Epic Fails Of 2015
I could try to look good and say everything in 2015 went well.
The truth is, there was a number of promos that FLOPPED. There were also some programs we sold that were a nightmare.
I teach this stuff for a living and I still make mistakes.
With wisdom, I’ve learned to laugh at them instead of beating myself up.
Alright, let’s dig in.
Mistake #1: Continuity Without A Clear Purpose
Maybe you can remember back to summer time when I did the $97 a month offer.
I actually moved the few buyers into a different program after a month.
Let’s break down what we did wrong:
- Our offer wasn’t concise (more about this later, this was our #1 failure this year).
- Selling continuity is a lot harder than most people realize. I thought name and positioning would convert. Not so much.
- We didn’t create enough value around the offer.
- We only emailed about this 1 time.
- Because it was online, there was no reason to get people to buy right now.
We are going to go back to a similar offer in 2016. It will be in a different format (physical delivery portion) and will have much more value upfront.
If you’re going to sell continuity (I highly recommend you do) make sure you over deliver and have a great offer.
Speaking about offers, mistake number 2 is:
Too Many Offers On The Phone:
The pain this one caused.
We have a number of lead generation pieces that are effective – Webinars, case studies, and video sales letters.
The challenge was we did not have a specific offer for each one.
I allowed our sales team to sell into any of our programs.
This caused confusions for our leads and our sales team.
No one was quite sure what to offer.
This was causing client results to suffer.
Our closing rate also dropped about 3%, which was significant.
At first, I was hard on our sales team (big mistake).
My rational is we wanted to give client’s price-point options and exactly what they needed.
The biggest problem was our sales team didn’t have problem-based questions that aligned with the offerings.
I would have been much better to assigning 1 salesperson to each offer to help them learn.
Insight: If your offer isn’t 100% clear, it is much harder to sell. This is the breakdown most of the time.
Seriously, 80% of marketing mistakes are due to the offer.
BTW: We came up with an ingenious solution to testing and selling new offers. That was where the LinkedIn Sales Accelerator came in. Our success rate on marketing tripled with this strategy for clients (That was why I jumped up and down to get people to buy).
This cost our company some money, yet the next mistake caused the most pain.
Not firing problematic clients sooner.
If you know me, I’m a very easygoing guy.
We are big about over delivering and serving clients.
Though going overboard killed morale and I lost some great team members.
Each time the problem was created the same way. We delivered on our service-agreement (or we performed above our service agreement).
Then the client talked down to our team members or me.
And I tolerated it.
By not dealing with it, I taught clients how to treat us.
They continued to push and treat people poorly even as we over delivered on results.
Here’s what I learned: People who are going to act like they are better than other people are toxic for your company.
Doesn’t matter if they are clients or employees.
You need to get them as far away from your business as possible.
Look I’ve consulted with billionaires and Prime Ministers and 100’s of business owners. I’ve learned to treat the guy who cleans the toilets with the same respect as the billionaire.
That’s who I am and what I stand for.
By not standing behind my values, people on my team saw this as inauthentic behavior.
The last big mistake we made was another big one:
Not measuring monthly revenue per subscriber
This cost us so much money early in the year.
In August when we did the math were averaging under $.60 a month of revenue per subscriber.
That is just plain leaving money on the table.
If you have a decent list, your revenue per subscriber should be above $1.00.
The biggest reason was lack of segmentation and corresponding offers.
I was emailing everyone on the list exactly the same. I knew this was a bad idea (I segment for clients).
Yet I didn’t do anything about it.
2 main reasons.
Segmentation takes a lot of time and planning. It’s mapping out and planning on winning over the long haul.
I didn’t know my list well enough. I kept sending messages for the core offer of marketing consulting or performance coaching.
I didn’t realize for 90% of my list that it was a terrible offer.
Talk about bad user experience.
As I began customizing how I spoke with the audience the revenue per subscriber soared.
I also developed better relationships with my customers because I started sharing insights and goodwill.
Insight: If you just listen and use analytics, people will tell you what they are interested in. You can increase revenue by creating more value. Great place to be.
I hope me sharing our “2015 epic fails” was valuable.
I chose to be very human instead of corporate/distant. It just works for me being authentic.
In the end, we’re both just business owners working on making a difference in the world.
Happy new years and hope your 2016 is incredible.