Quick. Take a look at your website (or other marketing materials). What do you see? If you’re like most business leaders, you’ll probably see several mistakes that are hindering your business’ growth—even though you may “know” them. So, what are they?

1. Being company or product-focused versus customer-focused.

This may seem obvious, but look at your site. Does the headline focus on what you do or on something your customer wants (i.e. “We’re the best” or “Are you struggling with … ?”). Does your text talk about your customer and their issues (needs, hurts, problems) or does it focus on what you provide?

Also look at the layout of your site. Does your navigation start out with “About Us” or something they may want like “Free Resources?” Finally, does your text start by talking about their problems before launching into your solutions?

If you have trouble seeing this in your own materials, visit a couple of sites and ask, “Is this page’s content focused on what they do or on me, their prospect?” Then go back to your site and ask the same question. You may be surprised.

2. Using a One-Step Marketing Approach.

The estimate is that 99% of all sales are lost because of this one mistake. Here’s what it looks like. You call a prospect and ask if they’d like to get together for a meeting. They say, “No.” You say, “I guess I’ll cross them off the list.”

Or you ask for a referral from a client. They say, “I can’t think of anyone.” You say, “I guess I won’t ask them again.” You send out a direct mail piece to Joe. Joe doesn’t respond. You say, “I guess I won’t send anything else to Joe.”

In other words, the problem with the one-step marketing approach is that it attempts to accomplish too much too soon. It’s like asking someone to get married on the first date (clearly a bad idea). People like to buy from people they know, like and trust—and that takes time.

So if you’d like to avoid this mistake you’ll want to use a multi-step sequential marketing approach. Instead of thinking about one direct mail piece, think of 20 or more touches (of different kinds). In addition, focus each touch on overcoming a different barrier from purchasing from you.

3. Not Testing.

Since most of us who lead businesses didn’t grow up as marketers, we tend to put off creating our marketing materials. Then once we do, we think, “Phew! Finally got that done. Next.”

However, that’s not how marketing people think. Good marketers know 1. What I think works and what actually works are often two different things. And 2. the only way to know what works best is to test (typically using an A/B test where you send two marketing messages that are exactly the same except for ONE thing).

For example I have a friend who changed ONE word at the top of his website (“increase” to “maximize”) and that one word increased his response rate by 44%. He then tried adding a value to his free report (“$199 value, yours free”) and saw a 60% increase in his response rate.

Unfortunately, most businesses never get these results. Why? Because they never test their marketing materials. And because they don’t test, they end up leaving massive amounts of money on the table.

So, if you’d like to avoid that and ratchet up your revenues, make sure you focus on being customer-focused, using a multi-step sequential marketing approach and testing everything.

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