Are you wondering why you are not attracting and engaging customers as well as you might? Here are seven common reasons why many businesses fail to sell and what you can do to create more successful results.
You’re Selling In The Wrong Place
If you have to compete with dozens or even hundreds of similar competitors in a particular marketplace it may prove difficult to master those much-needed sales. The key to a successful business often lies in seeking out those customer segments that are not well served by your competitors. This is why market and customer research is so important. It may be that a more targeted approach developed from gathering deeper customer insights will bring up new opportunities that others have missed.
Additionally, it could be that customers are looking for your product but via a different channel. You may be selling on the high street, but really you’d do better to take your business online.
Your Unique Sales And Brand Proposition Is Not Clear
With so many services and products out there in the marketplace, it’s essential that your brand messaging clearly communicate what’s so special about both each individual offer or product and your wider brand. Don’t leave your customers guessing about the features and benefits you are offering. And don’t just focus on the USPs of your product. Consider also how you can communicate the brand values and other attributes that underpin your whole business. This approach can help you to connect to your customer on a more emotional level. For example, are you a green and ethically focused business following sustainable practices ? If so, how can you integrate this message across your communications in a simple, clear and effective way?
Your Pricing Isn’t Right
If you’re just 10p more expensive than your nearest competitor it could be the difference between winning or losing a sale when you are selling a fast moving consumer good. This is especially the case when prices are advertised clearly alongside each other. So keep a keen eye on your nearest competitor pricing to keep your advantage in this regard.
When customers are looking for a premium product, you can also ruin the sale by pitching your price too low or by offering discounts. The look you need to be modeling in this instance is ‘reassuringly expensive’. Just make sure you back up the price with an appropriate value proposition and you’ve communicated why it’s more expensive through your marketing communications and PR.
It may also be helpful to market less expensive, entry level priced goods or services so your customer has an opportunity to experience your offer before they move up to make a bigger investment.
Your Brand Don’t Look The Part
Today, in our looks-obsessed age, it’s absolutely essential that your brand and business design looks the part, whether you’re aiming to appeal to shaven-sided hipsters, sharp suited executives or ladies who lunch. There is no room now for amateur design work, illegible or badly laid out websites, poorly drawn illustrations or unappealing images. Investing in good, appropriate design will attract more customers and pay back healthy business dividends in the longer term. For more inspiration check out these examples of UK businesses who have made brand and product design a powerful driver in their business.
Awareness Of Your Business Is Too Low
Businesses often struggle when they place too much emphasis on the old maxim, “Build it and they will come”. In reality, setting up a business is just the first phase. In the world of big brands, there is a move now to spending more on awareness building campaigns as successful businesses tend to have a wider customer base. For smaller businesses, that can make pushing yourself beyond just speaking to you core customer area and making more effort to ensure the wider world sees what you are up to. Social media can be a great channel to use in this regard but it also mean just doing more in your community, region or across the country to raise your profile through other marketing methods. The more visible you are, the greater number of sales opportunities you can potentially gather.
Your Sales or Marketing Approach is Not Appropriate
It’s important to remember that not everyone buys goods and services in the same way. Some customers are very transactional or visually led and others will only open their wallets once a relationship has been established or they have heard the right things about you online. Your customer enquiry and sales process will also have a big bearing on securing sales. The main point here is to consider the customer’s perspective from the get-go and see how you can bridge the gap between their expectations and final product perceptions. Ultimately a customer who feels their needs or wants are being met will be far more likely to engage and buy.
Your Product or Service Doesn’t Meet Your Customers Wants or Needs
More importantly that all the other points above, if your offer is not designed to meet a real need or desire, then all of the other activities I’ve mentioned are null and void. The best businesses start by focusing on the customer and creating something which makes their life easier or simply better. Without this, I’m afraid you have ended up designing a non-profitable hobby rather than a business. However, if you consider all of the above points, and model your business to address each area, your chances for success are considerably improved.