In business, sales are everything. If you’re not generating revenue, you can’t continue. It’s that simple.
Getting sales, though, is challenging, as everyone who’s tried it knows all too well. Generating leads and converting them into real money in your pocket isn’t easy.
If your products and services are trash, then you might think “fair enough” and move on. However, if you offer the best in the industry, the lack of sales can feel frustrating. You have value to offer, but people are refusing to buy.
Most entrepreneurs in this position are making mistakes. Their business models are sound and they have great products, but they are failing to communicate with their audience in the right way.
Unfortunately, many do not realize the error of their ways until it is too late. But the good news is that this post is here to help. In it, we run through some of the reasons you’re not selling, and what you can do about it.
People Don’t Perceive You As The Expert In Your Field
Most people want to buy from experts. They want to trust that significant knowledge and wisdom has gone into the construction of the products and services they buy.
Unfortunately, most markets only have space for one or two leaders. And that’s where trouble can start. If your firm seems marginal, then customers will take you less seriously. They’ll always prefer to buy from the experts, even if they charge a higher price for what they do.
So what can you do about this? The trick here isn’t to go out and write dozens of ebooks and give hundreds of seminars. Instead, it’s to tell customers which product or service is best for them.
Think about it. Imagine if you could go to a clothes store and the shop assistant immediately hands you the clothes that fit you and look great. The experience would be so good that you’d go again and again.
That’s what you want your business to do. Instead of writing a library from scratch, you simply give people what they want, upfront, without any of the usual hassles.
You’re Giving Too Much Value Upfront
Many new entrepreneurs understand the importance of offering customers some value upfront. However, many take this too far, offering far too much value to prospects before asking for the sale.
Whatever you do, don’t fall into this trap. Approaching business this way leads costumes to believe that they can get value from you without actually having to pay you. Furthermore, many can be ruthless. If they detect that you’ll do something for free, they’ll leverage it for all it’s worth.
Make sure that you always conceal the real value behind a paywall. Look for ways to provide customers with a taste of what you offer without actually delivering the thing that they really need until they cough up the money.
You Aren’t Charging Enough
Failing to charge enough money can also lead to sales problems. In fact, pricing too low can create a negative perception of your business. People will wonder why you are so cheap, and what the catch is.
Unfortunately, when sales fail to materialize, many entrepreneurs see no other way to drum up business than to lower their prices. After all, in economics, they learned that the lower the price you charge for something, the higher the quantity you sell.
Of course, in reality, it doesn’t work out that way, particularly in highly differentiated businesses (like the ones that most founders run today). Instead, customers simply become suspicious and wonder why the price is so low.
So what’s the solution here? The way to bust through this catch-22 situation is to demonstrate value upfront before delivering it.
For instance, Tesla is a master of this. The company makes premium electric vehicles that cost many times the average price of a regular car. However, the firm convinces people to buy because of the added value they get from each vehicle, such as constant updates, low maintenance, long service life, and advanced air filtration systems, not to mention the ridiculous performance.
When it comes to pricing, what matters is anticipated value. If customers expect they are getting a lot for their money, they will offer more, and you’ll make more money.
This is one of the reasons why many companies don’t disclose their prices upfront. They spend time convincing customers that they offer value first before revealing what they charge for their goods and services. Try doing the same and see if it makes a difference for you.
There’s Something Dreadfully Wrong With Your Packaging
Thanks to the unboxing video trend, most entrepreneurs are now well aware of the value of packaging. It’s a critical part of the customer experience. However, many firms still don’t pay it enough attention.
The good news is that packaging is relatively easy to get right. In fact, basic cues, such as having a picture of a smiling woman on the front of the product, are enough to make it sell (presumably because it reminds everyone of their mothers).
Even if you sell services, such as coaching, it’s a good idea to package it up. For instance, you could offer a five-session bundle at a reduced price promising to deliver a certain set of results (like 10 pounds of weight loss).
Your Offer Isn’t Clear
Failing to sell could also be a consequence of an unclear value proposition. If customers don’t know exactly what they are getting from you, they may not be willing to buy.
Remember, many businesses actually find it quite hard to articulate what they offer, particularly if they operate in a complex field, like software. Therefore, it’s worth spending some time hammering out what it is that you sell. Once you can distill it into a sentence or less, then you are in a much better position.
You won’t always hit the nail on the head the first time around. Instead, you’ll need to do some tinkering around the edges through trial and error. You’ll then want to get some feedback from clients about your message’s clarity. Does it make sense to them or could you explain it better?
You’re Trying To Sell To Everyone
Here’s the plain and simple truth: only a very small minority of people want to buy from you. Strangely, though, many companies try to sell to everyone, believing that this is the way to gain traction. It’s not.
The solution is actually to narrow your audience and target leads in a very specific domain. The more you understand the category of people you’re selling to, the more successful your business will become.
For instance, imagine if you ran a tour company and you said “we provide the best tours for families, businesses, couples, singles, and groups of friends.” Well, you’d probably just assume that they ran tours for everyone. Now though imagine how you would feel if they specifically target your demographic, say you and your spouse. “We offer tours for couples at a variety of romantic locations.” Immediately, you would feel better about the offer. What’s more, you’d prefer it to other tour companies offering tours to everyone (even if the actual content of the tour was identical).
Try doing the same for your business. Target your actual customers, not the general public, and see if you get results.
Your Website Sucks
Getting a high ranking website should be priority number one for businesses in 2022. If your site isn’t visible or sitting on page two, prospects will wonder why it isn’t higher in the rankings and what you are getting wrong.
Spend some time talking to professional SEOs to find out how you can improve the situation. If you need to arrange SEO services, then do so. Otherwise, the amount of organic traffic arriving at your website will never go up.
You’re Cold Calling
In business, if there is no trust, there is no sale. Therefore, cold calling is generally a waste of time. People aren’t interested in buying from companies that ring them up just to hassle them with a sales pitch.
Thanks to modern sales funnels, legacy tactics, such as cold calling, are now very much a thing of the past. The great thing about sales funnels is that they build trust automatically, without you having to do any of the heavy lifting. Gaining clients simply involves generating online interactions that encourage them to do business with you.
Sales funnels also warm up your prospects so that when you eventually communicate with them, they are more receptive. They know the value that you offer and how it could help them.
Once you have a sales funnel in place, you can manage your time more effectively. You only need to talk to prospects who are in a position to buy. You don’t have to interact with anyone else. For the rest, it’s just a waiting game.
If you have a great product, there are always ways to sell. It’s just a question of figuring out what you need to do differently.