EP - 008

Are You Scaring Your Prospects Away?

With Mark Drager

Adapting to change isn't just a strategy—it's a survival skill in today's dynamic business world.

The How To Sell More Podcast


September 14, 2023

Do you know your business's blind spots? Mark Drager dives deep into the hidden areas that might be holding you back. In this episode, he shines a light on what you might be missing.

Here's what you'll learn:

  • Uncovering blind spots can lead to big growth.
  • Clear communication builds trust and brings the right customers.
  • Being adaptable helps businesses thrive in changing times.  

These insights can change how you see your business.

Blind spots in businesses are more than just overlooked details. They can be barriers that stop growth and success. It's time to understand and tackle them. Every business owner, sales pro, and marketing expert will benefit from Mark's wisdom. Listen and transform your business approach.

Key Takeaways

  • Recognizing Blind Spots is Essential for Growth - Businesses often overlook areas where they may be underperforming. By regularly examining and reassessing operations, companies can uncover hidden challenges.
  • Effective Communication Builds Trust and Attracts Customers - Misunderstandings or misconceptions can arise from unclear communication. It's essential to ensure that the business's value proposition is not just understood but also effectively conveyed to potential customers.
  • Adaptability is Key to Addressing Business Challenges - Embracing change requires a culture of learning and innovation. Companies should encourage their teams to seek out new knowledge, techniques, and tools to stay ahead of the curve.

Top 3 Reasons to Listen

Uncover Hidden Barriers: The episode dives into the often overlooked areas in businesses, helping listeners identify potential blindspots that might be holding them back.

Achieve Exponential Growth: By addressing these blindspots, listeners can unlock strategies for substantial business growth.

Real-world Examples: Mark provides practical examples from his experiences, making the teachings relatable and easy to implement.

Links to This Episode

More About our Host, Mark Drager

AKA the Badass Brand Architect, 5th Generation Entrepreneur, Host of The How To Sell More Podcast

When he's not podcasting, Mark's the Co-Founder & CEO of SalesLoop. He's a dedicated husband to his high school sweetheart, Jacqueline, and a proud father of four.

Mark didn't follow the typical route to becoming a sales & marketing expert. A connected figure in the entrepreneur community, Mark provides listeners with a unique mix of wit, insight, and straightforward advice.

Some of Mark's unconventional adventures include commandeering a Boeing 737-800 for a day, facing harsh criticism from a billionaire, and shedding 70 lbs in his late 30s. Though he never attended college, Mark stands as proof of the might of maintaining a student mindset and being ever-ready to seek assistance.

A Transcription of The Talk

If you've attended any marketing conference or undergone any sales training, or even just conversed with someone in sales and marketing, one piece of advice always stands out: Understand your audience. It's imperative to know your customers and continually strive to get closer to them. I've held numerous discussions on this podcast where, regardless of the topic at hand, the conversation inevitably circles back to understanding the customer. However, what isn't often addressed is how businesses might unintentionally repel prospects. Due to being deeply engrossed in your industry, you might be oblivious to how off-putting or misaligned your selling process is with the customer's buying process.

Let me share a personal experience that might clarify this. A few weekends ago, my wife Jacqueline and I visited Montreal. On our first night there, we were strolling through downtown, a bustling area filled with independent retail shops, clubs, and eateries. The sheer number of options was overwhelming. We decided to simply explore the area without resorting to Google Maps for guidance. One thing we noticed was a packed Indian restaurant, buzzing with activity. Typically, a full restaurant suggests good food. I asked Jacqueline if she was in the mood for Indian cuisine, but she wasn't. As we continued our walk, we stumbled upon an authentic Spanish pie restaurant. It had a charming balcony overlooking the street, but to our surprise, it was nearly vacant. Usually, I'm inclined towards busier places, associating crowd with quality. However, something piqued our interest, and I suggested we check out their menu. Inside, the ambiance was inviting, with a splendid open kitchen reminiscent of shows like "Hell's Kitchen." Their menu, however, was a chalkboard listing various pies in Spanish, followed by a brief ingredient list, like "chicken" or "rabbit." I felt lost, unsure of how to order or what each item entailed. When a staff member approached us, I candidly expressed my confusion. Her initial reaction was one of offense, almost bordering on annoyance.

Nevertheless, after realizing our genuine interest, she took the time to explain their offerings. She detailed the traditional pies, their ingredients, and answered all our questions. While the conversation was lengthy, it was enlightening. Jacqueline and I decided to dine there, and the experience was nothing short of exceptional. The food was traditional, prepared with care, and the service was commendable. It was such a delightful meal that I tipped generously. However, what struck me was the contrast between our experience and the restaurant's apparent lack of clientele. On a bustling street, it remained nearly empty, with few patrons coming and going. As we enjoyed our meal, I couldn't help but ponder what was amiss with their business model.

And that's a striking realization, isn't it? What was wrong with their business? It was overly intimidating, confusing, and foreign to someone like me. Now, had the area been predominantly a Spanish or Latin community, their business model might make more sense. But on a bustling Friday night, with other restaurants and bars overflowing with people, this place was deserted. As I left, I hoped our experience highlighted the gaps in their customer engagement. Perhaps they could benefit from visuals or more detailed descriptions of their offerings. Or maybe a quick guide on how to order. 

For instance, Nando's, a UK-based chain, serves Piri-Piri style chicken, a specialty from Portugal. When I first visited, I was initially confused by their semi-casual ordering system. But over time, and thanks to their efforts in educating customers about their unique ordering process and the nuances of Piri-Piri chicken, I grew fond of it. In Canada, this wasn't a standard restaurant experience, so Nando's had to actively guide their customers. I didn't see the same effort from the pie place.

This entire episode prompted me to introspect about my own business and this podcast. Every outreach, every point of contact with potential customers needs reflection. Could you be unintentionally deterring potential customers? Like the restaurant, are you creating an atmosphere of confusion? Even something as straightforward as ordering food at a restaurant can become daunting if the process isn't clear.

So why does this happen? Let's delve into two psychological aspects. Firstly, there's the illusion of choice. Businesses often offer an array of choices, thinking that catering to every individual preference is the key. We operate under the belief that everyone wants a highly customized experience, so we present a multitude of options. But consider the tea study or the jeans study. When inundated with choices, consumers face "choice overload." For instance, with a limited number of jeans, a consumer might quickly find a suitable pair. But when presented with a wide variety, the stakes suddenly feel higher. The fear of making the wrong choice becomes paralyzing. When faced with numerous similar options, and lacking adequate information to distinguish between them, many consumers defer their decision or choose not to decide at all.

The crux of the issue is this: are businesses making their offerings too complex for potential customers? Reflecting on the restaurant experience, had they simplified their menu—say, by stating they offer pies with either a red or white sauce and listing the available proteins for each—that would have made the decision process more accessible for patrons like me. Instead, they provided an array of 14 options, written in a different language, with unfamiliar flavor profiles. It was sheer overload. So the question to ask yourself is, are you overwhelming your customers with too many choices?

The second pitfall that many businesses fall into is the use of complex jargon or bombarding prospects with excessive information. Especially in the B2B sector, businesses often communicate using their industry-specific language. While this showcases their expertise, it can alienate those not familiar with the terminology. Take the restaurant for instance; they aimed to preserve the authenticity of their dishes, which is commendable. But in their bid to maintain purity, they might have alienated potential customers like me. You must ask yourself: are you speaking your customer's language?

So here's a succinct wrap-up of the insights:

1. First and foremost, acknowledge the possibility that your business might be intimidating or confusing potential clients. Examine your selling process, messaging, and even the customer's buying journey. Recognize that while you might have success with certain customers who persevere through your process, you might be inadvertently turning away many others.

2. Secondly, strive to reduce the number of choices presented to customers. While it's essential to ensure the customer feels in control, guiding them through the decision process can be invaluable. After all, with your industry expertise, you're well-positioned to steer them towards the best solutions.

3. Lastly, do away with jargon. While it might bolster your image as an expert in your field, it can be off-putting to those unfamiliar with the terminology. Aim for clarity and simplicity in your messaging.

Reflecting on my experience at the restaurant, my wife and I, perhaps more adventurous than some, were willing to navigate the unfamiliar menu and ask for help. But consider the many moments during which we could have simply left, daunted by the unfamiliarity. That restaurant made it unduly challenging for us to enjoy a meal there. So, take this as a lesson for your business: streamline your processes and make it as straightforward as possible for potential clients to engage with you more. Don't let barriers or complexities deter your prospects. Simplify, clarify, and guide them towards success.