The angst was palpable as Jeff squeezed out, “We just need more leads.”
Jeff believes that his business is a numbers game. “Double the traffic, double my sales.” Simple, right? Jeff doesn’t believe that his trade area will ever wise up to his ways…that the supply of viable prospects is endless.
Jeff is missing a single crucial element; the buying experience. You see, today’s close rate dictates tomorrow’s sales opportunities. For it is the sale that signifies the consumer’s confidence in you.
And too often it falls through the cracks at Jeff’s company. Since it doesn’t show up on his P&L, and he hasn’t seen any bad reviews from the work he didn’t do, Jeff’s unsold prospects went unnoticed.
So Jeff assumed all he needed was more leads.
“Jeff”, I asked, “if you’re only closing 2 out of 10 customers, doesn’t that mean you are disappointing 8? You’ve left them uncertain enough to keep looking, teaching them to avoid dealing with you again…or to even seek you out in the future”.
Some businesses will run customers off faster than a good ad writer can bring them in. But still, they tell that ad writer, “We just need more sales opportunities. Double our traffic and we’ll double our sales.”
What Jeff’s company really needs, of course, is to increase his close rate. And the secret to increasing your close rate is to start with aligning the personality of your sales process with the personality of your advertising.
But that will never happen as long as your sales team remains untethered from your marketing team.
It’s easier to grow a company that closes 6 out of 10 sales opportunities than it is to grow a company that closes only 2 out of 10. Straightforward math would tell you that it should be only 3 times easier, but then you’d be forgetting about the exponential impact of customer referrals. So think 5 to 10 times easier, instead.
There are exceptions, of course. A company with a truly extraordinary product can utterly botch their sales training and customer service and still do just fine.
But let’s talk about that disconnect between your sales strategy and your marketing strategy.
This is a blind spot shared by the majority of North American companies.
I asked Jeff to think of those people in his company who respond to customer inquiries as your first responders. These first responders include the people who answer telephones and who respond to emails and to live chat inquiries on your website. And then, of course, there are your salespeople and technicians.
“Jeff, your first responders are continuing a conversation that started with your advertising. Your customer has clear expectations about who they expect your people to be and how they expect your people to act”, I said.
When your first responders speak and act differently than your customer expected, that customer feels ambushed and betrayed. Remove this disconnection by being the company your customer believes you to be, and you’ll see your close rate climb faster than a happy squirrel running a fresh nut up a tree.
Strong ad campaigns communicate a distinctly memorable “personality” that distinguishes your company from the competition. Rippling that attractive personality through your advertising is especially important when the public perceives your products and services to be essentially the same as those of your competitors.
As my Partner, Roy always says, “Win the heart of the people and the mind will follow. The mind will always create logic to justify what the heart has already decided”.
A great ad writer knows how to gently persuade the public into loving you.
Now all you have to do is be the company the public loves.
And now you know the hidden danger of great advertising.
“Jeff, do your ads communicate a distinctly memorable personality?”
Jeff shakes his head no.
“Then we need to help you create a strong ad campaign first.”
“Is your sales strategy independent from your marketing strategy?”
Jeff nods, understanding.
“Then while we are building your marketing strategy, we will get to work aligning your buying experience with what we’re going to promise in your ads.”
Let’s start by using the signature phrases that make your ads famous.
FOLLOW UP: Jeff has been a devote client of the Wizard of Ads™ since 2017. His $2 million home service company finished 2020 just a smidgen over $12 million.
Are leads unpredictable and light because people don’t know about you, or because they do?
Written and edited together with Roy H. Williams.