How to Stay on Top of the Market

Commerce (and the market system) is like hunting. You need to stay sharp: know the right places, have the right mindset, and keep your skills up to date. If you want to be top dog, you must bring the right amount of effort. Nobody got to the top by playing it safe.

That being said, you can work smarter instead of harder if you know what to improve. We’ve gathered the best, and trimmed them down to be easily understood. 

Research

A newsfeed stocked with helpful articles will keep you up to date. This involves your email list too. Sign up for newsletters and follow top industry professionals to stay sharp and learn new tricks. It may take a bit to curate this list, but that’s one of the beauties of research, you can choose what helps and what doesn’t.

market researcher looking at a full desk with computer
Climbing to the top will take hard work and the ability to learn from your mistakes. Failure is a teacher.

If a blog or website isn’t helping you, cut it loose. Be ruthless in your search for accurate, helpful information. You only have so much attention span in a day, so don’t waste it on fluff when you can spend it improving yourself.

Keywords and search tags are your friends. Think long and hard about relevant topics to your business. For example, a small business owner selling skincare would need to search for skincare trends, best skincare, and weird skincare routines. Use Google trends to find upcoming rivals and hashtags on social media for more information.

If all else fails, go back to school if you have to! A solid understanding of the market is essential to dominating it.

Teamwork/Networking

Together, we make up more than the sum of our parts. This means that we can achieve more working as a team than we could alone. Great marketing is not excluded from this tactic.

If you’re already part of a team, talk with your coworkers and involve them with your tasks. If your business does well, it reflects well on the entire team. Use this as a way to involve everyone. 

Collaborating with others is the quickest way to refine ideas. This means doing your part and listening for what works and what doesn’t. If you’ve assigned tasks to others in your team, prioritize the feedback they give. This will help your business grow when you understand what works and what doesn’t.

We live in an interdependent society, which means at some point, we have to deal with other people to survive. Learning to do this well can only help your business. Join a volunteer group, you never know who you’ll meet, or the lesson you could learn.

Engagement

Studies show that people make more purchases with their emotional mind than their rational one. For sales to increase, you must appeal to this “reptile mind.”. So many companies are available selling similar products. With market oversaturation, it makes sense that people will choose to buy from companies that align with their own ideals.

employee using a computer to engage the market
Use the tools we have! Social media is a great way to engage with your community.

Engagements like these come on different fronts. On the lightest level, it’s how you present yourself and your business. This can be your logo, slogan, and the language on your website. Think of your target audience and what they would want to see.

On the other hand, this also means engaging with your rivals. This doesn’t mean to start an altercation with them, simply know who they are and what they’re doing. By studying your rival businesses, you can see what works for them and appropriate their own tactics to increase your marketability. 

Social Media

Without a doubt, not using social media is your biggest mistake. 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and all the other giants out there are capturing people’s attention on a monumental scale. Customers use social media every day, if not all day, and most of them are looking for products to buy. If your business seems like a friendly neighbor, then you have already won a major battle. People trust others in their community.

This pairs with engagement. From your laptop, tablet, or mobile device, several platforms exist to help with online outreach. You can post updates about your business, sales, news, and relevant content to display an ideal that attracts customers.

People love stories, and social media brings that love to the forefront. Your company’s story can unfold in front of your prospective customers, and they can engage, merging their story with yours.

These tactics must be tailored to fit each organization. One may work better than the other, and some may not work at all. You must try each one to understand how it works with your business and the market. However, once you get them streamlined, these strategies will take your sales to the next level.

How to Follow-Up the Right Way

We live in a time of information overload. Let’s face it–your email may just be glanced over if not sent directly to the spam bin. If you want to convert your spam to sale, you have to write follow-up emails that work.

Repetitive language and email templates aren’t going to get you any closer to success, especially if you’re using phrases like “just seeing how you’re doing.” Language like this is overused like the words “very” or “good.” 

Now, there’s nothing wrong with these words; but there’s a time and place. Starting an email with “I’m very excited. Have you seen this very good discount?” is going to send anyone into snoresville.

Enough about the wrong ways, let’s go over how you can send a follow-up the right way. Just keep these ideas in mind: Define, Clarify, and Time.

Define

Like starting a road trip, you won’t get far if you just hop in the car with no destination in mind. If you’re writing a follow-up email, you have to understand what your purpose is. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make.

man sending a follow-up email at his desk
Defining your email is the best place to start. Make sure you know why you’re sending the message in the first place.

The point of defining your follow-up is like setting your GPS. These are the most common types:

  • Reminder- Prompting someone to respond to an earlier email.
  • Thank You- Showing appreciation for a sale or otherwise.
  • Request- Asking for more information or another sales push

Knowing which one you’re writing is going to give you the parameters for your call-to-action.  A reminder follow-up has a completely different tone than a thank-you. 

Define clearly what your objective is for your email. We’ll take the reminder as an example. You’ve spoken with a client, and the conversation went well. It’s been longer than necessary for a callback, so you decide to reach out and send a follow-up email.

Your needs are not to congratulate them or request anything; you simply need to remind them about your earlier conversation. Your call-to-action is similar to what you’ve spoken about before. Now that you understand this, it’s time to clarify.

Clarify

The immediate message your client takes from your email shouldn’t be “hey, you forgot about me trying to sell you this.” It has to be something human. It’s difficult, but you have to catch their eye with something emotional, something that makes them want to read more.

Your opening line can be the same as your subject line. It has to hook the reader, make them feel something about your connection (or make them regret not connecting earlier). This can involve some homework.

Involve information from the last time you spoke. You can open with “Remember [topic] we spoke about last week?” or “Congrats on [achievement].” Remember to keep these openers professional. While humor is a good way to connect with people, maintaining a professional air during written correspondence is always in style.

After the opening paragraph (and their hook for caring), you must deliver a clear purpose. Be as straightforward as possible without coming off as rude. For example, instead of stating “I’d like to call you sometime this week,” write “I’d love to chat with you about [topic] we covered last time. How does Wednesday afternoon sound?”

The more concrete you sound, the better. People respond well to clear, concise phrasing, especially if it concerns their finances. No one wants to be confused when it comes to their money.

sending a follow-up email with a cell phone
Bonus tip: if you’re sending emails with your phone, make sure they’re still formatted correctly!

Time

So, now that you’ve defined what your follow-up is for, including the call-to-action, and you’ve drafted an email with a clear purpose, there is one last thing to consider. Before you hit the send button, make sure you have the email timed correctly.

This means to be mindful of the situation you’re responding to. For example, if your purpose is to prompt another conversation, like an interview, you’d likely wait a week or so. Nothing irritates a prospective employer more than constant proddings. 

However, if it’s a thank-you note or something similar, that is perfectly acceptable within a 24-hour period. The point is to make sure the email’s purpose aligns with how much time it takes up. If someone just needs to read it quickly and can continue with their day, then a shorter time frame is fine. If your email has more of a time commitment attached (like a new meeting or more tasks), then wait longer to send.

Follow-up emails have major power for your business. If you’re looking to drive up conversion rates, nothing works faster than proper communication. People will not only respect you as a reliable source, but they’ll also trust you with their business, valuing your relationship.

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