Tuesday, December 27, 2016

7 Top Reasons You’re Not Getting Sales

Are you getting enough sales?

If you’re like most business owners and managers, you’re always looking to find ways to get more sales.

Lately, I’ve been trying to help different contractors get appointments to try getting work, and some of them seem to be better than others.  So, of course, I try to figure different reasons for sales doing well…and reasons they do not.

I definitely get more frustrated by lost opportunities, and I spends my time (maybe too much?) figuring out potential ways me and my team can improve.

From my (limited) experience, here are the most common reasons I see sales opportunities slip through the cracks.

1. You’re too expensive
2. You’re too slow
3. Your timing isn’t good enough
4. You’re not special enough
5. You’re not trustworthy enough
6. You don’t understand what they want
7. It’s too hard to buy from you

Let’s take a look at some of these a little more closely.

1. You’re too expensive

It does NOT matter how much YOU think you’re worth!

It’s common for a lot of companies to charge what they want to get paid, rather than the amount other people are willing to pay (someone else) to do that same type of work.

When people do not know us, we’re strangers.  When we’re strangers, people will most likely decide whether to buy from us…based on price.  It’s not the only thing, and we’ll discuss some of those more, but price is a HUGE factor.

Why aren’t we making a HUGE deal to find out what people are willing to pay (a stranger)?

2. You’re too slow

The BEST time to sell something is when people WANT it.

If they are calling you, it sure makes sense to be available to sell your product or service to them as SOON as you can.

That makes sense, right?

Then…why do SO many of us seem to wait to go make that sales pitch…until WE’RE READY?

That’s right!  Many of us will make a pitch at OUR convenience…instead of the person who wants to buy from us…RIGHT NOW!

I see this with myself, my friends, and with people for whom I setup appointments.

The ones that do the best...quickly get there first.

Plus, when you’re there first, you have the BEST chance of closing the sale at YOUR price.  If someone likes you enough…or wants to just “get it done,” they might very well agree to buy from the first person who presents to them.  Some people want 6,000 estimates so they can compare prices, but many of us have other things going in our lives…and we’re plenty happy to say, “Yes” and get things started.

So…why not get there and present as soon as you can?

If not, you’re too slow…and are likely missing sales opportunities.

3. Your timing is not good enough

Even if someone likes you, your price, and believes that you can do a better job than your competition, it doesn’t matter if you cannot do the job…by the time the customer wants the job to be done.

How long is your lead time?

How soon do your customers want your service to be complete?

How often are you losing sales because they “aren’t willing to just wait?”

What can you do to reduce the amount of lead time between the customer’s request to buy from you…and when you can complete the order for them?

Longer Lead Time = Fewer Sales Conversions

4. You’re not special enough

How are you different than the rest, based upon your professional experience?

How are you different than the rest, based upon the perception of (most of) your customers who don’t know the difference between you and your competition?

What makes you memorable to the person you want to buy from you?

(Note: Video no longer is available, but the points are pertinent.)

If you are not memorable (in a good way), you have NO chance of beating out your competition…unless you’re there first (maybe) or the cheapest, and unless you have the financial backing of Walmart, no business wins by being the cheapest – not in the long-term, anyway.

It’s important to help the customer feel like they cannot get things done—at the level they’d like—without YOU being the one to lead them through it.

This begins by building a case for you being special (in his or her eyes).

If you’re not special, you’re probably not getting as many sales as you could.

5. You’re not trustworthy (enough)

Are you the best?

Even if you are, how can a stranger know this?

If you have not figured a way to make it clear to the customer, the customer does not trust you enough to pay you what you want…and maybe not trust you enough to pay you…at all.

Are you finding ways to make customers feel like they should trust you…more than the other strangers they’re meeting while they get price quotes or estimates?

Do you offer a guarantee?
Have you shown them examples of your work?
Have you demonstrated the pitfalls of “going with the cheap guy?”
Do you offer them to check on your references?

Are you sure you’re not losing sales, because they don’t trust you (enough)?

6. You don’t understand what they want

Of course, you know what they want.

Obviously they NEED what you’re offering, right?

Many people don’t get the difference between a customer NEED vs. a customer DEMAND.

Here is something I’ve only realized in the past couple of years.  Just because there is a NEED for something does NOT mean there is an equal DEMAND for it.

Yes, you’re probably right.  A lot of places could truly benefit from what you’re offering, but do they KNOW they need it?  If not, then what you’re offering is not in DEMAND…at least not that person is not demanding it.

In this case, either (a) you need to find someone who already knows that he/she needs what you’re offering, or (b) you’ll have to take time to educate people…so they can LEARN that they NEED what you have to offer.  Otherwise, you’re just making a sales pitch for cat food to a cat that thinks it’s a dog.  (Stupid kitten keeps looking for that bone to bury.)

If your customer is NOT demanding it, then you are NOT presenting what they want…and you’re probably losing sales because of it.

7. It’s too hard to buy from you

I want to buy from you.  That’s pretty straightforward, right?

Well…it SHOULD be, but…

Which methods of payment do you accept?
Can I do this over the phone?  Do I have to meet you in person?  Do I have to go to a special website?
How long does this transaction take?

What do I have to do to place an order with you?
Is it easy to find what I want to order?

If you want me to go to your website to purchase something, is it working, or does it tend to “be down?”

All of this seems ridiculous, but as a buyer, I’ve experienced—too many times—difficulty BUYING…when I already KNEW I wanted to buy.

Here is a recent example.

I went to someone’s event that was promoting a multi-level marketing (MLM) company.  The prices are high, but I wanted to buy a couple of things directly from him.

Someone else did, too, but when that person told the host that he wanted to buy from him, did the host sell it to him directly?


The host told him to go to a website or call a number…and to give THE COMPANY the rep’s “special code” so he could get credit for it.

I don’t know whether that person went through the extra steps to buy what the host was selling, but…

…do you think I did?

So far, no!

Why not?  It’s too much of a pain.  I wanted to buy it then…without hassle.

I wonder how many other sales were lost…because it was too much of a pain to buy.

If you’re not getting enough sales, maybe it’s not easy enough to buy from you.

Do you only accept cash?

Can they pay in Square Cash?  If so, can you accept it?

Don’t overlook the value of accepting credit cards.  Yes, it costs money to process payments via credit card, but they also make it easier for many people to pay for what you’re offering.

According to an online article from SmallBizTrends.com in 2013, nearly one-fifth (1/5) of small businesses experienced over $20,000/month increase in sales…just because they accepted payment via credit card.

Are you easy enough to contact once I want to place an order with you?

You’d be surprised how many customers ASK to buy, but I cannot sell to them…because the contractor suddenly becomes “unavailable.”  (Many of these same contractors will later complain that they don’t have enough work.  Go figure!)

BONUS: You’re missing a huge opportunity

Nearly all of us miss golden opportunities.

Yes, we got the sale, but have we tried to up-sell them with additional things that could help them?  Have we tried to sell them again?  Have we asked for referrals?

Once we have a customer to say, “Yes,” that’s one of our BEST chances to increase our sales, either through that order, an order later, or having them point us toward someone else who wants or needs the same thing.

You might not increase the number of customers, but you can (somewhat) easily increase the amount of sales.

More sales…Isn’t that really what we want, anyway?

How else can we get more sales?

Do your experiences tell you that I missed something important?

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