Imagine your 18-year old daughter introduces you to Rowan — her new boyfriend. Rowan has no job or education, but he does have a great collection of tattoos on both arms and several safety pins through his eyebrow.
No daughter? OK, imagine your assistant buzzes you on the intercom and says, “The IRS is on line one for you.”
No tax issues? OK, imagine you’re at the airport. Just before you board, an announcement proclaims, “We’re sorry, but due to severe weather, all flights are cancelled until tomorrow.”
You get it. It’s bad news. Just like when you learn you are “leaving money on the table.” It’s a phrase that can ruin your day.
“Leaving money on the table” is an idiom that means you are not getting as much money as you could — or you made a deal that is not as good as it could have been. If you charged $500 for a service for which a client would have gladly paid $600, you left $100 on the table. But that situation is rare. Most of the time, you leave money on the table with a sales or marketing mistake that causes you to miss a sale completely or reduces the size of the sale.
How does that happen? Where are your missed opportunities? Do an honest evaluation of your sales and marketing process and components. The missed opportunities are issues we call performance gaps.”
Every business and non-profit organization is different and has unique issues but what follows are good general examples of performance gaps for you to look for in your situation.
Performance Gaps in Your Sales Process
- You have no prospect list at all, you do no prospecting
- You have no new business process. You wait for business to come you
- You lose track of a prospect who was interested but not yet ready to buy
- You don’t ask customers for referrals
- You get a referral but are slow to follow up
- You keep working with prospects who have no buying authority
- You don’t follow up after a sales to ensure satisfaction
Performance Gaps in Your Marketing
These are the most common —
- Failure to focus on the customer experience
- No strong offer in your (digital and traditional) ads
- No call to action in your ads
- Incomplete contact info in ads
- Social media not used properly
- Links on your website that don’t work
- The buying process on your website is too complicated or time consuming
Investigate – Knowledge is Money
You are leaving money on the table and ignoring possible revenues streams if you don’t take the time to learn what your customers are thinking on an ongoing basis. You need to survey customers often and interview as many as possible. Knowledge will make you money.
Make sure your customer’s experience is great — not just good. Clear the path to the purchase. Make the buying process super easy. Add a chat feature to your website.
You also leave money on the table by not offering upgrades to customers. Some business owners are on the fence about this because they don’t want to seem pushy — especially with a customer that just bought something.
But marketing pros will tell you, you owe it to the customer to at least provide the benefits of upgrading. These are choices the customer might want and would can in higher revenues for you.
There may not be much you can do about your daughter’s choice of boyfriends, but with a focus on customer experience and watching for performance gaps, you might be able to avoid leaving money on the table.