Sales Planning - Internet Advertising
By Steven J. Schmidt
When it comes to getting more sales, there are many techniques and different avenues one can explore. One key method is advertising.
I used to be very close friends with someone who owned their own company. This company was a business that cleaned windows, did power washing, and also installed gutter guards. This company had reps going door-to-door residentially and business-to-business. In addition, they spent money on advertisements that brought a return on their investment. There were also advertising tools that didn't cost money and still brought in customers.
One avenue of advertising is to use the Internet. The Internet is obviously one of the biggest assets as far as getting your services or products out to the public. A profitable tool that can be used is Craigslist. Just in case anyone reading this has been living in a rock the past few years, Craigslist is a free way to advertise anything that you want. You can search for a job, buy a home, and pretty much look to buy anything you want. In return, you can post a job for your company, offer your services, and even look to sell equipment you have no need for anymore.
The owner of the aforementioned window cleaning company developed an amazing clientele list just from posting on Craigslist. You might ask yourself, "Well when did this person post for his company, where he was able to get so many responses from customers?" Well, the owner of the company would post at 9 p.m. or 9 a.m. for a little while.
However, he did some research (talked to an owner of three successful Web sites and author of a book) to find out that peak Internet hours in terms of Web traffic are between noon and 2 p.m., Eastern. Just in case anyone would like to know who that expert was, it was none other than our very own, Walter Cherepinsky. The owner of this company told me that the day after Walter told him this crucial information, he received phone calls from potential customers, and appointments we're set up immediately.
Free advertising is obviously the best because it doesn't cost you any money. However, one can not always do that on the Internet. Therefore, another way would be to create your own Web site. In this particular business, my friend had a Web site, and he had to spend some money to keep it up and running. But the payback was tremendous because the revenue outweighed the expenses. The customers could go to this Web site and see before-and-after pictures of people's homes. That gained credibility to the work that this company did, which meant the customers that were looking for window washers could see how efficient their work was.
A lot of people are in the transition of reading their news and searching for good buys online much more than reading a newspaper. Convenience and simplification for the consumer is the world that we live in now. Since that's the case, some customers would rather custom pick what they want done to their house, instead of someone doing an estimate for them. They can also take their time in the privacy of their own home, and choose what they want at their own discretion.
And all you, the owner or the salesperson is doing, is creating another avenue for your business to gain more revenue, by generating more sales through the tools of the Internet.