That is one of my favorite Zig Ziglar quotes. I have been in the sales business for my entire adult life and fully understand the fear and anxiety that many feel on the subject of marketing and sales and yes, there is a big difference between the two. I have found fulfillment and some level of success in the restoration space. But more importantly in the art of sales. Early on, I never thought that I would have a passion for sales, but as it happens, life takes us places that we had never dreamed we would go. The real truth is that I wanted to be an ole country western singer. Marketing efforts, also known as Lead Generation is what gets prospects into your buying funnel, or pipeline as many like to call it. Sales, or what many refer to as Lead Conversion is what converts the prospect into a paying customer. It stands to reason that if your Lead Generation is not producing your desired results, then action must be taken to change its course. The same can be said that if your Lead Conversion is lower than expected, then perhaps there is a reason. While there are many reasons why both Generation and Conversion are failing, I’ll offer up a few for consideration and actions that can be taken or at least considered to improve upon both. 1. Poor messaging - If your flyers, door knockers, apparel, newspapers ad’s, radio ads, employees, you as the owner, vehicle messaging (signage) or whatever the case isn’t sending a clear and concise message, then you Lead Generation is going to fall short of your expectations. Conversely, your Lead Conversion will follow suit. A simple fix, or at least a starting point to this dilemma is to dig deep inside the cranial abyss and ask yourself why it is that you got into the business and more importantly – what is the one defining or compelling reason that the prospect that your Lead Generation machine brought into the funnel needs to know to trust that they have made a great decision. If you can find the answer to this question and take appropriate actions, then your Lead Generation machine will feed your customer referral machine faster than it may be capable of processing. On the subject of messaging, there are three primary types of messages that are used in Lead Generation across nearly every sector. From retail, manufacturing, services industry and even to the field of Spiritual Healing, also known as religion. The three types of messages which I will share came from www.DigitalMarketer.com If you aren’t familiar with this site, check it out, it could be the difference between wood and steel relating to your business. While I am not suggesting which type if any you should use, the mere fact that business often times begins with a compelling message may be worth consideration. And by the way, I have no real clue as to the inner workings of the carpet cleaning space, therefore the titles I concocted may be mundane or even useless. Threat Headlines Often times, people are more motivated to take action to avoid pain. Good threat headlines promise the buyer that she will protect herself from a threat if she takes action. Examples; 1. Warning: Don’t buy carpet cleaning until you read this 2. At last, the secret to healthy carpets is revealed 3. The health risk hiding in you carpets & upholstery 4. What everybody ought to know about carpet cleaning 5. Your carpet cleaner doesn’t want you read this 6. The ugly truth about carpet cleaners Gain Headlines The easiest way to craft a headline is to simply state the benefit and make a promise that if the prospect takes action, they will gain this benefit. Examples; 1. Get rid of pet urine Once and for all 2. Image clean, soft and fluffy carpets and loving every minute of it 3. Never suffer from embarrassing & unhealthy carpeting again 4. The quickest & easiest way to the cleanest & healthiest floor covering in the neighborhood 5. How to make your friends and family line up and beg to know how you keep your floor covering so clean 6. How to remove the stubborn pet stains when you’re not McGeiver Social Proof Headlines Savvy marketers almost always incorporate social proof into their marketing and sales materials, because buyers tend to want to do what others are doing. (It’s like monkey see-monkey do) The more influential and recognized those people are, the more influential the social proof. Social proof headlines I believe might work very well with Facebook and other platforms. Examples; 1. Why so many property owners trust ABC Cleaning 2. Smart (or persnickety) property owners call ABC Cleaning 3. Why thousands of savvy property owners call ABC Cleaning 4. How to get clean, soft & fluffy carpets that are fit for a King 5. Why I call ABC Cleaning when I need clean and healthy carpets and maybe you should too! 6. A simple way to a healthy home that works for thousands of property owners 2. Lack of Confidence – I have read post relating to price shopper vs. quality oriented buyers adnauseam and believe that by understanding the importance of having confidence in your service as well as your worth will go a long way to carving out the demographic niche that will best satisfy your business needs. There are two types of buyers of any service; one type of buyer is the type that will exploit any service provider at the very first indication of lack of confidence. We all know this type. She will do her best to chip away at the price of your service, which should make you wonder how this type came into your Lead Generation funnel. If the answer is because your pricing model is geared towards this type of buyer, then no big deal. It is something that you should simply expect. However, if your model isn’t geared for this type of person, then there is a fair chance that your messaging is off. Change It! The other type of buyer is the one who expects confidence from her provider. At the first indication of lack of confidence, whether through poor messaging or during the face to face time the confidant prospect will remove themselves from your funnel, never to ever be heard from again. Lack of confidence is to a businessman or woman, what an injured Ghazel roaming the Serengeti is to a Lion. Business owners that lack confidence should expect the same from their employees. How can an employee possibly sell Scotchgard if the owner did not sell him on the reason and benefits for selling it. How can an employee feel confidence in the owner if the owner is always taking short cuts, belittling customers, bad mouthing the competitive field, always nagging about the cost of running his business? Confidant owners never, ever, under any circumstance let their employees seem them sweat! 3. Lack of direction – lack of direction is the number 1 killer of carpet cleaners, restoration providers, restaurant owners and on and on. To set direction for a business one has to have a specific set of goals and action steps (which should be in written form) that will get them to where they want to go, in the least amount of time and with the least amount of effort. If you have to ask strangers if it is time to purchase another truck, or if you should hire an employee, or what color sneakers or dickies they wear, then it is probable that you are operating void a plan. When you really think about it - The same Zig zinger could be tweaked and said that - timid salesmen have skinny bank accounts.