Reach your target

20 ways to generate more business

21/05/2014 16:33:36
Nick Bramley is one of the North’s leading sales and business development practitioners and service providers. He was a guest speaker on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small businesses programme, where Partners director Monica Green was impressed by his top 20 ways to generate more sales. He’s agreed to share them here.

1. Existing customers

It is far easier to sell products and services to existing customers than to someone you don’t have a relationship with. If you have done a good job taking care of your customer in the past, and your products have performed well for them, they are usually willing to give any addition to your product line a try.  And because the relationship is in place, far less selling is required.  Have or create an ACTIVE existing customer engagement strategy.

2. Dormant customers

Re-contact customers who have not purchased from your company for a period of time and find out why.  There is often a 20%+ uplift in sales from an active revisit strategy.

3. Lost pitches or proposals

If you lose out on a piece of work remember to keep in touch with the company, ask them how they are getting on with their new provider and identify new sales opportunities.  A targeted follow up call six months after the contract has been awarded will highlight any under-performance and any opportunities for you.

4. Targeted PR

An effective PR campaign will help to build your brand and manage your reputation.

5. Networking

Choose the right networking events, get your elevator pitch right and start building relationships.

6. Data management

Research a list of prospective customers and then use it!  Keep it clean for re-use later and make sure you comply with GDPR rules.

7. Research and reading

Keep abreast of what’s happening in your sector and the sector that your target customers operate in; read local press, trade press, subscribe to newsletters, talk to your contacts – it will help you discover who’s in the market for your product or service.

8. Antenna

Whether it’s van spotting or looking out for companies expanding into new premises put your radar on high alert and look around you for new opportunities.  Challenge your team to open their eyes and ears too – the impact can be significant.

9. Telesales/cold calling

This requires specialist skill, so if this tactic is appropriate for your business consider employing an agency or trained individual.

10. Direct mail/e-shot

Keep it focused, interesting and creative and this can work wonders.

11. Advertise

Keep it relevant and advertising can provide a great return on investment.


12. PPC/Google adwords  

Take specialist advice and this can help you attract more customers to your website.


13. App development

An app can be a great way to make it easier for customers to buy from you but is not always the right route just because it is new and fresh.  Will it drive sales or at least generate qualified enquiries?


14. Conferences/seminars

Excellent opportunities to spend time with like-minded people and get networking.  Have a plan and execute it – stay off your phone at the breaks and talk to fellow delegates.


15. Speaker opportunities

And to really raise your profile, why not put yourself forward as a speaker at a conference or seminar?

16. Exhibitions

Can be hit or miss but attend the right exhibitions, plan your time well, capture data and follow up any sales leads and you can’t go wrong.

17. Strategic alliances and affiliates

Consider working with companies that offer a complementary product or service to you and show how you can offer your customers added value.

18. Referrals

NEVER ask for a referral too early, they need to have experienced your product or service, not just the promise of what it will do – timing is everything. Make sure you ask for referrals when your customers are most delighted with you and invest time educating those people you think would be best placed to refer you to potential customers – and don’t forget to reciprocate!

19. Social media

In the B2B world social media provides excellent sales and relationship building opportunities for you to exploit.  Take advice, get trained but get going……

20. Business gifts

From pens and USB sticks to diaries and mugs, business gifts are a great way to keep your brand in front of your customers.  Old fashioned, last millennium but still effective…..

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