One of the most frequently asked (and pondered, and worried over) questions in business is this…
You have a great product. You provide great after sales support. Certainly way better than your competitors – who somehow seem to be getting all the sales while you scrape the table for the leftovers. You are hard working – and are willing to work harder to please the client.
Yet you don’t have as many sales as you would like to have. As you ought to have.
You try new things. New advertising media. New techniques. New methods. Every time with renewed hope. Although that flame of hope begins to flicker pretty badly after a couple of attempts.
Nothing works! Ever.
And you, quite naturally, wonder why not.
Well, I have been working with businesses all my life. Especially small businesses where a lack of sales is a real significant problem – significant enough to lead to the death of businesses in many cases.
I have seen the most talented and hard working artistes shut down shop because they couldn’t make enough sales. The world will literally be worse off for their contributions that could never be.
I have seen hard working business owners be forced to fire good, hardworking , honest long term employees simply because there weren’t enough sales to support all their paychecks.
I have personally had relationships sour and friendships end because enough sales could not be generated in time.
And so I understand the frustration caused by the lack of sales in a business. A lot of hard work goes into production of products, and a lot of resources are often tied up in the inventory. And when liquidating that inventory isn’t as fluid as you had once imagined, it can get stressful fast.
Over the years I have analyzed thousands of businesses – my own, my friends’ and family members’, my relatives’, my clients’, my customers’ and other businesses in general.
The single greatest reason why the leader or the owner is frustrated is a lack of sales. This frustration leads to stress that spills over into to other areas of life before you know it. Your relationship with your family members begins to get soured. Your own confidence begins to shake.
Your employees are not immune to the adverse effects of a lack of sales either. If there are no sales, everyone notices – especially if they are working in the business. They lose their motivation. Your own demotivation as the leader further compounds the problem. Pretty soon the company morale has gone down the drain… and everyone’s hoping for a miracle.
Which, of course, will not come.
If there weren’t enough sales when the morale was relatively up(per), there certainly won’t be a boost in sales figures when everyone’s demotivated, and secretly already looking for newer job opportunities.
But here’s the thing…
There are only four primary reasons why you don’t have enough sales. If your business is inflected by even one of these four reasons, you just can’t have the stream of sales that provides both life blood and momentum to any business.
Many businesses are afflicted with more than one of these reasons, though. And it is up to you to figure out what all afflicts your company.
Nothing can give you more joy than to know that your own actions are leading to direct results that can save your company – and much, much more.
So, without further ado, let me present to you the four reasons why people just aren’t willing to buy from you.
Sounds simple. Doesn’t it?
And yet, you wouldn’t believe how many times potential customers just don’t know.
You think that they know your offers. You think they understand your offers. You think they have paid attention to your offers.
But truthfully, they haven’t.
First – out of sight is out of mind. You are certainly out of their sight. They don’t see your offers just as often as they should so as to think about you when they are buying. You are just not advertising enough. You are just not marketing enough.
Second – your message is unclear. They see your message, but they don’t understand your offer. They read the words, it’s either too complex, or requires too much time to understand. The main proposition isn’t immediately grasped.
Third – your message gets ignored. This one is the most common. People see your advertisements, your marketing, your messages, but they don’t pay attention. Why? Because they are inundated. They are inundated by your messages – as well as those of the thousands of business owners who are also trying to communicate with them, and get their attention.
There’s a reason why attention is “paid”. It’s as valuable as a currency. There is a limited amount of attention that people have. They don’t owe it to you to pay their attention to your messages – just because you paid to have your message be visible to them. It’s up to you – and only you – to ensure that they pay attention.
If your marketing and advertising isn’t interesting enough or relevant to your audience, they won’t pay attention.
If your message is unclear or complex, they won’t put in the work, time and effort required to understand it.
If you just don’t advertise enough, or send out enough messages, don’t be surprise when you don’t attract enough clients. Fishing requires bait. And large scale fishing requires lots of bait.
So that’s the first reason – due to any one or more of the three possibilities I have just covered, your audience just doesn’t know about your offer. And your offer can be the best offer for them, but if they don’t know about it, they certainly won’t buy. It’s as simple as that.
OK. Moving on…
People don’t trust other people anymore. Not that easily. Everybody’s skeptical about everything, and for good reason. It takes time and effort to win someone’s trust – even when you are dealing with him or her in person.
But what people really don’t trust right now – are huge claims made in advertisements. Especially if yours is not a big brand.
One of the ads I see frequently in very highly reputed magazines is this…
I don’t believe it. I just don’t. Especially since I know slightly more about cancer than the average Joe. One of my good friends is pursuing Ph.D. right now in cancer research. And here’s why a cure for cancer isn’t likely to to be found anytime soon…
Cancerous cells are just weird mutations of the body’s own cells. Since everyone has a different DNA, and everyone has widely different mutations… and the cure for each of these unique combinations of DNA and mutations must be unique… there cannot be general purpose cure for cancer at all. Or at least, that’s what my friend told me based on what she’s learning at MIT.
Naturally, I now am prone to view all the other ads in those magazines (including the Economist) with a greater degree of cynicism.
And since we have all been mislead by false advertising more than once in our lives, we all have an immense distrust for advertisements – especially those that aren’t sponsored by big name brands that have over the years, even decades, built up rapport and trust with their policies.
Then again, we have all been brought up on a staple of good and bad advice. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” is something we all rationally as well as instinctively agree with.
So if your offer is way more lucrative than everyone else’s, you’d had prove why and how you are better than everyone else. And more importantly, you’d better ask for a much higher fee or charge a much higher price.
But most importantly… You need to prove whatever you claim. If you claim your product delivers a certain benefit, you should provide evidence for that.
One of the simplest ways of proving your point is testimony. Testimony from people who have experienced your product or service before. Your own clients.
While customer testimonials have lost some of their impact online, because anyone can use them – if you can somehow get your customers on a camera and narrate their experiences, their testimonial is not only credible, but can also boost your sales significantly.
That’s the easiest way of proving whatever you need to prove.
Now, for your benefit, I have compiled a list of seven different kinds of proof elements. A solid testimonial is just one of the ways of establishing trust. But there are actually seven different kinds of proof elements. I’d like to give those to you right own.
To check out the top two reasons why you don’t have enough sales,
come back to this blog tomorrow click here.