Surprises are fabulous. When they’re nice, desirable. When they’re not desirable, well… In business you don’t want unwelcome, even nasty surprises…
A few words about effectiveness of lead generation and conversions… and about skillset, toolset and mindset.
Here’s the brief version…
Most entrepreneurs and sales people are making at least one, and usually several of the following 4 mistakes:
- They focus on the skillset and associated toolset for getting and converting leads into sales. Mindset is overlooked. They do so because most gurus and coaches drive things this way – they too overlook mindset.
- They are overly focused on doing what are essentially customer service activities.
- They don’t have, or if they do they don’t consistently use a predictable and repeatable system for generating leads.
- They don’t have, or if they do they don’t consistently use a predictable and repeatable system for converting leads & prospects to paying clients.
- They don’t pause after each interaction with a client or prospect, or executing some element of their ‘system’, to review what went as planned and what didn’t, what outcomes they got that were planned, and unplanned. They don’t review, learn & improve.
Making any one of these mistakes can really hurt your business. Imagine if you’re making more than one of these…
Now the longer version, with details & stuff…
Most entrepreneurs and sales people are spending much of their time doing what many would call ‘customer service’. They love the ‘helping the customer’ bit and do it really well, with tremendous enthusiasm and passion. The bit that comes before that, the marketing & selling bit… not so much.
Some gurus would say that these folk are generalists in the sense that they seek to close seemingly any deal in exchange for any amount of money. Specifically, they don’t know who their ideal client is, or how to get them to engage meaningfully. Whilst reality isn’t quite this simple, this is a fair approximation of how things are for far too many folk.
Most entrepreneurs and sales people do not have a predictable, repeatable way to generate leads and prospects. They put out a bunch of marketing messages, some frankly pretty ineffectual cold calls (they typically hate cold calling), all of which are focused on themselves and their stuff, rather than clearly focusing on the prospect and their challenges. Basing your strategy on hope & luck like this is far from ideal.
When they do land a lead, most entrepreneurs and sales people continue to struggle because they don’t have a system for predictably converting the lead to a prospect and beyond, and doing so repeatedly, again and again.
Many would say they DO have a system for generating leads and converting them. Few would admit, even to themselves, that they basically ‘fly by the seat of their pants’ and do it all ‘off the cuff’. Who am I to argue? That said, do these systems predictably & repeatedly generate leads and conversions? And even if they do, are these systems being used correctly & consistently? Usually not, in my experience!
Because they struggle with the marketing & selling bit, it’s no surprise that they try to avoid it. Which means they’ve the least experience at it, so it will be a slow process for them to build confidence and competence in this critical aspect of any business venture. So they struggle. And try to fix it with ‘better’ messages about their ‘stuff’.
They’re focused on what they do well, and using their well-developed skills in these areas, bringing their favourite tools to bear on the situation. Sustained success and growth needs the right mindset in addition to the right skillset and toolset. Most training, most gurus would have you focus on skills and tools – they’re very concrete and easier to focus on and develop. It’s quicker & easier to see results, and for many this matters a great deal.
It’s easy to overlook mindset, and harder to develop the right or best one. No wonder these get overlooked by most trainings and gurus. I’m not criticising, just observing.
In 12+ years of working with sales people & entrepreneurs I’ve come across many sales methods, trainings & gurus. All have something useful to say and contribute, big or small. There are very few I’ve really disagreed with in principle. And there are only 2 who consistently, clearly talked about developing the right mindset as well as skillset and toolset.
What to do about all this?
- Develop the right mindset – be all about the lead, the prospect, the client, and what matters to them. Be sincere in this. AND don’t compromise your business, so know what minimum margins you need for success, and don’t take business that is of a lower margin. Know who your ideal clients are and select them over leads & prospects who clearly aren’t close enough to your ideal. In other words, don’t take every opportunity that comes along!
- Get yourself a predictable and repeatable system for generating leads & prospects. Then use it. Correctly. Fully. And consistently.
- Get yourself a similar system for converting leads & prospects in to paying and happy clients. Then use it. Correctly. Fully. And consistently.
- Spend enough time getting more leads & prospects. It’s arguably the most important thing you can do for your business on an ongoing basis. Do this for an hour or so a day, before doing the stuff you might prefer to do, and (a) you’ll get better at it, (b) if you’ve acted on 1-3 above, you’ll start to enjoy it more and (c) you’ll start to see your numbers move in the right direction.
- Plan what you’re going to do, and what outcomes to expect. Then ‘Do’. Then ‘Review’ – learn from each experience, use it to continuously improve – bring each review in to your next cycle of ‘Plan’.