How to Get Unstuck And Start Growing Are you continually converting leads to customers without experiencing sustained growth? It's time to take a different approach.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Have you ever got hyped on a sales pitch or presentation, then purchased a course from a guru, thinking it was going to change your business, only for nothing to happen?
If you're into growing your business, the answer is yes. We all have. I've bought many courses over the years and simply done nothing with them. And by nothing, I mean I didn't even watch them or read the material -- literally nothing.
I have one right now, from 10-plus years ago. I scraped together all the money I could find to buy it, and it is still sitting on my shelf collecting dust, never opened. Can you relate?
What you really need.
As bad as buying an information product and not using it is, that's not the real problem.
You see, the real problem is, most of us are buying the wrong products, services, and/or coaching because what we think we need and what we actually need to grow our businesses are two very different things.
If I were on family feud, and they had a question that asked what every small-business owner wants more of, and I answered sales/leads, it would likely be the only answer on the board.
In business, nearly every business owner will tell you they need more leads. Why do you think there are so many companies that sell you products or services to get you more leads or more sales?
The problem is, depending on the stage of business you're in, you may not need any additional leads. I've even found the opposite to be true -- that you need fewer leads because you're burning the leads you have and don't have the capacity to take on the new business, even if you had more leads.
A hole in your bucket.
The guru/product/service company is selling you what you're asking for, which is more leads and more sales. But there is so much more to running a company than simply leads and sales.
You need to have capacity, systems, processes, management, customer service, quality control -- and on and on down the list I could go. When you get leads and hopefully convert those to sales, the sales only stick if your business can deliver for the customer.
Let me share an example I recently lived. A company sold me a $36,000 piece of software. We bought it in January, they delivered it in February, and started training in March. And here we are now. The software isn't set up, it doesn't work, and I'm getting refunded.
This company has only sold 41 units in 18 months, and from my point of view, they simply don't have the systems and processes to handle our account.
Have you ever had something like this happen in your business? When it happens, what do you do? Do you look into the reason you lost the account objectively, or do you blame the customer?
Do an honest analysis.
Most people blame the customer, as this company did. I asked the software company, before the return, "Where did this go wrong?" And they said my employees weren't responding to their emails. Good news: My system logs every email, and I can look into that right now. I pulled up every email they ever sent to us and was able to show them where we had responded.
Once I showed them the email responses, I said, "Seems like that wasn't the issue -- what else do you have?" They told me they'd have to look into that and get back to me. I'm still waiting for an answer.
I couldn't tell you what this company's exact problem is, but it isn't sales. They had a sale, and they lost it. More leads would be bad for this company if all they're going to do is burn a customer that signed a $36,000 first-year sale with an $18,000 per year renewal rate. They need to fix their customer maintenance and service systems -- not more sales.
As you scale up, and especially as you reach and exceed $1 million in revenue, you must focus time, effort and treasure on something besides just more leads and more new sales. Otherwise, as you try to grow, your company will ultimately slide back to the maximum capacity it has already achieved without being able to retain even one customer more.
If you're currently stuck in this cycle -- basically Groundhog Day -- it's time to stop chasing leads and start working on the business. Figure out what areas you really need help in. Once you figure it out and fix it, your sales will soar.