How To Break Through Your Rural Sales Plateau
Let’s assume you’re making the same top-line revenue you did last year and the year before that.
Your margins and costs are getting tighter and you can’t pass on or raise your prices or you’ll become non-competitive.
This means your gross profit is taking a hit, reducing your ability to re-invest in your rural business.
It’s frustrating the hell out of you and your team can’t work out why.
Here’s why (hint: it won’t ever be one thing, it will be many things):
- You won’t have changed the way you market your rural business relying on the same old media (eg. rural advertising vs highly targeted accountable and attributable digital media)
- You won’t have held your sales manager or sales team accountable for results (remember no consequences = no change)
- You won’t have properly qualified prospects in your pipeline (instead you’ll continually getting nasty sales surprises: fix it by reading this article)
- You won’t have studied what your competitors are doing well that you’re not
- You won’t have created a formal referral system with all your customers
- You won’t have committed to continual sales training (just traditional one-off, ‘drive-thru’ training, which when finished every rep reverts back to type and forgets what they’ve been taught)
- You won’t have sourced a strategic partner network who regularly refers work to you
- You won’t have communicated to your customers how else you can help them (identifying cross-sell/share of wallet using detailed and documented client development plans)
- You won’t have connected with relevant industry organisations to see how you can help serve their members with special exclusive offers
- You won’t have updated your website to make it a lead-generating machine (instead you have just another pretty brochureware site that cost you a small fortune)
- You won’t have automated most of your marketing (which goes to work for you whilst you’re asleep 24/7)
- You won’t have committed to a customer contact programme that provides crucial content for your customers (because you’re too busy servicing your existing ones)
- You won’t be working on how you build an employment brand culture that top talent wants to work for (and stay working for)
- You won’t have kept close enough to your customers to find out what they value most and why (instead you rely on guesswork or yester-year assumptions)
- You won’t have considered testing and improving the quality of your content (instead you blame the medium, instead of your message)
- You won’t have fully committed to the community you serve
- You won’t have agreed to do more networking, speaking and influencing at local industry events
- You won’t have committed to publishing a consistent content plan that keeps you connected to your current, lapsed and at-risk customers with educational-based content that positions you as an authority and trusted advisor (and does all the pre-sale work for you)
- You won’t have done proper sales segmentation and analysis on who your top 20% of clients are using recency, frequency and monetary metrics (whilst you under-service them and over-service others)
I could go on but you get the idea.
When you are in a rut you have to take massive action rather than sitting there letting things happen to you, not for you.
Either you take action or you are acted upon.
Doing the same thing, again and again, is the definition of insanity as our main man Albert Einstein said.
It won’t get you a better result.
It will only get worse through the law of diminishing returns.
You know that to create meaningful wealth you have to have multiple revenue streams such as your home property, investment property, KiwiSaver/shares/managed funds, side hustle and a business.
You diversify the risk and your revenue streams. That’s what good management is all about.
So it makes sense that the key to making more rural sales is to have multiple lead-generating legs (or what I like to call your very own “3 legged stool” if you’ve been paying attention and reading my earlier emails :).
My challenge to you is this:
What are the THREE new things you could do for your rural business right now?
Why don’t you message me back and let me know (I’ll share a few more with you if you do).
PS. Here is an interview I did with Anne Miles from global creative community company Suits n’ Sneakers (a great woman after my own heart who also believes the best talent works for themselves and no longer agencies). I packed in a ton of tips for those who take the time to listen to it.