When it comes to running a business, there’s one thing we all have in common: wanting to GROW. But how can this be achieved? 

If you ask around, you’ll be swimming through a tidal wave of 100 different answers telling you what you should do, but does anyone tell you what to absolutely not do?

There are a few obvious answers, like punching them in the face, kidnapping their dog, or releasing a swarm of bees into their office (we would strongly advise against these, but cannot stop you!). However, there are also lots of little things businesses do that lead to them losing a potential customer. 

So, without further ado, here’s a guide that you should absolutely, 100%, most definitely not follow unless you want to lose a customer in 10 days.

1. Go straight for the sale

Unless you’re a cold calling pro, meeting a potential customer and jumping straight to the sale is going to backfire. Do you even know that they’re a suitable lead?

Introducing yourself and being friendly goes a long way, from there you can channel your inner Sherlock Holmes and ask the right questions to decide if it would even be worth trying to sell to them. After this, it can take days, weeks, or even months to make the sale. 

Leading with the sale shows you don’t actually care about their business – just the money you can make from it.

2. Only talk about yourself

Repeat after me: potential customers don’t care how amazing you say you are, they care about how you can help them.

If you’ve made it to the stage where you have a lead who needs your products or services and knows who you are, continuing to tell them how great you are will be a huge turn off. They know who you are, so it’s time to find out exactly who they are, ask questions and let them do the talking! This isn’t just limited to asking about their business, get to know them as a person too – if they feel like you actually care about them, they’ll be far more likely to invest in you. 

3. Email 25 times a day

Email marketing is a great tactic that’s effective throughout the sales funnel but only if used correctly. We recommend using emails to deliver a range of exciting, interesting content that keeps your leads engaged and invested in your business. 

This does not mean sending them countless emails everyday telling them to ‘BUY NOW!”. If you do this, chances are the unsubscribe button will be getting more action than all your other links combined. 

It takes a bit of trial and error but finding the right frequency is key to successful email marketing. Start with one a week and see how compatible that is with your audience and workload, then increase or decrease accordingly.

4. Don’t have a clear CTA

Putting out content across email and social media channels is great, however if it’s lacking a clear call to action, it’s almost useless. You need to tell your potential customers what you want them to do, whether that be visiting a webpage or contacting you.

Your job is to make the client acquisition process as easy as possible for your prospects. This means supporting them and guiding them as they work their way through the sales funnel. Neglecting them with questions of what actions to take next is sabotaging this process.

5. Be inconsistent

Your clients must trust you, and so should your potential clients. Sporadic posting across different channels with inconsistent messaging is no way to build trust.

Decide what colours and visuals represent your brand, establish a tone of voice and use it to share your central message. Create content plans and stick to them, if you’re going to post three times a week on LinkedIn, then stick to that. Consistency is key for building trust and trust builds relationships. 

6. Spread misinformation and exaggerate claims

Lies have a way of coming back to haunt you and lying in your marketing not only affects your ability to obtain and keep clients, but could also land you in hot water with the law. Marketing laws require all information to be honest, accurate and unproblematic. 

Misleading potential clients or taking advantage of your audience’s vulnerabilities to falsely sell to them is completely unethical and as they say, ‘truth will out’. If you’re caught lying, prospects will vanish and your current clients will follow soon after.

7. Increasing costs without notifying them

Increasing your costs? Tell your customers! If you’re undergoing serious talks with a prospect or moving to the onboarding process and decide to change your prices, you absolutely must notify them.

Failing to do so ruins any trust built up with the prospect and completely turns the relationship on its head. Being honest and transparent about this with your prospects sooner rather than later shows respect and consideration for them and increases their likelihood of staying despite it.

This won’t guarantee they want to pay a higher price, but it does mean the onboarding process ends in good faith and could potentially be picked up again in future.

8. Ignore feedback

Feedback is like gold dust, it’s incredibly valuable and should not be ignored. If a lead tells you they’re unhappy with their current journey, they’re handing you the tools to improve it. 

If they consistently say they’re unhappy with the level of attention being paid to them, they’re giving you the chance to rectify this. Ignoring feedback and continuing as you are will only push your leads away. Giving feedback is giving a second chance, make use of it.

9. Sell information

This is again guaranteed to land you in legal trouble and ruin your reputation. According to UK data protection laws, it is your responsibility to keep any information given to you by leads and clients protected. Selling this information to third parties without consent will send your current and prospective clients running for the hills.

10. Forget about them

This is the final nail in the coffin. If you can’t regard your clients enough to remember them, why should they remain with you? 

Be attentive and show them they mean more to you than revenue and you’ll build stronger relationships that are mutually beneficial.

A lot to take in?

We understand, it’s easy to say on paper what you should or shouldn’t do. But navigating the interweaving web of sales and marketing is definitely harder in practice.

Professionals throughout the world of sales and marketing talk often about the benefits of bringing your sales and marketing teams together, and we ourselves know that the upsides are endless. But what if you don’t have these teams?

Here’s a simple, effortless solution: instead of building these teams, focus your efforts on sales and outsource your marketing to a team.

We pride ourselves on becoming one of the team with our clients and working harmoniously with them to achieve their goals, it’s all part of the Octima way. If you’re in need of a helping hand, get in touch and we’ll guide you on your journey. hello@octima.co.uk