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A guaranteed way to increase sales for a small business

Updated on June 23, 2012

At a Glance Marketing Summary (PRAM)

Many small businesses fail to do the basics when it comes to marketing. You really don’t need a massive advertising budget to increase turnover. Run over the steps below and find out how often you perform any of these tasks?


At times we can be caught thinking too strategic about Marketing. I learnt the marketing business by using mutil national case studies to support the theory. Not all companies are international though. I wanted to create a basic framework that small businesses can use to grow their sales.

If you own a small shop try following PRAM:

  • Point of Sale
  • Awareness
  • Relationship Building
  • Maximising Sales


Point of Sale:

Stock up Business Cards at the counter:

o Encourage customers to take them, make sure when they open their wallets it is your card facing them.

o If someone asks specifically for one, write your name on it. Customers love the personal touch. They are also more likely to telephone if they have a persons name to ask for.

Stock up suitable flyers/leaflets that ad value:

o A browsing customer will take a flyer which acts as physical evidence of the service, even without an immediate sale.

Maintain Presentation Standard of the outlet

o Be very aware of the perception of a untidy shops. This includes keeping ailes free from clutter. Customers do not want to be negotiating obstacles when shopping.

Relationship Building:

Showing genuine interest in customers, making sure they leave with a positive attitude towards the business:

o Encourages repeat customer (retention)

o Will tell their peers about their positive experience (word of mouth[acquisition])

Develop relationships with local business, and/or people who are in daily contact with potential customers:

o Example: Tourist trade should make sure local hotel receptionists are aware of the business. Another example is a restaurant who invited all the local bed & breakfast owners to an expensive buffet. The purpose was to encourage them to suggest the restaurant for evening meals. It's always wise to think of ways to work with other local businesses.

Discipline yourself, and your staff, to wear welcoming smiles and be careful not to promote negativity:

o Front line staff tend to see the customer as an inconvenience in larger organisations, customers respond to genuine warmth. Remember to reward your staff for good service.

Telephone relationships:

o Assisting with a tentative enquiry could lead to a hard sale down the line. Customers who phone around maybe doing so to avoid all the hassle of running around town.

o Offer to return call if necessary.

Awareness:

Handing out flyers and regularly distribute Business Cards and marketing materials:

o Local hotels/B&B’s

o Museums

o Bus Tour Operators

o Golf Clubs…

A small business should periodically schedule time for marketing. A small business manger should map out the local events in advance and market accordingly.


Maximising Sales:

Try to up sell but DO NOT push.

Make sure the staffing levels are adequate at peak times:

o Don’t miss out on sales.

o Don’t compromise on quality of service.

Try to turn soft enquires into hard sales:

o Ask customer if they want the product set aside.

o Establish if they’ve had any other quotes and push the Unique Selling Point.

o Get name and contact number if applicable.

o Push the benefits of ordering if applicable:

§ “We’ll call you when it arrives”: No wasted journey

§ “No quibble refund if we can’t fulfil the order”: No risk.


The point of PRAM is not to think too broadly about marketing when you’re a small to medium business. Be hesitant to waste hours in the office dreaming up the one big hook statement that will bedazzle and beguile all consumers. The absolute key is to do all the small things, all of the time. There will be varying levels of resources among businesses however one thing is constant: Doing the little things frequently will add up to big profit.

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