What’s the difference between 1.98 and 1.23?

By Beacon Staff

Wow, that was quite a series. Seven long weeks of finger-wagging advice. Now it’s time for a little higher math to bring it all together.

Ok, I lied, I’m not going to assault you with higher math, but I do want to make a point about something I spend a good deal of time talking about: the slight edge.

The slight edge is all about continuous, incremental improvement. A lot of it comes from that measurement thing that we talked about eons ago in week 4.

Let’s say that you market an item and after looking at your numbers, find that 1.23% of the prospects that you contact (by mail, internet, phone, in your store, in a dark alley, trade show, or whatever) purchase it.

Now let’s assume that I suggest a change to you. It won’t seem like much. Maybe it’s something that only improves your ability to sell that product or service to the point that 1.98% of your prospects purchase it (instead of 1.23%).

That’s a mere .75% increase, isn’t it? Hardly worth listening to anyone’s marketing advice for a mere .75%, much less paying for it, right?

Or maybe we should look again with an example.

If your product or service sells for an average of $57, and every day, you have 100 people come into your store (or read your direct mail, or look at your website, etc) and you sell to (on average) 1.23% of every 100 prospects you meet, then (on average) you will make 1.23 * $57, or $70.11 per day.

Now let’s assume that we do something that improves your sales percentage from 1.23 to 1.98, what we saw above as a mere .75% difference. That’s 1.98% of 100 people, daily, on average – or 112.86 per day – an improvement of $42.75 PER DAY.

We’ve not increased your sales by .75%, we’ve increased them by SIXTY percent. 60.9 to be exact. Here’s the math as a percentage, if you’re curious. (1.98-1.23/1.23) = .609 = 60.9%

Over a month’s time (30 * $42.75), that that’s $1282.50. Not bad.

Over a year’s time, that’s an extra $15603.75. Not exactly chump change, is it?

Here’s the best part. You should be able to easily look around and find a dozen things that would provoke 19 people out of 1000 to buy your stuff, as opposed to a mere 12 out of 1000. I mean that’s closing an additional sale (and more importantly, getting a new customer, at least in most cases) a mere once every 142 times you get a chance to make a sale.

Raise your hands now: Who among you can’t find at least one single way to add one extra sale for every 142 chances? I hope everyone’s hand is up.

So how do we do that?

We add a bigger size. We add a smaller size. We bundle with another, complementary product or service. We create a package that has so much value, our prospective client can’t possibly say no.

We do a better job of marketing.

We choose our mailing list a little better. We don’t send direct mail for selling snow blowers to South Florida (or similarly poor choices).

We test, test, test.

Perhaps we do that by hand-addressing 100 of our mailings this month, instead of using computer labels on all of them – and we test the quality and quantity of the response we get from those 100. We compare it to the mailings done with computer labels. If the hand-addressed ones work better, guess what? Yes, indeed – We hand-address more next month.

We do a better job of listening to our client.

Try this on for size. Instead of yammering on about your product, try asking an intelligent question to a prospective client. Next, see how long you can keep from interrupting them while they tell you everything you need to know in order to provide them with what they want or need.

What can you fine tune this week to sell just 1 more client than you did last week?

Want to learn more about Mark or ask him to write about a business, operations or marketing problem? See Mark’s site or contact him at [email protected].