Whenever I talk to entrepreneurs who are not hitting their revenue goals, it is typically because there is something wrong with their marketing or sales efforts. When it comes to hitting your numbers, also known as your sales projections, if there is a big gap between where you are now and where you want to be, it probably has a lot to do with your marketing plan or sales system.
Your marketing plan involves attracting prospects to your company, product or service in hopes of convincing them to become a buyer. If your marketing bucket has leaks, meaning it is not functioning properly, it could be anything from your messaging to your call-to-action or any number of things. However, for now let’s focus solely on your sales bucket.
You may be asking what is a sales bucket? The sales bucket is comprised of things that involve you getting a sale as well as the entire sales process. Of course, I am speaking of the process by which you generate leads, convert leads to customers, nurture those customers and resell them to become repeat customers. If you have not found the proper sales formula that works best for your business, you are probably experiencing months in which sales are up and months when sales are down. This up and down cycle is known as the feast or famine syndrome in business.
Below I’ve listed 3 reasons why your sales bucket may be leaking. All 3 reasons deal with the prospect or customer.
- Failure to Realize the Sale is Not About You
When you’re in a sales situation, it’s easy to make assessments about a product or service based on what you perceive to be valuable. However, you must remember your evaluation is not the one that ultimately counts. There are times when human nature kicks in and the salesperson (aka business owner) may put his or her own opinions, preferences or beliefs ahead of the customer. Doing so is a costly mistake.
Every salesperson must realize that the sale in not about them, rather the prospect/customer. You are not your customer. In the same way that you shouldn’t create marketing messages for yourself, you should not sell as if you’re selling to yourself. Your needs are not more important than the customer’s needs and the sale is not about you. Your job is to consistently remember to focus on the needs, wants and challenges that the prospect is having so that you can position your offerings to address a need, satisfy a desire or address a challenge.
- Failure to Identify a Prospect’s SUPER Pain-Point
Your customers are coming to you because they think you can help them. The fact is, they have a problem or challenge that they need a solution for. Your business should exist to solve a problem, meet a need or satisfy desires for your target market. The most successful companies identify something that is missing in the marketplace where a need exists and fill it. The fact is people pay for problems to be solved. Not just any problem, big problems, and problems I like to call SUPER. The S is for substantial. Problems that are substantial don’t usually go away quickly. The U is for Unique. Unique problems are ones that a specific group of people have in common. The P is for pervasive meaning it won’t go away. The E is for Expensive and the R is for Rapid and Recurring. Rapid problems must be addressed quickly or they get worse.
When you find people with a SUPER pain-point, trust me they are looking for a pain killer. And it’s your job to give it to them. The more painful problems you offer solutions for, the more sales you will make. The more sales you make the closer you will get to your revenue goals.
- Failure to Gain the Prospects Trust
You’ve probably heard the adage that people buy from those they know, like and trust. Of the three, I consider trust to be the most important precursor to closing sales. In sales situations trust has a lot to do with authenticity, transparency and setting expectations up front. No one likes doing business with someone who is phony, shady or misleading. It’s important to be honest and maintain integrity in sales situations from start to finish. Your ability to establish, grow, maintain and restore trust are vital to your credibility in the mind of the customer and critical to your overall sales success.
The words of Stephen M.R. Covey best describe the importance of trust in all relationships business and otherwise. “Trust impacts us 24/7, 365 days a year. It undergirds and affects the quality of every relationship, every communication, every work project, every business venture, every effort in which we are engaged. It changes the quality of every present moment and alters the trajectory and outcome of every future moment of our lives – both personally and professionally.” Excerpt from The Speed of Trust, NY Times Best Seller.
As you can see, the above list of items is focused around the customer and what is of utmost importance to them. Being cognizant of the customer always gives you the advantage because when customers are happy they buy more of whatever you’re selling…and not only that, they are more likely to recommend you to others who will do the same.
Now I’d like to hear from you. In what ways have you plugged leaks as it relates to customer focused selling? Share your perspective below. I’d love to hear from you.