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Sam Edwards

TSE1234: How to Grow Sales with Local Networking Events

Sam EdwardsAll salespeople have tried to grow sales with local networking events. Many organizations utilize these events to bring awareness and drive sales. It’s a strategy that truly works. 

Sam Edwards is the Chief Marketing Officer of SEO.co. It’s a content marketing and link building agency based in Seattle. He’s been in the digital and marketing space for the past 10 years and now he’s focused on hosting marketing events to get more clients on the sales side. Sam has experience working with TEDx talk and has written for Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, and other large publications.  Through this work, he’s developed his teaching side and helps local communities build their own stories and plans.

Sam has a meet-up group with approximately 400 members.  Another he’s affiliated with has over 300 and a third has close to a thousand members. Sam’s group has an average attendance of about 50 – 100. They have an upcoming event this February 5th that’s slated for over 120 people. Typically, the idea of going to a networking event right after work isn’t that appealing to people who work 9 to 5 jobs. Sam’s group met that challenge by creating events that are more like fun outings so people were excited to attend, even after a long day.  That’s how they were able to obtain and retain the number of people coming month after month. 

Monetizing networking events 

Their very first event was agency-sponsored. That agency believed in their idea and wanted to look further into what Sam was doing. They spent $300 for the event and it was focused on an industry-specific topic about how to use the paid SCM data to influence the organic SEO strategy for search marketing. That event cost them $300 but they made eighteen thousand dollars.

There are three main things you need to ensure when setting up a networking event. 

  • There is no selling at events
  • Focus should be on the quality of the event and the content you’re offering
  • Take the time to build up the group.

There is no selling at events

People have their guard up when listening to a presenter. It’s after the presentations that everyone lowers their guard, especially when it’s time for the after-party and everyone is going to the bar for drinks. People tend to relax in that environment and it’s then you can start a conversation. 

When talking to people, just talk, no pitching. People will see what you have to offer through talking with you. If they like what they see, they will want to work with you.  Focus on building a relationship using organic means instead of trying focusing on presenting a pitch. 

Be transparent and honest when you are talking to people coming to your events. If you see the potential client isn’t going to be a good fit early on, be upfront. Don’t take the client just because they’re available. You want to make sure you’re qualifying the people who want to work with you. 

Make your events free and organize them to grow through invitation. It takes everyone to help for these events to continue to grow, and that includes previous attendees. 

Understand this is not a one and done quick fix. Even if you only have a handful of people coming to your first event, that shouldn’t deter you from planning another one. It takes time for the actual growth to happen. You will experience growing pains before you’re finally able to identify the kind of event that will attract attendance and growth. Event planning takes time and effort to build. 

Focus on the quality of the event and the content you’re offering

Regardless of how long you’ve worked in your industry, your event still needs quality content to be successful.  People won’t see the value of your events if they don’t see the benefits they will gain from attending. Sam makes it a point for his events to have specific themes or content so attendees know exactly what to look forward to. 

The easy part is inviting people to their first event but the challenge is getting them to the events that follow. You do that by ensuring that attendees are presented with quality content. This doesn’t just speak to the presentations. It begins the moment they step into the hall, as you shake their hands, give them their gift bags, and prepare for raffles. A lot of effort goes into a quality event, including everything that is built around the actual presentation. Focus on the details that others may overlook. 

Whatever industry you are in, try to make your events fun. Create a catchy event title. 

Create Raffles

Sam’s event last October had a presentation entitled, “The Spooky Tell-tale Signs You Need to Fire or Hire Your Search Marketing Agency.” Ken Shankman from bulkcandystore.com was one of their sponsors. They gave him the plugins and suggested that he dress up as Willy Wonka. The event planners made 65 gift bags for the attendees and a golden ticket was put in one of the gift bags. The recipient of the golden ticket won the opportunity to visit his candy warehouse for a tour. It was a fun giveaway and it turned out great. This event not only had great content in the presentation but the giveaway made it more exciting and fun. Pictures were posted to their social media circle and meetup groups after every event.  Seeing the fun the attendees had at the October event generated excitement in the following months. People who didn’t go in October did not want to miss out on the fun again!

No one wants to feel like they could miss out on a really fun networking opportunity and a great session. Whether it’s a window washing company or a financial institution, you can create themes, presentations, and giveaways around those industries that are creative and have a lot of energy.  If you have sponsors, a win-win opportunity comes from inviting them to offer a prize. They get marketing at the event and another prize adds to the excitement. 

People are more inclined to listen to sessions that are energetic and fun so make that a big focus in the planning.  Think about what will maintain attention and interest.  

Take the time to build up the group.

Location is important if you want to grow sales with local networking events. You can start looking within your community for businesses that will allow you to host free events at their location. Sometimes you can negotiate with owners or managers to host events as a sponsor. Sam makes events free as an incentive to attend. Look for places that are eager to help grow the community. These could even be co-working spaces and event spaces. Local coffee shops also host events for a small cost. Some restaurants may allow an event to come in on a slower night with the promise that attendees will purchase meals.

You also have to consider the environment in which you’re building the event. Don’t choose an off-putting location because that could affect the ambiance you’re trying to create for your event.

Use LinkedIn to grow your group

Sam uses LinkedIn and Meetup as his main platforms to invite people to his events. Creating a group on meetup allows you to send an invitation to a group of people that are in similar businesses and industries. 

People want to be involved especially in an event that’s similar to the industry they’re working in. This is how you can effectively build your group.

Sam likes LinkedIn for its outreach strategy. In the search bar, type in the industry you want to focus on. Once the results show up, you will see job content and more. You can click on these people and send them the same text you use for Meetup invitations. Include information about the event and a link to register. This way, you get to build a connection. It takes time to see results but these events are about building long-term relationships with people. This is the beauty of organic personal outreach.

What it comes down is, just be the real you, transparent and honest. 

“How To Grow Sales With Local Networking Events” episode resources

Do you have more questions on how to grow sales with local networking events? You can find Sam Edwards at sam@seo.co and via his LinkedIn account. Do you have any sales experience to share? 

If you have more sales concerns, you can also talk to Donald about it via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We have a new semester beginning in January and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill. 

Marley Majcher, The Party Goddess, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 103: Selling In The New Luxury Market

 Marley Majcher, The Party Goddess, The Sales EvangelistYou’d probably think catering to the luxury market is all glitz and glamor. But the more you’re getting paid, the more is expected of you to bring great value to the table. In today’s episode, Marley Majcher, the events planner to the biggest stars and celebrities, shares with us some tips in dealing with the luxury market and some nuggets about charging what you’re worth.

Marley’s umbrella company is marleymajcher.com. She owns a celebrity-based catering and event planning company in LA called The Party Goddess!.

Going to Georgetown for education she couldn’t manage her own company, she decided to write a book to solve her own problems around chasing revenue instead of profit. Writing her book, But Are You Making Any Money? has put her into a space of business consulting and helping entrepreneurs charge what they’re worth.

Wearing two hats, she runs her business by day and helps other businesses solve their problems by night.

[Tweet “@ThePartyGoddess Thank you so much for your great advice on the #TheSalesEvnagelistPodcast W/ @Donaldckelly @TSESales”]

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Marley:

Marley’s coolest experience being the customer was with Ruby Receptionists. Check their website here and see why people and Marley love them so much.

Let Ruby Receptionist know they are loved. Click the tweet link below.

Charging what you’re worth:

Selling to luxury market:

  • Providing great value for your business.
  • Luxury in the old days vs. luxury today.

Luxury today is giving your customer:

  • What they want.
  • When they want it.
  • How they want it.

Shifting how we think about the luxury market

Not judging a book by its cover

Taking yourself out of the equation

Tips in selling to a luxury market:

  • Be very tolerant.
  • Be perennially cheerful.
  • Be adaptable.
  • Be fast.

Knowing your numbers:

  • Cost of goods sold
  • Consider the time you spent to service that particular client

How to know if luxury market is for you:

  • Meditate. Pay attention to yourself.
  • How do you feel when you work with this audience?
  • Consider your chemistry with your audience.

The hardest lessons for small business owners to learn are:

Lesson 1: Saying no to other clients:

  • You have more time to service those really good clients
  • You cannot be all things to all people

Lesson 2: Charging your worth:

  • How much is the service worth.
  • Selling the convenience, ease, and peace of mind

Lesson 3: Hyper-focused customer service mentality:

  • A lot of times we are not our target audience
  • Put your brain in the mind of the client
  • Everybody has something they value.

Lesson 4: Firing a customer:

    • Be non-emotional.
    • Slow down your speech.
    • Be prepared. Stick to your guns.
  • “This is not a match.”
  • Provide them with solutions.

Connect with Marley on Twitter and Instagram @thepartygoddess

Marley’s Major Takeaways:

Know your numbers.

The way to charge what you’re worth, whether with a luxury client or selling, when your numbers, not only how much it costs to provide your product or service, and even if the service is just you, and you think you don’t have cost. YOU DO!

Know how much time really it takes to service that particular client.

What client is more of a match?

Take Marley’s Productivity Quiz at www.theprofitgoddess.com/tse

Check out Marley’s book:

TSE 048: How Phillip Taylor Developed His Hobby Into a Successful Business Part 2!

PTHere is part two of my conversation with PT and some of the take aways from the second session:

  • Create an avatar or the ideal client of people that you would purchase your product or service.
  • Seek out top influencers who are in your industry and seek out opportunities to work with them and to add value to them. They will bring you to a community of your ideal prospects.
  • By running an event, you become a thought leader in the eyes of the those you serve.

PT also educated us on the reverse pitch, which is the idea of pitching those who are pitching at you. (Listen to the episode how he masterfully does this).

What are the keys to success in sales?

  1. Have a genuine heartfelt understanding of what you offer.
  2. Think long term and how to grow relationship. Ask yourself, what can I do to provide value.
  3. Being able  to quickly find for your prospects.
  4. Being organized in your communication.

How do you overcome rejections and tough times?

  • Don’t compare yourself with others.
  • Think about the positive things going on and focus on those around you who are supporting you.
  • If you are getting depressed and feeling low, go out and help others! (Wise words from PT’s mom).

Resources that Phillip Recommended:

PTmoney.com (Information on personal finance)

www.FinConexpo.com

www.Fightingchance.com

www.Truecars.com

Connect with PT on Twitter:

@PTmoney

@Fincon

Come and listen to the episode to learn more!

MUSIC PROVIDED BY FREESFX
 

TSE 047: How Phillip Taylor Developed His Hobby Into a Successful Business Part 1!

PTRecently I did an interview with Phillip Taylor (PT). He took his passion and turned it into a thriving online business. PT never considered himself as a sales person, but as he grew his hobby into a business, he recognized that sales was an important factor that his organization needed. Many entrepreneurs find themselves in the same situation where they don’t know how to sell, but have to sell. Here are some the major take away from my conversation:

What are some of the major challenges you faced as an entrepreneur?

  • Not having enough time to do all that is needed
  • Sales is tough and they don’t want to bother people
  • Not having a strong enough reach in the community
  • Not wanting to PUSH people to do something

Why do entrepreneur have a tough time selling?

Many entrepreneurs don’t want to bother people or bug them with something that they DON’T need. But if you can develop away to offer people valuable information, they will love you and come back over and over again.

How do you find people for your products or services?

Write small amount of content articles that your audience would be interested in and Google will send people to you. THINK of what your prospects/clients need and provide information related to that.

Ex: If you sell computers, maybe you can provide content such as,  “What is better, Mac or PC and why” etc.

Resources that Phillip Recommended:

PTmoney.com (Information on personal finance)

www.FinConexpo.com

www.Fightingchance.com

www.Truecars.com

Connect with PT on Twitter:

@PTmoney

@Fincon

Come and listen to the episode to learn more!

MUSIC PROVIDED BY FREESFX