22 Ways to Use QR Codes to Boost Your Sales

September 27th, 2012

Don’t scan this code!

Have you tapped into the power of QR codes yet? If not, what are you waiting for? QR codes have enormous potential as sales and marketing tools.

For those unfamiliar with them, a QR (Quick Response) code is a square-shaped bar code (like the one at left) that can be scanned with a smartphone’s camera, using a free code-scanning app.

The code is essentially a link to whatever you want it to be. Which means, when someone scans your code, it can load your website, your brochure or any other type of digital content right on their phone. It’s the next wave of mobile marketing.

However, to get your potential customers to scan your QR code, you need to give them a good reason to do so. What will they get, see or be able to do if they scan your code?

Here are 22 ideas:

1. Free article or special report
2. Game
3. Discount code or coupon
4. Additional resources
5. App
6. Ebook
7. Quiz
8. Buyer’s guide
9. Planning guide
10. Brochure
11. Video
12. Song
13. Interview
14. Demo
15. Free subscription
16. Photos
17. Slide show
18. Event passes
19. Contest entry
20. Book excerpt
21. Tutorial
22. webinar

Think about what items on this list would make good incentives for your target market. Then choose one or more and link it to a QR code. (There are plenty of web sites that will generate a QR code for you free of charge.) Incorporate your code into your various marketing efforts, being sure to state what awaits those who scan it.

Using QR codes will drive more traffic to your web site, strengthen your brand message and increase engagement with your prospects, all at zero cost. And when you can achieve those three things, the result is more sales.

By the way, how have you used QR codes? Or seen them used? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Play to Your Weaknesses

September 20th, 2012

Ace Hardware SalesIf you’re in sales—whether as a salesperson, a professional or a CEO—you have competition. And every one of those competitors has some kind of strength relative to your company: lower prices, more years in business, bigger staff, higher quality, more locations, etc.

The temptation is to try to match strength for strength: cut prices, hire more people, and so on. But that’s a dangerous—and expensive—game.

Instead, look at your weaknesses.

Too often we consider our weaknesses to be liabilities. The fact is, though, every strength hides a weakness. And every weakness hides a strength.

Take ACE Hardware for example. The average ACE Hardware store is only slightly larger than a gym locker. They’re never going to be able to compete with Lowe’s, Home Depot and Menards on selection.

So they’re not trying to.

Instead, in their latest advertising campaign, ACE is touting the small size of their stores as an advantage. The message is, you can “zip in, find what you need, and zip out,” rather than waste your entire weekend wandering around a vast warehouse. They’ve even trademarked the term “Speedy-Sized Stores™.”

Brilliant!

They’re changing the criteria on which buyers choose their store. Instead of selection, they’re competing on convenience.

So, here’s the question for you: How can you turn your weaknesses into strengths?

Great Thoughts on Sales, Business and Success VI

September 13th, 2012

A great quotation can be change your thinking, your mood, even your resolve. Here are some more of my favorites:

“I like to think of sales as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person or persons into a win-win situation.” —Bo Bennett

“Every single social and global issue of our day is a business opportunity in disguise.” —Peter Drucker

“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.” —Oprah Winfrey

“Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. ‘No,’ I replied, ‘I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?’” —Thomas J. Watson

“Fear causes you to imagine the worst. It also costs you the most.” —Heshie Segal

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
—Winston Churchill

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” —Theodore Roosevelt

“I never say no to nothing. You don’t know which is the one that will work.”
—Joan Rivers

“At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable.” —Christopher Reeve

“If A is a success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z. Work is X, Y is play, and Z is keeping your mouth shut.” —Albert Einstein

“For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” —Mary Kay Ash

“He profits most who serves best.” —Arthur F. Sheldon

“No day in which you learn something is a complete loss.” —David Eddings

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” —Jamie Paolinetti

“You’ve got to be success minded. You’ve got to feel that things are coming your way when you’re out selling; otherwise, you won’t be able to sell anything.” —Benjamin Jowett

“A lot of people have great ideas, but nothing in the world is cheaper than a good idea with no action.” —Unknown

“Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.” —Regina Brett

“Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.” —Robert H. Schuller

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
—Steve Jobs

“Many of our fears are tissue paper thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.” — Brendan Francis

“In negotiation, if you are not told ‘No,’ you did not ask for enough.” —Vickie Bevenour

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” —Mark Twain

“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.” —G.K. Chesterton

“It’s amazing what you can do once you believe you can.” —Don Cooper

For more of my favorite quotations, check out Great Thoughts on Sales, Business and Success Volume I, Volume II, Volume III, Volume IV and Volume V.

By the way, what are some of your favorite quotations?

Five Things You Need More of to Boost Your Sales

September 4th, 2012

5 things to boost your salesWant more sales? Then you need more of five specific things. You may not need all five, but you definitely need at least one, and probably several.

What are they?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this ten-minute segment, I share what each item is and how you can get more of it.

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Five Things You Need More of to Boost Your Sales: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

By the way, to access the information about social media and your sales that I reference at the end of the segment, simply click here.