Some people say that you won’t sell anything on a larger scale unless you take up effective marketing actions. Others urge to stop all this fuss about marketing and start selling so as to earn money!
Who is right? Maybe both sides? Or, maybe, both of them are wrong?
To me, one thing is certain: if you do marketing just for marketing’s sake, it won’t have any reflection in your sales. However, from other entrepreneurs’ and my experience, I know that selling doesn’t always mean earning!
Let’s start from the very beginning.
While talking to business owners, I’ve noticed that marketing is to them, first and foremost, a way to advertise their business so that to raise customer awareness of their existence on the market. Some of them also say that by taking up marketing actions they want to convince potential clients that their product is good, worth its price and, consequently, worth buying. Hence, they become active in social media: they write a lot, record videos and buy commercials. However, what they often forget about is to include a call-to-action of any sort so that to smoothly incorporate any selling strategy within the scope of their marketing operations. Just put there anything that would help generate sales.
When I sometimes ask such entrepreneurs a straightforward question: ok, so if you work so hard on raising market awareness of your business, and you spend so much time educating your potential clients about your product – what is, then, the purpose of doing all this? The answer I get most often is that they want more people to find out about their product. Moreover, they are curious about finding the way it solves their particular problems.
Is it fine?
Yes, absolutely – the trouble is, however, that they expect potential clients to somehow find out for themselves that they are to buy this particular product! A lot of entrepreneurs feel it improper to add a “call-to-action” of any kind, be it even a simple statement like: “and if you have this sort of problem, you can buy your solution here”. Many people consider solutions like this to disturb the aesthetics of communication.
But there’s yet another group of business owners for whom calling to buy is the immediate step. Usually, when you watch such people or listen to their content, or read their posts, you get the impression that they want to palm you off on something you don’t need at all. In my case, some more people want to sell me their online courses that will miraculously turn me into a better version of myself. And then I want to run like hell and rather stay with my present-day version!
Is it common behaviour? Well, not at all.
Fortunately, there are entrepreneurs who know and apply the following method of marketing and selling:
- Catch my attention;
- make me have an opinion on the product that is to solve my problem or satisfy my need;
- Start a relation with me and develop it;
- At the same time, give me an opportunity to buy your product by call-to-action.
- Do not make me find out whether I can buy your product or not – just offer me this possibility!
These entrepreneurs keep in mind to combine marketing actions with a sales system. They use marketing tools to spin sales figures and, at the same time, they carry out educational marketing aimed at a specific client segment. This segment should be relatively narrow so that not to leave any space for doubt as to whether the content and the problem solution is meant for this particular group. Then, sales figures go up and revenues increase but… Well, recently a number of entrepreneurs have consulted me complaining that despite their revenues going up and the number of clients increasing, by the end of the month they chip into their business instead of gaining profit from it!
And here we touch on the beauty of business: even the best marketing strategy and the most efficient sales system are in vain if you haven’t calculated the prices of your products and services properly. Moreover, it will also be worth nothing if you haven’t calculated discounts well enough to offer them to your clients and still make a profit.
What is more, we are often positive that the price is well-calculated, for we’ve checked that several times, and still the revenues generate a loss.
Why is that so?
First of all, while calculating the prices we tend to forget that their main part should be the unit cost of a product or service (I sometimes call it a technical estimate of the product). In this technical estimate, we tend to neglect all the costs it should bear. We often limit it to the product production costs or service delivery costs, either forgetting about fixed costs or assuming that the margin will cover them! The truth is, however, that it is the margin that is to generate income in your business instead of covering your overheads!
Second, while setting up the margin we limit it by our competitors’ prices instead of focusing on the value that we provide to our clients as well as on their financial means. Believe me, there do exist, clients who buy more expensive products or services for a number of reasons. Otherwise, everyone would be flying with economic airlines or driving second-hand cars.
And third, while setting up discounts or special offers we do that without actually knowing neither the margin nor the unit cost of our product or service. However, it is precisely the unit cost that lets you know whether you make a profit or a loss. If it comprises overheads, variable and investment expenses as well as your remuneration, and if you sell your products or services by the price that equals the unit cost, you then break even. Hence, when your discount or special offer exceeds the product margin, you start selling below your cost unit without knowing that!
As you can see, business activity is a system of communicating vessels.
It is impossible to run marketing actions detached from selling. You can’t detach marketing and selling from calculating. Calculations can’t be detached from your financial goals. And you can’t detach your financial goals from the product that you offer to a particular client segment. We need to combine it together, like a puzzle blocks game, into a coherent picture.
And what if you’ve noticed that your business does not really come down to such a clear and comprehensive vision? Or maybe you don’t know exactly what to change so as to generate high income in a skilful way? Therefore, I invite you to book a 60 – minute strategy session with me. During that meeting, I will analyse your business and see how you can transform your business model and strategy. Eventually, we will figure out a solution with which you would be able to reach your financial goals and more.
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