Marketing - The Sales Evangelist

Tag Archives for " Marketing "

Rylee Meek, Social Dynamic Selling, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1201: What Is Social Dynamic Selling & Why Does This Work So Well?

Rylee Meek, Social Dynamic Selling, The Sales EvangelistMany sellers appreciate how social dynamic selling works well. It’s effective and has connected more than 2 million consumers to their clients. 

Rylee Meek grew up in a small town in South Dakota but is now residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He lived in a town with very few opportunities but at the age of 15, he already had that drive to start earning money. Rylee got a job at a pizza joint and made a minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. He dove into the entrepreneurial world at that young age. His family made a significant amount of money from network marketing and that impacted his path. He met many like-minded people who directed him to the right books to read. It was his initial step of taking that entrepreneurship role. 

He then started working with a network marketing company instead of proceeding to college. At 19 years of age, he was able to get his   BMW but then he realized that his income came solely from the effort and from working up to 17 hours a day. So he started to do things differently. He worked for Prudential but then he wanted to work and sell to more people and not just family members and friends. He proceeded to take another job selling home remodeling.

Rylee clearly remembered what the manager told him on that interview, that the job is 85% negative but he needs to focus on the 15% that’s positive to make it through. Until now, Rylee still believes in focusing on the 15% because that’s what matters. Getting 85 Nos to get 15 Yeses was all it took. 

Network marketing journey 

Rylee invested in several network marketing ventures and met many challenges along the way. At one time he became homeless after putting much of his money into a business in Mexico. The government shut down their company and he needed to come back to the states. He spent some time thinking of the things he could do next. He was invited to a pitch presentation and that helped his wheels spinning. His first presentation was done a few months after and he made $2.1 million in sales. They then started recruiting, hiring, and training. When everything worked out well, Rylee stepped back from presenting and started doing coaching, training, and teaching their sales reps. 

Reaching the masses

Rylee was earning well and could take his products to the masses but he didn’t have any passion for his products. While there are many businesses who have so much passion for their products but do not have the vehicle to take their products to the masses. 

He thought hard and brainstormed on all of the things that they’ve been doing right with their company from the coaching to selling their products and services. Rylee wrote everything down and that gave birth to what is now the social dynamic selling system.

Social dynamic selling works well

The core of social dynamic selling is dinner seminars. Invite people and give them a nice steak dinner. You then establish the presenter as the authoritative figure in that industry to gain the trust of the guests. After giving the pitch, you can ask them for an appointment and meet with them the following day to close the deal. 

Creating a message is important. It is an atmosphere where you’re sending an invitation directly to your potential clients to come over to listen to your presentation and craft that into multiple different verticals. 

It takes a little bit of money to make this happen and your product has to have a decent enough margin for this to work. 

Rylee’s team uses direct mail. Many may say that this method is archaic but they had a higher return on investment using direct mail. It beat all the other kinds of marketing including Facebook, Google, and SEO. The response they get from direct mail is crucial in any campaign. Regardless of the method that you’re using, you need to know and track your numbers to be able to see if you’re allocating your funds properly. 

Direct mails

The competition of using direct mail has dwindled today because of the massive amount of junk mail that people get. Companies tend to forget that they are many ways for you to not make your mails appear like junk such as addressing people by their first and last name. 

Social dynamic selling works well if sales reps learn their numbers and not just the art of selling. As a salesperson, you need to know how effective you are and you will see this with your appointment rate, closing rate, and stick rate. 

There are so many components involved in any successful campaign and the first step is knowing your ideal clients. Use the tools available today to figure out your true customers. After that, you can demographically and geographically identify the best area to target those people. Choose the venue according to the result of that targeting. The next step is to craft the message and to create an invitation that’s compelling enough for the potential clients to take action. Everything must be consistent from the crafting of the message down to the day of the event and the actual sale. 

The whole process has a flow and you can’t rush it. 

Always think of your target audience and create the event with their convenience in mind. Do an early dinner for potential clients aging 50 years old. For retirees, you can do breakfast. The rule of thumb is to offer something up the moment they come to the venue because that’s when the law of reciprocity kicks in. 

The goal in every event is not just to sell but to get to know the potential clients and earn their trust. You can do that by creating a fun and laid back environment. People want to buy but you need to create that environment that allows them to make the buying decisions instead of pressuring them just to make a sale. 

Social dynamic selling works well, there is no question about that but you need to follow the process. 

Remember, the first step is knowing who your clients are and it all goes from there. 

“What Is Social Dynamic Selling & Why Does This Work So Well?” episode resources

Reach out to Rylee by visiting his website, socialdynamicselling.com. You can also visit his other site, workwithrylee.com. You can schedule a strategy call with him or with one of his team members. 

If you any sales concerns, you can also shoot Donald a message on his LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a training program designed to help sales reps improve their skills in making sales and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Stu Heinecke, Donald C. Kelly, Contact Marketing

TSE 1194: Use Contact Marketing to Breakthrough to Anyone

Stu Heinecke, Donald C. Kelly, Contact MarketingProspecting is always a challenge for sellers, but it’s easier when you use contact marketing to breakthrough to anyone. 

Stu Heinecke is a Wall Street Journal cartoonist, a marketer, and an author. Stu has been nominated for the marketing hall of fame twice and has authored the popular book, How to Get a Meeting with Anyone. There are many ways salespeople can contact their clients and make a breakthrough, Stu’s book helps you navigate the whole process of reaching out to various clients. Stu is now writing his second book about how business cards can help salespeople reach out to prospective clients and what makes these business cards so special. 

In the business industry, he helps his clients’ sales teams break through their top prospects.

Contact marketing to breakthrough to anyone 

Stu is a fan of great business cards. Unfortunately in this digital day, clients aren’t keen on business cards anymore. The tables have shifted and they’re no longer given much emphasis as compared to then. This is saddening when in the sales world, a business card is the first conquest point to form a meeting. People just type out names and numbers directly to their phone and check them out later on. The thing about this is that most of the time, clients won’t even remember the name of the sales rep they talked to. Thus, we go back to the basics, only this time, we upgrade it into something more. 

From cards to devices 

Say goodbye to business cards and hello to engagement devices. The regular business cards aren’t impressing people anymore, especially those with long titles. So, instead of giving them a card, you give them an engagement device. 

An example of this is Kevin Mitnick’s card. It’s a piece of thin metal that has been cut out. When you try to pull out the little pieces, it gives you a lock picking set. You can see the details etched into the metal. The card isn’t just a card, it’s also a metaphor of what he does for companies. He makes virtual locks and offers it to companies to keep hackers away from breaking into their system. 

There are no logos, words, and descriptions in the card. The card speaks for what the company does. 

The goal is to make business cards serve as visual metaphors of what you do best. It still fits in their pocket but they use it differently and not only for when they give you a call. 

How does contact marketing work?

These new business cards all tie up to the contact marketing model. Businesses should be able to set a baseline for a response. The goal is to have a 100% breakthrough to everybody that we make a bargain. 

You do that by giving them an impressive card that points to your landing page. Seeing how wisely done your card is, they’ll be more curious about what your landing page has in store. This might be the start of conversion. 

Stu’s book has a great compilation of stories about how they can begin their campaigns using contact marketing. His books are filled with ideas that you can borrow and apply to your own journey towards contact marketing to breakthrough to anyone. 

Do not be intimidated by the positions of the people you want to reach. You need to believe that you belong in that space because of the value that you bring. 

Contact marketing is sales and marketing working together. It’s a micro-focused campaign where you can spend some money, but the expenditure will be nowhere near the marketing costs. 

“Use Contact Marketing to Breakthrough to Anyone” episode resources

Connect with Stu Heinecke on his LinkedIn account. You can also check out his books on Amazon. 

If you have sales questions, concerns, and great stories to share, don’t hesitate to connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales rep get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. Every seller should be making six- figures and this can be achieved with our rigorous training schedule and group coaching. Join us for a new semester beginning each quarter. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

TSE 1189: Pulling Profits Out of a Hat

TSE 1189 Pulling Profits Out of a Hat

Pulling profits out of a hat is something that salespeople are raving about. But how do you go about it? 

Brad Sugar has been in the teaching business for 26 years and now has coaching offices in over 80 countries. He’s also a published author with 17 books in his name. He appreciates being able to help others grow their business and keeps expanding his business to be able to help more people improve their sales. 

One of his recent books is Pulling Profits Out of a Hat: Adding Zeros to Your Company Isn’t Magic 1st Edition. This book teaches companies how to get multiple growths instead of percentage growth. As salespeople, challenge yourself to multiply your growth. If your company grew by 15% last year, make it an aim to grow it 15 times more this year. 

The starting point is to believe that your business can multiply and have the right attitude in getting it there. 

Pulling profits out of a hat

Every business person is a business owner. Whatever your role is, whether it be a salesperson or a sales leader, you have your own section of the business.  

Set your goals and be specific about them. What are the goals you want to achieve two times, five times, and so on? There are five core disciples mentioned in the book – strategy, business development, people, execution, and mission. You need to start with the strategy. 

Strategy

Strategy can be broken down into four main points: 

  • Leverage
  • Scalability
  • Opportunity
  • Marketability

We define leverage as doing the work once and getting paid for a long-term basis. Bill Gates, for example, understood leverage. He made software once and he sold it forever. These days, Microsoft doesn’t sell software anymore. They make you pay for it every single month. Steve Jobs understood leverage after he got fired from Apple. He bought Pixar and found ways to sell a movie repeatedly in various formats. They sell their products and they set their businesses up in a way that customers buy it over and over again all the while making a lesser effort in selling it.

Salespeople find this challenging because they’re not wired to do this. They are trained to do sales one at a time as opposed to the marketers who do multiple sales at a time. The selling one at a time mentality kills the business. A salesperson should remember all his strategies, from the short-term to the medium-term, and the long-term. Don’t go directly to the long-term strategy where you build your reputation with social media and create content. Start from the short term goal of picking up the phone and making a call.  

Scalability 

Brad defines scalability as the next sale should cost less and is easier to sell. Salespeople need to keep building, to look at what the product or services they’re selling, and how they’re selling it. Work the scales into your program and go backward. Think of ways of how you can continually make money month after month. 

Set goals that are based on the market and the opportunity size and not based on your own needs, desires, and previous results. #SalesSuccess

Marketability 

Look for products and services that are easier to sell and check their marketability. Zappos has a good market. It sells shoes and many people want shoes. They want shoes now, they want shoes next month, and they want new shoes just to look good. The market is rich and they have a product that’s easy to sell. 

Sales, marketing, and customer service all have to go hand-in-hand. This is easy if you don’t want to grow your business but if you want to grow your business exponentially, you need to have a great sales system, a great marketing system, and a great customer service system. 

Break down the marketing to the most granular loads and work backward from there because that’s how you get good results. You don’t leave the basic steps of doing the call even when you’ve already made it to the building connection phase. 

Continue getting at least 20 connects a day or whatever number you’re supposed to reach as a sales rep. There is no limit on how many you must do but there is a limit on how little you must do. 

Testimonials and rankings are two of the most important things in marketing today. Find ways to make people give you testimonials and ask them to rank you.

Value 

Another thing that would help you be better in pulling profits out of a hat is to add value. Keep learning because you can only ever own as much as you’ve learned to make. It’s also important to make sure that your sale is made before you turn up. 

In real estate for example, when somebody calls asking for an appraisal, do not just send them an e-mail. Make it more personal and let them know why you’re the company for the job. Send them a box filled with the magazine where testimonials of your customers are found. Deliver it to them as fast as you can. When the prospect gets the box, they’ll think you’re a genius and they’ll want to work with you because you aren’t just an email. You are as visible as the testimonials in the magazines show. This is how you make the sale before even showing up. 

“Pulling Profits Out of a Hat” episode resources

Always continue learning and never wish life were easier. instead, wish that you were better. If you get better at sales, then life gets easier. If you get better at marketing, and marketing gets easier. Connect with Brad in his social media accounts. He is in LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also visit his website Brad Sugars and ActionCoach.

You can also ask Donald any of your sales concerns via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 Modules and you can get the first two modules for free! 

If you like this episode, don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.  

 

Inbound Leads, Marketing, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1177: Our Inbound Leads Are Causing More Work Than Good Sales

Inbound Leads, Marketing, The Sales Evangelist

Often, you hear salespeople say, “Our inbound leads are causing more work than good sales.” It’s always on the question of who should follow up on inbound leads and how to go about it effectively.

Many small organizations are having a hard time utilizing their inbound strategies effectively. We don’t have all the variables and all the situations within an organization. Still, we can assume that there are three people on a sales team. 

The sales team

Assume that a sales team is composed of three people: the marketing person who does almost everything, the junior assistant who helps with content creation, and the outsourced person who does the marketing strategies. Among the three, who should follow-up the lead? 

Not all leads are created equal. This means that before deciding who will follow up the lead, the lead should be evaluated first.

You don’t want your salesperson pitching to a lead that in the end would go to another competitor. 

Do a pre-qualification 

Do a pre-qualification in your organization to know if the people you are going to have the conversation with are ready to consider the deal. Set a benchmark and rules for what you consider a marketing quantifiable lead. Consider the following questions: 

  • What is considered a sales qualified lead?
  • What is the KPI of your organization? 
  • How many new inbound leads do you want to get per quarter/per month?
  • How much money do you want to generate from those leads?

The answers to those questions will lead you to your ideal customer. It would also help you identify the triggers that qualify them to be a marketing quantifiable lead and a sales qualified lead. 

The work is far more efficient because when a lead comes in, your salespeople can vet them and follow the pre-qualification factors you’ve set to see if the lead can generate new business for the organization. This is also helpful in maintaining your current customers. There’s no time wasted in sifting through leads and trying to figure out which one works and which one doesn’t. 

Create a system

Create a system to efficiently manage the workload. The marketing team can do the pre-qualification to increase the odds of the lead being converted into something real. Whenever a lead comes in, let marketing take a look at it and check the website and the title of the person. 

Then let the intern or junior marketing rep take over the other tasks like looking into LinkedIn, HubSpot, Marketo, or other platforms you have to find the data that you can transfer into your CRM. 

You can then sign that into the sales team for it to become a sales qualified lead. The system prevents wasting time on people who aren’t real prospects. 

Marketing can help fix the problem of having to go back to the beginning of the funnel and pre-qualify the leads again because they’re not yet ready then. 

  • Fix your content
  • Develop a good strategy
  • Make a drip campaign for people who are not yet ready 
  • Separate the marketing qualified lead and your sales qualified lead

Website leads matter

The sales team sometimes takes for granted the leads that they didn’t hunt for. A good example is leads coming in from the websites. Salespeople have this notion that they can get more of those so they ignore them. It’s the mentality that since they didn’t work for it, it doesn’t mean much. 

You must recognize that the organization spent thousands of dollars to get that lead. The organization paid for the marketing and the sales rep to produce content on your site. You have writers and you have graphics on your site. You have all the different infrastructure to make sure that your website functions. 

It is disheartening when a sales rep doesn’t take that into consideration when a lead comes in via the website. 

Whenever an inbound lead comes in, it is best to use your flow process to follow-up particular prospects. It should be written and put in your company’s playbook so that everyone can read it and use it with every inbound lead that comes in. 

Follow-up right away 

A stat from insidesales.com said that a lead that’s contacted within five minutes is 100 times more likely to convert than leads that are followed-up 90 minutes later.

When a lead comes in, follow up right away. You’re more likely to convert than if you wait. #SalesHacks

Strike while the iron is hot. 

Do a quick research and evaluate whether the person is real, see if it’s a true marketing qualified lead, and toss it over as a sales qualified lead if it ticks all the boxes. 

The sales team can take a quick visit to the person’s website, check their LinkedIn profile, and the pages they’ve visited on your site. 

Tools like HubSpot and Active Campaign allow you to see where they’ve signed up and the number of times they’ve looked at the pages. You can then use these data to have a meaningful conversation with the prospect leads. 

Focus on the people that matter

Include in your flow process the phone call and email for the first time then do the same things a day later. Connect with them on LinkedIn and share some of their content for seven full business days. 

Do the same things that you would do with a cold person. Nurture the lead and try to grab his attention. Even if they’re not ready now, then at least you can toss it back into the marketing pool and revisit it another time. 

With the right system and by focusing on the people that matter, your work is going to be minimized but the return is going to be much higher. Filter your inbound leads and let the marketing do the review. Recognize the good ones and toss them over to the sales reps to reach out and convert. 

“Our Inbound Leads Are Causing More Work Than Good Sales” episode resource

Email Donald for more questions or connect with him via LinkedIn.

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to improve their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses and you can get the first two modules for free! If you want to take your sales to the next level, then I recommend that you join us with our group coaching. Our next semester begins mid-September. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

If you’re a reader who loves reading and listening to books, you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If this episode answered your concerns about why your inbound leads are causing more work than good sales then don’t be shy and give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. 

Jaron Rice, Marketing, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1149: The Power of “Cause Marketing”

Jaron Rice, Marketing, The Sales EvangelistSupporting a cause as part of your business model can help you establish your brand and create a personality for your company, and “cause marketing” can draw customers who want to do business with you. 

Cause-based marketing stems from a business or a business owner that champions a cause that they believe helps with their personal branding as well as the company’s brand. It benefits a specific cause while it generates more business for the company. 

Jaron Rice is the founder of Magothy Payments, Maryland’s highest-rated merchant services provider. He helps businesses become more profitable by lowering their costs of credit card acceptance and helps organizations save money on payment processing. 

Payment processing

Businesses have to pay fees in order to accept payments from their clients. The transaction is called an interchange and it’s set by the card brands: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. The fees are paid to the issuing banks and then there are dues and assessments that are paid to the card brand. 

At the same time, there are merchant service providers that sell similar services. A typical merchant services agreement is a three-year contract that has a $495 cancellation fee. Also built into that contract are canceling penalties called liquidated damages. In effect, the merchant services provider is arguing that if the business takes their processing volume somewhere else, the bank or merchant services provider will suffer financial harm. The fee generally amounts to about $150 a month for the remaining months in the contract. 

Jaron often interacts with small businesses and discovers that he can save them about $200 a month with his services. For a main street business, that’s a substantial savings unless the cost of breaking the contract will be $4,000. At that point, it isn’t worth switching providers.

Unfortunately, these fees aren’t usually disclosed on the contract agreements. 

Terms and services

Penalties present a major issue for the industry because the typical contract is about three pages long. On the last page of that contract, companies often include a URL that links to a 75-page PDF document full of clauses and information about cancellation fees. These fees aren’t actually presented to the merchant at the time of signing. 

Worse yet, some companies require you to have an account with them before they allow you to view the document. These companies have created a shell game that keeps businesses locked into unwieldy contracts for years. 

Then, to make matters worse, there’s a small 30-day window at the end of the contract during which companies can cancel their existing agreement in writing. If they don’t, the contract automatically renews. 

Bad reputation

Jaron discovered upon engaging with this industry that it has a bad reputation. He brought on a small hobby shop business as a client, and at the time they signed a contract, he asked whether the owner had any outstanding contracts or cancellation fees for its payment processing. The owner assured him that he was 4 and a half years into a three-year contract, so he was good. 

The owner signed a month-to-month contract with Jaron, and 9 months later he contacted Jaron to ask about a $179 charge on his bank statement. 

The charge originated from a merchant services provider, but the identification number didn’t match Jaron’s company. It turns out the previous company had been charging him $179 a month for the previous 9 months despite the fact that he sent a certified letter canceling the service. 

When the owner called the company about the charges, the representative said that they were charging him $179 a month because the company figured he would rather pay that than the $2,400 plus cancellation fees that were spelled out in his contract. Because he hadn’t canceled his contract, it automatically renewed. 

The next day, the company randomly took $600 from his account. 

Addressing the problem

He went to his bank to find out what recourse he had. The bank advised him that they could block the withdrawals for a period of six months, but that on the 7th month, the provider was likely to try to take the previous six months’ worth of charges all at once. The bank advised closing his account and opening a new one. This was a business owner who had a family to support and employees who worked for him.

Jaron recognized immediately that something needed to be done. About a year later, he connected with a business owner who ran a cigar shop. The two signed an agreement to work together and then spent some time talking about the horrors of payment processing. Jaron mentioned that he wished he could write a law to make these kinds of conduct illegal, and his new client mentioned that he was a state delegate. 

The two generated an idea for a piece of legislation that would protect the small business owners in Maryland from the predatory bank practices of banks and merchant services providers. On the third attempt, the bill passed unanimously and was signed into law. 

Protecting businesses

The legislation requires that the length of the agreement, the cancellation fees, the liquidated damages, and the penalties associated with canceling the agreement must be conspicuously displayed on the contract and that each term be initialed.

The legislation also caps the fees for terminating an agreement at $500 and is applicable to businesses that have less than 50 employees and that are doing less than $2 million a year in credit card volume. This includes about 98 percent of Jaron’s clients. 

The law also stipulates that if the contract automatically renews, the business cannot be charged fees or penalties, which gives Maryland businesses a chance to shop for services. It forces companies in that space to be customer-focused. 

Customer service

One of the problems that emerged was the reality that companies that had businesses locked into contracts weren’t motivated to service the accounts properly. Stories exist of businesses who called seeking assistance and were put on hold indefinitely. 

They provide no guarantees on rates or pricing, so they can change your rates at any time. 

The new legislation will make it easier for businesses to find services elsewhere. It’s forcing the entire industry to focus on servicing accounts and keeping customers happy. 

Jaron acknowledges that many in his industry oppose this change, but it’s typically only those who are only focused on profit. Those who want to establish long-term relationships with their clients and do things the right way have incentive to work to keep clients. 

Championing a cause

He didn’t tackle this cause so he could make more money. He did it because it was the right thing to do. In the end, though, his company is benefiting financially from the move. He is working with the Better Business Bureau and the chambers of commerce to host lunch and learns to help businesses learn their rights under the legislation. 

The bill has teeth and consequences, but businesses must report the conduct. In order to report them, businesses must understand the protections of the law. 

In the end, businesses understand that Jaron went to bat for them, and now many of them want to work for him. 

Other opportunities exist for businesses who want to engage in this kind of service to their own industries. The cause your businesses chooses will depend on your individual situation.

Get involved

Join your local organizations and learn who the delegates are. Many of them are seeking opportunities to help their constituents, so if you have an idea that makes sense, they’ll be willing to get involved. These people have teams who understand how to accomplish these things. 

One of Jaron’s clients started a charity called Burgers and Bands to benefit suicide prevention. Because people near to her have struggled with suicidal thoughts and attempts, the issue has touched her life. As a result, she helps raise money for the cause. 

Aside from the good work she is doing in the community, businesses recognize her as a mom and a concerned citizen rather than simply as a business owner trying to sell them something.

The effort must be genuine, though, or people will recognize it as a fake. 

Company identity

Explore the idea of cause marketing as a way to help build your company’s identity. It helps establish your personal brand and your company’s personality. It reveals how your personality translates into leadership within your company. Your cause is a reflection of who you are, and it helps customers see the human side of the business. 

Jaron has had customers whose situations didn’t lend themselves to switching companies except that they were so eager to work with him they settled for deals in which all they asked of him was the ability to match their current deal. He said that doesn’t happen unless they understand your vision and the causes that you stand behind.

Be yourself. It sounds cliche but Jaron realized that most of his clients are laid-back, down-to-earth, Main Street business owners who didn’t care that he didn’t wear a suit to work every day. Be genuine and true to yourself. 

“Cause Marketing” episode resources 

You can connect with Jaron at his website, www.magothy.biz or find him at LinkedIn. You can learn more about the bill specifically at www.MarylandHB777.com.

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program or free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. 

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Kimberlee Slavik, Visnostics, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1141: The Fundamentals of Visnostic Selling

 

Kimberlee Slavik, Visnostics, The Sales EvangelistVisnostic selling translates your information from vendor-speak to client-speak, and sellers who understand the fundamentals of visnostic selling will change the way they think about sales. 

Kimberlee Slavik has been a top performer in sales for more than 20 years, and she recently released a book called Visnostic Selling. Her goal is to help sales and marketing professionals harness the power of neuroscience by translating vendor-speak into client-speak. 

Storytelling

Kimberlee always assumed her sales success resulted largely from dumb luck until she listened to Michael Bosworth’s latest book, What Great Salespeople Do. The book talks about storytelling and neuroscience and explains the chemical reactions that happen in the brain. Stories make the Bible the best-selling book of all time because they allow readers to visualize events.  

She was listening to the book while she was driving so she couldn’t highlight or make notes, but the content made sense to her. It was the first time she recognized the science behind her own success. 

Because her career selling complex intangibles requires her to qualify clients very well, she must be able to articulate what she can do for them. She hopes to help other people figure out the science that it took her so long to discover. 

Visnostics

Visnostics is a trademarked word that combines visualization and diagnostics. Instead of showing up to a demonstration with a bunch of slides or a brochure or a website full of words to say, visnostics teaches you to reword everything. Speak in the first-person as though the client was actually saying these things. When you do, it triggers a completely different response in the brain. The order of words also plays a tremendous role. 

This isn’t a questionnaire that asks questions on your way to helping you diagnose. Truthfully, no one looks forward to filling out surveys. Instead, provide a statement instead of a question and offer three different ways to respond:

  • “I can say this today.”
  • “I wish I could say this today.” 
  • “I don’t know.”

If your prospect chooses the first option, he must score himself on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning he has a long way to go and 5 meaning it’s perfect. 

They’re very engaged because they know they have to respond to what you’re saying. It allows you to sort of hijack the prospect’s brain because they have to concentrate to answer. It’s a powerful tool for sellers.

When you trigger chemicals in your client’s brain without him even realizing it, that’s powerful. The prospect wants to tell you his story because this is what the visnostic statement creates. Instead of the seller doing all the talking, this process prompts the client to share their stories.

Visnostic statements

The book teaches people to create a spreadsheet in which one column includes all of the seller’s visnostic statements, and the book also helps sellers understand how to create those powerful visnostic statements. Another column maps out each of the visnostic statements to a summarization of a statement of work. In other words, how you can turn a non-strength into a strength. 

Once the salesperson walks the client through the statements, they’ll have a sense of the things that the client is doing well, the areas with the biggest room for improvement, and areas that simply need tweaking. 

Within an hour or two, the seller can be confident and competent in front of their clients. 

Getting started

Kimberlee begins by asking sellers to visualize a dollar sign, a clock, and a toolbox. Those images represent results related to finances and timelines and there’s an associated impact. The first words will be “I’m going to save you $1 million in a month.” For an office furniture salesperson, the aerodynamic office furniture will create more comfortable employees who work harder and work longer. The seller will then establish visnostic statements according to segmentation. 

You can figure out your segmentation by talking to past clients who will tell you more than your marketing department ever could. Since they are actually using the furniture, they’ll help you flush out differentiation.

Change your approach

When you start thinking dollar sign, clock, and toolbox, revisit your own marketing message. Start at your own website and pick out all the words that represent results. Many people are disappointed to discover that they don’t have as many as they thought they did. It might trigger you to find results by talking to past clients to understand how working with you has impacted their lives. 

One real estate agent had recommendations that all sounded the same on his site. He had a long paragraph that took up half the page describing his work. Kimberlee had to dig to find results statements, but when she did, she put together this visnostic statement: 

“My realtor had a contract on all three of my homes in less than a week when all other realtors were averaging 100 days or more.”

The reader now knows that the person sharing the recommendation wasn’t just a lucky sell. The realtor sold three homes in less than a week. The statement also differentiated the realtor from his competition by specifying how long other realtors were taking to sell houses. 

This new way of thinking will change the way you view your marketing materials, your brochures, and your website. 

Working well

Most organizations are oblivious to the fact that marketing and sales don’t work well together. Her workshops require that marketing and sales sit in the same room together during the translation from features and functions into visnostic language. They move from vendor-speak to client-speak and it makes a world of difference. 

Anytime the two teams work together, it creates a powerful team-building exercise. When their efforts are aligned and they are in sync, magic happens. When they are out of alignment, sales suffer. 

Managers who are interested in this kind of training must do their homework first. Make sure you’ve bought into the program and that you understand it. Kimberlee invites readers to connect with her personally for what amounts to a free consultation. 

After the initial consultation, she invites organizations to put their very best presenter on the phone with her. She does a Zoom call to record the presentation so she can see the best presentation they have to offer. She then dissects and separates it to identify vendor-speak and client-speak. 

Kimberlee did this for a Fortune 20 company, and the result was 28 pages of transcript, and of those, only half a page amounted to information the client would like to have. Additionally, the graphics weren’t designed to help the audience retain the data being presented.

Painting a picture

Kimberlee worked with a realtor in the sale of her own house who used visnostics to generate interest. She wrote a description about a dock that the homeowners could visit at the end of a long day, and a kitchen island that was big enough for mom and dad to make lunches at while the kids sat down for breakfast. She described the kind of life people might live inside the house, and she got 7 offers on the first day. The house ultimately sold for more than $30,000 over asking price.

The realtor had people competing for the house, and she got three new listings with people who wanted to use the same approach to sell their own houses. 

“Fundamentals of Visnostic Selling” episode resources

Connect with Kimberlee on LinkedIn or Google the term visnostic. Listeners can email her at podcast@dynaexec.com to get something from Kimberlee, and then she’ll send the feedback to The Sales Evangelist so we can continue to help more people understand why podcasts are a valuable use of time. 

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

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. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

As a savvy seller, you’ll want to continue learning, and you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial, complete with a free audiobook, on Audible. They have thousands of books to choose from and you can begin your free trial today. 

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. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Sam Mallikarjunan, Hubspot

TSE 1136: How HubSpot Grew From 150-1500 Individuals!

Sam Mallikarjunan, Hubspot

Whether you’re a sales rep or a sales leader, a sales manager or a business owner, we can learn valuable lessons from the study of how Hubspot grew from 50-1500 individuals.

Sam Mallikarjunan has sold for a variety of organizations, from the five-person startup to the Fortune 500 company, so he has seen the sales story at a couple of stages. He’s a fellow at Hubspot and he teaches digital marketing at Harvard University.

New revenue

Sam loves the idea that whoever chases two rabbits catches neither because it’s a reminder to him to focus. He has spent the last year focused on teaching, speaking, and research. He points to doing one thing at a time and doing it really well before moving on.

A weird pivot exists for startups that are growing from “we’ll take anybody’s money” to losing cash faster than you can acquire new cash. The core pivot occurs when you reach the point where you’re struggling for customer retention, because the economics of your model will break down.

It’s a matter of sales reps making time to ensure that they are bringing in new revenue.

One new customer was upset because she couldn’t access her email after signing on with Hubspot. She had cancelled her Internet provider because she thought that’s what Hubspot was.

It cost the company money because they had to service the issue. The problem didn’t arise because the seller was a bad person. He just didn’t verify that the customer was going to be successful.

Healthy revenue

The company implemented clawbacks which withdraw commissions from sellers if the customer cancels their account within a certain window. Sellers are heavily incentivized to ensure that the person they are bringing on will result in healthy revenue.

Because Hubspot is a SAS, a recurring revenue model, the company loses money acquiring customers. The company doesn’t break even for some months. If the customer cancels too quickly, the business loses money.

Cashflow is more important than your mother.

Keeping customers

Many companies miss the core principle, which is that you can’t spend money to get customers unless you’re good at keeping them. If you’re selling iPad covers that are cheap, people will likely only buy from you once. But if you’re really good at keeping customers, it’s not necessarily how much they pay in the first transaction, but rather the lifetime value.

If you’re good at keeping those customers, you can pay your sales reps really well. You can give them lots of collateral to help them close deals. You can also spend a lot of money on marketing to tee them up for good conversations or on training for their reps.

Sales sequence

Sam recalls being a cell phone salesman in a mall. He asked his customers questions about cell phones, but he didn’t listen to their answers because it didn’t matter what they said. He was going to ask the next question in his sequence. Either they would sign on the dotted line or walk away. It didn’t matter to him.

The company had more than 50 percent cancellation rate coming out of the kiosks, but the sellers never missed quota. He got big bonuses for his teams because they always met their quota. It cost the company a lot of money in support costs, lost device costs, and refunds, so they shut down the entire unit and retrained the reps.

The company was designed as a subscription model, which meant they would lose a little bit of money to acquire customers.

Platinum rule

The platinum rule goes a step farther than the golden rule, which only requires that you treat people the way you want to be treated. The platinum mindset demands that you treat people the way they want to be treated.

Trust is core to the sales process, and trust begins by taking the time to ask questions and understand who you’re selling to. People like to be personalized.

Sam points to Netflix’s business model as an ideal one because it has motivated him to rate more than 800 movies. He said he does it because he knows that Netflix will use the information to improve his experience. He points to the fact that prospects will volunteer their information when they know it’s being used to help them make better decisions.

Negative reviews

When Jeff Bezos of Amazon first added negative reviews to the Amazon website, his investors thought he was crazy to include information that would discourage people from buying things. His response was that you don’t make money when you sell things, but rather when you help people make purchase decisions.

He said that sellers often lose sight of the fact that it’s more important to help people make the decision that’s best rather than making the decision the seller wants them to make. It’s sometimes powerful to not sell to a buyer when you can’t find the value proposition. They may figure it out themselves because you’ve built that trust and then buy from you anyway.

You aren’t costing the company money and you’ll improve your retention.

Talking least

He points to the fact that he always thought if he talked the most, he would leave with the most. He discovered, though, that when he asked meaningful questions, he talked the least, and he did well.

Sam discovered that holding his meetings at a cigar lounge helped him monitor how much he talked, because if his cigar went out, it meant he talked too much and didn’t listen enough.

Candle problem

A famous psychology study challenges people to fix a candle to a way in a way that it doesn’t drop any wax when it’s lit. People try melting the candle to the wall but nothing works. The right answer, he said, is to dump out the box of tacks, tack the box to the wall, and then add the candle.

If you give people the right incentive, you fire up the part of your brain that excites them. If you need someone to turn a wheel, the best way to accomplish that is to give them a dollar for every revolution they make.

The hardest thing to do is to convince people to give something a fair shake. When what you’re doing isn’t working, you tend to do more of the same with greater intensity.

When you shift your conversation and slow down your sales cycle and ask more questions and give more answers, you’ll make it easy for people to reach out to you.

“Hubspot Grew” episode resources

Connect with Sam Mallikarjunan on his website or on LinkedIn.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Lindsay Pedersen, Forging an Ironclad Brand

TSE 1101: Forging An Ironclad Brand

 

lindsay-pedersen-author-photoYour brand tells your story when you’re not in the room, and today Lindsay Pedersen shares tips for forging an ironclad brand with sales reps, entrepreneurs, and other business professionals. 

Lindsay is a brand strategist who helps professionals identify the single idea that their business stands for. She’s passionate about working with leaders to harness the power of brand every day. 

Branding

Brand is what you stand for in the mind of your audience. If your audience is a group of customers, it’s the thing you mean to your customers. If it’s future employers, it’s what you mean to them. It’s a crystallized meaning of what you uniquely bring to your audience. 

When you spray a bunch of ideas out, it’s harder for your audience to understand. It’s in our interest for our audience to be able to understand because they’ll be more like to remember us, like us, and talk about us. 

It’s up to us to make it easy by distilling it for them.

Empathy

We want to empathize and understand what it’s like to be our customer. You and your company are not the center of the universe for that customer. They have many other things going on besides your value proposition. 

When you crystallize it into something specific, it uses their worldview rather than their worldview. It makes it easier for them to buy what you’re selling.

Sometimes as businesses, we forget that we’re not selling to a machine or an inanimate object. We’re selling to humans with joys, sorrows, scarcities, worries, and pride. When they feel seen they are more likely to bond with you and want to do business with you. 

Deconstructing brand

One of Lindsay’s motives for writing her book was people’s widely varying definitions of brand. For some people, it’s the name of the business. For others, it’s the logo. Others assume it’s related to marketing budget or television advertising.

 She concluded that the concept was becoming problematic, and she wanted to demystify it. 

There’s some merit to all of those ideas, but she needed to bust the myths about what brand isn’t. Otherwise, we’ll keep having puzzling conversations where people aren’t speaking the same language. 

9 Criteria of ironclad brand

Not all brand is created equally. You have a brand whether you deliberately created it or allowed it to be passively created. 

If you aren’t actively choosing the meaning, you won’t have the brand position you want to have.

  1. A brand needs to be big enough to matter to your customer.
  2. A brand must be narrow enough that you own it. 
  3. Your brand must be asymmetrical so it uses your lopsided advantage to position you with your customer. 
  4.  Your brand must be empathetic enough to address a deeply relevant human need. 
  5. It must be optimally distinct so it strikes a balance between being a familiar promise while also being novel. 
  6. It’s a balance between functional and emotional so that it’s rationally meaningful to your customer but also emotionally resonant. 
  7. Your brand must be a sharp-edged promise that is simple and singular. 
  8. It must have teeth and be demonstrably true. 
  9. Your brand must deliver on time, consistently, every time. 

Vision

When you think of sharp objects as they relate to your vision, those things are easier to see. Your eyes have to do less work. 

Ease is good because when you ask less of your audience they are more likely to learn and remember. An example of this is the fact that people around the world associate the Volvo brand with safety. Same thing with Prius, because people think of fuel-efficient cars. 

Buick doesn’t have this sharp edge in its branding. If you’re the CEO of Buick, how do you feel when your audience doesn’t know what your brand means? Who even is the audience?

The Buick salespeople have to do much more work than the Volvo or Prius salespeople. 

Wide net

We assume that if we can keep the door open without narrowing our message to a target customer that we’ll appeal to everyone. The reality is that it’s an illusion of an opportunity. 

The more an entity puts a stake in the ground, the more authentic they are perceived to be. Customers won’t trust companies who won’t take a stand on anything. 

People respect you more when you demonstrate what you’re optimizing for. 

The other thing is that developing a specific message might turn away the people you shouldn’t be serving anyway, but that’s ok because it’s time and money you could devote to the people who are your target customers. 

Mystique

Remove the mystique of branding. You don’t have to have a good handle on branding in order to intentionally craft your own brand. 

Choose with crystal clarity who your target customer is, but don’t just rely on demographic observations. What are they like? What keeps them up at night? What do they value in life? 

This doesn’t mean you don’t sell to other people. It just means that you optimize with humility on your way to forging an ironclad brand. 

“Forging An Ironclad Brand” episode resources

Grab a copy of Lindsay’s book Forging An Ironclad Brand. She also has a free giveaway on www.ironcladbrandstrategy.com. You can grab the workbook that Lindsay adapted from her book. It’s a supplement that provides a step-by-step workbook-style guide to building your own brand strategy. 

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

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. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Stephen A. Hart, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Marketing, FSMSDC

TSE 1091: Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing

Stephen A. Hart, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Marketing, FSMSDC

When you’re looking to grow your business or your brand, it’s important that you recognize the three things small businesses get wrong when marketing.

We’re at the Florida State Minority Development Council expo visiting with my friend Stephen A. Hart. He’s a brand alignment strategist who helps entrepreneurs grow an amazing brand that is authentic, relatable, and profitable.

Mistake #1: Overlooking messaging

Many people hear the word branding and they think of logos or designs. But pretty websites don’t sell things. Words do.

People get unnecessarily caught up on design but what they need to focus on is clear messaging. You have to clarify your message so that customers will listen.

Be deliberate about articulating what you do. In order to do that, you must understand who you’re serving.

Too many people think they are serving everyone with their product or service but that isn’t the case.

If I’m speaking to grandma and I’m speaking to my niece, we’re not having the same conversation. The language is different.

If you understand that you’re speaking to a particular group of people, there is a language that connects to that person. When you understand their pain points and their demographics, you can communicate your message about how your product or service solves a problem.

Dialing in

Stephen recalled a realtor who focused on selling to millennials and young couples. That’s who she was serving, but her message didn’t reach those people. She was trying to serve everyone.

Dial your message in. Understand who you’re truly serving. When you do, your message doesn’t have to be pitchy about your product or service. Your content can create a connection between you and your community.

Then your community will share it with others in the space.

Messaging isn’t a static process. It’s dynamic. You’ll constantly be optimizing your message.

Your brain

We lack trust in those we connect and do business with.

Understand that your brain is trying to survive and thrive. Within that, there are three things it’s trying to accomplish.

  1. You want to make money or save money.
  2. You want to gain status.
  3. You want to associate with a tribe.

Your brain is also trying to conserve calories. So if your website or your collateral is too busy, your audience will tune it out.

For example, how many emails do you receive in a day? Most of them get deleted because the messaging didn’t appeal to you.

It isn’t a design or branding that gets your attention. It’s the message.

Mistake #2: Neglecting web presence

Your website is your digital home, and first impressions last. It allows you to redirect traffic to your products or services or other online avenues.

Studies show that 57 percent of people are afraid to recommend a business because of its website.

Decisions are emotional so if your website doesn’t inspire confidence, you won’t be able to convert the people who show up there.

You must take care of your website, and specifically your home page. Get a good solid web design.

Mistake #3: Lacking content

You must have a presence on social media specifically for businesses. You also have to be on LinkedIn.

Sharing content on LinkedIn generates so much more organic traffic than other platforms. It’s a business-related social channel. As result, the income and quality of the people you’re engaging with there.

There are more than 9 billion impressions on LinkedIn every week, which amounts to 468 billion impressions annually. Of those, only about 3 million users are actually sharing content, which means there’s a lot of room available. And it’s all free.

Don’t worry as much about buying ads on Facebook. Worry about who your audience is. Realize, too, that about 98 percent of your leads will come from LinkedIn.

Video and long-form content are your friends on LinkedIn. Write longer posts. The sweet spot is 1,900.

Also write how-to and list posts to bring awareness to your brand.

Be creative

If no one is looking at your business, you’ll never thrive. You must create content of value and place it where the customers are. Put it in front of their eyeballs where they can’t dismiss it.

Have a solid brand presence online. Avoid the three things small businesses get wrong when marketing.

Branding course

Stephen created an online course called Brand You Academy that allows him to serve people and help with branding. It’s a 6-week online course that walks people through Stephen’s 15-year experience in branding.

When people Google you in 2019, whatever appears in your result will either leave people more or less inclined to do business with you.

People who sign up for the course are getting lifetime access to the course.

You can also connect with Stephen on his website and everywhere on social at Stephen A. Hart.

Isolation

The wisdom and the knowledge you gain from relationships is invaluable.

The Florida State Minority Development Council is here to help you grow your business. Your goal is to make money, so you must align yourself with other people who understand what you’re trying to do.

“Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing” episode resources

You can connect with Stephen at his website and everywhere on social @Stephen A Hart. You can connect with the Florida State Minority Development Council for more information about the council and its offerings.

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

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. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Tom Pisello, Sales Conversation, Donald Kelly

TSE 1076: Holding Prescriptive Conversations With Buyers

 

problem solving, The Sales Evangelist

Sellers can guide prospective customers through the purchasing journey by holding prescriptive conversations with buyers. 

Tom Pisello launched into the topic of prescriptives because he was a product manager who was launching products in the marketplace, with a sales force that had never engaged these particular customers.

In an attempt to help buyers make decisions, he created prescriptive tools that would help customers analyze their existing situation and compare it to the new product.

Buyer frustration

The B2B purchase decision is more challenging than ever for buyers because there are six to 10 decision makers in every decision. Buyers spend incredible amounts of time on their own gathering, processing, and deconflicting information.

And 94 percent of buyers have participated in a buying cycle that just evaporated. Buyers are frustrated. About 84 percent report that the buyers’ journey is taking longer than they expected.

There’s a big opportunity for sellers as well as a challenge for them to overcome: to help buyers through a journey that has become much tougher and longer than ever before.

The problem is that most sellers show up to meetings talking about themselves: about the company, the product, the services, themselves, and the customers they are working with. Then when the competition shows up for their meeting, they do the same thing.

They all sound exactly the same, so the buying process becomes a shootout.

Flip it around

Instead of talking about the typical things, talk about the challenges the prospect might be having. Then, use that to do some teaching about the challenges you’re seeing at other companies.

Then, pivot to a Socratic approach. Ask probing, diagnosing questions to identify whether your prospects see themselves in the other customers you described. Do a little bit of cooperative discovery.

If you sell office furniture, start by sharing current research about what makes a good office setup. Is open office the way to go? What about standup desks? Instead of pitching yourself or your product, share information about productive office environments.

Talk about the challenges of collaboration and flexible work environments. Mention health and engagement. Talk provocatively about these challenges and how they affect your prospect.

The book The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson tackles this approach well.

Share examples

This leads naturally into you sharing stories and examples about how you’ve helped other customers with their office furniture needs and about how successful they’ve been as a result. From there you’ll use the Socratic method to dig deep.

Be careful how much of a challenge you present early on because it’s possible that you haven’t earned the right to do that. Start with something provocative, but then pivot away from the research to your questions.

The goal is to move into a collaboration with the customer.

Guide the customer

Buyers prefer this process because you’re solving a problem and uncovering problems they didn’t even realize they had. But even for issues they knew they had, you’re putting some numbers to them. You’re clarifying how their employees will be impacted by the purchase of office furniture.

That’s why pivoting from research to personal is important. You’re putting it into a perspective your customer can understand and telling the customer exactly what the problem is costing and how you can help solve it.

You’re helping them to prioritize all of these challenges and becoming a prescriptive consultant to them.

As a seller, it’s your moral obligation to act as a guide to the customer.

Because the buyer’s journey has gotten complicated, you need to provide a map of sorts so the customer knows what to expect. Then be prepared to proactively provide information to the buyer along the way.

If you know the company will ask for a business case, proactively provide it. Don’t wait for the customer to ask.

Proactive sellers

The buyer’s journey is hard. As you’re proactively providing content, you can also use smart sales enablement systems to track whether the content is being consumed. If they aren’t consuming the information, they may not be as far along in the process as you think they are.

You’ve got to anticipate every step so that you’ll have the visibility to know whether you’re progressing or not.

Bring up your buyer’s objections before they become objections. Realize that your prospects spend two-thirds of their time gathering, processing, and deep conflicting. Streamline that for them when you can.

Inspiring content

Marketing plays a vital role in putting together inspirational content.

We must identify the content that will inspire our customers. We’re not talking about content that is only about the products or services. It must be shorter, based on the challenges they are facing.

Then we need to enable sales to use the Socratic questioning.

Look back to your last presentation to determine whether you led with information about the product or service or whether you addressed challenges.

“Prescriptive Conversations With Buyers” episode resources

You can connect with Tom at tpisello@mediafly.com. Check out his blog Evolving Sellers From Pitch to Purpose or grab a copy of his book The Frugalnomics Survival Guide. Keep an eye out for his newest book Evolved Selling™: Optimizing Sales Enablement in the Age of FRUGALNOMICS.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Lee Salz, Sales Differentiation, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1048: Sales Differentiation

Lee Salz, Sales Differentiation, The Sales Evangelist

Sales differentiation helps salespeople win more deals at the price point they want, and today Lee Salz talks about building a framework that will allow you to personalize your sales.

Sales reps in every industry must differentiate themselves in today’s market. It’s crucial for sellers to have room to “color” the sales process.

Origins

When Lee was a kid, he had a job as a pickup and delivery driver for dry cleaning. The guy he worked for didn’t own a dry cleaning business; he simply knew it was a hassle to drop off and pick up your clothes.

He developed a contract with a couple of different dry cleaning firms and he charged a premium for the service. The idea took off, and Lee was intrigued by the idea that he was able to add a 40 percentage point premium by differentiating the service.

He didn’t actually put the idea into play until his 50th birthday after he had learned a lot about the industry.

Philosophy of differentiation

Lee said the philosophy translates for every possible seller. No matter what industry you’re in, what size company you’re in, whether you sell products or service, whether you sell B2B or B2C, and it doesn’t even matter what methodology you use in your sales.

The premise is simple: win more deals at the prices you want.

Differentiation around what you sell

Differentiation around what you sell relies on the ability to translate your passion to the person sitting on the other side of the desk.

If you can’t communicate your own passion about your differentiators to the person on the other side of the desk, you might as well not have anyone sitting there.

The idea is to build passion and help salespeople communicate it in a meaningful way. You want your customers to believe they must have what you’re selling.

It’s a responsibility that falls to marketing, business owners, and sales leaders.

Marketing and sales differentiation

Marketing differentiation is one-directional communication for the masses. Think trade shows and websites. It screams to the marketplace, “Hey! Look at us! We’re here.”

It demonstrates all the available potential.

Sales differentiation is two-directional communication with an individual, specific buyer.

It takes all of the potential and personalizes it to an individual specific buyer.

Everyone buys for a different reason so if you leave all the capabilities out there and rely on that to drive buyers, you’ll fail.

You must have salespeople who gather all the potential and bring it to the individual level.

Add those two things together and that meets the definition of solution.

Two differentiation workshops

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling.

Make a list of your most common competitors who also sell what you sell. Work with your team to do the analysis.

Answer two questions:

  • Why do you win?
  • Why do they win?

Make a list of the decision influencers, the people commonly involved in the decision to buy what you sell.

Again, answer two questions:

  • What is keeping them up at night relative to your offering?
  • Given what is keeping them awake, how can you help?

If you engage your team in these two workshops, you’ll get a series of differentiators that will serve as raw material to work with.

From there, develop a communication strategy that helps you build passion around those differentiators.

Differentiation around how you sell

Every interaction between a seller and a buyer provides an opportunity to offer meaningful value that your competition doesn’t provide.

Consider this: Would you prefer a restaurant with outstanding food and mediocre service or mediocre food and outstanding service?

Most people will choose the outstanding service.

That means you could have the best product features and functions but your failure to differentiate how you sell could cause you to lose.

From that very first phone call to the time they sign on the dotted line, you have an opportunity to build a great experience.

Customer service vs account management

Don’t equate the two as the same.

Customer service occurs when your client asks you for something. The measurement of success should be timeliness and accuracy in the response.

It’s the proactive set of activities and behaviors that you’ll provide that adds value in the relationship that has nothing to do with the product.

Look at every touch point to find every opportunity to do something different that your client will find meaningful.

Recognizing your competition

Your true competition exists in your battle to earn face time with your prospects.

No executive has the responsibility to meet with salespeople every hour on the hour. In order for us to earn that meeting, we have to create intrigue in the first moment.

Imagine operating the way the police do. When they knock on your door to ask questions about a crime, they don’t randomly choose your home for a conversation. They follow a trail of evidence that leads them to you.

They’ve put together a theory, and you should do the same with your sales efforts.

Instead of blindly calling people and sending emails, put together a sales crime theory, based on the answer to this question: why should they want to have a conversation with us right now? Instead of asking why we should talk with them, ask why they should want to have a conversation with us.

Put together a messaging strategy based on your research that will help them recognize what you have to offer.

Sales Differentiation resources

Lee’s book Sales Differentiation:19 Powerful Strategies to Win More Deals at the Prices You Want is available in bookstore, at your favorite online book sources, at Amazon, and a variety of other places.

You can also go to salesdifferentiation.com and register for Lee’s video series. The videos are typically only available to workshop clients but he’s making them available to the people who purchase the book. Go to the website, click on “bonus,” fill out the form, and start taking advantage of the videos.

“Sales Differentiation” episode resources

This episode is 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.

This episode is also brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If 2018 wasn’t the best year for you, check out TSE Certified Sales Training Program. We 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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Garrett Mehrguth, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1046: You Need to Worry More About Your Champion Than Your Decision Maker

Garrett Mehrguth, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistSometimes sales professionals get it backward, and they fail to understand the need to worry more about your champion than your decision maker.

Today Garrett Mehrguth talks to us about the importance of your champion in your sales deals, and why we shouldn’t lose sight of his importance.

Sometimes there’s great value in changing the defaults we learn as salespeople. We tend to become so obsessed with the decision makers that we overlook the champions, who are arguably the most important person in the whole scenario.

How decisions are made

Salespeople sometimes focus so greatly on getting a close that we neglect the fundamental truths involved in selling. In fact, we alienate people and we become our own worst enemy.

It isn’t price; it’s me. Most often, we are the reason that deals don’t close. It’s a direct result of who we speak to, who we don’t speak to, the way we end a conversation, the way we treat people, how well we prepare.

We must have transparency and honesty to admit that often we’re the reason we don’t close a deal.

Salespeople are quick to take credit for successes and slow to take responsibility for failures. #SalesTruth

Garrett believes that if we would build our resources and our marketing toward decision makers, we would drastically improve our conversion rates.

How deals emerge

Once a decision-maker recognizes he has a need, he might send a subordinate to a conference to talk to vendors. He might instruct the person to get three quotes and then bring his two favorites to the decision-maker. Once that’s done, the two will make a decision together.

He might suggest filling out 10 forms on the way to finding three good options. The pair will whittle those to two good options before making a decision.

The problem is that if you speak over the champion or speak through the champion or speak around the champion, you alienate your greatest ally.

Why you need the champion

The champion is your greatest asset while you’re not in the room, so if you alienate that person, you’re losing an important ally. You alienate the person who could potentially go to bat for you once you hang up the phone.

Good decision-makers make decisions by asking the champion whether or not he could work with that agency. So who truly puts their butt on the line?

It isn’t the decision-maker, because he has a fall guy.

The champion is the one who needs the information, the emotional support, and the resources to make a good decision. If you honor the champion with amazing intro calls, lots of sales resources, and well-prepared meetings, you give him the ammo to pitch you internally.

Why the decision-maker shouldn’t be your focus

In five years of working with marketing teams, Garrett has never heard anyone mention targeting the champion. Instead, we treat decision-makers as though they have some kind of supernatural power.

The decision-maker is never the point of contact. If he isn’t the point of contact, and he isn’t the one who will be working with the agency you choose, he isn’t the one to target.

Remember that everyone is selling to the decision-maker, including the champion. The decision-maker’s job is to discern the best fit for his champion. So even if he likes a certain agency better, if that agency can’t work with his champion, it won’t matter.

Deal retention is far more important than closing deals. Even if you manage to close a deal, if you don’t treat the champion well, you won’t renew it. You won’t get referrals from it.

In Garrett’s mind, there isn’t a single aspect of the process where the decision-maker is more important than the champion.

Avoiding absolutes

He acknowledges, too, that absolutes are dangerous. It’s certainly not true that the decision-maker should never, ever be considered.

Instead, let’s work to change the fundamental hypothesis that we as marketers and sales reps enter relationships with.

If we spend more time building rapport with the point of contact, you will drastically improve your close rate because you are building confidence and comfort with the most important voice in the room.

You need a champion who will give you a voice during moments when you aren’t in the room because that’s often when deals are decided. You won’t close $150,000 contracts while you’re in the room. It happens behind closed doors, and you won’t likely be there when it does.

Shifting focus to champions

Give your champions resources to bolster their confidence. Make that your primary goal.

Your champion is likely scared to death of going to his boss with a recommendation. His discernment and character will be judged by the referral he makes. Anytime you give a referral to someone, your own judgment is on the line.

Challenge things that other people won’t do. Put your neck on the line by offering evidence and claims that protect the champion when he goes to his boss. You take the risk so your champion doesn’t have to.

It will give him the confidence to recommend your agency and it will differentiate you from the competition.

In order to be successful, do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

Building confidence

Garrett’s company operates on annual contracts, and they give the point of contact room to act if he doesn’t feel completely comfortable in the relationship. By backing up their claims, it gives the champion room to cover himself if he makes a bad choice in hiring them.

If you create alignment with the champion, you’ll create alignment with the decision-maker. At the end of the day, the decision-makers just have to make more money than you’re charging them.

The champion has to have a day-to-day relationship with you. You can’t neglect that relationship.

It’s why you must develop resources that speak directly to your champion.

Even when it’s time to renew, the champion will get to decide whether to continue working with your agency. Regardless of the data, if the relationship isn’t there, the deal won’t renew.

Change your perspective to focus on champions, and your volume will drastically improve. There are far more champions looking for vendors than there are decision-makers.

You’ll also increase your deal retention and reduce churn.

Change your prospecting and marketing to focus on the champions, you’ll increase your at-bats and your close rate.

“You Need to Worry More About Your Champion Than Your Decision Maker” episode resources

You can connect with Garrett on LinkedIn @garrettmehrguth, email him at gmehrguth@directiveconsulting.com, or connect with him on Twitter @gmehrguth.

This episode is 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.

This episode is also brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If 2018 wasn’t the best year for you, check out TSE Certified Sales Training Program. We 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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sean Mcdade, Donald Kelly, peoplemetrics.com, People Metric, Prospect Journey

TSE 1028: Your Customer Journey Starts with the Prospect Experience

 

So often, as sales reps, we neglect to realize that the customer journey starts with the prospect experience.

Sean McDade, PhD, is the founder and CEO of PeopleMetrics; a software and services company that helps organizations measure and create a better customer experience by listening to their customers and prospects.  Sean is also the author of “Listen or Die: 40 Lessons that turn Customer Feedback into Gold,” a book about how to listen to your customers, clients and prospects in order to create a better experience for them.

Customer experience

Any time that a company interacts with a customer or prospect, they are providing a customer experience. It could be a digital experience on a website, an in-person experience through a meeting with a sales rep, or customer experiences via contact centers or online chats.

A great company is one that consciously manages those interactions to create positive experiences for their customers.

As a sales rep, the experience you give to your prospects is very important. The prospect’s interaction with a sales rep sets the tone for the experience he can expect as a customer.

This is especially true if you are selling B2B products, software, professional services, or any high-end consumer products that a prospect is likely to spend significant dollars on to purchase.

A sales rep can increase the value in the sales process by answering questions in detail, by solving problems, and by reducing pain for the prospect.

The metric used to measure customer experience is substantially higher for sales reps who add value over those who do not.

When a prospect feels that he was lied to, or misled, at the beginning, it is difficult to recover. The great sales reps are the ones who set the tone for a great customer or client experience over the long-term.

As for the sales reps who are not setting a positive tone – Sean believes they are creating the very real possibility that the client will churn in the future instead.

Marketing vs sales

Marketing sets the brand promise. They set the expectations but it is up to the sales reps to bring it to life.

The prospects will remember their conversations with sales reps long after they’ve forgotten the marketing campaign. The sales rep has more credibility and is more effective, as a result, in setting a positive – or negative – tone with the prospect.

Positive prospect experience

PeopleMetrics measures various attributes by sending a survey to each prospect to determine the experiences that the reps create.

In this way, Sean has found the prospects always feel that value has been added to their experience whenever a sales rep is able to provide these five things:

  • Be prepared. A great sales rep is one who is super-prepared. They know the prospect inside and out; the reps don’t ask questions that are easily found online, for example.
  • Be comfortable answering questions. A great sales rep understands their prospect’s situation and can suggest solutions.
  • Be a good listener. A great sales rep listens more than he talks and will really understand the needs of the prospect as a result.
  • Be knowledgeable about your product. Be able to answer questions beyond what is already available online.
  • Be proactive. Be timely and follow-up.

Referrals are key, especially in the B2B market.  At that level, buyers actually seek out referrals from other buyers before making big decisions.

The consultative sale rep

As sales reps, we sometimes feel as though we are simply taking orders when, in truth, we should aim to be more of a consultant for the buyer. The company we work for should be one that values the consultative element: providing training, experience, and hands-on opportunities for the sales reps to really learn the product well.

As an example, Sean has a great rep at his company who is generally tasked with opening doors by understanding the prospect’s needs, identifying problems, and introducing solutions. On his own time, the rep learned the product inside and out to the point where he can now read the reports the analysts write for similar-type prospects. He knows the industry, the language, and the company so well that he is extremely credible as a result.  The value that the company placed on his training continues to pay off.

Unfortunately, a lot of smaller companies are unable to provide training, so it is up to the rep to become consultative through proactive measures. Learn as much as you can about the product and the industry and talk to account managers who are servicing similar products, etc.

Learning your customer

As sales reps, we don’t need our buyers to know all about our business. Rather, we need to learn as much as possible about theirs. We need to be able to help them see their blind spots and identify their weaknesses so that we can create a great prospect experience by providing solutions.

Nothing annoys a buyer more than having to answer questions simply to bring a sales rep up to speed, especially when it is something the sales rep should already understand. Instead, if you can offer the buyer insight into the many ways that your product can reduce their pain, or further them in their careers, you are already ahead of the game. You’ve got the inside track.

It reminds me of a story where a sales rep friend of mine was shadowing a more established rep. The established sales rep, however, was also a really cocky and arrogant guy who didn’t feel the need to do any research on his prospects before a call. He was confident that his knowledge of the product would be sufficient to land the sale.

Long story short: Because the sales rep failed to take the time to research an acronym that he had seen on the prospect’s website, the sales rep misused the acronym and was unable to recover. It was a horrible experience that could have been prevented with a little research.

The statistics

PeopleMetrics researched 800 B2B buyers and discovered some fascinating reasons as to why they buy or don’t buy.

  • Seventy-eight percent of B2B buyers actively seek recommendations from their trusted colleagues as their first step toward a purchase. They rarely look online or make a choice based solely on an interaction with a sales rep.
  • Seventy-six percent of the time, the recommended company wins the contract. The losing providers, on the other hand, are almost never recommended.
  • Furthermore, the sales rep makes a huge difference as to whether or not a company is recommended. Sixty-one percent of B2B buyers that bought something report that the sales rep provided high value: he was consultative and he was prepared. He provided a positive prospect experience.
  • And here’s the kicker: the sales rep that provided the high-value experience for the B2B buyer got bigger contracts – up to $100,000 more within the 800 buyers.

The champion cycle

Seventy percent of B2B buyers who experience a high-value meeting recommended the provider to others. It is a cycle that goes around and around and around. It all comes down to the experience that the sales reps have with the prospects.

Sean highly recommends reaching out to your prospects after interactions with your reps. Ask them what they did well and what they could do better. At PeopleMetrics, the survey takes less than a minute and they regularly see a 75% response rate.  

Was the meeting valuable? Was the rep prepared?

And most importantly – do you have any concerns related to moving forward? This is a beautiful question because, as sales reps, we waste a lot of time chasing leads that are going nowhere. This question offers a non-confrontational way for a prospect to let us know if our product is not a good fit. Then we can focus our efforts on prospects who are.

E-Courage

The survey is sent to every decision maker in the group who attended the meeting.  Sean does not recommend, however, having the sales manager call the prospect with the same survey questions as it is unlikely they will provide completely truthful answers.

People are more likely to provide honest feedback via digital means than in person.

The Net promoter question

“How likely would you be to recommend our product or services to a colleague?”

Sean is working with a company that is taking this one step further. Their sales reps call and thank every single customer who provided a 9, or 10. This simple act has resulted in even more referrals!

The mindset of most sales leaders is very hard-charging, or maybe marketing owns the customer experience side of things. Once the sales leader recognizes customer experience as a revenue-generating opportunity, he is more likely to implement it.

Sean recalls a client who left a meeting feeling very confident that he had landed the sale only to receive lukewarm feedback.  As a result, he was able to get on the phone and determine where a misunderstanding had occurred. He was able to turn it around and make the sale.

PeopleMetrics

Valuable prospect experiences can be easily and systematically incorporated in very low stress ways. At PeopleMetrics, they are super passionate about the prospect and customer experience.  Their software automatically sends the survey to your prospects. Once prospects complete the survey, the company sends an email alert of results along with recommendations on how best to proceed.

PeopleMetrics also provides the ability to focus on which reps are doing well, and which ones might need more assistance. It is a complete solution for improving the prospect/customer experience by helping companies listen to their clients.

The prospect experience is the key to delivering a great customer experience that can hopefully last a lifetime.

Take the guesswork out of it.  Know how your sales reps are interacting with your prospects.

“Customer Journey Starts With the Prospect Experience” episode resources

You can reach out to Sean via email at Sean.mcdade@peoplemetrics.com , or find him on Twitter @smcdade. Learn more about the company at Www.peoplemetrics.com.

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.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in March.

This episode is 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 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Customer Experience, Sales, Donald Kelly

TSE 1027: 3 Simple Things You Can Do To Offer Exceptional Customer Experiences

Donald Kelly, Customer Experience, Sales, Donald KellyWhen you’re working to stand out from the pack, there are 3 simple things you can do to offer exceptional customer experiences.

In this day and age, it is easier now that ever before to stand out by offering a great experience because so many others, quite frankly, are not.

We can get almost anything we want quickly and easily. That focus on speed, however, eventually causes the quality of the customer experience to decline. Think about it. So many organizations focus on speed in order to beat their competition or to attain the numbers, that they neglect to put their customers first.

While it is certainly possible to have both, it takes effort.

The bar has been set low today. When we focus on the speed at which we deliver our product or service, or focus only on finding and getting new customers, we neglect the people we already have.  

The bucket analogy

We neglect the people we already have that are easier to sell to … the ones who can give us referrals … the ones we can upsell ….We neglect them and waste our time running back and forth, here and there, instead.

It is the bucket analogy all over again. We work hard to fill our buckets by bringing people in only to have them fall straight out the holes in the bottom. We need to be sure to plug those holes so that our hard work doesn’t drain away.

One of the things we can do to show love and care and respect to our current customers is to woo them, right from the start, with a great experience.

What happens too often is that we knock on doors, blast emails, and get their attention with great marketing messages. We sell them on a dream or a vision, and we deliver our product quickly.

But we neglect to consider our client’s experience.

Exceptional customer experiences

Your client’s name

Dale Carnegie once said that “a person’s name is to him/her, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” It’s true.  We can be in a large crowd but if someone calls our name, we immediately turn around. We want to know who knows us.

Using your client’s name in conversations creates a more personalized experience. It is as simple as “What can I help you with today, Amanda?” I know for sure, that if you are going to call my company or connect with me, I will respond much better if you use my name.

Be sure to address your client the way he prefers to be addressed. For example, does he sign his emails as ‘Dave’ or ‘David’? If you aren’t sure, just ask. The simple task of asking about something that is important to him shows that you care.  

How your clients make money

If you plan to teach them how to save money, or how to bring in more money, you best know how they already do it.

This is why it is important to study how various industries work and operate. If your client is a nursing home, for example, a simple Google search can help you understand if the client makes more money via patient stays or from insurance payments or Medicare payments.

Having a basic understanding makes the conversation so much easier.

Personalized interactions

Send a thank you note at the very end of your conversation, even if it is the first meeting.

“Dave, it was amazing to connect with you last week” or “I look forward to talking to you again soon, Amanda.” It doesn’t have to be elaborate or lengthy. In fact, what you say in the note isn’t as important as the fact that you took the time to send one.

It is great to send an email as well, but a thank you note demonstrates a higher level of care. It gives an added touch.

Additionally, the thank you note will be delivered 3 or 4 days after your conversation. It serves as a nice reminder of the conversation, and it helps you stand out.

You can also personalize your presentations. Use your client’s logo and tagline in every presentation you make for them. It is another added touch that shows you care and that you are willing to take the extra step. It will help you stand out significantly over your competition.

If you can combine these 3 simple things that offer exceptional customer experience with the delivery of amazing speed, you are going to be totally fine. I’m sure of it.

“Exceptional Customer Experiences” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in April.

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.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Hannah Shamji , Copy Writing, Customer Interview

TSE 1026: How To Do High-Quality Customer Interviews

Hannah Shamji , Copy Writing, Customer InterviewSellers must understand what drives their customers and their core needs in order to help them be more effective, and conducting high-quality customer interviews is an important piece in that process.

Hannah Shamji is a conversion copywriter who has a degree in Psychology and training in counseling. She likes to merge her understanding of human behavior through customer research with producing an effective customer interview. It brings about accurate feedback and insight and provides a valuable asset to your business.        

Challenges of Customer Interviews

Focus groups are a popular way of conducting interviews, but Hannah has found them to be time-consuming and not very effective in getting pure, unbiased answers. When we ask the wrong questions, we often get empty answers.

There are time constraints in creating the right questions to ask. There is a difference in just writing a question and coming up with a question that sparks the emotions of the customer to draw out the purity of their response.

Why Do Customer Interviews

Speak to the emotional drivers of your audience. This helps bridge the gap between what you think might sell your product or service and what will actually sell it.

Doing these customer interviews correctly will help you answer the questions of what you should sell, how you should position it, what people care about, and what features or aspects you should focus on.

In the past, I’ve done things just because they seemed like a good idea rather than being sensitive to whether it was something people wanted.

An example of this was for a college class, my classmates and I had the opportunity to create an on-campus business. What created excitement for us ended up being a complete failure, and ours was one of the first companies in the school’s history to lose that amount of money.

We were more concerned with our own interests rather than what the rest of the student body was concerned with. This is why it is so imperative to find out the products and services that appeal to your audience.

Starting the Customer Interview

Find your target audience and connect. This audience could be an existing customer you’ll propose something different to or a prospect you aren’t sure will be a good fit.

Figure out the target market and pursue it.

When Donald first started out in the business industry, he worked for several small companies that did not have a target audience and they just wanted him to go out and sell. The mentality of not having a specific audience to market to is not a good sales strategy.

Once you establish who you want to market to, the kinds of questions you ask are imperative.

Avoid asking “why” questions. Research shows that when people are asked “why,” they feel like they have to justify or validate their answer, which can lead to defensive answers that may or may not be accurate.

Instead, ask the customer questions directly relating to the product or service.

Follow leads

Ask questions to understand the customer better.

This can shed light on how the customer can benefit by investing in what you have to offer.

Define an anchor. What do you want to accomplish or gain from this conversation?

Follow the leads. Ask things that correspond to what the customer is discussing and try to bring about different responses to the same topic. Don’t be afraid to go deeper with responses.

Listen for hints about what motivates your customer: why is he interested? Why was he willing to make the investment in your product or service? What sets you apart from competitors?

To those managers working to position their companies using messaging, Hannah offers the following:

  1. Avoid pitching your product or service. This keeps the customer feelings unbiased and honest.
  2. Use these conversations as pure research to better your business.
  3. Unbiased customer answers can lead to a successful, productive and efficiently-run business.

High-Quality Customer Interviews Episode Resources

You can reach Hannah Shamji through her website at www.hannahshamji.com. She provides a guide with do’s and don’ts for customer interviews on her website.

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.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in March.

This episode is 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 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Brian Manning, Donald Kelly, PatientPing, hitting your quarterly number

TSE 1016: How to Deal With The Pressure of Hitting Your Quarterly Number

Brian Manning, Donald Kelly, PatientPing, hitting your quarterly numberWe’ve all experienced that sinking feeling in sales as we near the end of another month … so how do you deal with the pressure of hitting your quarterly number? It’s not easy, especially without the proper guidance.

Brian Manning, SVP & Head of Growth at PatientPing, works to help startups grow their ideas and he is here today to share insight on how to deal with the pressure of hitting your quarterly numbers.

PatientPing is a care coordination platform that helps healthcare providers collaborate with one another on shared platforms. Brian has been with PatientPing for three years now. He oversees their sales, marketing, government affairs, and partnerships.

From a sales leader standpoint, Brian thinks of quarterly numbers in terms of the Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) for each layer of the business: the overall company ARR, the sales team ARR and the individual sales rep ARR.

Will, Should, Could

Sales reps often feel the pressure to perform and, as a leader, Brian likes to have his reps 3x their pipeline as they enter the quarter. As the quarter goes on, however, and things become more sophisticated, Brian moves on to the ‘Will, Should, Could’ method.

This method involves marking each deal throughout the quarter as Will Close, Should Close and Could Close.  Wills usually equal about 95%, while Should is at 70% and Could is closer to 50%. The Sales Operation Team does this for each week for each rep to provide a projection for the quarter.

In this way, at any given week, the reps have a pretty good sense of where they stand in relation to their targets. Brian has found that the projections are smart and reliable.

The detective mindset

When sales reps feel pressure to hit their quarterly numbers, it is usually a result of a failure somewhere in the sales funnel. There might not be enough leads, the presentations may not convert into proposals, or the deals may be stuck in contract too long.

It is usually one specific thing that slows them down. It almost takes a detective mindset to figure it out sometimes, but it can be done.

A key factor in reducing the pressure of hitting your quarterly numbers begins with the numbers that are expected of the sales rep.

The rep needs to be comfortable with those numbers.

If they do not see a path toward achieving the goal set in front of them, they need to alert their manager right away – before the quarter even starts.

It should not be viewed as a sign of weakness, nor should a rep fail to come forward because of pride.  

As a manager, Brian knows it is important to listen to his team. The territory could be bad, the ramp might be too quick, or the training may need to be improved.

He does, however, require an intelligent and well-thought-out conversation rather than simple excuses.

You never want to send a rep out to achieve a quota he doesn’t feel he can meet. It’s not healthy for anyone.

With their detective hats on, the manager and the rep can then work together to specifically analyze the territory, the opportunity, and the various stages that the deals are in.

It has the benefit of making the sales rep more effective which, in turn, increases the likelihood of hitting the numbers in subsequent quarters.

Empathy

When the pressure is high or the number is high, it is especially important to take care of your health. Brian believes that nothing is insurmountable when you are feeling healthy and well.

A seller under too much pressure – one with any type of resentment towards the product or the company  – will not be a seller who gives his best. It will translate into his performance and affect the clients and the sales.

When a salesperson puts his energy into dealing with the things that he can’t control – an imperfect product or lack of marketing team support, for example – the salesperson will always lose.

In Brian’s experience, the number one difference between a great seller and a not-so-great seller is that the energy of the great seller goes to the areas where he has control. Don’t waste energy on things that will not help you reach your numbers, or succeed.

Your energy, as a salesperson, needs to go into selling under the conditions you are in. This does not mean, however, that you should hesitate to flag issues. If there is something wrong with the product or the process, it should certainly be brought to the attention of management.

There will always be that one guy who wants to complain regardless of the situation. But those reps that can focus and channel their energy into doing what is best for their client are the reps that will succeed.

Transparency

There is a seesaw to transparency. When a rep is doing really well and is on track to reach his quota, his manager will see it and will know the rep is doing fine. There is no reason to stress.

But if the rep isn’t doing well or the numbers are low, transparency needs to increase. Brian suggests something as simple as a weekly email to management to address what is working and what is not working. Being really honest and vulnerable in this way provides management with the information, and the opportunity, to improve the system. It helps everyone in the long run.

Many of us don’t like to admit when we are having trouble but it is always easier to address a problem when it is small rather than waiting until it is too big to handle.

Brian has found that, generally speaking, most sales reps that want to work for a start-up are self-starters. They are the ones who read sales books and listen to podcasts to further their own learning.

Horizontal learning

Over time, as a company grows, Brian will bring in sales trainers to coach and shadow. Until a solid infrastructure is up and running, however, Brian has created a system where his sales team sends out a weekly ‘Wins and Learning’ email to each other.

He also stresses that a good learning experience is more valuable than a big win. His team has become competitive to send out the best learning which scales across the team.

  • Be analytical
  • If you are doing well, document how you do it.
  • If you are not doing well, document why not. Be honest and lead the charge into fixing it.

“Hitting your Quarterly Numbers” episode resources

Brian has maintained a blog for the past ten years at Briancmanning.com. He is also on Twitter.

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.

This episode is 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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Prospect.io is offering three months at half-price.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

This episode is 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 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Kevin Yee, Rejection, Dan Loc, High Ticket Closing

TSE 1014: Sales From The Street: “New Rejection”

Kevin Yee, New Rejection, Dan Loc, High Ticket ClosingAs salespeople, we’ve all faced new rejection. It feels like a punch in the gut every time. It can sometimes make you question if you should even stay in the business.

Kevin Yee knows what I’m talking about. Rejection is especially hard to handle when you are new to it as Kevin was.

Kevin left the pharmacy industry and now runs a high ticket closing agency of about ten team members working with B2B and B2C clients.

It was risky move but after attending a sales training course, Kevin was highly motivated. He was excited to start making calls but terrified at the same time. He knew he lacked experience and that affected his confidence. Kevin wanted clients but he wasn’t sure if he was really going to be able to help them.

Intellectually, he knew he could work hard and figure things out but he remained insecure.

The wrong focus

He was so focused on those insecurities, that within moments, his first client had control of the call. Looking back, Kevin realizes he was trying to be someone that he wasn’t. He is naturally inclined to be helpful but he was trying to be authoritative in his delivery.

He knew all the right things to say but he lacked conviction and it came across in his voice. It didn’t help that the client was also not interested in the services of a high- ticket closer.

Kevin had worked so hard to put everything in his training so the rejection really hit him hard. His confidence in sales was shaken.

He didn’t want to go back to pharmacy, however, so he decided to try again.

Trying again

At the time, he was a one-man sales team. He had a marketing background so he set up a sales funnel for himself where he was the closer at the end. With help from his YouTube channel, the leads started to come in.

It was a good problem to have.

Kevin signed on a few friends to help out. Having confidence in the team’s ability to get results made it easier to reach out to more and more clients.

It has been six months since the sales funnel took off. The team has been getting better and better and Kevin has focused on getting more and more clients. He learned how to really connect with people and to be a good friend to his clients. Kevin takes the time to really learn about their businesses so that he can tackle any problems his clients may have.

He knows that the most important part of any new business is marketing and sales.

Working with others

He and his team are currently in the process of onboarding a B2B client with six-figure packages as they continue to reach out to new clients.

They strive to authentically reach out to people to help solve the closing and sales problems of their business. He believes there is a lot of opportunity on the table and is excited for the future.

Kevin knows he could not have done it alone. He encourages you to reach out to others, especially if you are struggling. He believes that you have to have a giving mentality to succeed; nobody wants to work with a selfish person.

Sometimes we just get so focused on our own lane that we fail to realize there are cars next to us. Kevin hopes his story will inspire others who may be ‘in the slumps’ to keep putting themselves out there, and to rely on others for help as you continue to do the same for others.

“New Rejection” episode resources

Check out Kevin’s YouTube channel at Kevin Yee PharmD, or contact him at refugeehustle.com.

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.

This episode is 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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Prospect.io is offering three months at half-price.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

This episode is 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 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

 

Tom Jenkins, Amir Reiter, Power of Chat, Donald Kelly

TSE 991: Sky Rocket Your B2B Sales Through the Power of Chat

Tom Jenkins, Amir Reiter, Power of Chat, Donald KellyIn this episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk about how to take advantage of the power of chat when growing your business.

Many organizations have struggled to capitalize on the power of chat, but Amir and Tom share the struggles they’ve had using chat and how we can overcome them.

Tom Jenkins and Amir Reiter help companies scale their workforce without having to get offices, pay insurance and taxes, or worry about hiring and training.

Instead, they offer technology and strategy.

At CloudTask, they provide sales development reps, they manage account executives and they manage the customer success/account reps responsible for renewals and upselling to existing customers.

They comprise one office. If someone wants to hire five sales reps, five account executives or five support reps, they will all be in office and managed so that the customer gets what they want – representation and results.  

By specializing in sales, customer success and customer support, CloudTask is the best of the breed. [00:51]

The power of chat

One of the biggest issues surrounding the use of chat is a lack of clearly defined ownership.  If you look at our partners at Drift.com for instance, their ability to work as a bot or as a human can confuse whether chat is owned by marketing or by sales.

Marketing is typically used to drive traffic to forms, to blogs and to sign-ups. As such, marketing tends to prefer automation.

Sales, however, relies on people first, so deciding who owns chat is often a hurdle.

Failure to assign ownership then creates a failure to act or a failure to implement correctly. [02:19]

We manage a lot of cloud chat programs and have noticed that many people view chat as just another tool for the reps to use in addition to calling, emailing, LinkedIn, etc.

Rather, with a high volume of web traffic, chat is a key tool in the generation of qualified leads.

In fact, because chat allows you to respond quickly with the right answers and in the right way, it can be your number one lead generation tool. [03:17]

Qualify leads

People today want answers now. They expect to be able to go onto a website and to be able to chat. It has worked well in the B2C world but is really moving quickly into the B2B world as well.

We are finding that an MQL (marketing qualified lead) or SQL (sales qualified lead) that chats with a member of the sales team is 2-3 times more likely to close versus one that goes through the process of filling out a form. It makes sense. A form is stationary and available to anybody.

With chat, you are able to quickly let people qualify themselves with a friendly discussion.

For example, suppose someone wants to hire a sales rep. Within a few moments, we can discuss salaries and budgets and determine right away if it is something to pursue, or not. [04:54]

Chat conversation

Chat does not replace cold calling or emailing but it does allow the person who visits your website to have a conversation with you and determine for themselves if they want to move forward.

The desire to engage is up to the visitor. As the sales rep, you increase the level of engagement with your replies. Consider “I’m here to help sales leaders every day, how can I help you?” instead of “How are you?”

People want to work with companies that can fix their problems. Target the message to visitors as much as you can in order to increase engagement with them.

You will receive visitors who want to know more about the topic rather than starting from scratch.  

You don’t want to write too much in a chat forum, of course. Start by keeping the conversation focused on the problems you are trying to solve for your prospects. [06:48]

The initial engagement is absolutely key but response time is just as essential. Buyers are conducting research and they want answers.

It is imperative to be super sharp and to answer quickly. [08:10]

Pique curiosity

When you give visitors the information they want to the questions they ask, they begin to ask the more sales-related questions themselves.

Knowing how to give people the right amount of information so as to pique their curiosity without being overly aggressive is a skill.

For example, the best way to answer many of the questions about a technology product is with a demo. An aggressive tactic might be “this is the best product and it will solve all your problems.”

“We want you to get your eyes on this to see what you think about it” is a better approach, however. It allows the buyer to have ownership in the decision.

Chat also identifies return visitors so that you don’t have to start all over from the beginning each time. [09:42]

Sales or marketing

When Sales and Marketing are aligned as a team with the common goal of getting customers, ownership of chat is less important.

When Sales and Marketing are not aligned, better results occur when chat ownership is with the sales team.  Sales speaks to people and that brings results.

It is really important that everyone involved be 100% clear on which team does what so that each can grow and build expertise. [11:27]

Decide first if you will make your own chatbot or use a company like Drift or Intercom.

Many such companies have partner systems that can help with deployment. They are also set up to support the user and the sales cycle. It can be a big jumpstart toward a successful launch. [13:30]

Common mistakes

Some companies rely on too much automation. We’ve seen companies who don’t get the results they want right away so they just scrap the whole thing versus A/B testing people.

Everyone wants leads. It is the goal of every company but people make the chatbots and automation too much about themselves.

They try to get contact details and meetings rather than making the initial interactions about web visits. They aim to fulfill their own needs rather than the needs of potential customers. [14:25]

Chat gives buyers the ability to raise their hand, to tell you who they are and where they are in the sales cycle. It gives them the ability to get what they want now instead of going through the standard sales process. [15:28]

Successes

We have an interesting case now with a client who had used chatbot before but didn’t get the results they had hoped for. They weren’t particularly sold on the idea but were willing to give it another try.  

We were able to successfully implement a program on Drift consisting of a training program, as well as the addition of five sales development reps.

As a result, they realized $3.5 million in opportunity and $1 million in closed within eight months.

They appreciated our complete focus and specialization. We also provided them with quality assurance teams that checked in on the chats, and we worked really well together. [16:17]

We represent your company and do what needs to be done, just like employees.

The main difference is that instead of getting one new employee, our client gets a whole team. We are remote to you, but not remote. It is like having multiple offices or a satellite office.

We check on everything. [18:28]

Don’t blind yourself with the idea that you can’t use chat for enterprises.

Even if your sales process has you on flights to Hong Kong, or spending nine months working a deal, it can still start with a chat.  

Don’t consider chat as a replacement but rather as an extra channel that gives people the ability to communicate with you faster.

It can be such a cool tool to add to your cause, to your social network, and to your social ads.

When used correctly, chat will deliver results. [19:59]

“Power of Chat” episode resources

Visit Tom and Amir at Cloudtask.com or through their partners at Drift.com.  Allison manages their chat and is always more than happy to help everyone. Experiencing their services first-hand is the best first step.

This episode is 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.

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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

Kris Nelson, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales Process

TSE 989: Sales From The Street – “From Click Try Buy to a Full-Fledged Sales Team”

Kris Nelson, Sales From the Street, full-fledged sales teamOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk with Kris Nelson, head of sales for CoSchedule.com, about how businesses can move from “click, try, buy” to having a full-fledged sales team.

CoSchedule is a SaaS-based marketing platform that helps marketers to stay organized through a combination of content calendar, a product, project management solutions and execution via social campaigns and email campaigns.

CoSchedule took the time to focus on true growth and the company has seen tremendous results. Prior to reaching that point, however, the business, which began as a “click, try and buy,” didn’t even have a sales team.

When “click, try, and buy” works

Initially, they released the product as a straightforward “click, try and buy,” product because it made sense at the time. They also designed it for small teams and individuals. The level of product and the price point didn’t really dictate a need for a dedicated sales team. [01:26]

As the product progressed and became more complicated, however, it became apparent that they needed a sales team to help the clients really understand how CoSchedule could benefit them.

It was simply a natural progression to establish a sales force as the product grew and the price point increased, especially with some of the advanced plans. They moved away from the “click, try and buy,” and toward a professional marketing team and into a standard sales cycle. [03:17]

Bringing whiskey to a Kool-Aid party

I’ve always thought it was a waste of time and resources to have the sales reps focus on low-end sales, think $15 a month kind of stuff, because customers don’t need help making a decision at the price point.

Higher end products are different. Companies who ask customers to pay more become more concerned with the quality of the product, and that’s when you need a sales team.

It is truly overkill to engage someone in a formalized, professional sales cycle at some of the lower price points. At the higher price points, it makes total sense.

You have to be sure you are asking the right questions of the organization to make sure your product is a fit. The sale is nice but long-term happy customers are the true goal. [04:25]

Move toward a sales force

Kris credits CEO and co-founder of CoSchedule, Garrett Moon, as the person who helped take the company where it is today.

It began with a series of phone calls to prospects to see if the market was viable and to see if it made sense to move the price point. Once that was established as true, Moon hired more people, including Kris, and the sales process was on its way. [05:58]

Kris says that CoSchedule is still an extremely heavy inbound model. They still decide the best fit for each client, whether that be the “click, try and buy,” model for the lower level plans, or working with a sales rep for the higher level plans.

Kris really had to learn and understand the buying process of the companies that use CoSchedule to determine how many real touch points would be needed from a sales standpoint to be effective.  

Three-call process

CoSchedule has a three-call process in place now.

The first, known as the discovery call, allows the sales team to learn more about the client’s business, teach them about CoSchedule and then try to determine at a really high level if there is a potential business fit. If everything matches from a budget standpoint and a use case standpoint, they move forward with the second call.

The second call is a full-scale demonstration of the product. It provides a great chance for the client to invite all their team members who might use the tool.

Kris and his team go through the product with a fine-toothed comb and answer any questions. During this timeframe, they give the potential clients access to a free trial of CoSchedule; a chance to kick the tires. If the team is still checking the right boxes by the end they move into the pricing discussion. [07:28]

CoSchedule provides a great tool for marketing organizations and other small organizations to all get on the same page. Their customers often refer to CoSchedule as the single source of truth for all their marketing efforts.

Whether it’s a social media campaign, or a large trade show event, or a podcast, CoSchedule acts as the organization hub for everything. [08:55]

Although they designed CoSchedule with a marketing focus, Kris believes it is also beneficial from an internal project management standpoint. It puts a formal process in place.

All the checklist items and all the behind-the-scenes items that go into a large-scale effort are put into a central location with CoSchedule. It unites everyone involved with the effort on the same page.  

Everyone can see what works well, what needs more work, and where the team must focus to get the product out the door. [09:53]

Building a sales team

Growing a sales team, of course, presents a challenge because there are as many different ways that salespeople sell and lots of ways that people sell effectively.

Kris works to understand how his team sells best and to accelerate that process and help them get better every day. He scales the number of reps on his sales team based on demand.

The number of sales calls, for example, on a rep’s calendar really does determine the growth of that team. Kris says they rely on the marketers to continually charge forward with fresh, hot leads so that they can then continue to add more in sales. [11:26]

Kris uses his personal experiences as a way to motivate his sales team.

In the past, he worked for a large banking finance and software company where it didn’t matter so much whether he hit his sales goals. With a smaller company like CoSchedule, however, every single sale matters. Every dollar matters to everyone involved.  

As a smaller company, Kris is able to focus on the people who work for him as individuals.

Kris expects that the CoSchedule will continue to add to their sales team. He hopes to continually increase the level of sophistication used to deploy that team.

Know if there is validity to your product first. You’ll be surprised to learn what your product can do.

“Full-Fledged Sales Team” episode resources

If you would like to reach out with questions or comments for Kris, he can be reached via email at Kris.nelson@coschedule.com

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. Use automated outreach to schedule your contacts and keep you from getting distracted.

This episode is 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. You can expand your outreach and set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

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. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Kathleen Hessert, Krista Jasso, We are Gen -Z, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 988: How To Adjust My Sales Process When Selling Gen Z

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re talking to Kathleen Hessert and Krista Jasso about the newest generation and how to adjust your sales process when selling Gen Z.

Kathleen launched a project called We R Gen Z because she saw a lack of information about the newest generation because the marketplace was completely focused on millennials. Her organization conducts original research with a bank of 1,000 teens on a monthly basis to understand Gen Z.

Krista — a member of Gen Z herself — works as the social media coordinator and intern coordinator for We R Gen Z and she believes that her generation will take the world by storm.

Massive spending

Gen Z spends $44 billion a year in the U.S. and influences $600 billion when it comes to household spending.

It’s vital for the marketplace to understand that Gen Z will make up 40 percent of the U.S. population and 37 percent of the global population by the year 2020. [3;47]

Organizations that exclude them will be behind in their sales efforts, and they may never catch up.

Mistakes selling Gen Z

Sellers often talk down to Gen Z and the generation sees it. Gen Z has what Krista calls a “strong BS filter,” and they see right through lack of authenticity.

The generation values authentic, genuine behavior. Gen Z is turned off by fake, flashy marketing, instead choosing brands that are transparent about what they value and believe. [6:50]

Gen Z cares about who is behind the product as well as the product or service itself. They care about what top executives are saying about topics such as politics and the environment.

They include countless outside factors in their decision-making and if a brand doesn’t match what they are looking for, they won’t support it.

Gen Z trends

We R Gen Z hosts a trends panel that evaluates what’s hot and what’s not for the generation.

Organizations should understand that Gen Z are the next creators and innovators. Those companies need the young people of Gen Z more than the young people need their products or services.

They will buy or shun organizations based on their values and their passion. When Nike included Colin Kaepernick in its commercials, one member of We R Gen Z put all his Adidas clothes away and wore only Nike for two weeks to honor the decision made by the company. [10:19]

The founder of Tom’s Shoes gave $5 million to anti-gun-violence in response to a school shooting in California, marking the largest corporate donation ever to this particular issue.  The decision resonated with Gen Z.

Business is more than money, especially for Gen Z. Older marketers can miss this if they try throwing more money at the marketing effort.

Instead, marketers should look at the lifetime value of a Gen Z customer, which is a lot higher than the lifetime value of an older customer who has been with the company for a number of years. [12:13]

Digital natives

Managers must remember that Gen Z asks why. Previous generations were taught not to question authority, but Gen Z asks why, not to be disrespectful, but to understand the reasoning behind decisions.

The generation is curious and they want to understand motivations.

Gen Z is also the first generation to be true digital natives. They grew up in a world where the Internet was prolific. When they seek information, their first source is Google and their second is Instagram. [14:29]

They tend to seek a wide range of different perspectives on a topic. If someone tells them one thing, Gen Z tends to seek other voices before making decisions because they are used to this expansive focus.

Gen Z and video

Gen Z responds better to video than past generations. Primarily, the generation watches YouTube and Netflix more than they watch regular television. Many of them learn new things like how to play instruments simply by watching YouTube videos. [16:39]

Companies can’t take traditional routes when selling Gen Z.

We R Gen Z’s research shows that 48 percent of respondents said that social media influences their purchases most. Big sales are next because the generation is more frugal than its predecessors and they are watching their dollars more carefully.

Companies have to be on social media, present it in an awesome way, and be there for the right reasons at the right time.

They’ve seen all kinds of incredible creativity and they expect it cool and different and new each time they interact with a brand. [20:45]

Reaching Gen Z

Brands must actually engage with this generation on social media. Consumers are looking to see that brands are liking comments and responding to comments. They must show that they are authentic and real.

They must also understand that 64 percent of Gen Z will buy things via smartphones. Most of Gen Z will look to reviews before buying and that they will sometimes buy a product because their friends vouch for it. That suggestion will carry more weight than any marketing campaign. [24:41]

Other findings are that 65 percent won’t use voice tech such as Siri and Alexa to buy, though they will use them to accomplish tasks like making lists.

Spending habits

Krista told the story of one of their panelists who loved the idea of the Nintendo Switch so much that it motivated him to get a job. He hadn’t had a job prior to that, but the new system motivated him to save his paychecks to purchase it.

Gen Z is willing to save for a few months to buy a certain product, but if the product is overly expensive, they fear it will be irrelevant by the time they save for it, so they won’t likely purchase it. [27:51]

Gen Z has also learned from millennials that they don’t want to be burdened with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. Their frugality is based upon the things they’ve seen. they want a different future for themselves.

As an aside, clothes, gift cards, and tech are the hottest items for Christmas when you’re shopping for Gen Z. They also really appreciate making gifts for the people they care about.

Marketing

Look at your marketing and your brand. Look at how you’re reaching Gen Z and think outside the box. It’s a creative group of people and you have to stay a step ahead of them to gain their loyalty. [31:36]

Think about accessibility. They want brands to be easily accessible and to make their lives easier and faster. Speed has become their standard, and they want easy.

Brands that don’t make it easy to access products and services don’t stand a chance.

“Selling Gen Z” episode resources

Follow Kathleen and Krista atWe R Gen Z and find them on social media. If you’re a brand seeking custom research, email them at askus@wergenz.com. You can also find Kathleen on LinkedIn or @kathleenhessert on social media.

3

This episode is 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.

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. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

This episode is 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.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Channel Partners, Matthew Hernamdez, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 984: Sales From The Street: “Find Local Partners”

Channel Partners, Matthew Hernamdez, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to Matt Hernandez about the changes in the marketplace, and how the ability to find local partners has helped him drive more revenue for the businesses he serves.

In his work with small-to-medium businesses, Matt has worked to figure out new ways to deal with leads because people have become more resistant to cold calling.

He believes that, although cold-calling can work, it must exist in the right circumstances. The key is better lead intelligence.

Hire the right people

Matt doesn’t struggle with recruiting or interviewing salespeople.  The key, he says, is to be very upfront about the challenges of the role and hire the right type of people.

Hire open-minded people who aren’t super particular about their activities and who often aren’t as needy. [7:15] They’ll be more coachable.

Also be very honest about the type of role you’re hiring for, the challenges it will present, but also the benefits of the role as well.

Moving away from cold leads

In the past, sellers would have a name and a phone number and they could attack each cold lead with different opens or different hooks. Now, he says, people are numb to that approach.

Instead, his company looked to generate inbound leads and lukewarm leads.

Matt’s company uses a program called “Local Partners” that pays contractors to feed them warm or hot leads from local areas. He pointed out that using pure commission models doesn’t change your cost structure. [9:14]

He does acknowledge that you must make sure the payment is in line with the revenue goals. You must make sure your customer acquisition costs aren’t too high.

Big revenue increases

Matt’s company has seen strong results from the move away from cold calling. He estimates that the effort now accounts for 5 to 15 percent of their deals.

He predicts that this kind of effort would likely work in a variety of industries.

Companies just have to be creative to figure out how to scale in a cost-effective way. Buying leads can be very expensive, but a pay-for-results model can work if the infrastructure is set up properly. [11:10]

Partnerships model

Begin by listing as on Craigslist in the cities you’re interested in. State what you’re offering and decide ahead of time how much you can afford to pay.

Decide how much you’d be willing to pay someone if they were to generate meetings or contracts. For longer sales cycles, you might have to pay per demo. [12:09]

In shorter sales cycles, you pay based upon generating contracts.

In your ad, provide a range of income that interested parties could generate per month.

Then you could interview over the phone or in person or over video.

The effort is super cheap, super easy and really scrappy.

Be willing to pivot

Be creative. Sales requires consistency and training and the right effort for the right amount of time. Without it, you’ll never see meaningful results or data you can measure. [14:54]

Seek objective advice and make sure you’re giving your new ideas time to work.

If things aren’t going the way you want despite your effort, don’t be afraid to pivot and try new approaches. Be willing to try something different.

The marketplace changes rapidly, and technology does, too. You have to be willing to adapt.

Fivestars

Local businesses are the best candidates to benefit from Fivestars because they are traditionally underserved in their marketing efforts. They often face huge competition from groups of businesses that pool their resources. [15:59]

Think of a small coffee shop competing against Starbucks, who has millions of dollars to spend on advertising.

Fivestars has created a software that costs pennies on the dollar because the cost is spread across 10,000 merchants. It’s an incredible solution for anyone who owns a local business with a physical location.

“Find Local Partners” episode resources

Connect with Matt via email at matthew.hernandez@fivestars.com. If you need a way to get more customers in the door, Fivestars works with more than 40 million consumers who use the platform.

This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, a personalized and robust CRM with the capability to organize your company and effectively line up not only your sales, but your client’s success. Go to TheSalesEvangelist.com/maximizer for a free demonstration.  

We are also brought to you by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. It has changed the way we prospect.

Take advantage of the risk-free trial they offer specifically for the TSE community. First three months at half-price? You can’t beat that! To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. Your prospecting will never ever be the same. 

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 enjoy fine podcasts.

And be sure to subscribe to the podcast and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Webinar, Todd Earwood, Inbound Leads

TSE 983: I Reinvented The Webinar Model

 

Todd Earwood, Webinar, The Sales EvangelistOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, I talk to Todd Earwood about the adage that we need not reinvent the wheel, but Todd is doing just that.

Todd famously cold-called the CEO of a billion dollar company for 43 straight days until he finally got the interview, and then the job.

He began his career in software. It wasn’t until he was making the rounds to thank investors for the success of his latest software endeavor that he realized that marketing was his real niche.  

As Todd explains it, one of the investors simply asked Todd what his future plans were, which seemed like such a silly question at the question. Software was all he had ever done. But the investor went on to say that marketing and sales were really the special skills he saw in Todd.

Todd reluctantly agreed and MoneyPath began.  [00:54]

Clear the path to purchases through quality marketing

AtMoneyPath, Todd and his group of marketers ‘clear the path to purchases.’ It is their tagline because they are dedicated to helping sales. In the marketing world of pretty pictures and shiny objects, the reality is that without the lifeblood of qualified leads coming into the sales team, good things are not going to happen. Budgets will be cut and people will lose their jobs.

But if you can master the marketing side of things, then the company grows. Everybody is happy and everybody wins. In the software environment, Todd was willing to experiment and fail. He looked beyond the traditional social channels, the paid media and the heavy use of emails.

To begin, Todd and his team did an email research project where they opted into the funnels of the top 300 SAS software companies to see what those companies would do with a cold lead. The number one email topic returned to Todd’s team was about content. The second topic was webinars and that is when things really began to change.

Now instead of writing six blog posts a week, Todd and his team create one great webinar every 15 days. Before long, they had created a massive educational series with more and more content.

Reinventing the webinar to keep listeners engaged

The old model is clearly broken because nobody really gets excited about ‘this week’s webinar’. People sign up but they don’t attend. Todd and his team wanted to change that. [03:38]

There is a poor functionality with the current webinar system. It fails to keep the listeners engaged. Even when the topic sounds interesting, we never get around to actually listening to it, or to listening to it wholeheartedly. Todd realized that the engagement model needed to change. It needed to become interesting and engaging.

There is just too much information and too many ways to deliver it. As a marketer, you are vying for the attention of the clients so you have to do something different.

As Todd explains, unless you hire Kevin Hart or Adele, it is too hard for one person to carry 30-60-90 minutes of content. So at Webinar Works, they always have at least two speakers: a host and a thought leader.

Bringing in leads

The host facilitates all the basics and keeps it moving. The host will almost immediately facilitate a poll to grab people’s attention and get them actively participating with the webinar.

Todd has seen up to 60% of the attendees join in because their webinars break the expectation of ‘another crappy webinar’ from the very start.

The thought leader for each webinar is the expert on the subject. They aren’t there to read their own bio or tell the listeners how great they are. The thought leaders are there to educate and to share their wisdom. [06:44]

The ultimate purpose of the webinar, aside from providing information to the listeners, is to obtain information from those listeners at the end in the form of a segmentation poll which generates qualified, high intent leads. This could be something as simple as asking the listeners to select the one issue addressed in the webinar that best fits their organization.

With that information, the sales rep now has a tracking mechanism that tells him which listeners actually listened to the entire webinar, as well as which listeners requested assistance.

That is way better than cold calling 2,000 people. [10:21]

Leads delivered by the webinar

The Webinar was interesting but I want to do more research.

This is not a hot lead. It is a cool lead that needs some nurturing before it goes to the sales team.

I really enjoyed the webinar but I need to refer any decision to my colleague.

With this response, the sales rep knows the problem is there and the interest is there but that more research is needed to move into the right part of the organization.

I want to learn more!

This is the hot lead button that should be flagged as a real person with interest. [11:11]

Beginning of the sales process

The live webinar event may be over but the sales work is not done. As a marketer, Todd can help you divide that 42-minute webinar into three or five smaller clips so when a listener has a problem or a question, you will be able to easily find and deliver the information they need. [14:43]

There is certainly a lot of preparation that goes into creating a webinar. Decide where you want to insert the polls. If you are creating content that educates the prospects and making statements that they haven’t heard before, you should expect and plan for questions. Your content should drive the questions, and those questions will increase engagement. [17:10]

People will register for a webinar with a good hook.

  • Choose three to five points and dedicate 10-12 minutes to present each point.
  • Know what problem you want to solve and walk the listener through that scenario.
  • Present listeners with the options they need to solve that problem.

If you do it right, the listener will naturally determine, for themselves, that you have the answer he needs. [18:54]

Webinar trends and tactics

As far as the words people use – webinar vs masterclass, Todd has seen a trend in that most blog posts titles tie directly to a webinar.  For example, ‘Top Five Ways to Do X’ or ‘Old Method vs New Method’.

Todd believes that the content should appeal to a narrow persona so that it draws only those people that will benefit from the content of your webinar. Webinars can break through all the noise and the clutter that other marketing is trying to do. Speak to your listeners as individuals and tailor your tactics to their needs.

“Webinar Model” episode resources

Check out WebinarWorks.io/salesevangelist for free resources, to grade yourself against great webinars and to find out if Webinar Works is a good fit for you.

This episode is 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.

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. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

TSE Hustler’s League

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

This episode is also 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 sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Pam Didner, Sales and Marketing, Donald Kelly,

TSE 973: Achieve Sales Growth Through Collaborative Sales And Marketing

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to content marketing leader Pam Didner about the critical role content plays in sales and the importance of collaborative sales and marketing.

Content plays a critical role in educating customers and prospects, making sales enablement a natural extension of content marketing.

Pam is the author of Effective Sales Enablement: Achieve Sales Growth Through Collaborative Sales and Marketing

Automated marketing and sales enablement

Email is often our most common form of automated marketing.

Over time, with the integration of social media, social selling emerged, and it has allowed sellers to add other features to their automated marketing platforms.

Every organization automates its marketing differently, so your automation efforts will look different than those of other people around you.

Most people consider sales enablement to be related to sales training and development. If we expand it, though, we’ll recognize that there are things marketers are doing to enable sales.

Sales and marketing aren’t the same, but they complement each other.

Sales and marketing

Consider sales an additional marketing channel for your organization. With that in mind, consider the things you can do using existing marketing elements to better support your sales team.

Consider the example of a whiskey company who wanted to increase its shelf space in a specific city, so it offered to run specific paid ads on social media to drive foot traffic to the stores.

Who doesn’t appreciate more foot traffic?

This kind of effort requires sales and marketing to work together and think through some of the elements that marketing can use to support sales.

Sales and marketing people tend to lose sight of the fact that they are doing the exact same things every day.

Struggling to collaborate

Sales and marketing have the same business goals and they should work toward them together.

Things get complicated because their department goals are different. Sales focuses on revenue while marketing focuses on brand recognition.

Sales also has more of a short-term priority than marketing, which tends to have more of a long-term mission.

Finally, the two departments tend to have different resources and support allocations available to accomplish their tasks.

Sales and marketing can never be 100 percent fully aligned, but is it possible to find commonalities? Can we drive a joint initiative together?

Joining sales and marketing

In smaller environments like emerging startups, sales and marketing tend to work closely together.

In every organization, the mandate to work together must start at the top. Without direction from the leadership, the two teams will avoid working together because it’s more difficult than working separately.

It’s similar to parenting. Two kids from the same family have different personalities and different interests, but parents can lead them to work together and facilitate their relationship despite those differences.

Enablement ingredients

The three critical keys to enablement are

  • training
  • content
  • coaching

Sales and marketing teams should try to understand those on the other side of the equation. Marketing is probably on the forefront of digital communication, and they can help sales understand how to use digital platforms well.

Have a conversation with your marketing department to learn from the things they already know.

“Collaborative Sales And Marketing” episode resources

You can connect with Pam at pamdidner.com. You can also grab a copy of her book, Global Content Marketing: How to Create Great Content, Reach More Customers, and Build a Worldwide Marketing Strategy that Works or Effective Sales Enablement: Achieve Sales Growth Through Collaborative Sales and Marketing

Her challenge is this: if you read her books and don’t find anything of value in them, schedule a call with her to let her know. She’d love to hear about your challenges and help you find solutions.

This episode is 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. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

This episode is also 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 sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

Doyle Buehler, Donald Kelly, Break Through Digital, Prospecting

TSE 964 : Sales From The Street: “Selling And Monetizing Your Brand”

 

Monetizing Your Brand, Sales From The Street, Doyle BuehlerOn today’s episode of Sales From The Street, we talk to global entrepreneur Doyle Buehler about monetizing your brand.

Doyle helps businesses organize their work and their strategies so they can do good work.

Many sellers don’t actually own their own businesses but they operate a business within a business. They are intrapreneurs, and many salespeople miss this truth.

Common mistakes

Many entrepreneurs who utilize online marketing make a mistake that Doyle calls the “3 percent.”

Businesses out there assume that everyone wants to buy from them, but that’s far from true. Many studies suggest that about 3 percent of people at any given time are interested in purchasing your product or service.

By understanding the buying process, you may find that 30 percent of customers will never buy from you, but that means that about 67 percent of customers will eventually buy from you when the time is right.

The salesperson’s job is to tap into that 67 percent to figure out where the customers are in the process. How far away from buying are they?

You may find that 3 percent are ready, 7 percent are really close, and 60 percent can be moved toward buying from you.

Expand your market

We thrive on instant gratification. It’s a natural tendency for us as humans. But our buyers are like us in that they probably aren’t going to buy something until they’ve done a lot of research on it.

It’s important for us to get past the instant gratification and stay aware of the 67 percent who will eventually buy from our business.

We must keep our eye on those people:

  • The ones who are getting ready to buy
  • Those who are learning about the product
  • The ones who are defining their needs and challenges

Those are the people you want to start talking to. Those are the people whose attention you want to get.

Getting their attention

The know, like, trust triangle is the essence of getting their attention.

Do they know you and understand who you are? This is where personal branding comes into play.

Do they like you? Can they sync with you? Do you have synergy with your audience? Accomplish this by producing great content.

Do they trust you? This component isn’t always as important for widgets but it’s vital for larger purchases.

How do you talk to the 67 percent of people who are starting the journey? If you’re providing content and a platform and ecosystem to support them in their journey, they’ll come to you when they are ready to buy.

Main strategy

If, for example, a listener is regularly engaging with a podcast, where do you take that conversation next? You can promote it all over the place and get people to listen to it, but what’s the next step?

There’s a whole schema to this: what gift can I give to a potential customer so they’ll get to know, like, and trust you?

A gift is easy because there’s no risk. How will you create a community and get them involved?

How do you continue to scale and escalate that conversation?

A lot of people don’t have these in place.

Zero moment of truth

Google did research about 10 years ago that revealed that your buyer behavior breaks down into the need for 7 hours and 11 touch points. Some people would add four platforms.

So how do you get your prospects to spend that much time with you?

It’s a cool concept because it says that if you can spend more time with them, you’ll move them toward a final sale.

Core strategy

Many times, companies don’t have a core strategy or a workflow to their advertising. When they don’t get the results they want, they spend more money, which isn’t always the right answer.

Companies must be smart about how they spend their money.

Doyle’s recommended structure, described in his recent book called Breakthrough — Unleash Your Remarkable Brand Value, Influence, and Authority: Evolve Your Strategy and Marketing, lists seven workflow steps to help companies organize their digital ecosystems. They will end up with a platform that helps them build the know-like-trust triangle with their customers.

Keep your eye on the longer term, strategic mission of your business and what you’re offering in terms of value.

If you don’t understand your own strategy or your brand value, you’re going to spin your wheels because you won’t know what to do.

Build a strong platform but start with a strong strategy.

“Monetizing Your Brand” episode resources

Grab a copy of Doyle’s book, Breakthrough — Unleash Your Remarkable Brand Value, Influence, and Authority: Evolve Your Strategy and Marketing. You can also go to www.breakthrough.digital to check out the book.

This episode is 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.

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. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

This episode is also 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 sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Target Market, Ideal Customer

TSE 962: What Salespeople Can Learn From The “Political and Dating” Industries

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Target Market, Ideal CustomerThe political and dating industries share a common goal: to narrow your choices down to the one candidate that makes the most sense for what you want. Particularly in the political arena, the ads target those people who would be most likely to support a particular cause or candidate.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll discuss why sellers should operate like the political and dating industries and stop trying to serve everyone. It isn’t a winning strategy.

Swipe left

You may be thinking that you already understand sales segmentation and pursuing the ideal customer.

Just as we do in dating and politics, we have to understand with selling that we can’t please everyone. Selling is a game of elimination just as the other two industries are.

Frequently, politicians who try to stand for everything and who cast their nets too widely fail to appeal to anyone. It’s difficult to trust those politicians who try to capture everyone because you know it’s impossible for them to accomplish everything they’re promising.

False promises do not promote trust.

Just as we swipe left or swipe right in dating apps to approve or eliminate a candidate, we must narrow down our focus as sellers.

Intensity

Politics sometimes take a nasty tone, and I’m definitely not suggesting we adopt that approach. We do, however, have to develop some intensity in identifying our ideal customer.

Human nature often deters us from excluding anyone. In sales especially, we don’t want to turn away a possible customer. Our commission depends on those customers.

We sometimes become people pleasers.

We want everyone to be happy and tell other people about our business.

Find believers

Patagonia isn’t trying to appeal to every single person who enjoys outdoor hiking. Neither is Eddie Bauer.

They focus on those people in high-end markets who can spend whatever they want on hiking gear and people who share their values.

They focus on people who support an eco-friendly recycling mentality.

Our sales cold outreach should have the same mentality rather than trying to blast every single possible candidate.

Find the people who truly believe in you.

Even here at The Sales Evangelist, we’re adapting our website to meet the needs we have realized that our audience is looking for.

The moment we focused on new and struggling salespeople, we saw positive results.

Changing pool

It’s possible, too, that your prospect pool may widen.

You might focus your software on a single industry like finance. Once you’ve adapted that well, you shift to another industry like the medical industry.

Very often, small companies want to grow quickly so they cast a wide net. Aside from the fact that it doesn’t work well, it’s expensive because you’re focusing resources on people who will never do business with you.

Explain what you can do and who you can help.

“Political and Dating Industries” episode resources

This episode is 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.

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. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

This episode is also 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 sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

AI Sales, Erroin Martin, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 951: How To Increase Sales Faster Using AI

Artificial Intelligence, Upselling, Erroin MartinOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Erroin Martin shares what he has learned about artificial intelligence and how sales professionals can increase sales faster using AI.

Martin is the vice president of sales at Conversica, with 20 years of experience in sales. Conversica does conversational artificial intelligence for B2B and B2C.

Robots?

Artificial intelligence is a series of algorithms that are statistical models looking to repeat tasks or transactions that happen on a routine basis.

Anti-lock brakes are a great example of AI. Many years ago, drivers were taught to pump the brakes when stopping to avoid having your car’s brakes lock up. ABS actually pumps the brakes for you. It’s a repetitive task that doesn’t require a human being.

In the business world, there are tasks that you don’t need to pay a human to do. The technology is artificial in the sense that it’s manmade. It’s intelligent because it can learn from its errors as well as from training models.

There are countless applications of AI in the sales space. AI can create a transcript of this conversation, evaluate past performance to predict the future and conversational AI which can handle some of the routine follow-up emails or tasks that happen in the sales process.

Healthy balance

The ATM is a great example of the balance possible with AI. Thirty years ago, people stood in line at the bank to deposit checks or handle transactions.

When the ATM emerged, people feared that it would take jobs from bank tellers, and for a while it probably did.

Now, though, there are still tellers in banks, but many of those tellers became loan officers or financial advisors. There are actually more people in banks today than there were before the ATM.

ATMs removed some jobs but it allowed the creation of better jobs.

The means of operating evolves.

Mundane tasks

The number one task that all sales managers want their people to do but which sales reps hate doing is logging their activities in their CRM.

Those tasks are important but they are boring. If you don’t record your activity as you go, it stacks up on you.

It’s a mundane task that is automated now.

Think, too, about the follow-up of a lead. Leads are the most important thing marketing can give you. If you try to craft an email to 10 leads, eventually you end up doing copy and paste.

AI can help you create inviting messaging and engage the human that responds until the human rep can respond.

Transcription tools also help sales managers provide coaching to their team members. It can help with re-education and help to highlight the best parts of what your team is doing.

Increasing sales

The next piece of AI is finding like-minded customers.

No matter how messy your databases, AI can look at your past wins and evaluate your current databases and identify those who are more likely to buy your products and services and engage with your company overall.

It’s one thing to find customers, but it’s another thing to keep customers and grow your customer base. You always want to make sure you’re talking to the right people.

AI can give you hard data about the conversations you’ve had that you can use to back up your efforts because human beings aren’t really good at assessing the subtleties of a changing market.

Big companies are like battleships and small companies are like speedboats. Small companies can be rocked by waves that can swamp the boat really quickly. Large companies can weather the waves better. AI can move an organization that is so large it doesn’t really feel the impact of smaller changes.

Understanding the customer

There are AI tools that help you understand your customers based upon what is in the news, and AI tools that help you track when it’s time to connect with your customer.

AI can make your time with your customer much more impactful.

Sales reps can also use AI to help with upselling to help you recognize when your customer is ready to engage in the buying cycle and to identify which customers are the best ones for you.

The best customers are the ones who have already bought from you before because you’ve overcome their initial fear and developed the relationship. They know what it’s like to deal with your products and services.

Conversica

Conversica works in a traditional format as a revenue-generating tool for both sales and marketing. It’s engaging inbound leads and following up with leads.

It also provides the ability to engage with partner leads.

Conversica uses AI to identify upsell opportunities and to make sure customers meet their quarterly needs. The finance team uses it to help with collections.

Everywhere they can automate the conversational experience,   Conversica uses AI.

Fear

Companies haven’t completely embraced AI for a couple of reasons.

No one has really thought about the technology and how it applies to their business. As a follow-on, there’s a great fear of the unknown.

Computers and phones once changed the dynamics of the work world by automating tasks.

Companies must have a roadmap of where they want to get and how AI can help them accomplish that. Failure to map out a plan will fall behind the competition. Those that do create a roadmap will be anywhere from 7 to 10 times more profitable.

Fear is fully understandable. Human beings resist change even though it happens all the time.

Adopt AI wisely. Find the areas where AI might serve you well. Set realistic expectations.

AI is a series of statistical algorithms made by people and trained by people. AI isn’t infallible.

It also won’t solve every problem your company has so don’t expect it to be a perfect cure. Along the way, you’ll uncover processes that are broken or struggles you didn’t realize existed.

AI isn’t a Hail Mary approach, but be willing to embrace change. It always happens.

Be totally, passionately into your customers. Understand their business and you’ll learn to recognize change before it actually happens.

“Increase Sales Faster Using AI” episode resources

Connect with Erroin via email or on Twitter @myconversica.

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 sales evangelists.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, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

This episode is 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.

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 and provide training and strategies that you can implement 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.

 

Carissa Hill, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Time Management

TSE 949: Sales From The Street – “You Do Have Time”

Carissa Hill, Sales From The Street, The Sales Evangelist, You Do Have Time

Everyone has the same amount of available time every day. When people lack the time to systemize their businesses or hire and train new people, it’s because they aren’t using their time in the right way. They aren’t prioritizing the things that are important.

On today’s episode, serial entrepreneur Carissa Hill shares how to grow your business and then systemize it, and prove to yourself that you do have time.

Carissa wrote a book called You Do Have Time because she wanted to help people understand that when they use their time the right way, they’ll have plenty of time to accomplish the important things that need to be done.

Changing focus

Carissa’s journey began when she was trying to run three stores by herself and she realized she was taking on too many things.

She focused on all the wrong things instead of focusing on the things that would truly grow her business.

Carissa was operating a chain of hair and beauty salons and she found herself micromanaging her team. It kept her from getting the results she wanted, just as it does to other people.

Business owners might, for example, invest time in getting more social media followers instead of working to truly learn marketing, and sales, and conversion.

Right things

If you want your business to continually grow, you must focus on lead generation and sales. As soon as you take your foot off the pedal for marketing and selling, it will slow down.

As you grow, you can scale that by hiring salespeople or automating things. You can offer launches to groups of people rather than selling one-to-one.

Many sellers and business owners allow fear to dictate their actions. Fear of rejection, fear of the next level of success, and fear of the unknown prevent people from taking the next steps.

Many people run Facebook ads that generate a lot of success, and then, instead of hiring someone to help them continue to grow, they’ll turn the ad off because they are too busy.

When they get out of their comfort zone, they’ll return to the place where they are comfortable rather than pushing out of it.

People fear uncharted territory and additional work and the second- and third-order effects that come with success.

Overcoming fear

Carissa said the key is to help clients find clarity about the things they are truly afraid of.

What is the worst thing that will happen if you take this step?

When Carissa started making YouTube videos, she was terrified of negative comments. That fear kept her from generating videos for a long time until she intentionally addressed what she would actually do if she got negative comments.

Once she had a plan for the worst-case scenario, she was able to move beyond the fear and try making some videos.

Don’t allow the fear to linger in your brain.

The other step is to decide whether you’re prepared to stay in the place you’re currently in. If you aren’t willing to stay here, then what will you do to get yourself out of this place?

The truth is that you could be helping many more people if you got beyond the fear that is holding you back.

Eliminate clutter

Answer this question first: Are you crystal clear about where all of your time is going?

Many people don’t know the answer to that question, so the best place to start is with a time-audit system. Keeping a time audit means that you write down everything you do and how long each task takes you, for a total of seven days.

Once you’ve done that, you can pretty quickly identify the wasted time in your day. The simple act of writing down your tasks will kick yourself into gear because you’ll create accountability for yourself.

You’ll discover the time you’re spending on social media, even if it’s just in 5-minute increments. You’ll identify all the things you’re doing in a week, and you’ll likely find tasks that aren’t creating any return on investment and that aren’t enjoyable for you.

The first thing Carissa did was outsource her housecleaning because it took hours of her time and she didn’t enjoy it. She recovered the hours she once spent cleaning her house so she could focus on other things.

Once you’ve completed a time audit, put a smiley face or sad face next to each item as a step toward figuring out the tasks you want to keep and the ones you could let go of. Find things to outsource or automate.

Make a “Things Not To Do” list to identify the things you don’t want to do. Focus on those things that will move the needle.

Streamline

Carissa discovered early in her coaching career that she was spending a lot of time on sales calls because she thought that was the only way to sell. She got tired of it because she couldn’t scale herself.

She tried an online launch style because she determined that her ideal prospects had all the same concerns and objections. By getting numerous people on one call, she was able to streamline her process and save herself a lot of time.

She found herself having the same conversation over and over, so she addressed those questions and issues in a PDF. She offers it as an info pack to her prospects, who can contact her if they need more information after they’ve reviewed it.

Facebook ads

You’ve got to have a really good offer and if people want it, they will buy it. Offer something that sells someone’s problem.

Offer content that is so good that you should really be charging people for it. Don’t hold too much back from your prospects.

If you can get people results in advance without costing them anything, you’ll create the sense that the paid info must be really good if the free stuff is already producing results.

Time

You can’t get time back. The way you spend your minutes, your hours, and your days is your entire life. You can always make more money but you can’t make more time.

Get really clear about what you want out of your life. Determine what is most important to you.

Instead of reaching the end of your life wishing you hadn’t spent so much time scrolling on your phone, do things that actually help people. Spend time on things that you enjoy.

Ask yourself this: Is this the highest and best use of your time?

Post that question somewhere that you’ll see it frequently and you’ll improve the way you spend your time.

Focus on delivering what people really want. Focus your energy on that so you can help people well.

“You Do Have Time” episode resources

Connect with Carissa on her website or her Facebook group.

This episode is 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.

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 and provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

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

This episode is also 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 sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Tyler Sickmeyer, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 941: Build Enough Value Before You Try To Close

Tyler Sickmeyer, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistThe process of building value begins early in the buying journey. Sales professionals talk a lot about building value, but the truth is that value looks different to everyone.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we have a candid conversation about value — and why it’s important to build enough value — with Tyler Sickmeyer, founder and CEO of Fidelitas Development.

Defining value

People define value differently.

The word value suggests something of worth. It’s how people measure the desirability of something. It’s the answer to the question, “How bad do you want it?”

Because people are different, they will place different amounts of value on things.

This truth shows up all the time on TV shows where people go garage sale hunting or “picking.” One person just wants something out of the house, and it’s a bonus if they can get a little money out of the deal. The other person recognizes an opportunity to buy something of value and flip it to make money.

Value is a matter of perception.

Finding a fit

Your product or service probably won’t be a good fit for everyone.

Tyler’s company recognizes that, and Fidelitas uses it to field the right sales team and to find the right clients.

To avoid wasting people’s time, the team strives to have honest conversations early in both the hiring process and the buying process to make sure the fit is a good one.

The team recently passed on a project that was beyond the scope of its expertise because it didn’t want to tackle work that would create headaches and potentially tarnish the brand.

Tyler believes that acknowledging limitations and pointing the client in the direction of a team who is a better fit is a form of building value. By saving the prospect a lot of time and headache, they built value for the prospect.

Value creation

Any time you take on a project that isn’t ideal, you’re missing an opportunity to find something that is ideal because you have a finite amount of resources available.

We’ve all made these mistakes, and Tyler calls it “drinking your own Kool-Aid.”

When you ignore your instincts and take on clients that you shouldn’t take, it creates headaches for your team and can bring toxicity to your culture.

Tyler found that those tended to be the lowest-paying clients who treated his people poorly, so they’ve learned now to fire those clients if they misbehave.

Better yet, they have very clear conversations ahead of time to set expectations.

In the midst of sharing what makes Fidelitas such a great agency, they make sure to ask, “Why would you be a good client?”

Wrong incentives

When you have a sales team that is incentivized incorrectly, a team that is trying to hit unrealistic numbers or that has been set up for failure, you’ll damage your brand.

If, for example, you accept a client that isn’t a good fit, but you justify it because you want the sale, you’re entering dangerous territory.

If the sales process goes badly, they’ll tell other people. Though you might eventually refund their money to compensate for the trouble, they won’t get back the time they lost in the process.

The result will often be people who are anti-evangelists to your brand because their experience is so bad.

Focus on quality over quantity.

Most people shop for cars on Sunday because they know the dealerships are closed. They aren’t going to be “sold to.”

After the sale

One of the big questions to ask is what happens after the sale. Once we’ve made our first payment and committed to this purchase, what will the relationship look like?

Look for someone who is invested in you after you swipe your credit card.

Things will always go wrong because we’re human. But when something does go wrong, what will the process of fixing it look like? Who will have the decision-making power to make things right for us as customers?

Don’t leave your customers feeling as though they are shouting into the wind. Treat your customers well.

Remember this overall: if your product or service doesn’t perform well, and it makes me look bad in front of my clients, you’re likely going to have a big problem on your hands.

Onboarding questions

Two questions to consider:

What do our wins look like? What does a win look like for you and for your boss? Those aren’t always the same thing.

Sometimes you’ll know what’s needed for the brand, but your boss will need vanity metrics that are different. Being a good partner is doing both things.

Do you want a vendor or a strategic partner? If you’re simply looking for a vendor, Fidelitas probably isn’t the right partner for you. If you’re simply looking for five Facebook posts on a regular basis, you can most likely find this service cheaper somewhere else.

Think of it as two kinds of agencies: a Wonderbread factory and an artisan bakery.

One team will offer you off-the-menu options with add-ons to address your pain points. The other will customize a strategy and solution; a customized approach that positions it as your strategic partner.

If you just want a Facebook page or a website, you can find that somewhere else. We’ll help you understand why we’ve chosen the strategies that we’re using.

Fidelitas wants to work with clients who value their insights.

Strategic partnerships

Focus on strategic partnerships rather than just vendor relationships.

Figure out how you can add value. Adding value includes things like taking your team on a road trip to visit the client and get to know their needs. You aren’t being paid for that, but it will help you address their pain points.

If you can give something that the client didn’t pay for, and exceed their expectations with superior service, you’re providing value, and you’ll take your relationships to the next level.

“Build Enough Value” episode resources

You can find Tyler’s podcast, Lion’s Share Marketing Podcast, on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and anywhere that you’re listening to this podcast. Learn more about marketing wins and brand marketing strategies.

You can also find him on Twitter and you can email him at Fidelitas’ website.

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 sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Buyers Journey, Martyn R. Lewis, Donald Kelly

TSE 938: How Today’s Buying Journey Has Drastically Changed And Why It Matters To You!

Martyn Lewis, The Sales Evangelist, Buyer's JourneyThe buying journey has changed, and sellers must change with it. Sellers must address the gap between how people buy and how people sell. We must uncover why it matters that today’s buying journey has changed.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to Martyn Lewis, founder of Market Partners, about how today’s buying journey has drastically changed and why it matters to you.

Martyn is a seasoned veteran of the sales industry, and he founded Market Partners when he discovered that many sellers were selling their products and services according to the way buyers used to buy.

He’s an entrepreneur, and authority on business strategy. We’re talking about closing this month, and the buyer’s journey is an important part of that process.

Changing the buyers’ journey

Selling was much easier prior to the 1940s. People sold to each other and they had limited choices. Buyers knew what they wanted and they knew where to get it. Purchases were local.

Beginning in the 1940s, people had more choices. More people were involved in buying and more were involved in selling.

Communication, radio, television, fax changed the face of selling. They made the world smaller.

Buyers had the freedom to find sellers outside of their buying market. They could go to the next town or city or country to find something they needed.

Large companies saw the change coming and they introduced sales process.

Three generations

Today, in the third generation of sales since then, buyers have an abundance of choice. They can Google and find all sorts of things.

They have countless alternatives and no shortage of things they can do, and probably too much information.

That means you’re not the only one who’s selling. You’re not the only one competing for your buyer’s attention.

Today’s buyers are very busy. Technology has caused a huge disruption for buyers.

Previous buying stages

Every buyer’s market is different but the macro journey looks like this:

  • awareness
  • interest
  • commitments
  • acquisition
  • adoption

In the first stages, buyers had to really connect with the companies they buy from. They sought information from salespeople and brochures and phone calls.

Today, though, buyers can find their information on the Internet. The first two stages of that buyer’s journey can now be done without talking to a salesperson.

Data suggests, too, that more than 50 percent of the buyer’s journey happens before the buyer ever talks to a salesperson.

Prepared clients

Sellers have to go well beyond being a conduit of information for the buyers.

We have to discover what is on the buyer’s mind. We’ve got to manage the entire buying journey. So the role of the salesperson now isn’t to position and promote the product.

What does it take for an organization to commit to your product or service once they are truly interested?

Are they looking to test the equipment or are they simply window-shopping? They might worry about how to implement your product or service. Perhaps they’ll worry about training their people to use your goods.

Salespeople must manage that journey. Who all will be involved? What are their concerns and how do I handle them?

You’ve got to reduce that friction.

Falling short

The days of the single decision-maker are over. Today’s buying journey has changed so that networks of dynamic people make buying decisions today.

Very often the buyers themselves aren’t even sure after the fact who made the decision to go with a certain product.

Sellers must always look at everyone who is involved in the process and manage all the key players. Don’t ever assume a champion will do all the work for you.

Recognize the difference between interest and commitment. Never think because you’ve got someone who is sincerely interested in your offering that they will automatically buy it.

Think outside in. Start with the customer and their world.

How many things are on the customer’s mind? Always start with their world?

“Today’s Buying Journey Has Changed” episode resources

Grab a copy of Martyn’s book, How Customers Buy and Why They Don’t.

Email Lewis at mlewis@market-partners.com. He loves hearing from people about the work they are doing and the projects they are working on.

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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you by Maximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Payman Taei, Donald Kelly, Visme,

TSE 936: Best Practices For Using Visuals To Level Up Your Sales Game

Payman Taei, The Sales Evangelist, Visual contentAbout 65 percent of the population learns visually. When you’re engaging with your prospect, are you simply explaining your goods and services or are you showing them your goods and services? Today we’ll discuss the power of using visuals to level up your sales game.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Payman Taei, founder of Visme, a DIY platform to help you create and manage visual content, talks about how you can begin using visuals to level up your sales game.

Payman has run a boutique digital agency for 17 years, and his mission is to empower anyone, even those with no design experience, to create engaging, “snackable” content.

Wide audience

Payman realized a need several years ago to create a tool to help people create visual content. He realized that 98 percent of the population has no design experience, which means they cannot effectively communicate visually.

Visme seeks to fill that void and give people a starting point. It’s a platform that allows you to create all kinds of visual content using an easy interface, and it allows you to create it more efficiently than you could without it.

This matters to sales professionals because they constantly communicate with prospects and customers. You have to demonstrate why your product or service is different from your competition’s product or service.

Starting point

Visme is meant to give sales professionals a quick starting point.

It offers templates and themes and icons and assets, so regardless of what industry you’re in, you’ll have the ability to put something together pretty quickly. Then, the analytics behind Visme will track how much time the recipient spends on each of your slides or pages.

You can create a form at the front of the content that requires users to submit a name and email so you can track who looked at your content.

It eliminates the guesswork after sending a proposal or other content.

Sales struggles

If you’re an individual working in a very small business and you don’t have a design team, the platform allows you to create presentations and reports without relying on a designer.

You may not have access to a designer, and you may not have the budget for a designer. The other fact about designers is that there’s a certain amount of back-and-forth that exists in that process.

Visme allows individuals to address those pain points.

You can create the document, and then share it digitally or in person, and you can measure its performance.

Breaking down silos

If you’re part of a sales team, and you have a marketing department, you may still face some of the same challenges that individuals do.

You might work with templates that include your branding and your messaging. Visme allows your team to create templates and then lock certain aspects of them so that they can’t be changed.

Visme gives teams the confidence that they can create unique content without altering the important details. It keeps your rogue agents at bay.

This platform allows you to interact with the templates without the worry of messing them up.

The designers can decide how deep to let individual users go in terms of editing.

Focus on content

Visme allows you to focus on the content so that you can quickly create something you’re happy with.

The other advantage is that the more content you create, the larger your repository of icons and images you’ll collect. You can reuse and recycle them. So your second project will go faster than your first, and the third one will go faster than the second.

Each project becomes more efficient because you’ve got material from the previous one.

Adding value

When you’re following up with your prospects, visual content will allow you to provide relevant information. If someone applies for a download or interacts on your website, you can provide content that stands out from your competition.

You may be able to create a sales pitch for a client, and then without a lot of effort, personalize that sales pitch to another client and send visual content that is personalized to your customer.

Most salespeople aren’t as concerned about content as they are about sales. We’re trying to help them fill that gap and overcome that fear factor.

The audience cares about the small details, so first impressions matter.

Visme can work together with the other pieces of your process to help improve your conversion. It’s a piece of the puzzle.

If your process is completely broken, Visme won’t fix it. There is no magic bullet. But if you need to tweak aspects of your process to improve your sales, Visme is the tool that can help.

“Using Visuals to Level Up Your Sales Game” episode resources

You can connect with Payman on LinkedIn, and if you are interested in Visme, you can message him on LinkedIn and he’ll send members of The Sales Evangelist community a discount code for the premium package.

You can test drive Visme for free, and access a certain number of templates and graphics.

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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you by Maximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Rebecca Brizi, Donald Kelly, Inbound Leads, LinkedIn

TSE 931: How To Use LinkedIn for Inbound and Developing Process

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for sales professionals, but you must have a strategy in order to use it well. If you have a plan, you can use LinkedIn for inbound and developing process.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Rebecca Brizi, strategic consultant to small businesses and solopreneurs, talks about using social media to grow your business and how to use LinkedIn for inbound and developing process.

A place for business

When you enter LinkedIn, everyone knows why you’re there. There’s no ambiguity; it’s very specific.

People join LinkedIn because they want to connect with and network with people who are relevant to their businesses.

Rebecca’s husband is a great example of how LinkedIn can supplement your marketing efforts, especially for small businesses that don’t have a huge team of people.

Her husband doesn’t want to have to set up and run and manage a website, so he uses LinkedIn the way most people would use their business site. In fact, she said, he’s not asking people to visit an external site; he’s inviting them to find out about him in a place they’re already visiting.

LinkedIn can do everything for your business that websites can do. It can serve as an online brochure, an online messaging platform, and an online content platform.

Network with people

The best way to network with people is to help them know, like, and trust you.  Once you’ve done that, you’re on your way to a solid relationship that can create great opportunities.

Treat LinkedIn the same way treat your face-to-face marketing. Start with a focus on what you can do for other people. Begin by discovering what you can do to help people.

  • Who do they want to meet?
  • What do they want to learn?
  • What sort of information could be of interest to them?

Work to connect with people and stay transparent about who you are and why you want to connect with people.

You’ll be effective as long as you’re working to make your interactions positive for other people.

Great prospects

Once you’ve identified someone as a great prospect, consider trying to learn from him first. Determine whether you can make introductions that could be useful to him.

You have to know what your prospect wants in order to sell to him something. You have to understand what the prospect wants from life and how your product or service fits into that.

Effective sales is always about the buyer rather than the seller.

The Chet Holmes Buyer Pyramid says that at any given moment, only about three percent of your audience is actively looking to buy what you’re selling. Seven percent are open to whatever it is you’re selling.

The other 90 percent are split into thirds:

  • 30 percent haven’t even thought about it
  • 30 percent have thought about it but don’t think they need it
  • 30 percent are never going to buy from you.

You begin with 70 percent maximum reach every time. So do you want to capture the 3 percent or the 70 percent?

Well-crafted pitch

There’s a certain amount of subjectivity in each relationship that helps you determine the right moment to make your pitch.

A well-crafted pitch is a little like a marriage proposal. You’ve built up to that point and you expect the answer to be yes.

Success is much more about the buildup than about the final pitch. Once you’re facing that moment, you know when the time is right. You have the right solution at a fair price, so the moment develops clearly.

Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is somewhat self-promotional, and businesses should use it to publish articles, post PDFs, list services, and share recommendations. Additionally, you’ll interact with other people and their articles, you’ll comment, and you’ll ask questions.

Rebecca’s husband focused less on selling and focused more on helping his prospects buy. He crafted his website so that people could see themselves in the content on his profile.

Remember that people who are on LinkedIn are there because they want to network. They want to grow their businesses and learn for their businesses.

Start by getting on LinkedIn and emulate what you see other people doing.

Make sure your profile looks good and start small.

Determine which interactions give you the most value and replicate those tasks. Work LinkedIn into your natural flow and don’t let it interfere with other things you need to do for your work.

“Use LinkedIn for Inbound” episode resources

Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn or at her website rgbrizi.com. All her contact information is there, so you can message her, email her, and ask questions or share experiences.

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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you byMaximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Maximizer, CRM, The Sales Evangelist

TSE Blog 024: 7 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Company’s CRM

Maximizer, CRM, The Sales EvangelistFirst things first: your company needs a CRM. But before you leap into something new, keep in mind these 7 considerations when choosing your company’s CRM.

Your company’s CRM extends through the entire organization. Without it, you won’t be able to communicate effectively, and the disconnect will affect your customers’ experience.

The CRM you choose will allow you to centrally maintain important data that every department in your company requires access to: marketing, sales, HR, and accounts payable. Without it, the challenges are enormous.

Unfortunately, many small businesses discount the importance of CRM and use Excel spreadsheets to track their activities. Some keep notes in a variety of different silos that make it difficult to track all the efforts that have been made.

If you don’t already have an actual CRM, you need one.

When you’re in the market for a CRM, don’t make the mistake of choosing the cheapest or simplest option. Even if it’s your first time choosing a CRM, use this list to help you choose the best one for your company.

1.  Your CRM should be customizable.

The sales process looks different in every industry. Your buyers will buy differently and follow a different buyer’s experience than buyers in other segments of the market.

You must be able to customize your CRM to match your buyers’ needs.

Customization allows your team to organize their sales processes, and their KPIs, based upon the way your buyers buy. It also speeds up your close rate significantly because your salespeople can carry out activities in the order that makes buyers most comfortable.

Additionally, if you can add fields that are relevant to your industry, it often gives your team ownership in the process and increases the chances of successfully adopting the CRM. It isn’t always the best idea to buy a CRM that is specifically designed for our industry because the program might limit your capabilities.

When you can find a CRM that is agnostic and provides flexibility to the users, it helps the team perform better and sell more.

 

2.  Choose a CRM that is easy to use.

It seems self-explanatory that if your CRM is hard to use, your team will avoid it. If the process slows them down unnecessarily, it may be difficult to convince them to fully embrace it.

  • Does your CRM have drag-and-drop capabilities?
  • Is it easy for your team to add notes or information?
  • Is there a mobile application so you can access information virtually?
  • Can leaders create reports easily?

Your team must be able to record important information gathered during appointments, so they must have an easy-to-use CRM that allows them to record information quickly, from anywhere.

When you have to make important decisions about your prospects and your sales funnel, your CRM must make it easy for you to gather what you need.

3.  Your CRM must allow integration.

Fortunately, many CRMs offer integration capabilities now that allow you to combine the power of all your sales tools. These may be native integrations, or they may be powered by Zapier.

If a CRM doesn’t allow integration, it won’t work effectively for your team. Your CRM should allow your team to send mail through Gmail or Outlook and those communications should be automatically added to the deal or contact.

Integration is a huge time saver for your team given that most of our communication with prospects happens via email.

Additionally, you should be able to integrate into your marketing platform. This capability will help your marketing team make important decisions about buyer behaviors.

  • Who is the ideal customer?
  • How do they interact on our website?
  • Can we use lead scoring to our benefit?
  • How can we convert marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads?

This capability will help develop effective marketing campaigns as well as making sure the sales team gets the right leads.

Finally, your CRM should integrate with sales automation platforms like prospect.io and LeadIQ. It should integrate with your financial software and with other crucial software you use to run your business. It should allow you to add custom APIs.

4.  Find a CRM that offers training.

Although it’s important to find a CRM that is easy to use, it’s also important to find one that offers some level of training, such as online videos, webinars, FAQs, or customer service reps who will help your team get started.

If your CRM sits on the shelf unused, it isn’t helping your company.

Can the company work with your sales team to get you started using the CRM as quickly as possible? The time that your company invests into learning the CRM represents time taken away from the business.

Consider a CRM that doesn’t require you to reinvent the wheel but that can give you the shortcuts and guidance you need to use it effectively.

5.  Consider how your management will be involved with the CRM.

If management doesn’t use your CRM, the sales team will be less likely to use it. Your management must be involved with the CRM.

Leaders must take an active role in using and referring to the CRM. This will give them a pulse on the sales process and will help them understand the health of the clients and the performance of the sellers.  

This information will be crucial as leaders seek to coach sellers to perform to the best of their abilities.

6.  Your CRM should be user-friendly for all departments.

Your sales success depends on the team’s ability to use your CRM well. If Client Success needs to post the close of a new deal, how easy is the transition from prospect to customer?

What milestones exist to ensure that onboarding is successful?

Is there a workflow process that will track payments?

Can marketing monitor the success of the client to later use for testimonials?

Organizations realize the need to break down silos and improve communication through the entire organization, and the CRM can play a major role in that capability.

7.  Your CRM must be able to grow and scale.

As your team grows, you must have a CRM that allows you to purchase additional licenses as you need them without having to purchase more than you require.

A CRM that requires you to purchase more than you need is wasteful.

Additionally, you must have the ability to retract licenses as well. When people leave your team, you must be able to deactivate their licenses, ideally without having to involve customer service.

Consider your industry.

These aren’t the only important considerations when choosing a CRM, and the requirements will largely shift based upon your company’s industry and needs.

These are simply guidelines that most companies should consider as some of the most common needs companies have in their CRM.

To be sure you’re getting the right one, gather your end-users and department heads to seek their input about capabilities and features. Have a discussion about workflow and the buying process.

Is there a single CRM that can help you maximize your success?

I’ve used many CRMs over the years, and I love Maximizer, Pipeline Deals, and Hubspot CRM.

Remember as you make your decision that your organization must be able to communicate well, and they must be willing to use it.

Your CRM is about growth.

Jeet Banerjee, Lead Generation, Digital Marketing

TSE 926: Lead Generation Through Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing options will always exist for business owners and people in sales. Digital marketing, however, can be a more cost-effective way to grab people’s attention and guide them down a path to purchasing.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Jeet Banerjee discusses how lead generation through digital marketing can help you bring customers into your funnel.

Jeet is a serial entrepreneur who wrote the book Limitless Thinking: How One Young Entrepreneur Found Success With No Degree, Experience or Money, and he’s a digital marketing expert and a TEDx speaker. Share the tips you hear today with your team to make your process easier.

Digital marketing mistakes

Digital marketing is the concept of using technology as a medium to promote a business, concept, idea, or service; basically, anything that needs promotion.

A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that everyone is their ideal customer. That really means you don’t know who your customer really is.

Jeet launched a company years ago to help students get into college, and he knew so much about his ideal customer that he could tell you what he’d be doing on a Friday night.

Jeet believes you have to get that specific. He also believes that the more specific you are, the more successful you’ll be.

You aren’t leaving other customers on the table when you do that. You’re simply making your process easier by focusing on the people who are more likely to buy from you.

Once you’ve done that, you slowly scale out. Then you can try to convince the random guy on the street to become a customer.

Know where to start

Once you know your customer, you know where to start. You go where your customer is.

If your ideal customer is a private practice doctor, what digital marketing medium is this doctor who owns his own practice using? Is he on Facebook? On doctor forums? Reddit? What is he doing with his time?

Figure that out, and go there first.

There are a few different ways to figure out where they are spending their time.

  1. Offer your product free to a select group of ideal customers in exchange for a conversation about them. Ask where they spend time, what they do, and what their hobbies are.
  2. Go to forums like Reddit, discussion boards, or other forums and post a question. Use the same questions above.
  3. Use Google to search for surveys and articles that address your customer group.

Collect the data to get insight into where you should dig deeper.

Launch your digital marketing strategy

Once you have data, use the feedback your customers gave you.

Keep in mind what they said about marketing and colors and approaches, and then create a campaign. It might be a video, photo, blog post, or whatever you think will work.

Don’t rely on one thing. Try several variations to see what gets the best reception and what’s profitable.

There’s no silver bullet to digital marketing.

It’s true that content is still king, but it has become tougher to really succeed because you have to compete with sponsored ads. Consumers will see those before they see your content.

Also now everyone knows that content is king, so it’s more competitive. You have to elevate your game even further.

Create great content that people will organically share themselves. Once you do that, you’ll have your own audience and your own consumers sharing it for you.

Focus on content that’s shareable, not necessarily content that’s buyable.

Find the right people

You have to put the right product in the hands of the right people.

You can’t put a football in a tennis player’s hand, but if you put a football in Tom Brady’s hands, you know what he’s going to do with it.

You don’t have to create multi-million dollar content. You’ll get massive results if you create content that hits home and put it in the hands of the right people.

Make sure you’re authentic as well. Don’t copy your competitors simply because they are having success with their own campaigns. Establish your own voice.

Your voice will get lost, and you’ll inadvertently point to the other company because your voice sounds so much like theirs.

There will always be people who hate your “voice” and others who love it. Be authentic and be you. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.

“Digital Marketing” episode resources

You can connect with Jeet at his website, jeetbanerjee.com. Grab a copy of his book Limitless Thinking: How One Young Entrepreneur Found Success With No Degree, Experience or Money

Click here to see his TEDx talk If Not Now, When? and connect with Jeet on LinkedIn.

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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Video, Prospecting, Email

TSE 925: TSE Hustler’s League-“Video Revolution”

Video, Prospecting, EmailYou’re more than likely listening to this episode because you want to improve as a seller or a marketer. You’re seeking education so you can get an edge on your competition. There’s a tool that many of us are failing to embrace, and it could begin a video revolution.

On today’s episode of The Hustler’s League, we’ll talk about how digital cameras can change our companies, and how large organizations are using them well to engage in the video revolution.

The truth is that videos don’t have to be expensive anymore, due to the number of free tools out there and the availability of digital cameras.

TSE Hustler’s League is an online group training session to help sellers like you and me to learn how we can improve our prospecting.

Facebook

I ran a couple of Facebook ads recently and I had really limited results. Want to know why?

I didn’t run the campaign properly, and I used a static image. I didn’t use video.

If you scroll through Facebook or Instagram, you’ll notice there are lots more videos than there are pictures there. The reason for that is that we don’t want to invest the work to read something. We’d rather listen because we can consume the content while we do other things.

It’s also true that many of us are more visual, so if we can see it and hear it, we grasp it better.

In our sales and marketing efforts, we have to look for opportunities to use video. Many of the platforms we use daily prefer video content because it’s working better.

Hubspot

Hubspot, the marketing platform, has started creating customer success platforms and tools. They’re embracing video because it’s more effective.

We know people prefer video because it helps them understand things better and it allows them to consume content while they are doing other things. Knowing that is true, imagine using video in your sales outreach.

You could send emails to your prospects with videos inside, and companies like BombBomb and Wistia that can help you master video.

When you use video, it makes your communication unique, and you’re able to effectively share more information than you can in an email.

Embrace the video revolution

These two large companies are already embracing video, and it’s only a matter of time before others do as well.

If you begin to integrate that into the daily operation of your business, you’ll gain the advantage over your competition.

Hubspot is embracing video for both its marketing and its video. They are sending information and creating marketing content that is video-based, and it’s helping their customers.

You could use video as an opt-in for your website: a video that explains why you’re asking for the opt-in and what your customers will get if they do it.

Use it to teach your customers. If they get new software, they don’t want to read an entire book to understand how to use it.

You can literally infuse video throughout your entire organization. Take advantage of its benefits when you’re doing outreach, when you’re marketing, and when you’re teaching your clients.

I use video to train my team members about the backside of the podcast: how to upload audio or how to create artwork.

Humanize your communication

Emails and other forms of electronic communication are less personal. They don’t allow our prospects to experience who we are as people.

Videos allow your prospects to hear you, to see your mannerisms, to hear your tonality, and to see your gestures. It helps them build a connection to someone they don’t necessarily know yet.

Video is the future of sales. If Company A sends me a long outreach email, and Company B sends me a quick video, I’ll be more inclined to click on the video to hear what he has to say.

I encourage you to go back to your team today to brainstorm:

  • How can you use video in your sales and marketing efforts?
  • Can you use video to help with client success?
  • How can we use video to train people?

Share with me what you decide to do with video capabilities.

“Video revolution” episode resources

We’re doing a little bit of remodeling with TSE Hustler’s League this upcoming semester, changing up the curriculum. We would love to have you check it out and apply and see if it may be something that can benefit you.

You can also join our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers to connect with sales professionals from all walks of life.

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. Video Jungle offers top-notch, state-of-the-art advice about video, which is a great way to offer relevant content on LinkedIn.

Email me for more information about our newly launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries. You can also email us about our new business development services.

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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRMis a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Tom Poland, Leadsology, Inbound Lead, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 916: How To Develop A Marketing Message That Cuts-Through & Brings More Leads

Tom Poland, The Sales Evangelist, LeadsologyImagine how quickly sales will decline if your sales and marketing teams aren’t communicating well. You must have a marketing message that cuts through the noise and generates inbound leads.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Tom Poland helps us learn more about how to effectively create a marketing message that will guide your prospects through the buyer’s journey.

Tom helps professionals create a systematic flow of inbound leads. He’ll help us create a unified message between sales and marketing instead of bumping heads constantly.

Some people have suggested that sales and marketing are like siblings, and when they aren’t getting along well, it creates chaos in the family.

Inbound leads

When you wake up on Monday morning to discover multiple bookings by people who want to talk to you about becoming a client, and they have a pretty good idea of how you work and what you charge, that’s inbound.

They’re quite convinced that you are their number one choice to solve their problem or meet their challenge, and you didn’t need cold calls or direct mail letters to connect with them.

That’s the magic of inbound: creating high quality, well-qualified new client inquiries.

Tom says it’s a mistake to be singularly focused on just finding leads. It’s not about finding the leads, it’s about finding the people who are happy leads.

Finding leads is a little like running through the forest poking bears. The bears are asleep and you’ve got a honeypot that you want them to reach, so you poke them all and wave the honeypot in front of their noses.

If their hunger exceeds their anger, you get to live.

Good marketing gently puts that honeypot outside the forest in the form of some kind of content marketing. The people who put their hand out metaphorically and stop to smell the honey are the ones you want to put an offer in front of.

Marketing assets

The creation of marketing assets serves as the great separator between people who stay stuck on the treadmill and those who actually create something scalable.

Marketing assets can be presentations, lunch-and-learn opportunities, webinars, videos, or a book. The asset has to match the audience.

It’s no good running a webinar for CEOs because they aren’t webinar people.

In most cases, sales reps will have three target audiences:

  • corporate executives
  • entrepreneurs
  • consumers

Each of those markets will have different assets or mediums that they’ll respond best to. The creation of those assets demands that you include the right subject matter, communicate the right way, and reach the right people.

 

Starting point

If you’re starting a webinar or a series of videos, the first question people will have is “Why should I listen to this guy or girl?”

Next, we need to describe the problem in such a way that the audience knows that we understand their challenges. Finally, we’ll address why their previous efforts have failed, which builds a depth of relatability and respect for your expertise.

You must lay out a sequence that you lead the audience through from the start.

Normally they’re open-mindedly skeptical: open-minded enough to attend your meeting but skeptical enough to ask questions about your background and the solutions you’re offering.

The audience is looking for something valuable. They’ve given up their most precious resource in the form of their time, so they are looking for something they can implement.

When you give people what they came for, you differentiate yourself by giving real value. Allow your prospect to walk away with something valuable. If they buy, great. If they don’t, they still walked away with your brand in their brains.

Say something different

Your message must cut through to your prospects. You’ve got to say something different than your competitors are saying.

If, for example, every business around you is promising to help you grow your business and find more free time, you’ve got to stop repeating what everyone else is saying.

Secondly, you’ve got to motivate people to take the action you want them to take.

1. Make it benefit-rich. Instead of talking about being a business coach or a software developer, talk about the benefits.

2. Include specifics, which increase both believability and desirability.

3. Be different. When you incorporate cut-through, you immediately motivate the person to want to know more about your product or service.

You have to hit the sweet spot between believability and desirability.

Over-deliver

Whatever you are, be authentic. Whatever you do in your message, make sure that you can not only deliver but over-deliver, because you want the referrals and the word-of-mouth.

You want people excited about what you do, and you want to have quality experiences, which means you have to under-promise and over-deliver.

You set the expectations at a level that you know you can exceed. It means that you have to be good at what you do because you have to set the expectations at a desirable level and then over-deliver.

Scale your value delivery as much as you can because it gives you more resources for marketing. Marketing is what makes the money and it’s where the magic happens.

When your groups are communicating and the message is unified among the entire team, magic can happen.

 

“Marketing Message” episode resources

Email Tom or connect with him at leadsology.guru.  You can find lots of free stuff there, including the famous five-hour challenge that will help will help you create an effective marketing message so you can generate some leads.

Is your CRM functioning properly? It’s important to have a CRM that your team is willing to use.

If you’re unhappy with your CRM, check out Maximizer CRM. If you’re happy with your CRM, check out Maximizer. It has been around a long time, and it’s worth the time to check out the free demonstration.

Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities. Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you.

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. Video Jungle offers top-notch, state-of-the-art advice about video which is a great way to offer relevant content on LinkedIn.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Ken Tucker, Donald Kelly, Duct-tape Marketing, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 913: Common Mistakes We Make Trying To Get Inbound Leads


Ken Tucker, Donald Kelly, Duct-tape Marketing, The Sales Evangelist

If you want to take advantage of inbound leads, you must create content for your website that attracts people. It must draw people who are researching and trying to find solutions. We must also avoid common mistakes we make trying to get inbound leads.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Ken Tucker continues our month-long conversation about inbound strategies and how we can generate leads and build value for our customers. He helps us identify the common mistakes we make trying to get inbound leads.

Ken got his start in IT, so he calls himself a big systems guy. He said he sees a lot of small businesses struggle to put together a marketing system that’s repeatable and optimizable.

Avoid ineffective websites

It’s important to think about search engine optimization, or how findable your website is when people search for you. SEO optimization is a traffic source and lead generator.

Unfortunately, a lot of businesses don’t have a clear, strong call-to-action. The message at the top of their page isn’t clear when you get there.

It isn’t super obvious what you do, and it needs to be super obvious. It needs to be super obvious what problems you solve for your customer.

If you write your website from your business’ perspective and talk about your services and your certifications, that’s the wrong approach.

Ken calls himself a StoryBrand guy, which means he focuses on putting the customer first. The customer is the hero who has a problem and he’s looking for a guide with a plan who can help him achieve an outcome or avoid failure.

On your homepage or any key landing pages, clarity of messages is critical. They must understand within 3-5 seconds of landing on your website what it is you do.

You also have to think about your website’s encryption, as well as how your website performs on a mobile device. Given that 50 percent of all searches happen on a mobile device, your website has to perform well on mobile platforms.

Consider problems in three dimensions

StoryBrand prompts businesses to think about problems in three dimensions: external, internal, and philosophical.

A customer seeking a dentist, for example, has an external problem of a toothache. His internal problem is that he is terrified of dentists because it hurts way too much. The philosophical problem is that it’s 2018, and it shouldn’t be that hard to have a stress-free experience at the dentist.

The dentist will want to keep these problems in mind while he’s creating his marketing materials. People are looking for a solution to help them achieve an outcome.

Think about their before state and their after state. The reason they buy from you is because of the internal problem that they have, and the fact that you have spoken to that internal problem.

Identify that internal problem by interviewing your existing customers. Ask them why they selected you. Why did they feel comfortable working with your business?

Do keyword research and figure out the phrases people are typing in when they are doing searches. Make your content match with the phrases that people are using when they search.

You can determine a lot of the internal, external, and philosophical problems by getting feedback from the people you currently work with as well as those who are out there on the Internet.

Become a trusted resource

I hear from people all the time who tell me that they listened to the show for a year or more before they jumped into my coaching or the TSE Hustler’s League.

Because I shared resources at one point, they come back over and over again. It’s a long-term game, but too many entrepreneurs view it as instant gratification.

You have to think about your website from the customer’s experience.

  • What is the customer’s journey?
  • Do you understand the buying cycle?
  • What information will they need to know along the way?
  • When will they need the information?
  • Where should the content be delivered?

You must map that out and do some strategy work.

Know your customer’s journey

Ken is a Duct Tape Marketing guy as well, so he defines the customer journey as a marketing hourglass.

You’ve got traditional stuff that everyone talks about, such as know, like and trust, but in the world of online where the customer is in control, you really have to think about some kind of a trial offer before they are going to be willing to buy.

Think about giving the customer an opportunity to find out what it’s like working with you in a much lower risk scenario.

When you flip the hourglass over, you’ve got repeat and refer. How do you do more with existing customers? Marketing shouldn’t stop once someone becomes a customer.

Your website shouldn’t be simply an online brochure. You need to actually move them through the process and make it easier for them to decide that you’re the right company, product, or solution for them.

Create lead generation

You must have marketing automation and CRM for your business. There are many great ones depending on the complexity of your business.

If you’re going to work hard to get leads to your website, make sure that you’re showing up when people are doing certain critical searches. Facebook advertising is powerful and cost-effective, and direct mail campaign can be incredibly powerful as well.

You’re going to build the initial relationship online and then nurture it through email sequences that will move people through the decision-making process or the buying process.

When someone comes to your website and watches a webinar or downloads a checklist, what is your followup?

Focus on traffic

Figure out where your customer is spending time online. If you’re a b2b, Facebook may not be the best place for you to start your advertising strategy.

Identify what sources of traffic you want to generate. Will it be SEO? Paid strategy?

Keep in mind your customer’s journey: know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer.

Don’t buy into the idea that you have to have the perfect website to get started. It’s an iterative process.

Focus on a couple of key pages. If you build only one page the best way you can, don’t get wrapped around the axle trying to make it perfect.

Develop strategies that align with where your customers are already spending time online. The last thing you want to do is fumble away an opportunity.

Think about the customer journey and focus on the problem that you solve. Once you’ve started the customer through that journey, it will help you write effective sales copy and define the before- and after-state.

“Inbound Leads” episode resources

You can find Ken at changescapeweb.com, and on most social media channels as @changescape.

Grab a copy of Ken’s book Social Media Marketing for Restaurants, which is valuable for restaurants and also for any business that has a brick and mortar type of business where they have lots of traffic coming inKen also wrote a book called Reputation Marketing (Marketing Guides for Small Businesses).

Is your CRM functioning properly? It’s important to have a CRM that your team is willing to use.

If you’re unhappy with your CRM, check out Maximizer CRM. If you’re happy with your CRM, check out Maximizer. It has been around a long time, and it’s worth the time to check out the free demonstration.

Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities. Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you.

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. Video Jungle offers top-notch, state-of-the-art advice about video which is a great way to offer relevant content on LinkedIn.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Donald Kelly, Inbound, Inbound Leads, New Leads, Sales Leads

TSE 912: What Should Sales Know About Inbound Leads?


Donald Kelly, Inbound, Inbound Leads, New Leads, Sales LeadsInbound is a powerful tool for your organization. We all want inbound leads, but we have to work with our teams to make sure our company will be known by the people who are seeking our product or service. What should our sales team know about inbound leads?

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk about what inbound is, why it’s important, and how powerful it can be for your organization. Sales professionals who are capable marketers will be able to massively impact their own bottom line.

What is inbound?

HubSpot is the leading online site for inbound marketing, and it defines inbound as marketing focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content, and by adding value at every stage in a buyer’s journey.

Inbound customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, podcasts, and social media. So in a nutshell, inbound is where you set up the means to attract people to your website to digest your content.

Many times, our customers fail to find our business because we don’t do enough preparation. We sit back and hope that someone will find us, or that we’ll get a referral.

The goal is to provide education to our customers.

In the opening of the show, I told you about Jan, who tasked her employee Dave with finding new financial software for their company. The existing software wasn’t working, and they needed a new option as quickly as possible.

Dave started by Googling software, which was the beginning of his buyer’s journey.

As an organization, do you have videos on your YouTube or Vimeo or wherever you host videos?  Is there a way for your customers to find videos on your website?

The buyer’s journey

With HubSpot, the journey begins by attracting people who don’t know anything about you.

In this case, Dave is trying to find accounting software, and perhaps you have a blog post on your website titled 10 Things to Know About Buying Accounting Software. Or even 5 Mistakes People Make When Buying Accounting Software.

You must have a piece of content that will help your customer learn more about your product or service. You’re looking to educate your customer.

In the case of this podcast, a potential customer might search cold calling and find a podcast episode relevant to that topic. He’ll listen to the podcast and then perhaps reach out to me or download one of our assets.

Our podcast attracts people to our product.

The conversion state begins when they download something of value from your page. You may have a few emails that you send out which begins the nurturing process. Your sales team might even reach out to him to see if he has questions.

Once they convert or close, you delight them so they’ll give you more referrals.

Think like the buyer

Too many of us neglect the early part of the buyer’s journey: the attraction.

In the attraction phase, you must think like the buyer. What are the top five questions Dave might have as he researches financial software? As the prospect gathers information, what will he discover?

Buyers are doing incredible amounts of research before they come to the sales table. Your job is to educate them.

If you find yourself worrying that they’ll buy someone else’s stuff even after you give them valuable information, you’re likely worrying too much.

In the case of The Sales Evangelist, some people listen to my podcast without buying anything at all immediately. Two years later, they come back and purchase one of our programs or our trainings, but it likely wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t provided information.

Give your customers things that they need, and especially things they may not know that they need to know.

You can use a video, a checklist, or social media. Give them education and relevant content.

We’re launching a YouTube channel and our Instagram TV on October 1 so people can consume our content via video if they prefer.

The basics

What challenges is your customer facing? What things does she need to know before she buys something?

Attract the prospect. Give her a chance to come to you first. The person she connects with first will most likely be the one she buys from, so increase the odds that she’ll find you before she finds your competition.

In the case of Dave, if you help him look good for his boss, he’ll likely come back and praise you and then send referrals your way. It’s a wonderful cycle.

I share all this stuff with you because I want to help you find more ideals customers. I want you to build stronger value and close more deals. Most importantly, I want to challenge you to go out every single day and do big things.

“Inbound Leads” episode resources

Is your CRM functioning properly? It’s important to have a CRM that your team is willing to use.

If you’re unhappy with your CRM, check out Maximizer CRM. If you’re happy with your CRM, check out Maximizer. It has been around a long time, and it’s worth the time to check out the free demonstration.

Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities. Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you.

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. Video Jungle offers top-notch, state-of-the-art advice about video which is a great way to offer relevant content on LinkedIn.

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.

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.

 

SaveSave

Bryan Hendrick, Donald Kelly, Entrepreneur, Selling

TSE 873: The Challenges of Selling As An Entrepreneur Part 1

Bryan Hendrick, Donald Kelly, Entrepreneur, Selling

Entrepreneurs, regardless of their industry, must learn to succeed in sales. Selling as an entrepreneur is challenging because you don’t necessarily have the same resources you had when you worked for a big company. As an entrepreneur, you have to do the sales, the fulfillment, and everything in between.

Today, Bryan Hendrick from our The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League online group coaching program talks about how he made the transition to entrepreneurship, and the challenges he overcame during the process.

Several years ago, Bryan realized that his financial future wasn’t as secure as he would have hoped, and he knew he needed to make a change. He founded Cascadian Landworks in a city he had no real contacts in and has grown his construction company to four employees.

Building from scratch

Many entrepreneurs in the construction field venture out on their own after years in the industry. The transition is a bit smoother because they have years’ worth of connections. When they branch out, they simply let their contacts know that they’re going out on their own.

Bryan, on the other hand, started out in a city he didn’t know well in an industry he was relatively new to. He had a rough plan moving forward, but he didn’t have all the details worked out.

Bryan owned one truck plus $9,000 to buy a dump trailer; he had no real financial buffer to get him through a few dry months.

He needed to hit the ground running on day one, and he recognizes now that having his back against the wall forced him to succeed.

When one of his early projects cost about $2,000 more than he contracted for, he remembers being in a “pit of despair.”

Fortunately, he knew that tough times were part of the equation, and he kept fighting.

Learning to sell

Bryan’s only real sales experience was a job selling cameras at an electronics store, and he quickly figured out that the B2C model was exceptionally difficult in the paver business. He discovered that he knew nothing about cold calling and outbound selling.

Because he didn’t have much visibility, he figured marketing was the key to success. When he shifted to a B2C sales model, he was much more successful, because general contractors were easier to locate than individual homeowners who needed pavers.

He started looking for email templates that would help him know what he didn’t know. Bryan discovered blogs and podcasts that helped him shift his focus from marketing to actually selling. He learned to reach out directly through more traditional methods.

Thinking big

Very often entrepreneurs focus on landing small deals because they are hesitant to go for the bigger ones.

In Bryan’s case, landing a $200,000 job in an industry that pays after work is complete meant lining up all his resources to make sure the project was completed properly and on time.

Additionally, large projects for him require sufficient manpower and significant risk: if he doesn’t get paid for a $200,000 job, he may not recover.

The biggest shift for him was his mindset and learning to master his cash flow so he could scale his projects.

“Selling As An Entrepreneur” episode resources

Our friends at Wiley have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. Based on research and interviews with buyers, the book provides a blueprint for sales professionals. Read an excerpt of the book here.

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. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.

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 so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Online Sales Coaching

TSE 860: TSE Hustler’s League-“I Want To Cancel”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Online Sales Coaching

Sales reps in small firms often have to do much of their own work. They do their own prospecting, conversions, and account maintenance, and they have to keep track of a lot of things. When a prospect says “I want to cancel,” we find ourselves questioning our decisions and wondering where we went wrong.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we share the story of one of our TSE Hustler’s League members who faced this very issue.

One of his marketing customers inexplicably cancelled the contract with him, and he was left wondering why.

Going above and beyond

When their business relationship began, they started from scratch. He created directories and set up an email platform to encourage customers to review her business.

In the midst of their efforts, the customer had a baby, so she was sometimes slow to respond to his need for information.

He set up tags in her emails so she could track her leads and prospects, and he set up her Google to sync with her CRM.

When it became apparent that she wasn’t very familiar with her own CRM, he learned the system himself so he could help her.

She told him she was happy with the emails he generated for her, and she referred him to other people. She even updated her credit card information with him.

Then, one month later, she cancelled.

Asking questions

When one of our members steps into the hotseat as part of TSE Hustler’s League, we first respond to the challenge by asking questions.

  • Did she provide a specific reason why she didn’t want to continue doing business?
  • Did you establish conversion expectations as part of the contract?
  • Have you spoken to her over the phone about this situation?
  • Have you met with her face-to-face?
  • Was there any kind of guarantee in the contract?
  • Have you asked her what it would take to earn her business back?

The client told him that she didn’t feel like she had seen any results from their partnership. He hadn’t met with her or spoken to her over the phone, and there weren’t any guarantees or metrics within the contract.

At this point in the Hustler’s League, we would typically provide our suggestions, and we’ll get to that on next week’s episode.

Today, though, I am asking for your feedback. What would you recommend he do in this situation? How would you respond?

Email me or join our Facebook group and share your answers with us. Include the episode number, 860, in your response, and tell us how you would handle a situation like this.

We want to help sales professionals find more ideal customers, and go out each day and do big things.

“I Want To Cancel” episode resources

There’s a reason I continue suggesting the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

I’m offering a free excerpt of the book so you can check it out for yourself.

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. Video Jungle offers top-notch, state-of-the-art advice about video.

Email me for more information about our newly launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries. You can also email us about our new business development services.

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.

SaveSave

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Tools

TSE 847: My Two Newest Sales Outreaching Tools

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales ToolsThe odds are not in your favor. There are 100,000 ideal prospects in the U.S., but there are also 100 competitors. You aren’t sure when your prospects will be ready to buy. You aren’t even sure if they already have a solution to the problem you’d like to help them solve.

But what if you had a tool that would let you know when a particular prospect is ready to buy what you’re selling? Today on The Sales Evangelist, we’re talking about my two newest sales outreaching tools that will help you connect with prospects.

LeadGibbon

If you’re doing outbound sales and you want more information about your prospects, LeadGibbon can help you get the information you need.

Even if you have the paid version of LinkedIn, and you’re using it together with Sales Navigator, you aren’t guaranteed you’ll be able to get the information you need about your prospects.

LeadGibbon is a Google Chrome plug-in for your LinkedIn. With it, you’ll be able to pull individual information from a LinkedIn profile and gain more information about your prospect.

Say you’re looking at Donald Kelly’s profile. LeadGibbon pulls the company name, phone number, and email address for the profile you’re viewing.

You can save the information to a plug-in, and the plug-in can extract the information and add it to a Google Drive folder.

You do a search through Sales Navigator and you want to get a phone number. LeadGibbon can pull up the phone number for the organization or individual.

Although it isn’t 100% perfect, it does save tons of time, and it helps with marketing efforts because I have a list of my Dream 100.

I can add them to my CRM via CSV file. It helps me find publicly-available information about my prospects.

LeadSift

Imagine being able to narrow your contact efforts to prospects who had already “raised their hands.” Whether they visited a profile on LinkedIn, or visited your competitor’s website, they have indicated an interest in what you’re selling.

The LeadSift team will help you figure out the best keywords and the best strategies to find the ideal customers in your industry.

It will likely take a couple of tries in order to find the right combination, but once you find it, you’ll have leads pouring in.

Then, you can share LeadSift with your marketing team. You can craft a campaign that includes having your them reach out to your prospects on week 2 or 3.

“Sales Outreaching Tools” resources

The book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen keeps salespeople from having to shoot in the dark. It prevents them from guessing how to build value, because buyers are telling us to stop selling and start leading.

There’s a reason I continue suggesting the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading from our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

I’m so convinced of its message that I’m offering a free excerpt of the book so you can check it out.

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.

Donald Kelly, Take Charge, Creative, Outreach

TSE 824: Sales From The Street: “Take Matters Into Your Own Hands”

Donald Kelly, Take Charge, Creative, Outreach

The very best thing you can do for your sales pipeline is to get your content in front of your prospect even before they need it. The most effective way to do that is to take matters into your own hands and utilize social selling to reach your prospects.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re sharing our own story of social selling and why we fought so hard to employ it. Like every episode of Sales From the Street, you’ll hear about the struggle, how we overcame it, and what the results were.

Resistance to social selling

At one of my previous companies, a coworker and I recognized the power of social media for sales professionals who were trying to reach prospects. What we noticed, though, was that our leaders weren’t on board with the idea.

In the early days of LinkedIn, management assumed that if you were on LinkedIn, you were looking for other jobs. Since then, the platform has transformed into a place where sellers can build relationships and find opportunities.

The truth is that very often your prospects don’t know who you are; and being the best-kept secret should never be your goal.

Your ideal customers need to know who you are, because they know who your competitors are.

The marketing department didn’t like the idea. They said any social selling would have to be consistent and uniform. (Translation: they didn’t like the lack of control.) They recognized that we should be doing something, but no one wanted to implement change.

Our markets were shrinking and our opportunities were dying.

Your own pie

My coworker and I offered to help write content so it didn’t all fall to marketing. Although everyone acknowledged the need for social selling, no one wanted to let us have a piece of the pie.

So my coworker and I created our own pie.

We created a blog and started generating content about our product. We shared the content with our prospects in the form of blog posts.

The important thing is that we took control of the problem and addressed it ourselves. We never did close lots of deals as a result of it, and we didn’t make millions, it helped us realize the need to embrace social selling.

I’ve done the same thing with The Sales Evangelist, using my podcast as a means to connect with people. Early on, I noticed that one of my prospects had been interviewed for a pretty popular magazine. I asked him to appear on the podcast, and he eventually introduced me to other people.

Your own brand

Every seller must have his own brand online, even if it’s only your LinkedIn or Twitter pages. If you’re in the healthcare space, tailor your accounts to that industry.

Create content that helps you connect with your prospects, whether it’s a blog or a podcast or something different.

Just like there are many possible routes that will get you from New York to Los Angeles, there are many ways to utilize social selling to reach your audience.

Don’t be a one-trick pony, and don’t abandon the things you’re already doing. Simply add social selling to your process to help you reach your audience more quickly and efficiently.

Episode resources

If you haven’t already established your own brand, personal brand strategist Stephen Hart specializes in helping service-based professionals and entrepreneurs build their own personal brand.

Successful sellers find ways to think outside the box, because prospects want you to lead them rather than sell to them.

This is why I’ve recommended Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen, brought to you by our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a blueprint for sellers, giving you a first-hand look at what buyers want and the things they hate. Click here for an excerpt of the book.

Check out the Video Jungle Podcast to hear best practices for video and film production and to learn the art of selling your product with video. The podcast is part of our newly-launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Repeatable sales process, Big Sales Wins, Chris Rothstein, Groove

TSE 808: How To Gain Big Sales Wins Through Specific Repeatable Actions

Chris Rothstein, The Sales EvangelistBig sales wins are virtually impossible when marketing and sales departments don’t work together. When the two entities align to use repeatable action steps, the result is big sales wins.

Today on The Sales Evangelist podcast, we talk with Chris Rothstein about the ways to align your sales efforts, and the success that results when you do.

Two developments demand the need for greater alignment: improved tracking capability and increased specialization within companies. Because companies used specialized departments to accomplish specific tasks, many handoffs occur throughout the sales process.

Speak the same language.

When different teams operate according to different criteria, the result is often finger-pointing rather than collaboration.

If, for example, a marketing department gathers 1,000 business cards in a fishbowl, those may not actually be qualified leads. The marketing department may perceive that it achieved its goal, while the sales team may believe otherwise.

When everyone within a company speaks the same language, the company becomes more effective.

To achieve that goal, Rothstein’s company Groove tracks all forms of communication and collects data from it. The company syncs all emails and calendars, and classifies every meeting that takes place.

Armed with that information, they can determine where in the sales process deals are dying and where the sales reps need help. They record sales calls and provide follow-on, specialized coaching.

Finally, they collaborate to identify the companies they’ll pursue in their sales process so that they are all focused on the same targets.

Narrow your focus.

Many organizations cast too wide a net.

They undertake a huge list of prospects with a goal to connect with a small number of them. Because the list is so large, it’s tough for sales people to achieve any depth in the relationship.

If, on the other hand, companies will restrict the number of prospects they target, they’ll achieve better results because they can focus better.

In an account-based approach, each person has a unique role, and the customer will experience a unified process.

Earn big sales wins.

The sales cadence model will vary according to your industry. In every industry, though, a successful cadence will require multiple touches.

Email boasts a big impact in the software industry, for example, but not in the restaurant industry. Each industry in your company’s profile will demand unique touches and processes.

Evaluate how long your process should be, and make it longer than you think it should be. Then stick with it.

Episode resources

You’ve heard me talk about The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, our online group coaching program for sellers of all levels. We understand the importance of cadence and repeatable action steps. We help participants understand the concepts and then apply what they’ve learned.

The easiest step you can take is to apply for The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League to see if you qualify for the program. Our next semester begins April 26 and will focus on building more value. We’d be honored to have you join us.

You can connect with Chris at Groove or find him on Twitter.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

The Psychology of Marketing, Chris Dayley, Conversion

TSE 798: The Psychology of Marketing & How It Relates to Your Conversion Rate

Most businesses know their target audience. They probably know their customers’ pain points and they think they know how to influence their customers. Most businesses overlook the psychology of marketing that will help them convert those customers.

In today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Chris Dayley talks about the psychology of marketing and how it leads to more conversion.

Limited time

Research suggests that users to new websites spend 2-3 seconds making decisions about the information they find there. Does it feel credible? Is it relevant? Much of the decision-making happens subconsciously.

As a result, it’s critical in those few seconds that you are clear and deliberate in your messaging and that you don’t distract. Don’t make the mistake many companies make of shoving too much information on your users.

The existence test, for example, involves systematically removing things from your page to determine if any of the components are distracting your users. Dayley shares that most pages he tests have at least one distraction that is hurting the conversion rate.

Psychology of marketing

Understanding your target audience’s needs is one thing; communicating with them on your website is totally different.

In both sales and marketing, you must sell people on value. If you can build value, you have a better chance of conversion.

Additionally, the value you offer must be worth the cost to the user. Is your value proposition worth an email address? A phone call?

Note, too, that if your site requires users to dig to find your value proposition, it likely won’t help the conversion process.

Evolve

No salesperson does the same sales pitch for their entire lives; it constantly evolves as he determines what works well and what doesn’t. He adjusts his message based upon the pitch.

Don’t assume you know what is best for your audience. Be willing to be proven wrong and try different approaches, even when your content is performing well.

Be willing to challenge assumptions.

Episode resources

Chris Dayley helps businesses test their websites and their content. Using design principles, psychology, user information, and loads of other details, he helps businesses create websites that will convert.

Find Chris designed a free A/B Testing Starter Guide at to train the new people at Disruptive Advertising, and he offers it free to users who would like to try A/B testing.

If you feel stuck in your own silo and you’d like to learn more about marketing so you can better align with others in your company, check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online group coaching program for sellers of all levels.

We’ve been in your shoes before and we want to help you become more effective at qualifying leads without spending a fortune on quality training.

Adam Witty, Forbes books, Donald Kelly

TSE 678: The Seven Pillars of Authority Marketing

How do you want to be seen by prospects – a salesman or a Forbes 500 businessman?

Speeding up the sales process is critical in any business and if you want to do just that, you have to learn how to present yourself to prospects as a trusted expert, not just a commodity.

Adam Witty is the Founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group – ForbesBooks, an authority marketing and publishing company. It’s Forbes’ first foray into the book publishing world.

He definitely knows a thing or two when it comes to grabbing attention and being able to present a product or service to a prospect in a way they can better make decisions. Today, Adam dishes out the 7 Pillars of Authority Marketing.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Adam:

The Biggest Marketing Mistake Entrepreneurs Make:

Many salespeople tend to commoditize themselves. They talk, think, and act like everybody else. However, in this very competitive world of business, you need to get people’s attention.

So you need to do the opposite and stand out above the crowd. Strategically and systematically position yourself as an authority of whatever you do, regardless of the industry you’re in.

The Principle of Authority Marketing

If you spent more than twelve months at something you do, you know more about that one thing than 99.99% of the population. You become an expert in that very narrow niche topic. Unfortunately, we don’t recognize this.

Exploit the fact that you know so much about this topic and then build this into a marketing plan.

Your Best Marketing Tool: Write a Book on What You’re an Expert At

Write a book related to what you sell of course. And when you both sit down with that prospect, pull out a copy of your book. Autograph it to them and slide it across the table.

This completely changes the dynamics and it takes you from being a salesperson to a trusted authority. The prospect is now curious about what you have to share with them. You are now seen as an unwanted pest to a trusted guest.

The 7 Pillars of Building Authority

1. Content Marketing

This is when you publish your expertise through a book, an article, a white paper, an article about you, a blog post, a podcast, a webinar, an audio interview, etc.

This idea is that if you have something interesting and important to say to the right kind of person and you put that information in front of them, they’re going to listen to and consume that information. Then they will most likely want to engage with you.

Instead of pushing yourself towards the prospects, you’re actually pulling the prospects towards you.

2. Branding an Omnipresence

Are you seen as a salesman or an authority? This depends on how you show up – physically and online. What comes up when a prospect looks you up on Google?

Start with your LinkedIn Page and having a personal brand website. What is your personal brand and how is that represented online?

Through your personal branding website, you’re able to tie back into your content marketing (links to your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or whatever social media platform you’re using for your business).

What is your personal brand? Do you look like a salesman or a Fortune 500 CEO?

3. PR & Media

People won’t believe what you say about you but they do about what other people say about you. If you want to get the media, you have to give the media something to talk about (ex. book launch, compelling research)

The media is not the business of helping you grow your business But it’s in the business of reporting news or creating stories they think will be interesting to their audience.

4. Speaking

If you speak a lot, you are seen as an expert. Otherwise, they wouldn’t allow you to speak at an event.

You don’t have to be a professional speaker but you have to be able to speak about that thing you’re passionate about and you’re speaking to the right people.

When you’re speaking, you’re wearing that Fortune 500 suit and you have a command of the audience.

This is also your way to generate leads for your business.

5. Lead Generation

Bottom line, you need leads. But you attract really high-quality leads when you’re a magnet versus (again) pushing yourself towards other people. Nobody is attracted to needy people.

When you’re an authority, your customers brag about you. We create our own image and share that with your customers. Craft an image that your customers will brag about to their friends rather than image of just being a commodity.

6. Referral Marketing

When you’re the authority and customers brag about you, they’re going to talk about you to their friends and refer you to other people.

This is the key to preventing the erosion of margins and getting beaten up on price, and the key to shortening to sales cycle.

Your number one objective in sales is to accelerate the speed of trust. The quicker you build trust with the prospects, the quicker you get to the sales.

Being seen as an authority speeds up the trust. Then customers won’t buy on price but on value. They don’t treat you like a commodity.

7. Events

When you’re an authority, you have the ability to put on events. And when people trust you, you can post meetings, conferences, events, engagements for your customers, your fans, and your champions. Having an authority will get people to come to you.

Adam’s Major Takeaway:

Authority is not conferred upon you. It  will not creep up on you. If you wait for someone else to crown you king or queen, that won’t happen. The most successful people are the ones that have to guts to grab authority for themselves.

Episode Resources:

Grab a free copy of Adam’s new book, Lead the Field: How to Become an Authority and Dominate Your Competition on www.ForbesBooks.com/salesevangelistConnect with Adam Witty on LinkedIn or visit www.AdamWitty.com and www.ForbesBooks.com

Advantage Media Group – ForbesBooks

Facebook The Sales Evangelizers

Join 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.

Stephen Hart, BrandYou, Donald Kelly, Branding and Sales

TSE 673: How to Craft a Personal Brand that “POPs” and Increases Sales

Stephen Hart, BrandYou, Donald Kelly, Branding and SalesDo you have a brand that pops? Well, there’s more to branding than just your logo. You have to have a brand that stands out from others. You have to have a strong brand presence. Learn more from our guest, Stephen A. Hart.

Stephen is a marketing genius, a successful entrepreneur, and he has done amazing things in the real estate industry. Now Steven works in marketing and is launching his own curses to help sales professionals and fellow entrepreneurs to create a brand that pops.

Stephen also has a podcast called Trailblazers.fm where he interviews and connects with successful black professionals as they share their insights and thoughts about their journey. Check out episode 1 where he had me as his guest.

Stephen has also been consulting individuals and businesses on how to really own their brand. His focuses mainly on personal branding, which is something many businesses and salespeople don’t have.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Stephen:

Branding is a promise you’re making to your customer. There are 5 key elements to help you define your personal brand.

Color

This is one of the first elements people perceive from your brand presence. Research proves that subconsciously, we make a judgment within 90 seconds based on color alone.

There are websites that can help you define your color palette. Document those specific colors. Pick two or three – one primary color and a couple accents you’re going to use for, say, the color of your buttons across your website.

Fonts

Select two to three fonts. One for the header, one for the body. Then you can carry it offline into your other marketing collateral.

Move and vibe

Logo

Look at either creating your personal brand or enhancing your social presence.

Voice or tone of your written content

Is it casual, professional, or energetic? What’s the vibe you’re setting for your brand?

Can you leave it to someone else or marketing to define your brand?

Your personal brand is a reflection of you. You have to have an involvement in it because it’s a part of you. You want a brand that reflects you. You want it to be an expression of who you are. It’s okay to pass it on to someone else but you still have to have some influence in that process.

Beyond Color and Tone

Color and tone are hard elements.

But in terms of the mood of your brand, this refers to the personality or the vibe of that brand. Be able to relate what that emotion and feeling is. Without any mood, your brand is dull and boring. Define that mood and vibe you want to set and it will change the emotion and the feeling and it can add interest to the story.

Create a visual mood board.

This is made up of a collection of images that conveys the emotion you want customers to feel when they look at them. Then this allows you to connect to prospects.

Ways to define color:

  • Use a hex code (a six-digit code that defines the exact color you want).
  • When using Canva or PowerPoint, you can actually select this color you want by typing in your hex number and the exact same color comes up for you across the different tools you’re using.

Strategies for growing your network on LinkedIn:

  1. Optimize your branding elements where there are visuals.

This includes your professional headshot, great cover artwork that ties into those brand elements.

  1. Be consistent across the board.

Show your font and colors in your background and profile so you exhibit professionalism once they visit your website and they see those same fonts and colors.

  1. Optimize your copy/text.

Be sure to optimize every single field and categories on LinkedIn. Be mindful of using keywords here as this is what’s going to help you to be found on LinkedIn when someone searching for a particular product, service, or skill.

  1. Focus on what keywords you want to be searched for.

Be sure to lay off the term, ex. digital branding, throughout your LinkedIn profile, so if someone is searching digital branding in LinkedIn search, you’re going to come up in the top results.

  1. Get connected to more people on LinkedIn.

The more people you connect to expands your 1st to 3rd level connections. This affects how you appear in search results as well. If they’re searching for digital branding, you’re going to come up higher than the person who’s their second or third level connection.

Stephen’s Major Takeaway:

Take care of telling a story online that you want people to see, hear, and feel. Address your personal branding. Begin working on creating a personal website. Make sure you optimize social channels you want to be known on and grow a following with. Take care of your personal brand and your digital footprint.

Episode Resources:

Trailblazers.fm

Stephen is hosting a free online workshop on personal branding. Visit www.stephenahart.com. Connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Check out our Facebook Group, The Sales Evangelizers

Join 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.

 

Dustin Mathews, Donald Kelly, Inc 500, Revenue Growth

TSE 671: Three Things We Did to Grow a Business to $14 Million and # 35 on the INC 500 List

Dustin Mathews, Donald Kelly, Inc 500, Revenue Growth

Looking to grow your company in seven figures? Who doesn’t? And oftentimes, it all boils down to learning the basics and practicing them over time.

Dustin Matthews is a speaker, an entrepreneur, and a phenomenal author. Today, he shares with us great insights into the strategies they did in helping grow a business to $14 million and how that business has gone on top of Inc 500.

Currently, he runs a company called Speaking Empire. They work with entrepreneurs, business owners, and sales professionals to deliver the message with the idea of “one to many.”

Dustin has also co-authored the book No BS Guide to Powerful Presentations: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Plan to Selling Anything with Webinars, Online Media, Speeches, and Seminars.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Dustin:

Strategies in improving customer acquisition:

1. Identify who the potential buyer is.

Find out where they’re hanging out. Go to where they hang out. You may not have an avatar yet but you somehow have a general sense of who can benefit from your product.

2. Figure out how you can get in front of them.

  • Pay to be a sponsor to speak or show demonstration.
  • Start building an email database.
  • Do live events and invite them to come to your event and offer if you can come to theirs.
  • Think about how you can build value for that person.
  • Just be bold and go up to them and ask about the things they need help with.
  • Really connect with them. Listen. How can you provide that value?

What If You Don’t Have a Marketing Department?

1. Research

Look people up on LinkedIn and figure out what they do. Try to connect with them and bond with them.

2. Build relationships.

Do something different to build the trust of your customers. Be creative.

How they grew their company to a $14 million making machine:

In the first year, they did $1 million. By their second year, they did $3 million. And in their third year they did $14 million. How did this take off?

1. Dial in the right sales message and find key relationships.

They started figuring out how to sell and market. Figure out a message that can get people into action. Relationships play a big part of it. Begin investing money into marketing to put fuel into fire. You already have the message dialed in so now it’s about how to reach more people.

2. Figure out how you can get in front of more people.

Do previews and demonstrations. Incentivize people with food or bonuses and gifts they’re interested in. Do demonstrations. It’s not the best at selling your message. But the fact is that you’ve got people in the room and so they would think you’re interesting.

3. You may have to be the marketer or you may have to create new products and new offers.

Be the marketer. Go to the people that have already bought from you or that you have a relationship with and make some sort of different offer (ex. product line, discount, referrals).

Invest in yourself.

Invest in going to networking events. Invest in yourself. Invest in education. You have to make yourself better and when you do, you can bring value to more people. Get as many skill sets as possible so you can be the most valuable in whatever situation you find yourself in.

Want to get recognized?

You have to apply for it. Go to INC500 Application.

Entrepreneur now has an award system too. You have to apply. You have to be in business for three years. And you have to show a certain amount of growth over those years.

Dustin’s Major Takeaway:

Invest in yourself and come with a student’s mindset. Even if you find yourself in an unfavorable situation, ask yourself what you need to learn here. It’s not always easy. But always think about what you’re supposed to learn from that situation. Come with a student’s mindset and drop the ego.

Episode Resources:

Speaking Empire

No BS Guide to Powerful Presentations: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Plan to Selling Anything with Webinars, Online Media, Speeches, and Seminars by Dustin Matthews and Dan Kennedy

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Join 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.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.

Jeff Goins, Donald Kelly, Blogging

TSE 638: Why Great Salespeople And Entrepreneurs Steal Before They Can Create Success

Jeff Goins, Donald Kelly, BloggingStuck in the idea of having to come up with original ideas? Do you feel like you have to recreate the wheel every single time? Sometimes you just have to copy different ideas from great people and rearrange them to make it your own. This is how you can move that needle from being a starter to a thriver.

Today’s guest is Jeff Goins. He is a writer and he also runs an online business helping writers and creatives succeed through teaching online courses. He has built a million-dollar business, has published four books, and has become an online marketing expert. A lot of the skills he has utilized can benefit you and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

One of those principles comes from his book, Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age. He explains why he believes great artists steal before they can create.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jeff:

In the book, Jeff mentions 12 rules that will move you from starting to thriving in any creative profession, including sales. One of the rules of the book is to:

Steal from Your Influences

Starting salespeople try to do something original and come up with original ideas. Thriving artists understand that the best way to do creative work is to steal from their influences. Borrow from great people who have come before you. Build on their work and re-share it.

When you steal from just one person, you become a copycat. When you steal from many people, you will become an artist. Jeff quotes Will Durant saying, “Nothing is new except arrangement.”

Study then Copy

Don’t do your work as if you’re creating something from nothing. Do interesting work by becoming aware of all the greats who have come before you. Study the people who have mastered this field. Study them and copy their work.

Do this from a bunch of different people and reassemble and rearrange it into something interesting. In a way, you have created something new by pulling together a bunch of old pieces from different sources and reassembling it into your own.

Finding Your Voice

Take what you’ve learned but make sure your personality still thrives. The only way you get to your style is to copy other different styles. Try what feels like a good fit and over time, you discover something unique to you.

Take your favorite salespeople and copy them. Reinterpret it and share it in your own way. This is an exercise. Understand the first 100 reps of this is going to feel weird and forced.

If you’re interested in mastery. Copy them just as a means for practicing and over time you will understand why they do it this way. You start a thief, you end an original.

It Doesn’t Take Just One Great Idea

A lot of salespeople think they just need that one great idea and everything will be alright. That’s not how business works. Lewis Schiff, in the book Business Brilliant, did a survey on 700 American households who are self-made billionaires and 700 middle-class households. The same question was asked to them about how to build a successful business and their answers were very different. The middle class said it just takes one great idea. The self-made billionaires said you have to borrow from what somebody else has done and then do it better.

Borrow From What Somebody Else Has Done and Do It Better

One end of the extreme would be getting stuck trying to come up with something original and you will stay where you are. The other extreme is just do what other people are doing. That will get you into the end of the game but you won’t get to the top. So you have to do it better or different. Take something and twist it in some way. Instead of trying to add something original, take two different things and combine them.

Looking Into Other Industries

Find what everybody is doing. Get into that game. Copy the base level stuff they’re doing. Then borrow from some other industry. Apple, for example, combined engineers and artists to come up with beautiful products. Bring in two unlikely ideas in a new way and now you’ve got something interesting. You don’t want to do so different that it doesn’t work but you also don’t want to do what’s expected since you’re not going to stand out that way.

Marketing Partnerships and Collaboration for the Sake of Creativity

We don’t do our best alone. The idea that best work comes by ourselves is a bad idea. Genius almost always happens in groups. If you have an idea and you’re not sharing that with other peers or trust friends in your industry to give you feedback, you’re like to fail or not be able to perform at your highest level. Don’t go around sharing ideas but be a part of collaboration where you’re given feedback. Joining mastermind groups is the perfect example. The idea is to get around people you can trust, will tell you the truth, and will set some parameters to either help course-correct you or affirm your ideas.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Jeff Goins on www.goinswriter.com

Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins. Go to the book’s site to get a couple of bonuses there www.dontstarve.com.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Business Brilliant by Lewis Schiff

Maximum Influence by Kurt Mortensen

Join 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.

Help us spread the word out by leaving us a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or whatever platform you’re using.

 

Garrett Mehrguth, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 588: Stop Leaving Money On The Table With Guest Post Backlinks

Just because you can’t afford to go to conferences to network with people and generate leads doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Did you know you can be leaving money on the table by not guest posting for backlinks? This is a perfect example of what I always preach – Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

Today’s guest is Garrett Mehrguth as he discusses the idea behind backlinking and how this can help you in your business. He also teaches how you can specifically utilize social media in every phase of your sales process and how you can continue the communication process to make sure each and every sale comes to a close.

Garrett is the CEO of Directive Consulting, a digital marketing agency where they do search engine marketing, SEO, PPC, content, and social for B2B companies mostly catering to software and manufacturing industries.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Garrett:

Why guest post backlinks work:

People tend to overvalue the wrong things but you can leave money on the table by guest posting for backlinks and not leads.

Oftentimes, we forget who we’re doing it for. It’s not always that what we’re doing is wrong but it’s who we’re doing it for is wrong.

Strategies for Turning Backlinks into Leads:

Garrett’s company uses this tool Pitchbox, an influencer outreach and content promotion platform where they scrape all the websites that write on, say, demand generation.

You want the top conferences in your industry that you want to have a booth at since that’s where your audience is. But that is very expensive so if you can’t afford it, Garrett has this interesting strategy:

  • Scrape the entire website using Import.io and you get all their contacts, editors involved, and all the people who sponsored that conference and guest post for all of those people.
  • Then get the contact info for the marketing department. Since you’ve already made connections with the editor, ask to be introduced to these specific people at the marketing department.
  • Now you’ve turned your link building in the lead generation into PR and you’re reaching the right audience. You’re getting a backlink and you have the opportunity to turn it into a lead.

So you’re giving them value because you’re giving their audience free content and in return, you just want to be introduced to someone.

Strategies for leveraging social media to increase revenue at every stage of your sales:

The more interactions you have with them, the more opportunities to build your brand and their trust, the more likely that you’re closing the deal.

Social media helps you scale out these touches and interact with people.

LinkedIn Matched Audiences

LinkedIn just launched their Matched Audiences so within LinkedIn, you can upload your whole CRM list right into LinkedIn and be talking to everyone in your sales force across social media. Then you’re able to go after people at different stages of the funnel based on your CRM and be able to scale up your touches.

Since you have a list of those target accounts you’re going after, you can then warm up those accounts by uploading your list to LinkedIn and they will start showing ads and you can do sponsor in-mail. You can put $100 a day in the mail and use a Calendly link to book a time with them and set meetings through sponsored inmails.

How to do social right:

  • Only share things that you actually right.
  • Only post when you actually feel like posting.
  • Be authentic. Be you. Don’t worry about your retweets or your likes.
  • Have a real social presence and start interacting with people.
  • Read something you like. Share it and tag the person. Be real and don’t try hashtags like #sales #bots. That’s not how it works.
  • Use social for what it is for.
  • Social is still a supportive channel. There is no rejection when you favorite things and follow people on social media but it’s not going to pump the pipeline. You still need to be sending your emails and doing the calls.

Garrett’s Major Takeaway:

Really know where your audience is. Really know who they are. Ask where they’re at. If you can’t afford that conference, be creative and don’t just give up. Advertise on Twitter with their hashtag and get their brand name. Just because you can’t afford one thing doesn’t mean allowed to know where your audience is and do a better job of making a connection with them. Don’t leave your money on the table by not getting posts for leads just because you were writing to the wrong audience and you weren’t leveraging the full relationship.

Episode Resources:

If you’re interested in B2B case studies and you want to increase your lead volume and get more qualified leads for your sales team, visit www.DirectiveConsulting.com.

Read their guest post on Moz, How We Increased Our Email Response Rate from 8% to 34%

LinkedIn Matched Audiences

Import.io

Pitchbox

Calendly

Marketo

Join the TSE Hustler’s League! Our new semester is coming up and we’re focusing all about closing. We will teach you how you can become buyer-centric.

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.

Help us spread the word out by leaving us a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or whatever platform you’re using.

Nick Raithel, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 523: Actionable Insights Most of Us Are Not Even Thinking About

Nick Raithel, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistImagine creating a business card that people will never throw away, much more, something that will be of tremendous value to them. But how can you guarantee they’ll never throw your business card?

My guest today, Nick Raithel, shares with us how exactly you can do this. Derived from a concept called How to Write a Book in 7 Hours, Nick teaches a powerful instrument you can use as a seller. Nick helps sales professionals to get them into a position where they’re welcomed by people.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Nick:

Create a book: How to be top of mind

For the purpose of branding and getting that “thug” factor, creating your own book in a way becomes your business card.

How is writing a book relevant to your selling?

Having your own book makes you visible to your market and this leaves them with a major impact. This way, you get to educate them and proves you’re an expert.

Create an eBook even within your organization.

Contribute a chapter or compilation and still get that authorship even when you’re in your organization. What message does this send out to your organization? That you’re demonstrating your expertise and it makes the company stronger as a result.

Topic ideas for your book:

  1. Start with why.

Think about why you want the book. What is the purpose of the book? Once you start with this, the topic usually naturally develops.

  1. Look around at people in your industry.

Success leaves clues. So look at what others are doing and try to figure out from there.

  1. Think about yourself.

Think about your experiences and unique insights that others don’t have. Use your unique, personal story that would set you apart in your market and cause people to listen once you reach out to them. Find your story or insights within. Document them and turn that into a book.

The secrets to raising your price:

  1. Have that perception and people will expect it.

Luxury brands can charge the prices they do because they have that image and perception which they’ve worked very hard to create. They are the recognized authorities. As with sales, you can charge what you want if you are the authority in your niche.

  1. Be willing to ask for more than you’re comfortable asking for.

We tend to undervalue ourselves and overestimate others and other circumstances. Stand up for yourself and believe in your ability to charge a particular price, otherwise, who will?

Developing the right work ethic

Put in the work. Develop yourself. Build the footprint in your market. Then you’re going to be a whole lot more relaxed on your sales calls because you know you did the work you had to do.

Nick’s insights from the quote of William George Jordan:

  • Use adversity and turn obstacles into one of the best things that ever happened to you.
  • Reverse the negative energy and turn that into positive energy to become stronger and get better results.

“When the grey heron is pursued by its enemy, the eagle, it does not run to escape, it remains calm, takes a dignified stand, and waits quietly, facing the enemy, unmoved.

With the terrific force with which the eagle makes its attack, the boasted king of birds is often impaled and run through on the quiet, lance-like bill of the heron.”

– William George Jordan

Nick’s Major Takeaway:

You’ve got more in you than you get yourself credit for. Stand up for yourself and really embrace your uniqueness as a sales professionals. Embrace that in carving out your niche within your market. Have confidence in yourself and proceed with that.

Episode Resources:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Connect with Nick on www.ContentCorps.net.

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.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.