Learning from Mistakes

Lately I’ve been running across some of the same issues in different businesses I’ve worked with so I thought I’d share them with you today so you can fix them if you’re guilty and be ready for the holiday sales that will start in just a few weeks.

1-You’re not letting go of what’s not working. If it’s not cost effective, if it’s not selling, if it’s not where you want the business to go, you have to get rid of it. But before you just close it down, stop selling it or throw it out ask if anyone wants to buy it from you, that way you win and so does someone else. If you’ve got a good product that just doesn’t line up with your business it should sell quickly and give someone else an opportunity they were looking for.

2-you’re not being strategic. Strategy usually has lots of moving parts, two key ones being time and money. Are you really being smart about how you’re spending your time and money? Or are you just wasting it on stuff that doesn’t work for your business, isn’t in your best interests to do personally or is just a wasted expense? One of those wasted expenses is buying “likes” for Facebook. I haven’t met one person yet who sells likes that can guarantee that you’re going to purchase likes from people who would actually care about your product or service. You can’t sell to fans from Japan if they’re never going to be in your town in Florida to buy your product from your local-only store and you can’t accurately track your marketing efforts because you’ve got all those fakes likes throwing off the numbers.

3-you’re sharing mixed messages. This is when one page says one thing and another page says another thing or your visitors have to take time to really figure out what you’re offering. When the message isn’t clear they won’t typically stick around to decipher what you tried to say. This is especially true if you’re in the scientific industries selling to mainstream clients, or if you’re trying to share a new concept within an established market. You can’t make the sale if people are confused, and they can’t get excited about the great thing you’re offering to share with their friends and family if they don’t understand it.

4-you have no message or are sharing the wrong message.  In line with the third issue sometimes you forget to communicate the message in the first place! I don’t know what you want me to buy if you don’t tell me what you’re selling.  And if your message offends me or sounds like it’s not appropriate for the type of business you are I won’t buy from you even if it actually would be a good fit for me.

So this week I encourage you to ask someone their perspective on what you’re putting out there (if you want an honest outside perspective you can ask me). Assuming it’s great because you did it or made it or love it is a big mistake. Find out from someone else if they would buy from you or why not.

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