Category Archives: Sales

SEO Leads. How To Generate Leads For SEO Services

SEO Leads. The How to generate more Leads.

<<< — Click to call us anytime by clicking on the click to call tab on the left.

Since writing my blog on how to sell SEO services (http://www.salesjumpstart.net/blog/2012/02/09/how-to-sell-seo-services/, and having one published on SEOmoz  http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/selling-seo-is-link-building-but-with-human-links, the number one question  I get is,… OK,  now how do I generate more leads.  So, with that in mind I will give a few sample systems that are so powerful you must promise never to tell anyone about.

But first, I have to say that you must be willing to spend either a good amount of your time, or pay someone a good amount of money to have a strong ongoing sales program. If you can’t do either of the above, this isn’t for you.

Quick recap.  Your best prospects fall into 1 of 4 categories.

  • They have no idea who you are
  • They know who you are
  • They trust you
  • They buy from you

So your job is to get, what is clearly the largest group, the “I have no idea who you are”, into the “they trust you” category.  Selling SEO is about trust.

Step One: (Tremendously Important) Your Target List.

Step one is like on site SEO, if you don’t do it, the rest of the program will not work.  I mean it. Define what type of company is most likely to trust you. We use what we call, a sales crystal ball system for this. Here is how that works.

Take your best customers over the last 2 years, and identify their common traits. Location, number of employees, age of company, industry, and associations they belong to. You should be able to see a clear pattern. We use 50 + possible areas of commonality, but if you have the basics above, and of course use your gut feeling about who trusts you, and you should have a good enough picture.

Now, let’s say in your research of your customers, you found that the most common areas are they belong to the BBB. They have 5-9 employees. They are in the Industrial Parks, and they have been in Business more than 6 years.

So your target customers will be members of the BBB, have an office in an industrial type building, have more than 5 employees and have been in business more than 6 years.

Español: Vista previa

Go develop this list, or hire a list broker to get the list for you.

Step Two:  Contact them.

Here’s the hard part for so many business. You have to contact them! Funny how this step stops about 90% of business from moving forward with a super powerful, gonna make you happy, sales campaign. Why?  The fear of rejection and it’s administratively outside of a SEO companies comfort zone. So here are two ways to make that first contact. One for the more courageous (or with the budget to hire a professional firm to do calls) and one for the more timid, who think of a cold call as a dip in a frozen lake.

Lion - Louisville Zoo

For the Lions (Courageous, or lot’s of marketing dollars to spend)

Call each company on the list and ask if it’s okay to send them an invitation to a webinar or seminar your company has produced specifically for their industry.  The actually script is important, so you may want professionally help on this, or hire a professional telemarketing firm to make these calls and log the results in a CRM for you. During the call you want the name of the person who makes the decisions on Internet marketing, as well as their email.  Promise to never spam them or sell the email.

Make sure you enter all of this in a CRM.

Let’s say you have a list of 500 businesses. You should call every one, and end up with about 100-150 approved emails to send invites too.  (You are well on your way at this point).  Your time frame will vary, but count on making 3 contacts an hour in this type campaign, so with 500 businesses someone will be calling for 167 hours. You can always start when you have 50 emails, and just continue the calling as you start your webinar/seminar program.

Step Three: Invite to your seminar/webinar.

The secret here is to have an absolutely killer name for your seminar/webinar. Something like: Learn the two simple and fast ways our ______ < industry> clients make more sales in a month than others do in a year using the Internet. Free.

 (YOU MUST BACK UP THIS CLAIM WITH PROOF)  

A well crafted email invitation with RSVP to your 30 minutes of powerful ways to attract new clients on line will start moving businesses on your list from they don’t know you to they do know you. This is a bigger step than you think.  And if nothing else happens, you now have a bunch of targeted companies that didn’t know you, who now do know you.

Use constant contact or a similar email system so you can track who opens the email, and have a RSVP  tracking. Offer three different days and times.  And have a well thought out- all about them, actually examples seminar/webinar ready to go.

Constant Contact

I am not going into detail here about how to pull off a great webinar/seminar and get people to RSVP . If you do some research you will find a ton of good information and help on-line.

Step Four: Give the Webinar or Seminar (On different days and times).

Basics here. Make it valuable. Give them real information and examples.  Do not spend more than 90 seconds talking about you or your company. They don’t care at this point. Make it great tips on how to utilize the Internet to get more calls or prospects walking in the door.

At the end of the webinar, offer your help.  Something like, if this all sounds a little over whelming, we do have 10 spots open for clients that we can do this work for.  And as a thank you for being on our call, we want to make a special offer, you can have both the programs we just talked about for the price of one,  or we can through in an additional $$$$  for your new Google Ad words campaign if we start this week. Or the offer of your choice.

Many of you have been on webinars or in seminars where this exact process happened. I can tell you that they work if done correctly.

System for the more timid: Joint venture with a company that targets the same group of prospects. A web design company that doesn’t provide SEO services is a perfect joint venture. They have prospects that already trust them. Make a few calls and see who would be interested in hosting or promoting a webinar on the topic you developed.  If your content is good and valuable for their customers and prospects they may be very open to it. You save a ton of time and get a third party endorsement as well. Or find the associations these prospects are most likely to belong to, and make then an offer to provide this content at no charge.

And finally if you can not do either of the above.  Send a series of three letters (each with different content) to the target list spaced by two weeks.  Give then a web site to register for the webinar, and repeat the process every two months with new letters. The letters need to be well crafted, and here again, I would recommend you get professional help if you are not a pro at the copy writing thing.  If you’re sending to 500 businesses, your cost will be around $250.00 per mailing, and $750.00 for the three letters.

At the end of this process (and it never really ends) you should have about 200 businesses that now have moved from the “don’t know you”, to the “know you”.  With a good webinar series, you should see about 150 of that move to the trust you bucket!  And of those, you should see new sales of about 35 to 50 over a year.

This is just one of several successful sales programs we have developed for clients over the last 10 years. It’s not original, as many of the most successful companies in the world use this system, or one like it.   I’ll blog more on other systems in 2013 if we get enough requests.

Now if all of this seems a little too much, and you want some help, we can provide all of the above, or direct you to good vendors for the parts you need help with.  We have room for 4 new business development clients in the first quarter of 2013.  If you are interested in this, just send me an email. The Basic cost is $ 2800. a month for all of the development and calls (30 hours a month)  to your target list. We also will co-host your webinar the first time if you need that.  As each program is different, and we must have confidence in your commitment to succeed, we need to do an interview with you to determine if this is the right fit and the right program. We have other highly successful programs that may be a better fit both for your budget and your goals.

 

Have comments or want to discuss this post?

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Or, email me at mike@myonecall.com  and lets talk.  I

By Mike Bayes

Managing Partner of My One Call LLC


 

 

 

 

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Tips on Selling More For SEO And Small Business.

This collection of tips came through 20+ years of managing sales teams while developing more than $220 million in sales revenue.

I’ve been lucky in my life having worked around some of the more successful and talented sales professionals in the country. During the 1990s my sales force of 650 sold more than $80 million a year in recurring revenue for Telecom services. Since 2003, my company has averaged a 17-to-1 return on investment for every dollar our clients have spent with us.  Based on these successes, here are some tips for business owners about sales, salespeople, and just plain selling:

1. Dogs have to like the dog food

Here’s an old sales story: A national sales manager is at a meeting with his sales managers from across the country. They have recently launched a new brand of dog food A supermarket's pet food aisle in Brooklyn, Ne...and the sales numbers are terrible. He is ranting and raving about how much marketing has been done, the dollars they’re spending, and no one is selling the new dog food. He asks the group what’s going on! And a small voice in the back of a very quiet room speaks up, “I don’t think dogs like the way it tastes.”

For success, start with your product. Make it taste really good. Too many business owners refuse to accept that a sales problem may, in fact, be a bad product or service. Honestly evaluate your products and services as well as your competition. Make yours better, faster, more affordable. Then go sell it!

Your sales staff will be more productive and your customers will be more loyal. See the end of this blog for some tips directly related to SEO services.

2. Most salespeople are like plumbers

Plumbers make more than many other trades. You know why? Plumber's buttBecause they do the stuff other people don’t want to do. In my experience, 75 percent of salespeople are in sales not because they are trained and passionate sales professionals, but because they will do the stuff other people don’t want to do: they will pick up the phone and make cold calls. You don’t have to be good at sales to make cold calls any more than you have to be good at plumbing to clean out a septic tank. Just make sure that when it comes to your salespeople, you hire the professionals that are passionate about their work; otherwise, you may as well hire a plumber.

3. Great salespeople work for high compensation

The average outside sales rep in Colorado earns around $58,000 a year before benefits. If you’re going to pay an average wage, expect average performance, which in sales means you should hire a plumber. If you want top performance, offer top pay.

4. You can’t hire commission only salespeople to sell your product

Commission only sales representatives must have the opportunity to make $1,500 a week, every week within their first month with your company. And they need to be paid quickly. Can your product support this? No. Stop thinking about hiring cheap sales help, and start thinking about how to make your product irresistible to buyers. Once you have an irresistible product you may be able to hire a commission only sales force because plumbers will be able to give it away.

5. The number one factor in achieving your sales goals is …

… a really great product or service.  Period.

6. Most good salespeople are egotists

This is true. If you do not know how to manage egotistical personalities, don’t.  Hire an experienced sales manager or a therapist to manage them. Some of the best salespeople I have ever worked with were pains to be around. They whined, they were always late, they didn’t come to mandatory training, and they didn’t play nicely with others. What they did was sell. All they needed was a cheer leader, not a manager.What’s on the score board?

Most sales managers only know how to manage plumbers because that’s what most salespeople are. Plumbers show up for meetings, fill out the reports, and struggle to make minimum sales; but they always have their shovel with them. The problem is you may be tempted to hire plumbers, because they’re easier to manage and will fit in with your company culture better.  So if you are going to hire and manage plumbers, make sure you have a product that is irresistible to buyers.

I think I’ve made my point. Most sales programs are usually handed off to plumbers to sell. Your only chance for great sales success is to spend a great deal of time making your product or service irresistible to buyers. Trust me, in most cases, this is far more effective and a better return on investment than actually building a professional sales force with top notch management. Why? Because if your product is really good, you’ll attract the best sales professionals anyway.

This leads to my final point for today:

7. Great salespeople aren’t hired, they choose the company they want to work for

Given this, your job as a business owner is to build a service or product that is irresistible. Once you have that, your salespeople will become superstars (and you can throw the shovels away).

And, as promised for the SEO’s of the world.  How can you build an irresistible service?  Step One: Ask your clients what they feared most when signing up for your service. Then develop a 100% iron clad guarantee that what they listed , will not happen.

Steps 2-5 available by request.

 

Click to talk with Mike right now, or leave a message about this post.

Mike Bayes is President of My One Call LLC a business development firm based in Lafayette Colorado. http://www.salesjumpstart.net
303 500 3053 Ext 1

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How To Sell Search Engine Optimization Services

How to Sell Search Engine Optimization Services:

Why do so many small SEO companies struggle with selling their services?  Many reasons, as you will see below. SEO and Internet marketing services are, in the universal world of all type sales, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being really hard, and 1 being simple, about a 7.  Here’s why.

White hat seo symbolizes good ethic techniques...

1.) You are generally selling to a small business owner or manager.Small business owners really hate spending money on anything they can not see a very quick and tangible result from, and they have very good reason to feel this way. You must understand that most small businesses operate on a very slim margin of error when it comes to advertising and promoting their business. Unlike the fortune 500, where a $100,000 campaign is small fry, a few thousand dollars to a small business can be a big investment.  A $10,000 investment may be one of the largest advertising investments they make.

2.) They don’t understand the process and experience needed to do SEO.

Ensure Website Visibility With Search Engine O...

It’s far easier to buy a T.V. or radio campaign than SEO. You can see or hear what you are paying for. It’s an easy decision (in comparison) to purchase a new server, computer, or furniture.  SEO is a promise, an “IOU” if you will.

Many small business owners I have worked with just think it’s some sort of I.T., PR, Web based thing we do.

3.) Most local SEO providers don’t have sales experience and rely on word of mouth.  This in itself isn’t a bad thing. If you have to rely on referrals and word of mouth you are going to have to be very good at what you do to keep the existing customers happy enough to refer you, so if this is your number one (and possible only) sales strategy, you are probably doing pretty good work for your clients! (That assumes you are getting referrals)

4.)  Most Local SEO providers don’t really try to sell. This goes with number 3. Because they do not have the experience or training, they just don’t try. Can’t blame them really, if someone asked me to rebuild my cars engine, and just handed me a book with “how to rebuild your cars engine”, the job would most likely, never be done. Or if it was, the car would not run, or be so rusty due to the passage of time, that it would be worthless.  Does that sound like the state of your sales process?

5.) Many businesses in some markets have had a bad experience with SEO  or Internet marketing.

Clicks-Hype in Toni Kurz because Nordwand (Fil...

This is the old one bad apple syndrome. 

So what are the solutions?  If you look at all the reasons there is one very large commonality.  They are all fear based both on the prospect side and on the sellers side.  A SEO service has to reduce and eliminate the fear of buying and the fear of selling.

How do you reduce the fear in buying?  You replace it with confidence by identifying what the fear is, and addressing it.  Let’s look at the first fear:

1.)    I am afraid I will waste my money. How do you replace this with confidence?  First acknowledge the concern (fear).  Let them know you understand that many companies have a natural fear that SEO won’t work, and it will be a waste of money. And of course ask them if they feel this way.

2.)    How do you answer that or address it?  Actual current examples of SEO clients that are similar to their business with a full explanation of their success. Don’t go summary version with this. Have all the facts and details ready. Where they where ranked, what their traffic was and how much revenue increase they have seen. Have 4 pages of explanation, and the last page being the reference letter from that client. Three of these type examples, and a phone call from the prospects office to one of your current clients, on speaker phone,  to let your current client tell your prospect how great your service is, and that fear as significantly put to rest.

All the buying and selling fears above can be addresses with logical, honest tactics, and having trained over 1000 sales professionals,  hundreds of sales managers and business owners, I know that any company that makes a commitment to the sells process will see results.

Let me know if you would like a free consultation on how to grow your revenue.  You can reach me at mike@myonecall.com

Oh… and if your challenge is just not seeing enough new prospects, we have proven systems that can jump start your sales with lead generation.

 

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Inbound Marketing Doesn’t work

Inbound Marketing Doesn’t work…. for many small and medium businesses.

Had an interesting discussion with a business owner this week that I have known for over 15 years. He recently invested a bunch of energy and money into a new data center and is putting together his marketing/sales strategies. Having been in the industry for 20 years, it was a logical move, and he wanted to discuss SEO and other search engine marketing systems.

As with any new prospect I wanted to see how he was selling his services today, and to whom. During that piece of the discussion, he asked me is outside sales and cold calling, dead. (For some history… my sales experience started in outside sales, after a few months as a telemarketer, and at one point I managed a sales force of over 650 sales professional, and a few amateurs, and today my company manages outside sales programs for several businesses, so the question caught me a little off guard.

I can completely understand the question. Everything you hear today is about Inbound Marketing, Social Media, SEO, and anything Internet related.  Tom Hopkins and the gang of “sales trainers” that use to dominate the sales scene are either retired or selling books on the Internet.  Internet type marketing now dominates the small business thought process.

Inbound Marketing works!

But I am here to tell you, outside sales is alive and well, and very large successful companies still use out side sales as the foundation of the revenue generating process, but the out side sales process has changed in a few decades. Buyers are far more educated because of the internet, and in many cases more price aware because of the economy.

That’s why Inbound marketing can make a lot of sense. If your prospects are looking for your service on line, then … YES be an inbound marketing fanatic.


Inbound Marketing Doesn’t work!

Inbound Marketing Disclosed: Behind the Scenes

There are many type companies that their sales are relationship, and referral based, and their customers do not use the internet to find and purchase their offering. The fact that only about 5-7 companies per service type in a local area are really going to generate significant traffic from an Internet marketing program also is pretty much no brainier when it comes to how much revenue is actually provided by In bound marketing in an industry type. Inbound marketing is a very limited crowded over financed space.

Cold calling and out side sales does work!

Let me give you an example. A commercial contractor does not find customers on the Internet. They find new customers through face to face contact. We did research of buyers in the commercial construction industry and found the largest commonality for making a purchase from a new vendor (and we spoke to over 100 buyers in the market) was…. they had looked the company they bought from in the eye, and had a face to face meeting of one sort or another to start the process. Read that statement again, a face to face encounter to START the sales process.

Companies that had made a phone call to get on a bid list, or sent information had almost no chance. Companies that actively worked on getting in front of new prospects were the winners. That contact was overwhelmingly through an outside sales type tactic.

One of our clients is positioned number 1 – 3 for just about every keyword you can imagine a prospect would use in their city for commercial construction.  They bill over 4 million dollars a year. How much from the Internet in 2011? Nothing. Did they get bids from the Internet, yes, a few, did any close? No.

Second example.

We did sales coaching and  SEO for one of the largest residential paint contractors in the state. They have incredible rankings throughout the metro area for most house painting terms.  They do as much business through leads on the internet as many paint contractors do in 5 years. Is this their number one source of sales? Nope. There number one source of sales is the 50 outside direct door to door sales people they put on the street every year for 5 months or so.

The fact is Inbound marketing should be a piece of your marketing strategy, and maybe a large piece, if you have a service your prospects look for on the Internet. But out side sales and business development still may be the number one tactic your company should use. That’s why we provide both Inbound Marketing and Business development, because every business is different.

Call me if you want to discuss which is the better option for your marketing. http:www.salesjumpstart.net

 

 

 

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How To Sell SEO and Business Services Using Linked In

How to Sell SEO Services Using Linked In.

In the continuing series of how to sell SEO services, and based on our premise that relationships are what really sell, I wanted to give you a great tool and process to sell more SEO services (or any business service for that matter).

Linked In is the world’s largest business social network. Chances are the vast majority of your clients have a Linked In profile. On that profile is a list of their connections.  Doesn’t it make sense to take a look at all of your clients connections, making a note of the industry and position each connected person is in, and then ask your client for an introduction?

Step One

The first step is to request to be added to each of your clients linked in account.  All you need to do is search Linked In for their names, and then request they add you as a connection.

We encourage our sales coaching clients and any businesses that sell b2b, to actively, and prolifically ask for referrals from clients.  The big challenge most of your clients/customers will have giving you a referral (and I find this true time after time) is trying to figure out who to refer you to.  The process of knowing who their connections are on Linked In, and asking directly for a referral to that very person, will increase your referrals a ton.

Social-network

Give it a few weeks if needed

You may need to give it a few weeks before many of your clients respond to your request to be connected, as they may not check their account all that often.  For those you don’t hear back from, send them an email and ask that they add you to their Linked In connections.

Search their connections

Now that you are connected… go search those clients’ connections!  Make a note of the people you think will benefit from your service, and then …   write a template email that you can give to your client that recommends a business speak to you about your service.

Send a request for an introduction

Send your client a request for a referral to the identified prospect, and add the email template to the bottom of your email.   End your email with something like….

Mike, I wanted to make this as easy as possible for you so I have included a brief introduction of my company for_____________ (Name of prospect) below. Please feel free to just copy and paste it into an email to _______.

You have now eliminated almost all the reasons you don’t get referrals from Clients.  You have identified the person(s) they can refer, you have written the copy they need to send.  You will be surprised how many of your clients will happily refer you to non competing businesses.

Click on the link see more tips on How to Sell SEO Services?

We have been helping businesses grow revenues through proven systems for 13 years. Our process and systems have developed over 100 million dollars in sales, and our average Small business client will increase sales over $500.000  a year. Call us for a free consultation and discussion on how to jump start your business sales.

303 500 3053 Ext 1

 

 

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The Biggest Sales Mistake We All Make

The biggest mistake almost every company makes in sales:

Sales is giving people or businesses what they want, and the process to do so. Sales is not about giving them what they need.

  • Ask your self what your prospects want.
  • Ask your self what they need.

Do they match?  If so then you need to start again.

After you have this right, expand what they want into what that looks like, feels like, and the results. Now you are ready to sell.

Here’s an example:
Your  prospect is a mid forties man with a family of 4.
When he is shopping for a car…  what does he  need?
Transportation, with enough room for 5 people, and a trunk large enough to fit  some golf clubs.  A safe car. A good priceUsed Cars

But what does he want?

  • A car that will make him look like a pro athlete
  • A car that my friends will say, hey, that’s cool!
  • A car that says who I am (or want to be)
  • A car that other people want to drive
    • A car that the opposite sex will want to sit in
    • A car that says I am successful
    • A car that does things other cars can not
    • A car that makes him feel young
    • A fast car
    • A car that shouts I am successful.
  • Maserati GranTurismo
  • A great deal  ( Not price)

So if you are selling this car,

Do you say. Our expo model will get you from point A to B safely and fit all of your friends and family!

Or:

I’ve never experienced anything like this. It’s like the love I had for my first car combined with driving a Maserati.  My wife won’t let me drive it by myself, because it’s so sexy. And they made it easy to drive away in. Drive, sign and go.

….  like reliving your first automobile love affair, but better…  The expo doesn’t ever need a tune up.

Or, if you are a home remodeling company you can say… We are licensed and Insured, and give free estimates.  But maybe you could communicate what they want.

At abc remodeling we create magical places where your family can create warm memories. Your home is the heart and soul of your life, and we build spaces with that in mind.

Give your prospects what they want.  What they need comes with it.

 

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How to Sell SEO Services

How to sell Search Engine Optimization Services.

Mike

Our company provides several sales acceleration services, one of which is business development, as in selling more. So I thought I would give the SEO and Internet Marketing firms that are struggling a little with sales, a few thoughts on what has worked for us, and what works in sales in every thing.

Our company, My One Call, LLC gets about 95% of new clients through referrals from happy clients, and other business influencers in Colorado. In the distant past we did some pay per click and other marketing.  For any of you who have been down that path, you know the challenges associated with selling to an advertising generated lead, those being, they are shopping (that’s how they found you right?)  so you will be competing against mainly price, and they don’t know you or trust you. A well known marketing guru once wrote; “if you think about it, advertising is really an admission of failure”  Or some thing like that. I think the point is if you provide spectacular service you shouldn’t need to advertise, that your happy customers will send you lot’s of business and to an extent that’s true, but you need to remind them that you need that from them.

In sales there are four steps with a prospect.

  1. They don’t know you
  2. They know you
  3. They trust you
  4. They buy from you or refer you to others who will.

Trust is the point you need to get to with all prospects. The best way to get a prospect to the trust category is get a 3rd party endorsement of your service. If someone they trust tells them that you are the cat’s meow, the big dog, and the best ever, you are in great shape.

So selling more means getting more endorsements. I am not talking about a written testimonial for your site (although that’s great!) but the reality is most prospects need more than that.

  • We send out a monthly email to our current and past clients. It has very specific copy written to encourage them to tell other companies about us. Frankly, we bug them all the time for referrals.
  • We also refer business to them at every opportunity.
  • We also try to provide out of the box free services, as an example we hold quarterly networking meetings with business owners to discuss how they can help each other in business.
  • If we hear about or see  something working well in advertising or promotion we investigate it, and pass on the information to our clients who might benefit.
  • We provide a free research service for clients who are approached with new advertising opportunities. We call the references, speak with the sales peoples, and give them an honest opinion if we would do it or not.
  • And we bug them for referrals in very systematic and persistent ways.
  • We play golf with Clients.
  • We try to find new ways to be valuable every day. Not new ways to make money.

 

The final point for now is you should target influential businesses.  If you spend all your time working with start ups, your span of influence is limited. If you work with businesses who are part of the community, and well respected, your referrals will go through the roof.

I know that many web design firms and Internet Marketing companies are very good at what they do, but selling doesn’t fall into their skill sets. It’s frustrating to see other companies that may provide less service and a lower quality product sell more month after month.

We have a great marketing and business development program for these type companies. Affordable and strategic, they return over $20.00 for every $1.00 invested.  They are the Business Development program, and our sales coaching programs.  If you need to grow your company, and are outside of the Denver Metro area (Hey, you guys don’t need the help) call me for a free sales and marketing assessment. I guarantee you will get at least one new idea that will build your sales fast.  303 500 3053 ext 1  <<<  That’s me… Mike Bayes

www.salesjumpstart.net

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Find more prospects, close more sales

The conversion percentage of a prospect to a customer is a cornerstone of a successful company. It influences everything in the company including gross revenue, gross margin, net profit, expenses, budget’s, hiring plans, expansion, and virtually every function of a business. Every sales organization should be constantly looking for ways to improve their closing percentage.

But first, a company must get their product or service in front of new potential customers at a cost that is sustainable and still allows profit.  Generating leads is easy; generating profitable leads cab be very challenging.

The cost of generating new prospects is higher in the early stages of a businesses existence.  Without a solid customer base to lean on, the vast majority of new sales will be “purchased” through advertising or promotions. If you are an established company with a solid customer base it’s important to leverage your hard earned reputation in the sales process.

As a sales consultant I have developed a list of areas that will improve both lead generation and closing percentage for virtually any business. These areas work on line or off, and are time tested and proven.

Closing more: Eliminate fear

  • Have a Guarantee
  • Have a  unique offer
  • Have a sales questionnaire
  • Develop Trust through associations and testimonials
  • Have a defined buying Process

Lead generation:

  • Establish your budget with a percentage of gross for advertising
  • Develop a on the spot referral program
  • Use professionals for advertising information. It will save you a ton
  • Use our Crystal Ball to speed up sales for the year. knowing who and where your future customers are will grow your sales quickly

I want to focus on one small change that can improve your closing percentage significantly, and is very simple.

Use your contract or agreement as the sales piece. The most difficult moment in a sales presentation for many sales professionals is the transition from the “presentation” to the close.  Moving the contract or agreement into the physical space between the two parties is always awkward, and you can feel the tension escalate.

Why not just develop a sales piece that is the agreement or contract?  Using a little marketing savvy, and some imagination, you can turn your current paperwork into a decent sales presentation.  By doing so your prospects will be far more relaxed, and it leads to a natural conclusion of signing the paperwork.

In my experience you will see an easy 10% increase in your sales peoples closing percentage. Going from 27% to 37% will have a substantial impact on your revenues and success as a business.

You can read more about our sales consulting on our site

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How to hire a sales person

DEDHAM, MA - SEPTEMBER 30: AT&T Area Retail Sa...

So…you’re ready to hire a sales person in Denver, or any where in the universe?  Would you allow me to give you a few tips?

I have hired hundreds of outside sales people as well as business development managers for a wide range of industries including, Telecommunications, Internet, I.T., Semi truck repair, Commercial linen services, and Hospitality.  The combined revenue generated by those sales professional would probably be in the 275 million dollar range over the last 15 years.

Here is the number one factor in sales success. Ready?  (drum Roll)

Making your service or product irresistible to buy (or as close as you can).  Read the blog to about this by clicking on the sales tips link that follows and then we can move to the actually hiring tips. Sales tips I know, that’s not what you’re looking for.  But, I rarely give the answer one might be looking for when it relates to sales and business in generally. I don’t know all that much, but I do know if you listen to the masses, you will be one of them.

I am going to assume you read the blog I linked to, written by an amazing sales manager and guru, and a pretty handsome guy (Me). Stop chuckling, and lets get to the reality of hire a sales rep.

Number 2 on the list of having a successful sales program (yes I change the title now and then).  Having a great sales manager who is going to manage the sale person(s). You were expecting training or role play?  Nope,  hire a great sales manager and make your product irresistible,  much more effective  than training and role play.

I have talk to many business owners  who’s sales program failed when they tried to manage the sales team directly.The reason was they have no sales experience. Most sales professionals need,  and I don’t use that word with out reason, so I will repeat it, NEED  an experienced leader. Sales is very different than most the other skills sets you will find in your company, and takes a completely style of leadership.

The challenge for the vast majority of small businesses is they can not afford a sales manager, and a sales person. Many don’t have the budget for a full time sales professional. I think the first step in overcoming this is to work on step one, making your service or product irresistible. If you can move your product from “just another________ <-  add your service in the blank, to a business that offers unique and very compelling features and benefits, you have made a big move up the sales ladder. You can then start using inbound marketing tactics to  find new revenue. The great thing about people calling you about using your service is you don’t have to be a sales pro to sell to them.

How do you make your service unique and compelling?  We can go into much greater detail, and have, on another blog, but the very basics are:

Understand what your prospects want.  Do not try to sell anyone what they need. People rarely buy the lowest priced car, yet what they need is transportation. Get it?  People and companies buy what they want, not need.  So make a list of what your best prospects want.  Start with area’s out side of the normal list, like price, and service.  Drill down.  What does service include? Here are areas that you can make unique.

Communication. How will you communicate with your clients.

Schedules: How will you document the delivery of your service.

Return on Investment: How will you track the R.O.I. of your service or product for the customer

Lifetime value: How will you continue to give value to your customer after the first project is completed?And you can add many many more.

The next area to look at is what do your prospects fear when buying your service? Fear is what stops more sales than any thing else. Ask your current clients what they feared when making their decision on buying from you,  and then,  make guarantees, or develop clear systems, that insure those fears will not become reality.  Dig deep here, you may be surprised at the answers  you get.

Once you have accomplished the above, you will sell more, and can then afford to hire a sales person who will be far more successful than they would have been with out the work and changes you have made.

I will follow up with more on this in future posts. As you may imagine, our company does have a solution for you if you are thinking about starting a sales program. Look at our business development program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jump Start Your Sales

Three

Three ways to jump start your sales.

Working with small and medium sized businesses we see the same challenge over and over.  Most businesses need to find decent R.O.I. tactics to bring in more revenue.  The economy over the last 3 years has certainly made this more challenging than ever, and it’s important to spend sales and marketing dollars wisely.

Here are some things not to do.  Don’t let a  sales person sell you on trying print, radio, or T.V. advertising.  One of the reasons is they have such a great sounding sales pitch is they have to, otherwise you may asked for references from three similar business to yours in the same market, and they won’t have those.  Trust me.  This year we have asked 4 different fast talking, well intentioned sales people for references from three customers in the same market, and none have supplied any. Two became very upset we would even  ask.

So, rule one… ask any company asking for your marketing or advertising dollars for three local references from similar customers. How hard can that be?

No more buying rules, just three proven systems that might jump start your sales with a reasonable to good return on investment.

There are 3 type lead and sales generation programs.  Short, mid and long term results.   We all want short, so lets start there.

Need sales this week?

Use Google ad words with a well thought out limited keyword campaign, have a company with experience in Ad Words develop the campaign, or you may end up throwing your money away.

Your company can be on the first page of Google search results tomorrow. Fast results,  people clicking to your site (and you will pay each time they do). Budget needed,  any where from $30.  a day to skies the limit.

Mid term:

Hire a business development manager either full time or part time.  A business development managers job is to get you and your company in front of well qualified buyers. Caution, if you don’t have experience managing a sales person, you’re going to throw money away 85%  of the time. Not joking. I have worked with many business owners who have hired sales people, having no experience hiring or managing sales people, and the results are predictable.  Here is a good blog on hiring and managing sales people and why sales people are like plumbers  BTW.

So, what can you do?  Either hire a sales manager and a sales person (two different humans), or make your service so irresistible that you don’t need sales people, or use the My One Call business development team to do it all for you.  You can see it here A PDF will open in your browser.  Do look through it. Its interesting.

And Mid to Long term:

Get your web site wildly popular!  Use SEO, Social Media, P.R, and every possible legal and white hat method to get people to your web site.  The fastest way is to hire a highly competent, experienced SEO firm in Denver like us.  Just make sure who ever you use, they have 3 good references from similar businesses in your local area. It’s not going to happen overnight, but once it does this is one of the best R.O.I. in marketing you can ever make.

Those are the three we know work.  We know because we talk to business owners every day, and we talk about this stuff… what works and what doesn’t. We know because we provide all of the marketing programs listed above, and we do because they work. But don’t take our word on it, ask me for 3 (or 5 or 10) local references from similar businesses in Denver. It would be our pleasure to provide that information.

 

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