5 Things Business Owners Say That Kills Sales
As a business owner, you’d want to do your best to improve the number of enquiries you get online. It can’t be helped that you might be get hands-on occasionally.
That’s good. It shows you care about your business and are putting in the extra effort. I love seeing that in business people.
Imagine you walking into Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant. You’ve managed to book him as your personal chef for the day. He starts cooking his signature dish. You tell him to add a little less salt. He agrees. Halfway through, you tell him you like carrots and want them added. A few minutes later, you tell him to turn up the fire because you’re afraid of eating food that’s not fully cooked.
The dish is served. You take your first bite. It tastes like crap. You blame poor Gordon.
Ok, that wasn’t a realistic scenario. Mr. Ramsay would probably tell you to get out the minute you tried to interfere. But you get the picture. Beware the old saying: “Many cooks spoil the soup.”
Here’s a list of 5 things you should NEVER say unless you want to destroy your own digital marketing results.
#1 – “Please add these keywords to our SEO/SEM list.”
If you’ve read the earlier piece about the 3 secrets digital marketers hide from you, you’d know that your Google results are very much dependent on how well your keywords perform. For AdWords/SEM, it’s about how relevant users find your ads. For SEO, it’s about the core keyword and its associated figures.
By adding keywords just because you feel they’re related to your business, you’re destroying the whole strategy your marketer so carefully set up. It’s simply wrong ad placement.
Example: A car paintwork shop going for the keyword “rebuild car engine” because he thinks these group of users might also want a paint job.
Wrong. That’s not the best way to use AdWords and you’re shooting yourself in the foot. It turns your historical CTRs into a joke, and long story short, it makes you pay more, for poorer results.
Instead, ask “I am thinking of adding these keywords. Can you analyze and share with me what impact they will have?”
#2 – “I want my ads written like this.”
If it was so easy to write ads, you’d be doing your own marketing. A digital marketing expert will know what to write based on where your ad is showing up. Once again, this helps you get more value out of every dollar you spend.
Instead, ask “I feel my business has some strong selling points we can add. Can we work them into our marketing while improving performance?”
#3 – “We will measure success in terms of Facebook fans/likes.”
This is what the mainstream media sells you. It’s what digital marketing agencies sell you. Now let me dispel that myth.
Facebook fans/likes matter only if they’re the right people. Most of the time, they’re not.
My page has got a grand total of…. Only 93 likes. Does that affect me?
I get around 200 readers a day and as many as 15 people reaching out within 2-3 day spans. I try my best to respond to all my readers whenever you have questions, and it’s already tough enough. All these, with just 93 Likes. Of course, if I get 9,300 Likes, all of whom fit this same persona, it’d help. But no way am I going to artificially boost my Page Likes because that contaminates my audience segment. And you shouldn’t either.
I’ve seen some non-mainstream brands in Singapore with 150,000 fans. That’s more fans than the Worker’s Party. How many random fans / fake accounts do you think there are on such pages? And just a reminder, you PAY to reach these random fans and fake accounts when you run your FB ads.
Instead, ask “Can you find a way to measure our digital marketing in terms of enquiries or sales figures?”
#4 – “I think we should send an email to all our users.”
Why? Because it’s a great promo and users will want to hear about it?
I’ve heard that line more times than I can count. Unfortunately, that’s usually a case of business owners like us thinking too highly about our own products/services. More often than not, users don’t care.
At its best, email marketing is an incredible tool. This involves carefully planning solid content and giving value to your email list on a consistent basis.
For an untrained list of 1,000,000 users, expect around 1,000 – 5,000 people to come back to your website. And that’s the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is users get annoyed and block you. There. You will never reach them ever again.
Use email lists carefully and sparingly. Deliver good content. Give value. Build a relationship with readers.
Instead, ask “We have this really good thing going on. How can we let more people know about it without compromising too much on user quality?”
#5 – “Everyone loves lucky draws! And we are giving away a BMW!”
X’mas is coming up. A common marketing promo is giveaways and grand lucky draws. Unfortunately, these don’t work.
But if they don’t work, why’s everyone still doing it? Well, that’s because if you’ve read my article about the 3 metrics used to mislead business owners, you’d know that 82% of all marketing campaigns in the world end up resulting in losses.
Discounts on your products are ok. But imagine you’re in the business of selling chicken rice at Jurong and you want to do a grand lucky draw. Are you really attracting people that love chicken rice? Or just people that love BMWs?
Stop wasting your money attracting the wrong crowd.
I recently witnessed a shocking case of a grand lucky draw.
A local beauty salon was giving away a $25,000 Chopard watch in a lucky draw. All you had to do was sign up for their package to stand a chance to win. But there was no key wow factor to their service, no real demand and a strong disconnect between the audience and their hard-selling methods. In the end, they had less than 20 people turn up for the event, and just 1 sale. It was a disaster.
You can’t attract people with only prizes. Your core product or service has to be strong enough too.
Make people love you. Not the prizes.
Instead, ask “X’mas is coming. Shall we brainstorm some ideas to boost our sales figures for this period?”
Author BioA leading digital marketer in Singapore, Nate has beaten professional benchmarks for Google SEM by 400%. Previously a Vice-President of Marketing in his corporate career, he's worked with American Express, Yahoo, Starhub, Genting. Trained people at Facebook, Google, Starcom. Approached for strategic insights by IDC. Helped a bank save 98% on marketing. Increased user revenue for Deloitte's fastest growing tech startup in Singapore by 4,400%.
Currently offering free consulting for charities, social causes and start-ups with shoestring budgets. Also works with private clientele at That Web Consultant.