Don’t Do Marketing. Do Sales.

Why Are You Wasting Your Time On Marketing?

Most small business owners spend too much time thinking about marketing.

They spend hours, days, and years talking about their website layouts, logos, colors, content, images, etc. all in the name of good marketing.

But they spend very little time refining their sales process.

The Math on Marketing vs. Sales

Let’s say you get 100 visitors to your website this month.

And of those 100 visitors, you get 10 calls/emails.

And of those 10 emails, you close 1 deal.

That’s a 1% close rate.

If each deal is work $1,000, you just made a grand – Great work!

There Are Two Ways to Double Your Money Next Month

There are two ways to double your money next month from inbound leads:

  1. Double the number of visitors to your website.
    i.e. Get 2,000 visitors next month, and you’ve doubled your money!
  2. Double the close rate of existing visitors to your website.
    i.e. Close one additional deal with and existing lead, and you’ve doubled your money!

(FYI, there is a 3rd more powerful way to double your money: sell to existing/former customers, but we’ll save that for a different day.)

1. Double The Visitors (Marketing)

Doubling your visitors is achieved through marketing.

Specifically, paid marketing.

SEO is fine, but it’s unreliable.  You want reliable results.

So you buy more ads on Google, Facebook, etc.

This requires more time to learn those platforms and to fine-tune your campaigns.

You need to buy designers’ time and maybe source the ad purchasing to an expensive agency.

It’s complex.

It’s fun!

It’s really expensive and takes a lot of time to get right!

Forget marketing.

2. Double The Close Rate (Sales)

Rather than investing a ton of time, money, energy, attention, etc. getting new potential customers, why not just improve your pitch to your existing leads?

  • This is sales.
  • You’ve already got the leads.
  • You already have a process to talk to leads.
  • You just tweak your pitch and devote a little more effort to closing existing leads, and walla!
  • You’ve doubled your income!
  • And you haven’t spent a dime on marketing/ads/SEO/etc.

For most small business owners, you’ve also taken the critical business function in-house.  (It’s tough to outsource sales.)

You need to own your critical business functions, and sales is critical (marketing not so much…).

Sales Is Simple

One reason why marketing is so alluring to small business owners and freelancers is that you can feel like you are doing work even when you aren’t doing work.

You redo your branding, have conversations about colors, feelings, designs, layouts, email campaigns, advertising, Facebook “likes”, social media “engagements”, etc. etc. etc.

But you aren’t actually selling.  And therefore none of that stuff matters.

And don’t forget that selling is something most freelancers avoid like the plague!

But selling is where the money is.

If you are focused on marketing instead of selling, then you are not an effective business owner.

Sales Results Are Immediate

Which would you rather have: Immediate, actionable feedback on your efforts OR delayed, confusing feedback?

Sales provides immediate, actionable feedback.

Things like:

  • Did they react to my pitch?
  • Did they buy?  Why not?
  • Is my collateral effective?
  • What questions did they ask (i.e. what do I need to include in my collateral/pitch)?
  • etc.

With sales feedback, you change your pitch today.  You build a new landing page today.  You improve your close rate today.  You make more money really really soon.

Marketing gives you worthless feedback, months late most of the time.

So you sink deeper into the marketing hole, buying more ads, spending more time on graphics/ads/colors/etc.

But you are still nowhere near getting a good return on investment for your marketing efforts.

This is just the start.

Once you master your sales pitch, and have a great close rate, and you are making way more dough, then it might be time to invest in marketing.

But probably not even then, because by then you’ll be sold on sales, and you’ll know that the next best step is usually to sell to existing/former customers (I’ll write more about that later).

 — Toby

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Further Reading

Toby Cryns

Toby Cryns is a freelance CTO and WordPress Guru. He also writes for