Sales: Some tactics

These are some sales tactics and tips i’ve seen used against me for the last couple of years.

Decoy products

Add a product that looks like a bad deal, so a slightly more expensive product looks like a great deal.

Not many buyers? Up the price!

Again more of a marketing thing.
It might be counter-intuitive, but before you try to lower the prices, try to put it up first. More expensive products are generally rated better and you can deliver a better product. And if your product is priced in the middle of your other products you will probably not reach the cheapest customers and not the well-paying ones.

Tip: never give people your biggest product

Unless they actually actively ask for the best of the best and budget does not matter, please don’t. It looks like you just want to sell sell sell and not actually listen to the customers. Listen to your customers and sell them something that fits them. Long-term happy customers are worth way more than someone that will be turned off because you quoted too much.

Sometimes less is more

Perceived value is important. If you are selling a lot of awesome stuff very cheaply, and you don’t want to up the price for whatever reason, then try to take away a bigger but not vital part of your offer. For example only offer a single PDU instead of redundant ones. This will justify the lower price to your client and they can think its not really needed anyway. You can even decide to still give them that feature afterwards as a extra means of making the customers happier and thus more likely to stay with you in the long term.

The choice paradox: too little or too much

Your mind tricks you into thinking that you like choice. But studies have shown that you will often buy more if you have less choice because there is less chance of buyer’s remorse.

“Forgetting” part of the price

This happens too often and it’s just a shitty business practice but it does work. If someone is really shopping for a medium-sized amount of money but with little margin, you often have people give you a really good deal, and then after you are all hyped up about it add 10-15% because of “power costs” or the like.

Grow a following

This works really well in lower-value B2C areas like game hostings. Some companies have managed to make almost a cult that will advertise and protect the brand because they feel like they associate with it. This kind of advertising is the best you can get because its free and you reach people that are in similar groups.

Use the same language as your buyer

If your customer is younger and talking in a “Chill” kind of way. Also talk like that on the same level. If you are talking to someone in suit that prefers to keep everything in order, mirror that. If people can associate themselves with your company that is a very easy way to get more sales. A lot of companies lose out on younger clients because they try to be overly-professional or (funny, but not as trustable) overly-cool.

TIP: Push, but don’t push too hard

You want your client to feel like they have made the right choice. If you push too hard they will start to doubt and further pushing will only push them away. Show them what you’ve got and “guide” them down the right path for them with good questions.

Limited-time deals

There are two types of this:

1: have deals that are only valid for a limited amount of time. Eg summer/winter/whatever.

2: When doing sales, ask someone to repond within x days or the end of the month or else the price wll be higher. I personally hate this tactic but it does help with pushing people over the edge.

Sell features, not specs

People don’t care about how many watts your generator can do. They care about reliability, price, and time. Look at apple’s marketing for some great examples “10000 songs in your pocket” instead of “20GB of storage”.

Reach out before a sales meeting

Connect on linkedin, send them a friendly e-mail. As always: don’t overdo. If your client is warmed up and has some interest in what you are selling then your sales meeting will go way smoother. And worst-case scenario you have a new linkedin contact that might become a buyer in the future.

Say something positive before upselling

Being friendly is ofcourse always good. But saying something that makes the client feel good about themselves is even better.
An example would be with driver’s lessons. Companies will always let you drive yourself for the last part of the introduction lesson. And after that the sales rep will ask you “Has she let you drive & steer alone already?” giving you the feeling that that is something very positive about you. And then go to the high(er) pricing.

Referrals are gold

Referrals go far in every b2b market. Don’t actively ask for referrals of new clients, but ask your more social clients if they know someone who might be interested or ask your bigger companies if they can fill in a short survey on why they recommend your company. For bigger companies donating x$ for every response often works better than offering gift cards.

Keep up a mailing list

Maybe your client does not want to buy from you now for whatever reason. Add them to your mailing list and keep them updated with an e-mail every x months. You should really not spam this list or instantly start sending emails. A good mailing list is a very valuable asset and will give you many pre-warmed leads later on. Even ex-clients are a great source of referrals and new orders as they already know and trust your company.

Personalisation is key

It’s shown again and again that even just adding someone’s first name in your email subject will increase the clickthrough rate by a lot.

A different kind of personalisation also helps: Sign your emails with a real name. Don’t use “x’s marketing team” but “Luc – VP of x” (or just leave the title out altogether.

Find your main selling point

Find out what kind of things your clients are often looking for when they choose for your business or maybe what they are looking for when they decide not to go for your business. Companies that have a unique product often do great, but sometimes you can also run a company purely on being cheaper or higher quality than others.

Talk about the things your customer wants to know.

Be quick

Contacting your client within minutes of the lead being generated increases the likelihood of closing a sale by a lot, but make sure to leave enough time during which the client can call. Don’t call a big business during the weekend or outside of business hours. If you wait for more than a week the lead is almost guaranteed to be lost. (But you can always say that you were sick, looking at a specific company here)

Call from a trusted number

Make sure that you use a number local to the customer that they are likely to pick up. Try to register in SMART registers that will show your business name when calling someone on a smartphone.

If you know that your customer is using a specific chat platform internally then it is a great idea to use that. The customer will feel more at home and focussed on the talk and not on other distractions.

Not the right client?

If your client shows that your product is not a good fit, ask them for feedback on what to improve for “future clients”. This will help you improve your product and have a better product for new clients, maybe show that you can offer what your client is looking for or even find a broader market with demand that you can jump into.

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