Use Innovation to Increase Sales

Could you use more sales? Would you like more business? Are you looking outside your industry for ideas?

In an article (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/10/business/la-fi-hotel-offers10-2010apr10) in the LA Times, Hugo Martin writes about hotel chains adopting strategies from retailers in an attempt to fill the vacant rooms.

I encourage you to read the article, even if you are not in the hospitality business… in fact, especially if you are not in the hospitality business.

Too many times, I encounter “that won’t work for my business/industry” when we brainstorm ways to increase revenue or to bring in more customers. More often than not, the issue is not what will or won’t work… it is what the client is comfortable with.

Unfortunately, what the client is comfortable with is the status quo of obtaining customers and sales. He/she may be uncomfortable with the results, but often not enough to really do something different. And that’s a shame because if you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting more of what you have been getting.

If you’re not comfortable with the idea, that may be just the right direction. (Sure, the idea may be unwise, so due diligence is expected… but most of the time the rejection is not because of wisdom, but comfort.) As I’ve said, you can only grow your business as fast as you can grow personally. No one grows by staying in their comfort zone.

Remember, innovation is NOT invention (creating a new thing.) It IS taking an existing idea/technique/product and finding a new way to use it. For instance, taking a retailer’s 1 cent sale and applying it to hotel rooms. Or the TV infomercial bonus (“but wait! There’s more!”) to a service offering (“not only that, but we will also provide…”).

Have you applied a technique from another industry to yours? Go ahead, crow about it… we’d love to tell you how clever you are. Or maybe you are struggling with how to do that for your business? Use the comments and tell us about it. I’ll bet someone here can help.

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