for the mailings,Winn-Dixie built displays of the product. We sold more cases of product toWinn-Dixie than ever before,Winn-Dixie sold more units than ever before, and both companies benefitted from the partnership. ROLL Sponsor an event – Community events such as running events, street fairs, parades, outdoor festivals and concerts are always looking for sponsors. You’ll likely get media publicity, program and event signage and a booth to feature, demonstrate or sample your products. At Peet’s Coffee, I sponsored a BART Rider Appreciation Day and gave out $2 gift cards to 10,000 transit riders at San Francisco stations. We had almost 20% redemption (and lines out the door) the day of the event. 53 54 www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 Share This Ebook
  41. 41. 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 37 ENCORE If you’ve gotten to this page, I want to thank you sincerely for reading my ideas. Also, let me know if you want to learn more about any of the ideas I have. I’ll elaborate on them and post them to my blog, or offer some training on them. We’re all in this challenge of building our businesses, yours and mine, together. Let me know how I can help you, and in doing so, you will help me. Lastly, if you think I could help you create sales growth programs for your business, call me or email me at gary at garyasanchez dot com. “So let's dance, this last dance Let's dance, this last dance Let's dance' this last dance tonight” -- Donna Summer Click to Listen www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345 If you enjoyed this book, would you share it with your friends and followers? Thanks Share This Ebook
  42. 42. PHOTO CREDITS 54 Ways to Increase Sales - 38 Photo by Johnny JetPhoto by John GulloPhoto by Anirudh Koul Photo by philozei Photo by lschmoopie www.garyasanchez.com415 407-8345