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.

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 ... »

How to Use Marketing Research to Really Understand Your Customers and Position

How to Use Marketing Research to Really Understand Your Customers and Position

Businesses can always understand more about the market they are selling to. Marketing research, as opposed to market research (which refers to research conducted solely into the location, size, and growth potential of a chosen market) can help you gain a much deeper insight into your customers, your current position, and the potential opportunities and risks you face. Though it yields indications rather than concrete answers, marketing research can be an invaluable part of your decision making process. This guide will help you understand the different kinds of marketing research, decide what kind of research to carry out, and the best approach for doing so, and decide who should carry out the research, and how to budget for the resources involved. What kinds of marketing research are there... »

How to Create a Killer Marketing Strategy

How to Create a Killer Marketing Strategy

The terms ‘marketing’ and ‘advertising’ are often conflated, but they are in fact very different – the latter coming under the umbrella of the former. Marketing means delivering on the promises you make to customers – so getting your offering right, and delivering it in accordance to your customer’s needs. The objective of any piece of marketing – whether that be pricing, selling, promotion, distribution, market research, or customer care – is to establish and deliver upon the needs of the customer. Successful marketing is no easy thing to achieve, but getting it right should be a core priority for any business hoping to have any kind of success. This guide will not only help you obtain a better understanding of marketing but also help you to plan a marketing strategy while avoiding acommo... »

Conducting Market Research: A Small Business Guide

Conducting Market Research: A Small Business Guide

Before you start up, gaining an understanding of your potential market is essential. You might have the greatest idea ever on paper, but if it doesn’t fly with your potential customers, it’s time to think again. Good market research can deliver these essential insights that test the viability of your business idea. This article provides an introduction to market research for any small business. We cover how to identify your target market, and how to conduct your own market research. You will learn how to leverage different sources of information to conduct research at low cost, what you can learn from your potential competition, and whether to employ the services of a market research agency. Read on to find out more. What should market research help you find out? The key element of market ... »

How to Build Customer Loyalty

How to Build Customer Loyalty

Whether it’s a product or a service, the cornerstone of any successful business is building a strong customer base – but even more important is keeping the ones you already have. They spend more and more often and act as an effective marketing tool to promote your business to others by word of mouth. Read on to learn how to establish who your most valuable customers are, how to provide good customer care and how to turn valuable customers into loyal ones… Where should I start when building a customer care strategy? If you want to maintain your customer base you must focus on giving your most valued customers the best value of customer care at the heart of your business. Create a database of customer buying habits to help you tailor your customer service to their wants and needs, and deline... »

A Guide to Effective PR for Your Business

A Guide to Effective PR for Your Business

In business, reputation is everything. Unless you have a good image in the eyes of your customers and others, you won’t ever achieve to the extent that you want to. Good public relations (PR) is essential to building and maintaining a good image. Whilst not as immediately an effective a promotional tool as advertising, well done PR is more credible, and its effects can be longer lasting. This guide will help you to not only understand PR, but to plan and create PR opportunities as well as teaching you how to compose press releases and newsworthy stories. How should I plan my PR? The benefits of PR are usually not as immediate or tangible as those of advertising, as it is less likely to generate short-term sales. More commonly, the benefits are seen in the long-term, and may be longer lasti... »

How to Create a Pricing Strategy

How to Create a Pricing Strategy

Setting a price for your offerings can be a fraught affair. Pitch them too high, and you can see your sales plummeting; too low, and you can lay waste to your potential profits. You want to achieve the price that, when multiplying your potential sales by your profit margins, yields the largest total possible. But what makes a price optimum depends on a number of different factors. Read on to find out more about what factors affect your pricing, how to plan and structure your pricing strategy – and why your pricing should constantly be reviewed as time goes on. What market factors should determine my prices? To establish what factors affect your pricing, you need to look around to the environment your business operates in. In the first instance, it makes sense to look at your competitors. W... »

How to Develop a Sales Strategy for Your Small Business

How to Develop a Sales Strategy for Your Small Business

Every business needs to develop a good marketing strategy in order to succeed, but good marketing is not an end in and of itself. Rather, it should act as the basis for further development – for planning and implementing a strategy of selling to your customers. Read this guide to find out more about establishing a tailored sales strategy, forecasting, managing a sales team and how to measure performance. How do I plan my sales approach? The first crucial step in any sales strategy should be identifying your target market. Find out as much as you can about your customers – their needs, their preferences, and when, how, and where they buy. Keep a track of market trends, and establish who the key influencers and decision makers are in any business you are selling to. Once you know who you sho... »

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