Why Aren't People Buying Your Products or Services? Part 2
by Joe Gracia www.givetogetmarketing.com
If you missed Part 1, read the previous blog post.
Continued from Part 1...
A Personal Example:
A while back we received numerous letters from prospects from around the world asking us if there was any way we could find to lower our International shipping charges so prospects from outside of the U.S. could more easily afford our products. So we converted our products into digital form so they could be quickly and easily downloaded directly to our customers' computers.
Not only were we able to completely eliminate our shipping and handling charges for our customers, but we also reduced the price for our digital products and reduced the delivery time from 7-10 days to under 24 hours and often to an hour or less.
Our International sales have now skyrocketed giving us a huge increase in our total sales as well as our overall profit.
All because we removed an obstacle between us and our prospective International customers -- the obstacle was high shipping costs.
We won, and our customers won too.
The bottom line is, you need to find out why your customers aren't buying your products or services. Once you find out the real reason, it's relatively easy to fix that problem -- remove that obstacle. You can't guess at the problem, you have to determine what it is.
It's like a corral fence that is broken. As long as it stays broken, you will continue to lose cattle -- customers and prospects. But as soon as you can determine exactly where the fence is broken, it's a simple matter to fix it and stop the losses.
This may seem obvious to many, but after 30 years in the marketing profession, I know from experience that most business owners spend very little time trying to pinpoint the source of their sales problems -- the obstacles between them and their prospective customers. If they would, they would find that they are almost always easily fixed.
When it comes to selling more to your current customers, you must have back-end products or services that your customers WANT at prices they are willing to pay. You determine that by testing.
You can also survey your current customers to get their honest feedback on your services. Keep in mind, that while it's nice to hear compliments, only the comments about what they were unhappy with are the areas where you can make improvements in your services and your sales.
Problem with Prospects
If your problem is really in converting your prospects into new customers,
1) perhaps you are not following up with your prospects. You may be waiting for them to follow up with you -- like most small business owners do
2) perhaps your follow up process needs improvement
3) perhaps you are not following up enough times -- prospects rarely buy after the first follow-up -- it may take up to 8 follow-ups
4) perhaps your description of your service and its benefits needs improvement
5) perhaps your offer to your prospects is not enticing enough
6) perhaps you don't have a clear idea of what your conversion rates should be for your product or service -- not all prospects are going to buy, just a percentage of them. You need to know what your conversion rate is for your business, so you'll know if it is going up or down.
7) perhaps you are not using a Sense of Urgency when you make your offer, and your prospects are putting off their buying decision
8) perhaps your prospects need to sample your services before they will make the buying decision
This list can go on too.
Problem with Strangers
If your problem is really that you are not getting a reasonable number of prospects from your strangers when you place an ad, send a letter, etc.
1) perhaps you are using the common, but ineffective 'One- Step' marketing strategy -- that's when you just describe your product or service, list a few features and benefits and ask people to buy, or to call for more information. This marketing system doesn't work for small businesses.
2) perhaps you are confused about the purpose of prospecting pieces sent to strangers -- they should not be to promote your business or to try to sell your products or services. They should only be used to generate prospects. This is a major marketing error made by many small businesses.
3) perhaps you are targeting the wrong group of people -- people who have no interest or can't afford your service
4) perhaps you are not using a headline
5) perhaps you are not clearly defining who should read your marketing piece in your headline
6) perhaps you are not making an enticing 'prospecting' offer in your headline or sub-head -- an offer that would be difficult for your prospects to refuse
7) perhaps your marketing piece is confusing
8) perhaps you aren't using a strong Call to Action in your marketing piece
9) perhaps you aren't giving your prospects a number of different ways to respond to your offer
10) perhaps you aren't making it easy for them to respond
11) perhaps you aren't providing a strong Sense of Urgency to overcome the natural tendency to put action off
This list too could go on and on.
As you can see, all of the above are possible reasons for your sales problem. And all of them are obstacles between you and your potential buyers. Only YOU can remove those obstacles.
This really is what the process of marketing improvement is all about -- removing obstacles between you and your potential customers.
It's critical that you understand the difference between your Strangers, Prospects and Customers. It takes completely different types of offers to overcome the natural resistance within each group. Once you understand which types of offers work best from each group, you remove major obstacles between you and the people who would love to buy from you.
It's not that difficult to remove the buying obstacles between you and your prospects and customers -- you just need to know the steps to take.
Removing obstacles between you and your customers is like tearing down a wall -- without the wall, your sales will flow -- it's one of the most profitable activities you can do.
We hope this has helped to get you thinking about some of your marketing improvements.