It’s often said the best salesperson could “sell ice to an Eskimo”, but counting on one gullible Eskimo doesn’t make a profitable business plan. Sales don’t just happen, it takes good marketing to get your product in the hands of customers. Here is how to use the 7 functions of marketing to improve your sales.

1. Product

In order to have sales, you must have something to sell. A good product or service must be something people want. Simply being useful isn’t enough, you must offer a solution to a problem painful enough to break through the inertia of “eh, it’s just easier to deal with it”.  

Even if you have a product people need, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will buy it. You have to rise above your competition by offering something that distinguishes you from the rest.

When sales are slumping, it could be that your product or service is not delivering what the people want. Listen to reviews and feedback, and ask yourself, “how can I alter my product to better give my customers what they want?”

2. Pricing

Pricing is difficult because you’ll lose customers if the price is too high, and when it’s too low, you kill your profit margins. It is a delicate dance, but setting the wrong price can send your business spiraling into failure.

Pricing low isn’t always the right way to go. Affordable and cheap have two very different connotations. Sometimes a high price tag is exactly what makes a product so desirable. People will buy a $1,000 Ice Cream Sundae because the price tag comes with the expectation of quality.

Offering people options on pricing also helps put things into comparison. Having high end, mid range, and budget options is a good way to capture customers at various price points.

3. Distribution

How easy is it to get your product in the hands of your customers? We are an instant gratification, same day shipping society. While some people still prefer to shop at brick and mortar stores, many are choosing convenience over convention.

If your sales have decreased, make sure you have multiple ways to get your product to your customers. Don’t just rely on your website to sell online. Even if you are the first site to come up on “Knitted Cat Sweaters” on Google, customers searching on sites like Amazon or Etsy won’t even know you exist.

4. Financing

You can’t make money without spending some. Your marketing budget is essential and should be fitting with the rest of your business’s expenditures. People can’t buy an invisible product.

Conversely, marketing is not something you just throw money at and hope for the best. Focus on increasing your return on marketing investment. There are many inexpensive ways to boost ROI like email marketing or social media. Find out which marketing channels work best for you.

5. Marketing

How you present your product to the world makes all the difference. Create a solid brand, voice, and look for your business that will resonate with people and make them want to buy. Ultimately, you want your business to be unique and stand out amongst your competition.

Know the marketing/sales funnels and the customer journey. Finding out where people are dropping off from their journey from discovery to sale can help you close the gaps in your funnel.

6. Selling

A bad sales pitch can ruin the greatest product. Make sure you are delivering the right message about your product.

How you are selling can make all the difference as well. For example, telemarketing might be a great way to sell one product, but a terrible way to sell another. Figure out what avenue of sales gets the best returns and focus on building on that

7. Promotion

Don’t let your product live under a rock. The goal of marketing is to get your product out to as many of your target audience as possible. Be creative with how you promote your product, but remember to stay on-brand and focus your promotions to attract your target audience. A plane flying your banner across a crowded beach will get a lot of attention, but if your target market is video gamers, you aren’t exactly hitting your target market.

If your sales are stagnating, it is always a good idea to go back to basics. By following the 7 functions of marketing, you can figure out what the problem with your marketing is and fix it.