What’s the kiss of death for any business?
Sorry to hit you with that, but stupid questions deserve stupid answers. The reason why 80% of businesses fail isn’t because these products and services aren’t good enough to sell. It’s because they aren’t marketed and sold properly.
So what then, is the biggest landmine businesses trip over in sales (especially businesses that have sold well before but experience a dip)?
Well the Rule of Three will tell you that.
Any good realistic sales manager (which is a rare oxymoron because traditionally the best sellers have a healthy serving of delusion when it comes to their capabilities), will tell you that you can divide your sales leads into three. No matter how good you are, or how good your conversion rate is, the numbers rarely lie.
The Rule of Three tells you this:
One third of your leads will convert then and there. One third of them will convert sometime down the track (weeks, months, even years). And one third – no matter how good your product or pitch – simply will never buy your product or service.
As my favourite fictional character Logan Ninefingers says, ‘you have to be realistic about things’ (if you’ve never read any of the First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombe, do yourself the favour and pick it up). Realistically, the first category of Buy-Now’s are as good as it gets. The timing is right on both ends, the money is there for both sides, and you or your sales team knocked the pitch out of the park; money in the bank. The Buy-Later’s stay in your sales system, you touch base when you can, and eventually the stars align… then you knock the pitch out of the park. The Never-Buy’s are tough, and stay in the same software (or pile if you’re oldschool) as the Buy-Later’s – so they beef up that pile but are inevitably a WOMBAT (waste of money, brain-space and time).
The problem with the Rule of Three, is that two thirds of your leads go into one basket. That basket will inevitably get bigger and bigger until it looks like your soundest option is to focus less on cold leads and lead generation, and work on that pile. In the short term, that may end up yielding results. In the long term, however, your sales will suffer… and so begins the fateful kiss of death. Even if that’s not the death knell, it can still take a very long time to build the leads back up to a healthy amount.
The moral of that story? Don’t take your foot off the accelerator!
A truly successful business always has a stream of new leads coming hot or cold, all the time. Very large businesses often have whole departments dedicated to lead generation. As a small to medium sized business, often times lead hunting can take away valuable personnel from other important endeavours. That makes not prioritising lead generation even more possible. Nobody said running a business was easy.
But what are your options? Gamble on allocating that time and let your business suffer? Hire new staff for sales (the most expensive endeavour most businesses dread)?
What if you could hire a service to do it for you? What if you could mitigate your risks and expenses, and still have the benefit of hot, cold or in between leads coming straight into your sales system like an IV drip?
There are systems specifically designed to obtain, nurture and deliver leads to you with next to no effort from your business. These systems find your ideal customers in places their data tells them your ideal customers will be. They can filter and qualify your leads. They can even handle your Buy-Later’s, keeping them in a marketing pipeline that gradually feeds them engaging content until they’re ready to buy. There’s a link down the bottom if you want to see for yourself if it’s too good to be true.
Statistics are hard to beat, and the rule of three will hold true whether you like it or not. So don’t fight it. Use it to your advantage. Employ a lead generation system. Keep your business healthy, profitable, and flooded with good leads. Be that 20th percentile of brilliant businesspeople who stay ahead of the market.
Check out the guys at ProDesk for a Lead Generation Strategy.
LMNT is the Entrepreneur's own brand. Business as a way of life; success as second nature.