The Sales Blame Game– A Dangerous Business

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Do you ever find yourself playing the sales blame game when sales figures don’t quite hit target?

The sales blame game focuses on aspects of your business that are out of your control. Things like your competition, the economy and the weather. It’s easier to point the finger of blame at these unpredictable forces of (business) nature than to take a good, long, hard look at yourself.

Inevitably, because you cannot change things outside of your control, playing the sales blame game is a slippery slope and will end in disaster unless you change your focus.

If you ever find yourself playing the sales blame game I suggest you take a look at the four following aspects of your business that are very much in your control (or at the very least, your sphere of influence).

  1. Your Products: All products have a lifespan. Just because something worked well in the past, doesn’t mean it will continue to perform for you. Products might need updating or re-positioning if they are going to continue performing for you. Some products might not be worth saving. I’ve seen several organizations rolling out the same, tired, old products every year with diminishing returns. Sometimes you need to put these products on the backburner and concentrate on new projects. Remember, it is not your God-given right to remain in business. You need to evolve.
  2. Your Promotion: Your marketing needs to target a specific audience (your potential clients and their influencers). It needs to solve their problems and make them understand why they should buy your product. Great marketing is like a conversation. It engages your audience and encourages them to join in (hopefully with their credit card details). Great marketing is not about filling a space in a trade magazine or putting an expensive booth on a trade show floor, it’s about understanding your prospective clients and having something positive to share with them (at the right time, at the right place).
  3. Your Pricing: Pricing is something you should experiment with. Being too cheap can be as risky as being too expensive. Could your pricing strategy be a little more fluid? The only way you can find out what pricing strategy is best for your business is to test various models. Remember, some tests will be more successful than others but all will prove beneficial for your business if you take notes and learn from your experiments.
  4. Your Personality: People buy from people they like. Personality can often trump lower priced or even better-engineered products from less charismatic competitors. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you saw a generic MP3 player? This means putting your most likable people to the forefront of your business and building a little personality behind your corporate colors.

Playing the sales blame game is a dangerous business. As a marketer, the buck stops with you. It is your job to drive change. How have you re-invented your business to stay relevant and keep the cash rolling in? Share your comments below:

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

Marketing Strategist, Author of #BecomingTHEExpert, Content Marketing Trainer, and Cyclist. Check out my author profile:

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