Targeting the right audience
TOYS R Us has celebrated its 25th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion, released a list of the most popular toys for each year of trading. I'm sure the list will bring back happy memories for many of us.
To kick off, the most popular toys in 1985 were Transformers. In the 90s the most-wanted list included Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gameboys, and Power Rangers. Over the last decade it was Bratz, the Nintendo Wii and Iggle Piggle that proved most popular with the younger generation.
The list demonstrates how times and trends have changed – but one thing that all these products got right was positioning, knowing the audience and a strong sales plan. Whether your business focuses on products or services, you need to be able to target the right audience and develop a strong sales strategy.
Selling your products or services is key to creating a successful business. However you can't just assume clients will automatically approach you. It is important to see selling as a process where the actual financial transaction is the last in a series of steps you need to take to reach that point. You can use a marketing strategy to raise awareness and even drive customer response, but this will not replace the need to proactively look for customers and sell to them.
The first place to start is lead generation. You always needs to think about getting new business and ensuring a constant source of potential new customers is one of the most important aspects of selling.
Achieving a sale often works on the basis of percentages. If you call 20 potential new clients, you might expect to arrange four sales appointments, go back with two firm sales proposals and finally secure one order for your goods or services. This is called the “funnel effect” and indicates how many new leads you might need to keep your order book full.
However, before you start sourcing leads, you need to decide on where you are going to base your search, and in which sectors. If your product or service could be widely used, start locally and target particular geographical areas. If you have a niche product or service, switch your focus to particular companies national or international.
There are many ways of finding leads, such as referrals from existing clients, searching the internet, reading trade publications, newspaper articles and business advertising, attending networking events, using your library or driving around to see which businesses are there.
When you are sourcing new leads, get as much information as possible, including address and phone number, website address, name of the key contact and business sector. This will give you a great foundation to build on and will form a vital part of your sales plan.
Business Link can offer advice and information if you are looking to develop marketing within your business. Visit www.businesslink.gov.uk/northeast or call 0845 600 9006.