Six reasons why your hard work isn’t turning into sales!

Written by  //  August 26, 2015  //  Daily Juice  //  No comments

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Sometimes business can feel a bit like pushing the ol’ round peg into the square hole. Yes? Especially when you’re trying super-hard but not getting the sales. If that’s happening to you, here are six reasons your efforts might not be working, plus some ideas you can try!

six reasons hard work not turning into sales

If you’re feeling a bit frustrated by your lack of sales it could be because there’s a mismatch between your product, your marketing, your customer and your price. It happens a LOT but don’t panic – it’s fixable!

Here’s what goes wrong,  how to spot it and what you can do about it!

1 You’ve got the right product but the wrong marketing

This happens when you have a lovely product but you’re not marketing it well. So it could be that your marketing materials are at fault (they don’t explain your product well enough, or don’t make it sound very wantable) or it could be that you’re, er, not really doing much marketing at all.

How do I know if this is me?

First of all, let’s be honest, are you really doing enough marketing?! According to sales guru Chet Wood, we should spend at least 25%-30% of our day on sales. That’s a lot, hey?! (Some tips here to work out how much time you’re actually spending finding customers!)

Next, take a good look at all your marketing materials (flyers, ads etc). Do they look enticing and are they telling the right story? Not sure? Ask a few of your friends (or customers!) how they would improve your marketing material! One good idea might be all it takes!

What can I do?

Experiment with different types of marketing.

Start by making a list of the ways in which you are currently finding customers, then make a new list of all the possible ways in which you could market your business!

Don’t be worried about the cost of doing this or whether you’ve got the skills. Just put together the biggest most creative list you can think of. When you’re done there will be at least one very fabulously doable idea in there!

For more inspiration try these ten little marketing tips and this for doing 15 minutes a day!

2 You’ve got the right product for the wrong customer

Maybe you have a lovely product but you’re trying to sell it to the wrong person! This happens more often than you’d think. For example you might make top end birthday cakes but instead of marketing them to people who like to buy that type of thing, you’ve actually been marketing to mums who like to make their own.

How do I know if this is me?

A common sign of ‘right product wrong customer’ is when you get lots of compliments and no sales! (There’s an article on this here)

What can I do?

Think about who your customer should be. In the Healthy Income Program we call that person your Hungry Customer. It’s the person who likes your stuff AND will pay you the proper price for it! Reading this about why you need to be super-picky about your customers might help!

Once you know who your Hungry Customer is you need to direct all your marketing effort into them (and them only!) 

3 You’ve got the wrong product for the right customer

So this happens when you’ve been building, say, a lively community on your Facebook page or you’ve got a big following for your business blog…, but the community and blog readers aren’t buying your things!

Here I think you’ve got the right customer (you’ve found lots of people who clearly like what you say!) but you need to change your product a bit to suit THEM!

How do I know if this is me?

If you’ve got a fairly large Social Media following or a big email newsletter list, but few sales this could be you!

What can I do?

Think about the people in your community (some of whom you probably know quite well now!) and look at how you can alter your product to make it suit them better!  You will need to take a bit of time out from your daily business-y stuff to give this concentrated thought but when you do, the ideas come quite easily!

change direction lao tzu quote

4 You’ve got the wrong product but the right marketing

This is a close cousin of number 3 above. It happens when your marketing works well (so potential customers are coming through your door or to your website) but they aren’t buying. So it’s as though they like what you are saying in your marketing but when they see the real thing they’re not so keen!

How do I know if this is me?

If you get a lot of traffic to your website but not many sales, or lots of people making enquiries but not buying; this could be your problem.

What can I do?

Have a look at your marketing: does your product live up to expectations?! For example I’ve seen some businesses who are very good at SEO but the images on their websites look so awful that you just wouldn’t want to buy the product! 

5 You’ve got the right product but the wrong pricing

Now, let me say straight away: this doesn’t mean you’re pricing too high! Pricing too low is as bad (sometimes WORSE) than pricing too high!

How can that be?

Well as customers we’re pretty poor at judging the quality of something so we use the price as a guide to quality. Eek! This means that if you’re making a high quality item but selling it at a low price, customers will assume it’s a low quality product! 

Of course if you’re pricing too high customers won’t buy either. Gah! pricing is a tricky business

How do I know if this is me?

Working out what your pricing should be is a pretty big topic ( if you’re super-keen we cover it in heaps of detail in the Healthy Income Program!) but for now here are three pretty strong indicators that you are under-pricing:

  1. You’re not making a profit! Chances are that other people ARE making money by selling something which is similar-ish to your product. In which case they must be pricing higher than you! If they can sell at a higher price, so should you!
  2. You know (deep down) you’re not charging enough. Many of the business owners I work with TELL ME they’re not charging enough; so maybe you already know! 
  3. You’re cheaper than everyone else but your product is better!

And, don’t go thinking you need to drop your prices if occasionally people say your product is too expensive. Some people just say that to spare your feelings.

What can I do?

Feeling brave? Try putting your prices up a bit and see what happens! Really!

6 You’ve got the right product, the right marketing, the right customers and the right price but it’s too hard to buy!

Have you ever wanted to make a purchase but given up because it was too hard to actually buy it?! (I wrote a piece about that here!) Generally customers want to be able to make their choices easily, enter in as few details as possible (long registration forms to make a one off purchase: ugh!) and to pay by simple methods! Easy!

How do I know if this is me?

If you’re an online business, abandoned shopping carts are a good indicator that you’re too hard to buy from!  If you’re a real life business, ask a friend to find someone to secret -shop your business and then tell you what your buying process is like!

What can I do?

If you’re an online business, go through the buying process yourself. You’ll soon see what doesn’t work well (and if you can’t – ‘cos sometimes we can’t spot our own mistakes- get a friend to do it for you!)

If you’re a real life business, fix anything your secret-shopper finds! hard work isn’t turning into sales

Final Tips!

I don’t think any of us get this stuff right at first! And success is really a LOT about experimentation. The important thing is just to recognise that when something’s not working it’s time to try something new! hard work isn’t turning into sales

Napoleon Hill quote

♡ YOU!♡

Is your hard work turning into sales or are you feeling a bit round-peg-square-hole-ish?

♡ More ♡

If you enjoyed this you might like our weekly Snacks! It’s a lovely email newsy thing with bits and bobs and sweet stuff for your small business. It’s FREE and you can get it here!

 AND! On 7 September we start the Healthy Income Program again. If you’d like to reserve a spot pop your name down here.


new snacks2

Fancy getting a weekly Snack of sweet stuff for your small business? Just pop your details in below.



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