I’ve seen super smart, and savvy women dissolve into tears during a launch. I’ve listened while perfectly sane, rational entrepreneurs rant about the unpredictability of their sales system and worry aloud if their thoughts indicate they’ve lost their edge/perspective/marbles.
So, what’s so emotional about marketing?
There’s something very emotional about working for months with focused intensity, checking zillions of things off a list in the hope that enough people will engage with the message and buy the thing to make all the effort worthwhile.
And can I say, it’s normal to be scared off of working a plan when you aren’t sure of the results!
That uncertainty is why so many smart people:
- Abandon new products or services after a single lackluster campaign.
- Avoid creating their “brilliant new something” because they aren’t sure it will sell.
- Buy the latest formula and implement it straight out of the box.
- Feel insecure about their services and struggle even to get started.
- Cry before the cart opens, while the cart is open, and after the thing closes down.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Analysis takes the emotion out of marketing.
The familiar up and down emotional roller coaster associated with “launching” comes from uncertainty – and the best way to smooth out the ride is to analyze your results so you can predict the future. Then you can take what you learn and use it for planning.
Suddenly, your sales system becomes repeatable and reliable. Nothing terrifying about that.
Analyze potential profitability before determining target revenue.
Many business owners select campaign revenue targets unrealistically. They look at the revenue they need in order to cover their operational costs (or they make up a number that “feels right”) and then they work enthusiastically toward it. But, because the target isn’t based on reality, it’s rarely achievable. (Also, because it’s not based on profitability it’s likely not enough.)
Rather than starting with a needs-based revenue target, I’m encouraging you to analyze the potential profitability of your product before each campaign and then create a revenue target you can realistically achieve.
- Start with the potential gross profit from each sale – calculated by subtracting the customer acquisition cost (CAC) from the sale price of your product or service.
- Determine how many sales you can realistically expect based on your audience size, past results, and promotional efforts. Create a range that includes a comfortably conservative number, a reasonable number, and a stretch goal.
- Multiply your three sales goals by the potential gross profit number you calculated. This is the range of profit you will likely generate from each sales cycle.
- Multiply your three sales goals by the sale price of your product or service. This is your range of revenue targets. Notice that the revenue targets are now based on reality and equate to a predictable profit amount you can plan on as a result of your efforts.
This method takes the emotion out of your campaign by tying your sales goals to real analysis and real numbers. You know exactly what you need to sell in order to generate the money you need to operate your business, pay your team, and add value to your bottom line.
Analyze how your story resonates by talking to your audience.
Wondering if you’ve got the right story? Try talking to real people – before, during, and after your campaign. Ask them for feedback about your work and your content – and get as detailed as you can. You’re looking for intel on the challenges they face, the parts of your story they connect with and feel emotionally, and the questions they are considering as they evaluate your offer.
Even if you’re not comfortable asking someone directly, you can still gather really excellent feedback just by observing your audience. Does one of your posts get really high engagement? Chances are the story resonates with your tribe. Look for nuggets there to add to your sales story. Does a recent post fall flat? Probably not one you want to draw on as you craft your sales content.
During the campaign, pay attention to the reaction you get as you interact. Getting the same question over and over? Add a post to your queue that answers the question and then highlight a related benefit from your sales page.
After the campaign, take a look at what worked. Gather feedback from those who purchased to get insight on why they decided to move forward. Comments like “It was like you were talking specifically to me” mean your story is having a positive impact on your audience.
Understanding the way your audience interacts and responds to your story gives you confidence and takes some of the emotion out of each campaign. You won’t have to hold your breath and wait for a response because you’ll know exactly what to expect from your fans.
Analyze why they didn’t buy last time around.
Okay – time to give yourself a little tough love. Time to take an objective look at why your last campaign underperformed and discovered why people just didn’t buy. Here’s what I recommend when you’re ready to get real about your results.
- Ask them. Put together a little email with a short (as in three questions) survey. Make it multiple choice, so it’s simple and offers a reward so they take action. Here are a few questions to consider:
- Why did you wait? (price, product fit, wrong time)
- Did you solve your problem another way? (DIY, competitor’s product, not solved)
- What would help you buy next time? (payment options, DIY version, group component, etc.)
- Brainstorm possible reasons. Yep, you read that right. I’m asking you to grab a journal or notebook or blank screen and create a quick list of everything that comes to mind as a reason why things didn’t go as planned. You’ll quickly discover that you already know in your gut some key issues with your last campaign. Maybe you cut a corner or two or used a piece of content that didn’t feel right. Those things will come to mind and resonate with you – giving you the opportunity to acknowledge them and correct them next time.
Why this focus on what went wrong? Looking backward to identify issues gives you the opportunity to create a plan for the future and take action to improve your results. With the plan in place, you’ll be free from the emotional ups and downs that come with insecurity and indecision. You’ll create the confidence you need to move forward boldly.
Imagine how effective your next sales campaign would be if you had a Simple Sales System you could implement confidently. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Let’s create your plan together.