by Pat Hammond on Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Forget what you read on the internet.
If you build it, they will come is the biggest con of the 21st century.
Overnight success is an urban legend.
And the idea that a Facebook account is all you need to succeed is ridiculous.
If you feel like you're doing everything right and you're still struggling to succeed, I've got good news.
There are typically three reasons people aren't buying your products and services and they're easy to fix.
There are only two things you need to know about price. You can only charge as much as people can afford and if they're motivated, people can almost always find a way to afford it.
Yes, you do have to be aware of what competitors are charging for similar products and the price should reflect the quality, but if you're selling the right product to the right audience you should be able to get your price, even if it is a little bit higher than everyone else.
And before you dash off an email to let me know that you're all set because you offer the lowest price of all your competitors, think about how that low price is really working for you. The dollar stores of the world make their money through their volume of sales. Do you have the same volume? Is it even possible?
Depending on your product or service, you may not have a large enough market to generate the kind of sales you need to make a profit at an ultra-low price point.
Then there is the question of perceived value.
Consistently having the lowest price is fine if you sell disposable products, but if your service requires a client to see value before they buy in, you might not be doing yourself any favors because cheap prices are typically perceived as low value.
You'd think knowing what you sell would be the easy one, but it's really the trickiest because what you're selling isn't necessarily what the client is buying.
It's not enough to sell the best widgets in the industry if it's not what your clients are looking for.
Most of the time, clients want intangibles.
They can buy a cheaper version of almost everything on the internet, but they want to be able to connect and build a relationship with someone who can meet today's needs and tomorrow's.
It's pretty obvious when you think about it.
Ask yourself what sets you apart from your competition.
You. In a competitive market, you are the x-factor that differentiates you from everyone else.
You may make the best widget and you may be able to beat your competitors on price, but the winner is always going to be the person who meets or exceeds the customer's expectations.
The last reason you're customers aren't buying is because you may not be talking to the right people.
Whenever I ask a client who their target market is and they say "anyone," I know they have no idea who they're trying to reach.
You have to be able to identify who wants or needs what you're selling and can afford it.
It's okay to have multiple markets, but you have to know who each of those people are so you can find the best way to reach them instead of wasting resources trying to connect to people who aren't likely to buy.
Along the same line, once you've identified them, you have to consider how you're trying to reach your chosen audience.
A lot of people embrace social media as their primary marketing vehicle, which is great. Social media is an awesome, budget-friendly way to reach your target market, but for some weird reason, many small business owners think they can skip the whole marketing plan and just publish random posts on their favorite social media platform.
It doesn't work like that. You have to go to where your customers congregate and you have to have a strategy. The only way you can do that is to identify your audience.
I know this all sounds obvious, but price, product, and audience are the three main reasons small business owners fail to generate leads and make sales.
If you're struggling to reach customers or convert sales it's worth spending a few minutes taking a hard look at who your ideal customer is, how your prices compare to the competition, and what you're actually selling.
You might be surprised.
With the right answers to those questions, you might even find that you can raise your prices and make more sales.
To give you a little headstart on this, I'm going to give you the links to two tools, the and . These two planning tools will help you quickly identify everything you need to know to define your products, customers, and how much to charge.