Want More Prospects?

by Shaun R Smith on May 31, 2011

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Are you one of the many business owners who struggles with getting more business? If you’re seeing lots of prospects but they’re not turning into business, that’s a sales challenge.  Most of the struggling business owners I encounter claim that they close the majority of their prospects, but they don’t have enough leads in the pipeline. That’s a marketing problem.

Where are the leads?

If you’re short on leads in your business, there are only four possible explanations.

1. You aren’t doing enough marketing.

2. Your marketing is ineffective.

3. You’re marketing to the wrong people.

4. There isn’t a market for your product or service (or not a big enough one).

This assumes that you have a good product and are delivering on your promises to your customers.

Let’s examine each of these in turn.

1. You aren’t doing enough marketing.

You’ve been there before: you do some great marketing and selling. Customers come in and you’re slammed servicing those clients.  What do you skip when you’re busy?  Marketing!

Or your business has grown to the point where you need a full time marketing professional, but you don’t know how to manage that type of position, or where to find one, or if you’ll get a return – so you don’t build out those capabilities in your company.

Whatever the situation or excuse, neglecting marketing will strip your business of leads.

2. Your marketing is ineffective.

It could be a poorly written sales letter, or a weak headline on an advertisement, or a muddy elevator pitch.

You might be spending a lot of time and money on marketing, but you’re not getting any results.  You need to face reality and make a change.

Maybe you need to hire an outside professional to improve your marketing effectiveness.

Are you tracking all your marketing activity? Without solid tracking, you might not even know which activities are effective.  What’s your ROI per strategy? Once you know which strategies are working, cut the others.

I’ve saved many clients thousands of dollars by eliminating ineffective marketing.

3. You’re marketing to the wrong people.

You can have the best pregnancy test on the market, but if you’re only letting people know about it through Men’s Health magazine, you aren’t going to get sales.

While that example is obvious, I’ve seen many businesses marketing in the wrong place.  Maybe part of the issue is that they haven’t defined their target market clearly enough.

But it is sometimes a result of living in the “hope bubble.” An example of the hope bubble going to the same networking event week after week, even though it’s never generated a lead. You feel busy and productive, but you aren’t creating results.

Remember marketing is generating leads.  If you aren’t doing that, you are wasting time.

4. There isn’t a market for your product or service (or not a big enough one)

Are you trying to sell horseshoes in New York City in 2011?

Maybe not, but are you in touch with the realities of your particular market and niche.

In the last two years, while real estate prices here haven’t fallen as much as in other places, the transaction volume has plummeted.  If you were a transactional real estate attorney or an interior designer (working mostly on renovating apartments when people purchase), you’re business has fallen with the transaction volume.

If there are external market factors against you, can you adjust your business model or service offering to counter that?


Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is one definition of insanity.  What can you change or try to generate more leads in your business?

Photo by: Michael Reuter

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