It’s Closing Time…

Nothing quite ranks you in sales like your closing technique

Saying just the right thing at precisely the right time is critical to sealing the deal and getting that solid foundation for a good relationship with your new client. Not to mention that it doesn’t matter how good you are at everything else if you can’t close the deal.

Don’t feel like you’re alone in this. I believe that most salespeople have some level of anxiety about the close. But from that anxiety comes relief, pride, even success when the deal goes as planned and you get the sale you were working toward! It’s these feelings that drive us.

Now, let’s go over a tried and true technique that has proven itself time and time again!

Sometimes it’s best to be Traditional.

Most traditional closing techniques are as you would expect, traditional. There are mind games a salesperson employs, and subtle warnings meant to encourage your prospect to hurry along and make that YES or no-decision.

For example, you have that well-known car salesman line of the “last one on the lot,” or one of my favorites, “If you can sign up today, we are running a special. But today’s the last day!”

And there is most definitely a reason why this traditional method gets used after all these years even though everyone knows what you’re doing. To put it in simple terms, it works. It calls on us to hurry up and get that deal before it’s gone, to satisfy the urgency that we feel to save the money or get the last one.

To be skilled at closing a deal is probably the most technique that a salesperson can have. What technique do you use?

 

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How To Develop The Perfect Cold Call Open…

 

The Cold Open

Although many people might wish otherwise, I’m here to tell you that in 2019 cold calling is still alive and kicking! B2B and B2C sellers everywhere are still practicing this approach every day! When approaching the art of Cold Calling in 2019, you must remember what is considered by many to be the most important element of cold calling… the open.

There are a few different ways to come to the development of a fantastic open. Let’s go over a couple of them today.

Option #1 – Invite yourself to the conversation

When you go ahead and take the plunge and get that person on the line that you were hoping to talk to, start by inviting yourself to the conversation before you jump in with your sell. How to do this?  Simple is best and just ask. “Hello Jane, this is Robert with Selling You Something. I know that I didn’t schedule this call with you, but is this a good time? I’d like to share with you some interesting Marketing Information I have come across that will help your department.”

Seems pretty simple and straightforward, right? What makes this approach one of the most efficient is that it is respectful and triggers the prospect’s interest.

This respectful method of gaining entry is a great way to get your foot in the door or to be scheduled to start the conversation at a later time.

Not sure that this method is for you?

 

Option #2 –  Try the announcement approach

What exactly is the Announcement Approach? When you can get someone on the line, you open with a statement like, “Hi. My name is Mary, and I’m calling because of the new (blank) you just launched.” Using a known event as the opener shows that not only do you know their business/product and are not just calling down a list of numbers, but when this opening statement is followed by something like, “As with every new launch, proper Marketing from the onset is vital, and I have a solution that will definitely provide that special something you’re looking for!” The combination of the known event with the selling statement is a great opener for a conversation about how your service can help them sell their product.

Still not the perfect fit for your style?

Option #3 – Ask for directions

Sometimes it’s okay to stop and ask for directions. “Hello. I’m Sara and I know that you are very busy. I am trying to find the person that can help me …” You have established that they are not the person that you are looking for so they will relax and (hopefully) not look for a reason to quickly end the call. Now you can take that quick moment to show your stuff with your researched knowledge of who/what they are and be specific in your reason for speaking with “someone in marketing.”

Although Cold Calling isn’t what it used to be, it isn’t dead yet! With online research being what it is, there is no reason that you cannot spend some time learning about the person or group you are trying to get in touch with.

Now, combining this style of Cold Calling with the data that BBC Consulting can provide you before, during, and after your approach can put you light years ahead of your competition. It can also give you real-time data on how your style is being received by the people you’re calling and what works and what doesn’t! For $199/month and no contract, how can you pass up an opportunity to achieve Cold Calling greatness like this?!

 

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Cold Calling Isn’t Dead, It’s Alive and Kicking Right?

Cold Calling ….

Just those two words together—cold calling—puts many people far away from warm and happy. Given that it’s so much fun for so many people, and that I have heard a number of times recently that the last nail has been banged into the cold calling coffin, why is cold calling still even on our radar screens?

Because it works.

“It doesn’t work,” you say? Well, in one sense I agree with you: there are a million ways to do it wrong and fail. Fail at something enough, and it’s easy to dismiss the whole tactic.

In fact, “Cold Calling is Dead” is one of the common myths in 5 Sales Prospecting Myths Debunked. (Download the full report for new data on the effectiveness of cold calling.)

Meanwhile, case study after case study confirms that cold calling can work. For example, I’ve seen cold calling work as a major part of a lead generation approach, yielding 6 clients in 6 months (a major acceleration of client additions), and increasing the pipeline by fivefold, for Deep Customer Connections, a management consulting firm in the insurance industry.

Making Ten Million Dollars

Many anti-cold-calling folks say, “There are so many powerful ways to build your client base, why even bother trying cold calling? You can give speeches. Publish articles and books. Work your network: it’s more extensive than you probably think.”

To paraphrase a famous business person (Comedian Steve Martin):

  • Question: What’s the secret to making ten million dollars?
  • Answer: First, start with nine million dollars.

Well, some people don’t write very well, they don’t have extensive networks, and speaking isn’t their bag. Some people can’t wait a year for a lead to materialize out of their writing or their network! If you can employ these tactics, great. It’s like starting with nine million. But regardless of whether you start with nine million or no million, cold calling still works.

What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)

Let’s assume you’re a Chief Strategy Officer at an $800 million dollar manufacturing firm in Ohio. Someone calls you and says, “My name is John Smith and I’m a change management consultant. Do you need change? Let’s meet.” Even if you’re headed to the vending machine, your immediate change needs probably won’t include John Smith.

But let’s say John calls and says, “My name is John Smith. The reason I’m calling is because my company, the ABC Consulting Group, has just recently conducted a major benchmark study on how manufacturing businesses—including Competitor 1 and Competitor 2 of yours—in the Midwest are succeeding with their labor unions in the face of global outsourcing. There are 3 practices that are working across the board and a few that fail most everyplace. If you’re interested, we’d be happy to come by and take you through the results.”

If this topic is on your mind, you might risk a 30-minute meeting to hear the results. Or you might have some questions right then and there. Either way, if I’m John, I’ve presented my cold “introduction” of myself and my company in a way that delivers value to you.

Will everyone take me up on this meeting? Of course not. But if my target list is well segmented and clean, a number of prospects will. When I get in front of them, the topic of conversation will be my recent research, work, and expertise—not a “get to know you and sell you” meeting.

A conversation about recent research is just one of many potential value propositions for the meeting. You might not want to present research because it might not be the best entry for you. But if you’re offering is worthwhile, a conversation with you should be able to offer something of strong value. (If you can’t figure out how you can deliver value in a conversation, find a new line of work.)

Regardless of the meeting premise, you have to handle the conversation well to get the best result from this meeting, but the ball is definitely in your court as to what happens from here on out.

 

How the Numbers Work

Answer the following question: If you get 10 meetings with 10 company leaders who have the right title, are in the right organization, and have the right criteria for being a good prospect for you, and you stay in touch with them fairly regularly in a meaningful way after the meeting, how many would become clients of yours in some capacity over the next year or two?

The most common answers I get for this question are “two or three” or “eight or nine”. Let’s assume you’re more modest, and the answer is two.

Next question: What does a bread-and-butter buyer represent to you in terms of revenue over the course of a year? It could be $7k, $70k, $170k, $700k, or anything. Let’s assume it’s $70k.

So, for the cost of setting up 10 meetings with prospects, whatever that cost is, the immediate return on your investment is $140k. This, of course, doesn’t take into account long term ROI factors such as repeat business and increased referrals.

The fallacy, in many cases, is that most sellers aren’t as good at closing as they think they are, and they don’t continue to stay in touch with the prospect regularly and meaningfully after they meet with them. But these factors don’t have anything to do with cold calling. They have to do with your ongoing nurturing, and the resources you devote to follow up. The cold calling part works fine for what it’s supposed to do: make an introduction with a prospective buyer that can lead to a good relationship. How you choose to build the relationship is a different matter.

Have Someone Else Call For You

Maybe you see the value and believe that cold calling can work, but you simply do not want to make the calls. You can have someone else call for you.

Reread the WIIFM section of this article above. In the beginning, you must be involved in targeting the right prospects, providing the strongest value proposition, and working with a telephone business developer to represent you clearly, strongly, and fairly. Then, let them go to work. Cold calling itself is not something that you, personally, need to get good at.

It’s been said that people make decisions with their hearts and justify them with their heads. People don’t want to make cold calls, and some don’t want to be associated with the method. So they figure out how to justify not employing cold calling, or why other things work better.

If you don’t want to make cold calls, don’t. But cold calling does work. Most people just do it wrong.

 

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Source: https://www.rainsalestraining.com/blog/cold-calling-works-you-just-do-it-wrong

 

Cold Calling Isn’t Dead, It’s Alive and Kicking Right?

Cold Calling ….

Just those two words together—cold calling—puts many people far away from warm and happy. Given that it’s so much fun for so many people, and that I have heard a number of times recently that the last nail has been banged into the cold calling coffin, why is cold calling still even on our radar screens?

Because it works.

“It doesn’t work,” you say? Well, in one sense I agree with you: there are a million ways to do it wrong and fail. Fail at something enough, and it’s easy to dismiss the whole tactic.

In fact, “Cold Calling is Dead” is one of the common myths in 5 Sales Prospecting Myths Debunked. (Download the full report for new data on the effectiveness of cold calling.)

Meanwhile, case study after case study confirms that cold calling can work. For example, I’ve seen cold calling work as a major part of a lead generation approach, yielding 6 clients in 6 months (a major acceleration of client additions), and increasing the pipeline by fivefold, for Deep Customer Connections, a management consulting firm in the insurance industry.

Making Ten Million Dollars

Many anti-cold-calling folks say, “There are so many powerful ways to build your client base, why even bother trying cold calling? You can give speeches. Publish articles and books. Work your network: it’s more extensive than you probably think.”

To paraphrase a famous business person (Comedian Steve Martin):

  • Question: What’s the secret to making ten million dollars?
  • Answer: First, start with nine million dollars.

Well, some people don’t write very well, they don’t have extensive networks, and speaking isn’t their bag. Some people can’t wait a year for a lead to materialize out of their writing or their network! If you can employ these tactics, great. It’s like starting with nine million. But regardless of whether you start with nine million or no million, cold calling still works.

What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)

Let’s assume you’re a Chief Strategy Officer at an $800 million dollar manufacturing firm in Ohio. Someone calls you and says, “My name is John Smith and I’m a change management consultant. Do you need change? Let’s meet.” Even if you’re headed to the vending machine, your immediate change needs probably won’t include John Smith.

But let’s say John calls and says, “My name is John Smith. The reason I’m calling is because my company, the ABC Consulting Group, has just recently conducted a major benchmark study on how manufacturing businesses—including Competitor 1 and Competitor 2 of yours—in the Midwest are succeeding with their labor unions in the face of global outsourcing. There are 3 practices that are working across the board and a few that fail most everyplace. If you’re interested, we’d be happy to come by and take you through the results.”

If this topic is on your mind, you might risk a 30-minute meeting to hear the results. Or you might have some questions right then and there. Either way, if I’m John, I’ve presented my cold “introduction” of myself and my company in a way that delivers value to you.

Will everyone take me up on this meeting? Of course not. But if my target list is well segmented and clean, a number of prospects will. When I get in front of them, the topic of conversation will be my recent research, work, and expertise—not a “get to know you and sell you” meeting.

A conversation about recent research is just one of many potential value propositions for the meeting. You might not want to present research because it might not be the best entry for you. But if you’re offering is worthwhile, a conversation with you should be able to offer something of strong value. (If you can’t figure out how you can deliver value in a conversation, find a new line of work.)

Regardless of the meeting premise, you have to handle the conversation well to get the best result from this meeting, but the ball is definitely in your court as to what happens from here on out.

 

How the Numbers Work

Answer the following question: If you get 10 meetings with 10 company leaders who have the right title, are in the right organization, and have the right criteria for being a good prospect for you, and you stay in touch with them fairly regularly in a meaningful way after the meeting, how many would become clients of yours in some capacity over the next year or two?

The most common answers I get for this question are “two or three” or “eight or nine”. Let’s assume you’re more modest, and the answer is two.

Next question: What does a bread-and-butter buyer represent to you in terms of revenue over the course of a year? It could be $7k, $70k, $170k, $700k, or anything. Let’s assume it’s $70k.

So, for the cost of setting up 10 meetings with prospects, whatever that cost is, the immediate return on your investment is $140k. This, of course, doesn’t take into account long term ROI factors such as repeat business and increased referrals.

The fallacy, in many cases, is that most sellers aren’t as good at closing as they think they are, and they don’t continue to stay in touch with the prospect regularly and meaningfully after they meet with them. But these factors don’t have anything to do with cold calling. They have to do with your ongoing nurturing, and the resources you devote to follow up. The cold calling part works fine for what it’s supposed to do: make an introduction with a prospective buyer that can lead to a good relationship. How you choose to build the relationship is a different matter.

Have Someone Else Call For You

Maybe you see the value and believe that cold calling can work, but you simply do not want to make the calls. You can have someone else call for you.

Reread the WIIFM section of this article above. In the beginning, you must be involved in targeting the right prospects, providing the strongest value proposition, and working with a telephone business developer to represent you clearly, strongly, and fairly. Then, let them go to work. Cold calling itself is not something that you, personally, need to get good at.

It’s been said that people make decisions with their hearts and justify them with their heads. People don’t want to make cold calls, and some don’t want to be associated with the method. So they figure out how to justify not employing cold calling, or why other things work better.

If you don’t want to make cold calls, don’t. But cold calling does work. Most people just do it wrong.

 

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Source: https://www.rainsalestraining.com/blog/cold-calling-works-you-just-do-it-wrong

 

Voice Mail Marketing: You Don’t Have to Like it, But Just Don’t Ignore It

“Hello, Ruth. This is Susan Doe from Acme Widgets calling. I’d really like to speak with you. Would you please call me back? You can reach me at xxxx.”

[Delete!]

This recent message on my voice mail got me thinking: What was it about the message that made me delete it? Probably because I didn’t know her. Plus, she gave me no reason why I should care.

But, on reflection, I often reply to voice mails from unknown people. Why do I respond to some and not others? A well-crafted voice mail message should be a potent opportunity to begin, or strengthen, a business relationship. So there ought to be ways to motivate a response better than did our hapless Susan Doe.

So what should business marketers do when confronted with a voice mail greeting during a phone call? In short, what are best practices in voice mail marketing?

I decided to look into this, and guess what: Voice mail marketing is nowhere, as a discipline. No one is talking about it. No one is researching it, setting up tests, and figuring out best practices—at least as far as I could determine.

 

I say this is a lost opportunity. Because outbound telemarketing is huge in B-to-B. But business marketers find that upwards of 85% of outbound business calls go to voice mail. So if you don’t have a clear strategy for how to manage voice mail as part of your campaign, you’ll be squandering a major chance to connect with customers and prospects.

Objectives Drive Strategy
The place to begin, naturally, is with your objective in making the call. A sales rep cranking through a series of cold phone calls will have a different strategy from a marketer using phone follow-up to direct mail, for example. Are you looking to gain awareness? Is the message intended to motivate a call-back? Is the message part of a series of touches, or does it need to pay off on its own? The answer to these questions will help identify the right approach to voice mail. When asked for his recommendation on voice mail, Mike Chaplo, VP of Revenue at LinkExperts, says firmly, “Don’t leave one. Hang up. Call back again, and keep trying. If after 5 or 6 attempts you still can’t get through, then send an email, asking when is the best time to call. Your objective in business is to have a conversation, not to leave an annoying message.” But voice mail does have its applications, in both sales and marketing. Let’s look at what’s working and what the experts recommend.

Strategic Options in Voice Mail Marketing
Depending on the strategy, the use of voice mail will differ widely. Experienced users recommend it as particularly useful for:

  • Event invitations or reminders
  • A follow-up to direct mail or email
  • Lead qualification and nurturing
  • A pre-campaign touch prior to direct mail or email
  • Announcements, such as regulatory compliance
  • Pricing or promotion updates

Live Telemarketing as Part of a Marketing Campaign
Phone follow up to mail or email, and phone softening prior to mail, are time-honored techniques for improving response and campaign ROI. So what do you do in the highly likely event that you reach a voice mailbox instead of a live person?

According to Rob Lail, founder and president of MarketMakers, a B-to-B teleservices firm in the Philadelphia area, voice mail has a powerful role to play in a campaign—if you plan for it. “The most important thing is to prepare a superb script,” says Lail. “It has to be professional, but not sound canned. We provide our reps with scripts, but they only use it as a guide. They need to know the material cold, and speak to it naturally, so they sound confident.”

Lail observes that a great voice mail script gets to the point fast. “You need to cover the who, what, where, when and how quickly. You need to use a conversational tone, and above all, the message has to be relevant to the target’s industry.”

Other than the script, the key is the application. According to Lail, the single most effective use of voice mail is in event marketing, for extending an invitation or reminding prospects to attend a seminar, conference, webcast or some other live appointment. “Reminder calls to seminar attendees who have agreed to come can improve their actual attendance by 40%,” says Lail.

The phone is also a big part of effective lead qualification and nurturing programs. In this situation, a well-defined voice mail strategy is equally important. John Hasbrouck is President and CEO of NewLeads., which provides trade show contact follow-up services. Hasbrouck encourages his reps to make the decision whether to leave a voice mail message based on their level of energy and enthusiasm at the moment.

“Enthusiasm is contagious,” says Hasbrouck. “If you don’t feel like leaving a message, just hang up. You need to be in the right frame of mind. If you don’t sound like someone they want to talk to, they won’t ever respond.”

 

Telephone as Part of Biz Dev or Sales
When using the phone as part of a sales effort, the voice mail option is a function of where you are in the process. Sherri Sklar, an experienced sales and marketing trainer and consultant, and president of Sherri Sklar Strategies, notes that it can take 7 to 9 touches to get through to business buyers today.

So Sklar recommends planning the touch sequence up front. “I might begin with an email, saying I will follow up with a phone call. If I get a voice mail on that call, I will have decided in advance whether I will leave a message or not. It depends on whether I want to use up one of my touches. Generally, a voice mail is less effective if the prospect doesn’t know me yet.”

But if she does decide to leave a voice mail at the early stages in the relationship, Sklar stresses the importance of mentioning, early in the message, the critical business issue that is likely to be on the mind of the recipient. “After I say my name and my company, and a few words about our competency, I get right to the point about how we can help the prospect. And I leave my phone number. But I don’t expect a call back. What I expect to happen is my next touch, whether it’s another call or an email.”

Sklar cautions that callers need to plan for any possible outcome. You need to have the scripts in mind if you get voice mail, if the prospect picks up, and if a gatekeeper picks up.

How to Structure a Voice Mail
John Hasbrouck recommends the following path for your voice message, to garner maximum attention and response:

PAIN. Start with their problem. Don’t start with yourself.
HOPE. State your offering: “We solve that problem.”
REFERENCES. Name a few customers who will be familiar and credible.
FEATURES. If you can squeeze in one or two supporting features, do so. But keep the total to 30 seconds.
RESPONSE. Tell them what to do and how. “If you want to know more, please give me a call.”

New Tools to Enhance Your Voice Mail Marketing
Voice mail has been around for a few decades, and while it’s not a hotbed of marketing innovation, a few enhancements have emerged.

Guided voice mail. BoxPilot pioneered the idea of pre-recording a message, and then using live operators to network around the target company and “guide” the message to the right person’s voice mail box. Kytell’s team has done a variety of tests to prove the concept’s effectiveness. One client using guided voice mail as follow up to a direct mail piece, for example, lifted response 145%, from 3.1% to 7.8%., doubling campaign ROI. James Pennington, VP of strategic marketing at The Kern Organization, the B-to-B direct marketing agency, has used BoxPilot successfully for its clients. “It’s more expensive per touch than direct mail, but cheaper than outbound telemarketing,” he notes. “BoxPilot turns the disadvantage of business people’s hiding behind their voice mail into an advantage. What we find is that what’s most important is sending a message that’s not stupid or pointless, but one that’s relevant.”

Automated voice mail. Used primarily in consumer marketing, automated delivery of pre-recorded messages via auto-dialing is making some contribution in B-to-B. GroupCast Messaging in St. Louis, for example, is producing results for financial services, like credit card processing offers to small businesses, or advising insurance brokers and financial planners on new products. GroupCast sets up unique toll-free numbers on each campaign, so responses come into their call center, backed up by automated voice response, which allows them to track results and do tests. Barry Chelist, director of sales, says that GroupCast regularly tests the effectiveness of such variables as male versus female voices, and sets up split tests of direct mail with voice-mail follow-up versus direct mail alone.

What’s Next?
As business marketers, we need to get more disciplined about voice mail as part of the marketing mix. Voice mail should be right up there with direct mail, email and telemarketing as a mainstream medium. Business marketers ought to be conducting split testing of offers and scripts, and looking for ways to improve response rates. Better yet, we need testing of multi-touch campaign sequencing, to see where voice mail best fits.

I hope this discussion will inspire some activity in this area. If you have any results to report, please share with me at ruth@ruthstevens.com. And let’s ask The DMA to include voice mail as a key B-to-B campaign medium when it researches response rates, creative strategies and other useful topics. If this is where 85% of our phone calls are going, we need to make the most of it.

 

Tips for B-to-B Voice Mail Success
The message must fit within fewer than 30 seconds, without sounding rushed. Beyond 30 seconds, the listen-to rate declines dramatically, says Barry Chelist, director of sales at GroupCast Messaging.

Sincerity is audible. As John Hasbrouck cautions, “Think about how much you believe what you are saying. If you don’t really believe it, don’t say it.”

Strive for natural-sounding speech. “Don’t go for a radio commercial,” says Mike Kytell, founder and CEO of BoxPilot, the guided voice mail service for B-to-B marketers. “You want to sound real, not canned.”
Expect the same kind of response rate you’d get with an outbound telemarketing campaign, says Mike Kytell. “If you picked up the phone and called 100 people, how many would call you back?”

If you are deliberately looking to go to voice mail, versus reaching a live human, the best times are during the business day between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., when most people are in meetings or at lunch, according to Barry Chelist. Evening or late night has become a risky time slot, says Chelist, because so many people have their office numbers forwarded to home or mobile phones.

 

Source: http://www.ruthstevens.com/articles/voice-mail-marketing-you-dont-have-to-like-it-but-just-dont-ignore-it/

 

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Uncover Qualified Leads

One revenue growth tip for Sales Leaders that’s a real pay off

Uncover Qualified Leads

Sales are at the heart of every business, and when they are lackluster, it can spell disaster. Unfortunately, when many business owners see the numbers coming up short, they rely on flash-in-the-pan tactics like short-term incentives for salespeople, price reductions for customers, and sometimes just berating the sales team for non-delivery on goals. The problem with any of these techniques is that they are all bad for business. Incentives cost money and create only short-term boosts, if they work at all. Price reductions cut margins and diminish the value proposition of the product. And kicking the sales team when things are bad just demoralizes the staff and worsens their efforts. So what works? One thing–and every business owner can do it: monitoring sales calls.

Day 1. Start with an off-hours listen. If your company records calls, taking 1 hour to go back over calls from that day will show you how to put your sales back on course.  You will hear your sales reps using the wrong words, missing buying cues, giving customers incorrect information, and not asking for the sale. All of these things can be fixed, but only when they are discovered and taught around. Make a list of the issues and come in the next day and roleplay them with your team. Give them the words you want them to use, re-educate them on your product or service, and then practice questions they can use to close customers. Tell them that you will continue to take the time out of your day to listen because you know that together, you can drive sales.

Day 2. Live Listen to your Sales Reps calls. Choose 1 hour out of the day when your reps are generally busiest with sales calls.  Let your reps know that you will be spending time listening to their calls, because sales are the most crucial ingredient to making your company succeed. Make sure your reps feel that they have an important contribution to make. Then listen to calls as they happen. At first, don’t interrupt the call. Just take notes and give the rep the notes at the end of the call, and talk about what was done well, and where things could have been better. After a few calls, begin making suggestions during the call using a chat.  When a salesperson doesn’t pick up on a buying cue for example, point that out and include the phrase she should use to bring the customer to the close. As you help to bring a few calls to a sale, your sales rep will feel both the power of your suggestions, and understand that your monitoring is helpful rather than frightening.

Day 3. Ask your sales reps to monitor themselves.   At the end of the day, select 2-3 recordings and listen to them. Rather than telling the rep what to do differently on the call, ask questions to lead her to that knowledge herself. For instance, if a rep forgets to ask for the sale, you might say “can you listen to this call and tell me what words you used to see if the customer was ready to purchase?” As the rep answers, she will realize her omission, and remember to do it on the next call–because you have made her realize in an obvious but non-embarrassing way that her dialogue is missing something important. When she tells you that she did not make the ask, ask her how she thinks she might have done so. If needed, practice the word with her. Then encourage her to do it on every call for the next hour. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it will get easier with each call, and it will directly impact her success and your sales.

If you need sales and aren’t getting them, you have to get down in the trenches with your sales team and diagnose what’s happening. There is no substitute for it, and the person doing it should be the business owner rather than anyone else, because when the owner gets involved, everyone on staff understands that this issue is monumental, that it won’t go away, and that addressing it is a positive event, rather than a blame game. Yes, it takes time out of a business owner’s day,  and yes it can lead to scary and even painful discoveries, but ultimately, it is the quickest way to heal your sales and propel your company forward.

 

Source:https://www.inc.com/vanessa-merit-nornberg/got-3-days-make-more-sales-by-doing-this-alone.html?cid=search

 

 

 

How to generate lead using LinkedIn

7 Behavior Insights to Attract Small Business Customers

 

Small businesses practice distinct buying behaviors

For providers of value-added services or products who need to market to small business buyers, it’s critical to understand their needs and constraints. These seven proven behaviors summarize how, why and when buyers make their decisions and transactions.

1. Business owners have a distinct vendor selection process.

Based on information from a Gartner study, buyers generally divide prospect research into three blocks of time, usually around 20 minutes each.

In the research phase, prospects seek out potential partners. In the qualification phase, they engage with these potential partners to understand their capabilities. In the evaluation phase they move toward a decision.

It’s important to understand the phased approach, because it speaks to the need for marketers to have an integrated sales and marketing platform that touches prospects in all three phases. From case studies on your website to drip marketing campaigns, your entire marketing effort should be designed to touch prospects with information relevant to each phase.

2. Small businesses seek out particular data points about potential suppliers.

Smart marketers understand this selection process and deliver information that prospects are looking for. Often in the case of value-added services such as IT, buyers are looking for information about how things work and at what price. If you sell services to small businesses, make sure you convert the intangible into something tangible.

For example, ensure your white papers and case studies have clear visual models and illustrations that show how services are delivered, so you can advance from phase one to phase two.

3. Prospects are most likely to buy when they are in pain.

While marketers have long understood that they must identify pain and need, business owners often act based on particular events occurring in their business. In the example of outsourced IT, a prospect is more likely to seek out an IT partner directly following a cyber breach or similar event.

Marketing communication is like chocolate–you don’t want too much, or too little. Marketers need to find ways to be in front of prospects often without overwhelming them. Having an omnichannel communication approach provides opportunity for multiple touches without creating fatigue.

4. Provide proof.

Social proof has become game, set, and match in marketing today. Prospects will not only validate you on your website but will seek independent validation in the form of reviews on Angie’s List, Yelp and others. Make such validation easy to find or create your own social proof through testimonials and such.

5. Entrepreneurs want to grow.

Offers that focus on driving revenue are more meaningful than services that are categorized as a cost center. Business owners will pay a premium for outsourced services they view as accretive to building enterprise value.

In my consulting practice, I have consistently been able to up sell services when the service provided was directly related to improving the client’s service delivery or sales productivity.

6. Business owners care about value, not so much about price.

Business owners are trying to earn a profit themselves and understand there are costs associated with the benefits they buy. They want to see value from their suppliers.

While you may not need to be the cheapest, you do need to prove your value through total cost-of-ownership-type comparisons. Provide such data at the end of your interactions with them in phase three, after you’ve proven you are the supplier of choice.

7. Small business owners are firefighters.

They are time-starved with limited resources. They want their vendors to get to the point. Make sure your website navigation is clean, and ensure your white papers, testimonials and other marketing pieces are illustrative.

Knowing their time constraints, be maniacal about follow-up. As most suppliers have poor follow-through, providing personal attention and follow-up can separate you from the pack.

Source: https://www.inc.com/marc-emmer/want-to-attract-small-business-customers-use-these-behavior-insights-to-market-to-them-successfully.html?cid=search

 

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The biggest misconception about email marketing in the US…

I have to opt in to receive B2B emails..

After sending hundreds of thousands of B2B emails we want to share the single most misunderstood part about email marketing, we hear it everyday. So, we want to clear it up and provide the actual rules for CAN SPAM Compliance, because, in reality businesses can send other businesses emails as long as they comply with the CAN SPAM rules.

Here are the CAN SPAM rules for the USA so you can be better informed…

Do you use email in your business? The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.

Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $41,484, so non-compliance can be costly. But following the law isn’t complicated. Here’s a rundown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.

Source: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

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6 Ways to Make Sure Your Sales Emails Dont Go to Spam

From Fortune 500 companies to scrappy startups, sending sales emails on a regular basis is a reality, so a large amount of time, strategy and effort goes into the process of sending these emails.

Yet, there is a massive blocker standing in the way of reaching your target’s inbox: spam filters.

1. Limit Links

Having an excessive amount of links in your email is one of the biggest red flags that will set spam filters off. Only include links that are absolutely essential to your sales email, such as your call-to-action, examples of your work for previous clients or something similar.

2. Keep the Exclamation Points To a Minimum

Punctuation marks like exclamation points are commonly found in spammy sales emails that litter our spam folders. Within your email, keep your exclamation points to a minimum, and quickly get to your point.

3. Dont Use Strange Fonts

Seemingly obscure fonts are another trigger that commonly set off spam filters. To combat this, stick to the default options your respective email provider gives to you. For example, on Gmail, Sans Serif is the default font. By using the fonts offered by your email provider, you’ll be reassuring the spam filters that your email was drafted in Gmail instead of being created by a sketchy bot.

4. Don’t Include Too Many Images

By keeping your text-to-image ratio at a reasonable level, you’ll be be decreasing the chances your email gets caught by the spam filters. As a rule of thumb, only use images that are absolutely essential to the content of your email. If you can’t, then it’s best to stick to text.

5. Don’t Use Sales Type Words

Words like “urgent” and “promo” and “sale” are easy targets for spam filters to identify and mark as junk mail. If you’re hosting a promotion that you truly think will add value to the prospects you’re reaching out to via email, then use a tool like Thesaurus.com to find some suitable synonyms to get the point across.

6. Include Your Physical Address & An Unsubscribe Link

Because of the CAN-SPAM Act, all senders must include a physical address as well as an unsubscribe link in all their emails. If you don’t, not only will you be violating this law, but your emails will also be much more likely to never make it through the spam filters. Platforms like Mailchimp make this process easy by having both your address and an unsubscribe link as a piece in all their email templates.

Email outreach is still one of the most commonly used forms of sales in the business world today. If you want to make sure your sales emails outsmart the tricky spam filters and reach your target’s inbox, start by following the best practices laid out in this article. Best of luck.

Source: By Dakota Shane Co-founder, Arctiphi@DakotaShane_Nun

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