Your marketing efforts are bringing in new leads and potential customers. Great. Now make sure that you complete the sales cycle smoothly and bring in the revenue you need.
Many small business owners often make these simple selling mistakes, which cost them current and future customers, and possible lucrative sales.
1. Not following up with customers and leads
Nowadays, businesses have multiple opportunities to interact with customers and potential customers via social media channels and email. In the busy day of the average business owner, however, there’s simply not enough time to respond to all customer requests. Make sure you don’t miss out on any customer requests by setting aside an hour per day to focus on lead follow-up. If you don’t have that hour to spare, hire a low-cost, part-time employee to do it for you (just make sure you train the person properly on how to handle such requests).
2. Putting all your eggs in one basket
A common mistake made by many small-to-medium business owners is relying too much on one large customer or project. Just like with an investment portfolio, it’s wise to diversify your customer portfolio. We’ve come across too many businesses that have failed simply by relying on business generated from a single customer or through one partner. The risk is that if you lose that customer or partner one day, you’ll no longer have a revenue stream.
3. Underestimating the ROI for new projects
If you’re quoting a customer for a big project, make sure you cover all possible costs in your quote, including your time, all resources, travel and so on. If you under-quote, you may close the sale, but your profit will suffer.
4. Not saying ‘no’
Many business owners accept every sale that comes their way, without first qualifying the lead. Especially in the case of project-work, this approach could be detrimental to your business. Not every customer is a good fit for every business and it’s important to filter out potential problem customers. If a lead doesn’t seem like it’s a suitable customer for your business, feel free to turn the customer away (politely of course).
5. Not collecting customer data
It’s imperative to collect customer data, such as full name, email address and phone number, at each and every possible opportunity. You can then use this data in your online and offline marketing efforts, to upsell and to renew projects.
If you avoid these common mistakes, you could tap into an extra stream of customers and also get the most from your current customer base.