Sales & Marketing

From expert sales tips to deciding upon a social media strategy for your business; is4profit’s sales and marketing articles cover a range of ways in which small businesses can attract and maintain customers and increase turnover.

How a Professional Logo Can Enhance Your Small Business

How a Professional Logo Can Enhance Your Small Business

“Logos are a graphic extension of the internal realities of a company.” Saul Bass, branding expert, says it all in this tell-all quote. From the man who created the instantly recognisable American Airlines logo along with many other instantly identifiable brands, it’s worth listening to what he has to say. A logo has the power to draw your audience towards your brand, just like when you see a face you recognise in the street you’re drawn to approach them, whereas a stranger’s face will have you looking towards the ground. A recognisable logo works in the same fashion. So, how can your business benefit from the know-how and expertise of professional logo designers to adequately express the internal realities of your company? Do small businesses need logos? Every business, no matter how smal... »

4 Top Tips to Get Over The Fear of Selling

4 Top Tips to Get Over The Fear of Selling

The term ‘salespeople’ is often associated with pushy sellers who want to make commission. Shoppers can be naturally wary of salespeople in retail stores, while those working on the shop floor often fear that they’ll scare customers away. Lacking confidence in sales is a common problem, but it can result in a lot of missed sales and customer service opportunities in the same way that being too forceful turns people away. But selling, when done right, doesn’t have to be “salesy”. Helping customers find what they need and ensuring that they’re genuinely happy with their purchase will allow sales teams to sell effectively. Here are four top tips to help managers give their sales team the confidence to sell anything. 1. Put your sales team in comfortable surroundings One way to help them get o... »

Anchoring: How to Shape a Customer’s Perception of Your Product

Anchoring: How to Shape a Customer’s Perception of Your Product

Sometimes a customer just doesn’t know what your product is worth to them. We are used to thinking of this as a problem. If someone doesn’t know the value of what you do, it feels as though they won’t be willing to pay for it. That’s not necessarily so. We call this “unknown expected utility”, and it gives you a superb opportunity to shape the customer’s perception of what your product is worth. The primary method for doing that is called anchoring. The technical name of the ‘first impressions’ effect (anchoring) has been seen in dozens of economic lab experiments and countless commercial settings. In an experiment with MIT undergraduates, Dan Ariely and colleagues auctioned off some tricky-to-value items – wireless keyboards, boxes of luxury chocolates and obscure French wines. The trick ... »

How to Create a Viral Campaign: A Small Business Guide

How to Create a Viral Campaign: A Small Business Guide

Virality is the holy grail of online marketing. It can be monumental for a small business if you have something that really takes off and gets everyone talking. But what is the secret formula for achieving this?  We’re consuming content at an alarming rate and our online attention span is fickle at best. However, there are a few tricks of the trade to help get you into the mind frame for what content makes people tick. Firstly, what’s the sentiment of the content; is it laughter, joy or social kudos? One theory from Jonah Berger examined the emotional triggers that explain why things catch on and become contagious. Content is not explicit to one of these categories, in fact, the most successful campaigns seem to branch in to more than one area. Before you begin a campaign, it’s worth think... »

How to Use Databases to Help Your Marketing

How to Use Databases to Help Your Marketing

When marketing, databases are your best friend. They allow you to store and manage information crucial to your marketing easily and at relatively little cost. A well-managed database puts the details of your customers and prospects at your fingertips, allowing you to communicate with them (via mailshots, telemarketing, and customer service activities) much more effectively, as well as helping you keep track of your communications. This guide will help you run and manage your database as a crucial marketing tool. It covers: How to use your database to achieve marketing objectives. How to select and enter information. How to design it with marketing purposes in mind. How to manage and maintain its effectiveness. Why build a marketing database? Marketing databases are a great way to collate a... »

How to Negotiate a Sale by Understanding Your Customer’s Needs

How to Negotiate a Sale by Understanding Your Customer’s Needs

Negotiating a sale is always tough, whether you are doing it for the first or the thousandth time. However, every negotiation offers an opportunity to learn something new, and with practice, you can train yourself to rise to and accept the challenge with relish. This guide will help you to understand the wants and needs of the customer and help develop your negotiating strategy allowing you to take control of the process. You will then be able to recognise when to set a high price and when to make concessions so you can reach a mutually beneficial conclusion. How can I understand what the customer wants? The more you know about a customer, the better negotiating position you will put yourself in. Aim to understand a number of things. Their wants. What exactly are they asking for? Do they w... »

How to Negotiate a Good Value Purchase From a Supplier

How to Negotiate a Good Value Purchase From a Supplier

The process of purchasing from a supplier can be a complex one. Especially if you are dealing with a supplier for the first time, it can be difficult to know what a good deal looks like, putting you at a disadvantage in negotiations. This article will help you with the all-important process of negotiating with a supplier. We cover how to work out your respective bargaining positions, then move on to how you can put together a clear strategy for getting the best deal. Finally, you will learn how to ensure the resulting contract reflects what you agreed, and how to build relationships with suppliers going forward. How do I work out what I want from the deal? If you are very clear on your objectives, you will be in a much stronger position during the negotiating process. To set your objective... »

The Art of Negotiation: Why it Pays to Haggle in Business

The Art of Negotiation: Why it Pays to Haggle in Business

Haggling can seem like a petty and embarrassing practice to many business people, but it certainly pays. Learning how to negotiate well can help save your business thousands on purchases, and stop you cutting too much from your sales prices. This guide will help you establish a strong negotiating position by using proven negotiating tactics so you can buy low and sell high. What should my objectives be when negotiating? Every negotiation is conducted with the aim of achieving at least one of the following four objectives. 1. Price  You will have both a price you are aiming to secure, and a lowest possible price you are willing to settle for. The buyer will be trying to achieve the lowest price possible. 2. Timing  You will be trying to negotiate a deal to secure business in a quiet period.... »

How to Plan Your First Advertising Campaign

How to Plan Your First Advertising Campaign

If you have just launched a new business, the first thing you want to do is tell the world. A well-targeted ad campaign can plant a flag in your intended market and let a wide range of customers know about your offering – assuming you have the budget for it. This article is intended as an introduction to advertising for businesses looking to advertise for the first time. For a more general guide, read this article. If you want to make your marketing budget go even further, you should also consider a PR campaign. How do I set my goals? Your advertising budget will almost certainly be misspent if you don’t have a clear idea of what you need advertising for. You need to think about a number of things: Who is my target audience? You need to be very clear about which demographic you are targeti... »

A Guide to Making and Presenting the Perfect Sales Presentation

A Guide to Making and Presenting the Perfect Sales Presentation

For many business people, the idea of delivering a sales presentation can seem more like an ordeal than an opportunity. Standing up and speaking in front of a large audience is never going to be the most relaxing of experiences. But the rewards a good presentation can offer your business far outweigh the discomforts of public speaking. The chance to talk about the benefits of your offering in detail to a captive and interested audience isn’t once you should pass up, and if you prepare well in advance, you can teach yourself to avoid any pitfalls and relish the experience of selling your business on such a large platform. This guide will help you to carefully plan and structure your sales presentation to ensure you deliver it confidently, ready to handle any questions thrown your way. What ... »

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