5 Proven Tips That Quickly Increase Your Revenue
Brian Cowell, Chief Solutions Architect
President at Manufacturing Millionaires, Inc.
The fastest and most effective way to increase your top and bottom line revenue is to focus on your current customers. This may sound obvious, but it’s often overlooked in the busy schedules of small to mid sized manufacturer owners. Your existing customers already trust your company and buy from you. We recommend that you look for more and better ways to serve them!
This will enable you to increase the average transaction size and/or increase the frequency of their purchases. Also contained in this report are tips that work with new prospects as well.
To be successful at getting your current customers to spend more with your company and to spend more often, you must make your customer aware of the “Unique Selling Proposition (USP)” of what you offer.
This also works great for your new customers too! It’s important to educate your customers and prospects on how and why your product or company is better so that they desire your products/services more than your competition who is knocking on their door. This will also help you sell more higher margin products and add-ons--check out the tips below for more details.
Here are 5 proven ways to increase the average purchase size and frequency of your sales this year, and in turn, increase your revenue in the shortest possible time.
1. Increase your prices
I’m not kidding when I say this. This can be accomplished by educating your buyers on the superior advantages, benefits and results you provide them and explaining “the reasons why” you need to raise prices – such as enhanced technology, customer-service upgrades, better guarantees, better materials, increased regulations, increasing manufacturing costs etc. The key is justifying your “perceived value” by aligning with the right decision maker at your customer’s company who can appreciate and agree with your justification.
Consider helping your customer explore how they can achieve better results and more satisfaction buying and using one of your higher-end products/services.
“You do this by correctly assessing their needs and matching them to products/services that will give them their optimal buying experience and confidence.”
This will increase your profits and their satisfaction when using your products or services. For example, by showing how your higher end device or product with more features will increase their yield, or lower their cycle time which could actually reduce their costs.
If your company has multiple product lines, do your customer a big favor and educate them on the full spectrum of your solutions — products, services and expertise. Regularly sit down with them to discuss their challenges/opportunities and match them up with the other solutions you offer or can create for them.
Most of the customers and clients I have worked with over the years really appreciate consolidating their supply chain with fewer, but more strategic full service suppliers.
This is a prime way to offer a real win-win solution for both you and your customer. They have fewer suppliers to manage, and you increase your revenues! For example, in addition to selling products you manufacture, make it a goal to sell engineering services or better logistics solutions as additional revenue streams.
4. Bundle better solutions
Consider packaging complementary products/services together to increase the size of each customer order. For example, if a customer is going to buy from a manufacturer making mountain bikes, it would be great to offer them a bundled package of your most popular items including mounted LED safety lights, a wearable device that measures activity, high end hydration backpack and cycle helmet.
By saving the customer time and helping them to buy a more “complete solution”, you can probably charge a premium for this “bike in a box” offering which you can market as and overall cost savings compared to buying each item separately At the very least, they will have bought more than they otherwise would have – you made buying easy for them.
5. Communicate often
Communicate with your customers often and provide them value through buying ideas/solutions via mail, phone, email, newsletters, customer service centers, etc.
For example, if you are a door and window hardware manufacturer, and as busy seasons approach, use social selling via LinkedIn and Facebook with videos and ads to communicate to your customers the need to place orders early. Sell them on the benefits of taking such action by showing how this will eliminate or reduce down time and lead time so that orders to their customers are fulfilled on time.
You may also want to package frequently purchased “sets” of both door and window hardware combinations and offer a “single solution” price for them. This can also be a good example of how you should use various combinations of these tips (#4 and #5 in this scenario) to blend the best possible solution for your customers that also adds value for your brand.
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6. Offer volume or frequent buyer discounts
Help your customers learn the value of buying more and buying more frequently from you, and reward them with incentives, discounts, extra level of services, etc. To quickly implement this you could design a visual chart which shows the per unit and total order savings and implement a process to review this chart with your customers semi-annually.
Your cash flow will most likely be increased, so be willing to reward them with a few extra perks. I recommend creating “frequent buyer” programs that offer free aspects of your services/products when they buy a certain number of times per month or year. Make this program publicly visible on your website and in your product pricing materials.
7. Offer free & for fee products/services
Customers will usually buy more often from manufacturers that support them with useful help that makes using their product easier or more productive and efficient for them. Ask yourself the question, “What else can I sell that goes before, after, or along with my customer’s purchase?” For example, if you sell computer products, consider selling “technical needs analysis workshops” on the front-end or computer training services on the back-end.
These are particularly important if you are manufacturing or selling higher complexity products. Over the years I’ve seen 3 main types of service levels that have different success rates. Each level should be named in a way that your customer can easily understand the different values they receive. My example below uses award medals, but get creative and use designations that relate to your company or product.
For the computer company scenario, they could use a Bronze Mouse, Silver Mouse, and Gold Mouse levels:
- BRONZE--Customer buys a product and receives an instruction manual only
- SILVER--Customer buys a product and receives an instruction manual, but the manufacturer also includes phone or on-site set up services that explains the important details
- GOLD--Customer buys a product and receives the instruction manual, but the manufacturer completely helps set up the product and has on-going support available
More often than not, levels SILVER and GOLD above can be another revenue stream for your company and your end customer will most likely appreciate the additional support. Even if you don’t make a lot of profit with these services or you offer them for free, you may have the competitive advantage of being the easiest manufacturer to work with--this can influence the buyer’s decision in your favor, ultimately increasing your total sales and revenue.
8. Host a special event
Conduct special events to educate your existing customers and new prospects on your new or expanded service/product offerings. Do this in an informative manner and in a way that has “their best interests” at heart. Hold a “sneak preview” for your new products, services, models, etc. Hold exclusive events for your best customers. For example, a CNC machine manufacturer might hold a wine and cheese party with live music to unveil the newest model lineup.
9. Promote others
Endorse other people’s products or services with your client list and share the benefit of increasing sales with the other company. For example, when my team collaborated with Nike to develop, produce and launch their FuelBand wearable device, it was marketed with Apple when they created an app and “Sports Kit” that allowed for syncing the wearable user’s activity information to iPhones and iPads. Another example is Ford co-branding with Harley Davidson with a special edition F150 pickup truck.
When doing this with another company, mail offers to your customer database, endorse the other company and their offering, and receive a set percentage of any revenues generated. To maintain the goodwill of your customers, do your homework ahead of time and only introduce and co-brand high integrity, high-trust, high-value organizations to your customer base.
10. Say “NO” to bad customers or prospects
To grow quickly, you need to devote more time and attention to your best opportunities and customers. You can’t optimize your sales revenues if you are distracted by unprofitable, disagreeable, and energy-robbing customers. But at the same time, you don’t want the reputation of your company to be damaged by avoiding bad customers or prospects.
In the case of an existing customer, I usually suggest a plan that includes explaining in a professional way with examples why discontinuing the business relationship is best for both companies. Plus, you will want to proactively have a plan that allows for a “wind-down” of shipping products to them while giving them time to transition to another supplier in your industry that you recommend.
Similarly, for a new prospect who doesn’t “fit” your company very well after you carefully review their project or product, I would advise being upfront with them. You can actually build a great reputation for your company and brand by spending a little extra time with them explaining the main reasons for the “no-bid” and then suggesting other suppliers who may be a better match.
By correctly managing bad customers and prospects you’ll have more time, less stress, and more energy to support the customers who will grow your business smoothly and quickly.
Trust to Profit ...
As you can see from these 10 proven tips, there are many ways to rapidly increase your revenue. Pursuing the strategies that work best for you and your customers is time well spent and the benefits can be huge!
These tips also have the added benefit for your company of building trust credibility with your customers which enhances the relationship you have with them. When you genuinely have the best interests of your customers at heart, they will recognize this and want to buy from you versus other suppliers.
“Trust is not simply a matter of truthfulness, or even constancy. It is also a matter of amity and goodwill. We trust those who have our best interests at heart, and mistrust those who seem deaf to our concerns”--Professor Gary Hamel
If these tips resonate with you and you want to learn more, I encourage you to make use of our free confidential quick question and virtual coffee service here.
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Brian Cowell, Chief Solutions Architect