Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

7 Ways to improve your sales results, right now

improve sales, sales results, make more sales

Here are 7 marketing tips and ideas, to help you make more sales. I have also included a number of related links, which point to more information.

1. Don’t close sales – Open relationships instead

For years, sales trainers used to tell people about the art of closing a sale. Today, we understand that business is all about people and that if we want to earn a client and encourage their ongoing patronage, we need to treat them like humans. This means building great, professional relationships with them.

For example: If you believe that you offer a great service, you have a professional obligation to tell prospective clients, so they don’t make a mistake and hire the wrong provider. You know that you will look after them, but you can’t be sure another provider will. Show them that you’re committed to helping them. Focus on them and their needs.

Operating from this mindset is a great deal more effective, than ‘closing people out’ and seeing them as an opponent you need to beat.

2. Look for the gold in your inbox

Find the last 10 emails you opened, which came from people or businesses that you didn’t know. Look for what it was that caused you to open them. Then think of ways to incorporate the lesson into your own email marketing.

3. Develop more word of mouth referrals

Think of the people and businesses that you recommend to friends. In each case, you will find that they have earned your trust and that the service they provide is remarkable in some way. We talk or remark, on things that are remark(able). If you want to attract word of mouth referrals, you need to offer a service that inspires or motivates people to talk about it.

A great place to look for inspiration, is to identify what it is that motivates YOU to recommend vendors to your friends. What can you learn from them, which you can build into your own service?

4. Be extremely easy to contact

If you want to attract more sales inquiries from your website, make sure it’s as easy as possible for people to contact you. Link to your contact page from all your most visited pages. If you use a contact form, only ask for the details you MUST have. Every additional field you add to a contact form loses you a percentage of inquiries.

Also, offer people a landline phone number to call you on. A static number makes your business look more permanent than operating behind a mobile number. This is especially important if you operate in an area of business, where there are lots of low-value providers.

5. Get noticed by the right people

Many small business owners are uncomfortable at the prospect of standing out. The challenge with that mindset, is that you can’t be outstanding without standing out. That’s not just a play on words, it’s a cornerstone of successful marketing.

Your prospective clients or customers can’t see you if you’re hidden in the background. Most small business owners look and sound almost identical, when you read their marketing or follow them on a social network. By copying what you see others doing, rather than being yourself, you become camouflaged.

Step out from the masses and tell your marketplace who you are and why they should listen to you. There are some ideas here on standing out.

6. Match your marketing to your marketplace

Some of the most popular marketing sites are operated by people, who make THEIR money selling low price affiliate marketing products or software. If you try and apply the same ‘killer’ techniques they use, when marketing your service based business, you will find it far less effective.

I spoke recently with an accountant whose blog wasn’t generating any leads whatsoever. Her problem was that her site looked and sounded just like an affiliate marketing site. We changed it so that it reflected the service she provided and the inquiries immediately started to flow. I have seen that same issue hurt many, many service providers.

If you want to massively improve your marketing results, match your marketing to your marketplace.

7. Put your marketing ideas into action more often

Those great ideas you have for developing a new product or service can’t help you, if you don’t use them. There are few things in business more frustrating than seeing someone successfully put an idea into action, which you had years ago but didn’t run with. Similarly, many business owners wait until January to make important changes to their marketing, when it should be acted on as soon as possible.

Start off by actioning just one of your marketing ideas and see what happens. Test the idea. Measure the feedback. Learn from it and move forward. When you take this progressive, pro active approach, you will be amazed how much more effective your marketing becomes.

I hope you found these ideas useful. More importantly, I hope there’s something here, which you can put into action.

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  1. To be noticed by the people around you it is very important that you get out something that is unique and different from the others

  2. Great post.

    I’d make number 8 Invest in the best website or blog you can and then make that the hub of your marketing campaigns.

    Thanks Jim.

    • Good suggestion, Gareth.

      It amazes me how many businesses operate behind cheap looking sites and build their online marketing around Facebook.

  3. Hey Jim, my number 8 would be getting more work through your contacts, whether that’s friends, other freelancers or companies you do business with.

    For example, my accountants have been putting me in touch with some of the other sole traders on their books who need copywriting services. It’s a great thing to do, because it benefits everyone in this relationship.

  4. That’s a great list, Jim. Here’s an addition: Show ongoing generosity. This can be done by sharing content you find (e.g., on Twitter), creating original content (e.g., by blogging), or both.

  5. 8. Ask for it.

    It’s funny, some sales folks, or folks in general are afraid to simply ask for the business because they’re afraid of rejection.

    They’ll sell right past an actual sale… Literally, without even knowing it, talk a buyer who was ready to write a check, right of the sale.

    Social media, or no social media and assuming you have it together, sales are still numbers. The more people you put yourself in front of AND ASK FOR THE BUSINESS, the greater number of sales you’ll make.

    I’ve trained many 7 figure earners/ closers in a past life and the ones who made the most money were just asking for the order more often than everybody else.

    Cheers Jim!

    • Hi Mark. It’s true that many people seem extremely uncomfortable with the business end of their business. They love doing demos and love answering questions, but have no strategy to guide the client toward making a purchase.

      Of course, in some cases it’s not the lack of a strategy – but fear.

      If they don’t ask for the sale, they can’t be rejected.

      Thanks for the suggestion, sir.

  6. Nice post Jim, expanding on your point regarding word of mouth referrals, don’t be scared to ask happy customers for referrals. Satisfied customers are usually willing to spread the word about great products and great service.

  7. Hi Jim,

    Great post. Love what you do and how you do it.

    I wrote a whole series of blog posts using the titles of emails in my spam folder as inspiration. I figured that “spammers” inherently understood the language required to get people to open emails AND I wanted to learn from them.

    In many ways this worked for me… although on a humorous note a very strange thing happened… my blog started ranking on the search engines for “neglected and lonely housewives looking for love.”

    Funny huh? Sure bet there are some disappointed men coming to our seven sentence blog these days…


    • I love how your blog started ranking for the *interesting* phrase, Geoff.

      I can’t count how many times I have created a useful business strategy, by looking outside my client’s own industry or profession.

  8. Definitely the right approach Jim, unfortunately everybody just try to sell you something fast, without trying to develop deeper engagement first.

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