Not increasing sales production is a common frustration amongst businesses large and small.
For the small business start up, or a self-employed freelancer, or a real estate agent, or maybe even a network marketer, you might find yourself feeling discouraged when you try but you can't increase sales production.
Maybe you've hit a plateau.
Maybe you're not making enough sales to even make ends meet.
Whatever your reasons are for wanting to increase sales production, they're your reasons.
But maybe you're looking at strangers on Instagram in same industry as you. You see them showing off their success and they make it look easy. Makes you wonder what they know that you don't know.
Or you see friends on Facebook celebrating their latest sales.
It looks so easy, right?
HERE'S THE TRUTH ABOUT SUCCESS IN BUSINESS AND INCREASING SALES PRODUCTION:
It's hard work.
If it was easy, iconic brands like Toys "R" Us wouldn't be filing for bankruptcy right now.
You have a lot on your plate that you didn't think about before you started your business.
Did you think about all the laws, rules and regulations before starting a business, selling a product or service, or being self-employed? Are you an attorney?
What did you know about marketing and sales?
What is your accounting experience and understanding of taxes and 1099's? Are you a CPA?
It's easy to understand why you'd feel overwhelmed and frustrated that you're not increasing your sales.
Here is a list of twelve reasons you might not be getting to the sales production level you desire.
12 Reasons You're Not Increasing Sales Production
1. YOU ARE DOING NOTHING
There is so much to learn when just starting up. Or deciding to level up.
There are so many new tools, technology and shiny things that thought leaders want you to know and vendors want you to buy.
New marketing ideas such as content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing....(let me catch my breath) plus learning how to use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Wordpress, Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat.
It's no wonder that you are overwhelmed and go into a state of shock.
You do nothing instead of taking action on something. Instead of taking action on anything.
It is paralysis by analysis.
2. YOU ARE SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY ON WRONG THINGS
You’ve heard the cliche before, “You have to spend money to make money.”
Sure, but you need to make money to have money to spend.
There are many vendors out there claiming the “magic pill” for your lead generation and marketing needs, promising, "... increasing your sales production is easy with THIS."
Don’t get me wrong.
You do have to spend money.
But you need to spend money on some essential tools and technology not magic bullets and gadgets that are fun or pretty.
If you spend too much money on the wrong things there isn’t money left over for the essential things.
I've seen many a small business owner or self-employed person attempt to do what I call “The Law of The Short Cut.”
“The Law of The Short Cut” is the based on the fact that we tend to look for the easiest, quickest way to achieve a result.
This usually leads to skipping steps or short cutting the process. Or by spending money you don’t really have on something that will allegedly do the lead generation for you, make your marketing easier and increase sales faster.
If you want muscles you have to work out. You just do.
If you want to increase your sales you have to do the work.
You can speed up the process but you can’t short cut it. Don’t try to short cut it by over spending on the wrong things.
3. NOT ALIGNED WITH TOP PRODUCERS
Who are you spending your time with?
If you feel stuck and you're not increasing your sales production, hitting your revenue numbers, look at who you're associating with.
If you're a real estate agent and want to be doing 24 transactions a year you shouldn’t be hanging around other agents that are doing less than 24.
How are you going to learn the habits, rituals, mindset and activities that increase your sales and make you a Top Producer if you are not surrounding yourself with people who are.
Do you know who the Top Producers are in your office and in your company? Your local area?
How much time are you spending with them? Learning from them?
Don’t just look at what they are doing now though. Look at what they did to get there.
What books did the read?
Do they have a coach?
What trainings do they go to?
4. NOT LEARNING FROM NON-PRODUCERS
You can also learn a lot from people that are not producing.
Learn what not to do.
Don't listen to someone that does not have a track record of success.
In fact, whatever they tell you not to do, think strongly about doing just that.
An example is a Non-producer might tell you not to do Facebook ads, “It doesn’t work,” they will say. I would immediately go and run a Facebook ad.
They might say things like they tried podcasting for business, did a few episodes but it didn't increase their sales
Also, don’t listen if they tell you what to do.
That probably won’t work either.
Sometimes free advice is the most expensive. Especially from the wrong person.
5. NOT ASKING FOR HELP
Escape velocity is the speed needed to "break free" from a gravitational field without further propulsion.
There is an actual formula to this. No joke.
I look at someone feeling stuck, that's not increasing sales production, trying to move their business to the next level as needing to apply the escape velocity concept to their sales and business.
Where you are right now has an enormous gravitational force pushing against you.
Let's pretend you're a Realtor that wants to do 12 transactions a year. You are fighting resistance just to get there. You will feel the same resistance to increase sales production from 12 to 24. And again to move from 24 to 36. And then to move beyond those numbers to the next level.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, that overload moment, or burnout coming on... that is gravity and resistance.
This is when you need to ask for help.
Find someone that is willing and wanting to help.
Somebody that can give you the fuel to fire your engines to get enough speed and maintain the speed to reach escape velocity.
You can’t succeed alone in business.
Even a boxer has people in their corner. Even a golfer has coaches and a caddie on the course with them. Even a race car driver has a pit crew.
When you feel resistance look for assistance.
6. NOT UTILIZING YOUR NETWORK
Your network is a group of people that like you, trust you and want you to succeed. Your friends, family, neighbors, past co-workers, church members, club members.
Majority of small business, especially service businesses are built on trust.
People need to be able to trust you.
They need to trust that you can help guide them through whatever crazy, complicated, confusing process they need help with.
Increasing sales by building your network and being a Referrals First Business isn’t about learning how to get or ask for referrals.
It is about learning how to contribute and provide value to your network. It’s about becoming referable.
When you help people and demonstrate value to them, they will enjoy being a part of your success.
Succeed through others. See #5.
7. WORKING WITH TIME-KILLERS
In my experience of doing over 10,000 hours of productivity coaching and sales training, I’ve noticed that many business owners and salespeople think because they have nothing better to do that they will work clients who will “know what they want when they see it” or a buyer that “has just a few more questions."
If you're tired of not increasing your sales production and want to take your business to the next level, there's never a bad time to start creating good habits.
Habits are hard to break.
And if you create the habit of working with Time-Killers it will be a hard habit to let go.
But, if you can rid your schedule of these time-killers early, your ability to do this later in your career will be easy.
Focus your time on business development activities that bring you the type of clients you want to work with.
8. NOT DREAMING BIG ENOUGH
The worst thought you can put into your head is average.
Even worse is failure.
Earl Nightingale says “You become what you think about”.
Do you spend your time thinking about how you don’t have any business?
Are you spending energy thinking about what could wrong?
What will happen if your sales don't increase?
What will you have to do if you fail out of the industry?
The hardest part of being an entrepreneur is controlling your mindset.
By being an entrepreneur and self employed you are in control of your future and your future is unpredictable. There could be a lot of uncertainty.
Uncertainty is scary.
Are you concerned about where your next transaction is coming from?
Do you feel like you'll never be able to increase sales?
Are you growing tired of the up and down roller coaster of sales production?
Being able to have clarity of vision of what you want your life, your business and your world to look like and having complete confidence in your ability to achieve your vision is essential to taking your business and sales to the next level.
9. TELLING PEOPLE YOU ARE NEW
Granted in some worlds, being a start up is sexy.
In the real world though people like experience. If you are newer to an industry, this could be a big reason why your sales production might not be at the level you want.
If you have developed your skills, know your stories, know your market, your audience and numbers, most people won't question your experience level or ask if you're new.
If you don’t do all these things and you flinch on basic questions, you're sending a signal that they should dig deeper and they will question your skill level and if you're new.
You don’t need to volunteer that info though. Let your great skills speak for themselves.
Have quiet confidence.
10. NOT HAVING A BUSINESS PLAN
Let's not underestimate what you're doing here.
You are operating a business.
You are the CEO.
A board of directors doesn't have to give you that title for it to be true. And it might be a little douchey to call yourself the CEO if your a solo-entrepreneur. But that doesn't make it any less true.
And as a CEO, why would you not have a plan?
Now, I'm not necessarily talking about a 24 page business plan that takes a week and an offsite retreat to come up with.
You're not trying get a loan or venture capital for your business.
You just need some goals and targets to aim for.
Whenever you feel lost, uninspired, unmotivated-you should review the plan to get refocused on the big picture.
Also, by having another individual hold you accountable to your short term goals and action items, you will greater awareness.
Having greater awareness will lead to greater success.
11. NOT GETTING THE RIGHT/ENOUGH TRAINING
Much of the training, especially the stuff that is always "launching" barely scratches the surface on how to truly operate a successful business.
Especially when it comes to marketing and sales training.
Marketing is about psychology and understanding how people think. This means understanding copywriting, user experience and even website design.
Sales is about how people decide. Why do people do what they do?
How can you better understand the process of how people decide?
Plus, you need to understand lead conversion, lead nurturing, systems, technology, etc.
But I see a lot of the training being offered that just causes people to zigzag around. There is no concreteness and no alignment.
What is the shortest distance between two points?
A straight line, right?
You wouldn’t think a straight line is the shortest distance with all the “Flavor of the Week” training being offered to business owners.
To take your business to the next level you need to make sure you have the right training.
One more thing to keep in mind on this point, your business will only grow to the level you grow.
If you're not improving yourself, your business and sales will stop improving.
12. NOT DOING THE RIGHT CONSISTENT FOCUSED ACTIVITIES
If you can break free from #1 reason you're not increasing sales production and start taking action, make sure you are taking action on the right things.
Do you now what activities you need to be doing to build the foundation of your business on?
To increase sales production and take your business to the next level you have to build on something and then build up.
If your foundation is weak, your business will crash as you try to reach the next level and increase sales.
Once you’ve identified the right activities you will build the foundation of your business on, you have to consistently, day in, day out, take action.
Diligently, you need to take consistent focused action.
But, if the wrong training from Reason #11 sidetracks or distracts you, you might stop doing something before it starts to work.
Increasing sales and taking your business to the next level takes consistent focused action on the right activities.
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a great starting point if you’re looking to increase your sales production. Increasing sales isn't magic or rocket science, but it does need you to focus on the right things and ignore the wrong things.
When it comes to breaking free of feeling stuck and figuring out why you're not increasing your sales production, many businesses struggle or just ignore the problem.
It's easier to hope things get better versus making difficult changes.
Delivering amazing products and services is important, but it’s also important to constantly increase sales so you always have people to deliver your products and services to.
You can dramatically increase your sales production.
Just identify what reasons you're not increasing your sales production (maybe it's one reason, maybe it's all) and go to work on eliminating that roadblock so you can drive sales.
When you start to accept that you can't just like helping people, that you have to be good at finding people to help and getting people who want help to find you, increasing sales is easy.
ONE MORE THING TO TAKE ACTION ON
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Connect with Darin
Darin Persinger spends his days and weeks, helping people sell their home, making property tour videos and video marketing, helping Katherine with her homebuyers, serving on the Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce board, serving on the Citizen Advisory Committee for the planning of the new Lake Stevens downtown, VP of the Lake Stevens Business Network, recording a weekly podcast called the Inside Real Estate Show, making a daily vlog called This Is The Life, writing books like, SOLD: What To Expect When Selling Your Home, Home Buying Made Easy, The 5 Levels Of Success For A Real Estate Agent, still speaking & training some times, and playing with his daughter, Morgan, and French Bulldog Pearl, as much as possible.