Friday, 26 August 2011
6 Ways To Get Prospects To Pick You
In the past 24 months, I have noticed that the rules of selling have changed. Now, more than ever before, buyers are looking at the "value" or "ROI" of what you sell. Good, bad or indifferent, this is now the reality of "being in sales."
You Can Win More Sales Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible.
A few weeks ago, I spoke with the owner of a large business -- a business with a great reputation. During our discussion, the owner told me his salespeople were losing sales to the competition at an alarming rate. What was interesting was that his sales leader denied there was a problem. Of course, after a while even she could not avoid the reality of these lost sales.
After discussing their sales and marketing strategies and tactics, I thought of six areas that would have a huge impact on their sales -- and yours too.
6 Tips To Help Your Sales Team Win More Sales:
Tip #1. Keep Track Of Your Sales Team's Proposal Close Rate: First and foremost, you need to keep track of what is happening on the sales front. In fact, this is more important than keeping track of how many telephone calls a salesperson makes.
Tip #2. Keep Track Of How Many "Decision Making" Sales Calls A Salesperson Has Each Week: The key to a salesperson's sales success is the result of how many meetings per week they have with a decision maker, so measure how many they have.
Tip #3. Create A Business Development Center For Your Salespeople: Salespeople need to have a suite of sales tools at their fingertips that they can use whenever they are on a sales call. These tools can range from client testimonials to buyer's guides, whitepapers to vouchers, etc.
Tip #4. Make Sure Your Salespeople Know Your Company's Unique Selling Proposition: The next time you talk with a salesperson at your company, you need to make sure they can answer one question: What makes us any better or different from the competition? If they use phrases like, "we have been in business since 19XX," "we are cheaper than the competition," "we are local" or "we offer great customer service," then you need to look into developing a mandatory elevator pitch.
Tip #5. Measure The Growth Of Each Salesperson's Prospect Database: 60% or more of your sales success is based on the size and quality of a salesperson's prospect database. That being said, don't you think it makes good business sense to measure the ebb and flow of a salesperson's database on a weekly or bi-weekly basis?
Tip #6. Create A Series Of e-Mail Marketing And Direct Mail Campaigns: At the end of the sales day, 99% of all salespeople stop calling a prospect after their third unsuccessful attempt at moving the sales process forward. This hard truth is exactly why your business needs to have a series of e-mail marketing and direct mail campaigns that you can send off to your database of clients, past clients and prospective clients.
Executive Summary: Ultimately, when it comes to a salesperson's performance, it is imperative that you know how well they are doing in the core area listed above. If not, you will never know how many sales opportunities you are losing, and just one new client could make a world of difference. For instance, we have one client whose average sale (annualized revenue) is $1,750 per new client. As I told this owner, one lost sales doesn't just represent $1,750, it represents $12,250, since each new client will stay on as a client for approximately 7 years.
Friday, 19 August 2011
Why Most Prospects Tell You,
"I'm Not Interested"
The people you are trying to sell to have decisions to make, staff to manage, deadlines to hit and voicemails and e-mails to answer. They are simply just busier than ever. Unfortunately, most business owners, sales leaders, salespeople and marketing professionals do not factor this in when developing their sales processes and marketing campaigns -- a decision that could cost them a small fortune in lost sales opportunities.
What Typically Happens When A Salesperson Calls A Prospect?
When a salesperson calls a prospect, one they have never spoken to before, the person on the other end of the call starts to process:
- Who the caller is and what company are they calling from.
- What are they are trying to sell.
- And whether they should continue the conversation or not.
By 20 to 45 seconds into the call, the majority of prospects politely and sometimes not so politely tell a salesperson they aren't interested and hang up.
Why Most Prospects Tell A Salesperson They Are Not Interested.
The reason why most people on the receiving end of a cold call tell a salesperson they are not interested is because the salesperson approached the call from their own viewpoint and not from the prospect's perspective. Think about it for a minute.
So How Do You Get More Prospects To Listen To You?
Face it, cold calling a database of prospects isn't fun for most salespeople, largely because they endure rejection after rejection after rejection on most calls. That is why we have prepared a list of tips below for you (or someone you know that is in sales) to help you get a warmer reception when cold calling a database of prospects.
- Set up a drip marketing system at your business -- a system that blends direct mail, e-mails and a telephone follow-up schedule.
- Evaluate the themes of your campaigns. If your themes are not educational or informational content 80% of the time, it could reduce your campaign's effectiveness.
- Set up a 12-month drip marketing calendar as well as a rolling 90-day calendar containing more details about the who, what, where and when.
- Take a hard look at the frequency of your e-mail campaigns. If you are in a B2B world, more than 2 emails a week could have a negative effect on your open rates.
Here Are Some Suggestions For The Frequency Of Your e-Mail Campaigns:
Listed below you will find some suggestions for your organization. Again, these suggestions may differ based on what you sell and who your target audience is.
- Send an e-Newsletter campaign on a weekly, bi-weekly or a monthly basis.
- Send an e-Press Release on a quarterly basis.
- Send an e-Sales Letter on a semi-annual basis.
- Send an e-Postcard on a quarterly basis.
- Send a direct mail postcard, sales letter or lumpy mail campaign based on a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis.
Executive Summary: The key to your cold calling success is based on the marketing campaigns you send before you call. It is no secret that the majority of people do not want to buy what you sell, but at any given moment, 9% to 18% of your target audience has a varying degree of interest in buying what you sell. If you provide them information that helps facilitate a good buying decision, and then follow-up on that information with an "Oh By The Way" call, you are almost guaranteed to see an increase in sales by 10% to 25% in the next 90 days or less.
Friday, 12 August 2011
· Word count for this issue: 807
· Approximate time to read: ~3.3 minutes based on 250 words per minute
I have been studying, reviewing and evaluating marketing messages for years, from radio commercials and TV commercials to printed marketing campaigns. And across all these mediums, one thing remains consistent: Most people use the same, tired old marketing messages that cause them to seem no different from anyone else in their industry. Messages such as:
§ Buy from us because we offer competitive or low prices.
§ We have great customer service.
§ We do _______ better than ________.
§ We have been in business for XX years.
Writing a marketing message that catches a prospective buyer's attention is a learned skill. It does not come easy to most people, but you can learn how to do a better job.
9 Areas To Avoid When Developing A Drip Marketing Campaign For Your Business.
If you are developing a marketing message for your next campaign, you will find today's tip extremely valuable, not to mention timely. Below I have listed a number of copywriting tips designed to ensure your next campaign's recipients not only read your message, but act on it as well.
1. Not Writing A Powerful, Emotionally Filled Headline Or Subject Line: When writing your campaign, know that your headline is one of the single most important components of your marketing campaign.
2. Not Focusing On The Top Three Primary Motivators Of Your Target Audience: The theme of your campaign needs to focus on the primary motivators of your target audience, e.g., customized solutions based on someone's needs and budget, the fees that you charge or integration into their legacy systems.
3. Not Making The Copy About The Reader: Your target audience doesn't really care about what you do unless it directly benefits them, so know your audience - recognize whom you are writing to.
4. Not Considering The Themes Being Used In A Campaign: When sending out a campaign, ask yourself whether the campaign will be educational, sales or informational themed. This is especially important when sending an e-mail marketing campaign. If you always send out a sales-themed e-mail marketing campaign, your readers will gradually lose interest over time and eventually stop reading your campaigns altogether or even opt-out. So mix things up a bit to keep the reader curious about your content.
5. Not Counting The Types Of Themes Being Sent: In a given year, you will send X number of campaigns to your target audience. As you look at your drip marketing calendar, count the number of educational, sales or informational themed campaigns that have been or will be sent. A good rule of thumb is to have 50% of your campaigns educational, 25% sales and the remaining 25% informational.
6. Not Counting How Many Times You Use The Following Words: When sending out a campaign, count how often you use the following words: "I," "me," "our," "ours" or "us." Then count how many times the words "you" and "yours" were used. The latter pair of words is what you ought to be using actively in place of self-centered language, as they grab a reader's attention much more effectively.
7. Not Having A Highly Visible Risk-Free Offer: Adding a highly visible risk-free offer is the best way to invite someone to take the next step in the buying process. But don't limit your risk free offer to things like discounts or dollars off. Risk-free offers can also be an educational report, a buyer's guide, etc.
8. Not Proofing Your Campaign: It is extremely difficult to proof your own work. For starters, you lack objectivity because of the ownership you feel over what you have written. Secondly, your brain is capable of making sense or filling in gaps that others would find incoherent. With that said, send your work to at least three people for proofing.
9. Not Keeping The Main Ideas/Subjects In A Campaign To Three Or Less: People have developed an affinity for things that come in sets of three, so don't try to jam 10 to 20 main ideas/subjects into a campaign. All this will do is confuse the reader. Here are some examples of "threes" ingrained in our culture:
Executive Summary: You need to realize that it is your job to stay in contact with your database of clients, past clients, prospects, etc. -- not theirs. More importantly, have something worthwhile to say and say it well with your campaigns. Otherwise, you risk having your campaign not opened/read. Bottom line, e-mail marketing campaigns will not be read if they are not compelling or educational.
Friday, 05 August 2011
Our marketing research has proven the majority of organizations in our country look like a "Me Too" business from the eyes of their prospective buyer. And as I was researching this topic for today's tip, I came across some interesting material I wanted to share with you - something you might find both motivational and inspirational - and help you avoid sounding like a "Me Too" business. They come from what the great business philosopher, Jim Rohn, said about being a master communicator:
1. Have something good to say.
2. Say it well.
3. Say it often.
Click here to listen to Jim Rohn Speak
Have Something Good To Say.
In terms of marketing your business, having something good to say means that you have innovated your business to a point where you have a unique story to tell a prospective buyer. If you want to know if you are telling a unique story in the marketplace, ask yourself, What makes us any better or different from our toughest competitor?
Say It Well.
Saying something well involves the words you choose. Most people think that it is easy to write copy for a marketing campaign, but it isn't. If you want to become successful at writing copy, you need to concentrate on the headlines you use and how you position a risk-free offer
Say It Often.
"Say it often" refers to the frequency you send marketing messages to your target audience. Not only is this important for building a brand in the marketplace, it also helps your salespeople with their "Oh By The Way" calls.
How To Avoid Looking Like A "Me Too" Business.
Before spending any money on the tactical execution of your marketing campaign, it is most critical to have something good to say to your target audience -- in essence, a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
To develop your USP, you need to ask yourself three things:
- What is my competition providing?
- What does my target audience want, need and desire when buying what we sell?
- What causes my target audience to become frustrated and leave their present source when buying what we sell?
Do You Really Have Something Good To Say?
Take a moment to ask yourself (and the salespeople that work for you) if you really have something good to say. Are you really providing better value than your competition? If you find yourself unable to answer these questions satisfactorily, how can you really expect to win more sales?
If you're ready to start saying something of value, then take a moment and answer the following four questions. By doing so, you will be on the right path to innovating your business.
- When buying from our industry, what things frustrate a prospective buyer when they are going through the sales process (e.g., Is it because the salesperson doesn't know the competition? There is too much paperwork for the buyer? Does the salesperson never follow up)?
- After someone buys from our industry, what things frustrate them after finalizing the sale (e.g., Do they not receive a return phone call on an issue/problem? Are the warranties not being honored? Are buyers not called after the sale to see if they are satisfied?)?
- What are the requirements a prospective buyer places on a business they are considering buying from or hiring (e.g., Do they have the right type of liability insurance? Are they ISO certified)?
- What things do prospective buyers want from a salesperson as they go through the buying process (e.g., Get a return call? Having extensive knowledge about the competition? Knowledge about integrating their solution into a prospect's legacy system(s)?)?
Executive Summary: When you step back and look at your business or organization, consider the uniqueness of it from the eyes of your target audience. And to find out if your salespeople are able to tell a prospect about the things that make your business unique, ask your own sales team this one simple sentence: "If I was a prospect sitting across the table from you, what would you tell me that makes your business any better or different from your toughest competition?" Yes, the sentence is rather simple, but this is exactly what your prospects are thinking every time a salesperson speaks with them. Oh by the way, look at your marketing campaigns and do the same thing too.