So I did a little ’Googling’ for the phrase “sales tactics” to see what I could find and I’m surprised as to how many articles are still talking about knowing your market, collecting leads, and cold calling.
Let’s be honest, cold calling sucks. I’d be surprised if:
- You enjoy doing it and
- You don’t mind getting calls from complete strangers trying to sell you stuff.
Secondly, these aren’t really sales tactics. Market research and lead generation are marketing related processes. These happen (or are supposed to happen) long before trying to make a sale.
So why would Entrepreneur.com publish an article about ‘sales tactics’ with this advice? Simple… because there are still people who believe in the quick sale. Here’s what I mean:
- Find prospects (ie. Buy Leads)
- Send out mass mailings or start cold calling
- Write a script (draft a sales letter)
- Pretend they care (turn a cold lead into a warm lead)
- Sell, sell, sell
- Close the sale
- Rinse and repeat.
Can This Work?
Of course it can; and it does. But here’s the problem. The moment you make the sale using pushy sales tactics, you’ve left the customer with a sour experience.
You’ll be lucky if they buy from you again. You’ll get the same result every time you don’t make a sale. Doing business this way isn’t sustainable, especially if you’re a solo entrepreneur.
Write this down: The money is in repeat business. If you can sell more products to the same customer base, you won’t need to keep finding new customers to stay in the green.
But if you want to make sure they’ll be happy to buy from you again, don’t piss them off the first time around; and I’m here to show you how to do that.
Here are 5 non-evil sales tactics that still work today.
Use Stories They Can Relate to
When you’re trying to get people to buy something from you, you need to make you message stick. Using stories in your marketing materials and sales letters will do just that.
This isn’t breaking news. You’ve heard it all before, but most of the marketing I see revolves around facts and features. “Our software will do this and that…”
Think stories. Educate your prospects through your own experiences and the experiences of others.
Offer a Guarantee (Stand By Your Product)
Most people are afraid of using this highly effective and battle proven sales tactic. Why? Because they’re afraid of their customers actually using it.
Can you see how ridiculous that sounds? Offering a guarantee shouldn’t bring fear, it should boost your confidence. I offer a 30 day “No questions asked” money-back guarantee on all of my products because I know the quality and value I’m delivering.
… I’ll let you in on a little secret. I have yet to refund a single order. Offering a guarantee lets your customers know that you stand by your product 100%. So do it..
Pre-Qualify your Prospects
You can’t sell steak to a vegetarian. You know that. I know that. We often hear stories about the greatest salespeople in the world who can sell ice to Eskimos, but why bother?
If you’re selling ice, Eskimos are not your ideal customers. Your job as a blogger/entrepreneur/marketer is to find the people who already want what you have to offer.
If you sell steak, find steak lovers. If you sell fitness advice, find people who want to get in shape. But don’t stop there. Get them to raise their hands. Have them join an email list. Create sub lists of people with specific problems.
That’s how you pre-qualify. Don’t try to sell everyone everything you have.
Offer Proof (or Social Proof)
Proof is a powerful sales tactic. Whether you’re selling information products or consulting services you can benefit from the use of success stories (testimonials)
If one of your customers has had success with an idea, strategy, plan, guide, advice, plugin, widget, software or service you offer then you need to let others know.
Potential customers will be more inclined to invest in your offer when they learn about the success others have had with it. The success can be your own. Whatever proof you have, use it.
Create Urgency (Limited Time or Supply)
There are two ways to create urgency. One way is to limit the supply of products you have in stock. If you’re selling physical items and you only have 300 of them, then the scarcity element is already done for you.
However, this can backfire on you if you’re selling digital information. Creating urgency by limiting the number of downloads is not the best idea. When it comes to digital downloads, I recommend limiting the amount of time people have to get a discount.
Urgency works great and there’s so much to say about it. I’ll continue in my next post titled: How to use Scarcity without Feeling Dirty.
In the meantime, check out my new favorite plugin: Scarcity Samurai. I’ll be reviewing it shortly, but let me just say that it’s amazing and I’ve seen incredible results from using it in the past month or so.
More on that next time.. talk soon.5 Non-Evil Sales Tactics That Still Work Today by Hector Cuevas