If people are not buying from you, what does that mean?

Five potential issues come to mind:

  1. A demand problem, namely whatever you are selling, no one wants it. They don’t see the benefit.
  2. A value problem, meaning whatever you are selling, the upside doesn’t outweigh the downside. The cost is more than the benefit.
  3. A credibility problem, meaning no-one believes what you are saying. They don’t think you can do it.
  4. An awareness problem, meaning no-one knows what you’re doing. You’re unknown.
  5. A communication problem, meaning whatever you are telling your customer, they’re not understanding you. You’re speaking Greek.

How do you solve each of these problems?

Here are some ideas:

You solve a demand problem by getting out of the business. Stop selling what you are selling. People don’t want it.

A value problem is addressed by either reducing cost, cutting time, or upping value through more features, better quality and improved service. It is an issue of mathematics and you need to change the equation.

A credibility problem is nothing other than an image issue. You don’t look the part and so no-one wants to talk to you. Either you need to get out of the room, and go talk to someone else (find another market such as focusing on SMMEs instead of Corporates), or you need to look at your proverbial dress code and up your game. Improve your website. Get your logo professionally done. Print your business card on thicker paper.

An awareness problem is due to you not shouting loud enough about what you are doing. Your market isn’t hearing you. The simple fix here is to throw money at the problem. Do more marketing.

A communication problem is usually the result of marketing and sales getting mixed up. You are saying the wrong stuff to the right people. Or the other way around. Or both. A marketing message is never technical; a sales message always is. Front-line operational people always want detailed info, but the boss never does. He just wants to understand the business case. What are you saying, and to whom?

If your marketing isn’t working, run your diagnostics and find the problem.
Then fix the problem…quickly.