How many times do you start researching something you were thinking of buying, just to get distracted? Or realise you need to talk to someone else before you buy? Or you’re just doing initial research? How many times do you put things in your online basket and aren’t quite ready to check out yet? How often do you go into a shop just looking for ideas but you want to think about it before you commit?
In other words, how often do you start the ‘buying’ process but don’t finish it? Fairly often, if you’re anything like me.
And your customers will be just the same.
So why then, do we not follow up with these people? Why are we so worried about pestering them or feeling stalky? Surely, if they enquire there is a possibility they might be ready to complete that sale, hopefully with you, at some point soon?
Let me share a story.
I was shopping for a dress online and I got it in my online basket, paid and the payment failed. It was because my card had been cloned earlier in the year and I got a new one, but I’d saved my old card on this site and didn’t realise when I clicked to use it that it was my old one. The message said ‘payment failed’, I couldn’t be bothered to go downstairs right at that point to fetch my purse but I thought I’d remember to go back and get this lovely dress while it was still in stock.
The trouble is, I didn’t. Remember, that is. Even when the store kindly sent me an email an hour later reminding me that I still had things in my basket and I just needed to update my payment method. I meant to do it because I definitely wanted the dress, but I was putting my daughter to bed and by the time I got back downstairs, I was zonked and updating my payment method didn’t even enter my mind.
It wasn’t until I got a phone call the next day from the team at the store – as soon as I answered the phone I knew exactly why they were calling and I was happy to speak to them and finish my purchase but I was just about to go on another call and didn’t have time to speak.
Finally, the following day the team called me, a lovely lady very politely asked if now was a good time and would I like to complete checkout with her. I did indeed want to and I finally bought the dress.
Now, did you see how that worked?
How many steps it took for me to actually buy? It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it’s just life got in the way. I was really happy to receive the email and 2 phone calls. I didn’t feel pestered or stalked or freaked out. I was just glad they persevered because I wanted to buy that dress but my life is busy and often chaotic and I get tired and forget because I’m a mum and a business owner and a wife and a dog mum and a home educator.
Your Super Customers are just the same and your business could work the same way as the store I bought from.
Imagine if you followed up with customers who put things in their basket but didn’t check out? Imagine if you followed up with people who enquired about services a little while ago but never came back? Imagine if you got your web visitors to sign up to your email newsletter so you didn’t lose them when they left your site. Imagine how many more sales you could achieve and how much more profit you could make? And all you have to do is follow up.
Not in a pestering way or a stalky way. Not in an uncomfortable way. Just in a helpful way because your Super Customers are like me that day, life gets in the way.
You’re helping them like the store helped me and I was happy to be helped.
Yes, you may get people who were genuinely researching and don’t want to buy but at least you have tried to help them and for every one of those, there could be a busy home-schooling mum and business owner whose brain feels like a sieve some days and who will be eternal grateful that you helped her finally buy that thing she wanted. Just a thought.
If you’re not selling as much as you like, it’s probably due to one of two reasons.
Either, you’re attracting the wrong people or you’re not offering them the right thing.
That sounds really obvious, but so many people still get it wrong.
If you know that you’re definitely going to the right fairs and the right trade shows or you’ve got the right Facebook ads out or you know that the right kind of people like your business but they’re not buying then you’re not giving them what they want and need.
Otherwise they would be buying!
So maybe you’re offering something that they want and need but it’s the wrong price, therefore, it’s not right for them.
Maybe they can’t see the value.
Maybe you’re not differentiating yourself enough.
Maybe you’re competing with lots of other people but you’re not making clear how your products or services are specifically tailored for your super customers.
Are you making it really clear why it’s worth paying more for your stuff, because it’s clearly a better fit for them? People will always pay more if they feel as if it’s the right fit for them. If it’s a perfect fit, they will find the extra money, we all do it for things that are important to us.
So maybe it is that you are not offering the people who come to your business what they need and want. Maybe the offering itself is wrong.
What Can You Do About It?
Find out, do surveys if you’ve got a shop, ask people what they’re looking for specifically.
Start to really get to the bottom of what your Super Customers need and want and get inside their head.
Make sure you are targeting the right people, make sure that the people who are visiting your business in person and on your website and on social media are who you think they are.
You need to find out who they are, using whatever means you can.
Because, if you’re getting the right people coming to your business but they’re not buying then you need to change your offering. Not always a lot, sometimes just a couple of tweaks can make all the difference, but if you were giving them what they wanted and needed they would be buying as it’s as easy as that!
It may be that you’re really clear on your products and services, but you’re not attracting the right people. So this is the other side of the coin. You know that your products or services are really, really good but nobody’s buying, nobody’s engaging. So your advertising, your search engine optimisation, point of sales stuff, is not attracting the right people.
Maybe you’re putting messages out there that you think are attracting the right people but when it comes to it they are not a good fit for your business.
What Can You Do About It?
You need to find out more about the people who ARE following you and get clear on who your Super Customer is, because they are most likely to buy from you. Then your marketing needs to be aimed at your Super Customers. It’s that simple. You need to attract people who are most likely to buy from you, don’t you?
How Do You Find Out About Your Current Fans/Followers?
Well, you need to see who’s on your Facebook page. You need to get people to introduce themselves and tell you a bit about themselves in some kind of introduction thread. You need to maybe run a survey and put it out in your newsletter and on social media and incentivise your crowd to fill it in.
If you’re at a trade fair, talk to people. Really talk to them. Try to engage people in a friendly conversation rather than giving up when they say ‘I’m just browsing’.
You need to know and understand what people need and want. And here’s the BIG thing: It might not be what you think they want. Or it might be just a hair’s breadth away from being what they want, but you’ve missed something that you’re not aware of because you don’t know your best buyers, your Super Customers.
I have a blog all about Super Customers and how to find yours here.
This is probably the most important thing you will do for your marketing and your business because once you suss that out, your business will change. The dynamics will change and the money will start to come in – YAY!
Your job today is to figure out which of the two issues are stopping sales in your business. Is it that you’re attracting the wrong people? Or is it that you’re attracting the right people, you’re just not offering them what they want?
Sales are slow, money isn’t flowing, and yet I’ll bet you have potential sales sitting in your business RIGHT now, only you can’t see them yet. They are hidden – you just need to ask the right questions to unlock them and get the sales flowing.
So let’s get started and although the first thing seems really obvious, most people don’t do it.
1. What Could I Sell Right Now?
The first question I want you to ask yourself is ‘what could I sell right now? What have you got that’s made, nearly made, almost there, sitting there, not being used, old stock, old equipment, what could you sell right now?
In my business, I create products, I’ve got lots of products that are maybe a couple of years old and I haven’t sold for a while and I can turn them into self-study programs, so I can sell those right now. I could sell coaching sessions right now. I could sell strategy sessions right now. I could sell mastermind places right now. So there are things that I could sell right now.
What could you sell right now if you put your mind to it and thought about what you have, already done, that maybe just needs a tweak or a repackage or could just be sold as it is. What could be turned into money, in your business, TODAY?
2. What Could I Sell To My Existing Customers?
Have all of your customers bought everything they could from you? I’m guessing the answer is no.
If you’re sitting there thinking “I need to get some money in”, you’ve probably got potential sales right there on the table, you just need to make them happen. When was the last time you let your customers know what else you sell? How many did you follow up with lately, to check they have everything they need? And how many have probably gone out and bought stuff over the last few months that YOU could have sold them, except you didn’t tell them, so they didn’t know? Hmmm
I suspect you have people in your database who have already bought from you who just need a little nudge, an email or phone call, to say ‘did you know that we do this, I think you would really like it’. Or ‘did you know that we do this and would like a sample or a try?’ I am sure you could drum up some very quick business that way, you just have to be proactive. Even if they say no, you have still shown you are thinking of them, which is GREAT for relationship building and will keep you top of mind for next time.
3. What Can I Create, Quickly?
What are your customers and potential customers waiting for, that you don’t sell YET? You’re so busy DOING that you haven’t had time to tap into some really obvious opportunities. If you know you have people waiting for a product or service that they would buy right away, make time to create it. It doesn’t have to be a huge project – you might be able to spend a day putting a small, easy-to-create product or service together that would sell like hot cakes. You wouldn’t believe how often I’ve suggested this for my clients and when they actually get on and DO it, people BUY from them. Can you create a little add-on to a current product or service? How about a little workshop? A mentoring option? A bundle? A subscription? Don’t sweat about it – go for a quick and easy pilot project and refine it if, and when it sells.
4. What Could I Sell To New Customers?
We have looked at existing customers, but if you know there are people within your network or crowd that haven’t bought from you, it’s because you haven’t put the right thing out there, YET. Think about the people in your network, think about the people on your database, the people who’ve been quiet, the people on social media who haven’t yet bought anything from you. And the key word here is yet. What are they waiting for, that you could create quickly and sell to new customers? How could you create a ‘dip your toe in the water’ product or service? A taster? A sample? A little non-scary, small-commitment-type of thing that will let them quickly see if you are right for them? Do it!
5. What Problems Can I Solve?
What problems are there out there that your products or services solve? Have a brain dump, get a big notebook and pen and just think about what people say about what you do, what people love about your products and services, what people feedback about them, what they ask for, what questions that they ask, the reason is that they give you for buying. And then think about what you could put out there that will solve problems for your crowd.
6. What Time-Sensitive Packages Could I Put Together?
If you are trying to create money quickly is there anything you can put together quickly that has got a limited lifespan? Here’s another example, I knew that there was a need for a book for ladies who were trying to run their business with their children in the school holidays, so I very quickly wrote, edited, put together, typeset THAT BOOK, and got it on Amazon and Kindle within nine days – a book for women and it’s called SOS A Business Mums Survival Guide for the School Holidays.
That was done very quickly because it was for a window of opportunity that was the UK school holidays. It needed to be written super-fast and I just sat down and did it, because I knew if I didn’t do it I would lose that window of opportunity. So think about what you can create which is time sensitive, which is specific to something going on now and seize the moment, make the most of it.
7. What Are My Super Customers Searching For?
Your Super Customers are the people who are most likely to buy from you, those people who are a great fit for your business. Thinking about your Super Customers, what are they looking for on Google right now? What are they struggling with? What do they need this time of you? What’s going on in their life right now that they need your help with? And what can you put together for them? Whatever it is, how can you tap into it? Go!
Any time you get stuck or sales dry up, ask yourself these questions – there is always a way to get sales flowing. Asking yourself these questions will spark something in that big brain of of yours and get you fired up – it only takes one good idea to turn a business around and you are more capable of doing it. Just keep asking yourself the right questions and the sales will come!
Did you know there are sales sitting right there in your business, you’ve not found yet?
They are waiting patiently for you to do a couple of things and, once you do those things you’ll find these sales start to come in – kerching!
At the moment they are just out of your reach because you haven’t learned how to tap into them yet. But after reading this, you will!
It’s your CUSTOMERS. Not new customers. Existing customers. People who have already bought from you.
They know you, like you, trust you and they’ve seen the quality of what you sell. They are convinced of your value. They have bought from you. You’ve done the hard work. And yet you’re not helping them as much as you could. And that’s a shame!
What’s the problem that’s keeping you from helping them even more and selling more in the process?
You Assume They Know About Everything You Sell
Let me share a little home truth with you.
Just because somebody buys one or two things from you, DOES NOT MEAN they know about everything else.
There’ll be lots of clients and customers who come back, again and again and buy the same thing.
You’d think they’re aware of everything else that you sell, right?
Surely they looked through your website, or had a good look at what you’ve got on sale?
You’d think so.
But let me share something with you – there’s a really, really high chance that they don’t know even half of what else you sell.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are buying products or service from other people, that they COULD be buying from you – if they knew you sell it.
Why Don’t Your Customers Know About Everything You Sell?
People are blinkered and busy. They are NOT MIND-READERS!
They usually know what they are looking for and, once they find it they just buy it.
Unless someone is in a ‘browsing’ type of mood, they just pop into your shop or onto your website and buy what they always buy.
They probably don’t even take much notice of what else is there, they’re on autopilot.
In fact I bet you’ve often done the same, right?
So, what can you do to MAKE your customers and clients aware of everything else you have on offer? How can you snap them out of their autopilot buying habits and show them the rest of your awesome stuff?
The thing you have to remember is your customers and clients are not mind readers, you need to LET THEM KNOW about everything that you do. Don’t assume they will come looking. Don’t assume it’s on their radar. Don’t assume they will remember. Don’t assume ANYTHING otherwise you’re leaving your sales to chance and missing opportunities all over the place.
Let’s look at how you can show your lovely existing customers what you’re made of and get them to buy more next time (and every time thereafter)
E-newsletters Keep You Top Of Mind
The first thing that you can do is to send out a regular e-newsletter to your existing customers and clients. Use Mailchimp or some other emailing software that keeps you compliant with the SPAM laws and get writing. It needs to really add value and be worth their while to open and read it.
What could you include?
Well, every month you might showcase a different product or a different service or a different range.
If you did that you could cover 12 products or services in one year without feeling as though you are hassling or bombarding your customers. From your customer’s perspective, they will love the fact you’re showing them things they love and they’ll be surprised they weren’t aware. You’ll probably get them contacting you saying ‘I didn’t know you sold this!’
To add value you could also share ‘how to’ tips and videos, do product reviews, share offers and competitions – I’ve got some good e-newsletter tips for you in this blog and some more here.
Social Media Is Great For Showcasing
If your customers follow you on social media (and if they’re not, make it really easy for them to do so) you can showcase your products and services and make them aware of everything you do without being overtly ‘salesy’. You can share photos on Facebook and ask for comments. Maybe put a couple of variations of a product or service in a Facebook post and ask people to say which is their favourite. You can have a product of the week and even run promotions on it.
Pinterest is great for showcasing visual products – set up boards for certain brands or product ranges, have ‘new stock’ boards, ‘sale’ boards and even mood boards if you sell something that you can match up with props or accessories. Think about creating boards with links to product demo videos. Have a ‘what people are saying’ board and put your testimonials in there. Invite your customers to follow you and ask them what they would love to see.
Twitter lets you share photos too and you can join in with local or industry networking hours to shout about your products of the week.
Instagram is another great way to showcase products that photograph well – use hashtags to make sure you appear in searches.
And don’t forget YouTube – it’s one of the biggest search engines after Google and you can point your customers in the direction of your YouTube channel to see product demonstrations, interviews with you, interviews with customers and suppliers, answering frequently asked questions – there are loads of great ways to use YouTube – here is one blog with some great tips and here’s another to help with videos.
Ask your customers if they are on social media when they buy and make it really easy for them to follow you. If you have a physical shop or premises, put your social media links on business cards on the counter, pop one into each product bag, hand one out with each receipt. Put stickers on your windows and put your FB / Twitter / Pinterest addresses on your uniforms, receipts, stationery, company vehicles – you need to keep top of mind and if your customers are on social media, you need to be too.
If you have your customers there in person or on the phone, just say ‘I’m not sure if you know we do this? Did you know that we do this?’ or say ‘Oh look, I’ve just done a little price list or a little overview of what we do in our business, can I just give you this because I’m not sure that I’ve told everybody what exactly we have to offer and you might be interested in some of the other things that we do’.
Pop a business card with your social media links and website in with their receipt.
Put some ‘bundle’ deals together – bring out things to the front of the shop that are normally not great sellers and bundle them with popular items.
Use the AMAZON effect – when they buy something, say ‘ooh lots of ladies are buying that with THIS because it really complements it’ – think about when you buy from Amazon and it says ‘people who bought that also bought this’ or ‘suggested products we think you might like’.
Ask your customers for their email address and if they’d like to hear from you once a month – you’ll be surprised how many say yes.
On Your Website
Finally, make sure that your website is up to date and it has all of the products and services on there that your customers will love.
If you have a shopping cart or you have some kind of slide show or carousel feature on your front page of your website, try featuring a new product every month.
Think about having a new products or a product of the month or service of the month, brand of the month if you sell other people’s brands.
Have a plan to showcase all your products. Use the Amazon effect we talked about earlier. Show people what they are missing.
Just Imagine How Your Business Would Look
Imagine if every customer who bought from you:
- Tried something new each time
- Increased their order each time
- Recommended you to their friends
- Bought bundles instead of single products
- Took notice of your suggestions and added to their order
- Kept coming back and spent 10% or 20% more each time
Can you imagine how your profits would look? How much more income you’d bring in JUST by making your existing customers aware of what you do?
This isn’t scary selling; This is customer service.
You’re making life easier for your customers and helping them find other products and services that are a great fit with what they already love.
If you’re not doing this you’re seriously missing out.
I challenge you to implement just ONE THING I’ve talked about today that you’re not doing and see what happens. Then come back and tell me how you did!
Did you know, YouTube is the world’s third biggest search engine after Google and Baidu (wait, what? China’s biggest search engine, that’s what!) which means that, more often or not, when you put a search into Google for how to do certain things, quite often it’s a video on YouTube that comes up in the top 10 search results.
Let me give you some statistics from YouTube’s site.
- YouTube has more than 1 billion users
- There are 4 BILLION video views on YouTube per day
- 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
- 50% of YouTube views are on mobile devices
Hmm, interesting huh?
That’s a lot of video views and a big chunk of them will have come about as a result of a Google search.
So, if you’re NOT using YouTube how many searches COULD you have appeared in but didn’t, because you’re not on YouTube?
I can hear the penny dropping right now.
This is a really useful thing to know because:
- Most business ARE NOT on YouTube.
- Most of your competitors are not on YouTube.
- But most of your customers are searching Google and getting YouTube ‘how to’ videos coming up in their search results.
- You need to be there.
So let’s start thinking like a business owner.
How To Use YouTube To Drive Sales
How can you capitalise on this, now that you are ‘in the know’? How can you use YouTube to sell more stuff?
- Well, you can use videos to showcase your products and services for starters.
- You can share your results.
- You can show work in progress.
- You can show happy customers benefitting from your work.
- You can show sale items and whet people’s appetite.
- You can share trade secrets and tips.
- The more you share, the more people will take notice.
- The more people take notice, the more you will sell.
People buy people. Relationships matter in marketing and in business. Videos showcase you as a person and allow your viewers and potential customers to begin building a relationship with you, even though you’re not there in person.
Creating Videos Is Easier Than You Think
It’s so easy to create videos. It doesn’t have to be you talking on camera (cue: huge sigh of relief from you) but we’ll talk about this more in a moment.
You can make a video of you demonstrating things with your hands, so if you’re a maker, crafter or an artist you can just have a camera focussed on your hands and demonstrate techniques and how tos.
You can share teaching slides and create teaching videos where you explain how to do something and walk people through it, narrating the slides – you can use www.screencast-o-matic to do this very cheaply and easily).
You can create videos where you share your screen and again, using Screencast-o-Matic you can demonstrate how to use software or social media, if that’s relevant to your business and audience.
So, you see videos don’t have to be you! But… it would be REALLY good if you could create some of you talking to camera. Why? Because they:
- Help to position you as an expert,
- Build relationships with your potential buyers,
- Showcase your expertise,
- Build your credibility and
- Generally short-cut the learning process so if you’re trying to get a message across it’s much easier to get that across on video than it is on a page full of words.
- Show off your awesome stuff
You, being yourself, talking to camera does more to build trust and shorten the buying cycle than any amount of sales pages on your website.
People love to hear from business owners; they love to know that behind this website there’s a real person who is passionate about what she does.
How Can You Use YouTube In Your Marketing?
I want you to think about how you could use YouTube in your marketing.
- What kind of videos could you put together that your super customers would love?
- What could you showcase in your business?
- What could you teach in your business?
- What could you shortcut in your business?
- Is there something that loads of people struggle with?
- Are there certain questions that you always get asked in your business that you could answer in one quick video and help people without having to get in touch with them?
- How could you use videos in your frequently asked questions section, if you have one, on your website, if you don’t have one on your website, do you need one?
- Are there certain things that customers and clients always struggle with when they’re deciding to buy or when they’re getting started with you?
- Are there things you always end up explaining?
Create Once, Use Loads Of Times
The thing is, just because they’re on YouTube doesn’t mean you can’t use them elsewhere. You can embed them in your website. You can use them on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn. You can link to them in your e-newsletters and send them out to your subscribers and customers. You could get a LOT of use out of one little video.
Who Can See My Videos On YouTube?
There are three different privacy settings on YouTube videos; you can have private videos which only you can see, unlisted videos which only people with a link to the video can see, and you can have public videos that everyone can see and that appear in search results.
For profile building, relationship building, positioning yourself as an expert, building your credibility and getting known, you would create public videos.
If you are delivering these videos as part of a programme or teaching series or you only want people on your website to be able to see them, you might make them unlisted so that only people with the link can see them and then you might email out to the people who need them with the links.
If there are videos you want to keep for reference but you don’t want anyone to see them, or maybe you are going to make them public at a certain time you would set them to private.
Getting My Videos Found On Google
This is how you’ll appear in Google search results so there are a few things you can do to make this even more effective:
- Call your video something ‘searchable’. By that I mean think about what your customers will be putting into Google – what they will be typing in the search box and try to call your videos something that will match that. If you are demonstrating how to ice a cupcake like a rose then call your video ‘How To Create A Cupcake Rose’ or ‘How To Ice Your Cupcake Like A Rose’ because this is what people will be typing into Google
- Fill out the description box. Most people don’t do this and yet it’s probably the biggest reason your video will appear in Google searches. Remember, Google doesn’t know what you are saying in the video. All it can use is the title and description so you need to make sure your title and video description describe what the video is about
- Add a link to your website and other social media accounts in your video descriptions so people can easily find your website and shop – make it easy for them to buy
- Remember your videos could be seen by anyone in the world so speak clearly (while being yourself, don’t turn into a robot!)
- If you are talking on camera have your lighting in front of you, not behind you or you’ll look like a silhouette
- Stick a post-it note to your computer screen if you’re recording on your webcam, with prompts and reminders about what you want to say
- Don’t get hung up on your voice and appearance – your viewers just want to learn from you
Here are some ideas that could work for you. You don’t need all of them, you just need one or two that work for your business and do them as best you can.
- Client testimonials
- Case Studies
- ‘How To’ demonstration videos
- Hands-on demonstration videos
- You, explaining a concept
- You, answering frequently asked questions, one at a time (you’ll have a little collection of really useful videos before you know it)
- You, showcasing new stock that’s just arrived
- Reviews (book reviews, equipment reviews, website reviews). This going to help your customers because you’re helping them to short cut the research process and give them YOUR expert recommendations.
- There are loads more, just see what everyone else is doing inside and outside of your industry
How To Get Started On YouTube
The best thing to do is set up a YouTube channel for your business. This is fairly simple but can be baffling to the uninitiated – we’ve got a video here that will help.
Your customers and clients would rather you got the videos done and out there and helped them, than sat worrying about whether you look ‘right’ and never getting your video out there.
Just get the videos done, get over yourself and start to benefit from the amazing massive search engine that is YouTube. You’ll find that if you do the right videos (you’ll learn what works, the more you do) and give them the right titles your videos will start to show up in your potential customers’ Google searches. This will drive enquiries, drive traffic to your website and ultimately (if you’ve got your targeting right) drive sales.
What’s not to love?