Here are things I routinely hear from new clients, usually voiced with great frustration knowing their business should be performing better. Does any of this sound like you?
Our prospective customers don’t get it
If you’re having a hard time talking about your business or what you say seems to be ignored, the problem may be you’re talking more about the things you do, as opposed to the things you do for others. Or you may be talking to the wrong person. Sometimes, the closer you are to something, the harder it is to explain it to others. You know all the details and behind the scene thoughts, considerations, and tireless work that went into the things you offer. And your target audience doesn’t know any of it, worse, they don’t really care — they just want to know what you can do for them. You may need an outside party to take the things you do and turn them into a compelling story your target audience is waiting and wanting to hear.
We compete too much on price
This problem can push a business into financial ruin — servicing low margin sales and trying to make it up in volume. Often the problem is a company’s marketing and sales effort is focused on a me-too strategy of directly comparing products and services to would-be competitors. Sales and marketing staff may be too feature and functionality oriented, as opposed to communicating to the worldview of your target audience. You may need a clearer and more convincing message to lower price in the hierarchy of decision making.
Something is wrong with our website
The problem with many company websites is they’re too much about us and not enough about them. Often, what’s believed to be a design problem is really poor organization and lack of clarity in presenting a company’s story — burying critical information, not presenting a logical navigation, and unwittingly making a story harder to understand that it should be. Your website should speak directly to target audiences and compel visitors to act. Websites should be built around the target visitor, not the company sponsoring it.
We’re having a hard time replicating success
It’s not uncommon to have some sales opportunities close fast and others struggle at every step. Some clients are happier than others and not every salesperson is equally successful. While these difference can be many things, often they are attributed to a lack of process, awareness, access to tools, and understanding of best practices. The solution may be establishing a Sales Playbook. A Sales Playbook contains reference material a salesperson needs to get the attention of reluctant listeners, create and facilitate genuine interest, position competition, handle objections, qualify the buyer, position the close, and make the sale. Playbooks are practical guides salespeople can reference for best practices including introductions, follow-up, and follow-on materials. Proven scripts, templates, and key selling points are included. While there are no silver bullets in sales, a Sales Playbook goes a long way to replicating and predicting the kind of sales success you’re looking for.
We don’t have enough sales meetings
Obviously, if you sell products and services that can’t realistically be purchased without a conversation, and you aren’t having sales conversations — you’ve got a problem. Assuming your reputation is solid and your products and services are real, there are a number reasons you may not be having the volume of sales meetings you need to hit revenue targets. Leading reasons are you aren’t addressing the right audience or you aren’t telling a compelling story. I can help you solve this problem by focusing your marketing and sales communications on target markets, speaking to the worldview of decision makers, and telling the story of the things you do for others as opposed to the things you do.
Sales opportunities just disappear
While all sales challenges are frustrating, this one can be demoralizing and potentially business-ending. I routinely see companies that have a number of introductory meetings and proposals, but few sales. Sales opportunities stall and eventually fall off the forecast, often without any explanation why. There are a number of things that can cause this, among them talking to the wrong company or person within an account — qualification is the issue. Qualification has to do with understanding how decisions are made, who makes, them, and the willingness and preparedness of a decision to happen in a given time-frame. When opportunities disappear from a forecast, they typically weren’t real to begin with, giving the company a false expectation on the timing of revenue and an inability to manage cashflow. Disappearing opportunities are a sign of serious sales and marketing problems that can close a business.