The Problem With Good Advice About Sales and Marketing

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When it comes to selling things as successfully as possible, there’s a lot of good advice by a lot of smart people.

Just on Amazon, there are 108,841 books on marketing and sales right now.

That’s almost a book a day for the next 300 years!

Then there are case studies. Best practices. Magazine articles in journals like the Harvard Business Review. And a countless number of blog posts from experts and armchair-experts alike.

And some of the strategies that worked well five years ago no longer work today.

It all adds up to a lot of confusion and anxiety around digital sales and marketing strategy – where one moment you’re hearing video marketing is the way to go, the next it’s all about minimalism and user experience, the next it’s back to social media… and so on!

So let’s cut through the “noise” that’s out there and focus on one thing:

“What Works Best…”

One of the most valuable assets in my business is my Codex – a collection of tests, case studies, and performance results I’ve collected from marketing campaigns I’ve been involved in since 1998.

This is an ever-evolving collection of case studies and best practices around the question: “what makes the biggest difference, when it comes to sales and marketing, right now?”.

It’s the reason I can afford to do silly things – like guarantee that I can improve revenues immediately to more than pay for myself, or my clients don’t pay a cent.

It improves my “advice game”: helping me to give clients better and more effective advice…

But even still, it’s not a “magic pill” for success.

The Best Laid Plans…

Recently I took on a client who had a wonderful product, making millions in sales, with a frankly lacklustre website.

Immediately, my mind went to the Codex…

The site was dripping with opportunities for improvement! Right off the top of my head, I could think of at least six past case studies of improvements I’d made to clients’ websites that could apply here.

Not just that, but I was working with one of the world’s leading direct response sales copywriters here.

Together, we quickly implemented a series of tweaks that we’ve consistently seen deliver improvements to other clients, and some simple UX tweaks that we could make to immediately improve the flow of the website.

And then, we waited… while the results came in.

A few weeks later, it was clear that most of our best ideas bombed.

Some seemingly obvious improvements resulted in no measurable improvement at all!

Other changes actually led to slight decreases in sales!

…But then there was ONE improvement that led to a 20%+ increase in sales leads.

This one tweak stands to generate millions in of additional revenue for the client every year – from now on.

The Lesson…

Even the best marketing and sales techniques fall flat sometimes.

The lesson here is that if you want a highly optimised sales funnel – to maximise your revenues – you can’t simply rely on good theory, best practices, things that work well for your colleagues or competitors, or good ideas from books about design, marketing and sales…

You can’t rely on a great website, built on a great platform, backed by great marketing strategies…

You can’t even rely on the advice of experts…

If you actually want to maximise your sales revenues which is an obvious thing for any business owner to want to do – you can’t rely on ANY of this…

Good ideas need to be tested in the “real world”.

Your website, and the products or services you sell on it, operate in their own unique ecosystem.

You have your own unique assets and strengths, your own unique value proposition in the marketplace, and your own unique clients, who have their own unique needs.

The definition of optimisation is literally making the best or most effective use of a specific situation or set of resources.

Good marketing strategy is a great place to begin.

But until it’s tested and proven – how do you know if good theory is good for you?

P.S. This month I hired a new programmer to help me implement more tests like the one above for clients.

It means I have capacity to work with five new clients over the next five weeks.

If you’d like to work with me, and increase the number of Leads and Sales you generate online without spending more on ads or traffic – let me know here.

I can’t guarantee a 605% increase in revenues like I achieved for Nando’s; a 47% increase in sales like I achieved for a large ecommerce store last month; or even a 20%+ increase in leads like in the example above.

But I do guarantee that your investment in me pays for itself in the first month – or you don’t pay a cent.

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