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Ways to prepare for them.

"Bombing" customers with product features and pressuring them are the principles that worked 20 years ago as there were not many offers on the market back then. Modern sales methods should create conditions when a person is pleased to make a purchase and does not regret parting with money. 

We have outlined 9 sales boost methods. Research of professors from the world's leading universities and the basics of sales psychology inspired us when writing this article.

#1. Target Those Who Have Already Purchased from You

Carl Sewell, the owner of a car dealership that sells Cadillac, Hummer and Lexus in the US, wrote the book "Customers for Life". In this book, he recommends paying more attention not to attracting new customers, but to selling to those who already use your products.

It makes sense as according to statistics, it is 5-10 times more expensive to gain a new customer than to sell a product to a regular customer, who often spends 67% more money.

How to increase repeat sales? Launch an email newsletter: collect email addresses during purchase and send exclusive offers to your customers. Mind not to be intrusive as your emails may end up in the spam folder.

Introduce loyalty programmes that will increase sales and make you stand out from competitors. For example, Starbucks has a Starbucks Rewards system. Its members can collect "stars" or bonuses and then exchange them for food and drinks in the coffeehouse chain.

The Starbucks Rewards app is one of the most popular among similar programmes of world chain restaurants. It includes more than 16 million registered users, and sales from Starbucks Rewards account for 40% of the total revenue.

#2. Push the Customer's Triggers

Remind the customer’s main "pains" by convincing them that the problem will not be solved by itself. To do this, make a list of questions that will help the customer understand that it will be much cheaper to solve the problem than to leave the situation as it is.

Ask the customer about the current situation and difficulties:

– How the problem affects your business/life?

– How much will you lose if you don't solve it soon?

Ask for more details. Later, clarify what would happen if a customer finds a solution now. Then gently let the customer know that you have one. For example:

"What challenges do you face while looking for personnel? How staff turnover affects a company's financial performance? If you solve the problem quickly, how will it affect business development?"

#3. Suggest Several Options

The experiment of Daniel Mochon, professor of marketing at Tulane University (New Orleans), showed that people often postpone purchases in the absence of alternatives. This happens even if the customer likes the only available option. At the same time, the availability of options strengthens customer determination and increases conversion by up to 32%.

Sales were only 9% when a single Sony DVD player was presented to interested buyers. However, when there was a choice between Sony and Phillips brands, sales jumped to 32%. Therefore, one way to boost sales is to provide customers with several options.

Important: too much choice can also create problems as it might confuse customers and paralyse decision-making. In 2000, Sheena Iyengar, a professor at Columbia Business School, conducted an experiment by setting up two jam-tasting stands at the entrance to a supermarket.

About 60% of the store's visitors approached a group of 24 types of goods. However, only 3% of people who stopped by this stand purchased a jar of jam. At the same time, of those who approached a stand featuring 6 types of jam, 30% made a purchase. It turns out that the opportunity of purchase is 6 times higher for a group of 6 types of goods than for 24.

#4. Use the Possibilities of FOMO

FOMO is a condition when people are afraid of missing out on something important and interesting. This is a concern that someone else may gain valuable experience and you may not. 

Social extroverts, who often seek approval from others, are most predisposed to FOMO. Although, in fact, anyone can face the missed opportunity syndrome. Therefore, marketers and retailers often take advantage of it.

Try to show the customer that there will be no second chance to buy the product profitably. To do this, it is important to eliminate a person's doubt before he or she has even had a chance to voice it. For example:

"Of course, you can look elsewhere. However, why should you waste your time, given that you like the product?"

"If you had bought product X two years ago, you would have saved $45,000 today."

#5. Implement the Anchor Effect

To increase sales, allow the buyer to compare prices and kind of "stick" to the most profitable option. In marketing and sales, this method is called the "anchor effect". This is how it works:

Take the product you want to sell. Suppose it costs $270. Include several similar products in the assortment range – much more expensive and cheaper. For example, for $1,000 and $35. Arrange products in the store or on the website so that the customer goes from the most expensive to the cheapest.

As a result, psychology is more likely to work in favour of the necessary product: "It's not the most expensive, which means the seller is not trying to trick you by selling it at exorbitant prices. And it's not the cheapest, which means the quality won't let you down."

#6. Purchasing Benefits of the Product Instead of Listing Characteristics 

It is more effective not just to list the characteristics of the product, but to convert them into benefits. For example: "The video card can allow to you play any modern game. Any website will load in 2 seconds thanks to 16 GB of RAM."

#7. Use the Cross-Selling Method

Cross-selling is one of the most effective methods of boosting sales. This is a method when the seller offers related goods to the main one. For example, upselling the operating system, computer mouse and screen wipes when selling a laptop.

According to McKinsey, cross-selling helps to increase sales by 20% and overall business profits by 30%. In addition, this method allows selling lower-demand goods and services alongside popular ones.

It is crucial to consider several following factors to make cross-selling effective:

  • Time. The best time for cross-selling is when a customer has already made a purchase as you are already familiar with them and know what to offer.
  • Value and benefit to the customer. Use cross-selling to increase the value of the purchase, rather than just raising the total bill.
  • Price. Pay attention to the price of the products you cross-sell. The additional product should cost no more than 25% of the customer’s main purchase. 

#8. Use the SNAP Selling Method

SNAP is an acronym for: "ease" (Simple), "value" (iNvaluable), "compliance" (Align) and "priority" (Priorities).

This sales method features 4 main principles salespeople use, namely:

  • Simple. The process should be simple for the customer. The seller covers all questions and shows how easy it is to make a purchase. "You can put this product aside right now, and within 2 hours it will be waiting for you at the checkout. You can now take a look at other products, and then approach any cashier, who will help you make the purchase."
  • iNvaluable. The offer must be valuable to the buyer. Therefore, it is essential to offer them not just a product, but a solution to a problem.
  • Align. If the seller has promised a discount, bonus or gift, the buyer should receive it not to feel deceived.
  • Priorities. Motivate the customer to make a purchase here and now. For example: "If you purchase this course right now, you can pay 25% of the price today and the rest 10 days before the course starts."

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