March 28, 2013

How can you double sales? Triple? Ten-tuple?

Looking for a “ten-bagger” where sales increase 1000%? Double sales growth starts with understanding the collective perception of your prospects.

Let’s put customers aside for this thought experiment. Re-purchasing comes from actual experience. Surely you already know what to do to keep customers happy. We can’t all be Zappo’s, but we can try.

Want to double sales? Know how buyers decide.Understanding prospects is the most leveraged path to double sales. Prospects outnumber customers by 100 to 1 or 1000 to 1, or even more. Are you sure you know what they perceive now? How’s your visibility and reputation? How clearly are you differentiated? Is that differentiator emotionally urgent to identifiable prospects?

Restrain the impulse to put on rose-colored glasses. Projecting what you know about customers onto prospects is an easy trap to fall into, but it will never get you to double sales. Customers already like you and have chosen you at least once. Don’t assume prospects are customers-in-waiting, just needing another teaspoon of awareness to flock to your door. They may have different needs, and always have different attitudes.

Years ago, marketing was a sermon, a one-way, high-frequency sales pitch. Today it’s a conversation, and your brand’s future depends on putting those insights to their best use.

Research the gestalt of your brand, the total effect of all its expressions working together: not just the name, logo and tagline. Study the perception of your brand narrative. Your reputation, social media presence, web look and feel. How do prospect feel about original content, tone of voice? Approachability, likeability, urgency? Explore all the decision touch points (see our chart, above) to see where you can influence the dialog. It is not a sales funnel.

This is a task you should do, benchmark, and repeat at intervals on the path to double sales. It’s also something you should consider outsourcing, for professionalism and objectivity. We know guys who are really good at this.