Sometimes the biggest impacts are the ones we easily overlook. When your business runs into a slump and you want to fix it, your natural inclination is to look to add something new. Maybe you should try Facebook Ads, or you heard Instagram Reels are great, or maybe you need a new lead magnet?
But what if, before jumping to add something new, I told you that the biggest growth metrics are much more foundational. Almost so foundational that you have probably never even analyzed these very metrics that could make or break your business.
I initially learned this method from Alex Hormozi on his podcast, The Game, so I can’t take credit for these concepts. You should go check out his podcast for his insight on this concept and just all around great insights on business in general. But here is my take on these three growth metrics and how this matters to you.
#1: Your Market
If sales are in a slump, the very first thing you need to look at is the market you are in. I don’t mean the overall market; I mean, your niche or who you are making your sales to. You are going to want to look at some key metrics related to your market to determine if this slump is related to something you are doing (which is good, because you can fix it), or whether it is related to an overall decline in the market itself (which is bad, you cannot fix this).
I suggest creating a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to begin. Identify who your competitors are in the market. Are they better or worse at delivering a solution to your market? Are there any gaps you could fill they are missing? Are you better or worse than the competition? Are they advertising the same amount as you or more? What do their customers have to say about them?
This one is a big one. Picking a market with the right size is key to your success as a business. This is your sales potential in terms of units sold. To analyze your market size, you’ll want to take note of whether this market is big enough to meet your sales goals over many years. Let’s say you want to make $1,000,000 a year pre-tax and your product is $250. That means, you’ll need to sell 4,000 units a year, every year, and assuming this isn’t a consumable product, you’ll need to find 4,000 new customers each year.
Market size is relative. In the United States, 4,000 customers is not that large especially if we consider a large market like TV sales. But if you consider a very niche market like boho leg warmers for alpacas, well, 4,000 customers may exceed the market size in year one or year two.
To start your research on your market a good website to start is IBIS World. You will just need to type in your market sector and you can get a good overview of your market numbers.
Market Growth Rate
While you’re looking at your market numbers, you’ll also want to pay close attention to your market growth rate. Is your market growing, shrinking, or neutral? It may seem obvious, but you don’t want to start a business that is in a rapidly shrinking market. However, even if your market is shrinking slowly, it still may be big enough for you to remain profitable and achieve your business goals. You will need to weigh these options after closely analyzing the numbers.
Ability To Reach The Market
None of these numbers will mean a thing, if there is no easy way to communicate and reach your target market. You will want to ensure there is a way to identify your market, understand where they congregate, and ensure you can reach them there. A good indication of market accessibility is how easy it is to research your market, so if you are able to find them on IBIS World, you are likely good to go!
The last thing you’ll want to analyze is your market profitability. Can you reliably sell your item to this market and profit? So using the example above, would this market react favorably to a $250 price point? How much profit does that item at $250 give to your business?
Before moving on, you will need to decide if you believe your market is solid, growing, and profitable. If you believe your market is good to go, proceed to step #2- Your Offer.
#2: Your Offer
The second thing to look at after confirming the state of your market is your offer. Just like the market, you can have a strong, neutral, or weak offer. Just by improving your offer, you can generally increase sales almost immediately because most people have a neutral or weak offer. You want to have an irresistible offer!
A great offer consists of three things: a clear message, a clear path, and a quantifiable promise.
A Clear Message
Most offers fail simply because they are confusing. The buyer doesn’t understand what they are buying, so they don’t buy. You want to make your message AKA your offer very clear. In fact, you want it so clear a five year old could understand it.
Here is an equation you can use to help you to clarify your message:
I help ________, to achieve _________, without________, by __________.
A Clear Path
In order to sell your message, you need to understand the path the buyer is on. When you are presenting your offer, it is a new opportunity for them and possibly something they have not considered yet in their journey. So you want to create marketing messages that help them to understand and change their beliefs about the current path they are on.
For example, let’s take the belief that a lot of people have that “sales is sleazy”. If you are selling a program that helps people learn how to sell, this is a belief that you will need to help people overcome BEFORE they will be open to hearing about your offer. So you will want to create messaging that helps people break their beliefs about sales, shows examples of how sales aren’t sleazy and in fact can lead to the thing they want most. By doing this, you are creating the belief that you have the solution to the problem the buyer seeks and you are giving them a clear path to solving it.
A Quantifiable Promise
Third step to creating a great offer is making sure your offer has a specific and quantifiable end result. A lot of offers that fail contain vague promises like “improve your life” or “be happier”. But an offer that says “Get Your First Sales Job in 30 Days” is specific and has an easily identified result. It is clear and the promise is result driven. For someone looking for that result, it will be irresistible!
Before moving on, you will need to decide if you believe your offer is solid, clear, and provides a quantifiable result. If you believe your offer is good to go, proceed to step #3- Sales Skills.
#3: Sales Skills
Alright, we’re down to the last skill and the good news is that if you’ve picked a strong market and created an irresistible offer, your sales skills won’t matter as much. They are definitely still important and having strong sales skills will make you more money, but ensuring #1 and #2 are strong is your best bet to fixing a slump in overall sales.
But I, myself, love sales! So I have some recommendations if you are looking to improve your skills in this area. Having strong sales skills is such a valuable overall life skill that I couldn’t recommend investing in them enough. Here are some of my favorite books to learn from: