Have you ever gotten hyped up by a marketing guru’s sales pitch or presentation, purchased the course thinking it would change your business, and had nothing happen?
If you’re into growing your business, the answer is yes. We all have been there at least once. I’ve bought many courses over the years and simply done nothing with them. And by nothing, I mean I didn’t even watch them or read the material — I did literally nothing. I have one right now, from 10-plus years ago. I scraped together all the money I could find to buy it, and it is still sitting unopened on my shelf collecting dust.
As bad as buying an information product and not using it is, that’s not the real problem.
You see, the real problem is, most of us are buying the wrong products, services, and/or coaching because what we think we need and what we actually need to grow our businesses are two very different things.
Show Me … Leads!
If I were on Family Feud and Richard Dawson asked me to name what every small-business owner wants more of, and I answered sales/leads, it would likely be the only answer on the board.
In business, nearly every business owner will tell you they need more leads. Why do you think there are so many companies that sell you products or services to get you more leads or more sales.
The problem is, depending on the stage of business you’re in, you may not need any additional leads. I’ve even found the opposite to be true — you may need fewer leads because you’re burning the leads you have and don’t have the capacity to take on the new business, even if you had more leads.
The guru/product/service company is selling you what you’re asking for, which is more leads and more sales. But there is so much more to running a company than simply leads and sales.
You need to have capacity, systems, processes, management, customer service, quality control — the list goes on and on. When you get leads and hopefully convert those to sales, the sales only stick if your business can deliver for the customer.
Survey Says … Customer Service!
Let me share an example I lived last year. A company sold me a $36,000 piece of software. We bought it in January, they delivered it in February, and we started training in March. By the time July rolled around, the software wasn’t set up, it wasn’t working, and I had a refund coming my way.
This company had only sold 41 units in 18 months. From my point of view, they simply didn’t have the systems and processes to handle our account.
Have you ever had something like this happen to your business? When it happens, what do you do? Do you look into the reason you lost the account objectively, or do you blame the customer? Most people blame the customer, as this company did.
I asked the software company, before the return, “Where did this go wrong?” And they said my employees weren’t responding to their emails. Good news — my system logs every email, and I can reference them whenever I need to. So I did. Right then and there.
I pulled up every email they ever sent to us, and I was able to show them where we had responded. After I showed them the email responses, I said, “Seems like that wasn’t the issue — what else do you have?” They told me they’d have to look into that and get back to me. I never did get that answer.
I couldn’t tell you what this company’s exact issue was, but it wasn’t sales. They had a sale and lost it. More leads would be bad for this company if they’re going to burn a $36,000 first-year sale with an $18,000-per-year renewal. Instead, what they needed to do was fix their customer service and ongoing maintenance systems.
Getting To ‘Fast Money’
As you scale up, and especially as you reach and exceed $1 million in revenue, you absolutely must focus time, effort, and treasure on something besides just more leads and more new sales. Customer service is key. Otherwise, as you grow, your company will ultimately slide back to whatever maximum capacity you’ve created.
If you’re currently stuck in this cycle that basically amounts to the classic Bill Murray movie, “Groundhog Day,” it’s time to stop chasing leads, start working on the business, and figure out what areas you really need help in. Once you figure this out and fix the problem, your sales will soar.