There are some incredibly reliable ways to increase sales consistently and reliably – no matter what kind of business you run.
And I’m here to share them with you.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at some general tactics you can use to boost sales, then techniques for your salespeople (ideal for B2B companies) and some tricks to improve online sales (ideal for B2C companies).
And guess what? They actually work.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- How to Increase Sales (Generally)
- 1. Decrease the price.
- 2. Double the price.
- 3. Create decoy price packages.
- 4. Increase the quality.
- 5. Throw in a freebie.
- 6. Offer a special discount.
- 7. Imply urgency.
- 8. Nail the value proposition.
- 9. Include a guarantee.
- 10. Decrease choices.
- 11. Target your audience specifically.
- 12. Make the purchase easy.
- 13. Provide multiple payment options.
- How to Increase Sales (With Sales Reps)
- How to Increase Sales (Online)
How to Increase Sales (Generally)
Let’s start with ways to increase sales that work across the board:
1. Decrease the price.
Here’s an obvious one – lower the price! Of course, you can’t always do it without sacrificing your profit margins, but if you can afford it, it might be worth a try.
2. Double the price.
WHAT? The exact opposite of what I just said? Yep, increasing the price can actually increase the quantity of sales you make. Or, even if it decreases your quantity of closed sales, it could result in more actual sales revenue.
There’s also a psychological element to a higher price that makes products and services seem more desirable or higher quality – which stimulates more sales.
3. Create decoy price packages.
After seeing a $100 bottle of wine, that $35 bottle of wine looks much more reasonable in price. That’s because of anchoring bias, a cognitive bias where people are more likely to judge future numbers based on numbers they’ve encountered in the past (those numbers don’t even have to be the same measurement or associated with the same product).
Because of this, you can create “decoy” packages that cost more to make your “real” packages look more affordable. It’s like lowering the price without actually, you know, lowering the price.
4. Increase the quality.
When do you feel like it’s worth it to spend more money? When the quality is better, right? So consider offering the same price but bumping up the quality of your offer.
That could mean using better materials, offering more in each package, or giving your customers a better tier of service altogether. Get creative!
5. Throw in a freebie.
I’m not super interested in buying that new TV you’re selling. But if you throw in 3 free months of 3 different streaming services… I’ll have to think on my decision a bit more. People love free stuff.
There’s no denying it. An extra product, a signup bonus, or even a free whitepaper download could be all it takes to seal the deal.
6. Offer a special discount.
Our “lower the price” tactic rears its head again in this subtly different tactic; offer your customers a special discount. Holding a sale, negotiating a lower price, or giving customers a loyalty discount could help you land more sales than you could get otherwise.
7. Imply urgency.
Let’s face it. Most of us are chronic, hopeless procrastinators. If you give us a few days to make a decision, we’ll take it.
But here’s the thing. If customers take some time to make a purchasing decision, they probably won’t end up making one at all. You have to imply some degree of urgency – such as by claiming your offer is for a limited time only – if you want them to take action.
8. Nail the value proposition.
What’s the unique thing that makes your product valuable to customers?
This is your unique value proposition (UVP), a cornerstone of your marketing strategy. If you can nail this, and communicate it to your customers effectively, you’re going to get more sales. I can almost guarantee it… speaking of which…
9. Include a guarantee.
Some of your customers won’t make a purchase because they’re not sure about your offer (or your brand). The way around this is to include some kind of guarantee.
For example, you can promise to refund your customers if they aren’t happy, or issue a partial refund if they don’t meet certain performance thresholds after using your product.
10. Decrease choices.
Here’s something counterintuitive – in a behavioral economic sense, customers tend to prefer fewer choices. When we have too many choices, we feel overwhelmed. We suffer from analysis paralysis and tend to postpone our decision for longer.
So instead of presenting your customers with 12 choices, try offering just 2 or 3.
11. Target your audience specifically.
When writing copy, make it more appealing to your typical customers. When you’re advertising something new, use audience controls to ensure you reach people who fit your ideal audience criteria.
You may be able to reach millions of people with a broad enough approach, but if those people aren’t a good fit for your product, your sales won’t increase.
12. Make the purchase easy.
I’m always busy. Aren’t you?
We all are. At least somewhat. That’s why it pays to have an easy path to purchase. If it’s difficult, annoying, or frustrating to complete the purchase in any way, customers aren’t going to do it.
Shorten the online checkout process and facilitate more efficient contract management to address this.
13. Provide multiple payment options.
Similarly, it’s important to give your customers many different payment options. Different customers have different preferences – and there’s no reason you should forfeit sales just because you’re picky about how you accept money.
How to Increase Sales (With Sales Reps)
If you’re in a B2B environment, or if you spend a lot of time talking to customers directly, here are the best ways to increase sales:
14. Improve response time.
Do you have any idea how important your email response time is for securing sales? 30-50% of all sales go to the vendor that responds first. If you take too long to respond, your prospect will move onto a competitor. Shorten your response time to close more deals.
15. Follow up persistently.
I can’t believe how many sales are lost because salespeople are unwilling to follow up with their prospects. 80% of prospects say “no” 4 times before they say “yes”, yet the average salesperson only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect.
People need gentle nudges if you want to lead them to making a decision.
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16. Actively listen.
I’d argue that active listening is by far the most important skill for a salesperson to have. Actively listening to your prospects will demonstrate respect and help get the relationship off on the right foot.
It’s also an important opportunity to learn more about your prospect, determine their values, and ultimately put together a pitch they’re going to enjoy.
17. Adhere to a sales philosophy.
There are many different sales philosophies and methodologies worth considering. And they all have some merits.
What’s important isn’t choosing the “best” methodology, but rather picking one that suits your company culture, your brand, and your target audience – and staying consistent with it for as long as possible.
18. Build relationships.
In relationship selling, the best way to make a sale is by building a strong relationship. But even if you follow a different sales philosophy, relationships are important. Stronger bonds with prospects and customers will improve your salespeople’s understanding of your target audience, help you earn more referrals, and ultimately develop a better brand reputation.
19. Be transparent.
It’s tempting for salespeople to exaggerate or mislead customers (slightly) to close the sale – especially if a prospect isn’t totally convinced of the value of your product. But it’s usually better to be honest and transparent. You’ll earn more respect and trust in the long run.
20. Give live demos.
Don’t just talk about how cool your product is. Show it off! Giving someone a demo, or better yet, letting them use the product temporarily, is one of the strongest ways to secure a sale – assuming, of course, your product exceeds expectations.
21. Anticipate objections.
I’ve written a complete guide on how to handle sales objections, so I’ll keep this point brief. The most important takeaway is that almost every prospect you meet is going to have at least one thing keeping them from buying your product in full confidence.
You need to be able to anticipate these potential objections (and have a plan for how to handle them).
22. Give something for free.
Want to win some support and increase your sales at the same time? Give your prospects something for free. A free whitepaper, a free trial, or even a free consultation could be all it takes to convince your prospect to move forward with your brand.
23. Get feedback.
Finally, get as much feedback as possible. Talk to customers and lost opportunities. Talk to your best and worst salespeople. Find out more about how your sales strategy works – and discover new ways to improve it.
How to Increase Sales (Online)
If you’re more into online marketing and selling through landing pages and product pages, these tips are for you:
24. Focus on the benefits.
Features and qualities are sometimes important, especially if you’re explaining product dimensions or core capabilities. However, it’s usually more effective to list the benefits. What, specifically, will this product do to benefit the person or organization using it?
How is this better than competing products?
25. Show off trust signals.
Yeah, your product seems cool. But how do I know I can trust your business?
Trust signals are a great start. Show off any accreditations your organization has earned, and any awards you’ve won. It’s also worth showing off major clients you’ve had in the past, partnerships you’ve cultivated, and good press you’ve gotten.
26. Include customer testimonials and reviews.
Include some customer reviews and testimonials so you have a digital business presence. Prospective customers trust past customers more than the word of the company selling the product – so take advantage of that!
27. Show more human faces.
Did you know that customers are more likely to make purchases on landing pages that feature photos of human faces? It’s weird, but true. Showing off a customer, your CEO, or even a random person using your product could be all it takes to boost your conversion rate a little bit higher.
28. Recommend similar or complementary products.
It’s a strategy you’ve seen from Amazon – but it’s incredibly effective. When a customer is looking at one product or when they complete purchasing it, recommend similar or complementary products.
It’s a great way to increase your average order size and sell some stuff you might not have otherwise moved.
29. Optimize multiple landing pages.
You have one product, so you only need one landing page, right? Wrong.
You’ll sell more if you create individual landing page tailored to different audiences, different audience segments, and different context frames. For example, you might want to make different appeals to customers who found you in Google Search than customers who found you on Facebook.
Most people who see your product won’t purchase it the first time they see it. That’s why retargeting (or “remarketing”) exists. It’s a strategy to show ads to people who have visited specific pages of your site, or completed certain actions on your site, encouraging them to come back and learn more – or possibly make a purchase.
It’s inexpensive, but it can help you win over a percentage of people who would otherwise qualify as lost opportunities.
31. Conduct conversion optimization experiments.
Finally, make sure you conduct experiments. There’s no such thing as a universal, foolproof sales strategy – because there are too many variables for such a one-size-fits-all recommendation.
The only way to tell, for sure, whether a strategy works is to try it for yourself. Tweak variables such as colors, fonts, photos, and layout and see how they impact things like dwell time and conversions. Eventually, you’ll learn which tactics work best for your audience and brand – and you’ll perfect the online sales process.
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Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.