How to boost sales in a slow economy

LinkedIn Answers had the following question: “How did you manage to boost sales in a slow economy?” I am happy to say my answer was selected as “Best Answer,” so I am sharing it here:

Good Answers (15)

“Hania” (Anna) Whitfield 
Marketing Communications, Franchise & Specialty Retail Customer Growth, Operations, Management, Certified Pedorthist. 
see all my answers

Best Answers in:Internet Marketing (1)… see more

“There has never been a better time than now to reassess your sales strategies. Old habits need to be broken and fresh eyes need to review daily practices.

Everything from soup to nuts needs to be reviewed and updated for any missing links to the highest standards of customer service.

If you and your staff have not been taking advantage of down time to brush up, retrain, and revamp, then what are you doing with your down time? Leave the dusting to the cleaning staff and initiate sales re-training boot camp!

What worked before is not enough.

If you get honest, you’ll even find holes in past sales behavior that slipped by in good times.  The sales field is notorious for settling into comfortable behavior selling patterns. This is especially true in retail where the products one is most comfortable with are the ones one sells while letting other viable products gather dust that could be sold to fill the needs of the customer.

  • Thorough knowledge of all goods and services is imperative.
  • Cross training is necessary to ensure full service from every staff member.
  • Empowerment of staff ensures increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Many in this thread have comprehensively covered the need for implementing modern tools and vehicles like social media, so I won’t go into that again myself here.

I will reiterate the need for an objective look

at your marketing collateral and company website.Too many websites are heavily invested in, yet not maintained and upgraded. A stagnant and outdated website screams negative volumes at visiting customers and is passed over by search engines. Brochures, individual business cards (yes, you still need to give out business cards!) and all other printed collateral need to be updated. Make sure informative pieces are available in pdf form on your website.

Listen to the objective comments of others for all possible negative and positive attributes of your business. While you make changes to minimize the negative, emphasize the positive for immediate results.

Yes, these are basics…

but you can’t enhance a failing system with modern tools. Begin in your own backyard, as they say. Clear out the weeds and fallen trees, then start anew.

And take advantage of the Pygmalion effect with your staff and even yourself… it always works.

Good luck!”