As business owners, we are spinning so many plates, all of the time. It can be quite exhausting, even when the world isn’t as turbulent as it is right now.
Throw into the mix the looming threat of recession, a cost of living crisis and numerous critical global events. It’s little wonder that we feel worried and concerned.
It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘what if’ mindset, but we need to focus on something really significant – there are still people out there with money. Consumers are proud to buy from small businesses and will continue to be. Your target market might be a little smaller than it once was due to lack of disposable income. But, that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. You can still increase sales in your business, despite the global circumstances.
With all that’s happening in the world, it’s so easy to blame everything other than our own business when sales dry up. Before blaming the universe, the government or Putin for a lack of revenue, we need to ensure we are doing everything we can first.
This blog has been designed to show you the elements that we’d typically look at when working with our 1:1 coaching clients, giving you the chance to make a headstart on this yourself.
When you’re not generating sales, typically you have one of two problems.
You’re either failing to drive enough eyes and traffic onto your business and/website, or you are, and then they are simply not converting once they arrive. Have both? Don’t panic – the problem can still be fixed!
Initially I’d encourage you to run an audit on your website traffic and insights. I highly recommend a website tool called Hotjar as it gives you the opportunity to analyse actual on-site behaviour. Google Analytics is also a great resource for looking at website traffic in more resolution. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the amount of traffic you should be generating. However, I’d typically say that anything less than 400 visitors per month needs work.
If you are a service provider, you can measure your conversion rates on things like landing pages for freebies and the success of discovery calls or proposals you’ve sent out. If you’re product-led and using an online marketplace or e-commerce website such as Shopify, most platforms will give you conversion rates. A rate that sits somewhere between 2 – 5% is common.
Additionally, it is always good to consider what might be causing sticky issues on your website or causing reasons for them to fail to commit to working with you.
For example, is your consumer met with an unexpected shipping charge? Are the vast majority of your products sold out or unavailable in certain sizes or variations? Is there a reason that your customers are failing to convert at the checkout? Again, this is where something like Hotjar can really come in handy because you can literally see website visitors encountering problems and bouncing away.
Or, if you’re selling services, are your proposals difficult to understand, with extra fees that weren’t mentioned in the discovery process?
Now we’ve got our heads around shopping cart abandonment a little more, let’s get into how we can re-engage them. Have you considered following up with potential consumers and incentivising them to return?
Did you know that by following up and sending your potential consumer an abandoned cart reminder email, you could save that sale?
Between 2016 – 2021, cart abandonment emails received an average open rate of 45% and a click through rate of 21% – both of which are huge. The overall conversion rate saw an average of 10.7% consumers going on to complete their purchase, allowing you to increase sales in your business.
Every person that is a consumer of yours has a similar interest to some degree. They’re most likely experiencing similar challenges to one another and have a need for your product and/or service. However, not all of these buyers are wired in the same way. After all, we all have our differences. This needs to be considered when actioning incentives – one singular approach will not necessarily work.
There are heaps of different sales psychology methods but one that is commonly used is Adaptive Selling, in line with the social styles of your customer.
Let’s break our customers down to enable us to find the best sales methods that work, accommodating different traits. There are four customer styles:
Those that fall into this category are precise, self-controlled, serious and business-like. They tend to disregard personal opinions when faced with decision-making.
To adapt to this style of customer, you’ll need to respect their principles, their way of thinking and approach. Communicate the pros and cons, provide facts, data and financial details, whilst demonstrating results. Avoid challenging their knowledge.
2. The Driver
Making decisions quickly whilst having the need to achieve are characteristics of the driver. They have an assertive personality, alongside being smart, decisive, independent and impatient. They are likely to not care about personal relationships, unless as a means to meet their goal.
Identify objectives of a driver whilst maintaining professionalism and efficiency. Wasting time with small talk will not be effective, you need to get to the point. Ensure the customer feels in control by providing options and use a timeline for expected results.
3. The amiable
Here you’ll find a friendly and supportive customer who is respectful and willing. They are classed as a team player who has a focus on innovation and long-term problem solving. They will also engage with people they trust and value relationships.
Establishing a personal relationship is a great way to adapt to this customer. Start interacting with them by discussing personal issues and interests. Openly discuss issues in conversation, whilst using personal commitments and specific guarantees.
4. The expressive
This style of customer holds a charismatic character whilst being intuitive and assertive. They are also creative and enthusiastic individuals who are nurturing and engaging. They build relationships in order to gain power as status and recognition are important to them.
You need to take extra time to discuss all aspects of the product and company. Be energetic and summarise the main points, ensuring you are including short and concise stories. Appeal to this customers emotions by asking them how they feel about the product. Always focus on the bigger picture.
Information via Talkdesk
Sales psychology is definitely worth considering when you’re working out your pricing structure. Certain numbers are thought to be favourably received by a large proportion of consumers – particularly those ending in a 7 or a 9. It won’t work for everyone of course, but it doesn’t hurt to trial these things.
You also need to think about how each of your offers and products relates to the other things that you sell. The last thing you want to do is create a conflict which potentially sabotages higher-ticket offers or bigger purchases from your store because you’ve tried to be clever. But you can also use this to your advantage. There’s usually a reason that the most expensive option in something like a subscription-based business will be just fractionally dearer than the middle tier. It’s to build that perception of value, to make you think that you’re getting a good deal, even though you might end up spending more than you intended.
The other thing I love to see from brands is the option for flexibility. For service-based businesses, payment plans are one of my favourite additions. Particularly if you’re offering higher-ticket services that might be challenging from a cash flow standpoint. I recently bought a course for around £600 and had the option to split the payments over 6 months. Whilst I didn’t necessarily need to, there’s absolutely no doubt that it made the decision to purchase a no-brainer.
For product-based businesses, staggered payment apps like Klarna and Clearpay are also making your products even more accessible. If you’ve never offered something like this, it’s worth bearing in mind, especially if consumers are finding their monthly disposable income is reducing. Will they spend £500 on the spot? Maybe not, but will they spend £125 and then three further payments? Quite possibly.
Have you ever had a sales event that you felt was a bit of a flop?
This can often occur due to the lack of build-up around the event or launch period. We want to create excitement. A need and a want for whatever it is that you’re selling. Without this, you’ll typically find there hasn’t been enough engagement for when you actually announce the launch.
Talking about something once and expecting sales to happen also doesn’t count as a sales or marketing campaign. A lot of the time, we feel like we are being boring or repetitive because we are seeing everything we do, but remember, not every customer will see everything you do.
A website analysis, incentives, product and consumer understanding, alongside consistent marketing are the initial ingredients for your sales growth recipe. This won’t all happen overnight, but start digesting this information and make a plan to really dig deep into your sales strategy. Hold yourself accountable and don’t just give up after a day because you haven’t seen your sales boom. Remember, start with that internal reflection before instantly blaming outside circumstances.
We have additional tools that can support you with this. Check out our guide to buyer personas. We also offer 1-1 intensives where we can actually run a lot of this recommended analysis for you. We’ll then get together for two hours on Zoom to talk through our findings and come up with a plan of action for your business.
To stay up to date on all the latest blogs and Ebb, Flow & Grow updates, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter below and follow me on Instagram at @ebbflowandgrow. You can check out my other blog posts by clicking here. Until then!