Excellence is not an act, but a habit, according to Aristotle. This applies to business as well. You can’t expect to get great success by doing one great thing. That’s why it’s important to make a habit of regularly doing things that will support your business goals.
Getting more business and sales is not necessarily about marketing aggressively or working until you burn out; it’s about being consistent in your message, and determined in your efforts to improve.
Regular growth is also much better for your cashflow than getting sales haphazardly as a result of pushing your products now and then. Focus on attracting new prospects steadily and making your existing contacts and customers as satisfied as possible. The more that you make excellent service and smart client attraction a habit, the more business you will get.
1. Set Daily Targets
It is much easier to focus when you have a clear idea of what needs to be achieved. Before your work day begins, make a list of precisely what you want to have done by the close of business. It’s most useful to write the list the night before, when you have an idea of what remains unfinished from the previous day’s work.
Although all activities combine to make your startup work, it’s important to note down at least one thing that may result in a new lead or a sale. Whether it’s reaching out to a customer, placing an advert, or sending a sales email, have at least one goal directly related to getting more business.
2. Ask for Feedback
Too many companies ignore their customers and this is often given as one of the main reasons why startups fail. Regularly ask for feedback from your clients to make sure you’re meeting their needs. Opening feedback channels with customers also allows you to address any concerns or worries they have about what you are offering, and show them how your product or service fulfills their needs.
It’s also useful to gain feedback from team members and partners, because they can be more objective about your ideas than you can. In meetings, always set time aside for feedback to be given, so you can become more effective and get more business as a result.
3. Thank People
This isn’t a habit that might occur to many people, but thanking people can go a long way to getting you more business. Very few people take the time to actually share their gratitude with others, so you’re almost guaranteed to be remembered if you do.
Thank customers for their business, thank social media users for mentions; thank promoters, advocates and referral partners. If you can really personalize your thanks by sending a card or letter, rather than an email, you’ll be valued even more. And your business will be first in someone’s mind the next time a relevant opportunity comes up.
Too many people still shy away from networking, perhaps forgetting that personal contact is one of the greatest sales tools of all. If you can get customers to like and trust you, they are much more likely to buy from you over anyone else.
It is also important to regularly spend time on social networks as well as among more business-minded folks. If you can, get into the habit of sending at least one tweet a day, writing five social posts a week, and two serious articles a month, for example. You’ll have to see what your most appropriate posting frequency is through trial and error, but once you’ve found the sweet spot, hit it regularly.
5. Follow Up
Startups could be leaving money on the table by not following up on leads, contacts and old customers. Don’t be shy about following people up — these are individuals that you already have a connection with, and who have already shown interest in what you have to offer.
If you’ve met someone interesting at an event, send them an email inviting them for coffee. If a potential lead hasn’t replied to an email, give them a friendly phone call as well. Make a habit of informing old customers of new or updated services or products. If they’ve already bought from you, the chances are that they’ll be interested in doing so again.
6. Gather Testimonials
Social proof influences customers enormously, so having strong testimonials for your product or service is great for getting more sales. Make a habit of improving testimonial-gathering and customer referral pathways — make them very clear and automated if possible.
Send an email asking clients if they liked your service or product enough to leave a positive review, and include a direct link to somewhere they can do that. Tell customers how they can refer other people who might be able to benefit like they did. Make all forms and webpages user-friendly: they should be simple and quick, rather than an effort to use.
7. Take Stock and Tweak
At the end of each day, look over your completed work and think about what could be improved. If you didn’t make as many sales as you needed to, or ran out of time, think about adjusting the way you work. Likewise, if there are even slight customer issues with your service or product, consider what could be tweaked to make it even better than before.
You don’t necessarily have to make monumental changes to make your products more impressive and take your business up a level. If you make a tiny improvement every day or week, all the changes add up to more success, without risking ruining your success formula so far.
8. Improve Yourself
Any startup can only be as good as its team members. Make a habit of noting where you need to improve your own skills or strengthen the team. Brushing up on business strategies, marketing methods, and sales tactics can really make a difference to the amount of business you get.
Things move fast in the world of business, particularly online, so it’s vital to stay abreast of industry changes and to find better ways of doing things. This applies equally to your interpersonal skills and personal development. Investing time in self-improvement has benefits across your whole business.