One of the biggest trends we are seeing in businesses that are not getting the sales they expect from their marketing efforts is DESPERATION.

Desperation is usually pretty obvious and follows a simple 2 step formula.

Step 1: someone posts online asking for recommendations or for businesses to share their information.

Step 2: dozens of business owners pile on with their social media accounts, websites, pages, and other links.

The success part of this equation that is missing is VALUE! If you are a service provider, then value can come in the form of providing recommendations or counsel on a particular topic. If you are a merchant of products, then value can come in the form of product experiences and customer feedback.

Going straight to the sale before even starting the conversation and neglecting to in-still value is the essence of desperation. Try getting potential customers to open up about their pain points, challenges, and current needs BEFORE you ask for a sale and you’ll find the route to sales conversion much more straight-forward.

The 2nd biggest trend we are seeing is FALSE RECIPROCATION. This can take many forms, but some of the most visible signs sound like “LIKE-for-LIKE”, “SHARE-for-SHARE”, or “FOLLOW-for-FOLLOW”.

Let me be clear, YOU DON’T NEED TO STOP, but you do need to stop expecting a mountain of sales from it. Giving support to and receiving support from other small business owners is great for your mental health as a small business owner, but trading engagement won’t replace good ol’ market research and prequalification – (1) discovering WHO your target audience is; and (2) finding ways to reach them where they are at; and (3) qualifying your audience by purchase intent; and finally (4) targeting that prequalified audience with your calls-to-action.