Your product or service will NOT see the light of day if it is NOT marketed well.
When it comes to success in the startup regime, one of the most decisive factors is having a high-level marketing and selling game. Especially in the pandemic inflicted world where everything is on freeze, you need to invest some time into designing a money-making sales strategy that can keep your pockets filled. These times call for a sales strategy that lies on a slightly aggressive side of the spectrum as startups with their quite short cash runways do not have the luxury of time to sit and wait for their customers to come to them.
Startups should aggressively and proactively focus on making as much sales as possible, as sales are going to produce cash and cash is something that is going to keep their business alive.
One hindrance in adopting aggressive tactics is a general notion that these tactics are all about pushing customers and forcing information on them while customers don’t want products being shoved into their faces. It’s true that using these tactics can lead to an angry customer if they are overused or if they are used on the wrong time or on the wrong buyer but there are some forms of aggressive selling tactics that are still very effective when used properly and smartly. Secondly, the aggression we are emphasizing upon is not about pushing your customers but being aggressive in setting your sales target and trying your best to pull it off.
“The way to get started is to quit
talking and begin doing.”- Walt Disney
As emphasized earlier, it’s important for startups to learn aggressive approach because in times like these, customer won’t come running to you. Instead, you yourself have to make an effort to reach out to them, connect with them and offer your product or service in terms of the benefits they are going to receive from it. In order to be known as a smart entrepreneur, instead of reacting to slumping sales you need to proactively deal with it by re-designing your sales strategy into an aggressive one; the one which focuses on maximizing your outreach and actively engaging your prospects.
Among different ways of doing aggressive selling some may not be possible these days like door-to-door campaign, distributing printed material such as flyers, etc. but still there are many other ways you can pursue in order to engage your market. Just be proactive, go out and find new customers to present your product to. Your chances of making sales will improve direct proportionally if you reach out to and connect with more people. If you think you can make sales in a new market by tweaking your product/service a little bit, then don’t hold yourself back because of fear of failure. Indeed, it is rightly said that opportunities won’t come knocking at the door, you have to get out and create them.
“Don’t Watch the Clock, Do What it does…
Keep going” – Sam Levenson
In your sales efforts, make sure not to get so much carried away with making new customers that you forget about the existing ones. Your existing customers are more profitable and cheaper to serve as compared to the new ones. New customers often need to be lured in with special offers, freebies, discounts, free trials, etc. but your existing customers already trust you and are confident that you will deliver for them. They will not only be willing to buy more from you, but they also trust you enough to purchase your more expensive products or services. So, make sure your sales strategy also incorporates the element of strengthening relationship with your existing customers and asking their feedback.
Now coming to aggressive selling, its pertinent to make this clear that it doesn’t mean that you have to become an aggressive sales guy bullying his customers into buying and pushing them around. It would be really a waste of time if you randomly call up people and try to push them to purchase your product/service. On the other hand, a smart sales strategy considers customers much more than just a transaction and tells you to build relationship with them, listen to their problems and then put forwards your product/service as a solution to their needs. “Whenever you make a sales pitch, present it from their perspective”, says a sales mentor and writer, Subramaniam Chandramouli. This way you won’t be seen as a pushy sale person bent upon selling a product rather you would be seen as a friend who shares care and concern toward their needs.
As we all know that COVID-19 pandemic has forced entire countries shut leaving the only way for businesses to maintain sales is to sell through digital channels. Assembling a street team to hand out fliers or person-to-person retail is not possible in the current circumstances. In this regard, we have so much to learn from China which is almost in the early stages of an economic rebound. In China, companies took a proactive approach and moved their businesses online to maintain their sales. For all those businesses forced to shutter their doors, sales strategy of Chinese companies is a good example of weathering the storm.
Social media which is now the hub of major consumer activities is serving as a cheap and fast channel for using aggressive sales strategy. A Chinese company, Cosmo Lady, started selling online by using social media platforms like WeChat where all its employees are actively promoting company’s products in their social sphere. According to Harvard Business Review, Chinese business of global confectionery manufacturer cancelled its offline campaigns for Valentine’s Day and other promotional activities and re-invested all resources into digital marketing and social media programs.
To harness the power of social media in pushing your sales in a right way, instead of directly bombarding your prospects with sales call, you need to read their profiles, listen to their problems, engage with the them, post fresh and inspiring content, build relationship and help them understand how your product can end their worries. Directly sending a message with your sales pitch is surely going to be ignored. After getting to know them, you can send a message or make a pre-scheduled call telling how you came to know about their problem and how your product can benefit them. Make sure that you can recite all the benefits that your product/service can deliver.
When you make sales pitch to your customer, make sure you give them a reason that excites them to hear you out and find out what you have to offer. Instead of giving just a plain old product demo, also make use of positive testimonials and personalized stories as human brain is naturally wired to retain stories and get moved by them. If the prospect tells you the he/she is not interested then you should not push around and you should respect their choice but if he/she didn’t respond to your calls or sales message, then they might just be busy. In such case, you should follow up on them and never leave a ‘may be’ on the table otherwise you would never be able to close sales.
Also, link whatever you share like ads, posts, demos, promos offers with your website so customers can know where to take action. To create brand exposure, seek creative ways of mentioning your products/services into comments on social media post (in way that its relevant to people as well as the content of the post. Another good idea to create a buzz around your brand, especially when everyone is regularly consuming large amount of digital entertainment, is to engage a “social influencer or blogger” who might have a fan following of hundreds or may be thousands on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. Try to engage these opinion leaders and get them on board. You will see your sales sky rocketing if they are the one to tell the benefits of your product/service to your potential prospects.
Another aggressive sales tactic you can make use of in order to close more sales is to create a sense of urgency for customers by coming up with limited-time sales and promo offers. You can also entice sales by giving limited time freebies or giveaways along with you product as anything that comes free is always irresistible for customers to miss. That’s the reason why we are witnessing the deluge of quarantine homebody sales and promos since the lock down. It’s human nature that when something is available for a limited time, we are more motivated to quickly make a purchase to avoid losing out money or missing a good opportunity. This tactic also creates a bandwagon effect where everyone is availing the sale and you also don’t want to miss it out.
This strategy is especially effective if you know your customers are impulsive buyers or they just need to be prompted a little to make the decision but be cautious of using this strategy if you are selling to a consumer group who is known to take their time to make the purchase decision and don’t want to be rushed into it.
At last, it’s important to mention that one size does not fit all. These were just general guidelines on boosting your sales and revenues using aggressive tactics but it’s important that you use your discretion to find out what’s appropriate and respectful in your circumstances. Make sure you use the aggressive selling tactics in a right way and on right time. Try to understand and learn what works for you and what does not from every interaction you make with your customers.