6 Sure Ways to Increase Sales

Shift your focus to your existing customers

Woman checking out at clothing store

Eileen Bach / Getty Images

Want to increase your sales dramatically? Then shift your sales focus from attracting new customers to enticing your proven customers to buy again. The best sales prospect is a prospect that's already converted—in other words, one of your current customers.

Think of it this way: If your business is located in a small town with a population of 1,000 people, and you sell a sprocket to everyone in that town, you've sold 1,000 sprockets—and saturated your market. Your sprocket-selling days are over. Is it time to pack up and move on?

Not necessarily. If you start focusing your sales efforts on your proven customers, you’ll be able to increase your sprocket sales dramatically. And these sure ways to increase sales will help build customer loyalty, too. Try some or all of these ideas to grow your sales.

1. Set up a Sales Incentive Program

Give your sales staff a reason to get out there and sell, sell, sell. Why do so many businesses that rely on their sales staff to drive sales have incentive programs in place? Because offering their sales staff the trips, TVs, or other big perks for a set amount of sales works. Your sales incentive program should be sweet, simple and attainable.

2. Encourage Your Sales Staff to Suggestive Sell

Essentially, suggestive selling involves adding related products or services to your line and making it convenient and necessary for customers to buy them. Just placing more products near your usual products isn’t going to do much. How can you increase sales? Persuade the customer of the benefit.

3. Give Your Customers the Inside Scoop

If you have a promotion or sale coming up, tell your customers about it. They’ll come back and probably bring some friends with them too, increasing your sales even more. And don't forget—you can give your customers the inside scoop by emailing, calling them, or posting on social media, too.

4. Tier Your Customers

There should be a clear and obvious difference between regular customers and other customers, a difference that shows your regular customers that you value them. How can you expect customer loyalty if all customers are treated as “someone off the street?" There are all kinds of ways that you can show your regular customers that you value them, from simply greeting them by name to offering regulars extended credit or discounts.

5. Create a Customer Rewards Program

We're all familiar with the customer rewards programs that so many large businesses have in place. But there’s no reason that a small business can’t have a customer rewards program, too. It can be as simple as a discount on a customer’s birthday or as complex as a points system that earns various rewards, such as discounts on merchandise. Done right, rewards programs can greatly help build customer loyalty and increase sales.

6. Distribute Free Samples

Why do so many businesses include free samples of other products when you buy something from them? Because it can increase sales in so many ways. The customer who bought the original product might try and like the sample of the new product and buy some of it, too. Or they might pass on the sample to someone else who might try the product, like it, and become a new customer. At the very least, the original customer will be thinking warm thoughts about your company and hopefully telling other people about your products.

Increase Sales With Less Effort

Attracting new customers is a good thing. But attracting new customers is not the only way to increase your sales. In fact, it's the hard way of going about it. Shifting your sales focus to enticing your current customers can encourage repeat sales and generate more business more quickly. Build customer loyalty and you'll be on your way to big sales growth.