HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR HARD TO SELL SLUMP

Finding it hard to sell your products and services?

In every field, there are top performers in sales. There are individuals who are making great money, who have great clients, and who are at performance levels that others admire.

And in the same or similar fields, there are individuals who are finding it hard to sell anything and are trying to get out. They believe that for whatever reason, no one can make money in that field.

There are those who love and work in/with real estate, watches, jewelry, travel, hospitality, automobile sales, hi-fashion brands, and so many more. They love iconic brands and the beautiful environments, and they sell successfully in them.

And then there are people who say there is too much pressure and too much stress which makes it very hard to sell. They will site not having the right clients, things are not working, and they are quick to get out of there and try something else.

What’s the person who is excelling is doing? What do they know that the other person doesn’t know? Is it the territory? Is it the timing? Is it luck? Is it personality? What is it that is causing one individual to perform well while the other individual is having challenges and finding it hard to sell?

Now, these are big questions when it comes to many fields. What I would like to do here is to be a bit more specific to those who are selling high ticket and luxury products. Of course, as you go through my explanations, you will find that these will apply across many situations besides the luxury market.

So, let’s get started.

The question then becomes is, why are you not selling enough of your high-end products or services? Is it really that hard to sell premium products and services? Why are you not getting more affluent and wealthy clients?

Well, in my years of working for premium clients of my own agency, I have also had the pleasure of working with many sales professionals, entrepreneurs, and premium brands. I’ve discovered first hand the many reasons that could possibly contribute to why you may be experiencing a hard to sell slump.

Commonly experienced in these cases are that your brand is not growing and that you’re not able to move your products as you would like to. And if you are in this zone, you’re left wondering what is it that’s happening?

You seem to be doing everything you can and it’s just not working!

Let explore with you here five of the more common issues, that I run across often, that affect those who are finding it hard to sell their high-end products. Let’s start in reverse order from number five and end with the number one reason for your hard to sell slump.

Each one of these ideas are ideas that you should look at in your own career life, business performance and explore whether you are experiencing any of these.

Number Five: Lack of Professionalism

hard to sell

Believe it or not, that the brand and the product is not selling because you’re not professional about selling. You’re not taking selling seriously enough.

I can’t tell you how many individuals I’ve asked the questions:

  1. What does your database look like?
  2. How many people are you approaching?
  3. How many people have you talked to?
  4. What kind of effort are you making to sell your product?

And the answers are invariably similar to:

  1. Oh, we just do it without any database.
  2. Word of mouth.
  3. We try to see what happens.
  4. We hope that someone comes in.
  5. We hope that the word will spread.

They just don’t have a professional approach to selling.

So, I look at that and I reply that a lack of professionalism is what’s making it hard to sell. You don’t have a definite approach to selling.

You don’t have targets. You don’t have key performance indicators. You’re not making a certain effort on a daily basis. You’re not using certain tools to your advantage.

Bottom line is that you’re not professional about selling.

Number Four: Poor Communication

hard to sell

This one is a very common reason.

Essentially, the person, the company, or the brand who is selling is not doing their market communication part very well. In other words, what I am talking about is the written words, also known as the copy, is poorly constructed to communicate the brand/sales messages to the prospects.

My questions would be similar to:

  1. What is the copy that you’re using?
  2. What are the words that you’re using to ask someone to engage with you?

And this could even be the copy that is in the form of a script. For example, when someone is speaking with someone one on one over the phone or it could be in person.

Sales copy should always be well researched and highly targeted to the audience in any print advertisement. The same for any digital advertisement copy and it’s always about saying the right words that resonate with your audience and make them compelled to act.

They hear what you’re saying. They hear the words and those words make them want to buy now.

So many people take this issue very casually. And when you’re targeting affluent and wealthy individuals, I must tell you that you should never take that casually. The idea is that every word matters in every word should be carefully chosen.

If you’re not doing that, it is likely that you’re saying the wrong words, that your words are not unique enough, and those words are not compelling your audience to act.

That’s what you need to achieve in order to sell effectively.

Number Three: The Offer

hard to sell

The problem for many high-end brands is their offer. They don’t really have an offer. And so what is an offer?

The offer should encompass many things such as the proposition to the client, the positioning, perhaps even how it is packaged, vivid description, even certain terms, and conditions, maybe even indicates a deadline or scarcity, etc.

So, the offer is the way you say to someone that, you can have ‘all of this’ if you do ‘this now’.

The offer should also ‘speak’ specifically to some emotional idea that your client will immediately resonate with. So, you could easily see that you could have a great product, but if you don’t have a great offer, then any prospect will not be compelled to take any action.

They may simply look at and say, that’s nice, and simply move on without considering to take any immediate action. Imagine how damaging this type of trend can be to your brand.

So, you have to have an offer that is constructed properly with much thought going into it while keeping in mind that the offer is and should be different than your product.

Number Two: Wrong Audience

hard to sell

More than often, I see that brands, sales professionals, and entrepreneurs in the high-end and luxury sector are not successful at moving their high-ticket products and services is who they are offering it to. They offering the product or service to the wrong person.

In the marketing category, this is about your list. If you have the right list aimed at the right individuals with the right products or services, those people are going to respond because they really want what you have to offer.

So often, we’re trying to sell something to an affluent and wealthy audience. But we don’t have that audience in our database. We don’t have an offer constructed specifically for them.

Naturally, you’re not going to sell the product if you’re just trying to sell it to anyone. A high-end product has to be matched with the right people who are seeking high-end products. The right audience has the willingness, the interests, and the inclination to buy that product.

So, what’s the number one reason that you might not be moving your expensive product of service?

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Number One: Internal Conflict

hard to sell

The number one reason that makes it hard to sell or to sell effectively is the level of conflict that they have internally. This literally refers to the person who is selling, has a conflict about selling the product.

This actually might surprise you, but the person is not able to truly focus on selling is because they think the product is expensive, the product is not worth it, or may even have some resentment toward the audience.

Simply put, they are uncomfortable presenting the product. They don’t understand the marketplace, and that prevents them from offering the product and presenting the brand in a definitive way. These are all examples of conflicts, and the conflicts can have a rather wide swing.

I’ll tell you, the most common conflict I see is a person is selling an expensive product or service, but they would never buy that product or service for themselves even if they could. This is because they’re not aligned with prosperity. They’re not aligned with affluence and wealth.

So, you might hear someone talking about trying to sell their premium products or services, and in the very next breath, they’ll talk about how they don’t have money to invest in their business or any other related things.

They would even resort to making excuses about the marketplace about how the prospects don’t have money or this is the wrong target group. This type of behavior shows that they are deeply conflicted about the way they look at things.

Understand that the person who sells a multimillion-dollar jet is not trying to sell that jet to the average person on the street. They know that person is not in the capacity to buy a jet. So, no point in even thinking about where that person is financially, and so a lot of conflicts come up where a person is just not aligned with their product and service.

You will need to think and target the appropriate affluent audience.

If you fail to think wealthy, think successful, then there is surely a conflict in the ability to move any product or service.

All of these things would be major hard to sell roadblocks when it comes to selling a product or service, and all of these are in the category of being aligned with the client so that you can make sales.

So, to summarize these things quickly again, number five is you’re not approaching selling from a professional standpoint. You don’t have a professional approach or a professional system. You’re just not taking steps in a way that is organized professionally so that you could get the results that you would like to have.

Number four is you’re not using the right words. You either don’t have an effective copy or your copy is not compelling anyone to take action.

Number three is you don’t have a compelling offer. It isn’t positioned, packaged, or presented in a way that makes someone want to have it.

Number two is the people that you’re targeting are not the right people. You don’t have the right list or the right audience. You’re not targeting people who have the capacity, the desire, and the willingness or inclination to buy your product and service.

And finally, the number one reason is that you are not properly aligned with what you’re doing. Your psychological conflicts, challenges, and the way you think about money or affluence, or wealth make you somewhat divided. You are simply sending out mixed messages.

You’re selling an expensive product, and at the same time, you’re keeping score about your own inability to buy and sell. Sometimes you’re so fixated on needing the sale, that gets in the way of serving the clients properly.

I do hope that these five points were helpful for you and will serve you to identify issues in your business. All of these or any of these issues will make it very hard to sell any premium products.

I do have ‘Done For You’ services where I assist professionals, entrepreneurs, and brands not only solve these five issues but understand how to move high-end products and services to market and build a business and scale that business quickly and successfully.

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This unique set of service packs have helped individuals, marketing teams, entrepreneurs who are keen to run leaner while taking their businesses to the next level of success. This is a great time in the marketplace, a great opportunity, where digital marketing is the way to go. Maintaining large marketing teams is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

My team and I not only work with you, but we actually do for you all the usual day-to-day marketing activities so that you can truly focus on innovating your business to increase your sales and profits.

In many ways, my services have opened up opportunities for the savvy marketers of emerging brands who want to capitalize on the opportunities out there.

Prevailing market trends have always shown that clients are willing to buy from multiple channels. They’re receptive to emerging brands, and the interest in luxury products, services, and experiences is greater than ever before.

So I invite you to schedule a strategy call with me at your earliest convenience to discuss what opportunities I can create for you.

My services are only for those who are serious about business building. It isn’t about a cursory exercise aimed at the marketplace.

You can contact me using the contact me page or leaving a message using the WhatsApp button you see at the corner.


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HOW TO BUILD AN EMPIRE WITH CONTENT MARKETING

content marketing

So, let’s explore content marketing and how to create a content strategy.

To be successful at content marketing, it’s important to understand the various parts of a content marketing plan, including personas, brand story, listening, and measurement.

Equally important is to become aware of choosing the right channels that will complement your content, and prioritize and plan content ideas around your company’s biggest opportunities.

Content Strategy Versus Content Marketing Strategy

There is a difference between content strategy and content marketing. Where content strategy focused on the actual content, content marketing focuses on the outcome. Content Strategy is about the management and creation of the media, the tools you are using, the resources you have available, what are the types of content you will be creating.

Content marketing is all about the customer. Who are you targeting with the content? How well do you know this person? And most important, what is the expected business outcome? Are you creating and sharing content to build brand awareness? Or are you aiming to increase revenue?

More generic content marketing questions are how it fits within your overall digital marketing strategy. What does your content calendar look like? And also, by sharing your content? Are you exposed to risk in any way? Does your content work for every market and content creation framework?

A good way to start putting together your content marketing strategy is by creating your content marketing framework. It enables you to map out to required content along the customer buying journey while considering the impact it has on your online presence, your social media, your website, and your sales between these two areas.

The Types of Content

content marketing

For the customer journey and your overall digital marketing approach, you should be mindful of two to three types of content. They would be link content, conversion content, and authority content.

Link content is content that drives traffic from the internet and from your social media to your website. This is content that is created with the goal of attracting quality backlinks for SEO purposes.

Conversion content is content that drives web visitors to the next stage in the buying cycle through a call to action or CTAs. This is the content that is created with the goal to convince prospects that they should buy from you.

Authority content drives web visitors to sales through goal-to-actions and drives repeat traffic to your website. This is content that is created to build a community of people that trust you and see you as the expert in your fields.

This is a very useful structure for organizing your content. And it keeps you focused on the customer needs and the impact on your overall digital marketing objectives.

You should also know that each of these types of content has different requirements.

1. Link content needs to be high quality and often based on research so other websites can refer to it. It’s all geared towards generating high-quality backlinks to your website, which Google sees is very important for your search ranking.

You should make this content failproof, and could also repurpose it and promote it everywhere you can.

2. Conversion content is based on helping the customer to go through the buying cycle. This will only work if you understand what they need, and that your content clearly articulates that you can help them solve their problem.

Additionally, an important point here is that this type of content must provide the option to move to the next stage through a very clear and compelling call to action.

3. Authority content is a logical follow-up from your link content. It is content that confirms you are an expert in your field. It helps you to build trust, as long as you are truthful, transparent, and show integrity, and done continuously and consistently.

This type of content also helps you to deepen your relationship with your prospects and your clients.

Content Marketing Strategy

There are several steps in developing your content marketing strategy. The obvious thing, of course, is to start with setting your objectives. Additionally, you could also consider a number of things.

  • Create customer personas
  • Create listening outposts
  • Write your brand story
  • Develop your channel strategy
  • Create a content marketing playbook
  • Measure your content marketing
  • Establish your content marketing ROI.

Let’s have a more detailed look into some of the elements of your content marketing strategy.

Customer Personas

A vital step in your content marketing strategy is creating customer personas. This is a concept that comes directly from the user interface and design world.

In a customer persona, you look at things like demographic characteristics like age and gender. But it is important to add to this, what the pain points are. What is their affinity with technology? Where do they hang out online? And what are their interests and their hobbies?

You can also consider things like education, the preferred method of communication tools they need to do their job goals and objectives, some of their challenges, and how they gain knowledge.

Once you completed your customer personas, you should even print them out and keep them handy so that you can refer to them often. Also, make sure you add them to your briefing document when you ask your agency to create a new campaign.

Establish Listening Posts

content marketing

An important part of your content marketing strategy is to listen to what people are talking about online. You can find out what they think about your brand as well as other topics they like to talk about.

It is also great to listen online to find good content you could share. You don’t have to share just your own content. There’s nothing wrong with sharing relevant content from others. Obviously, when I say listening online, I mean this in the widest sense like watching videos, reading articles or blogs, looking at photos or infographics, or literally listening to podcasts.

Here are a few tools you can use to listen. Feedly is a reader app on which you can listen to live RSS feeds. Google Alerts is a widely used tool that will send you a notification for certain terms that you could set. You can also use Google Trends to find out search trends for keywords.

Your Brand’s Story

The next thing you need to work out for your content marketing strategy is your brand story. What are your mission, vision, and values? What is the story of your company and even perhaps you?

content marketing

Remember that people want to listen and share stories. When I search for IKEA on Google, you get an understanding of what I mean by stories about the history of the company, the founder of the company, the way they work with their employees, and what makes them unique. The more twists and turns, and uncertainties in these stories, the more people will love them.

And it gets even better. If you can show them how you overcame obstacles and bumps in the road, it will increase your credibility. A good example of this is Elon Musk. He came from a very simple background but kept on following his beliefs. Even when he was nearly bankrupt, he kept on going and look where he is now.

An important element of defining your content marketing strategy is understanding what kind of brand you are. The type of brand you are determines the type of social media you will use for your content. If you are a basic brand, you won’t get many people to engage and talk about you. Let alone comments on your social media posts.

One of the ways such brands can get engagement on social media is to turn themselves into a funny brand, like Blendtec blenders who launched the ‘Will It Blend’ campaign.

If you are a functional brand, such as Adobe, you will have customers asking questions about how to use your product. You need to respond to that by offering content in which you answer their questions.

Exciting brands don’t have a problem getting social media engagement with their content. They have 1000s of fans who love to talk about brands. Harley Davidson is a classic example.

These brands need to keep on posting amazing content that becomes almost like collector items for their fans.

And finally, vital brands are for the greater benefit of mankind. Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund UNICEF, have no problem in getting engagement and discussions. But they should be very alert to what people are talking about and try to find influencers that can help them spread their cause.

So, think about all this when you start putting your content marketing strategy together.

content marketing

It will guide you on the type of content and campaigns you should create and the types of calls to action you should be using.

Before deciding on the type of content you’re going to create, it makes sense to explore and select the social media channels you are going to use.

In the listening stage, you should have learned about which channels your clients usually hang out at. You’re going to make sure you are there as well. You will synchronize your branding, the key messages, and the campaigns.

To grow your followers on these channels, you need to make sure you understand the latest features and trends on these social channels.

Content Gap Analysis

It also makes good sense to do a content gap analysis.

The analysis should show you what type of content do you already have for each channel and where the gaps are. You will then know what type of content you need to further create. The gaps will also help you to align an intelligible content marketing strategy with your content marketing playbook.

Content Marketing Playbook

content marketing

So now you are in a position to decide on the type of content you’re going to create.

Link content and authority content can be fairly similar. It’s more on the promotion side of things where they differ.

But the conversion content needs to be organized along the customer journey from awareness to evaluation to purchase. We call this the marketing playbook.

You need to create your own by selecting the right content for the right stage.

Measuring Content Marketing Efforts

You can measure the traffic you get through your content, you can measure the engagement you get, and you can measure the sentiments.

Whether you are targeting consumers or businesses, the metrics are the same, but the priorities may differ. Today, lead generation is seen as the number one KPI when it comes to measuring the success of your content marketing, closely followed by traffic generation to your website.

These metrics show how your content marketing efforts are succeeding. But you need to go a level deeper to discover what specific content campaign channels and efforts are most effective in driving value.

Content Marketing ROI

And in the end, whether you are in B2C or B2B, it comes down to measuring the ROI of your content marketing. How much money did you earn from your content marketing in relation to the cost you incurred in creating and distributing it?

The things that can improve your ROI or quality of your leads, sales, web traffic engagement, successful SEO, and brand exposure. And remember, improved ROI is not just based on more sales.

It can also be based on lowering costs and the planning of your content marketing strategy.

Planning Your Content Marketing Strategy Is Very Important

There are so many things you need to take into consideration. If you don’t put some structure into this, you may lose control.

content marketing

It is best to create your own content marketing process guide. In this guide, you could specify how you create and manage your content, how you optimize and curate the content, how you listen and engage in conversations, and how you measure your content marketing.

Additionally, there are tactical aspects you could include like roles and responsibilities, writing style and guidelines, posting, and publishing guidelines. Highly suggested that you communicate a process guide to the relevant people in your organization.

You may even want to put a training video together for the people who will work with this on a daily basis. Another vital part of your process guide is the content marketing calendar. It’s the calendar that contains your content production and publication schedule.

There are many templates and tools for this on the internet. My favorite ones are trello.com and Google Calendar. The most important part of it is that it is a collaborative tool. So, you can schedule the calendar with your colleagues and clients.

content marketing

You can give people viewing or editing access. You can use color codes for the different types of content or for the different channels becoming a content marketing agency.

In Summary

Understand that content marketing is about creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to generate website traffic and new leads. The content creation framework consists of linked content, conversion content, and authority content. It puts your content in the context of the customer journey.

A customer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research, and real data about your existing customers.

Stories are the currency of content marketing and your story starts with your mission and your editorial statements and content marketing ROI is how much revenue you gained from your content marketing in comparison to what you spent on creating and distributing your content.

I hope this post helped you with your understanding of how to develop your content marketing strategy. Please feel free to comment below on any questions or thoughts you may have.


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