One of my favorite sports is the men’s and women’s hurdles. I’m always impressed by these athletes’ ability to run at full speed and leap the hurdles without breaking stride. But each time I watch this track event, I have the same reaction. If they just went out on the track and removed those barriers, it would be a heck of lot easier to get around the track. The athletes could run faster, more smoothly and wouldn’t risk falling (as the accomplished Flo Joyner did).
If you are struggling to attract clients, you may feel like you’re running the hurdles. Obstacles like limited promotional budgets, ads that don’t sell, web sites that don’t generate leads, prospects that aren’t ready to buy or who think your prices are too high, all get between prospects and the sale.
Do you find yourself struggling to overcome hurdles to getting the sale?
You can clear the track of the hurdles that are getting between you and potential clients once and for all and create a clear path for prospects to become clients. If your target market knew you and how you could help them, understood the value of your services and contacted you when they were ready to buy you’d be rolling in revenue.
Is this how your business works?
Are you getting a steady stream of calls and new clients?
What can you do to remove these obstacles and increase your sales?
If you haven’t already identified your marketing obstacles, start by doing so. The first step is to list them. Once you know your biggest obstacles to increasing sales, you can look for ways to get rid of them. (If you have other staff involved in sales, get their input too.)
Below are two common obstacles to sales. For each I’ve included some simple strategies for removing these obstacles. Once you understand that marketing obstacles aren’t permanent, you’ll discover that you can remove more and more impediments and clear the way for increased sales.
1. Lack of Awareness
You’re just starting your business. No one has heard of you, and given your lack of revenue, you have little to invest in advertising. What do you do?
Use lead generation strategies that are free or almost free. During a severe downturn in the economy, a local financial services firm offered a series of workshops for free to private investors. Within a year the firm grew their assets under management from $5.5 million to $15 million.
Using an ezine I sent to librarians and online editors, I grew the value of a web site about search engines to almost a million dollars, without spending a dime on advertising.
This strategy works equally well for established companies. Les Schwab Tire Centers fixes flats for free, giving away over $10 million in repairs each year. Building goodwill with giveaways like this and an unusual dedication to customer service, this chain of 300 tire outlets earned estimated revenue of $1 billion.
2. Lack of Results from Advertising
You’re not getting a positive return on your ads, should you buy more ad space? How much? Where?
In my experience, there are two obstacles to increasing sales with advertising. Its either the message or the audience. Both can be fixed to increase sales.
If you want people to respond to your advertising, get their attention and prompt them to contact you, write your marketing message, ads and marketing copy from your prospect’s perspective. Identify and address their concerns.
No matter how good your marketing message is, it won’t help you unless its seen by people who want your products and services. Even if you do your homework up front, there is no guarantee your ad will draw sales.
Track each ad campaign and each sale to determine which ads sell. No matter how good your copy is or how many people see your ad, if the ad audience doesn’t include people who want your services and are ready to buy, it’s the wrong audience. Drop those ads that bring in meager results and identify additional advertising opportunities, ones that will be seen or heard by people who want to buy your products and services.
Stop wasting your time struggling to jump over marketing hurdles. Instead, you can identify the obstacles that get in the way and eliminate them one by one. Make this shift and you’ll increase your sales and be more successful.
Charlie Cook helps service professionals, small business owners and marketing professionals attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up to receive the Free Marketing Strategy eBook, ‘7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business’ at http://www.marketingforsuccess.com