Tag Archives: Sales

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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Great Sites for Denver SEO and Sales

As many of you know, we use the search engine optimization principle that you should optimize your site by taking actions you would take without any concern for how it will change your sites search engine rankings.

In that spirit, here are a few opportunities for local businesses to get more visibility that will help grow their traffic, and present possible sales opportunities even if it doesn’t.

For B2C, Angie’s list is an excellent promotional tool. I am not sold on advertising on it, but I know that if you have great reviews on it, people will call you. It’s also an excellent citation on Google Places.

The Better Business Bureau. I don’t have any clients that don’t get a decent return on the investment by listing and doing a little advertising on the local B.B.B. It’s also a good citation and link(s)

Other quick and easy places to be:

Linked in (with a company profile)
Facebook
Twitter ( just do it!)

And don’t forget to write reviews on Google places for the businesses you like in your area. They just might return the favor.

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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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Sales and SEO

How do Sales and SEO relate to each other?

And why would a company offer both Search engine optimization services and Sales programs?  Because, sales professionals and small business owners can spend up to 80% of their sales effort on generating leads.  And SEO is a very good way to reduce the dollars and time spent finding prospects.  The best thing a business can do to increase sales numbers, is increase the number of leads coming in.  That means more time is spent in front of a prospect instead of finding them. Then they can go to work on converting more leads into customers.

So,  in our sales programs the first thing we look at is how to generate more and better leads (unless a company has plenty of leads) .  SEO and pay per click (until the Internet Marketing kicks in) can provide a great start in this process.

That’s how we as a company got involved in search engine optimization, through developing sales leads and process. The very same reason many of you as business owners are looking at SEO. We think this gives us a unique view of Internet Marketing that can help you achieve your sales goals. We don’t view SEO or web popularity (as we like to call it) programs as stand alone systems. It needs to be part of your larger sales and service plans.

Feel free to view our sales programs on our site and check out the client comments as well.

 

 

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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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Make More Sales

April 30: George Washington becomes the first ...
Image via Wikipedia

Need to make more sales? Read on!

 

I just finished listening and viewing a 90 minute webinar about the “science” of in home selling.  I have a lot of clients who sell to the home owner, so keeping up on any new and interesting “science” is always good.

Let’s just say the content was about, ummm, 40 years old.  It’s been a long time since I heard about the “one more thing” close. Or as it evolved (around 1980) into the Colombo close.  I really hope that as a profession we “sales pro’s” can move past some of this stuff.

Here is what I know about selling.  If you want to sell something you do it the same way people get elected as President.  Years ago there was a very complicated, expensive, scientific research paper completed by a highly respected University or research center (none of this I can remember the details about)  that stated that the person who won the Presidential elections in this country had the advantage over the opponent in three areas.  Ready?  (and this is how you sell more as well… have the following advantages.)

  • They looked better
  • They sounded better
  • They felt better

Therefore they were more popular.

Put it to the test.  Did Regan look, sound, and feel better than Carter?  YES

Did Regan look, sound, and feel better than Mondale?  YES

Did Obama look, sound, and feel better than what’s his name?  Yes!

(These are in no way political statements!)  I also look at it like this. The person who gets elected in this country is always the one that the majority of people would rather have living on their block. Really. I am not joking.

So if you want to sell more, you need to look better than your competition, sound better, and feel better to your prospective clients.

So take a moment and ask yourself. How can I look better to my market?  How are your marketing materials looking these days? How do you dress when you go to a meeting?  Do you need a little gray hair for the service you sell (Consulting)  and you are 27?  Better bring a more senior person with you. (Or me.)

How do you Sound?  Confident, Organized, Interesting?

How do you feel?  When you leave are they going to say…  I just feel like they know what they are doing and they’re the right choice.

In those three questions, you can become a top 10%  sales pro. Or, you can go old school and  learn the feel- felt- and found method of overcoming what we call “objections”. 😉

Old School: Yes Joe,  I know how you FEEL, because you don’t have any money and lack the authority to make this decision, but many of my clients FELT that way until they FOUND out we don’t care if you pay us, and I will never tell your boss you did it. Now Joe, that makes sense doesn’t it? Joe:  “Well, Yes Mike it does! Thanks for helping me overcome what you thought was an objection, but was really a condition you should have identified long before you showed up here.”

I want to give you more on this later, but this may be a great help to the non-professionally trained business owner or manager who now needs to sell to survive.

You don’t need to know 14 different ways to overcome objections.  You don’t need to know 25 different style closes. (Although you really should know one.)  And you don’t need to be high pressure.  You just need to Look, Sound, and Feel better than the other guy.

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Sales training Denver

Coach

Sales Training in Denver

We do sales coaching, and are asked whats the difference between sales training and sales coaching. The first big difference is sales coaching is done with a business owner, or senior executive, and has a much broader scoop.

When we do sales training in Denver it’s very much like a football coach working with a position player. Sales coaching we are working with the coaches, and we start on the play book.

Sales coaching unlike sales training Denver, starts with the number one opportunity to increase a companies sales, their service or product offering, and at times, it may re write the entire “playbook”  a business uses.  How they approach the market and what they comminicate will have a larger effect on revenue than sales training in Denver.

Sales Training in Denver will focus on the sales skills of an individual, or team, but, if the product or service they are selling isn’t compelling, or very competetive, there is little point in it.

5stepsalesjumpstart.com is a joint venture with my brother Chris and myself, offering on line sales coaching. It’s guaranteed to increase your company’s revenues.

If you want some fast sales training see the blogs on the best sales pro’s I have worked with here.  Call us at 303 500 3053 ext 1

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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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