Plead for a Lead: Sales Don't Come Easy

If you have to beg…you're probably not working on the right leads. 

Planning, executing, and closing the sales for your venture are arguably the most important tasks in starting a business. Too many new entrepreneurs (myself included) decide to go for the gold, and aim directly for customers, without putting in all the work it requires at the beginning.

Here are the biggest mistakes and #entrepreneurfail examples that new entrepreneurs make when working on marketing and sales:
  1. Targeting anyone and everyone and not focusing on a niche: I recently mentored students creating business plans. One student was targeting all women ages 12-65. Would a pre-teen girl want the same product as her grandmother?  Probably not! The key is to imagine an ideal customer profile and then find him/her (instead of convincing everyone to become the ideal customer). Here are some good steps to identifying a niche.
  2. Focusing on leads that are not able and willing to pay: I would love to provide free services to everyone I could, but that wouldn't result in a sales funnel. Qualifying leads for ability and willingness to pay is key.
  3. Providing no compelling education in marketing or lead magnet: If you have no way of identifying "hot leads" how will you make any sales? Some examples include ebooks and videos.  Here is a great list of example lead magnets.
  4. Forgetting to reach out to people you know to see if they can refer qualified leads: I often forget about our my networks when I start searching for clients. Even if my contacts are not the ideal customer, they may know someone who fits the bill!  Here is an email script you can use right away.
 And of course, until you have the check in your hand, it's just a lead, it's not a business! For more details about how to generate even more leads, check out this post.
Was it tough knocking down that first lead? Tell us about your experiences it in the comments below.

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