Is Your Market Broke, Or Is It Your Sales Strategy? 3 Common Marketing Traps

broke peopleDo you often feel like your market is too broke to afford your services?  This is a common belief by entrepreneurs in the service industry.  “My people can’t afford to invest more”, and “If I raise my prices, I’ll lose most of my clients!”  These common fears are actually a symptom of three common marketing mistakes. 
I hear these statements often when I discuss with clients raising their rates and expanding their offers.  These common beliefs keep many entrepreneurs stuck, struggling and even worse, broke!  If you have had these same resistant thoughts, please realize that it’s almost never your market that is cash-poor, and almost always your sales strategy that is “broke.”  
I felt like this at one time in my business as well.  I was afraid to raise my rates, I was convinced that my clients wouldn’t pay higher fees, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t sell anything if I expanded my services.   

But then I realized that there are three key factors that keep entrepreneurs from facing their financial fears and raising their fees fearlessly. 

If you “see broke people”, consider the following three traps that might be keeping you from freeing yourself from these falsehoods: 

1. Not making offers to your list: The whole point of building a list is so that you have a community of raving fans who actually WANT to take action on offers.  However, many entrepreneurs are afraid to make offers to their list, instead they rarely mail anything at all in fear that someone might get annoyed and unsubscribe.  Yikes!

In not making offers, you’re actually training your community NOT to buy.  Plus it’s really difficult for people to know what you offer and how they can work with you if you don’t regularly tell them.  
If you’re not mailing regularly, your prospects forget that you even exist.  Think about it, how often do you think about me when you don’t see my name in your in box?  Trust me, the money IS in the list.  Your email marketing campaign is your company’s best friend. 

2. Not having conversations: What you sell and how you sell are factors that need to be considered.  Your high end services are not going to successfully be sold through your email marketing campaign.  Email offers are for your low and mid-range products and services.  

To successfully sell your most lucrative programs, it will require a face to face or over the phone conversation.  But again, if you’re not having weekly conversations with at least 3-5 prospective clients, sales will suffer tremendously. 

Being an entrepreneur means that you have to sell in order to create revenue and stay in business.   Sales are the most important priority a business owner should have.  Make it a goal to have at least 3 appointments scheduled per week, and you’ll see sales increase dramatically. 

3.  Saying the wrong things:  How you structure your sales conversations will have a direct impact on whether the client says yes, or “I can’t afford it.”   Remember, people will do more to avoid pain than they will to gain pleasure.  Therefore, your conversation has to help your potential client to focus more on what is going to happen if they stay stuck, than how great life will be when they accomplish their goals.  

A popular sales quote is to “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” That means to sell the features, not the product or service. If you’re selling a light bulb, people want the light it provides, not the bulb.
Well my spin on this popular phrase is to “sell the fizzle, not the cake.”  Spend more time talking about what your client doesn’t want to happen, not the dessert they’ll enjoy later.  Capeesh? 
These 3 marketing traps are easy from which to escape.  Bust out of them quickly, and you’ll see sales and revenue increase right away.
Have any questions or comments about marketing traps? Please leave me a comment below, I’d be happy to respond. 


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  1. Great perspective! Relationships are key then validation and reinforcement of how they are stuck. Then share a strategy to turn it around with our help. We dont always know how to get there and even when we do, we need someone to help us walk it out. Hopefully they will see all that would be lost if they didn’t move forward.
    Good word, Cheryl!

  2. Hi Maria, If you want a website that creates clients and revenue, you need to invest in hiring someone who knows how to do that. Don’t hire someone who hasn’t created at least a six figure business with their own website. If you’d like to discuss this with me, please set something up with Rachel.

  3. Dear Cheryl, I do love all your info, it´s great!
    But I am totally new at websites, have no idea or clue about how to do it with my essential oils and tapping sessions.
    I´ll appreciate if you could gieve me some great ideas.
    Thanks in advance. Maria.

  4. I remember how nervous you were to increase your rates, but it’s worked out well for your business and I applaud you. As the best dog trainer in Michigan, you deserve to be paid well for your services. Thanks for the feedback on this post Michael, I always value your opinion. 🙂

  5. You’re right on Cheryl. It was scary to raise my prices but at your advise and a leap of faith, I did just that and it allows me to work with my preferred client and to offer additional desired services. And, it’s true people want to avoid pain. Who wouldn’t? And, this is very true in dog training. Many people don’t ask for help from an expert until they are sick of the pain. That’s when they’re ready and we’re there to help them. Great words of advice. Thanks!!

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