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4 Sure Ways to Boost your Sales this Summer

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May 12,2016

By Jim Higgins, Higgins Marketing Group

 

While it’s hard to believe, we’re already four months into 2016.  For many, it’s the first opportunity to truly assess the progress their business is making against annual revenue goals.  Whether you’re ahead, behind, or right on track to meet those goals, this is the ideal time to consider what steps you can take to grow your pipeline over the core summer months of June through September.  Without proactive marketing planning, it’s easy to find yourself needing to play catch-up just when your buyers are shifting their attention to the holidays and planning for 2017… not a situation you want to be in!

So here are four simple ways to fill up your sales pipeline this summer.

 

Run A “We Miss You” Campaign

When most business owners think about filling their sales pipeline, their mind immediately goes to finding new customers.  However, the quickest and easiest path to additional revenues is almost always through your existing customers.

Take some time to identify the past customers who have “gone dark” on you.  Maybe that means you haven’t talked with them in 3 months, maybe a year.  Whatever the case for your business, segment these folks out and target them with a nice “We miss you, we want you back” message.  This can either be via a nice card sent via US Mail or via email.  You might also consider including a special customer-only offer that’s valid for a limited time. It might be just the thing to tip the scale in your favor!

 

Create a Summer Referral Program

Again, this one involves your current customers. How about making these folks a limited time offer?  Maybe something like “Get 20% of your next purchase when you refer a friend!” or “Receive a $20 Starbucks gift card for each friend you refer”.  Of course, the discounts/incentives and the value you offer will depend on the specifics of your business.

Here’s an interesting fact to consider before leaving this topic: 91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. SOURCE: Dale Carnegie.  Something’s very wrong with that picture.  Start asking for referrals.  Your business will be better for it!

 

Promote a Summer Photo or Video Contest

Summer is a great time to promote a contest through social media and email marketing.  Get creative and try to link your company’s focus with a summertime theme.  For example, if you’re an ecommerce business selling video equipment, you might frame a contest like this:

“You submit the BEST summer video clip of 2016 and we’ll hook you up with the BEST GoPro camera on the market!”

Make sure to enable voting. If your winner is determined by votes, people will be more likely to share the contest with others.  That means more entries and more leads for you.

Note: Anytime you consider running a sweepstakes or contest, it’s always a good idea to check your State and Local regulations.  Also – certain industries like insurance and financial services are highly regulated.  As a result, it’s really better to avoid this approach all together.

 

Host a Free Summer “Lunch & Learn” Series

Here’s a great way to increase your credibility and generate sales leads at the same time.  What unique expertise can you share that would be valuable to your customers and prospects?  Consider organizing this information into a series of six to eight 30-minute webinar sessions that can be delivered one per week (or one every other week).

While ideally you’d want everyone to register for your lunch and learn series at the beginning and attend all sessions, that just won’t happen.  So it’s important to promote the series throughout the entire summer.  Also, each short session should be able to stand on its own so that everyone in your audience can benefit – whether they attend all sessions or just one.

The primary focus should be on providing real value.  This should NOT be a series of infomercials about why you and your product/service are great.  Having said that, it’s perfectly acceptable to use a couple minutes on the front or back end of your sessions to introduce yourself, your company, and how you help folks.  Even making a specific, webinar-only offer is fine.  Just aim to keep it 90% value add and 10% promotional.

 

Here’s wishing you a summer of overflowing sales leads!

 

 

 


 

Jim Higgins is an experienced entrepreneur and Founder of Higgins Marketing Group (HMG), a full-service web marketing firm serving the needs of small businesses. Follow HMG on Twitter @HMG_Marketing, LinkedIN, Facebook and Google+ for more marketing tips.

 

 

 

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