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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

The secret to making more sales

Today, you'll make lots of sales. You might be selling products or services to your customers, a proposal to a new prospect, or the idea to your children that it's time to go to bed. Right now

But, despite its importance, many of us don't like the thought of selling. It's almost a dirty word.

Perhaps this is because we've all been on the receiving end of an idiot salesperson's pushiness. But there's something else: all the words to do with selling - selling, proposing, pitching, influencing, convincing, persuading - are from the sellers' point of view.

So sellers tend to feel that selling is something you do to someone. And that means the recipient can therefore often feel they're having something done to them.

But selling shouldn't be like that. It isn't one-way; it's a joint thing. You and your customer are agreeing to work together to do what you propose, whether that be to buy something, accept your proposal or go to bed.

So, when you sell, be joint. The easiest way to do this is to start with their objectives and then show how your suggestion fits with them. Keep it short and simple - your preparation needs just two steps:

  • find their objectives (the best way to do this is ask them);
  • work out how your suggestion (your "sale") will help achieve them.

Do it this way and you both benefit. You both value it; and you both enjoy it. And, since you're both happy, selling has become a joint thing.

Copyright © 2016 Andy Bounds, communications expert, speaker and best-selling author. You can sign up for his free weekly tips here and join his online video club here.

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