How Do You Keep Calm When The Sales Suddenly Stop?
The last week has been a rough ride on the entrepreneurial rollercoaster for me and my business partner John.
After a solid sales month in April, along moseys May and—
What was really weird was, we have 3 different products at different price points ($5, $99, $299) and NONE of them were selling.
In fact, last week we cleared just a couple hundred bucks.
I was starting to freak out, because I’ve staked a lot on making this deal work. I’ve boarded up my freelancing biz (for now, at least) and I’m in the process of shuttering several side projects as well.
Plus I’d just published a new sales page for our flagship product—which I’d invested a couple of months’ worth of hard work into.
Until lately all of this looked like a good bet—I’ve grown our sales and email signups steadily over the last 5 months. And the first week of results from the new sales page looked like I’d increased the conversion rate by around 300%.
This dry spell put some serious cracks in my confidence.
For the first time, I was having real doubts about whether I was going to be able to meet the goals John and I have mapped out for the next year.
Well, it’s over!
The drought ended a couple of days ago, and sales seem to have picked up like nothing ever happened.
I’ve been through this little dance of entrepreneurial terror at least a half dozen times now, and every time it happens I think I’m permanently inoculated against future discouragement.
What I’m finding, though, is:
As I get more confident and resilient, I take on bigger challenges. The highs get higher—and the lows get lower.
You’re never really immune from the emotional impact of this rollercoaster ride.
What caused all of this?
I’m still not 100% sure. But I did some more digging around in our stats, and it looks like we had a “perfect storm” here:
1. We made some changes to make our site more secure, and these changes partially broke the new sales page for our flagship course. The images on the page got corrupted, and the page may have been throwing off security warnings in certain browsers. Not what you want when you’re asking someone to drop three Benjamins for your product.
2. Last month I did an unusual maneuver with our email list that brought in a ton of extra sales, but has temporarily reduced the number of people who are hearing about our mid-tier course. This is a 1-time slowdown, and we should get a nice sales bump next month.
3. We did an affiliate offer late last month where we gave away a bunch of copies of our $5 workbook, which temporarily killed sales on THAT product.
4. Compounding all this, I think we also hit some kind of seasonal slowdown. Maybe it’s due to college students studying for final exams and getting ready for graduation. I’m not sure.
These 4 big factors (and probably several smaller ones) conspired to needlessly scare me half to death.
Two takeaways from all of this:
1. I’d have gone out of my mind if I didn’t know that our sales funnels were solid. Once you’ve seen the machine running, it’s a lot easier to have faith that it’ll keep running in the future.
2. The top-to-bottom sales audit I did of our traffic, email courses and sales pages paid off. It’s how I discovered the image corruption problem, and also how I realized the impact of my April shenanigans with our email list.
Well, I am GREATLY relieved now that everything is running smoothly again.
And having been through this, I’m confident that the next time something like this happens, I’ll take it all in stride and not panic.