Written by: Curtis DeCora
Have you heard the phrase, "People like to buy, they don't like to be sold." This is true. I reference a new buyer, which I like to call, "Buyer 2.0" This is the buyer that is less trusting, less loyal, more demanding and more price sensitive. Unless we know how to nudge them, move them along a sales cycle, and motivate them by facilitating the process, we can sell more effectively.
Let's look at another topic. Consider the used car salesmen. I only mention them because they have a stereotype to be pushy. Take for example your last time purchasing a car. You were pushed and sold, and weren't informed, educated, nor assisted. Sound familiar? Sorry car salesmen. :D
Let's look at a few scenarios. When you walk into a brick and mortar store, you have roughly 10 feet of space before you reach the isles. Research indicates that consumers need 10 feet of space to orient themselves before making a decision on which way to move. Research also indicates that consumers will walk to the right 93% of the time, so the higher margin items are on the right side of the store. There is also a thing such as an, "Interception rate" which requires a sales person to ask you, "Can I help you find something?" By asking this simple question, sales goes up 28%. Victor Antonio states by offering 2 options, the consumer will always choose the smallest of the two. The reason for this, consumers today are less trusting, less loyal and more price sensitive. If you have a $100 item, and $1000 item - they will choose the $100 item (89%). If you insert a third option, $500 - now consumers are more apt to choose the middle option. On average, the consumers purchase the three items at a clip of small (68%), medium (21%), and large (11%).
Now, when we consider the process to sell without "selling", we have to consider the fact that people like to buy, but do not like to be sold. So, how do we make this happen?
Let me give you an example of a Sales Training client of mine. This individual sold SEO services. Their primary strategy was to offer a "Free Audit" of their search engine results. Once the process was complete, they had an extremely low rate of getting people to pay them to fix those challenges.
Here's what we did for them:
Free Audit = $0.00
Do-it-Yourself Guide = $197
Service Level 1 = $397/mo
Service Level 2 = $697/mo
Service Level 3 = $997/mo
Obviously the varying levels of service were more aggressive in helping them achieve greater search engine results. The solutions were more hands on, more granular, and more in-depth. As consumers are more price sensitive, we simply offered them a basic guide for "Value Centric Selling" which included how to build value with each solution. Their clients found that the DIY Guide was a great option, but there are margins of error in fulfilling the step-by-step process. Then, we consider the fact that they didn't have enough time, enough resources, enough know-how, and enough experience to know if this was done right, or done partially correct.
Next, we move them up the value ladder. These options are available to them and the expected results are dependent upon how much work is involved, how many keywords, how many competitors, and so on. Then, we quantified the value of the additional traffic. We took their free audits and turned them into revenues, simply by restructuring their process, workflow, and the sensitivity of need and urgency with the client.
The methodology involves nudging the prospect along the sales cycle to match their buying cycle, as it pertains to money, time, need, urgency, and trust. You have to find the right mix to ensure you're doing your due diligence and finding out what the prospect is looking for. When you find out what they're seeking, you have to match their price sensitivity, demand, loyalty and trust. Once you find the sweet spot, it isn't a matter of "selling" or pushing them anything, it is a matter of facilitating the decision based on facts, information and educational content. Furthermore, if you're able to quantify their investment, you're in a much more powerful posture to help them finalize the decision.
Superior Marketing Group
Written by: Curtis DeCora
Welcome back for another edition of Superior Solutions. That's not a real thing, but it could be.
How many of your are familiar with the acronym, "BPO?" BPO stands for Business Process Outsourcing. There is a reason this is a popular topic among most solopreneurs. There is also a reason mid-level sized and corporate level companies are looking at the BPO model.
[LET ME EXPLAIN]
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
Business Process Outsourcing, typically refers to the tasks associated with the day-to-day of a business department. When we look at accounting, there are various functions and tasks that need to be completed on a daily basis. In processing, there are checks and balances to ensure the order is processed properly in a timely manner with all proper checkpoints met to ensure "Quality Assurance." These tasks can be taken one of three ways; (1) You can AUTOMATE, (2) You can DELEGATE, and (3) You can ELIMINATE.
THE FREEDOM TRINITY
Automate: There are various platform (PaaS) and software (SaaS) solutions which afford you means to simply automate the completion of these tasks by the click of a button.
Delegate: You can delegate specific tasks to an office manager, assistant, or support employee. The challenge here is the fact that you may not have consistent work to justify an employee. So, you're paying for something that 'might' happen. Not the wisest business decision.
Eliminate: If you audit your tasks you conduct on a daily basis, you'll find that 21% of your tasks are wasteful and unnecessary. These are the tasks you simply eliminate.
Now, as previous mentioned. You can automate tasks through software or platforms. That's great. It happens almost everyday. Think of our emails, ring-less broadcasts, and social media posts. It is mass communication completed with the click of a button.
As far as elimination, you can simply stop doing those tasks and remove them from the sequence of your daily routines. More isn't always the best practice. The best way to find out if a task is wasteful is to check your to-do list, or audit your task lists associated with on-boarding a client, project fulfillment, prospecting, sales, or delivery. If the task isn't always completed - toss it!
Now, DELEGATE, this is a topic that is becoming more and more popular. This is a topic we are going to explore and display why it is important for you to consider outsourcing the sales development tasks of your business.
According to a study by Circle Research, a B2B Sales Research and Consulting Agency, 79% of a Sales Professional's day is spent prospecting. That's 79% of their day prospecting. This leaves 21% of their day in revenue producing activities.
Let me help you quantify that. Let's say you pay your sales professional a base salary of $60,000 (avg in US). 79% of $60,000 = $47,400 per year for prospecting. Now, when someone like me comes to your office and takes up 20 minutes of your time to discuss prospecting. You are going to tell me, "That's too expensive for just prospecting." Well, what is expensive is paying your sales professional $47,400 per year to prospect, when you paid him/her to generate additional revenues. That is like paying the warehouse manager to spend 79% of his time to clean up the warehouse when he could be working on logistics, deliver routes, employee workflow, inventory, and so on. Yet, you're paying him to clean 79% of the time. What a waste!
If that isn't compelling enough, let me share 3 Reasons to Outsource Your Sales Development Tasks:
I truly hope you understand the reasons to outsource your sales development tasks. These tasks are broken down on a granular level, but do show you why outsourced your sales development tasks are important. As an firm that focuses on providing lead generation services, and outsourced sales solutions - we firmly believe delivering high-level results to you and your organization are paramount. When we can save you money on your business processes, that's great. When we can also deliver warm/hot leads, and close deals with shorter sales cycles - this is where the magic happens.
While it is great to think your salaried sales team is going to consistently prospect, the fact remains, they're going to focus on the activities that produce the greatest revenues - closing deals. They're going to follow up until someone decides to buy. They're going to schedule as many meetings and demos as possible, until someone buys. However, the pipeline generation is still lacking.
This is the point where you should focus on outsourcing the prospecting to a reputable firm with capabilities of cold calling, emailing hundreds of prospects unique messages on a daily basis, sending text messages to those in meetings, and reaching out to decision makers through social media. Cold calling teams fail at an extreme rate - prospecting teams that use multi-dimensional approaches see 62% greater results in appointments and leads.
Take a quick moment, and schedule your time to speak with our Chief Strategist to see how Outsourced Sales could work for you. We have solutions to meet the needs of every business, large and small.
We hope this article has been both informative and eye opening. Should you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us with any of the methods below.
Superior Marketing Group
Let's look at your last sales conversation or discovery call.
How did that go? What kind of questions did the prospect ask, and how did you handle those?
If it didn't close, it was likely due to the VALUE GAP. I call this a value gap simply because there was a gap between what they wanted and what they needed. Prospects want to buy, but most do not want to be sold. So, there are techniques you can use to facilitate this particular scenario. Let's explore them.
5 Reasons People Buy
People buy because the money is right. They look at two aspects of money; (a) how to increase their revenues, and (b) how to save money. Those are money topics you should address. There are a very small percentage of people who legitimately don't have the money to buy. So, I don't buy this....
Some people say they don't have time. I don't buy that either. If I could save you money, you'll make the time. If I can show you how to make more money, you'll make the time. So, I don't believe the fact that prospects don't have time. Our job is to show them why they should make the time.
Yes, you can save them money and you can help them generate more money. However, your solution costs money - do they NEED it? Some prospects know they need this, and some don't know they need your solution. Just because they know they need it, do they need it right now?
Just because they need it, doesn't mean they'll buy it. The next phase it establishing urgency. Our job is to establish a sense of urgency of why they need to take action now. In other words, if they don't take action they won't save money. If they don't take action now, they won't make as much money. There are two sides; Pain and Gain. You have to sell both sides; Pain and Gain.
The last part is trust. You have to establish trust. If they don't buy from you, they simply don't trust you. You may have great claims and case studies, your situational analysis determines you don't address their needs. How do you develop more credibility in your presentation, case studies, pitch deck and presentation, then you're missing the mark.
Let's take this a step further. Have you been in a presentation where you're speaking technical aspects and the prospect doesn't fully understand the industry, product, service or solution? This is called a VALUE GAP.
HOW TO FILL THE VALUE GAP
Your job is to close that value gap. One simple technique I use is to ask them what they know. Let me explain.
"Mr. Prospect, can you tell me what you know about XYZ?"
A. Ask The Prospect
Ask the prospect simple questions like, "Mr or Mrs Prospect, what do you know about (product, service, solution or industry)? Can you explain to me what you know from your research and networking?
B. Shut Up
This is your time to shut up and let them explain to you what they know. You should allow them to speak and explain to you what they know about your solution. They may give you surface level information on the product, service, solution and industry.
C. Fill the Gap
This is your time to offer insights. As a sales professional, your job is to fill the gap with valuable information. This is 10000% about educating the prospect on how it all works. You want to share information with them.
D. Tell a Story
Now is the time to shine! Tell a story of a current or former client that is using your solution, had a specific scenario that is (1) Real, (2) Reliable, and (3) Relevant to their scenario and current challenges. This step does a couple of things. First, it nudges the prospect forward because you have a story that educates them on the solution you're pitching and it completely relates to their current situation, scenario and challenges, while you address those challenges and have experience in solving their problems - you're building value.
This is a step that most sales people miss. They don't prequalify properly. Use this particular step in the sequence to prequalify your prospect. Here is an example: "Mr Prospect, just to be sure we're a good fit for you, and you're a good fit for us - let me ask you..." Ask you set of prequalifying questions, and make sure you score them. Yes, score them. I like to ask 5 questions. I give the prospect 2 points per question. I award points for (1) Need and (2) Urgency. My 5 questions help me clarify whether they need my solution and if they need it now. At the end of the 5 questions, I have a score for them. If it doesn't meet my scoring criteria - I'll let them now. "Mr. Prospect, while I agree you have a specific challenge with (insert challenge), although, you appear to be fit/unfit, for our company.
This is the step where you pre-sell the prospect on the solution. You want to make sure you have all lights GREEN. You'll be asking questions that walk them through the process, and are meeting all of your criteria. You should be now in the stage of pre-selling. "Great! That is what the (Solution) is all about. It is an exclusive solution, you’ll get one-on-one sessions with our lead consultant, login credentials to the members-only website which is loaded with training materials from industry professionals. Is there any thing I have stated you object to?" This is simply a sequence of questions to allow them to object to what isn't acceptable. You can return to presentation if needed.
This is where you close the deal, and shut down the engagement. "Mr. Prospect, based on all of the information I have found here today, you're a good fit for us, and you have agreed this is something you need. Let me recap, briefly, what you'll be receiving (go into your recap). We have found you savings opportunities as well as new revenue opportunities, on top of that, we have showed you 2-3 ways to increase your efficiency. Based on this information, I'll be asking for a commitment from you. Does that sound fair.
Yes - Close the deal
No - Revisit objection strategies (you should have 3 objection strategies, minimum)
This is a sequence my team uses to close the value gap. Instead of using a Product Knowledge dump to share information, ask questions, and determine where the prospect is in the Buying Cycle, so you can match it to your Sales Cycle.
"When value exceeds price, people buy" - Grant Cardone
I hope this has been a helpful article for you, and should there be any questions, please feel free to visit our Facebook Page for more free (shared) articles, Live audios, and Live videos to better understand the sales process.
Superior Marketing Group
Let's get started!
Let's go through a couple of scenarios. First off, let's consider the last sales discussion you had with a prospect in the last 30 days. How did that conversation conclude? Were you able to come to agreement, or did you struggle with reaching agreement?
Whichever result you were able to achieve, let me give you a play-by-play, if you will, that will allow you to control the engagement, conversation, and overall, come to an agreement.
1. PRE-FRAMING: I'm sure this is becoming more and more of a buzzword in today's sales environment, especially with the likes of Oren Klaff. He has some great content, and the book, "Pitch Anything" certainly has some great pointers for controlling conversations. A very simple and elementary method for pre-framing includes utilizing an agenda. Yes, you heard that correctly, using an agenda. Create an agenda with time stamps, so you're showing your prospect what you'll need to cover, so as to allow them to view your organization, professionalism and efficiency.
2. SOFT GREEN LIGHTS: This is something I don't see many sales people use. However, this is something fundamentally necessary to move the engagement along. I like to supplant soft green lights throughout the agenda as a method to ensure the prospect is on the same page and grants permission to move onto the next step. (Example: "I'm going to be asking you a series of questions, and walking you through these specific steps. If there are no objections and I'm able to answer your questions, I'll be asking for your business - does that sound fair?") This is an example of a soft green light.
3. EDUCATING: I take 8-10 minutes to educate my prospects prior to any discovery questions. Open this conversation with a simple question, "How much do you know about (insert your solutions)?" Allow them to educate you on what they have found through research, experience, knowledge, or simply rumors. Then, your window to offer INSIGHTS becomes ever apparent and open. Utilize this window to address the information uncovered. Utilize industry speak, data, case studies, and your personal metrics produced through your results.
4. LISTENING: Listening is going to be one of the key elements of obtaining real, reliable and relevant information necessary to craft an offer that meets the businesses challenges, and needs. If you're not aware of their challenges, needs and goals - how can you offer them anything? Right? Right! Your agenda should include a series of question. Ask the question. Shut up, and listen.
5. SHARING: We all have stories, we all have experiences, and intelligence from your colleagues. Utilize these to craft a story that revolves around your solution, how you took a specific challenge and implemented your solution to improve their business. Keep in mind, every business has specific challenges, some focus on (a) Income Producing Activities, (b) Business Process Enhancement and (c) Brand Building. Focus on crafting and sharing a story that addresses these areas.
6. OFFERING: Victor Antonio states that you should always have three offers with each proposal. I agree and highly recommend you come up with three solutions to meet their needs. For me, I work on three specific offers. Offer #1 is a short term solution, something low-level as far as investment, and short term to help them achieve a certain level of success with either A, B or C (mentioned above). Offer #2 is a mid-level offer that lasts between 12-18 months, and helps them achieve two of the A, B or C (mentioned above). Then, Offer #3, is the mecca of offers, this is your high ticket solution that includes all of the bells and whistles needed to completely overhaul their business and take them to the next level with scale-ability in mind.
***Pro-Tip: If they have made it this far through Soft Green Lights, then they have been vetted and qualified to see your solutions, keep that in mind as you build out your 7-step agenda.
7. ASKING: 8 out of 10 sales people never ask for the business (Grant Cardone, Sell or Be Sold 2015). According to Grant Cardone, 8 out of every 10 sales people never ask for the business. There are three reasons for this. 1] they don't properly qualify their prospect to ensure they're ready to made a buying decision, 2] They fail to build value in their presentation as they didn't ask the right questions, and 3] they fear the ask because they didn't earn commitment (soft green lights) throughout the presentation. Walk through the first 6 steps, and this will, without a doubt, prepare you for the ask. Once you're at Step 7, ask for the business. (Example: "Mr. Prospect, we have uncovered your current challenges, you explained to me why this is important, and defined a timeline of urgency - with these factors in mind, I'm confident Package #2 is the right fit. Sign here, and I'll get this started/ordered/onboarded right away.")
I hope this information has been helpful for you, and you're in a position to start implementing some of these steps into your sales process to come to agreement. Feel free to download our FREE EBOOKS on Lead Generation and Local Search. We are developing new resources every month for our audience to consume. You can also head over to our FACEBOOK PAGE to check out our FB LIVE audio feeds which cover a wide range of topics revolving around sales.
If you're still struggling, feel free to schedule a time to chat and get your free discovery call to help you improve your sales processes.
Business Growth Specialist
Superior Marketing Group
Regardless of what your market strategy involves, consumer confidence is a critical factor to achieving success in 2018 and beyond. In business, as in life, there are no easy shortcuts: customer confidence has to be earned over time though dedication, quality, transparency, honesty and good old fashioned hard work. With that said, it’s a much simpler process when you use the following steps in our guide.
TRUTHFULNESS AND HONEST
The critical step to obtaining customer confidence involves truthfully representing your services and products. That’s right, your responsibilities include making sure your company's’ services, products and offerings are positioned in the best light. However, there's a big difference between a masterful product presentation and a misrepresentation of the reality of the product itself. Marketers would be wise to take heed of this.
Providing customers with detailed, accurate and honest product information is the best way to give consumers a representation of what will arrive at their home when they opt to "purchase" – you would be wise to make sure their expectations were well met.
The most successful companies and professionals don't pursue 1-time customers; they work diligently to acquire loyal repeat-customers that purchase time and again, increasing the lifetime value (LTV) of each newly acquired fan.
Back to “honesty”. The most ideal way to gauge your accuracy and honesty is through your customers' reviews. If a product or service is receiving consistently low quality reviews, there's a disconnect between consumers' expectations and the end product or service. No product or service is going to please everyone, but consistently bad reviews (as opposed to a small %) indicates one of the following issues: your product isn't being presented accurately or the value proposition is not a good fit for your target demographic. In either circumstance, this feedback from consumers is crucial.
Even if a service or product doesn't live up to consumer expectations, there's still an opportunity to garner trust by way of excellent customer service. Offer free returns for unsatisfied customers so they don't feel conned. Responding publicly to poor reviews is another good tactic: it requires only a small time investment, but it will have a huge impact on unsatisfied customers and other potential consumers looking to product reviews for guidance.
Presuming you’ve established honesty and rapport with your customer, it's now time that you deliver on consistency. A number of outstanding interactions with your company can be immediately offset by a single negative interaction. It's important to make sure you're consistent in the following areas:
Customer confidence is a critical to the success of a business, and is an aspect of your company that over time can make or break you. Shortcuts in this area are NOT an option. However, those retailers and brands that pursue accuracy, honesty, and integrity will see incredible long term results.
Your friend, and business growth specialist
Ask your way to more deals
Do you know the two reasons most sales people fail?
1. They talk to damn much!
2. Never ask for the sale
Can you imagine that? They schedule the meeting, talk too damn much, and then never ask for the business. Why did the sales guy schedule the meeting?
The most common sales skills gap is the inability to display a quantitative value proposition during your first 90 seconds. After the first 90 seconds, the window of opportunity begins closing. The inexperienced sales person begins with a long product knowledge dump, explaining how the cloud firewall is configured or the chemicals mixed in your pest control solution versus what the actual features, advantages, and benefits of your solution. Pre-frame the conversation with questions. The pre-framing allows you to better qualify your prospect and fact find to overcome objections and turn them into sales closing opportunities.
The 5 Questions
For starters, you're bombarded with objections. To be quite honest, objections are buying signs. If they hadn't told you NO yet, then they're wanting to buy, but you haven't earned their business just yet. Your job as the helpful sales professional is to gain their trust, built enough value around your solution to prove you can fix their problem, or they simply may not like you. This doesn't mean they won't buy from you.
You must lay the foundation, set the stage and pre-frame your entire conversation with questions.
So, here are the 5 questions to close more deals.
A couple of things we are doing here is first identifying the reason they reached out to you. You get down to the reason why they decided to meet with you, whether it was to weigh their options, explore competition, price compare, or learn more about your solution to see if it meets their needs.
You explore questions related finding out what their ideal results look like. You're also diving into what they had done in the past to solve their problems. You certainly don't want to propose the same strategy or solution they had used before and was proven to not work. You're gauging the urgency of their buying decision - on a scale of 1 to 10, where are you"? Lastly, determine the buyer readiness based on what you said and set the stage to ask for the deal.
Feel free to drop me a line if this was helpful for you.
It is no secret that your audience, and any one else's audience for that matter, want their attention earned - not purchased. So, we look at how to best develop a strategy to earn their attention and ultimately earn their business.
In 2015, Google published a study that indicated that the new consumer was doing 83% of their research online prior to scheduling a call, scheduling a demo, or responding to an offer. These research sources include blogs, social media, websites, third party sites, and a multitude of other sources to validate the information they found in their search. Now, think about that for a minute. What kind of information are they digging up when they do their research? Content. They're digging for content. They want to reach articles, read eBooks, view case studies, and determine for themselves if this is going to be a good fit to solve their current challenges. \
My question: "Why not have them do their research with 100% of your content?"
This is an effective strategy we put in place over the last 10 years. We help develop content, repurpose across multiple channels, and ensure that your information is showing up via keywords, social media groups, and direct-targeted outreach.
Now, that you have the foundation laid, let's look at the 4 Ls of Successful Lead Generation.
1. Lead Magnet
What is a lead magnet? A lead magnet is something of value that a self-educated prospect is seeking when they're doing their research. This can be a blog post, video, ebook, case study, cheat sheet, or other free resources they redeem in exchange for their name, email address, phone number or other personal information. The primary purpose of the lead magnet is to generate interest. Utilize catchy titles, and intriguing content with an attractive call-to-action. Your business should be targeting a specific audience, and in some cases a specific industry or niche. Our agency helps companies increase their sales by focusing on the four areas of the sales cycles (1) prospecting, (2) selling, (3) closing, and (4) follow-up. So, it is simply a matter of targeting the audience of Sales Directors, CEOs or COOs that are looking for outsourced solutions to help them achieve their forecast sales goals.
2. Landing Page
This tool is great to capture your leads. Typically, your lead magnet is included on this page, and there are only two options (1) opt-in/download or (2) click and leave. You don't want to have too many options here, as your goal is to capture their lead information so you can market directly to them in conjunction with the lead magnet they downloaded.
The goal here is to drive all traffic from offers to this particular page. I personally use a strategy to have a landing page for each specific offer. Let's say you have 4 particular services. Part of your split testing strategy could be to have 4 landing pages. Your prospect isn't always looking for just one service. Every business progresses at different paces, and even the same types of businesses have different challenges. That's why you run 4 campaigns for those 4 services, and drive traffic to those 4 landing pages. You're obviously able to upsell and cross sell where applicable but the idea is to capture the information initially.
3. Lead Capture
This is the step that takes place when someone downloads your lead magnet. They are offering you name and email (typically) in exchange for downloading the email. I like to include phone number and current sales challenge, so I have a strong conversation point when I follow up on their download. This typically includes an email and a phone call. Obviously, they're not ready to buy based on an ebook download- so the conversation turns to, "Send me a case study" or something additional IF they're interested in learning more. This will come in handy for #4. The follow up cadence comes next which includes email sequences, intro packets, kits, or other information to help fully educate the prospect on your solution while they're making their decision on the solution to best fit their needs. All of these steps following lead capture will feed into #4.
4. Lead Scoring
This is something I don't see any digital marketers using, like, at all. They'll sell you a brand new website for $5,000, manage your Facebook ads for $3,000, and "manage" all of those activities for another nominal fee. The end results - well pages of analytics and data - but no leads, no appointments, no sales converted from efforts, etc. What happens to those that opt in and never buy? What happens to those that opt-in and request a demo? This is where Lead Scoring comes in handy. I, personally, utilize a pre-qualifying phone call (not sales call) but just contact them after they download my ebook and discuss their findings, if they learned anything, or how they're currently handling their challenges; whether in-house or outsourced. I leverage 5 pre-qualifying questions, just to provide me with a score, and leave with offering to send them a video, case study, cheat sheet, sales script samples, or other documents I use in-house to help expedite my sales cycles. Let's look at some examples of Lead Scoring
+ 5 points = Download eBook
+ 2 points = Respond to Follow-up Email
+ 3 points = Request Case Study, White Papers, Cheat Sheets or Video
+ 10 points = Let's schedule a demo, or call I like what I saw
- 2 points = "No thanks, I was just looking for some resources"
- 5 points = Unsubscribe from your email list
As you can see the scores can add up to a total of 20 points. If you're looking at a score of 20 out of 20 - then your chances of closing this deal are very high. If you're sitting at 5 out of 20 - your sales team has more work to do. Ideally, I like to find a happy medium of deals that close based on score. My threshold in the last 10 years is 70% or higher are prepared to purchase.
There are a lot of factors that go into the 4 Ls, such as writing sales copy, develop graphics for an Advertisement or Lead Magnet. Split testing offers, and measuring the conversions from lead magnet, opt-in to demo or sales call, then measuring those that close and convert. There are various steps in the process that allow you to measure and test. This is simply a frame work to an optimal lead generation strategy. If you need more information on lead generation and some examples of how effective lead generation can be for your business, feel free to download the Super 7 Lead Generation System eBook. it is 100% free and provide some surface level information to help you get a better understanding of the strategy and how it can help you achieve your sales goals.
Chief Executive Officer
Superior Marketing Group
No one will argue that marketing via social media is a must for every kind of business. After all, 75% of the adults using the internet today regularly engage with at least one social media platform.
The challenge in social media marketing is using it effectively to help your business, while avoiding missteps that can result in a lot of wasted time and effort.
To help ensure that your social media efforts are successful, steer clear of the following fundamental social media marketing mistakes.
Landmine #1: No strategy
Like with most things marketing, having a clear strategy is super important. There are so many people who are very comfortable with social media in their personal lives, they make the mistake of jumping right into social media for their business without even a basic strategy and plan for making it successful.
Cutting through competing marketing clutter, effectively building a following, successfully communicating with your audience and increasing customer loyalty are some common social media objectives.
You need to decide what your own primary objectives are, and make them clear to everyone on your team that will be involved. Then, focus all your decisions and efforts towards achieving them.
How to Avoid Landmind #1
Social media marketing efforts are rarely successful without both short-term and long-term strategies that address key elements such as audience research, tone of voice, content plan, an editorial calendar, social listening/engagement and measurement/tracking – all while allocating the resources to make those elements happen.
Landmine #2: Too much, Too Fast
I have come to find, in my 10 years as a B2B marketing consultant who watched the entire industry transform from direct mailers and informational websites to social media and landing pages. I watched all of this unfold and my clients did so, too. There are constantly new platforms that are taking shape, some go viral, which technically still doesn't have a definition that can be measured. Others, go through advertising platforms, and some others allow for organic strategies and growth hackers (new term, as well). However, you're likely to be burdened by too many platforms to switch to and update your profiles or add content. This takes away from critical business operations, unless you hire someone or delegate one of your employees to handle the social media marketing.
We recommend starting with one platform, becoming familiar with the business functions from Sharing Pictures, Writing Articles, Advertising, Creating Offers, using LIVE videos, Getting Sign Ups, Getting Phone Calls, Promoting Auto Bot Messaging, Capturing Leads or Posting Employment Opportunities. Yeah, I would bet that is overwhelming already. That's just Facebook. Then, we have Instagram, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Pinterest, Reddit, and Quora. Start on one platform, generate an audience, and as you build an audience, start on a new platform to have them follow you on that platform. You'll also generate an entirely different and unique audience on a different platform. The spill over will be massively beneficial.
Landmine #3: Keeping Social, Social
There are a ton of opportunities on these platforms to advertise. We had a client that would not listen to us, they paid us, but wouldn't listen to us while we deployed our strategy. They wanted to advertise, advertise, advertise. The best social media pages, are both engaging and informative. That's what "Social" Media is all about. Share information that is (a) Real, (b) Reliable, and (c) Relevant your audience. Constantly sharing ads is not going to help your cause.
Your audience are humans and likely following you because they had a great HUMAN experience while purchasing your services. Use that same approach on social media, keep the interactions purely human. We recommend sharing information on the features, advantages and benefits of doing business with you. Share testimonials, share a day in preparation of your product, service, solutions, how-to guides, and what makes you unique. These are human-interest stories and what individuals eat up when it comes to content. Keep it human!
We thank you for reading this article and invite you to implement these strategies into your social media marketing strategy to avoid those three huge landmines that negatively affect your social strategy.
Business Growth Specialist
Superior Marketing Group
Did you know that by the time a buyer reaches out to you, they've completed 83% of their due diligence and are 83% confidence in making a buying decision.
Know the numbers
82% of buyers viewed at least 5 pieces of media from the vendor that won their buying decision
57% increase in buying decision by connecting with sales rep on social media platforms
74% of buyers who sales rep to FIRST deliver value
How do we do that?
Here are a couple of options for you to integrate today, that will help you win over your prospects by delivering more value.
1. Ebooks: You can open up Google Slides, Microsoft Powerpoint, or Canva and build your very own ebook with sharp images, keep graphics and text overlays to deliver your message. This is very simple, very user-friendly and very much free to use. The ebooks are great for building value as the prospect can read them at their leisure, and you'll want to embed links throughout the ebook to insure they're viewing your other content to help drill down on a topic, view a sample or hear testimonials.
2. Articles: I publish content on LinkedIn's platform InPublishing to write articles and re-purpose them throughout all social media platforms via links, and/or images with the link to view the article. This helps me drive massive traffic to my lead capture form. This is another way I deliver value up front, and then send them to my capture page to learn more, download the free ebook, or whatever lead magnet I want to build in.
3. Email Sequences: You can run email sequences on HubSpot CRM, MailChimp, ZohoCRM, or any other free form of email marketing software. These are great for scheduling out email sequences to go out everyday, over other day, every week, or every month. You can write you content before hand, and insure your prospect is getting the email sequence in... well... sequential order. This is a great way to send them multiple forms of follow-up content and moving them along the buyer's journey.
4. LIVE videos: I love this option as anyone and everyone on these platforms receive notifications when you're live running video on Facebook, Instagram or Youtube. It is permission based, as your audience simply receives a notification and can choose to watch your video, or view your videos later once they're archived and/or indexed in Facebook, Instagram or Youtube. You can deliver value to a wide audience, versus a targeted audience, but if one correctly, you can direct people to your website, landing page, or facebook page to capture leads.
5. Private Video: This has become one of my most used forms of outreach and building value, as the majority of decision makers are EXTREMELY busy. I respect the fact that the sales cycle can only move along as fast as they're able to review my content. In order to expedite this content, I create private YouTube videos I an embed into emails. They can view the short 3 minute email or listen to it while multi-tasking, and engage them while they'e busy. Shoot a video with your smart phone or laptop that explains the value you're trying to deliver to the prospect and challenge you're trying to solve - then publish and embed into your email. My conversions have almost tripled since I started using this. Below is an example of me up bright and early sending out private videos, and my opening to get attention is speaking about my 4th cup of coffee making this video. It gained a lot of responses with "LOL" or "You're too funny" and the like. So, I gained attention and was able to track the opens of the video from unique visitors beyond the data supplied through Youtube.
I hope that helps!
Business Growth Specialist
Superior Marketing Group
Prospecting 101: Leads
Prospecting is tough for any sales professional. It is a long grueling process that takes time, energy and resources to build out lists, research leads, and qualify prospects prior to outreach. Does this sound familiar?
If so, I have put together a nice list of free resources for you to access data you would normally have to pay for. Instead of paying for lead lists, you can now access the proper data you need to do some outreach with a well-researched approach to qualify leads.
1. Side Kick: I love Sidekick from HubSpot's free version of their CRM, you gain access to SideKick. This allows me to determine if Bob, Billy or Brian opened that email I sent over to them. If it is time sensitive, I can ask the question, "Hey Bob, I saw you opened the email on 9/22/2017 at 4:18pm... Did you have any questions about the agreement, ebook, case study, link, etc?" You gain access to number of views, and much more.
2. Hunter: This is a great tool I like to use when browsing and researching my prospects. You can go to a URL, and click on the extension in Google Chrome and it will seek out all email addresses associated with this URL. I import the additional prospects into my email via CC when addressing my target prospect with language expressly explaining to forward on to the individual who may handle this if they're unable to provide you with information.
3. SetMore Appointment App: Yes this is an app you can integrate into any website, sync with your Google Calendar, Outlook, Office 365, Facebook, Instagram, Websites or CRM. Now, your customers can book appointments directly on any one of these platforms. This example is the "Book Now" button on my Facebook page, it will also be on my website, all email correspondence, text messages, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, articles written, and any other media platform I can access to encourage someone to schedule a free consultation with me.
4. Rapportive: This is a great tool to use in order to obtain additional information from your prospect on multiple social channels. I use in this example, Dave Robards, who is a Sales Manager at Cardone Technologies. I've watched multiple videos from him and was inspired by his approach. However, he was unable to close me, although I challenged him to close me in one call. It was fun. In short, you type in the email address into the email address line, and automatically you're afforded all of the information found through social media channels from Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, among others.
5. Boomerang: This is also another gmail plugin you can access to help you schedule your emails to go out at a specific time on any particular day. This could be anything from automating your appointment reminders if you're not using a scheduling app, if you want to remind your significant other to pick up milk on the way home, automate the email. If you want to automate your prospecting emails to optimal times of the day - send out 100 emails in the morning from 7:00am to 8:00am and go about your day without ever having to set aside the "right" time or "right" place to send an email, as you'll have scheduled these to go out on a specific time.
Again, these are all cost-free tools you can access today to help you streamline your prospecting efforts to build out your very own goldmine of prospects in your sales funnel to market directly to. You'll have all of their information, as opposed to continuously calling the gatekeeper trying to get a phone call transferred with a live person on the other end, or an appointment scheduled. Now, you can utilize tools to help you reach your prospects on multiple levels. All too often, we try to engage in conversations on LinkedIn, via email, Facebook, phone calls or in-person office visits - sometimes these single strategies alone aren't enough. Utilize these tools to gain a better leverage to reach your prospect, engage in their social media by viewing their tweets, LinkedIn shares, Facebook posts, and many other platform content shares.
Business Growth Specialist
Superior Marketing Group
Curtis DeCora has helped start 61 businesses throughout the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota, as a consultant and business growth specialist. He has 10 years of B2B sales experience in the corporate and small business areas.