As a small business still in the early growth stages, it can feel as though you’re never going to have enough clout to compete with the bigger brands. Larger companies have a much bigger budget to spend on advertising and customer loyalty, making it harder for smaller companies to make the right impression.
The good news? There is still room for small companies to make a positive impact on a smaller audience.
While bigger organizations might have more cash, it’s the smaller companies like yours that can connect with a client on a more meaningful level.
Today, we’re going to tell you some of the sales strategies that you can consider helping you compete with more established brands.
1. Establish Your Online Presence
First, you need to create a personality for your brand. In other words, give your customers something to connect with.
There’s more to your company than just what you sell. Your online presence is a way for you to showcase your unique tone of voice, image, and even the values you hold close to when you’re creating and selling your products.
You can start to showcase your digital brand on your website and the product pages you use to sell your items, but remember to branch out onto social media. Find out which social channels your customers use most and create a profile so you can interact through engaging content, polls, live videos, and comments.
In the future, you might even decide to build on your social strategy with an email newsletter, influencer marketing, and other strategies too.
Keep in mind that, for many people, your social media presence will be the first touchpoint with your business. Engaging them in more proactive marketing activities later on will be much easier if you’ve established a rapport and trust on social media first.
2. Deliver Amazing Customer Service
Around 90% of customers say that customer service quality is crucial for them when deciding whether to do business with a specific brand.
As a small business owner, it’s up to you to make sure that you don’t make your clients feel like just another number. Think about how you can boost your service strategies by giving them more ways to communicate with you, such as through social media and messenger.
Maybe you can improve your customer service strategy by ensuring you always respond to positive or negative reviews within 3 days or less. Can you guide your team members to deliver the best possible experience by giving them advice on how often they should check up with a customer after delivering a potential solution to a problem?
With a smaller customer base to look after, you’re also better positioned to stay on top of trends and customer needs. Consequently, you’ll be able to upsell easily to customers if they already know you’re there to support them every step of the way.
3. Find Your Niche
Often, big brands are so busy focusing on broad environments that they forget to consider the little niche customers they leave behind. You could get ahead of the bigger brands by tracking down those under-served customers and making sure they have a trustworthy company to turn to.
Choosing a specific niche also means that you don’t have to work as hard to stand out from the crowd as you would with a broad audience.
For instance, instead of deciding that you want to sell to people who want to buy social media marketing services, consider looking at a specific segment of that group.
Can you deliver the best results on Instagram and TikTok? Are your campaigns better suited to people with a certain number of customers or from a specific industry?
One example of finding your niche is the popular energy drink Red Bull. Without a clear segment, in the beginning, sales were going slow. However, once co-founder Dietrich Mateschit zeroed in on the student population and started sponsoring events, sales exploded. Soon, RedBull became synonymous with sports or athletic events all over the world.
Make a name for yourself in a particular niche. Once you exceed your customers’ expectations, branching out into uncharted territories will be less of a hassle than if you were starting from scratch.
4. Make Your Sales Strategy Agile
As a small business, you’re in a much better position to respond to the changing trends of the marketplace than bigger companies. If you discover that your clients prefer to buy from you on a mobile app, instead of using your website, you can adjust your entire sales strategy to focus more on supporting in-app purchases without a lot of excess expense.
Use your agility to your advantage and keep your finger on the pulse of the sales strategies that are driving the best outcomes for your team.
The more testing and analysis you do, the easier it will be to see opportunities where you might be able to generate additional sales, loyalty, or customer satisfaction.
A good set of analytical tools that allow you to keep track of the customer journey will be essential here.
5. Segment your Audience
Finally, remember that today’s customers want to feel as though they’re getting a purchasing experience that’s tailored specifically to them. While bigger companies focus on reaching a broad selection of buyers, you can focus on each individual customer in a more intimate way.
This gives you the opportunity to build stronger emotional connections to your brand.
Think about how you can segment your audience based on their location, what kind of business they run, or even how much money they have to spend on your service.
In the early stages, you might not have a large team to go through endless lists of luke-warm leads, or the resources to indulge prospects in a long decision-making process.
Therefore, you can significantly shorten the sales process by targeting a specific demographic with carefully-chosen user and buyer personas.
You can even use your segmentation strategy to ensure that you’re reaching the right decision-makers with the most appealing product pitches. This will be particularly important if you’re selling your services to other businesses, where there are many stakeholders and gatekeepers to pass before you reach the person with the buying power.
You Can Compete with Bigger Brands
It’s easy for small companies to end up feeling overwhelmed by bigger brands in their industry. However, just because you’re smaller doesn’t mean you can’t carve out a good chunk of the market for yourself.
With the strategies above, you can build more meaningful relationships with your target audience and boost your chances of success, no matter how much competition you have to deal with. Even the biggest companies need to start somewhere.
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters
I'm SEO specialist and certified Adwords consultant. I have been working in Search Engine Marketing for over three year. In addition working in SEO, I love writing about the subject and contributing to forum discussion in forums about various aspects of Search Engine Optimisation from link building to content development. Read more about me here