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5. Complementing your sales efforts with marketing

005.-Complementing-your-sales-efforts-with-marketingConsistency in your branding and messaging is the focus of Xerox’s fifth tip. Have you updated your marketing recently?

5. Complementing your sales efforts with marketing

Complementing your sales efforts with marketing is key to growth. It helps you get your message out to more prospects, creating demand for your products or services. It’s important to develop your branding and incorporate it in all your marketing. If you haven’t done so already, determine a look and feel (type style, graphics, color scheme, logo) and stick with it. Always include a “call to action” telling prospects what you’d like them to do. Your marketing pieces should also include a compact version of your “elevator speech” for consistency and branding.

What makes your business unique?

002-What-makes-your-business-uniqueWe hear a lot about unique selling proposition (USP). Xerox explains the concept with its second tip. Have you defined this for your own business?

What makes your business unique?

Being able to express your business’s core principles and values will help you choose appropriate growth strategies. If you haven’t done so already, create a polished 20 second “elevator speech” that summarizes your business’s products and uniqueness. This summary will help you focus branding and marketing efforts, and will provide the core for conversations with those you reach out to.

4. Growth? Look out!

004.-Growth-Look-outHope is not a strategy! In their fourth tip, Xerox encourages owners to reach out to their community. How much time and energy do you spend understanding the business world around you?

4. Growth? Look out!

A challenge for many small business owners is shifting their perspective from inside their business—the daily details of running the business, to outside the business—developing a strategy for growth, researching markets, understanding competition and so on. Need help? Reach out for resources. Look for ways to harness the expertise and experience of others through networking. As time permits, join associations and attend meetings. It takes time, but can yield benefits without requiring capital.

Customers first

001-Customers-firstSome things never change. Staying focused and delivering real customer value are timeless basics for every business. Xerox offers 8 tips for growing your business. What do you think about the first one?

Customers first

Celebrate your customers and align any growth plan around protecting your existing relationships. Sustainable business growth depends on keeping your customers happy, just as it did when you started your business. Consider creating customer reward programs (discounts, extended payment terms, etc.) to ensure customer loyalty.

3. Sell solutions, not widgets.

003.-Sell solutions not widgets

When I work with service companies, I encourage them to focus on results. Xerox’s third tip highlights this idea. How are you communicating what you sell?

3. Sell solutions, not widgets.

Ramping up sales is easier when you focus on this reality: you’re selling a result, not a thing. Avoid “feature dumps” that emphasize the characteristics of your product rather than how it benefits your customer. The most effective sales conversation begins with questions to determine if your prospective buyer has a need for what you’re selling. The goal is to match your products and services to what your prospect needs. If you can’t make a match, move on.

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