Boost sales without discounting

Discount sales strategies have become commonplace across Australia as cost-conscious consumers are herded into shops by big signs promising reductions and great deals. But here are five strategies to boost your local sales without slashing prices.

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Avoid the discount sales trap and boost your sales.

Written by American Express

Discount sales strategies have become commonplace across Australia as cost-conscious consumers are herded into shops by big signs promising reductions and great deals. But this behaviour is starting to hurt small businesses.

While big businesses may be able to survive on smaller margins and by absorbing losses to push products, this isn’t really an option at the smaller end of town.

Here are five strategies to boost your local sales without slashing prices.

Break down barriers

In the constant drive to attract new customers and improve practices, it can be easy to put up barriers that get in the way of prospective clients doing business with you.

Whether it’s a website or business listing, a social forum for feedback, listed email addresses for enquiries or a phone number of someone who can help, you need to ensure that you’re easily found and can be effortlessly contacted both online and offline. Even if you think there are no barriers to your business, take another look.

Create staff incentives

Set up an incentive program to encourage staff to take an active interest in their sales efforts. Options include a cash bonus, some take-home products, a shopping voucher or a day off.

Get creative with the incentives and offer them across the board so everyone has an opportunity to participate. Remember, it’s better to have simple, attainable incentives than big prizes with targets that are difficult to achieve.

Encourage upselling

Don’t just stop at simply getting a sale – encourage your staff to upsell. The key to good upselling is to add related products or services to your existing line. Make these products convenient for staff to sell and necessary for customers to buy. This is a strategy that fast food outlets are great at and it can really boost sales.

Offer gift vouchers

In this competitive environment cash flow is critical to business survival. The only thing better than having customers prepay for goods is for them to buy gift cards.

The key to gift vouchers is you benefit from the cash flow upfront until such time the customer redeems it for your products or services.

Look after regulars

Regular customers are your most important resource, so treat them that way. They know where you are, like what you supply and keep on coming back. So let them know they’re valued by getting to know them by name, providing little extras such as loyalty discounts or rewards programs, and most of all, encourage them to bring their friends in for special deals.

Regulars are the most important referrers and advertising tools you have.

This article was first published in Talking Shop Winter 2014. Read other Talking Shop articles.

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