There is only one way to grow. You have to sell more of your product or service. And there are only so many ways to get more sales. In descending order, with the lowest hanging fruit first, here are five ways to increase sales.
- Get bigger orders from existing customers
- Get more orders from existing customers
- Get orders for existing products from new customers
- Sell new products to existing customers
- Sell new products to new customers
Since sales are a function of sales calls, you should be able to double your business if you double your sales calls, up to the point where you have naturally saturated the market. To be successful, you’ll have to get very good at hiring and training sales people. Then you need to keep them motivated.
No matter how good you are at spotting potentially great sales people, you never know how they will perform in the business until you give them a shot. As you grow, don’t make the mistake of promoting the best salesperson to sales manager. Keep your best sales people selling and pay them accordingly. They are worth more to a company than the managers.
In tough economic times, it is easy to fall into the trap of cutting costs to improve profit. I have found that is generally counterproductive. The quickest way to improve your bottom line is to increase marketing and sales. I believe this is true in any kind of economic climate. If you do so when everyone else is cutting, you get the added benefit of gaining on your competition.
President, Business 360 Northwest