In my column this week I'd like to share 4 strategies to boost sales that are often overlooked.

Here they are...
Strategy 1: The Better Way

With this strategy you continually look for better ways to do things. Here's my favourite example of this: Back in the 1980's, Cindy Cashman saw an interesting idea for a new book called "Everything men know about women."

The book had over 100 pages and they were all blank.

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Cindy liked the fun nature of the book and began looking for 'lazy marketing' strategies to sell massive amounts of her book with very little effort. (She ignored traditional book shops as her book would be competing with thousands of other books for sale.) Instead, Cindy approached businesses like women's clothing shops and got them to display her book next to the cash register.

Women shopping at these stores would pick up the book because of the catchy title, laugh when they saw it was totally blank inside and would then buy copies to give as gifts to people they knew.

Cindy kept the price affordable and sold over a million copies of her blank book within the next few years.

What Cindy discovered was a better way to sell and finding this better way made her super successful.

Strategy 2: The Unique Competitive Advantage

I've written many times about developing a unique competitive advantage in your business. There are literally dozens of ways to do this. A good example is the 'Vampire Dentist' in Los Angeles.

He set up a dental practice that was open between 6pm and 6am only. So he was only open at night (Hence the name). This dentist chose to focus on shift workers who were often not able to attend a dentist during normal business hours. (One group of workers he targeted was people working in the movie industry who often worked unusual hours.)
And his dental practice thrived for many years as a result of doing this.

Strategy 3: Million Dollar Quotes and Proposals

A wide range of businesses market their services by giving quotes to potential clients.
If you want to get a lot more of your quotes turning into profitable new clients here's a simple marketing strategy you might like to test.

There are three simple steps:

Step One: Add three heading to each quote.

And then write 2-3 paragraphs about each heading.

The three headings you add to your quotes are:
1: Your current situation
2: Your ideal outcome
3: My recommendations

Let me explain each heading.
Your current situation:
Here you write down the 'before' picture of the work you are quoting on. This just means you describe the existing situation that your client is in and why they are considering having some work done by your type of business.

Here's an example for a painter
Your current situation:
You have just bought your dream house that you really like. You plan to live it in for many years. However the inside of this house is a colour you don't like and it makes the house look dark and gloomy. You want to spruce up the inside of your home but you don't have a large budget to do major renovations.

Your ideal outcome:
Here you write down details of the 'after' picture that your client wants by having some painting done.
E.g. Your ideal end result is that you want to have a modern looking home on the inside without spending a fortune on renovations. You want it to look and feel light and airy and open. And you want colours that go well with your existing furniture. You want the inside of your home to feel warm and friendly and you want the colours to make your furniture look great.

My recommendations:
Here you give your quote in detail. E.g. I recommend you do ABC etc. The price is $X and includes xyz etc. (This is very similar to what you do in your normal quotes.) By adding these three headings you show your potential client that you have a good understanding of their situation and what they are trying to achieve by using your services. If you have asked some questions in the first meeting with clients it will be very easy to write a paragraph or two about each heading.

Strategy 4: One Minute Referrals

Here you ask every person you meet for an introduction to someone else who may have an interest in what you offer. They key with this strategy is to use the word 'who' when you ask for a referral and give people a choice of numbers. This should take you less than one minute to do.

Action Exercise:
Try some of these strategies in your own business over the next month and notice what happens.

Helpful Resource:
I'm running a one month online programme called The Fast Results Marketing Month that helps businesses to put into action all four of these strategies in their business. If you would like details on this programme just contact me using the email links in this column.

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection." - Mark Twain