10 Reasons You’re Not Getting More Business

Do you want more new business?

Let’s face it- if you’re not getting new business, you’re at risk. The existing customers could dry up. A recession could hit. Who knows what could happen!

So, if your new business growth is not where you’d like it to be, what’s wrong?

Here are 10 things that could be blocking your organization’s customer growth.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #1: You’re not getting enough attention

If not enough people are giving you money, or buying from you, or inquiring, or coming into your store… do they even know you exist? Do they remember you exist?

You need to get people’s attention, then interest, then desire, and only then will they take action.

How many people’s attention does your business have right now?

  • How many ad impressions do you get a month? How many people do you reach?
  • How many emails from you do people open?
  • How many outbound sales calls does your org make?
  • How many leads do you get?

Even more importantly- how much is enough?

A simple rule is that you need to reach 1,000x as many people as you want customers, and you need to get their attention 5x before you can expect anything from them.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #2: You’re not getting enough traffic

Most businesses rely on website, store or phone activity to get new business.

  • How much website traffic are you getting per day?
  • How many people call a day?
  • How many people are visiting your store daily?

You need 100x as much traffic as however many customers you want.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #3: Your website doesn’t convert people to leads or sales

A lot of people have nice looking but ineffective websites. They don’t even know what their website conversion rate is. That’s like driving without knowing how fast you’re going.

And even worse, if you don’t generate enough traffic, you can’t find out if your website is the problem.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #4: Nobody wants what you offer

For newer businesses, if they’ve never sold at volume, they have an unproven product or service.

The first question to answer is- does anybody want this? Will they pay for it?

Then you can answer WHO will pay for it.

And in order to find out if they want it you have to get in front of them or get people to it.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #5: You’re not aggressive enough about promotion

If you build it, and that’s all, they won’t come.

Marketing and sales are about driving attention, interest and desire.

Some people aren’t aggressive enough- they choose only passive strategies like SEO or content creation.

If you’re not doing something outbound like advertising, networking, or outbound SDR, you’re going nowhere fast.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #6: You’re afraid to spend money

You have to spend money to make money. Why do you think all these new businesses want funding? Making money is expensive.

Attention, traffic and leads cost money. You have to spend it.

That can be hardest at the beginning, but even when times are tight, you have to keep investing. Businesses that pull back on promotion when things are down just end up going down even faster.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #7: You don’t have a creative solution

Content marketing is important for a lot of reasons, but it requires creating that content.

Ads and emails are powerful ways to get attention and traffic, but they require creative copywriting.

Ads, websites and landing pages are compelling ways to get new business, but you need to have an eye for graphic art, and an understanding of how creative affects customer psychology.

Creative skills and resources are critical. And they are often missing from many marketing plans and departments.

As a result, organizations show up in the marketplace looking and sounding mediocre, and fail to impress.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #8: You don’t have a scientific mindset

Business used to be a guessing game. But now we have data, especially online.

We get insights and reports that tell us what works and what doesn’t so that we waste less money and get a bigger response from customers.

If you’re not trying a lot of creative, copy, and new ideas, and learning from what the data says about the customer response, you’re stuck in the old paradigm, you won’t be able to be competitive, and eventually you’ll be replaced by newer companies and people.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #9: You don’t put enough time in

Sometimes we don’t have enough resources to do what needs to be done with sales and marketing.

Sometimes things are going well, so we coast.

The most talented people have drive. The best companies have lots of people who have drive. They are internally motivated to keep doing more and getting better everyday.

BUSINESS BLOCKER #10: You’re not continuously learning

The only constant is change.

Even when digital marketing and sales were young 10 years ago, there was a ton to learn in this space. But it doesn’t stop. Things continue to advance and get more complicated.

What worked 10 years ago may not work now- for example, SEO is much, much harder for new companies as a viable traffic source.

And what wasn’t a good idea 10 years ago might be now- for example, so many companies have gone online with lead gen, that fewer people are cold calling, and sometimes it works better than it did in 2000 or 2010.

You and your marketing and sales people must keep learning- must keep getting training, must keep reading, getting mentored, and going to conferences…

But only if you want to get and stay on top.

Here’s Why Your Sales Emails and LinkedIn Messages Aren’t Working

Your sales emails and LinkedIn messages suck.

They’re annoying.

They make me want to mark you as spam, not talk to you.

You probably think it’s a numbers game.

And you’re right: as long as you think it’s a numbers game, that gives you an excuse to suck at it, and your numbers will be super low.

And if you treat everyone you email or message the same, and if you don’t get interested in how to get a better response from people:

  • Your numbers will continue to suck.
  • You will give yourself and your company a bad name.
  • You will feel like you’re doing something positive by taking action, but you’re actually having a negative effect.

If you have a PR department or branding people that are trying to give your company a good image, they probably hate that you’re giving your company a bad image with these spammy emails.

If you’re a salesperson, you may think marketing is stupid. That’s just something that lame, introverted, nerdy people do, right?

That attitude shows in spammy emails, because they lack any marketing sense at all.

The first thing a marketer does is give a crap about the audience.

“Hmm, what does the recipient care about?”

This is clearly not your concern when you write spammy emails and InMails.

All you care about is getting a phone call or demo scheduled.

That’s what YOU want.

BUT the prospects you’re writing don’t care what YOU want.

Prospects care about what THEY want.

You aren’t helping them care by writing in a compelling way.

And that’s why they’re marking you as spam and ignoring you.

They’re saying bad things about your company and your entire profession sucking and you don’t even know it.

They wish you cared, because they probably have problems you could solve.

But they aren’t understanding that you could really help, because you aren’t talking to them in a compelling way.

You only care about your numbers and your numbers game, and you’re not communicating well.

You would still do cold calls if they worked. But they don’t work. Do YOU like robocalls? Probably not. They don’t work.

Neither does this spammy, selfish email approach.

Stop bothering people, and start caring about them, and you’ll get a better response.

If this did penetrate your skull at all, then what you need to do next is read 5 or 10 books on copywriting.

Copywriting is the more than 90 year old marketing discipline of figuring out how to write in a way that get people to take action- actions like saying yes to a phone call or demo.

Your emails are copywriting, whether you realize it or not.

It’s just that you are not a trained copywriter, so your emails suck.

Get some training.

You will learn some fundamental mindset shifts.

You will learn to think about your writing from the reader’s perspective.

And people will start responding.

You will get more appointments and sales.

And fewer people will think you suck.

Do it.

Oh, and if you’re not a spammy salesperson, but you agree with this article, share it with those annoying salespeople that bother you. Send it to the next salesperson who spams you via email or LinkedIn. It just might help them out- and prevent the next victim from getting spammed, too!

UPDATE: Some readers asked me, “So which copywriting books do you recommend?”

I first studied copywriting 14 years ago, so I’m sure there are a lot of great new copywriting books beyond what I read… If I were starting now I would go to amazon, search for copywriting, and check out the reviews. The ones I recall liking the most were Scientific Advertising, Confessions of an Advertising Man, Tested Advertising Methods, Words That Sell, Phrases That Sell. Some of those are older (like 1930’s or 1960’s or 1980’s older) so you may need to ignore or update some of their phrases.

But my best source these days for continuing to learn copywriting is applying my own system, plus the feedback I get from the advertising and landing page metrics.

This blog post describes some of the copywriting principles I’ve developed

and this is a mega blog post of copywriting formulas you might find helpful.

How I Got 9x As Many Email Signups from Hello Bar

If you’ve read my post The Surprising Way I Tripled My Email Signups, you already know that going for the emotions, and using a little bit of humor can help differentiate you and get you more email subscribers.

I’ve been playing with Hello Bar recently, which is another way to make sure you can contact your website visitors again and again, increasing your pageviews and website visits.

Hello Bar is a little horizontal bar at the top of your website that asks people to opt into your email list. It integrates with a ton of emarketing marketing services- in my case, Aweber.

It’s all about the copywriting. I agree with several people who’ve said learning persuasive copywriting is one of the most valuable skills you can develop to increase how much cash you make over your lifetime. That’s in part because the lessons of copywriting apply everywhere in life- not just in writing.

Copywriting skills are relevant anytime you’re trying to persuade people.

So here are three different types of copy I used:

hello bar 9x

By the way, I lost the original text while accidentally editing the old version instead of duplicating a new one first. But believe me, it was boring.

What’s shocking to me is that I wasn’t implementing some of what I knew. Execution and diligence are critical. Do things the right way- don’t skip over it, or if you do, put it on your to do list!

Lessons (re)learned:

Version #1: Don’t be lazy. Be Diligent.

I let that first Hello Bar run way too long without split-testing other copy. As a result, I missed out on more than 400 subscribers. Coulda woulda shoulda.

Version #2: Be funny.

From other sources, I grew my email list, and claiming 10,000 subscribers PLUS the jokey “I will honestly cry”  text came from what I learned in my Pippity email pop-up tests. That almost doubled my conversion rate, but wasn’t enough.

Version #3: Give something valuable away for free.

Don’t assume people care about your email newsletter. I added in the 3 free ebooks (which is also in my pippity pop-up), and more than quintupled my conversion rate, more than 9x the original text. By the way, an editor may tell you that numbers under 10 should be written out, like “three”. However, I find that numbers break up the text and are easier to process cognitively, so I ignore that rule on purpose.

What’s Next?

I’m a little surprised I got such an increase from just giving them ebooks (without any information about them).

I bet that if I added the benefits of those 3 free ebooks I’d get even higher conversion rate.

And that’ll be my next test!

The Surprising Way I Tripled My Email Signups

I love Pippity.

Things have changed a lot. Three or four years ago, a pop-up like this was considered too aggressive.

Not anymore.

This is the design I ran for a few months.

pippity1

Only 2.9% of people signed up.

When I relaunched my two sites as the new BrianCarterGroup.com site I also revised the Pippity.

Part of my new branding arc is better integrating my humor and fun-loving personality into business.

To be honest, I edit myself a lot- I know there’s a line where humor is bad for business. But sometimes I let loose. I let the real Brian out. That’s what I did.

Here’s what I wrote, with that in mind:

pippity2

Now 10.2% of my visitors opt in. That’s 3.33 times more emails.

AND part of why they’re opting in is my sense of humor, which means these email subscribers are going to be more particularly tuned in to my brand. My emails won’t have to be as blah as my old signup form was.

They’ve signaled that they like my brand. That’s going to increase conversion rates and lower my cost per sale.

This is the power of hyperbole. Exaggerate things until they are obviously ridiculous, and you give people a little bit of entertainment. They know I’m not really going to cry (although I do, every night)… and the extra W’s make it sound like I’m yelling longer. These things surprise the brain and make people pay more attention.

Deliver value, but have fun with it!