When times are tough, and you need more sales, you can find yourself caught in a catch-22 situation. You need to generate more sales to boost your cash flow. But you don’t have the cash to spend on the marketing that will bring in more leads. However, it is unlikely that you have exhausted all the low or no-cost strategies to increase sales. Here are ten ways that can boost sales without spending a mountain of cash.
1. Look for Repeat Sell Opportunities
The first thing to consider is whether you can resell to customers who have already purchased a product from your business. Can you offer customers a related item, an upgrade, or an add-on product? Past and existing customers will be less resistant to buying from you again. So, don’t ignore the potential gold mine that you have in your old customer records. An inexpensive mailshot or email campaign to old customers could provide a significant boost in sales.
2. Encourage Customer Referrals
Reach out to your satisfied, loyal customers, and ask them to refer your business to a friend. In some cases, you will not even need to offer a financial reward to encourage customer referrals. If you have a great relationship with your customers, they may merely need a little prompt from you to put more business your way. Even if you need to offer a financial incentive, it can be relatively small compared to the profit you make on new sales.
3. Warm Up Your Old Mailing List
Even if you have let your mailing list go cold, you may still be able to generate some sales out of old contacts. Prospects interested enough to subscribe to your mailing list before might yet be tempted into buying your products today. However, it is not advisable to make your first contact with a cold mailing list a sales offer. Reintroduce yourself to your subscribers with some valuable warm-up content, like a free eBook, before you try selling to them again.
4. Improve Your Upselling at Point of Sale
Are you getting all the sales volume you could from customers when they place an order with your business? Could you tempt them into buying a complimentary product, upgrade, or additional services? When a prospect is about to become a customer, they could be drawn into adding “one more” item to their shopping basket or order. So, consider if you could add some upsells in your sales processes to generate extra revenue from every customer.
5. Focus Sales Efforts on Hot Leads
If you need to boost sales fast, it is best to focus all your efforts on your hottest leads first. And it would be advisable to concentrate on those leads that will bring in the most revenue. When you want to increase sales without spending any money, you need to maximize the benefits you gain from existing resources. So, make sure that your sales team focuses only on the leads that are likely to generate cash in the short-term. The longer-term prospects can be put on the back burner and kept warm in the meantime.
6. Make Some Cold Calls
If you don’t have enough leads to work on right now, you could go back to the old-fashioned cold calling methods of generating sales. It can be disheartening cold calling people who are potentially not interested in what you have to offer. However, setting your sales team a cold calling task is better than having salespeople doing nothing when you desperately need more sales. If your sales team is underutilized right now, the only cost of cold calling will be the telephone calls. So, the cost of an in-house telemarketing campaign would probably easily be covered by the increase in sales.
Your network of business contacts could provide you a source of new leads. So, try working your contacts harder to see what sales opportunities you can unearth. Remember that your employees will have their networks as well. It is not only your sales team that will have contacts who might be interested in buying your products. So, encourage employees to play their part in generating sales, too. You might want to consider offering all employees a financial incentive to bring in new customers.
8. Partner Related Businesses
Another way to generate leads with no marketing costs is to form mutually beneficial partnerships with other, noncompeting businesses in your niche. A bookkeeper, for example, may often get asked to recommend a business lawyer. An accounting software supplier may have opportunities to promote a point of sale (POS) software application. Such partnerships might operate on a commission basis, or they may be merely a reciprocal lead-passing arrangement. Such agreements can also benefit smaller businesses pitching for large projects that require additional products or services outside the scope of what that business offers.
9. Improve Social Media Presence
Paying for social media ads is not the only way to promote a business on social media. By posting relevant and useful content on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, you can reach prospective customers free of charge. Try posting more often on your social media accounts and interact with your followers. If you can create a buzz around your brand, you will find that people will share your posts more often, including your sales content.
10. Update Your Website Content
If you post more content on your business website, you will increase your chances of getting traffic from Google. And as organic traffic costs you nothing, it’s a great way to generate sales without spending more money. As well as posting new content, revisit your existing content, and consider if it can be made more appealing. Make sure that your calls to action are punchy and enticing, for example. And check that all your product descriptions are up to date and accurate.
As you will see from the above, there are plenty of ways of generating sales without spending a fortune on marketing. Sometimes, all that is required is a little bit of lateral thinking. Of course, businesses that want to grow need to invest in marketing. Even so, the above tips will help you generate the money for the next marketing campaign when you are short of cash.