The 5 Mistakes that Suffocate Business Growth…and A Look at a Group of Innovative Small Business Owners Who Have Solved the Puzzle

Posted by Josh Turner in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Development

We’ve had the privilege to speak and work with hundreds of thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs over the years and while it can seem that the flurry of tactics, software, and ‘the next big thing’ seem to change by the day…there are some constant strategies that never fail.

In this post, we’ll share with you the 5 sales mistakes that strangle small business growth and share the stories of five different business owners who have overcome them following a tried-and-true approach to their marketing.

Mistake #1 – Not Prioritizing Your Sales Process

We work with a lot of people that get into their business as an expert in their field. Yours truly included. When I launched my first business, I was an outsourced CFO. And like many people I didn’t think of myself as a salesperson.

I figured, ‘Hey, I’m good at my job. And I solve a problem many small businesses have. And I assumed that for the most part people will magically find that out and the rest will take care of itself.’

This type of thinking is a MAJOR mistake.

One that I and many others have made (whether they’ll admit it or not), and I hope it’s something you can learn from.

The sooner you have a system in place that makes you feel comfortable with selling your product or service, the sooner your business will grow.

With the laundry list of things a business owner can focus on, the businesses that have staying power are the ones who prioritize sales.

If you don’t, you shouldn’t expect sales to come through consistently.

Take a look at Peter James. Peter runs a Marketing Agency out in California.


Peter had some really solid pieces of his business in place. Importantly, he provided a service that got results for his clients. But he needed a process to make his sales conversations less daunting. And a way to ease both himself and his prospects into the conversation that didn’t feel as confrontational or one-sided as sales calls can feel.

So…after being referred to check out Booked, Peter got to work implementing the approach we implement here at LinkedSelling and soon after reached out to let us know he closed his first deal. Here’s what Peter had to say:

“I just got my first client through the BOOKED system! It worked so well it didn’t even feel like selling at all. I highly encourage you guys to go all in with this stuff!”

~ Peter James, CEO at Mountain View Conversions

Just because sales might not be natural to you, doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

Peter isn’t the only one who has echoed this sentiment. The truth is, by prioritizing your process, sales become much easier.

Carla Corley a Partner at Corner Office Consultants noticed a similar change in her business.

“No one else in our market is doing this. So instead of calling and just asking to help with orders, we have a process now that allows people to get to know us electronically first, so when it does come to the time for them to buy – much better overall process. Because of that, we’ve found our conversations with prospects are more consultative and less us pushing services. Which has resulted in 4 new clients since implementing this past quarter.”

In 2019 (as always) place a premium on both how you handle your sales conversations, but also with the way you get the RIGHT people on the phone with you in the first place. With that, you can simplify the process and make it more comfortable for your personality.

Mistake #2 – Allowing Yourself to Be Lost in the Noise

Whenever someone asks me at an event or cocktail party to explain what I do, I always hear one of two things:

1. Oh yeah…I’ve got a LinkedIn but I’m really not doing anything with it.

In which case I try and share a little information for them to understand the right approach…or shamelessly mention my book 😉

2. They tell me they tried a little of this and a little of that on LinkedIn, but never got anything from it.

And there could be a number of reasons why that is. But most often when I dive into it with people it’s because they didn’t find a way to stand out from what everyone else does online.

You aren’t the only vendor out there that has a great solution for your client. The fact is… they are getting pitched something A LOT.

And they can smell commission-breath from a mile away.

If you go with the same approach as everyone else…just posting in an article of yours once and hoping someone will see it, sending them a cold message that goes right for the sale, or approaching them in anything that screams -’Call me I have the BEST software/product/service’ without saying anything that’s actually relevant to them or given them any reason to trust you, you can expect to get the door closed in your face.

But…if you had a way to make a strong first impression.

Something that has your prospects viewing you as a resource. As someone that provides something just for them.

They’d be more likely to keep that door open longer, right?

Of course.

The secret here is in how you position yourself when you reach out to your prospects.

A client of ours, Henri Schauffler, has been a great example of prioritizing his positioning.

He runs a community on LinkedIn that is tailored to fit EXACTLY how his prospects identify themselves.

When he first approaches a prospect to connect and is listed as the founder of this group that appeals directly to those prospects, he’s able to get his foot in the door and start a relationship or conversation.

This is the first step…yet it’s one people gloss over time-and-time again.

Stand out. Invest in the relationship. And don’t be like the others.

That’s something that David Iverson has emphasized with his approach. Following the process we lay out in Booked, David was able to launch his community on LinkedIn targeting Financial Advisors.

In quick time, David has filled this community with hundreds of his ideal prospects. Giving him a platform to stay in front of his prospects, build authority, and strengthen new relationships.

Where David’s business had plateaued, he took action and implemented our straightforward process to, “Create a leadership platform and a group full of hot prospects that have converted extremely well into clients.”

And just less than a year after getting started David’s results speak for themselves,

“We’ve increased sales 70% just from this approach. The digital engagement was critical to our 2018 results.”

Fast Track Your Results

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Mistake #3 – Waiting to Be Crowned an Expert

You may have heard a variation of this one before, but I think it speaks to the question of expertise and authority.

“To a 3rd-grader a 5th-grader is an expert.”

Now I don’t say that to belittle anyone’s expertise, in fact, the opposite. Over the years we’ve worked with a lot of companies with bona fide experts that know far more than me about a lot of topics.

But the point from that quote remains.

Experts know more about a topic than their prospects.

That doesn’t mean that you have to sit there and wait for someone to crown you an expert.

You need to do the self-crowning based on your experience and results. Your experience and results could be from work you’ve done for clients or work you’ve done for yourself.

Either way don’t hesitate to think of yourself as the expert and be sure to make that clear in your LinkedIn profile.

Demonstrate the results you can get for your clients. And let them know that what you provide is just for them.


Mistake #4 – Wasting Time and Money on Overly Complex Funnels

This isn’t to say that there’s something inherently wrong with building lots of content or writing a webinar script, building a slide deck, designing the ad, writing the ad copy, connecting your CRM system, planning out a budget, setting up retargeting and more.

In fact, we include that in our marketing plan.

However, if all those items are new to you…or unproven, it can be tough to dedicate so much time and ad budget just to kick things off.

And then, worst of all there’s no guarantee your webinar sells anything. What then? You’re back at square one.

That’s why when you start out growing your business or putting together a lead generation campaign, we start by sticking with simple.

Some might say oversimplification…but in our experience, the bells and whistles just aren’t the tipping point.

Whether you are selling a product or a service, if you are committed to generating a consistent flow of leads, there is nothing with higher leverage for you or your team than getting the prospect on the phone.

This allows you to overcome objections, refine your offer and when it comes down to it actually speaking with your prospects is the key to closing MORE high-ticket deals.

The truth is, if your strategy isn’t driving towards an appointment or consultation, you’re leaving money on the table. Or worse yet, spending time and money on strategies that only lead down a rabbit hole of more time, money, and consultants is a huge trap.

Now, Patty Jensen works for a company that provides retail marketing display. She targets high-ticket accounts. The types of accounts where only a couple each year can lead to huge growth.

And by following our approach – the same approach we outline in Booked – Patty has seen some incredible results in the past year. But don’t take it from me, here’s Patty in her own words…

“I want to share more positive news on this Friday. I just had a call with a lead I found through [the system]. It has been one of the best conversations I've had so far. I started out the conversation learning about what he was doing and found my place to insert how we could help solve some of his pain points. Since he had already familiarized himself with our company, he already knew the ways we could be an asset. At the end of the conversation, he said “I really appreciate the way you are going about your business development. It is a soft sell and a really great way to approach getting new business.” We have a follow-up meeting in a couple of weeks. Even if nothing comes of it, it affirmed that I'm headed down the right path.”

Fast Track Your Results

Schedule A  Rocket Launch Session Now

Mistake #5 – Choosing Inaction

Your business isn’t going to grow itself. Many online marketers these days like to sell the promise of business growth “while you sleep or lay on the beach…”

But before you get there, you need to invest in relationships.

And in appointments.

And in taking the simple path to set you up with more appointments with the RIGHT prospects who can move you forward.

That’s how you get results like Jay Magpantay.

Jay had been a member of a number of different programs over the years and had done some incredible things. However, not every funnel he was building got results.

What did get results – almost immediately – was investing in the Booked approach to build authority, connect with his prospects and follow-up in the right way to get appointments.

“Thanks so much for building the system and for the insight you shared on our coaching call. I've hit big milestones in my business because of everything you and your team have helped me with. Notably, I've had 6 new clients, have 4X'd my LinkedIn network, and have a LinkedIn group where people are asking to join regularly.”

Now Jay is able to serve more clients and expand his marketing based on the revenue he’s been able to generate. He’s been able to get more specific on the high-end clients he goes after…

The ones who can afford his services and are the people he actually wants to work with.

Pretty incredible stuff!

If you want to learn more on the exact systems, outreach tactics, and lessons that Jay, Patty, Henri, Carla, Miles, and more have implemented, don’t forget to pre-order your FREE copy of Booked. We’ll be releasing the entire manuscript – absolutely free later this month. And you can reserve your spot below.