“What you don’t know can’t hurt you.”
” Ignorance is bliss.”
These are phrases embedded deep in our vernacular. While they are comforting, they are actually sinister lies.
And business is where the impact of that lie is the strongest. As a business owner, the more you know the better. You need to get a handle on the inner workings of your business, business theory, what your competitors are doing etc. You need to constantly seek out and use new information.
In this article, we’ll talk about 4 things that can undermine your business success quietly. We’ll tell you exactly how to deal with them.
Your business offers too much
Variety is the spice of life, isn’t it? It seems like common sense: if I offer more products, I have more chances of earning money.
Well, not exactly. There is a fine line between offering varied products or services and offering so much that your business spreads itself thin trying to cater to diverse tastes. The result of something like this is predictable – a lot of sloppy services.
Even if you were able to offer each service well, you’ll run into a problem with positioning. People wouldn’t be able to see you as the expert in one particular field. Rather, you’re just a cheap knockoff of everyone else.
The solution? Find your niche. As they say – the riches are in the niches. Determine exactly what your business can do based on the resources available and then focus on giving premium services in a niche area. It makes your business more efficient.
Your sales team needs to know more
Salespeople have a particular set of skills that can be invaluable to a business if they use those skills correctly. Sure, cold calling, building rapport, closing – these are core sales skills.
But all of that falls flat if your sales team can’t communicate the value of your product/service.
This might happen because:
- They simply don’t know enough about your brand and product; or
- They don’t truly believe in what they’re selling.
Do a review of your sales team. Do they know enough about your product and your processes to be able to close sales without needing to go back and forth? Do they know enough to handle customer fears and complaints about the product?
The solution might be to do a refresher on your product’s benefits and features. Going forward, build a central knowledge base of FAQs and common objections from customers. Weekly meetings where the team shares their sales experience for the week can really boost your sales efforts.
Your marketing is too effective
What does that even mean? How can marketing be too efficient?
Most of us a pretty savvy – we know that marketing tends to embellish the benefits of products. Often, you’re going to need that to stand out.
But watch out that it doesn’t come and nip you in the behind. You must be able to deliver on your marketing promises. Otherwise, you leave the customer feeling deceived and less likely to return for a repeat transaction.
It can be tempting and effective to tell the target audience that you can move mountains – you’ll get a lot of customers in the door. But once they find that you can’t deliver, they’ll promptly walk right out. Worse? They’ll make sure none of their friends and family ever go through the same experience.
Michael E Gerber said that your business is its most powerful marketing tool. What?
This means – if you’re able to deliver a consistent and outstanding level of service, that will be enough marketing in itself. Customers will refer friends, their friends will refer friends and so on. Soon, you’ll have built a brand that becomes synonymous with the product and service you’re delivering.
You forget about feedback
Imagine you had a coach/consultant who’d update you frequently about what you’re doing well/not well for your business. Imagine that this coach has intimate knowledge and experience with your business. Imagine if they gave this coaching to you for free.
Would you like a coach like this?
Good news – you probably already have one. You’re just not listening to them!
I’m talking about your customers. These people interact regularly with your business and no doubt have ideas about where you’ve met their needs, and where you haven’t. Sometimes, they’re dying to give feedback. But guess what? Many businesses don’t have a system in place to gather feedback.
The result? The business ends up going in circles trying to figure out what went wrong.
But this isn’t just for you. Merely having a feedback system in place will build trust with your customers. They’ll know that you’re open to hearing from them. That breeds loyalty, and hopefully a relationship.
Find out how your customers felt about their experience with your business and use this feedback to make improvements in your business. Make sure that this process is personable so that they don’t feel like they’re just numbers that will be fed into a model.
We can get so caught up running our businesses that we don’t pay attention to some of these silent killers. It’s like being so engaged in fire fighting that you forget to take precautionary measures to stop the fire breaking out in the first place. Ludicrous!
The best way to set this in motion is to set aside time to assess areas of improvement. Put it on your calendar. Let the world know that you’re not going to do anything else but fix the problems above. Then stick to it!
These problems seem innocuous now, but like the gremlins, if you let them grow and fester they’ll wreak havoc in no time. All the best in your endeavors!