Wednesday, September 26, 2012

7 Adaptable Sales Trends and 2 Surprising "Don't Do" Marketing Trends That Make Consumers Buy More

We all do it. Walk into a store intending to buy one item and leave with a shopping cart packed full of stuff. And while most men are perhaps less likely to "shop" and are more likely to "get what they came for," even they can find themselves surprised at the checkout counter at how much they bought. The questions that loom for Business Owners and Sales Teams are: "How'd they do that? How did they get us to buy more?"

While your product or service may not be groceries or perishables, we can still learn a lot from the grocery industry on what works, what makes us buy more, and how to quickly and more effectively "move" product.

Some of the successful sales trends savvy sellers use and the "dos" to pay attention to are:

* The effectiveness of Point of Sale coupons. This relates to the "buy-one-get-a-different-new-product -free" deals.

Why this works: If the free product is something you we normally use, we often opt to try the new product in order to get the product we use for free!

* Price points. This involves putting "ripe" stuff at ridiculously low prices with a suggestion for what we might want to do with that product.

Why this works: We see ripe bananas with a suggestion to make banana bread, and we end up buying the ridiculously cheap bananas, flour, nuts, butter…in other words, the ingredients of whatever is being suggested. What in your industry is "ripe" and ready to move? It doesn't have to be food or a perishable. It can simply be a service you are ready to offer now, before you remove it from the offer or bundle.

* Placement. Putting a "house" product against a name-brand product - and offering the higher priced item for free.

Why this works: Confidence! The seller is bold enough to put their house product against the competitor, but knows the house product will please us and we'll buy it next time instead. This is harder to pull off when you have a service. You wouldn't offer your competitors' services, of course, but you can suggest customers go to them and pay more, or come to you and get x, y, and z.

* Combo packaging. Bundle products. Example: Buy this Tri-Tip and get a bag of potatoes and a pie for free.

Why this works: We as buyers love convenience and bargains. By offering the "package" deal, we feel like we're getting a discount, AND we've just answered the "what's for dinner" dilemma. With "bundling", sellers can offer different "packages" based on socioeconomic standings of buyers, tastes, and themes, including: Convenient, holiday combos, game specials, etc.

* The "Surprise" Element. Put your product or service in an unexpected place. Grocers do this by end-capping a product - putting pre-cooked chickens, for instance, at the end of a cereal aisle.

Why this works: Putting something somewhere unexpected surprises us as buyers and makes the product or service stand out. The competing products aren't right next to the product being showcased to compare prices.

* Watch for signals. Customers have ways of showing when they're lost, confused, or can't find something. Learn to recognize the signals.

Why this works: The seller becomes more focused and aware of what signs to look for in his or her customers and is better able to both "read" and guide the customer to a product or service.

* Selling in an unexpected market. Look at your product or service. How can you "sell" it in an unexpected market?

Why this works: This is similar to the "Surprise Element" above, but has to do with outside marketing. How does your product or service relate to:

1. Health/Fitness 2. RepairsFood/diet 3. Counseling 4. Getting lost/maps 5. Sports/Sports events 6. Other: ________

Relating your service or product to these and other disciplines even if they're not your traditional outlet allows buyers to "see you differently".

Okay, so what doesn't work? Surprisingly, the two things that often backfire are:

* Freebies.

Why freebies don't work: They kill the curiosity factor. Instead, build up the excitement and make the customer want to buy.

* "Take with you" coupons.

Why "take with you" coupons don't work. People don't hang on to them, unless they're die-hard coupon collectors. Instead of a take-home coupon, make an offer with a bonus: "Sign up for this service and we'll give you…"

And there you have it. The 7 do's and 2 don'ts of sales trends to try. While food might not be your "industry", as business owners, we can learn a lot from any industry and often can adapt what works to our product or service. If your "product" is a "service", make it a delicious one, or a "fit" one, or perhaps one that looks like the map the customer needs to navigate through their indecision. A business coach can help business owners put successful campaigns and effective processes in place to increase sales, no matter what your product or service is.

Next time you shop anywhere, whether it's for clothes, food, business products - pay close attention to what made you buy, then try a similar approach on your customers. You'll be surprised at how effective "adaptive" marketing can be.

For advice and proven systems to advance your business, visit ActionCOACH Cal Team at Peter Williamson, overseas the California Coaches and helps business owners like you find instant and lasting solutions to increase your profits by 61% or more - guaranteed. Email

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