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When Sales Slow, Focus More

When your sales pipeline and revenue start to dry up, don’t cast your marketing net wider.

When Sales Slow, Focus More

The knee-jerk response to seeing the sales pipeline and revenue drying up would be to cast our marketing net ever wider. If you’re a fisherman, it’s surely a good idea to literally follow the shoals.

But that idea seldom translates as a useful marketing metaphor in business. In fact, quite the opposite.

There are only two methods to increase sales: increase prices or increase volumes. And to increase volumes, we also have only two choices: get more leads or improve your conversion rate.

The easy choice is to simply spend more, do more and try to attract more customers. That’s why we’ve achieved greater success for our clients by focussing on the quality of leads than simply buying more ad space – the easy choice is already exhausted!

Counter-intuitively, improving lead quality might even work better if we target a smaller audience. That might sound nuts to the scarcity mind-set! When the economy is tanking and we head for yet another quarter of economic recession (in a string of more recession quarters forecast), how can it make sense to target fewer prospects?

In most industries, whether B2C or B2B, people are still buying. Overall volumes might be down and those who are spending might take longer to hit the till, but there are still customers to woo.

With fewer customers in the market, you want to improve your chances with those that enter your sales funnel. So do your competitors.

Which is all the more reason you need to stick out above the competition. It starts with getting clear on who your ideal customer is, then getting your message to them in a way that they notice.

The zaniest thing I’ve seen recently is Bright Side’s list of 50 unforgettable business cards. There are some genius designs here. Check out the edible biltong card by an outdoor survival training company, or the roof manufacturer’s simple folded card that looks like a roof, and some outright peculiar ideas.

If your business needs 5 new clients per month, imagine attracting only 5 leads every month who all fit your ideal client profile. Think of all the time you’ve saved in not trying to convert the wrong client. How much more time can you give to the right clients?

To attract your ideal client – and to finish the fishing metaphor – you probably don’t want a net. To catch only the fish you want, all you need is a rod with just the right lure.

Is your success built on millions of wrong clients, or a few right clients? For most entrepreneurs in small business, it’s probably the latter.

(Image source: Bright Side)