14 Customer-Centric Ways To Boost Sales In A Turbulent Economy
The current economic landscape is leading consumers to be more mindful of how they’re spending their money. That means today’s customers are shopping around for the best deal more than ever, presenting a significant challenge for business owners, especially if they’re trying to compete with bigger brands that have lower prices.
To help, we asked the experts of Forbes Coaches Council to share some effective ways of boosting sales when consumers are reining in their spending habits. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Demonstrate Your Long-Term Value For Clients
You always have to demonstrate value and help your clients understand how to reduce their costs and liability in the long term. Oftentimes, clients are only thinking about the short term, but that type of myopic thinking can cost them more in the long run if they are not properly assessing risk and understanding changes in the marketplace. Sell for today, but help your clients build for tomorrow. – Joel Davis Brown, Pneumos
2. Follow The Path Of Least Resistance
To boost sales when consumers are more conscious of their spending, follow the path of least resistance. Ask yourself, “Where can I get the best return on my investment of resources now?” Often, this means nurturing and leveraging relationships with current consumers by offering additional products or services at a lower cost and boosting a referral program for warm introductions to new clients. – Vered Kogan, Momentum Institute™
3. Understand Your Perceived Value To The Customer
Perceived value drives purchase behavior. Know what the real value is to your customers, deliver that or more and get testimonials. Understand where that value falls in your customers’ hierarchy of needs so that you don’t waste time selling where the need isn’t greatest. It’s that simple. – Sharon Richmond, Richmond Associates Consulting
4. Identify Your Loss Leader
Consider a loss leader, which means selling a service or product at a price that won’t yield a profit but should attract new clients or help sell other products. Your loss leader should be something that you know will prove your firm’s value so that it entices them to buy more. Don’t overuse this strategy, though. Pick one or two products to ensure that the rest of your prices show your value and market value. – Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLC
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5. Explain How The Benefits Outweigh The Cost
The art of persuasion requires that the value of your product or service must outweigh the departure of your customer’s hard-earned cash. Dramatize the value you bring that allows customers to feel that they are better off with your offering. Explain the costs of not doing what you are suggesting so that the customer wins by purchasing your offering. – Linda Martin, Levelup-global
6. Show Sincere Respect For Their Business
Enhance their experience by demonstrating sincere respect for their business. This means stepping away from a generic and automated “thank you for your purchase” email triggered by their most recent purchase and, instead, providing personalized, human-generated outreach that acknowledges their business. Retention is just as critical as new business. – Corey Castillo, Truth & Spears
7. Consider The Challenges Your Customer Faces
Focus on the customer even more deeply than you have been. If you know your customers and their challenges, even during economic hardships, they are still likely facing many of the same challenges. If you are truly keyed in on who they are and how to help them, either they will still need your offering, or you will be able to pivot effectively to meet their new need and still serve them. – Dhru Beeharilal, Nayan Leadership, LLC
8. Hold An Exciting Contest
Everyone loves a good contest! The excitement of competition will be a great distraction for people. Don’t worry about discounts or giving everything away. If your product or service is good, people will find a way to purchase it for full value. Create a contest where everyone has a shot, and you’ll boost not only sales, but also engagement on all your social sites. – Miranda VonFricken, Miranda VonFricken – Masterminds & Personal Growth Coaching!
9. Offer Financing And Package Discounts
The key to increasing sales is knowing what the customer needs. Through differentiation, you can have the market share you desire. Financing purchases is one way to reduce the impact on their spending budget and make buying easier. Associating discounts with packages that bundle several products can also facilitate these sales. – José Luís González Rodriguez, ActionCOACH
10. Run Holiday Specials And Limit Availability
Utilize holiday specials to boost orders. Be sure to create the value, or need for the product, with images and short videos. Another way to drive sales is to put a time limit on the availability of your products. Nothing motivates a consumer to add something to the cart faster than seeing that there are “only three left!” Run these marketing strategies and more. If you have quality products, consumers will buy. – Pasha Carter, The VIP Network
11. Position Your Offerings As Essential
If you have a compelling product or service—one that customers will connect with emotionally and that makes life easier for them in some way—consumers will still prioritize making the purchase. Remember that you want to position your product or service as one that is inelastic and always necessary, even when times are tight. – Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC
12. Create A Subscription Model
In times of crisis, people want to have more control over their costs. They want to know what they’re paying. That’s why subscription models can work well. For example, I’ve just signed up for a coffee subscription for a flat fee every month. I’ll certainly save money on my coffee consumption, and the coffee shop gets a loyal customer plus guaranteed cash in the bank every month. It’s a win-win. – Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker Leadership Academy
13. Ask Happy Clients For Referrals
This seems simple and intuitive, but in many cases, including mine, it is not. When I have been more intentional and specific about asking happy clients for referrals, they have been very helpful, always seeming to respond positively. In tighter spending environments, those ideal clients may be more hidden, so you need people who already know and trust you to advocate for you. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
14. Use Online Videos To Educate Prospects
Using online video tools, educate your customers and customers-to-be on how they can be even more mindful about their money. First, utilize video as a marketing strategy that is likely to increase sales. Create Q&A’s, product reviews and presentations or make tutorials about life hacks. Next, show how your product or service is a more sustainable option from a financial perspective. – Inga Bielińska, Inga Arianna Bielinska Coaching Consulting Mentoring