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pinpoint why your offers aren't selling

How To Pinpoint Why Your Offers Aren’t Selling: A Simple Diagnostic to Decode and Fix The Problem of Low or Slow Sales

Eleanor Beaton

There’s nothing more frustrating than pouring your heart into creating an offer only to have it…NOT SELL.

In this article, I will lay out a simple diagnostic tool you can use to help you uncover why your offer – especially group program, online course or “productized service” isn’t selling well, and a simple, doable step you can take to address the problem. 

You will learn:

  • Why low or no sales for group programs, online courses and productized services are common – even for successful entrepreneurs;
  • A simple diagnostic tool to help you pinpoint exactly where in the “go to market” process the breakdown happens;
  • Simple, doable steps you can take at each step of the process to improve your sales result.

Let’s dive in!

Why low or no sales for group programs, online courses and productized services are surprisingly common – even among successful entrepreneurs.

I’d like to share an experience I had recently on a sales call with a prospective coaching client. The business owner – I’ll call her Sandra – was a consultant who had been in business for 7 years selling consulting packages to non profit and government clients. 

She was making around $200K per year as a consultant, but she was burning out from the drain of service delivery.

So she developed an online course and attempted to sell it following the online sales strategies taught by digital marketers whose Facebook ads you see everywhere.

Crickets. 🦗 🦗 🦗

On the sales call, she confidently declared that “courses don’t work in her space.”

She couldn’t be more wrong. Her clients invest MILLIONS in online courses, group programs and productized services every year. It’s just that they weren’t buying from HER. Figuring out WHY this was the case was the key to unlocking an “exponential scale” story for her company.

I see this scenario frequently enough that I feel it’s critical to point this out:

Selling a group program, online course or productized service – ie – a scalable offer of any kind – is VERY DIFFERENT from selling a customized service.

When you sell a customized service, you morph to the needs of your buyer. You invest your time understanding their needs, and designing a tailored solution to match those needs, one contract and project at a time. When you sell customized services, coaching or consulting, you morph to your customer, one deal at a time.

But when you decide you want to scale your company, and therefore create a productized service such as an online course, group coaching program or scalable offer, the game changes. In this scenario, the focus is on creating an offer that pulls your customer to you.

Our clients sell their group programs, online courses and scalable offers to individual buyers, as well as large corporate buyers. But no matter who you are selling to, the key to selling a scalable offer of any kind is to understand that  YOUR OFFER must be a center of gravity that pulls the market.

This is a fundamental shift in perspective. 

In my opinion, a failure to understand this critical shift in perspective is why even successful entrepreneurs experience low or no sales for their online courses or programs…even as their 1:1 services are in high demand!

How To Pinpoint Why Your Offers Aren’t Selling Well: A Diagnostic Tool

The good news is…you can fix this! The following diagnostic tool will help. Below you will find a series of questions to help you pinpoint where the problem starts and some potential actions you can take to address it.

  1. Are prospects engaging with your marketing? Example: are they commenting on social posts that indirectly market your offer? Are they registering for webinars or live events where you directly or indirectly market your offer?

YES: Great! Sounds like you are addressing a need in the market, proceed to question  

NO: Hmmm. It’s possible that your offer isn’t tapping into a recognizable need or problem your target market has. If this is the case, you need to evaluate your messaging, positioning and offer.

Does your offer solve an expensive problem your prospects are fully invested in solving? Are you speaking to your prospects simply and directly? Is your offer priced for a high end buyer but your messaging is for a beginner, or vice versa? These are the questions you need to explore at this stage. 

When people aren’t engaging with your marketing, the problem is likely related to your messaging (they don’t get it) or your offer itself (they don’t want it…even though you know they need it).

2. Are prospects engaging with your sales process? Example: are people booking sales calls for your offers?

YES: Great! You are successfully pulling folks into your sales process, move to step 3.

NO: Hmm. This means that either you aren’t giving a clear call to action, or are being “loosey goosey” and unclear in making a strong invitation for people to engage. This is an issue with your sales process. OR, it could be that people are interested in you but don’t feel compelled to buy anything. This means you need to go back to Step One and re-evaluate your messaging, positioning and offer creation. 

As a reminder: when people aren’t engaging with your marketing, the problem is likely related to your messaging (they don’t get it) or your offer itself (they don’t want it…even though you know they need it). Go back to Step 1.

3. Are you closing a high percentage of the people who enter into your sales process? 

Yes: Great! This means that your marketing and messaging is highly targeted, and you are doing a great job of attracting right fit clients. The next step for you would be to create a repeatable selling system and dial up lead flow! Move to step 4.

No: Hmmm. There are a number of possible challenges here:

  1. Your messaging may be “off” which means you are attracting prospects who are not a fit. If this is the case, go back to Step 1.
  2. You need to put more “disqualification” steps into your sales process to help non-ideal clients self-select OUT. This is an issue with your sales process. Go back to Step 2.
  3. You are asking your buyer to make too big of a jump. This often happens when selling high ticket scalable offers. We need to tweak your sales process. Go back to Step 2.
  4. You suck at selling. Haha. This is a joke. Sort of. If you aren’t converting well, some targeted sales training and coaching can help here provided it is anchored in your natural sales DNA and reverse engineered to work for your style, business model and market. Click here to discover your unique Sales DNA.

4. Are you closing enough people through your sales process?

Yes: Awesome! Now you get to decide…do you want to scale up sales, marketing and delivery? Or are you happy with the volume of business your scaleable offer is currently producing?

No: Hmmm. If people are engaging with your marketing, and the leads you have coming into your sales process are highly qualified, but you STILL aren’t closing enough sales, then you have an amplification problem. 

Your focus needs to be on creating and deploying a solid strategy to grow traffic and leads so that you can fill your well-designed pipeline and offers with as many ideal clients as you want.

Next Steps

I encourage you to use this diagnostic tool to help you deepen your understanding of why your offers aren’t selling and where the breakdown is happening so that you can take effective action. 

The limitation of the tool is that it’s simplistic and doesn’t provide the level of nuanced insight that I could offer you inside our coaching programs. But my hope is that it provides a framework for you to methodically review and debrief your offer creation, marketing and selling process to pinpoint issues and address them. 

In the meantime, here are some tools, resources and support to help you sell more of your scalable offers so you can create a lucrative Jewel Business you love.

  • Book a 15 minute Growth Audit with a Scale Specialist. If you’re a coach or consultant doing at least $7500 per month, then you might just be a few best practices away from doubling your revenues and open time. On this super practical, hands-on call we will: Take a look at your current marketing, sales and delivery process to see what’s working and what’s not. Identify what’s possible for you and your business over the next 90 days and beyond. Uncover the #1 bottleneck restricting your growth and holding you back from scaling. Develop a 3-step action plan that will get you more leads, clients and cash. Book Your Growth Audit Call Now
  • There is NO “one size fits all” approach to selling. The key to being a great salesperson – and EVERY BUSINESS OWNER needs to be a good sales person – is to understand your unique Sales DNA. We offer a free course on that which you can access here. 
  • This episode of the Anchored Intelligence podcast is a must listen for any service based business owner who wants to make the leap to scalable offers. Check it out here.

Eleanor is an award-winning journalist, business coach and entrepreneur. Her speciality? Empowering women entrepreneurs to sustainably scale past $1M.

She has coached over 650 women founders and has helped countless women create premium, scalable offers that have increased revenue, reclaimed time, and secured their financial fortresses. Click below to learn more about working with Eleanor.