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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

How to sell more to your retail customers

 

While many organisations work hard at chasing and seducing new prospects, they risk missing the opportunity to grow by increasing the value of existing customers

The good thing about encouraging the customers you already have to use more of your products or services is that it needn't cost much money. Just use every bit of the 'brand' that touches your customers - from packaging to your website, from manufacturing to customer service. Use it not just as a promotional tool, but to actively encourage repeated usage.

The best way to grow business from existing customers is to keep them interested in your product or service.

Why bother with existing customers?

1. Achieve better conversion rates

This is because trust and confidence has already been established. It's easier to identify customers' real needs - because you know something about them already. It is also non-competitive in as much they are already your customer, to some degree, and you are not trying to lure them from a competitor.

2. Spend less on marketing

Targeting existing customers means you'll spend less time finding them, less money getting the right message across , and less time convincing them that you are worth doing business with.

You'll also spend less on customer research - you may already have some positive feedback from them.

3. Make more profit

You'll spend less time getting up to speed with the needs of existing customers, and (usually) there'll be less pressure to discount the price than with new buyers.

Your business operations become more efficient and effective as you know what customers need. It may also be possible to get the customer to trade up to other products or services - since they trust you. This is called higher leverage.

4. Increase product or service complexity

Your organisation needs to grow and develop to remain competitive - so you may be able to do more complex work with existing customers. It can be difficult to sell to new customers outside your established track record.

Sales techniques

Whenever an organisation is trying to interest a customer into buying an additional product or service, there's one thought going through the customer's mind: 'Why are you trying to sell me something?'

There are, of course, only two possible answers to this question. Either they believe you're really interested in their situation, and them, and have a sincere desire to help them, or else they believe you're just trying to generate additional revenues for your business. Whether or not your selling effort succeeds depends solely on which of these two things they believe about you. If they believe you're interested in them, that you care, and that you're truly trying to help them, they'll buy from you.

Lastly, if your customers aren't actively telling their friends about you, maybe your product or service isn't as great as you think it is. Furthermore, if you aren't getting consistently great word-of-mouth from your existing customers, you're not ready to start marketing to new ones.

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