What stands between you and the success you’ve always wanted? Is it a lack of resources? Too little time to get things done?
If you’re like most business owners I know, the answer is simple: Money.
The biggest obstacle most small businesses face is revenue. It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is, how skilled your employees are, or how streamlined your processes are. If you don’t have enough sales coming in each month, you’ll never be able to keep doors open.
This can be incredibly disheartening to think about as an entrepreneur. After all, you’ve poured your heart and soul into your business. The last thing you want to do is see it all go to waste.
It’s not all bad news. While revenue problems are something every small business is bound to encounter, there are steps you can take to boost your cash flow and prevent dry spells from slowing you down.
Below, we’ll explore four simple ways you can resolve revenue problems, stop worrying about the future of your business, and focus on taking your company to the next level.
1. Rethink Your Targeting
Few things are as frustrating as spending weeks on a campaign only to see it fall flat. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced this at least once or twice.
So why does this happen? Why is it so hard to catch customers’ attention and keep it?
Chances are, the real root of the problem goes deeper than the images you select or your word choice. It has to do with your targeting.
A goal is nothing more than the distance from where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Goals drive our behavior every day. In fact, right now, your goals are driving you to read this blog.
We often think of surface-level goals like losing weight, saving money, and saving time. While these are important, the real goals you want to focus on with your targeted messaging are higher-order goals. These revolve around our aspirations: who you want to be in the future.
While you want your business to make more money, the higher-order goal pushing you to read this blog is likely something deeper.
Maybe you want to be a competent business leader, someone your team will look up to. Maybe you want the security and stability that comes with a consistent revenue stream. Maybe you want to see your business’s name in flashing lights, and you’re dreaming of the success you could achieve if these revenue problems weren’t dragging you down.
These idealized goals play a significant role in the decisions we make. And if you're not messaging to your customers’ desired experience or desired end state, then you’ll never be able to break through the clutter.
2. Make Sure You’re Motivating Customers to Make Repeat Purchases
Is there anything better than a repeat purchase?
Sure, technically, many things are likely more important in the long run. But when you’re a business leader and someone loves your product or service so much that they come back for more? Man, does that feel great.
In today's world, repeat purchases matter just as much as—if not more than—the initial purchase. They’re more than just an ego boost. They prove that your product or service does help your customers achieve their higher-order goal and that your messaging is on the right track.
When it comes to repeat purchases, what you really need to think about is your customers’ core motivation. Are you driving the core motivation that convinces them to not only engage with your product but also repurchase it again and again?
Because of the specific challenges we face in our culture today—biological threat, social injustice, economic chaos, and political strife—three motivations have become increasingly prevalent in every industry. Those motivations are security, empowerment, and engagement.
People driven by safety belong in the security mindstate. We face so much instability in our world today that many consumers are desperate to feel safe in every part of their lives. Products or services that connect with these individuals have a greater chance of breaking through the mold and catching their attention.
Next, another thing we’re in desperate need of today is control. If you can help your consumers feel like they have control over some aspect of their lives during a time where everything seems to slip between their fingertips, you can increase your chances for them to feel empowered and a possible repeat purchase.
Finally, engagement is yet another thing many customers are searching for. We’re longing for a release: a chance to escape from the constant stress and drama of day-to-day life. Products or services that captivate consumers’ attention and help them forget about life, even if just for a second, have a greater chance of persuading customers to take action.
If you want to learn more about these mindstates, check out this blog.
3. Use Framing Lower Friction in Your Sales Process
Have you ever found the perfect shirt at a retail store, but the checkout lines were so long that you decided it wasn’t worth the hassle? Or maybe you called a local company to hire a service, but they put you on hold for so long that you hung up and found someone else?
Decision friction occurs when a company’s sales process has obstacles or inconveniences that drive customers away. As a business owner, it’s the last thing you want consumers to experience.
While you can’t get rid of all forms of friction in your sales process, there are steps you can take to make friction seem less significant. The most effective way to eliminate feelings of friction is through framing.
Framing is presenting something in a way to influence how someone will react to it. It’s simply the way your customers see your product or service. Psychological framing can be done in one of two ways:
- Maximizing gains: Emphasize the good thoughts, good feelings, and good results that will happen when the customer buys the product or service, making consumers see that the “good outways the bad.”
- Minimizing losses: Highlighting the bad experiences, consequences, and feelings that customers won’t have to experience as a result of your product or service, helping them see “they have nothing to lose.”
If these sound familiar, that’s because they relate to the two regulatory approaches I describe in Marketing to Mindstates: Optimistic and Cautious.
By applying the correct regulatory approach to your messaging, you can frame your product or service in the best light. As a result, customers see its true value and are willing to overlook inconveniences on the path to purchasing.
4. Increase Impulse Purchases & Upsells
As most of us entrepreneurs know, selling doesn’t stop when your customer puts an item in their cart or asks for a quote. Upselling is a key piece of a successful business. It allows you to ensure your customers get the most value out of your offerings—all while maximizing your potential revenue.
But upselling is easier said than done, especially when customers are hesitant to make a purchase. So how can you encourage your customers to take the leap and add something else to the cart?
Triggers are psychological shortcuts you can use to make buying your product or service “just that much easier” for customers. They’re simple tools you can apply to your marketing that appeal to our subconscious biases.
Imagine somebody wants to buy what you have to offer. They're engaged. They're excited. They’re literally holding your package in their hands.
But in the end, you're not able to close the sale. Something in their heads held them back and kept them from going forward with the purchase.
In situations like these, a cognitive trigger could have made all the difference. By applying one of the 21 triggers I broke down in Marketing to Mindstates, you can make buying something on the spot (or upgrading to the next package) an easy and natural decision.
Take Your Business to the Next Level with the Mindstate Marketing Masterclass
Revenue challenges are something every business struggles with at one point or another. But that doesn’t mean they should prevent you from achieving the results you have worked so hard for.
By targeting your customers’ higher-order goals, appealing to the motivations that drive their behavior, choosing the right regulatory approach, and working in cognitive triggers, you can boost sales and feel confident knowing that revenue problems will be a thing of the past.
Even when you know what you need to do, applying all four of these insights to your marketing and sales process can be overwhelming. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone.
In the Mindstate Marketing Masterclass, I’ll walk you through the process of applying these psychological tools step by step, so you can stop worrying about whether you’re doing it correctly and start growing your business.