As I was watching my son’s baseball game last night I noticed a common theme among almost all the kids. When the ball came across the plate, they didn’t swing with the same authority and intensity as they did when they took their practice swings.
Do you do hesitate in your business?
My son is in a farm league. It’s his first year playing and he’s scared to death. Most of the kids have one or two t-ball seasons under their belt but they’re all still learning the basics of the game.
They have a pitching machine which throws consistent pitches so the kids can get used to hitting a moving ball. The coach tells each kid to take a practice swing before a pitch. Every kid steps up, taps the plate with his bat, and takes a practice swing or two. They’re clean consistent swings. I expect them to point like Babe Ruth, they seem so confident.
When the ball is pitched almost every kid hesitates. They start the bat moving and the swing is slow, half the speed of the practice swing. If the bat connects with the ball they don’t have the follow through to really get the ball moving through the air. It’s not because they’re not strong enough. They swing tentatively. The bat doesn't have enough velocity to keep moving after hitting the ball.
Are you afraid to hit a home run?
I've noticed this tentativeness with a lot of marketing.
When I review sales letters I often want to ask the writer, "Do you really believe in what you're selling?" The sales letter is filled with words that imply the customer may, or may not, buy the product. There’s no guarantee. The call to action is weak. There’s nothing implying the writer fully believes what he’s selling. It’s as if they’re afraid to actually sell the product they created.
The marketing funnel is dead or dying. There may be a “thank you” email or letter but after that there’s no follow through. You have my attention. I’ve started to develop loyalty (link to loyalty post) and you do nothing to keep your company “top of mind” so when I’m ready to buy again you’re all I think about?
Do you maximize the profits of each customer you help? In a retail environment this would be the rack of impulse items by the cash register. Or you would be asking, “Would you like fries with this?” What’s your upsell? Do you ask for something smaller if they say no to your initial upsell? Do you ask for more if they say “yes” to the first upsell?
A Model To Follow
Over the weekend a girl came to my door selling some coupon book so she could “earn” a trip to Disneyland with her classmates. Her offer was horrible. Her delivery was excellent and I almost bought because of that alone. When I said “No thanks,” she replied, without hesitation and with confidence, “Would you consider making a smaller donation then?”
She wasn’t going to settle for a “no.” She was ready to take anything for her efforts! She wasn’t hesitant. She practiced. She was ready to hit a home run and squeeze every dollar out of every stop in our neighborhood. I have a feeling if I said “yes,” she would’ve offered me three for the price of two.
Swing With Power
Don’t be afraid to make a sale. I hear some people say they don’t want to sound “too salesy.” I know they mean slick or pushy but what’s “too salesy?” If you had a cure to cancer would you worry about being “too salesy” or would you be working to help everyone you could?
Becoming good at what you do requires practice. It requires you to stand up to the plate and swing with power knowing you’ll occasionally strike out. It’s painful.
What do you need to convert more sales? A stronger call to action? Better language skills? A better marketing funnel to upsell and retain customers?
What one thing can you take in your business and make sure it’s swinging with full force every time it’s called up to the plate? Work on that today. Then, when that's going full force, work on the next item. Take each of the players in your lineup, one at a time, and make each to swing without any hesitation.
Where do you find yourself hesitating?
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