4 Ways To Win Over Customers And Boost Your Sales To grow your business, you will have to convert buyers from their current suppliers to you. Here's how you convince businesses to switch to you.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Whether you're starting a new business, growing your existing company or introducing a new product or service, you will need to get potential customers to switch their spending from something else to you.
This is in addition to the traditional market penetration challenges of getting noticed by potential buyers and showing them that your value proposition is sound.
All too often we prepare business and marketing plans while making an unconscious assumption that the potential buyers are simply sitting around, cash in hand, waiting for this new offer.
Clearly, this is not true; potential buyers are either using a competitive product to meet their needs, or spending their money elsewhere, to satisfy different needs.
Related: Ask Your Price and Win More Sales
Even if you are in the fortunate position that your new product, service or company is one that has little or no direct competition, you still have to persuade potential customers to change from what they are spending on and divert the money to you, so the same rules apply.
Here are 4 ways to rethink your current sales strategy to win more deals and convert more buyers.
1. Look at things from your potential buyer's perspective.
Once your new product or service comes to their attention, no matter how desirable it is, they will need to find the money to buy from you.
Normally, that means deciding what other goods and services they will stop buying. This is a very different mindset to that which we imagine, where we think the only decision that they have to make is whether our product suits their needs at an affordable price.
The same rules apply if you are trying to grow your sales to existing customers; to buy more from you they must buy less from another supplier.
Once you understand this, you can change your value conversation to address the client's perspective, instead of your own.
2. Understand why your competitors' products are trusted.
How many times have you heard entrepreneurs complain that buyers continue to buy competitive products and services that are inferior / higher priced / lower quality than the ones they offer?
People and companies are slow to change; they need compelling reasons to move away from trusted products.
Related: Customer Satisfaction, Guaranteed
To convert them you must first tell them about your offering, then show its value is high compared to its price and then show that it offers such advantages that the buyer can justify discarding current products or suppliers (who are, yes, trusted).
3. Focus on personalised communications, not broad "spray and pray' strategies.
Do not underestimate the difficulty of getting noticed by your target market. A nice logo, some social media and a smart website supported by limited advertising will not attract hordes of potential customers, you may not get noticed at all.
It's easy for your message to get lost in the clutter of millions of brands and products competing for attention.
A better plan is to notify a select group of potential customers, those most likely to accept the value proposition. That way the communication can be more personal and focus on their identified needs.
4. Make the case for change (and make it strong).
You have to convince those who have noticed you about the value of your offering, which means it has to satisfy their needs affordably.
Then you need to go a step further; you need to show them why switching from where they are currently spending money to divert funds to you is a good idea.
People and organisations enjoy their comfort zones. They need strong motivations to take the risk of making a change. It becomes even more difficult if you are selling a relatively generic product or service.
Why would one brand of tinned food, petrol station, metal fabrication plant, building contractor or business coach be clearly superior to others? Think of advantages like infrastructure, track record, reliable delivery, price or your market knowledge and application skills.
Performance or quality differences may be the key. Having identified the compelling reason you will have to package that reason in a format that can be understood rapidly; you will only have seconds to get the attention of a possible customer.
Pulling it all together
In today's competitive environment, you can't sit back and wait for customers to come to you. You need a clear strategy that speaks to your target audience's needs and concerns. Focus on these four areas and you will start speaking your customers' language, leading to more deals and a boost in your bottom line.