Ideas and Actions that grow your business
The idea for this page started after I was contacted by Alberta Venture magazine to help write an article on B2B marketing.
To read my full Word of Mouth Marketing article, visit my Alberta Marketing blog.
To read the article as it appeared in Alberta Venture click here.
These steps are for B2B marketing. B2C will be different.
The number one way to increase your sales is through hard work, well informed decisions, and a little luck. Either you do it or you pay someone else to do it. There you have it; the result of this advice will be the end of those snake oil salesman/woman presentations and books without substance. If only that would happen.
What follows is a very brief summary as to how I increased the sales of a 15 year-old business by 20 percent in less than six months.
The only caveat is that the success at any attempt to implement a sales strategy will depend on both the steps themselves and on the execution of each step.
In the end you may keep your distributors if you know you have a good relationship with them. But doing this will rock their boat.
Most Albertans should be quite familiar with the two basic functions of any business, production and sales. Alberta is a province heavily based in the commodities market (oil, grain, and cattle) and is therefore very production and sales oriented. The difference in commodity markets such as the Chicago Board of Trade and consumer markets such as the streets of Lethbridge is that commodities are defined as goods that have no or very little differentiation. Natural Gas is Natural Gas and wheat is wheat but the same can not be said for a car stereo (the product) or even the service you receive from two different stores selling the same stereo. It is critical then, for a retail business must differentiate itself in order to begin the process of attracting customers.
In fact, as defined above, the two basic functions of a business are both functions of a production: producing a good or service and producing loyal customers. The problem with new businesses, and even older businesses that lose focus, is that they forget to be market (consumer) oriented and assume the position of product oriented. Being product oriented will lead to a short business life. A production orientation is the focus on features and benefits of your product or service before a focus on the needs, wants, and desires of your current and potential customers.
A market orientation is the position of the problem solver, to see an unmet need in the marketplace, to develop a product or service to meet that need, and to build a customer base. Some of the steps to be market oriented are: understanding your current and future customers what they want how to reach them how to appeal to them how much they are willing to pay for the product or service understanding the products and services already out there (the competition) and understanding how to put it all together as a profitable business It is the function of marketing to ensure that you have a successful business plan in place and that customer after customer you, as a business owner, are offering a win-win exchange between yourself and your customer.
Follow each link (above) discover how you, as an Albertan businessperson can ensure the future success of your business. Everything on this site is open for comment so feel free to ask questions.
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