1.     It’s a sad fact but people really don’t care about you or your products or services; they care about themselves and what your products or services can do for them. So now take a look at your advertising, your brochures, your website and take out everything about you and change it to what you can do for your customers.

2.     In his book ‘Flipping the Funnel’, Seth Godin suggests that you: “Turn strangers into friends, turn friends into customers and then turn your customers into salespeople”. Not a bad idea really!

3.     Borrow a successful idea from another industry and apply it to yours. A man named George Thomas was searching for an effective way for people to apply deodorant. He was very frustrated in his research for a solution until he realised that he was holding the answer right in his hand. George borrowed the concept of the ball-point pen and created roll-on deodorant.

4.     When you take away the risk in a transaction, you lower the barrier to action and eliminate the primary obstacle to buying. How can you take away the risk for your customer and ensure that they buy from you? At some supermarkets, if you take back a faulty product they will give you a replacement and give you your money back, wouldn’t you be happy to buy from them? Could you offer a similar deal?

5.     Test every new idea before fully implementing it. It is said that the motor magnate, Henry Ford, would take prospective employees out to lunch before hiring them, and if they salted their food before tasting it then they didn’t get the job. The reason? Apparently, Mr. Ford believed that salting food before tasting it indicated that the person would implement a plan before testing it. An extreme policy? Perhaps, but, then again, Henry Ford was America’s first billionaire!

6.     Partners in profit. When major film studios like Disney or Universal produce movies aimed at the youth market, they develop full-blown merchandising programmes to run at places like McDonald’s and Burger King. More often than not, the merchandising schemes are more profitable than the actual movie. Who could be your partner in profit?

7.     It can cost a fortune to acquire new customers and yet, surprisingly, that is where most companies concentrate their sales efforts and money. It costs far less to get more business from your existing customers, or even from old customers who, for whatever reasons, have taken their business elsewhere. But it does rely on the fact that you keep careful records of customers past and present, you do, don’t you?

8.     Think of your business cards as unpaid but vital salespeople. Are they smart in appearance? Can they tell someone about your business? Can they give someone your full contact details? Do they accurately represent your business? Are they out there and selling or are they just sitting in a nice warm box in the office? If you’re not happy with them then fire them (literally) and get a new, smart, business card sales force, it’s a helluva lot cheaper than real people!

9.     Many people believe that it’s the best ‘talkers’ who make the best salespeople – WRONG! It’s the best ‘listeners’, those who truly ‘hear’ and then respond to a customer’s needs and wants by proposing the right solutions who always make the sale. Are you a ‘talker’ or a ‘listener’?

10.  The Swiss Army Knife. Some of the most successful products in the world today are combinations of existing products – the mobile phone/camera, the clock-radio, the snowboard and the Swiss army knife. If you combined your product/service with another would you have a potential world beater?

And the best tip of them all? Try business improvement coaching for yourself and see how it can benefit your business. No risk, no obligation and, best of all, no charge!

(Call Performance Plus on 01284 330400 for details)