Firstly, warm greetings to all those who have landed on this page and are reading this article. I am Usman Raza, and my many satisfied customers, whom I work for through multiple businesses that my team and I have established over the past 17 years, say that “Usman and his team are experts at what they do and have evolved with the pace of technology keeping their creativity and innovation up to speed, hence we never felt the need to consider anybody else.”
Chrisitian Marketing Experts LLC is a premier internet marketing firm that specializes in PR and search engine optimization (SEO) services and is the business to which my heart and soul are attached. I have always advised companies to make full use of technological tools like SEO, PPC, social media and retargeting tools to double their ROIs through my platform. It was with these tools that I was able to establish three new businesses. But even before I got the chance to roll up my sleeves, I was mentored by the best multimillionaires from different industries.
This article, however, is not about me, but about those who are reading it. Laying out 17 years of experience in 17 points is not an easy task, but my sole objective is to share what I learned throughout the years so that it adds value, serving as tips for entrepreneurs and both budding and professional salespeople.
1. Rely on SEO to bring in leads.
After a lot of trial and error and spending around a couple thousand dollars, I learned that, rather than hunting leads and spending hours filtering them, make buyers find you. A good SEO campaign and the right keywords can make your website generate profits even in your sleep. Remember to optimize your content. SEO is one of the most used digital marketing strategies. I have written many articles to show my readers the importance of SEO (“Why SEO is an Essential Puzzle of Digital Marketing“) for your online presence and search engine visibility, and you can always further explore my blogs for more in-depth knowledge about SEO.
2. Create a blog.
Although this was one of the first things I did just because I had a knack for writing, it didn’t turn out that well for me. At that time and even today, I feel blogging is of the most underrated social media platforms, and you’re missing out by not having your own. Your blog can provide reviews and relevant information that you may not be able to fit into tweets or social media posts. You can use it to generate more traffic to your site and other online resources, improving their Google rankings. Blogging could improve your sales to an unexpected level. To create content that engages your audience, you first have to know your audience. I learned this the hard way: It was probably the reason it didn’t work out for me then.
3. Get more traffic flowing to your site.
Traffic equals money. If you want to increase your sales, you need to increase traffic to your site. Google has over 200 ranking factors that help determine a website’s position in the search results. Aside from SEO, you can go for PPC and the lesser-known search box optimization. The search box is where you type your query for a Google search, and Google uses an auto-suggest feature that shows instant choices for a search user.
If you use the search box optimization technique, you can make it suggest keywords to match the ones on your website. Once a user clicks that particular keyword, your website will be one of the top results, which increases your exposure and reliability online.
Another trend dominating online marketing is getting traffic through chatbots. Now you can create your own Facebook chatbot with the help of Botsurfer. Research says 1.3 billion people use Facebook Messenger each month. With such a huge number of people using the platform, you can increase your traffic if you use a custom chatbot for your customers.
4. Invest in retargeting.
Your business wouldn’t start using this technique in the nascent stages. Retargeting is for a business is at the stage of establishing credibility, but there is no hard and fast rule. Based on my experience, for less than 50% of a traditional Google Ads campaign, you can make your ads reach more people and ensure they come back and buy from your site using this pro tip.
5. Create a single-page sales portal.
It was in the 10th year of doing business that I came across the most beautiful insight that changed my business growth trajectory exponentially. This was that most people are used to one-page websites. These are also known as landing pages, which usually contain a description of the product or service along with reviews. The trick to making this a success is segmenting the content in an attractive, easy-to-read way that hooks buyers and gets them ready to show you the money.
Your content might serve as the hook, but if you are late to interact, it might result in a lost lead. Therefore, making that portal interactive enough is the key. By interactive, I mean you should use bots to interact with people landing on your page. This insight was also revealed to me by my team of experts, who said one fine day, “We are losing potential leads just because we are not able to interact with them on our portal.”
6. Establish your reputation as an expert.
Before I could even start offering internet marketing services, I commented on blogs and took part in forums to demonstrate my expertise. Every time potential leads searched for me, they discovered my contributions and saw I was the right person to take care of their needs. If you establish yourself as an expert in your field, people will prefer you over other sellers.
This will not happen in one day, even if you spend all 24 hours on this one task. I recommend dedicating a fixed time each day to this task – maybe just an hour or two, but it should be at the same time every day. This shows you have a routine, dedication and, subsequently, credibility. I assure you that establishing yourself as a thought leader will start yielding results in a matter of months.
7. Don’t be shy about talking smack.
If you have a blog, you can easily communicate what you don’t like about the competitors’ products or compare your offerings with theirs. Just remember to be a little indirect, or else you may appear too ruthless for some clients’ liking. Although this might sound like an offensive strategy, there is a thin line between hitting above and below the belt. That thin line comes from ethics. Keep it professional, focusing on demonstrable flaws in a product or service rather than launching personal attacks, and this tip will take you places.
8. Ask for referrals.
One thing I might never let go of as a rule of life and business is that “the customer is king.” You’ll want to keep the best of relationships with the “king.” If your previous clients are happy with you, ask them for referrals – which you will only feel comfortable doing if you have maintained good rapport with them.
Drop them an email offering them a discount or valuable freebie for referring your business to others. This way, you can get two sales through a single email. Try it just for the sake of it and see the magic work for itself. It is a famous saying in our industry that a happy customer brings in two more, but an angry one has the potential to take away 12.
9. Answer some questions with YouTube videos.
You can see how I have leveraged YouTube to create product reviews and show buyers how they can make use of their future purchases. You can get more traffic to your site or sales portal with this tactic, since videos are now visible in search results. This is not just my experience talking; the numbers and statistical reports proved to me the benefits of leveraging YouTube. It was like a whole new stream of revenue being pumped into my business.
10. Introduce a mobile app.
The world has more than 3 billion smartphone users, so you can’t afford to ignore mobile. A mobile app connected to your sales portal can boost ease of use and, as a result, your sales. However, don’t rush into this process. Getting a permanent place in someone’s smartphone is not an easy task. Wait, plan, and then execute. When you feel your business is big enough and you have the right resources to properly manage your app, then there is no stopping you.
11. Mobilize your website.
If you felt disheartened reading the above tip, don’t worry. Even if you’re not ready to launch an app, you can (and should) make your website mobile-friendly. Most consumers now rely on their smartphones to access the web, so have a web designer look at your website and prepare it for tech-savvy buyers. My advice is to treat your website like a newborn child: You need to nurture it step by step and grow it to be just how you imagined it. It should reflect your company’s brand and culture, and if the website is about you individually, let your personality shine through the website.
12. Generate an email marketing campaign.
Email marketing is alive and kicking. You can send a few emails to introduce your blog or invite your potential and existing clients to connect with you. Touching base regularly also keeps you on your clients’ minds, making them more likely to turn to you when they need a product or service you offer. Just make your emails relevant to them, with catchy subject lines to get their attention. Your clients won’t appreciate you sending them irrelevant quotes and images or emails just selling yourself. Use these emails to add value to each client’s business or life, while mentioning subliminally that you are the only one who can add that value for them. [If you need help with your email campaigns, you can read our reviews of the best email marketing services.]
13. Offer discounts when possible.
“Discounts” may seem like a dirty word to salespeople, but you need to offer them from time to time to generate sales. You can also use them to reward existing clients for sticking with you. This act won’t go unrewarded. Aside from becoming loyal to you, they will tell others to follow their lead.
An experience from running one of my businesses taught me that offering discounts is just like cracking a decent deal with your client. On one stressed evening back in 2012, I got in an argument with a client over the phone and wouldn’t bend to his demand for a 2% discount from the service charge. I lost the client, a consistent revenue stream and, worst of all, a good relationship. Remember, the money will always come and go, but a solid relationship can last forever. Don’t lose it just to get a little more money in the short term.
14. Promise less but deliver more.
One of the best ways to make a lasting impression is by promising your buyers less than you can provide. That way, you can give them a nice surprise when you deliver beyond their expectations. This does not at all mean that you should go low: Be fair in what you offer and show customers the added value they are getting by working with you. In this process, if you deliver more than you led them to expect, it’s a sure shot at retaining their business.
15. Get your clients to say no first.
To appreciate something really good, you need to go through a lot of the bad. To make your clients jump on the product you wish to sell, provide them with things they may not want. That way, the significance of the final yes will increase at least twofold.
This tip has been with me since my early days as an executive at an agency. We used to get three designs for one brief and always sent the worst one to the client first. This way, we got their feedback and also bought time to refine the best design. This might seem like a waste of time, but in short time, your client will start approving your first draft, and then you will have a chance to challenge your work by telling them, “We have worked even harder for you and created an even better version for the same brief.”
16. Never close too soon.
I will never close a deal in one meeting unless direly required. If you close the deal too quickly, you may end the relationship with your client too soon. Give your buyers a break to think. This way, your product will be on their minds longer. So, when should you close? You will know when the time is right.
17. Never play dirty.
This last piece of advice was given to me by my father, who was a top-class salesman at heart. He told me just before I left home on my first day of work, “Son, stay away from the black and focus on the white. It may try to charm you, but you need to hold your ground.”
This tip worked wonders for me. I learned black hat SEO but stayed away from it. I never got banned from anything or let a speck of dirt on my reputation. Never did I allow any kind of window dressing in reporting or sales pitches that would make me a liar at the end of it. If you are innovative enough and have the drive to keep learning, then you don’t have to lurk around the dark areas of the industry.
Stick to these 17 tips to rise through the ranks of success and make your mark in selling your product.
Read more: business.com