By Ryan Lockhart
Ask yourself one question: What does the “Sales Prevention Department” cost your company every year?
A lot of people overlook some of the top fundamentals when it comes to growing a business. We ignore simple blocks, work around them without noticing or inadvertently lay down new ones.
Every year I manage millions of dollars of marketing monies. We produce over $2 billion of revenues for our clients at group46, and the single biggest thing that any of our clients can do is reduce the friction between their customers and their solutions. Translating that principle into a discovery and implementation of steps that need to be taken is a process most don’t take or make the time for – and it’s costing them.
Often when clients come to us with their headaches, they have one of two challenges – they don’t get enough leads, or they don’t get enough conversions. Those are the top two basic needs that bring people to group46.
The prequel to that conversation is there are a lot of things you can do that don’t necessarily mean spending more money advertising for new customers, increasing followers, creating a viral trend or spinning wheels on whatever you’re doing to attract people. Too often we get caught up in loving our own solutions without noticing where we’re disconnected from the user experience or pouring money into attracting a following that aren’t our target customers – people who aren’t going to buy. We’re missing the gap between where the people are and where the people need to be to finalize the transaction.
You can go through any business and find that gap in system breakdowns that create a friction point between not getting or getting a transaction. As a consumer we’ve all been there – on the edge to purchase, and then something happens that makes you purchase elsewhere. One bad process, one broken link, the wrong personal interaction or missed opportunity – you could be leaking profits from a direction that’s not on your radar.
You can overcome most of these sales-prevention issues with a simple self-audit of your consumer experience and related processes, visiting your transaction process from your client’s perspective and looking for ways to make it better:
Hire a secret shopper to test a transaction and give you valuable feedback on issues or your consumer wish list – things they wish were part of your process or conveniences they’re missing and perhaps get through other entities.
For instance, consumers are more open these days to digital interactions. Activating Google Maps on your website or other interactive tools like OpenTable could be what secures that impulse purchase – or loses it. Reverse-engineering your phone system to give people information they need or redesigning materials that make a sale simpler and more accessible, even reviewing something as simple as who is answering your phone and the information or training they’ve been provided could be the crossroads to retaining versus losing a customer.
There are basic practices within your business eradicating your ability to convert – bad habits in your sales-prevention department that eat away at your gross profit – and missed opportunity is probably one of the biggest issues. But consider how simple it is to turn the ship: Make life easier for your target market. Make it easy for people to give you money. Give people more options and fewer blocks. It’s a principle that tracks through every element of your business and is immediately measurable.
If you get one percent better every day, you will have doubled your output in 100 days. After a year you’ve doubled your bottom line.
It’s not hard to bridge the gap between your customers, what they need and the solution you provide that meets their needs. Reduce the friction within that transaction – any type of friction. It’s part of what we find and solve through marketing consultation with group46, and it’s those little shifts and little pivots that, when combined and consistent, produce extraordinary results.
An award winning thought leader in advertising, Ryan Lockhart is a subject matter expert in both branding and strategic marketing direction. He is the Founder & President of group46, a boutique advertising firm located in Bluffton. We enjoy his thoughtful posts on LinkedIn.