Category Archives for Business Growth

Corey Blake, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, BYU-Hawaii

TSE 1120: How To Build a Brand Online and Leverage it for Rapid Sales Growth

Corey Blake, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, BYU-Hawaii

Every sales professional and entrepreneur needs a profitable brand, and the key is to build a brand online and leverage it for rapid sales growth.

Corey Blake is the CEO at MWI, an international digital marketing agency. His background is in sales and business development and he has managed great sales teams over the years.

Validate your brand

When it comes to building a brand and then leveraging it for growth, you must begin by validating your brand. You basically want to turn off any sirens that the potential customer has about you as a seller.

We all know that a stigma exists around sellers, and you likely even experience it when someone gets on the phone with you to sell you something, despite the fact that you’re in sales yourself.

The biggest challenge often originates from the fact that we build great brands and we know we have value to offer, but we don’t know how to convince people to pay for it. How you validate your brand is critical in that process.

It’s simply legitimizing your brand, service, or product. You must find a third party or another way to validate it. You could share that your brand has been featured on certain sites or that you’ve been invited to certain events.

When you’re starting out, go to your customer. Offer to give a customer your product or service in exchange for their use of it. Explain that you think it will make his life better and that you’d like to ask for his testimonial.

Now you’ve got validation and social proof to use in your next sales conversation.

Personal confidence

Seeing someone use your product provides you, as the seller, a certain amount of confidence as well.

If you prefer, you can create great case studies or build a social media presence that includes amazing content. For MWI, for example, they can validate themselves as great content creators by creating great content.

As a bonus, TSE has used those product giveaways as an opportunity to gain feedback during our initial launches so we can figure out where we need to tweak our training or our products. It also helps us build a case study.

Through all of this, you’ll build your own excitement and you’ll develop even more confidence, which is the key to success. Begin your entrepreneur journey by selling yourself on the value you’re providing to the world.

Linking value

Once you’ve established confidence in your value, use your marketing to communicate it to your potential customers. It’s not enough to be sold on your own value, but you must find someone else who is sold on your value as well.

Find a publication that will tell its audience how legit you are.

Once you’ve built this validation, you’ll have an amazing ability to sell your product or service with exclusivity. You’ll find yourself in the driver’s seat and gives you leverage in your communication and makes your sale more exclusive.

If you establish exclusivity, you almost won’t have to sell your customers as much. You’ll simply have to educate them and move them along the sales process. Exclusivity is priceless.

Finding balance

No one wants to be perceived as the typical used car salesman. Don’t come across as gimmicky, selfish, or ignorant. Instead, strive for confident, competent, professional, and controlled. There’s a balance to it.

Assume your customer has never heard of your validation and mention it to him. Within the first 20 seconds, provide that validation to establish confidence and control. Find a way to organically share it without being perceived as cocky.

The alarms about whether you’re legit will shut down. Then you can offer the idea that you only work with a certain kind of brand, and that allows you to operate with a lot more control.

Close early, close often

Make sure you’re asking for the business. Develop specific strategies to close deals. Beautiful branding and validation won’t matter if you can’t close. Consistently think strategically about how you’ll move this sale to the place you want it.

Provide the customer with the right information and the right details so that she’ll be ready to close.

Closing amounts to more than the way you speak, the speed of your speech, and the tone of your voice. These things do constantly lead to close, but you have to figure out how to move to the specific points along the process.

Many sellers are fearful of the conversion side so they hold off too long. Or they get anxious and they ask for the sale way too soon. If you follow the process, that’s where you’ll see the difference.

Sales process

You can have all the right components in place, but without a repeatable sales process, you’ll struggle to support your sales. If your process isn’t organized in a way that leads to close at all times, you won’t succeed.

Determine how to leverage all the components you’ve gathered to move your customers toward a deal. Leverage your value, your validation, your exclusivity, and your communication to ask for the business.

Corey’s goal at the end of the sales process is to structure the process so that the _customer_ asks for the next steps without him having to sell it. That’s when you know you’ve hit the nail on the head.

Organizing your tools

Corey worked with James Carberry at Sweetfish Media to help him set up a process of validation. James already had significant validation because he had a large number of podcasts with great guests and he writes for large publications. They simply had to find a way to organize the validation.

In their case, all the tools were sitting there waiting to be used.

Focus on providing real value. Sell yourself on the value you’re providing to individuals and industry. When you love what you’re doing and you aren’t simply trying to make a buck, people will want to be part of that.

Good businesses are built on products that will make a difference. It doesn’t have to be an altruistic notion like ending world hunger. We would all benefit if we could go to work every day and provide value that you believe in to everyone else.

“Build a Brand Online and Leverage It for Rapid Sales Growth” episode resources

You can connect with Corey at Corey@mwi.com. Mention that you heard me on this podcast. You can also find him on LinkedIn @Corey Blake.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump. If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

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Juston Hartzman, Needles, Donald Kelly, Robo Agency,

TSE 978: From funding to exits: How to grow a business ripe for acquisition

Juston Hartzman, Needles, Donald Kelly, Robo Agency,On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk to serial entrepreneur Justin Hartzman about how we can grow a business and why we should do it with the possibility of an acquisition in mind.

Justin is the CEO and co-founder of Needls.com, the Internet’s first RoboAgency. It is the easiest and most effective way for small businesses to advertise online and bring in more sales.

By answering just six questions, Needls.com knows who you are, who you want to sell to, and what you want to sell. It can create 50-500 ads in real time, deliver them to the network, and show them to your ideal customer. 

The bottom line of any business

Some of us seek the independence that comes from being our own boss while others desire flexibility and creative freedom or want to achieve a sense of personal fulfillment. [1:59]

The bottom line of starting any business though, as Justin explains, is to earn the financial freedom to live our lives the way we want. A successful business puts more money in our pockets and allows us the time to enjoy it.

Trying to start a new business, however, is tricky. While there are more people now looking for opportunities to fund, there are also more people competing for those funds.

The common approach is to build the product first. Then you find the money to produce the product next and then sell the product. Justin recommends the complete opposite approach.

If you sell it, they will come.

Sales are always first.

Find out if people want your product and if they do – sell it to them.  

With the sales lined up and letters of intent in your hand, it becomes much easier to find people to fund your product. [3:19]

For example, Justin’s fiance’ told him that a friend on Facebook was looking for someone to build an iOS app. When that need for an app turned into an immediate $60,000 contract, the light bulb turned on and Needls.com was born.

People always have questions and they will always ask other for answers. Justin and his team created a software program to scan their Facebook feeds for specific words that could lead to other sales. [4:32] They soon realized a 300% increase in their business.

Those sales gave them the funds they needed to takeNeedls.com where it is today.

Planning for acquisition

Ignore those instances when a fledgling business did well and was acquired without planning for it because those are few and far between.

Instead, Justin firmly believes that you need to be organized and to plan for an eventual acquisition from Day One. [8:02]

Have your data in order from the start because trying to organize it later is not only time-consuming but expensive. Instead, be sure you are incorporated correctly and have a handle on your finances.

Build the processes you need and scale your business at the proper cadence. Make sure your books and contracts are in order, your IP is buttoned up and all the proper NDAs are in place.

Simply put: Expect to be successful and plan accordingly.  

Attract acquisition offers

Justin’s success has come from partnering with other businesses who can help him as he helps them. [9:01] 

It all comes back to sales. Sell yourself first.

Make yourself useful. Find partners who will benefit from what you have to offer and take advantage of the networking opportunities, learning experiences, and industry insight they provide in return.

Then when an acquisition situation arises, you are in place and you are ready.

“Grow a Business Ripe for Acquisition” episode resources

Justin truly believes that making oneself useful to others is the key to success and, as such, he is always happy to chat or answer your questions. He can be reached at JH@needls.com or you can find him on LinkedIn.   

He is also offering 35% off his entire platform for a year via needls.com/salesevan and his team is on standby to answer questions and to help you make the most of it.

Check out our previous episode about why buying your competition might be a good option for your company.

This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the salesevangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM. It works whether you’re a small organization or a large one. It works throughout the whole organization and it’s customizable to the way you sell.

This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

TSE Hustler’s League

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. You can implement our training and strategies today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share it with someone else you think might benefit.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Michael Redbord, Hubspot, Client Success, Inbound

TSE 878: Why Making Customers More Successful is Key to Business Growth

Michael Redbord, Hubspot, Client Success, Inbound

 

 

 

 

 

Successful customers are the greatest recruiting tool available to small businesses. If your customers can deliver the message that your work is incredible, that’s much more effective than your blog post that says the same thing. Making customers more successful is key to business growth.

Today on The Sales Evangelist, Michael Redbord of HubSpot shares what he has learned about successful customers and how we can engage them to drive more business.

Word-of-mouth

When HubSpot was a small business, the pioneers of the company discovered that when prospects had word-of-mouth energy injected into the conversation by way of referral, the calls went much better.

The company leaned into that knowledge and rode the wave.

Truth is that people rarely buy things without some version of modern-day word-of-mouth information: Google, Amazon, or some other customer feedback. People also go to Facebook to seek input from people they know, and their friends actually provide a lot of information.

By the time customers are ready to buy, they are way down the sales funnel. They are basically already sold on the product; they simply need someone to assist with the transaction.

The seller’s job has changed so that his entire job is to amplify information until the customer has enough certainty to buy.

Modern customers

The first thing small businesses must do is land a customer. As soon as your company lands its first customer, you’re immediately in the business of customer service.

If a customer buys from your business and has a great purchasing experience, but has a not-so-great post-sale experience, they have the power to create a bad reputation for your company.

Changing expectations

Michael’s favorite statistic is this one: ask businesses whether they provide superior customer service, and 80 percent will say they do. Then ask customers the same question, and 8 percent of customers will say they receive superior customer service.

There’s a massive disconnect, and customer expectations are super high.

Ten years ago, customers were more patient. They were ok waiting on hold or repeating their issue to multiple customer service reps after being transferred. Twitter was a glimmer in our eyes.

Now customers have a megaphone to share their experiences.

Businesses aren’t as nimble. They follow a tried-and-true playbook that says each new person you hire should be cheaper than the last one you hired. Quality diminishes, but customers still expect great customer service.

Three verbs

In order to conduct post-sale business well, there are three verbs salespeople need to know.

1. Engage. Give customers answers to their questions.

2. Guide. Once you see patterns, become proactive.

3. Grow. Create energy in the market place to drive more business through referrals and advocacy.

If you create the very best experience and engineer your post-sale experience well, you’ll earn promoters.

Ask yourself hard questions. Do you really provide tremendous customer service? Think critically. How well do you engage, guide, and grow.

Businesses that do those things well have the DNA to be successful long-term.

“Business Growth” episode resources

Connect with Michael on Twitter @redbord. He loves to have conversations there, and he’d especially love to have this be the start of the conversation rather than the end.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy.

Grab your free excerpt of the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic blueprint for all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

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Podcast, Audience, Business Growth, Doug Sandler

TSE 786: 7 Ways Audience Engagement Can Grow Your Business

Podcast, Audience, Business Growth, Doug Sandler

As a sales professional, it’s important to be able to reach out to your audience.

During this episode, Doug Sandler shares with us how engagement can build your business.

Listen and learn how you can increase your audience engagement and build relationships as well.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Doug:

DEFINITION OF ENGAGEMENT

  • Engagement is all about rapport building, networking, having a direct one-on-one connection with someone in your community.
  • Use tools like Twitter and podcasting to reach out to your subjects.

WAYS AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT CAN GROW YOUR BUSINESS

  • It connects you to your community.
  • Relationship building is everything. It’s not about the transaction but the relationship.
  • If you bring relationships to the forefront, the business will always come to you. You may not have the best product in the market but if you have a strong relationship, they believe in you.
  • When you build relationships, they’re willing to pay more than what they would pay as a commodity.
  • If you create a good relationship, they will go out of their way to recommend you.

TIPS TO BUILD AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT

  • Stop waiting. Start doing. If you have one person, cherish that person.
  • Get anything started to increase your one-on-one communication.
  • Reach out. Send an email greeting. Send a text message.
  • Write a blog or create a podcast about the person you want to engage with.

Doug’s Major Takeaway:

Be afraid of quitting but don’t be afraid to fail. Keep doing what you need to do. Pick yourself up, keep moving forward and work hard!

Episode Resources:

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

dougsandler.com

The Nice Guys on Business podcast

Turnkey Podcast

Emily Ann Peterson, The Sales Evangelist, Bravery

TSE 778: Why and How You Need to Develop Bravery as a Seller

Emily Ann Peterson, The Sales Evangelist, BraveryAs a sales professional, one of your biggest hurdles is how to be brave especially in the face of rejection.

During this episode, Emily Ann Peterson shares with us how she tackled her obstacles as a musician and how she used her creativity as an instrument to build her business.

Listen and learn how you can be creatively courageous as a salesperson as well.

HERE ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY CONVERSATION WITH EMILY:

HOW TO BE BRAVE AND STEP UP TO THE NEXT LEVEL

  • Bravery starts really small. Oftentimes, you don’t see or acknowledge that that was bravery. Practice or enforce those mindsets and choices and they will become bigger.
  • The bravery that you see in others is the result of years of building on it. You learn how to be brave as early as childhood if you foster an environment for it to be practiced.
  • Your emotional well-being greatly affects your ability to close the sale. You are not your emotions. You can choose the way you’re feeling. Acknowledge which parts of your situation you can control.

HOW TO DEVELOP BRAVERY AS A SALES PROFESSIONAL

  • You have to experience failure. Acknowledge important pieces of information, like why a client said “No.” Learn from those mistakes.
  • If you just met a customer for the first time, start from ground zero. Listen to them. Don’t jam your product down their throat.
  • Respect the boundaries that exist especially if they’re not your own.

HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO HAVE MENTORS

  • Mentors encourage you and acknowledge your skills.
  • Hold on to and access these pieces of encouragement every time you face rejection.

HOW SONGWRITERS AND ENTREPRENEURS ARE ALIKE

  • Songwriters boil down a story to 3 minutes and bring a listener in from ground zero. It’s all about the story and the ability to communicate with the audience.
  • Songwriters choose to leave out names, add extra colors of words or add textures of instruments to empower that story. You have to do the same thing as marketers and communicate to your market in an effective way.

EMILY’S MAJOR TAKEAWAY:

3 main ingredients of bravery

  • Vulnerability – Start from a place of honesty. Acknowledge what’s at stake. Don’t hold those emotions back.
  • Imagination
  • Improvisation

Episode Resources:

emilyannpeterson.com

@emilyannpete on Instagram

Barenaked Bravery: How to be Creatively Courageous by Emily Ann Peterson

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Donald Kelly, Alex Goldfayn, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 728: How to Grow Your Business by 15% in Just 15 Mins Per Day!

Donald Kelly, Alex Goldfayn, The Sales Evangelist

Scared of calling? Well, I hate to break this, but if you want to make more sales and grow your business, you’ve got to pick up the phone more and communicate with your prospects.

Alex Goldfayn is the author of the book, The Revenue Growth Habit: Simple Art of Growing Your Business by 15% in 15 Minutes a Day. He breaks down selling and marketing, how to get your message out there in simple, bite-sized chunks. This makes it so easy for us as business owners and entrepreneurs to try these things.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Alex:

Why People Are Not Making the Sale – Fear

We avoid using the phone because we’re afraid of rejection.

Many salespeople spend only 4 hours a week on the phone. Call people some more to pay you some more.

We think people are getting called all day long, but everybody else has the same fear of calling this person as you do. So these prospects are getting almost no phone calls.

Strategies during your call:

1. Tell them you’re thinking about them.

  • Ask them what they’re working these days that you can help them with.
  • After asking this question, be quiet. Let them answer the question.
  • Guess what? They will tell you because they’re grateful you’re calling.
  • All customers really want is to know that we care.

2.Don’t make them look stupid, to their customers and to their colleagues, and to their boss.

If you show people that you care, literally you’re doing 95% of the sale, on the spot right there.

Why another sales book:

  • Alex’s book has 23 different techniques like picking up the phone. A typical customer only knows about 20% of what they can buy from you.
  • We don’t offer our other products and services because we’re guessing they don’t need it.
  • The truth is they’re buying from competition when they could be buying from knew, if only they knew you have them.
  • And even if we tell them, some of them still don’t know.
  • The book also focuses on the right mindset in order to take these actions.
  • It also focuses on relationships, how we help people, what we do for people, how we say it, and how we make money.

Some great points from the book:

1. The key to growing your business is know how good you are and behave accordingly.

Pick up the phone. Ask for the business. Ask questions.

2. Communicate case studies to people who can buy from you.

Having a case study or testimonial is one thing. But communicating that case study and selling with it is another thing. Try to link in the customer into the case study or testimonial.

3. The 7-figure followup process

Most of the time, the customer will say yes or you get silence because they don’t like to say no.

The 3-Step Followup:

1. First is to confirm that they got the proposal.

First one should be sent within 24 hours of sending the proposal. Just write one line and then send it.

2. Use your timing based on when you think it will close.

Use your judgment based on how long your sales cycle is with this customer. Send just one line.

3. Bring out the expiration date in your final followup.

Alex’s Major Takeaway:

The secret to selling more is that there is no secret. There is only the work and the grind. There is only the communication. So let people hear from you. Talk to your customers and your prospects. Be present. Show people that you care. Pick up the phone and call them. Communicate with them so they will thank you with their money. Help people more and they will thank you with more sales

Check out www.goldfayn.com/TSE and get your download Alex’s second book for free.

Connect with Alex on LinkedIn.

TSE 723: How HubSpot Scaled From 150 to 1500 People and Significantly Increased Sales in the Process

Sales professionals, sales leaders, sales owners – you can get a lot from this episode today. How can you scale your organization? And what better organization there is to look at than HubSpot.

Today’s guest is Sam Mallikarjunan. He’s a marketing Fellow at HubSpot and former Head of Growth at HubSpot Labs. He’s going to share with us how Hubspot grew from 150 to 1,500 people in seven different countries. Sam also teaches Digital Marketing at the Harvard University of Continuing Education.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Sam:

Mistakes Most Organizations Make When Scaling

1. Losing cash faster than you’re able to acquire new cash

Cashflow is more important than your mother. So you have to be able to manage your cashflow.

2. You can’t spend money to get customers unless you’re good at keeping them.

If you’re really good at keeping your customers, you can pay your reps really well. You can give them lots of collateral to help them close the deal. Then you spend a lot of money on marketing and training.

The Consultative-Based Sales Process

When Jeff Bezos added negative reviews to the Amazon website, his goal is to make money not to sell things, but to make money when they help people make purchased decisions.

Don’t get people to make a decision that you want them to make, but coach them into a decision that’s going to be best for them.

You’d be amazed how powerful it is to not sell to somebody. A lot of times, they’ll figure it out themselves. And either buy from you or come back to you in the future to buy from you.

Strategies for Motivating Your Team:

  • Get past the “Always be closing!” mentality
  • Check out the “candle” mentality
  • Don’t make things complicated or your team is more likely to get burned out

Sam’s Major Takeaway:

The hardest thing to do is to convince people to try it. People aren’t usually driven to change unless there’s an impetus to change.Slow down your sales cycle and ask more questions. Give more answers and focus on helping. Slow that down and you’ll achieve long term business growth.

Episode Resources:

Reach out to Sam via www.samfromthevan.com or www.mallikarjunan.comOr connect with him on LinkedIn.

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

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Harvard University of Continuing Education