Five forgotten sales tools that still get results

With the popularity of social media, many business owners have come to believe the ability to generate sales depends on their tweets, Facebook posts and blog updates. However most small businesses (especially B2B) will tell you that social media has not delivered the results they hoped for.

So before you create a new Pinterest account, maybe revisit these “old school” marketing tools.

  1. Trade shows. Depending on your industry, you could show your product or service directly to hundreds of potential customers in less than a day. Reach out to your list prior to the show letting them know you’ll be there, then follow up after the show.
  2. The telephone. Forget cold calling. Just focus on current customers. Call those you have not heard from in a while and those who buy from you often. Tell them you’re collecting feedback and making sure they’re happy. Their responses will lead to better products, improved service and greater profits.
  3. Coupons. Yes they work – if you make them attractive. Make an aggressive offer that will get noticed. And remember, the less your industry uses coupons the more impact they will have.
  4. Direct mail. Google and McDonald’s know it works! The best direct mail campaigns are focused on either a list or geographic area. Remember these key points: Make it personal, make it attractive, make an offer.
  5. Referral programs. Word of mouth is incredibly powerful and shows just how much your customers value you. So be sure to show your appreciation. Depending on your industry, this could be a card, a gift, or even a commission.

Marc Gordon is a professional speaker and marketing consultant. Get more marketing tips on his website, marcgordon.ca and on his online show, marctv.net.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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