Single Biggest Cause of Business Failure – Lack of Sales
Customers are the bloodline of any and every business regardless of the fact, if you sell products or are a service company, be it for profit or not for profit everyone needs customers in one form or another.
Sales and profits are a by-product of getting customers for your business. When I speak at seminars I often ask the question “what is the purpose of a business” it never ceases to amaze me that nearly everyone gets it wrong with loads of reasons. There is only one single reason and that is to acquire and retain customers. A sale only happens when you get customers, and profits only happen when you have sales, but they all start with the customers as the main starting point. Most business owners fall in love with their product or service when they should be focusing on the customer and their needs and wants.
Well you might be thinking hang on a minute that can’t be the single biggest factor for failing businesses? Well let’s expand this further shall we? Take a venture capital company who might have invested millions in a new start of venture or invested in an already running company to expand the business. With the investments in place the first things these companies do is to hire the best staff, the best location and equipment and then focus on the product or service they are going to be providing to their customers. Did you know that over 70% of the investments these venture companies make get written off, they only need about 10% to be super stars to get their investments back for the 70% that did not achieve expectations. So having the money, the best staff, best premises and so on and on…. Why do they fail? No sales or lack of sales, yes you got it. Go and read up on the subject, I know from my experience working with venture capital companies and helping them as a Turnaround Practitioner and a Mastermind Strategist to transform ailing companies by wearing both hats, I am able to see where they have been going wrong. In most cases they all end up falling in love with their products and services and forget about their customers, thinking when they are ready to go to market the customers will turn up on the doorsteps by the bus loads to buy from them. The single biggest business killer – lack of sales.
So How Do You Make Sure You Get Plenty Of Sales?
You have to take a good look at your business and your business sector as a whole and see how everyone else is getting customers in their businesses, is it through Yellow Pages, PPC online, website SEO, direct mailing, local advertising, networking events, referrals, passing trade, billboard advertising and so on……… I am willing to bet you that you are doing the same as everyone else in your industry is doing and getting the same results as everyone else is, which is just barely surviving. By thinking big you can make the shift from just serving to thriving if you open your eyes and mind about your customer’s needs and not what you want them to buy. You need systems and processes in place to attract, convert and retain customers for life.
In my new book which is about to come out during 2013 titles the “DATING GAME” For Businesses, I explain the fact that at any single day there are 3% of the customers who are ready to buy that day regardless what you are selling that is 3% of customers waiting to buy from you. A further 7% know they have to buy in the next week to a month and a further 40% who think they don’t need your product or service but these are your largest future potential customers if you know how to woo them, court them educate them, influence them about your product or service. But these could take months or even years to buy from you depending on the value of your product or service. Just like a first date, if you really like the other person the last thing you want to do is screw up your first date because if you want to see more of them then you need to take things slowly till you get to know each other better over a number of dates until there is enough trust between the two of you to take things to the next level.
Another way of putting it, 3% are ready on first date but a further 7% might and will be ready on the next few dates to make their minds up to say yes we are going to start dating and become an pair. But a further 40% who think you are not really what they have been expecting on the first date, in other words, you did not excite them or appeal to them, no chemistry between you both. Lack of financial stability to be able to support the other person’s life style and so on…… But if you change your job with a higher paid job you might be back in the running. If you make enough effort with the other person when there is no chemistry between you both then the other person might find other factors about you which might be greater than just chemistry. Can you see where this is leading to? Good so start thinking about your customers on how you can target them, attract them, convert them in to paying customers and then retain them by looking after them for life.
I was employed to do a seminar for over 153 telesales people who cold called customers all day long and the company had a very high staff turnover rate. The single biggest factor for high staff turnover is very simple once you explain to the telesales people. Please don’t get offended by what I am about to say but these are fact. I asked the telesales people, now imagine if you had a list of 100 people of the opposite sex and you cold called them and asked them to have sex with you, how many would put the phone down on you and how many would tell you to get lost and how many would say no. Well you might get 3% that were looking for someone to jump in the sack without caring to much but they were thinking about it before you called so that’s your 3% who are in the market, just like at a singles bar.
You got to understand just like the dating game for businesses you have to work on your customers needs and wants and sometimes this will take a number of telephone calls, plus direct mail shots, continues advertising before you influence them to even think about talking to you. If think strategically and take a look at the bigger picture to take the time to plan and create a sales model and then create a strategy that will allow you to have a full funnel of potential customers in the pipeline you will always have loads of customers and loads of sales. We run seminars and mastermind groups about our program called ” How to attract, convert and retain evergreen clients for life”.
The other factor you need to keep in mind once you have gained a new customer stay in touch with them by newsletter, telephone calls and so on to keep them informed about your products and services, if done correctly they can become your customer for life and not a one night stand.
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