Jennifer, like many passionate entrepreneurs, has high quality services to offer but for some reason, just can’t close the sale. Jennifer has a random sale once in a while but she gets 9 “no’s” to each “yes” to buy. Frustrated, Jennifer turned to me for help thinking she must really have the wrong business model.
In actuality, Jennifer had 4 of the 6 fundamental sales flaws.
Unfortunately this is a really common problem.
When your small business sales are stuck, you’ll probably jump to conclusions and assume several things are wrong. But before you scrap your business to start over, try my Sales Acceleration diagnostics below (its the same one I use in all of my coaching programs!)
Flaw #1. Positioning
One of the biggest contributors to stuck sales is when who you are trying to market to prospects who can’t – or won’t – say yes to your offer. Perhaps you have a soft spot for the “financially challenged stay-at-home mom” and really want to help her. But most of these moms doesn’t have the money to buy your offering.
Are you chasing after an audience you know you can help but won’t buy?
You will hit a dead-end over and over again trying to convince people who can’t buy from you.
You must understand who your Sweet Spot client is (and who they are not) so you can design your offerings and messaging to attract them. The “Sweet Spot” Client is someone who:
A) Has the need that you specialize in solving
B) Is actively seeking the solution
C) Is ready and willing to buy!
Unfortunately if you don’t focus on the Sweet Spot, you’ll spend a lot of time chasing prospects that won’t buy from you.
Flaw #2. Messaging
The second big offender is your messaging. No matter how passionate you are, using language that is too vague or general in your marketing materials will not pull in more business. I know you think that if you appeal to everyone you won’t “lose” anyone if you keep it more general. There is an old saying that if you try to be everything to everyone you’ll be nothing. You must have compelling wording that elicits an emotional feeling in your prospect.
You want to describe the outcome of your offering so that your ideal prospect is excited to invest with you. People invest in what feels like a solution to their pain or a way to get to a desired outcome.
Flaw #3. Packaging
Once I analyze the positioning and the messaging I evaluate how the offering is put together. This is a very subtle part of why sales break down. Sometimes the offering doesn’t match how your target audience wants to consume your programs. In a time when everyone is trying to build “passive” income generating online training programs many more sophisticated buyers will only invest in personalized training or one on one services. If your offering is too complicated or has too many moving parts, your prospect will feel overwhelmed before they buy (and then won’t.)
If you don’t understand your buyer, you could make a colossal mistake in how you design your product or program. Hint: just because YOU are excited about, your spouse thinks its a great idea or your neighbor wants it now, does NOT make it a good offering. You must design it for your Sweet Spot client!
Flaw #4. Pricing
One of the big mistakes many entrepreneurs make when sales are slow is to slash prices. Just because people aren’t buying doesn’t mean your prices are too low. If your offering, positioning and messaging is right, and your ideal client isn’t buying, then you haven’t positioned the VALUE properly. Or you have priced the program incorrectly for your target audience (yes you can actually price your offerings too low and send a subconscious message that your product is not valuable enough.)
Even a “big ticket” item can sell like hotcakes in a down market. Part of pricing it properly is ensuring that you have ways to overcome price resistance if it surfaces (like a guarantee, payment plans, and bonuses for fast action are just a few.)
Flaw # 5. Sales System
Once we’ve evaluated and corrected the first four issues, if you continue to have challenges with making the sale, then it’s quite possible that your sales process is broken. The problem can be as simple as how you’ve structured your sales conversation or that you are trying to sell a big ticket item in the wrong modality.
At this stage, I’ll put a client through my Zero Friction Sales System, and assess the client buying journey and enrollment system to detect if the sales process is the problem. Luckily this is an easy part of fix – by knowing what steps to move your prospect through you’ll have more “yes’s” than “no’s.”
Case Study: My clients Anne & Mark Lackey didn’t have a cash flow problem, but they knew they were leaving a lot of money on the table because they didn’t have a clear sales system for their team to follow. I walked them through the steps in the Zero Friction Sales System, helped them implement a lead follow up process, integrate new sales scripts and a “I’m not ready” strategy for their key sales person. Instead of losing track of prospects that never bought, Anne and Mark now have a strategy to follow up with leads that aren’t ready and turn 60% of them into buyers (which is another $50 – 80k in revenue per month.)
Flaw #6. Alignment
Once I’ve analyzed the previous five elements sales, should be flowing again. But, if it’s not, you may be in unconscious constriction of growth. On some level your core values or needs seem out of sync with your offerings. Sometimes, on a very unconscious level, our limiting beliefs about money and success can cause us to not take the right actions at the right time. If you unconsciously don’t believe in your ability to deliver on your promise, you’ll bungle the sales conversation.
Someone who feels overwhelmed with running their business will often hold back from getting more sales because they don’t want any more pressure. Most of the time these self-sabotaging behaviors are completely unconscious – but those deep fears or conflicts are running YOUR success show. So if everything else seems right you might just have an alignment issue!
Do you think you might have one (or more) of these issues affecting your sales? Book an Amplify Audit with me. In my Amplify Audit, I’ll review your key sales assets and help you uncover the best path to double or triple your sales!
Whatever you do, start somewhere. Fixing your sales system isn’t as hard as most entrepreneurs think it is. It’s just about solving the RIGHT problem.