A common question I get from clients is, “where do I begin with building my business?” They wonder if they should create their own website, or have it built by a professional. They ask if they should buy fancy business cards and promotional materials, or wait until they are making money to buy such things.
Many business owners believe that they need to spend time and money on their websites, their promotional materials, or in joining expensive networking groups. Whether your marketing plan is random, or exhausting, it is often an exercise in futility. Even a marketing calendar filled with coffee meetings, writing proposals and making cold calls often fails to create cash flow. The harsh truth is that all of these things are a waste of time and money without one very crucial skill. An entrepreneur’s main priority needs to be on sales.
While it’s true that marketing is what attracts leads and prospects to your door, without strong sales systems these leads will allow a lot of money to fall off the table. It is extremely stressful and frustrating when clients tell you that they “can’t afford” your services, or that “this isn’t the right time”. These are common objections that quite often signal issues in the sales process and results in not having a signed agreement with a new client.
Marketing and sales are extremely important to every successful business, but it’s important to know which one to focus on first in building your business. In order to stay in business, a company needs to have revenue, which means sales need to be happening on a regular basis. A company without sales is a company that is out of business.
Consider what happens with an entreprenuer who is a mindless~marketer. She tries a variety of marketing methods, and as more time passes, she gets more stressed out about the long time survival of her company. As her frustration and stress levels rise, prospective clients pick up unconsciously on her anxiousness. She gets caught in a cycle of neediness, and chasing clients as a desperate attempt to relieve her financial burden. This creates a cycle of mental and financial stress.
However, the more sales and revenue your company creates, the less marketing you need to do. Consider the business owner who knows how to convert a lead into a client, with an average conversion rate of even 50%. That business owner has the confidence that with only a few sales calls per week, the odds are excellent that they will be able to create the revenue they need to grow their business. That business owner has a relaxed confidence that their marketing and sales system will sustain their income and overall business success.
A solid marketing plan for success defines the following 9 sales skills:
- Your ideal client
- That market’s needs, wants and challenges
- A lead attraction blueprint
- The sales strategy which includes your packages and pricing
- Your proprietary process, messaging and communication strategy
- A mastery on the sales conversation
- A plan for handling client objections
- Customer service protocols
- Referral methods
Therefore, it makes sense that investments which will build and polish your sales skills is a wise investment that should take precedence before marketing for leads that may not convert into sales. Actually, a strong and well defined sales strategy will produce leads and clients without having to spend a lot of money on marketing. Plus, when sales are strong, you will create plenty of revenue that will allow you to easily afford marketing methods that can be put into place by capable contractors, which frees up more time to create more revenue. Then you will have a profitable business that has a strong engine which will fuel your future growth.
I’d love for you to share any questions or comments below!