Tag Archives: Marketing

You don’t need to learn to sell. You need to learn how to generate prospects.

You don’t need to learn to sell. You need to learn how to generate prospects.The truth is, in 99% of the sales challenges  I have been involved with, the problem isn’t in the person’s ability to “sell” its in the fact that they have no one to sell too.

Mike closing2First, selling isn’t different than any other skill set, it must be learned.  When we hear someone say someone was a “born” salesperson, it’s really not true. That’s like saying Peyton Manning was a born a quarterback, and discounts the years of very hard work and dedication he (or anyone very good at what they do) has put into their profession.

In my experience the absolute most important part of selling is having a plan of how you are going to generate prospects. Small business owners who state, I don’t know how, or I am bad at sales, are thinking about the actual process of presenting and closing a new customer in many cases, when what they are really talking about their ability to generate leads and prospects. The truth is, in 99% of the cases I have been involved with, the problem isn’t in the person’s ability to “sell” its in the fact that they have no one to sell too.

The simple and fairly quick process of having a plan, and working the plan will solve this.

So here are some simple steps for the business owner who doesn’t know how to generate prospects. It’s not original, and you will find this advice by reading any of the great sales or marketing guru’s.

1.) Identify who is most likely to buy your service.

2.) Build or buy a list of these businesses

3.) Develop a compelling reason for them to contact you, or speak with you.

4.) Write a letter (can be email). In the letter describe a problem you solved for some business like theirs. Drop names of happy clients. Offer something in the PS  (It’s worth paying a few hundred dollars to a professional direct mail copywriter) Mail the letters.

5.A) wait for them to call you

5B)  Call them and asked if they read your letter.  What did they think?

6.) Repeat with new letter.

7.) Repeat with new letter

(I will be writing or asking an expert to write a blog on each step mentioned above with instructions and details on each.) Subscribe to be notified. (I mean it, subscribe NOW)

You may be asking… that’s it?  Yup that’s it.

Your success will depend on:The value of your service to the target market. Make it (your service) as good as possible before you start all this. The quality of the list, and where you got it. If it’s opt in, great. If you buy it, you need to send a bunch of letters. The quality of the letter or email you send.  The offer you make them and your follow up.

In my experience you will have something like three times the success if you are brave enough to call the list. I’ve seen success rates as high as 50% on this program.  Overall we average a 14% response or generated prospect rate on these programs.  Think about that.

You send 1000 letters.  You get 140 prospects. You sell 35%. You have 49 new customers.  The cost?…. depends on how you implement it, but figure a $1.00 per letter with printing and stamps and maybe a copywriter.

As far as the actual “sales” process with these prospects, remember that the word sales means to persuade. If they called you, you’re 80% there.  Now relax and ask then the questions you have developed on your sales questionnaire. Oh… that’s on another blog here…

And then, ask them when they would like to start.

Congratulations, you are now better than at least 60% of the salespeople I have met who do no targeting, little or no qualifying and never close.

Don’t know how to sell?  Who cares, because now you know how to generate prospects.

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SEO Programs Need Laser Target Prospects

Crystal ball Français : Boule de cristal
Sales Crystal Ball

One of the largest mistakes you can make when you are starting your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) process is skipping identification of your most likely prospects.

Almost all SEO’s will start with a Keyword analysis, but far to many don’t think about where these prospects can be found.  As a easy example, if you are selling Insurance and do nothing but a key word analysis,  you may have a good idea of what your best prospects will type into the search box, but you are still a long way away from providing a high ROI laser targeted SEO program.

When we provide a sales crystal ball program to a client, it starts with the following pages.  By reading this you can get a much better idea of how to create a laser targeted SEO campaign.  If you think of that Insurance program I mentioned above, why would you not want to know specifically the locations, incomes, and why customers buy the insurance before you start.

Here is a good way to start developing a laser targeted profile. It’s generic, and can be customize to SEO or any marketing and sales programs.

Overview of Commonalities

Identification and the analysis of what traits your best customers have in common is the foundation of developing a laser targeted list of new prospects. Without this information companies will waste both time and money marketing and selling to prospects who are unlikely to buy from them, and if sold may become a low quality customer.

With a laser targeted list provided through the Crystal Ball process your sales and marketing will be far more productive. You will spend your time and money attracting better clients while maintaining your current marketing budget. The combination of spending targeted dollars on better prospects will lead to your business selling faster and more in a shorter period of time.

Your Crystal Ball program is designed to fine tune and pinpoint three areas that are the basis for any marketing campaign.

———–> Laser targeted List

SuperTarget logo, 2006–present.


———–> Compelling message

 


———–> Reach tactics

In our process, we have identified the commonalities that are shared between your best customers. We then apply our years of experience in business analysis and marketing to establish not only mathematically what the highest scores are in each trait, but also to assess the value of that trait for your marketing. A simple high percentage of total score in a trait does not in and by itself mean that trait has high value.

As an example, many  Crystal Ball clients will score high in their best clients utilization of social media. But, even though there may be a very high  percentage of your best clients using Social Media to promote their services, it won’t cause a high overall score based on the fact that we would expect the normal percentage in this area to be around 70%. So in fact, although there is a very high percentage as a  total of your best customers, the percentage is normal, and does not produce a high score unless other unique attributes can be assigned to this trait.

To determine the overall scores on a trait we look at three areas.

1.) Is the number of customers to the total high.  For example, if 17 of 20 customers have the same trait,  that would be a 8.5  baseline score. That by itself is a very high score.
2.) Is it unusual to see this percentage in this trait considering your industry. Using the social media example above the answer would be no, and the score is adjusted to represent that depending on the exact percentage score and the normalcy of this trait percentage.
3.) And then, how pertinent is it to the identification of your laser targeted list. During the analysis we may find several areas that have a high percentage of total, and are unusually, but in fact, based on years of experience  we know  that this particular trait is not worth focusing on.

As you can see, with some solid research, and analytically assessments you can find a Gold mine of information that will help you as a business or an SEO as a vendor provide a true laser targeted list of prospects.

By Mike Bayes

See more about the Sales Crystal Ball here

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How A Blog Can Help Your Google Rankings, Or Not

How A Blog Can Help Your Google Rankings  (again, and again):

Blogging is a buzz word in the small and medium business community. Almost every client we talk with (or potential client) wants to know how to do a blog because they have “heard” it will help their search engine rankings. This falls into the tradition of small business owners being about 8 years behind on new marketing tactics. That’s not a criticism, it’s a reality. Most small business owners don’t have the hours in a day needed to stay on top of anything besides what they do.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

The Bad News.  Although there is clearly some truth left in that assumption that a blog will help your sites rankings, but, and it’s a big but, if  you are to see an increase in your sites popularity based on a blog, it must have valuable content that other sites and social media will pick up on and mention.  If your blog is just another 700 + words of regurgitated news, facts, rumors, or opinion  already published or blogged about on the Internet by 100 or 1000 other sites your chances of a web master or influential social media picking up on the blog are very low.  And if your Blog isn’t mentioned on other web sites, it gets no help in rankings.

Additional Value of a Blog bedside’s Rankings. Now, if your blog gives your prospective clients or current customers some unique insight into your business or industry, even if they are not going to mention it or link to it, it’s still of value, just not for your search engine visibility. It will help you become more of a trusted source for whatever it is you do.

Blog Machine
Blog Machine (Photo credit: digitalrob70)

Internet Marketers Are Blog Obsessed. That’s a problem, because many (and I mean many) Internet Marketers have had some success with getting their blog or content mentioned and linked to, (and all that SEO stuff), by writing a blog,. They write blogs about blogs that are based on another blog in the hopes that someone they don’t know, and who is trying to get followers on twitter will retweet their content to an audience that has little or no interest in what they are saying, and have already seen the information 5 times in other higher authority blogs or sites.

The reason they have any success is it’s far more likely to get Internet Marketing content linked or mentioned on the INTERNET because Internet Marketers spend half their life reading this stuff.  If you are a Plumber, or a Dentist, the likelihood of having your content picked up is very small. Plumbers and Dentists, and normal people don’t spend their life on-line reading every blog written, even when its content is the same as the last 5 they read.

It’s important for an Internet Marketer to be up to date on all the new stuff on the Interweb, if for no other reason, so they can sound really knowledgeable and use uncommon words when they speak to Plumbers and Dentists. I call it selling through a vernacular fear factor. More on that some other time.

Latte_Blog
Latte_Blog (Photo credit: digitalrob70)

Blogging For Visibility.  So how does a small business utilize a blog for better Internet visibility? It’s all about the subject and content.

 

  • Blog about a question a customer asked you.
  • Blog about a unique problem you solved.
  • Blog about how a person can prepare for your service.
  • Blog about your kids.
  • Blog about your employees.
  • Blog about your favorite customers

All of the above will at a minimum be unique, and unique is the first principle of good content.  Any content you write and publish should have these attributes.

  • Unique
  • Interesting for your prospects
  • And if you can make it about the internet you’re really doing well.

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By Mike Bayes, My One Call LLC, www.salesjumpstart.net

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Generate More Leads

Typical advertising mail.
Image via Wikipedia

Generate More Leads

The fastest way to generate leads is to improve your closing percentage (conversion rate) on the leads you get now.

The reason?  The amount of marketing dollars you have depends on the number of leads you close. If you close 50% more (moving your closing percentage from 25% to 50% as an example) you will be able to afford twice as many leads.

See the steps on our Lead generation page

Best leads sources?  Depends on what you sell, who you sell to, and your margins on your product.  The larger the market the more options you have to reach it.  The larger the margin, the more money you have to reach it.  The better your conversion rate, the more leads you can generate.  That’s why we start with conversion rates when working with a sales client on lead generation.

The number one return on investment in advertising for lead generation is SEO services. Thats why we provide them to clients.

The number one return on investment tactic in sales is relationship building.  But, as with all tactics and lead generation it is limited.

You need at least 10 different lead generation tactics going at all times to insure you have lot’s of new customers, or returning customers.  I will go into more detail on what those could be (specific to the Denver market, but gennerally effective nationwide)  in my next few blogs.

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Close more sales

How to close more sales

We spoke about our conversion meter system in the last blog, and I promised to write some more information about it. It’s simple, and if you apply these tactics to your product, your sales conversion rate will increase fast.

People and companies buy based on a lack of fear of doing so.  Some people call it trust,  but you can trust a service or product and still have substantial fear about buying it.

Let me give you an example. Assume I have an old car I don’t use much but keep it around as a backup car for the family, kids, and guests.  One day it starts leaking all sorts of fluids. I may trust the company that I am asking to fix my old car that they can fix it, but my fear may be, will paying for the repair be worth the money, or should I just buy a new car.  I am not going to hand over the keys unless my concern is addressed. The car isn’t worth all that much any way.

So it’s not about trust, it’s about getting rid of the fear.

A really smart auto repair company would not only convince me I could trust them (using testimonials, and certifications and all that) but they also would be prepared to “step into my shoes” and let me know that even after I spend the $1500.00 to fix the car, that I could still sell it (fixed) for $4500.  If I don’t fix the car it’s only worth $1000.   So it’s a net gain of $2000.00.

Now I am ready to get it fixed.

So step one in increasing your sales conversion is identifying what prospects fear when they buy from you.  This can be tougher than it sounds.  And if you are smart you will ask people who bought from you in the past to tell you what they feared, instead of just winging it.

When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization) services the fear is pretty easy to figure out.  Clients fear that 1. It won’t work. 2. It will work but they won’t get many new sales to cover the expense.  And 3. that they don’t have enough money in the budget to do the program.

So lots of SEO companies guarantee that the site will be on the first page of Google… what ever that means. (You always have to ask, “or what” with a guarantee. Is it all your money back? Is it they will do more work until it is?  And if so what time period are they talking about?  And then again,  or what?”)

But that only helps with the smaller fear.  If you want to eliminate, or greatly reduce all the fears you may need to do a performance based pay model,  they pay you based on what actual sales come through the program),  and a payment plan that fits the clients budget.

The interesting thing about doing all of that to address and get rid of fears is, you will usually make more revenue and profit when you go the extra mile. We charge more on performance based programs, and we charge more on payments plans.  So over time, you end up with a higher margin.

Addressing a clients fears will bring up your closing percentage as much as 50%.  It’s worth the thought process and time to figure it out. Feel free to email us if you need some help with coming up with these fears, or just want to run then by us.

The next big thing in your improving your closing percentage is talking and presenting the stuff your clients WANT!  Selling what they need will kill your sales fast.  I will write aboyt that in the next few blogs.

See more about our sales programs


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Marketing in Denver

A long-range radar antenna, known as ALTAIR, u...
Image via Wikipedia

Here is a simple principle that you must understand about Marketing. And you will understand the picture a little later.

Any tactic you use in your marketing that is worth doing, is worth doing abundantly. One of the first questions to ask when your goal is to drive new revenue, is this. “What do we do now that works?” Now, do more of that.

It’s that simple. Most businesses have at least one tactic they are using to market their product or service that is working.

If you are doing well with calls from the Internet, do more search engine optimization, add pay per click, develop a social media plan, build more content on your site, or do a major rebuild of your site.

If most of your business comes from referrals and word of mouth, start a formalized rewards program for the people who refer you the most, and make it a point to call one or two clients a day, or individuals you have a business relationship with , and give them a referral or good idea for their business.

Communication has a radar affect. When you begin to communicate to other businesses they will communicate back. For this to work the business most have already been on your radar screen, so to speak. In other words, they must know you. You can define the status of a business relationship by putting it into one of 4 groups.

1. They don’t know you
2. They know you
3. They trust you
4. They buy from you or promote you.

To build revenue fast you just want to move the business who are in group 2 and 3 to 4.

How do you get a business to trust you. It’s like radar, you need to trust them. Trust then enough to give a referral, or a suggestion for something that might help their company. You will receive back what you send out.

Make a list today of 25 business relationships, and spend an hour thinking what you could offer each. A referral? A suggestion for a networking opportunity, an introduction to someone, a co-op marketing plan, a mention on your web site? Do it with no strings attached, and do not make anything you are offering associated with what you sell. You will be amazed how quickly this simple tactic works in bringing you new clients and opportunities.

Y0u can hear more about the My One Call, llc sales coaching and consulting on our main site

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