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Chapter 8: How to Promote Sales

You will need to attract new clients to your business and keep your existent database customers happy if you want to increase your sales. Sales are increased by either bringing new people to your business or by ensuring that the amount paid for each transaction increases. This can pose to you quite a challenge especially since you constantly have to try to keep existent customers coming to your business and not replacing you for the products or services of your competitors. However, keeping your current customers is much cheaper than attracting new ones. A way to ensure the increase of your sales is by making the most of what people in the business refer to as sales promotion.

So what exactly is a sales promotion? It is that part of your business plan whose main aim is to generate a desire in people to purchase your good or hire your services, thereby improving the incoming flow of sales for your business. Interestingly, a sales promotion allows you through different offers or incentives to continue to communicate with your existent clients who will most likely be motivated to purchase more than they normally do either by returning more frequently or by . These rewards or incentives will also attract along new clients. Sales promotions make your relationship with your clients lasts longer in terms of repeat sales; and this is beneficial to your business whether you are selling products or are offering particular services.

How to go about a sales promotion?

The first step that you have to take is to determine what it is exactly that you want to achieve. In order to take action that will reap the desired results you need to write down your objectives. The main question that you need to answer at this stage is the reasons why you want to take up a sales promotion campaign. Do you for example want to get rid of old stock or promote a new product or service? Do you want to attract new clients or do you want to motivate your current customers to come back more often in order to increase your sales? Determining the scope of undertaking a sales promotion is a crucial step that you do not want to miss.

Next you need to establish the period of the year you want to launch your sales promotion for. Determining the duration of your promotion will:

  • Create a sense of limited availability ( hence the need to lay their hands on the product now6);
  • Avoid it from getting boring and ineffective.

Imagine giving a mug for the purchase of five cans of tomato pulp of a particular brand. While the offer will intrigue people to purchase the product, they will get bored and won’t be motivated to purchase it time and time again, especially if they have a collection of 6 mugs. You wouldn’t want your promotional items to start being considered as trash. This is the underlying reason why establishing a starting date and end date for your sales promotion is vital if you want it to be successful. If you wish to keep promoting your tomato pulp brand you can start a new promotion by for example offering your customers new gifts and offers. Keep changing your promotional offers at time intervals will ensure that your customers won’t get bored of the product but they will rather look forward to see what free object they can get with their purchase.

The third step is to choose a strategy. A sales promotion strategy involves deciding how you will inform people about your promotion. This will call upon your imagination and some initial brain storming on what could really work to reach your objective as opposed to something that can turn out to be a useless investment. Although quite demanding on your mind, this step is an issue of trial an error. The important thing to do is trying the ideas that you think will work out. If your selected strategy does not work, move to the next one and the next until you find something that works out for your business and target market. This brainstorming exercise will only add to your marketing business experience. Should you wish to get your investment in promotional product as close to the right choice the very first time, the use of surveys to get an idea of what your customers need, wish or would like to have could make all the difference to your sales promotion campaign.

If you want to ensure that your sales promotion is a success you will first need to start why communicating your incentives to the people who often come in touch with your business such as your family, partners, your employees and management. Ensure to send the message across that these people promote your offer daily for a limited period. Word of mouth is usually the best way to promote anything. You could therefore speak to your customers, to your suppliers, promote it at business meetings and in turn these people might also pass on the message to their families, friends and others during other activities or mundane conversations. Take advantage of each encounter with people even if this is not at the place of your business. So speak about it to your financial staff, to your butcher, to your bank, to the mothers of your children’s friends, to their teachers and any other situation that involves contact with people. Again these people will most likely promote your incentive by word of mouth. You should also have an ace up your sleeve and have a plan set up to reward the people who are promoting your business, a term which in the field of marketing we refer to as promoters. Promoters could be the people working for you, your customers, different entities, your friends and relatives. There are many ways how you can reward your promoters. Rewarding them is necessary as at the back of their mind they do think of the benefits, if any at all, will they get by assisting you in your promotion. Although paying promoters a commission is a helpful way to initiate your promotion, you can boast its effects by creating another parallel sales promotion for your stuff. New customers approached by the people who promoted your business could for example be provided with a promoters’ identification code and you can note down the sales, the number of new people or the increase in sales different promoters have helped contribute to your business. Make it a point to inform them that performance will be rewarded and do reward the promoter who best pushed your sales promotion on the fast track. Again, the reward will be a promotional product. You will need to invest a bit extra here and make the promotional product look like a desirable price, after all it is a competition of which promoter makes your marketing campaign work best for you.

Besides word of mouth, you will then proceed to publicize your sales promotion and this of course would depend on the budget that you have at your disposition. Ways to publicize your sales promotion would include mail, posters, flyers, the internet, on social networks, catalogues, information on invoices, newspaper, adverts inside your store on your walls, colorful signs hanging from your store or office’s ceiling and public radio among others.

One important thing to remember as you go along is the reason why you wanted to initiate a sales promotion. Any thing you do should be focused on reaching that objective. Thus, if for instance your main objective was to promote a new product, you can make it look more attractive by adding offers to that product. Of course, if your offer caters for all your products it does not necessarily mean that people will buy your new product although it could increase your sales. So you have to be sure that you place all your focus on your objectives.

As you delve further into your sales promotion you will start picking up tactics like these. If you want to increase the amount of sales per month or attract new clients offering a promotional product with a certain amount spent or uses a referral reward program. If the need of your business is to get rid of old or unpopular products you can donate a free promotional product each time it is purchased. If you want your customers to come again, you could give them an offer that they can use on their next purchase.

After you have established your objectives, the strategies and tactics you want to employ such as the type of promotional products you will use and the duration of your sales promotion, it is time that you put all your plans into action.