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Pipeline, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Coaching

TSE 1157: The Pipeline Hoax

Pipeline, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Coaching

 

The American dream or the pipeline hoax? The American dream is about owning a home or a piece of property that belongs to you. But homes are expensive and not everyone can afford the American dream. In the year 2000, people who shouldn’t have qualified for home-ownership started owning homes and this occurrence caused a worldwide crisis. 

The housing crisis connects to sales in two ways: greed and improper qualification. Bankers wanted to get more mortgages so they could sell these mortgages to the secondary market. The problem with this is that people who were getting houses were not qualified for the mortgages they got. The bankers did whatever it took to get people through the door. When prices went up, these homeowners fell short and eventually lost their homes. 

Sales pressure

As sales leaders, you face this situation often. You need to bring in the dollars, and you’re judged based on how much money you can help the company make. Sales reps are expected to have as many deals as possible in the pipeline. This is where the hoax comes in. 

Salespeople sometimes mask leads in later stages of the pipeline as opportunities. These deals don’t close because the people were never truly qualified. They don’t have the money or the time frame. 

Sellers are marking leads who are investigating, doing research, and window shopping as though they are opportunities. The sales reps may have 50 of these deals but only 10 truly qualified people. The sales reps keep adding these people to the pipeline because they’re told to add opportunities. The quality decreases because they’re adding leads instead of real opportunities. 

Similar to the housing crisis, the sales reps report these numbers to you. As the sales leader, you present it to the VPs and they make decisions based on the potential revenue sources. When the time comes for the revenue to start coming in, you look bad, the VPs look bad, and the company looks bad. As a result, someone is getting fired. 

This situation causes a crisis within the organization. Sales leaders take the fall because they’ve been deceived by the sales reps who try to sell leads as opportunities. 

Consistent education 

As sales leaders, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the pipeline hoax doesn’t happen again. Yelling at your sales reps won’t solve the problem. What you need is consistent education. 

One-on-one coaching time 

One-on-one coaching time with your sales reps is critical. Make sure to establish a distinct definition of a lead versus an opportunity. Don’t assume that sales reps know this because it’s in the sales handbook or in the orientation. Play it safe by reiterating it to the sales reps so that the quality of your leads won’t deteriorate. 

Watch the internal culture. Numbers are good but they must be the right numbers. Teach them that a proper lead is someone who shows interest, has the budget, and has a specific timeframe. Sales reps must be able to gauge this information in their business conversations. 

Give the sales reps a rundown of the important steps in the process. Print them and put them on their desks to keep the culture focused on quality. 

Sales leaders can talk about all these things with their sales reps in one-on-one meetings. Discuss these subjects with them, see how they take on deals, and don’t be afraid to identify and fix the problems. 

Role-playing 

Role-playing is another excellent method for educating your sales reps. 

  • Have your sales reps do a role-play of how they talk to their clients
  • Have your senior sellers who excel in their jobs demonstrate how they qualify their leads properly
  • Point out how and what should happen or how they go about getting the proper information. 

Doing all these things protects you from falling into the hoax. 

Re-education is the answer to an organization’s problem. When the sales reps aren’t asking the right questions and when they don’t understand what leads and opportunities are, they’ll bring in numbers that look crazy at the end of the quarter. 

Foster the proper culture in the organization so your sales reps will bring in the right numbers and close more deals. 

“The Pipeline Hoax” episode resources 

Take care of your sales team and help them improve. Learn more about that with The Sales Evangelist Certifies Sales Training Program. It’s a helpful tool for salespeople and sales leaders to help them improve their skills and abilities in finding the right customers, asking the right questions, and closing a great deal. There are 12 modules in all but you can get the first two modules for free.

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! 

Check out Audible as well and its thousands of books. Try it now to get a 30-day free trial and a free book. Go to audibletrial.com/tse

For my birthday, I’d love for you to share a rating or review for the podcast. It helps more people find our content so we can help more people do big things. If you like this episode, then do let us know by dropping us some comments and reviews on Apple podcast. We are also on Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Instagram, Jaeden Schafer, New Sales Leads,

TSE 996: Getting New Leads Through Instagram

Instagram, Jaeden Schafer, New Sales Leads,Behind the scenes at The Sales Evangelist, we’re working to increase organic engagement and interact with our audience, and we’ve discovered a powerful way to develop new leads through Instagram.

According to Jaeden Schafer, Instagram typically accounts for about 10 percent more organic engagement than Facebook, so it’s a great place to gain a new audience and develop new leads.

Who can benefit?

When Instagram initially launched, its goal was to share nice looking pictures. If you’re following that original idea, your company will likely benefit from it.

But what if you’re a refrigeration repair company? How do you post compelling pictures of refrigerators? Posting photos of refrigerators all day won’t really prompt much growth.

So if, for example, you own a refrigeration company in Miami, post pictures of the area you serve with information about the services you provide. Target people who are the customer persona you’re trying to attract.

It basically just needs to be pretty.

Mistakes on Instagram

Many people will offer the same tips for setting up an Instagram account:

  • Choose good photos
  • Find out what your customers want

Then they expect people to just show up.

If the engagement doesn’t happen, they just let the page die, which is the worst possible thing you can do on social media. Since social media is about social proof, outdated accounts are worthless.

When people want to buy something online, they often check online to make sure that the social media accounts are updated. If they aren’t, they might assume you’ll be unresponsive.

Plan to post at least once a week if you want to appear actively engaged. If you’re trying to grow, you should post every day.

If you find yourself thinking that you don’t have the team or the resources to post every single day, remember that there are tools available to help you.

Later.com is a scheduling tool that will let you schedule 30 posts for free. You can schedule a new post every day that will keep you active and growing.

Bulkly is a social media automation tool for marketers and entrepreneurs who want to save time scheduling updates. The folks at Bulkly have created an extensive guide to help you post more consistently, create engaging content that generates new followers, and schedule your Instagram posts to automate your process. If it seems like a good fit, Bulkly offers a 7-day free trial to get you started.

Instagram tactics

Though Instagram is a great place to find new leads, sellers will also want to move those leads from interested to purchasing.

Avoid letting your account just sit. Instead, use your account to find new leads. You can do that with targeted Instagram ads or automation. Better yet, use your account to like and comment on people’s posts that are in your target audience.

Consider the food truck business that launched an Instagram page and then shared images of the food it would serve. On launch day, the owners went to its main competitors’ page and they liked and followed 1,000 of their followers. They repeated that activity every two days for a different food truck.

It grabbed attention because those people would see the business name on their phone as someone who liked their photos and followed their accounts.

It’s a phenomenal strategy, especially for companies that are just starting.

Transition

For B2B companies, it’s important to understand how the transition will look after you follow new prospects on Instagram. How do you move them to your website or prompt them to download something?

When a user sees that you liked some of his photos and followed him, then he’ll likely click on your account name to check out your Instagram account. Your account bio will act a little like a splash page or a sales pitch.

Make sure your bio includes your website, and make sure it really clearly outlines what you do and what your call-to-action is. Direct them to your website or your podcast.

Image quality

For sales reps who might be wondering what kind of content to post, let’s use an example of The Sales Evangelist to talk about what that might look like.

For a service-based business, people tend to limit their thinking about the kind of images to post. Choose high-quality images that look really good.

If you don’t have a high-quality camera, it’s ok.

Start with websites that offer free, copyright-free images, like unsplash.com. Type in your keyword and find hundreds of high-quality photos related to your niche. High-quality photos will make your account look very professional.

Include your own “flavor” that meshes with the way you pitch, but make sure that the people who follow your account feel like they are getting some kind of value out of it.

Some organizations use inspirational quotes or even tips such as how to care for your a/c unit. Choose information that will give something back to your audience.

You can use entire blog posts as an Instagram caption.

In short, be there, post information your customers want, and do it consistently.

Videos

Videos have a much higher likelihood of going viral. Jaeden reports that an account he manages might get 400-700 likes, while a video on the same account might get 1,000-14,000 views.

As a result, videos are a really good way to grow your business because videos are more engaging.

Also, though, if the video includes you talking and sharing information, it builds a relationship with your customers because they get to experience your personality in a way that they wouldn’t in a photo. It creates trust.

Stories

Many people go to Instagram just for the stories. If you can create a story that captures people’s attention, it’s a huge new piece of real estate.

When you have a new promotion or a new post, consider using your story to encourage followers to check out your new post. You can promote a podcast, a sale, a deal, or whatever you want people to know.

Once you have 10,000 followers on Instagram, you can put links in your story so people can just swipe up on the story to access your links. That’s when stories become super powerful because it’s a free ad that you can push to everyone who follows you.

Hashtags

Hashtags can be incredibly beneficial or they can be useless, depending on how you use them. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per photo, and users should take advantage of all 30 of them to be super specific about the content in the photo.

The platform’s artificial intelligence scans photos to see what are in them, and if you use a big list of random hashtags, your photo won’t perform well. The value of hashtags is that if someone clicks on one, they go to a hashtag page that shows all the images that used that hashtag.

For smaller businesses, use longer hashtags that have fewer people using them, ideally 20,000 to 100,000 uses.  Be super specific in your hashtags and use those that fit the size of your business.

Success story

Jaeden had great success with a luxury travel company. He set up unique accounts for different geographic locations: one for Maldives resorts, Bora Bora resorts, Greek resorts, and so on.

Each bio directed users back to the main page.

He said it was an easy way to tap into a saturated market that is often expensive to advertise in. Within a month, they were getting about 20 percent of their traffic from Instagram.

If you don’t have time to go and follow 1,000 users on a single day, consider using tools like Ninjagram or Jarvee to automate your Instagram efforts. You put your account into it and then select your competitors, and the tool does the work for you.

“New Leads Through Instagram” episode resources

Connect with Jaeden at Fiund.com with any questions you may have or to get additional advice or tips.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Leads, Inbound, Prospecting

TSE 922: Don’t Take Your Leads For Granted

Leads, Inbound, Prospecting

Sometimes sales reps neglect their leads. We stop doing the things we know we need to do because we assume things will continue working the way we expect them to. Don’t take your leads for granted.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk about the things that sales professionals sometimes neglect and why it’s so important that you don’t take your leads for granted.

This isn’t simply a sales problem; it’s a human problem. We do it with our families, with our homes, and even with the water that is always there when we turn on our faucets.

It isn’t until those things go away that we appreciate their value.

“Unicorn” leads

Some of us work for companies that generate leads for us and some of us don’t.

Those of us who don’t often get them tend to value those precious leads because they aren’t frequent. It’s not unusual, however, for those of us who consistently get leads to expect them.

Even worse, we allow ourselves to focus on the “unicorn” leads so that we aren’t interested in the others. We want those rare leads that have a challenge, that have money, and that are ready to buy right now.

When we get leads that aren’t as perfect as the “unicorns” we might push them away to focus on the better leads.

Maybe we hurry through the conversation and invest less of ourselves in their needs.

Rare leads

Sales reps who can’t depend on getting leads have to approach their leads differently. They aren’t sure when the next one will come, so they have to do their very best every time.

These sales reps ask appropriate questions and seek to gain a deeper understanding of the prospect’s needs. They invest time in solving the buyer’s problem. They seek to treat them as individuals.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” 

Wayne Dyer

 

 

The first sales rep discounts the lead because he expects others will come after it. The second sales rep invests time in nurturing the lead and listens to the prospect.

Maintain excitement for leads

Make sure you provide all your leads with the same attention and effort.

See them as people trying to solve problems for their organizations, and keep in mind, too, that they have personal goals as well.

Your lead might be trying to get a promotion, or she might need someone to educate her about the buying process. Your lead called you above everyone else.

Find out why your lead called your company. Not only will that be good information for your marketing department to have; it will give you important insight into the prospect and help you connect with her.

Change the way you look at things

You have to work at relationships, and leads are relationships.

If you work hard even on the leads that don’t seem like “good leads,” you’ll do what Wayne Dyer said and you’ll change the way you see those leads.

The same is also true for your team members.

If you’ll change the way you view your underperforming team members and try to understand the challenges they are facing and truly try to see them as individuals, you’ll be better able to help them.

Don’t take your leads for granted, and don’t take your team members for granted.

 

“Don’t Take Your Leads For Granted” episode resources

When it’s time to follow up with your leads, Prospect.io can make your followup that much better. It has literally changed the way I prospect, and I love it.

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.

 

TSE Hustler's League, Application, New Client, Sales

TSE 915: TSE Hustler’s League-“Application”

TSE Hustler's League, Application, New Client, Sales

Early on in The Sales Evangelist, I didn’t have an application process in place to qualify my inbound leads, and it cost me customers. I suspect you could be missing this connection, too.

On today’s episode of The Hustler’s League, I’ll share what might have prompted some of my customers to leave my program, and how an application improved my retention rates.

TSE Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sales professionals who haven’t had sales training, as well as sales teams that want to learn and find something new.

Each semester we have a theme that we focus on, and we do a group call each week that includes a training about that topic. This semester, our focus is on business development, so we’ll spend the whole three months talking about it.

Sales training

Early on, I didn’t have a lot of money to pay for sales training. I barely had enough money to pay for rent, so sales training was a luxury I couldn’t afford.

I decided to figure out ways I could learn about sales myself, but it was challenging to find relevant content or people who were willing to help.

(That struggle eventually prompted me to launch The Sales Evangelist podcast.)

Eventually, though, my company paid for sales training, and it was amazing. I was digesting new things and learning about sales, and I spent two hours every single Friday practicing what I learned.

I was determined that someday, I was going to do something like that myself, so I created inexpensive, online content that anyone could use to practice what they were learning.

Initially, we charged $1 for the first month and then $37 for the following months.

We quickly realized, though, that we needed to have an end date rather than continuing that structure indefinitely. So we focused on a semester approach and we themed each semester so our customers could return to later groups that covered different material.

We did notice, though, that people started to fall away. They weren’t committing to the program or they quit participating. Some unsubscribed.

 

Qualification

I figured out that my problem was a lack of qualification. All users had to do was go onto the website, read through the information, and sign up to try the classes.

To address the problem, we added an application. You have to fill out an application at the beginning that asks you to share the biggest challenges you’re facing and asks you to indicate which program might be the best fit for you.

We also include the pricing up front, because we don’t have any secrets.

There’s a time commitment for those in the course of one hour per week. For that one hour, I’m virtually live with those in the program.

The application allowed the people who weren’t right for the program to weed themselves out. They saw the requirements and the price point, and they saw the value they were getting. They had all the information they needed to determine the valuation for themselves.

After the application, they schedule a time to do an interview with one of our team members. We review the application and make sure they understand what they are getting into before they even make a payment.

Committed clients

To some, that seems like a process that is costing me money. Just the opposite, it’s saving me headaches. I don’t have people complaining about the process and our fall-off rate has dropped tremendously.

People weeded themselves out without us having to be involved, so by the time we interviewed them, it solidified their commitment to the program.

We have a stronger retention rate and now we have a program that is easier for companies to join. Sales managers know exactly what the members get from the training, and we’ve developed a certification that confirms completion of the program.

 

Weeding out inbound leads

How can you apply this to your own process?

For us, this was sales qualified leads. If they were marketing qualified leads, they might have been people who signed up and downloaded a free document, but people who still required nurturing to get to an appointment.

Simply asking applicants to type out their three biggest challenges made our conversation easier and it gave me information I could use in my discussion to see if they are a good fit for the program.

If, for example, they are having a problem building value in the conversation, I know the business development track won’t be a good fit for them, so I won’t sell them something that isn’t a good fit.

I want my retention rate to be stellar. I would encourage the person to wait for a later semester that addressed building value so they would learn something helpful.

When I’m able to make sure the expectations of the buyer and the seller are in sync, then magic happens. And then I’m able to raise the price because the value is better.

The program is $150 a month now for three months, which is a steal compared to some of the other training programs out there.

Each semester I meet new people and I absolutely love it.

“Application” episode resources

If all of this sounds great to you but you still aren’t sure how to start, check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, our online group coaching program that brings sellers of all levels and all industries together to share insights.

You can also join our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers to connect with sales professionals from all walks of life.

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.

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.

 

Dennis Brown, Donald Kelly, LinkedIn, Inbound Leads

TSE 843: How to Get Inbound Leads From LinkedIn

Dennis Brown, Donald Kelly, LinkedIn, Inbound Leads

LinkedIn has evolved to be a place for business prospecting. Though it was once assumed to be a tool for updating your resume, sales professionals now get inbound leads from LinkedIn.

Today on The Sales Evangelist, we talk with Dennis Brown about using social media to connect with your target market and find business opportunities.

The goal is to flip the script: instead of simply connecting with your target market, use LinkedIn to engage people and have your prospects come to you.

Become the hunted

There are several steps you can take today to make your LinkedIn work for you. Like any social-selling strategy, start with the basics.

If you aren’t making a good first impression, start there. Dennis’s blog has tons of information about optimizing your LinkedIn profile to make a good impression.

If people engage with your profile and you don’t have strong social proof with good recommendations, you can immediately ruin the opportunity.

  • Post relevant content regularly, preferably every day.
  • Post content that’s relevant to your target market.
  • Focus on educating, inspiring, entertaining and engaging instead of selling.

Engage with your engagers

Once you’ve posted relevant content, people will engage. Engage them back. Show appreciation for their time and effort. You’ll start getting inbound connections, and your goal is to continue the engagement.

If they engage with your content, you’ll show up in their feed more often. “Know, like and trust,” will kick in.

From there, there are three ways Dennis conveys them to leads.

  1. Prospects see his content and visit his profile, which leads to added engagement.
  2. Prospects respond to his CTA to schedule a free phone call.
  3. He engages with their content if he knows they are a prospect who fits his customer avatar.

Dennis works backward, knowing that his leads often evolve from prospects who ask questions, so he determines how to get them to the point of asking.

In each case, he leverages the power of his profile to influence his prospects, and he creates inbound leads from LinkedIn.

Generate content that generates leads

His content leads prospects to ask, “How’d you do it?” which allows him to reply with basic information and resources.

Most recently, he offered his book 7 Habits of Highly Successful LinkedIn Users free to prospects who responded with “7 habits” in the comments section of his profile. More than 100 new leads requested the book, opting in with their names and emails.

Dennis then led them through a drip campaign that nurtured them into potential leads.

Throughout the campaign, prospects had the chance to ask questions and engage with content that was super relevant, because only relevant content will create opportunities for engagement.

“Inbound Leads From LinkedIn” resources

Dennis has created a one-page cheat sheet for everything in today’s podcast. Visit askdennisbrown.com/TSE to find a summary of today’s conversation, as well as all of his contact information.

The book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley is a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

We’ve got a free excerpt of the book so you can check it out. You’re going to love it.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

John Barrows, Donald Kelly, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 818: 10 Effective Qualifying Questions Salespeople Should Ask Each Prospect

John Barrows, Donald Kelly, Best Sales Podcast

Qualifying represents a vital piece of the sales process. Qualifying is perhaps the most underserved part of the process, and most of us are doing it wrong.

Truth is, it doesn’t matter how well you close if you don’t have a good pipeline.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk to John Barrows about the important questions you should be asking during qualification, and why being direct with your prospects will save you time.

Quality

Everyone in sales understands that quality is important. We don’t spam. We don’t make generic phone calls. Still, though, we have daily numbers we have to reach like 50 phone calls or 100 emails.

Those are competing agendas.

We want quality, but time is our challenge. Many of us sprinkle phone calls and emails throughout the day, but doing so is a complete waste of time.

Instead, tier your accounts. Organize them by industry and call similar accounts in a single day. Doing so allows you to craft a message specific to that group, find a case study you can refer to if necessary, and prepare a few questions that are relevant to those prospects.

It streamlines the calls and allows you to be more targeted and relevant in your communication.

Realistically, not all of our leads deserve the same amount of our time.

Qualifying Questions

To help sellers, John has identified questions they should ask during the qualification process. (The full list is available in the show notes.)

1.  What are the details of the decision-making process?

Without understanding the full buying process, you won’t know how to proceed.

Ask how these decisions have historically been made, or ask about the next steps in the process.

If you find yourself meeting with someone who isn’t the decision-maker, research to find out who will make the decision. Then matter-of-factly ask, “When does Sarah need to be involved in this process?”

2. Are you ok telling me no? 

Most people are very uncomfortable saying no.

Say something to your prospect like, “As we go through this process, if it’s pretty obvious to you that we aren’t a good fit and I somehow don’t pick up on it, are you ok telling me no?”

Allow silence while you wait for an answer.

If your prospect suddenly goes dark later on, you can remind him in a voicemail or email that he said he was comfortable telling you no, which will usually bring him back to the table.

3. Do you have your calendar in front of you?

This question works well when a prospect asks you to send him information.

Very often, that’s a blow-off move, but you can follow up by asking what information they’d like to see. If your prospect is legitimately interested, the questions will be easy to answer.

Then, ask when he would like to schedule the follow-up call. If he says something general like, “Next week,” you can follow up with, “Great! Do you have your calendar in front of you?”

Again, allow the silence that will likely happen.

Psychology of being direct

There’s a huge difference between being direct and being rude.

Being direct gets you to “no” faster if that’s where you’re ultimately headed anyway. The more direct you are, the more quickly you’ll get them in or out.

It’s a matter of setting expectations and then being accountable to them.

Note, too, that the Rule of Reciprocity says that if we have just spent time on the phone providing value to a prospect, there’s a fleeting moment in which he will feel obligated to do something in return.

Take advantage of that moment.

Episode resources

Here’s John’s full list of 10 Sales Qualification Questions To Always Ask Your Prospect.

  1. What are the details of the decision making process and who is involved?
  2. How have decisions like this been made in the past?
  3. What are your top business priorities for the upcoming year?
  4. What are your top priorities when making this decision?
  5. Are you okay with telling me no?
  6. What’s the best way to communicate with you moving forward?
  7. Will you be my Champion?
  8. What happens if this decision doesn’t get made?
  9. Do you have your calendar in front of you?
  10. Based on today’s conversation, do you think our solution would add value to your business?

Connect with John at his website, where you can find links to his social media as well as his LinkedIn.

Share this podcast with others who want to learn more about qualifying leads. Leave us a review wherever you consume the content, and subscribe if you haven’t already.

Check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook to connect with sellers of all levels in a variety of industries.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Donald Kelly, Jon Buchan, Direct Prospecting, Creative Prospecting

TSE 556: The Secret To Getting Response With Unconventional Email And Direct Mail

Donald Kelly, Jon Buchan, Direct Prospecting, Creative ProspectingEmailing is a huge factor in the whole sales process but a lot of people are not seeing success with it. The trick is in creating unconventional emails to make you stand out from the pack. Even direct emails can be done through unconventional means as well. My guest today, Jon Buchan did just that! And he’s going to share with us some strategies on how you too can wow your prospects with the way you send emails.

Jon is the owner of the company, Charm Offensive, where they focus on direct mail and email campaigns. He is simply the best at getting the attention of busy people.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jon:

Jon Buchan’s coolest sales experience as a customer

Strategies for cold emails that make you stand out:

  1. Take advantage of the fact that they don’t know your name.

Think about what they would see in their email box. The subject line and the first line are important. Figure out how you can make them smile in the very first line and how can you make them think you’re interesting. Make sure you’re able to get them-them to read the subject line, the first line, and the second line. Make them smile and curious at that time. Focus on writing something captivating that gets them to hit reply with a positive message.

  1. Keep the pitch brief.

Make it into almost like a storytelling them what your business is about and your ambitions. Make it brief and funny. Have at least a funny element to every few sentences that’s at least smirk-worthy. Making them smile or laugh gives them a good opinion of you before they’ve even met you.

Don’t sell too much. Don’t sell every feature and benefit. Stop convincing that your offering is the best. You’re only selling them on the idea that having a call or meeting with you is not an awful use of their time. Otherwise, you will only look like every other email in their inbox because you’re blending in with the others.

  1. Focus on impact rather than persuasion.

Have an honest first line to grab their attention. Focus on impact to stand out from all the other crap in the person’s inbox rather than persuasion. Without impact, you can’t persuade people anyway.

  1. People are just people, they like to be entertained.

Jon puts a silly image on his image. People say it can’t work but he proves them wrong each time. People are just people. They’re human. You’ve got to take chances.

  1. Send a direct mail then follow it up with an email.

Follow this up with an email (in a few days to a week) and reference that in the subject line (be sure to include something unusual) and this will increase your open rates to over 80%.

Direct emails grab their attention for the next five minutes (if it’s good and if you’ve got something distinct).

  1. Include a call-to-action

Give them at least three different options. Listen in to find out how Jon does this. It’s hilarious!

  1. If you can’t be funny, be clever. If you can’t be clever keep it short.

Jon’s Major Takeaway:

Look at what you’re sending and see if it’s entertaining and different from what everybody else is sending. Stand out and be daring. Test things out and don’t assume that because of their senior people, they’re the most boring people in the world and you have to be super serious. Amazingly, everyone is human even the really senior people. You’ll be surprised what happens just by being distinctive.

Episode Resources:

Charm Offensive

Join the Charm Offensive Facebook group and The Sales Evangelizers.

Check out @LiveStreamKatya, the LiveStream Strategist

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini

The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi

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.

Prospecting, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 552: I Don’t Like Using the Phone. Prospects Never Return My Voicemails Anyways.

Scared of using the phone? A lot of misconceptions about using the phone are floating around these days and today I want to shed light on this.

From entrepreneurs to sellers, from the newbies to the oldies, so often I find that sellers are afraid of using the telephone because of the stigma built around that.

The Stigma of Using Phones

Today, we find all kinds of folks who don’t actually know what they’re doing, calling and blabbering, showing up and selling things prospects don’t even want. As a result, prospects no longer want to pick up the phone and somehow this has created a stigma that the phone just doesn’t work anymore.

A Shift Towards Emails

Then emails came along which have been found to have better response rates. It’s quick plus you can hide behind the email you sent so you don’t have to worry about being rejected. And so everyone now just gravitates towards the email over using the phone. Or they just go to LinkedIn to connect or Twitter, or to whichever platform possible.

However, there is still a great number of opportunities once you’re able to use the phone effectively. A lot of people are so used to their fear of using the phone that those people who know what to do on the phones are actually seeing great results. How about giving it a try?

How to Use the Phone Most Effectively:

  1. Get a proper list of your ideal customers.

Make sure you have a list of people you know are a good fit for you. Call those who fall into your sweet post. Focus on your Dream 100 list consisting of people you’re going to reach out  to.

  1. Voicemail still works, but make it personal!

Stop leaving those generic voicemails that people don’t want to hear. You have to leave a voicemail that stands out from the pack and you can do this by making your voicemail personal. Make it simple, keep it about 40 seconds. Give something that is personal and show that you did some research. Don’t make it about you. Instead, speak to their needs and what you can do.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Don’t be afraid of using a variety of things. Don’t be afraid of using a voicemail. Don’t be afraid of using the phone. Don’t focus on you. Focus on them!

Episode Resources:

SalesLoft

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.

Cold Email, Cold Calling, Predictable Prospecting, Marylou Tyler, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 528: Cold Emails and Cold Calling Are Not Dead!

Cold Email, Cold Calling, Predictable Prospecting, Marylou Tyler, The Sales EvangelistDoes cold calling still work? Picking up that phone book and calling all the numbers listed would probably no longer be as effective. But the short answer is definitely yes. Cold calling or cold email still works. The key is to have an effective way of prospecting.

My guest today, Marylou Tyler, is going to share with us some unique ways on how you can improve your prospecting skills. Marylou is the author of Predictable Prospecting and co-author of Predictable Revenue.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Marylou:

Does cold calling still work?

Cold contact is a tool that you can leverage along with the other available tools now. The best tool depends on who you’re starting the conversation with. Help drive how your prospect likes to be sold, how they like to start the conversation, how they consume your content, and how they’re going to engage with you. Look at the person first and then build the tools around it, not the other way around.

Strategies for getting started with cold calling:

  1. Assessing the “state of the union”

Where are you at today? What does your lead flow look like? Where is it coming from? Also review your pipeline, your process, the people you’re selling to, etc.

  1. Leverage available tools to start the conversation

Know the relative position of where these people are along your pipeline.

  • Cold status: No response to any type of your advertising but are good targets
  • Tool you can use: Cold email engine and sequence
  • Value: You help build awareness around the “why” – why people should change, why now, and why you.
  1. Overlay that with levels of awareness

Some people may not be aware of the problem, so look at where you are relative to the position of the leads in the pipeline and their levels of awareness or where they are.

  1. Start a conversation, it’s compelling enough for them to be interrupted

Prospects would be amazed knowing that you know where they’re at. That’s the purpose of the email engine – not the external searches for people to find you, but the internal need that drives them to make a change. That’s where your phone conversation must be focused on.

The Concept of Pre-Call Planning:

  • Write out scripts including an “objection tree” so you’d know which rabbit hole people are going down and how you can steer them back into the active pipeline.
  • Outline every conversation you have with prospects including the objection, how you answered it, why it’s important, and what’s the next step.
  • Write things out. Internalize them and practice them daily.

Strategies for having more consistent and reliable flow of leads:

  • Target the people you want to have conversation with.
  • Practice, practice, practice. The more you’re on the phone, the better you’re going to get in terms of tonality, enthusiasm, etc.

How to get a high quality call list:

  1. Go to some place that have lists
  • List vendors where you can rent a list.
  • Ability to scrape the internet and use tools to find companion phone numbers that go along with the name or email.
  • Offshore services to find information for you.
  1. Make sure who you want to target
  • Have query parameters that allow you to fit your sweet spot.
  • Farm that out via query just to get the counts of how many records are available.

When (in the sales process) do you use cold calling:

  • Determine the nature and number of your touch points as a baseline.
  • When to use cold calling or cold emailing is based on your buyer persona.

Tips for creating your email messages:

  1. Cadence (Marylou has a chapter about this in her book Predictable Revenue)
  • Craft your email based on the hero’s journey of your favorite movie.
  • List the outcome. Contrast where they are now to where they could be. Leverage your other existing clients who have gone before them and solved the problem as well as people who chose to wait and what it meant in terms of loss aversion. Many people are more motivated by what they stand to lose than what they stand to gain.
  • Call-to Action. You’re the guide, they’re the hero. Switch to logic with specificity so they will feel good about making that decision for the call-to-action.
  1. Length of the Emails

Depending on the prospects’ levels of awareness, they will consume information roughly based on that level. The less aware they are, the shorter the email.

  1. Subject lines

The goal is to get their eyeballs to move to that first line by using emotional/psychological triggers based on the buyer persona. (Refer to the 6 principles by Robert Cialdini found in his book, Influence: The Psychology of persuasion.)

Then get them to move from the first line to the second line and eventually to the end of the email which is your call-of-action.

Examples of triggers: Curiosity, Mystic, Power, Vice, Alarm

Marylou’s Major Takeaway:

Start with the prospect and really understand everything you can about them because that will drive the entire process and which tools to use. Then everything else will fall into place. Spend time working the persona definitions.

Episode Resources:

Visit www.maryloutyler.com/predictableprospecting and download the free chapter on Cadence.

Connect with Marylou Tyler on LinkedIn or go to her Ask Marylou page to drop a question or send her a voice message.

Predictable Prospecting by Marylou Tyler

Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Get a free audio book 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.

Manny Nowak, Donald Kelly, The Best Sales Podcast, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 486: 40 Effective Ways To Generate Leads

Prospecting is an essential part of selling. Salespeople and business owners know this but but they still fall short of doing it right.  Today’s guest is Manny Nowak who’s going to show to us some effective ways to generate leads. He has actually created an eBook on 40 Plus Ways to Find the Gold of New Business.

Manny is a coach that works mostly with CEOs and businesses in the “under $20 million” market and he also works with a lot of professionals, teaching sales-based strategy tactics and coaching from a technology standpoint. Manny Nowak, Donald Kelly, The Best Sales Podcast, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Manny:

Manny’s advice on prospecting:

  1. Look at what’s working for you today.

Take a look at your customer base. How did you find them? What worked? Look at your customers you’ve won and figure out where they came from.

  1. Would it still work?

Once you’ve figured out what’s worked for you, ask yourself, would it still work and should you still continue doing it?

Effective ways to generate leads:

  1. Networking events

Find 5 people in that event that have a potential for working with you. Start that relationship in the networking event. Real success is if you can get an appointment but leave that to the other person. Then move these people down to step 2 which is about how your sales funnel works.

  1. Email list

Have a good email list. There are also services that can do an email for you. Set up lead pages to generate email addresses. The last thing clients that you meet at networking events want is a spam message. So the next time you’re in an event, ask if you can send them a quick follow up email which tells them it was great meeting them.

  1. Referrals

A lot of salespeople are afraid to ask for referrals. If you have a customer that you’re doing a great job for you and they love you, ask for a referral. Also, make it as easy as possible for them to give you a referral. Mention some names or specific departments from where they can give referrals.

  1. Seminars

Utilize seminars in two different ways. Invest in your business. Come up with a simple topic and put up an event. Rent a conference room or get one of your clients to share with you to set up an event where you can invite 20-25 people and teach them something about what you do or something they need to know. You may charge people a nominal fee to come to your event. Another way is to go to events and spend your time in seminars. You may be sitting next to a potential buyer and afterwards you can have a relationship with. This is the time that their defenses are down.

Manny’s Major Takeaway:

Don’t try to do everything and don’t lose your focus too quickly. Measure them and have a timetable to make sure they work.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Manny Nowak through email at manny@mannynowak.com or visit his website www.mannynowak.com.

40 Plus Ways to Find the Gold of New Business.

Get a free version of Manny’s book on www.coachmannytip.com.

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

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.

Donald Kelly, Referrals

TSE 485: TSE Hustler’s League-“Referrals”

Donald Kelly, ReferralsWhy can’t referrals work in your industry? Wrong! Referrals can actually work in every single industry. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. Today’s snippet taken from one of our training sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is about the main reasons people are not getting referrals and what you can do to improve your skill in asking for referrals.

For this upcoming season on the TSE Hustler’s League, we’re focusing mainly on building value with your prospects. Now that you have them, how do you generate them into clients? It’s a content-rich yet fun experience. Feel free to join!

Why people are not getting referrals:

  1. Fear of asking

You are not just asking random people but those who are your ideal customers, people who are your customers. Statistics shows that 9 out of 10 clients are willing to give you referrals. So why be afraid of asking? The problem is we think of the worst case scenario automatically and we don’t think about the good things that can happen.

  1. Not knowing how to ask

People are either afraid of asking or they don’t know how to say it. People don’t carry a list of referrals with them. It’s not as easy as that. So you need to make sure you prep your prospects so they can help you.

  1. Forgetting to ask

People tend to forget to ask for referrals that they just instead do the hard part and do cold calling, expecting the business to grow. But your business grows better when you’re able to have ideal prospects who are a good fit to what you offer.

How to prepare so your customers can give you referrals:

Your clients sometimes can’t give you names of people immediately because they don’t think of these people right off the top of their heads. So all you need to do is find people that they know so you can give them ideas and see if they could give you an introduction.

Go to LinkedIn and search for people who are your ideal prospects. Look at what other businesses they know who also fit your ideal customer or buyer persona.

Make it easy for your clients.

An introduction email is so easy but you clients have so many other stuff to do so they won’t remember doing these things for you. If you get no introduction from them, make it simple for them. Create emails for them that can take away some of the work. You can send them a template that you created and they could just change it up accordingly and then hit send. Easy, right?

Episode Resources:

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

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.

 

Sales Prospecting, The Sales Wizard, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Donald Kelly

TSE 478: The Sales Wizard Hugh Liddle-“Prospecting Strategies The Work”

Sales Prospecting, The Sales Wizard, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Donald KellyAs you’ve probably noticed, we’ve done many episodes on prospecting because it’s one of the things salespeople find to be challenging. Either they don’t know how to do it or they just don’t like it. Today’s guest is “The Sales Wizard,” Hugh Liddle, who is an expert sales trainer. He is going to share with us how we can better improve our prospecting skills and come up with an effective process to do it.

Hugh works with business owners and help them double their income in 90 days or less, which is actually attainable provided they do the things they need to do.

If you’re scared to ask for a sale or a referral and if you’re afraid you’re going to bother people or people will look at you as being pushy and aggressive, then you need to learn the skills and the right words to say to enable you to be great at sales.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Hugh:

Why the fear of rejection?

  • Sales has been done so badly for so long that it has created a bad reputation.
  • People are still afraid of being perceived the old way.
  • People are afraid of what other people are going to think about them.

How to combat the fear of rejection:

  • Change your “what if’s” from negatives into positives.
  • Know what to say and when to say it to build confidence in your conversations because people will feel your energy.

“You get back what you put out.”

Strategies in having effective sales conversations:

  1. Ask.

Research is important but there are things about client that you don’t know and you will never know unless you ask them.

  1. Get down on the emotional level of people.

People buy emotionally, not logically. They don’t buy with their heads, they buy with their hearts. People buy based on emotions and then they justify the purchase by logic.

How do you do this? Ask good, open-ended questions. Ask them how they feel about a particular situation or how it’s impacting their life.

  1. Make your content about what’s in it for the prospect.

Make your prospecting or sales conversations about what’s in it for them and what’s going on for them emotionally.

Best outbound prospecting strategies:

  1. Do an advanced search on LinkedIn

This is one of the best resources you can use especially when you’re selling B2B because most high-level executives are all on LinkedIn because it’s designed to be a business-oriented site.

Go to the “advanced search” (found at the top of your LinkedIn page)

Put in keywords. Click the link to “2nd level connections.”

  1. Narrow down your search to your ideal clients.

Put in the zip code (if you want to tap into people in a particular area) or other filters such as income level, etc. to narrow it down to your ideal clients.

Click search and then LinkedIn gives you a whole list of people who fit that criteria.

  1. Write a personal message.

Send them a connection request. Do not send the default request but make it personal.

  1. Bring value first. Don’t be in a hurry to sell.

1st contact: Don’t sell them anything when you send out your first message. Send them something nice.

2nd contact: Ask them to chat with you for a few minutes so you can get to know them better and so you can refer them better.

3rd contact: Ask them to talk about how they may be able to double their sales and their income.

People need a little time to really find out who you are so you need to take some time and effort to find out who they are to find some common ground with them.

  1. Build your credibility while bringing value to people.

Write a short article that is informational and post it as a blog on LinkedIn. Every time you make a new connection, send them the article as a gift. An article written by you establishes your credibility. If you have written book, send them a free PDF as a thank you or welcome note. This makes you an industry expert in the eyes of your readers.

Hugh’s Major Takeaway:

Don’t be afraid and let things stop you from being successful. Don’t try to wing it or figure it out all by yourself and get with Donald or with Hugh or with somebody else that you know, like, and trust and get some help. Get some coaching so you can see things at a different angle and gain new strategies and ideas.

Episode Resources:

Get connected with Hugh on bit.ly/HughsCalendar and schedule a free 1-hour appointment with him.

Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross

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.

 

Donald Kelly, Therrion White, Sales Podcast, Best Sales Show

TSE 394: Sales From The Street-“I Used to Hate Cold Calling”

The Sales Evangelist PodcastCold calling is a challenge that pretty much every salesperson has faced at one point in their life. In today’s episode on Sales from the Street, Therrion White talks about the challenges he faced with cold calling and some strategies he put into place and not let this barrier get in his way to success.

Therrion White is the CEO and owner of Play It Safe Technologies, a healthcare IT solutions company. Listen in as Therrion shares with us his thoughts and insights into his challenges and how he specifically overcame them so you won’t have to go through the same roadblocks that he did by learning from his experience.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Therrion:

Challenges Therrion faced with cold calling:

  • Finding cold calling on the phone as more challenging than cold calling in person
  • Making sure it’s the right person and whether the person has the time to talk

Strategies to overcome cold calling challenges:

  1. Learn the patterns and practices of actual people you’re trying to contact.

Cold calling is like sports where you need to know the basics. Determine the best time to call the and the likelihood that you’d be able to reach the person on the phone.

  1. Plan in terms of having specific objectives in mind.

State the reason you’re calling. Ask if they have a particular challenge. Ask for some input on what they started to do to overcome their specific challenge.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Therrion through phone at 301-202-3464 or visit their website www.playitsafetechnologies.com or email them at info@playitsafetechnologies.com.

Please support us in our Indiegogo campaign, a movement to inspire and motivate others to Do Big Things. No worries if you can’t make it to South Florida. You can then get a Virtual Ticket so you can have the opportunity to access all of the recordings of each session. Simply go to www.DoBigThings.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.

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Bobbie Foedisch, LinkedIn, Donald Kelly, Social Selling, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 318: Leveraging LinkedIn For Networking With Bobbie Foedisch

Bobbie Foedisch, LinkedIn, Donald Kelly, Social Selling, The Sales Evangelist PodcastThere are practical, basic stuff that we tend to forget when we get online. Today, we’re bringing in Bobbie Foedisch as we touch on this topic plus more social selling strategies, specifically leveraging your online presence on LinkedIn.

Bobbie is the founding partner and chief social selling officer at All About Leverage, where they develop social selling, lead generation, networking processes. Bobbie has been in the business development space for most of her career. Seeing the power of leveraging social media, they have cultivated a lead-generating process which they offered to clients as a voluntary benefit business.

Presently, there are 413 million people on LinkedIn. Find out how you can use it as a driving force to your business as well as how you can leverage on the intersection between online and offline marketing.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Bobbie:

LinkedIn strategies to get more leads and grow your business:

  1. Putting a profile picture.

You don’t have a relationship with a logo, but you have a relationship with people. Make sure your photo is recognizable and looks like you. Oftentimes too, your profile picture is your first impression so you want to make sure it reflects the professional that you are.

  1. Customize your message.

Generic messages show that you didn’t even take just 10 seconds to make that extra effort to personalize your message and show them that you care enough to do that.

  1. Be yourself on social media.

Who you are on social media should reflect who you are face to face. And how you represent yourself face to face should be how you want to represent yourself online.

  1. Build your online network the right way.

Have the right network of people. Have a reason to be connected. Know why you’re there. What’s your purpose? From there, you can then know how to build the network and which processes you can do.

Building a social selling process:

  1. Put your content out there.

Are you creating your own content? Are you curating content? Are you putting out content that your network is interested in reading about? You want to resonate with your network but you also want to tie it back to your subject, job, or expertise.

  1. Start up conversations.

Take the content being a thought leader, use it through your LinkedIn publisher, and post it. Get it out on your homepage for your network. Tweet it out a few times and put it on your Facebook company page.

  1. Put out content based on proper timing.

Put out content on the right days of the week, at the right times of the day depending on the social platform to strategically reach at least 60% of your network.

  1. Leverage LinkedIn groups for content and networking.

Groups allow you to reach out past your network. Put the right amount of content. Leverage the groups for live, face-to-face networking events. Search LinkedIn groups for specific details based on companies, job titles, and geographic location, etc. to narrow them down. Then message these groups at no cost.

  1. Advanced and saved purchase

When you save your purchase based on your ideal client profile, LinkedIn will send you a lead generation list every week.

  1. Leverage your first degree connections.

Leverage your network of referral partners. Look at all those connections and narrow it down in under a minute based on exactly who you want to know. Meet with your different referral partners every week and get an average of five introductions. Statistics show that as of last year, this type of warm lead generation has a 60% conversion rate.

Other parts of LinkedIn you can leverage in:

  • Thought leadership
  • Content marketing
  • Face-to-face networking
  • Online and offline social activity
  • Reaching people right in your background and across the world

How you can change the way you cold-call:

  1. Narrow the list down.
  2. Go to recent activities and comment on things you care about.
  3. Engage in conversations and get them to engage back.
  4. Move from connecting online to connecting offline.

More insights from Bobbie:

  • You have to be physically visible and available in order for people to know about you each day. Your LinkedIn profile is the first thing that pops up when somebody searches your name.
  • You have to match the sales process to the buying process if you want to be successful and stop thinking about it as just sales.
  • It’s no longer sales but guiding people through and you want to be there to influence them to that 67% that they’re already through by the time they decide to go with you. It’s all about influencing, not selling or closing.
  • Only focus on people who are interested, much more targeted.

Bobbie’s Major Takeaway:

There’s no magic to it. You have to invest in the relationship especially in a relationship-based business (which is every B2B business out there). Don’t expect things to happen overnight. Take the time. Make mistakes as long as you figure out what’s right. Success is measured by the amount of times you fail.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Bobbie through the following:

www.allaboutleveragellc.com

Bobbie’s LinkedIn profile

Email address: bobbie@allaboutleveragellc.com

Twitter @linkedinbobbie

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

Join Today! 

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Eric Siu, Donald Kelly, Content Marketing, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 290: How Content Marketing Can Increase Your Sales Leads

Eric Siu, Donald Kelly, Content Marketing, The Sales Evangelist PodcastIs content still king? We’re going to talk about this and more on the show today as we bring in Eric Siu as he talks about the power of content marketing.

Eric Siu owns a digital marketing agency called Single Grain which he established in 2009 where they help companies from venture-backed startups to Fortune 500 companies grow their revenues online using different digital marketing strategies around SEO, content marketing, paid advertising, and connect everything together.

Eric is also the host of the podcast Growth Everywhere as he talks with entrepreneurs, tech people and markets about business and personal growth with more emphasis on the marketing side. He is also a regular contributor to several publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business Insider, Fast Company, and more.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Eric:

Is content still king?

  • Content is king. Bad content is definitely NOT.
  • If you’re producing 300-500 word articles and think you’re going to get by, well, times have changed.
  • Studies suggest that the top three results in Google are usually close to 2,000 words or more
  • Provide in-depth content that provides actual utility to people.

What makes great content?

  • Provides utility over quantity
  • Utility means that your reader must be able to have one key takeaway after reading it.

What’s working in digital marketing today?

  • Gmail advertising (Yes! It exists. And a lot of people actually click through them.)
  • Videos (Periscope and Snapchat)
  • YouTube ads
  • Facebook video ads
  • Webinars

Use the power of Snapchat:

  • Gary Vaynerchuk is a great example
  • Tell a story to people to drive more conversations.

How to get a thousand TRUE fans:

Be consistent about blogging. You are going to suck at first but who cares? Not a lot of people are going to see it initially anyway. Eventually, it’s going to have a snowball effect. Opportunities will come and grow organically.

Don’t do everything at once.

You’re not going to have a budget to vet out each channel. See traction with one channel first and then 10x or 100x it. Have a process. Have a strategy. Focus.

The power of having your personal morning routine:

  • The morning sets the tone for everything.
  • Journaling
  • Way of Life app
  • The 500 Journal recommended by Tim Ferris
  • Start your day with having three things to be grateful for and three things that are going to make your day great
  • Exercise

Eric’s major takeaway:

Creating content is only one part of it. Be willing to go out there and promote it. Spend 20% of your time for content creation and the other 80% of it promoting. You have to start somewhere. Stay consistent to reap the benefits down the road.

Connect with Eric on Twitter @ericosiu

Episode Resources:

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.

Join Today!

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Sigstr; Donald Kelly; Email Selling; The Sales Evangelist Podcast; Best Sales Podcast

TSE 214: “Behold the Power of Sigstr”

Sigstr; Donald Kelly; Email Selling; The Sales Evangelist Podcast; Best Sales Podcast Do you feel like sending emails is a waste of time? Well, for sure that was how I felt for quite some time until I discovered this really, really cool product – SIGSTR. Sending emails has never been this more productive and strategic, well at least for me, that’s why I wanted to share this with you too so you’d be able to streamline things and at the same time give more VALUE to your prospects or clients.

Here’s a little trivia: Did you know that an average employee sends 10,000 emails per year and that an average salesperson spends 20% of their day sending emails?

Now, imagine being able to convert all those emails you’ve sent into paying customers – Hallelujah!

So what does this tool Sigstr do?

  • It allows you to create a little banner that appears at the bottom of your email which links back to a particular blog post, page, or campaign that you’re running.
  • This helps you become a content sharer or an influencer
  • You can utilize the real estate in your email to drive traffic back to your organization, or a certain product you’re pushing, or to your upcoming event.

Think of this as a unique, little sales hack you can implement right in YOUR email!

So what do I like best about Sigstr?

  • It’s simple and easy to use.
  • It’s measurable.
  • It shows you how many times your email has been viewed and how many times people clicked on it.

What good does this do to you?

This is going to help you find out what kind of content people like or recognize and which people you need to focus on because these are the people that are clicking back to it.

Personally, I used this and experimented with it with the launch of the TSE Hustler’s League and so far, so good. I can see that people clicked on the banner and these clicks do drive some traffic back.

It offers a free 30-day trial. Or if you want to go for the paid version, it’s just $3 per month. So it’s not really going to hurt your pocket.

Using Sigstr is going to be a great Call-to-Action to invite someone to check what you have to offer.

Also, feel free to check out TSE Hustler’s League

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

HubSpot Side Kick, Sales Tools, The Sales Evangelist, Donald C Kelly, Donald Kelly

TSE 158: Donald’s Top Three Sales Tools Part 1 “HubSpot’s Sidekick”

HubSpot Side Kick, Sales Tools, The Sales Evangelist, Donald C Kelly, Donald Kelly

I’m a firm believer that, as sales professionals and entrepreneurs, we need to take advantage of tools that are going to make our lives easier and increase our ability to sell more. This is why I’m doing this three part series. Over the next three Mondays, I will share with you some of the favorite tools I use on a daily basis to assist or enhance my sales performance. This week I want to share with you “Hubspot’s Sidekick” tool. It’s one that I use the most — besides my CRM.

The tool is just like the name depicts. It’s a sidekick to provide you insights with your email, personal intel on your prospects and offers potential leads similar to the ones you’re working with.

Problem:

We all have heard that it takes up to 8-12 touches for a prospect to make a purchase. So, this is why sellers of all levels send emails and leave voice mails in hopes that they can reach their target individuals. But how can you tell if they are getting your emails? You can always be “that guy” and send the creepy stalker-looking “read receipt,” but whenever you send that it just feels like you’re desperate or trying too hard and annoying.

 

The Sales Evangelist, Read Receipt

 

But what if there was a way to know when and how a prospect opened your email? What if you can see who they forward it to? How about what links they clicked on and how long they spent on those pages? Well, those are a few powerful capabilities of Hubspot’s Sidekick.

Solution:

During this episode, I reveal some of the unique ways I’m using this tool. I’m sure you’ll discover some of your own. Some of the benefits you will see by using this are:

  • Sidekick shows you powerful information about your contacts right in your inbox
  • See a contact’s professional history, where they live, mutual contacts, email history and so much more
  • With Sidekick you can track your emails
  • Receive live notifications when someone opens or clicks on one of your emails
  • Know when, how many times, where, and from what device they opened your email
  • Sidekick recommends leads who are similar companies to those you are working with
  • Sidekick is FREE! Allowing you up to 200 email notifications per month

Here is a video that Hubspot put together on this tool. Check it out and let me know what you think.

 

And remember to work smarter, not harder, take advantage of tools and do BIG THINGS!

The Sales Evangelizers, Donald Kelly, Sales Facebook Group

Anthony Iannarino; The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly

TSE 130: Anthony Iannarino’s Top Reasons Why Your Sales Opportunities Are Falling Apart!

Anthony Iannarino; The Sales Evangelist, Donald KellyAnthony Iannarino

Are you absolutely sure that you’re not doing things to cripple your sales and goals in the end? Our guest today will shed light on the 10 Mistakes that Kill Sales Opportunities.

I’m bringing in Anthony Iannarino, the mastermind behind thesalesblog.com. His daily blog is dedicated to provide salespeople with the much-needed practical tips and insights every salesperson should know in order to help advance a career in sales. Anthony is an entrepreneur, writer, speaker, coach, and sales leader.

Today, we will dive deep into a blog post Anthony has written back in 2014 about the 10 Mistakes that Kill Sales Opportunities. Due to time constraint, we can’t discuss each one of them but we will delve into the most important ones.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Anthony:

10 Mistakes that Kill Sales Opportunities

1.  Selling Without Dissatisfaction

If you can’t find or create a compelling reason for your prospective client to change, you aren’t going to make a sale. No deal.
You have a great product? Great! But until you get the customer to agree that they’re unhappy in their current state, they’re not going to move forward with you because they’re not yet compelled to do that.

How you can push somebody to recognize that change:
They have to recognize it personally, but you can nudge them along the path so they can recognize it.

Give them a vision of:

  • What’s at stake
  • How to avoid that risk
  • Where they’re going. 

2.  Asking for Unearned Commitments

[Tweet “In every sales interaction, it’s the salesperson’s obligation to create value for that customer; otherwise you’re not allowed to ask for what you want.- Anthony Iannarino @iannarino“]
  • If you’re a transactional salesperson, you need to ask and continue to ask.
  • You can’t ask for the close because you haven’t earned the right to ask for the close.

How to earn the right to ask for a close?

Make sure:

  • You’ve gone all the way through your process
  • You know the customer is coming to a good decision
  • You’re going to execute on whatever is sold to you.

Why is this important? It’s a violation of trust

3.  Poor follow up

  • Anthony did a follow up with a client 76 times
  • If that’s where your heart is, if you’re really about creating value and you know you’re the one that can do that for them, you’re obligated to keep on trying to help them.
  • Having a great follow up and persistence as your differentiators, aside from VALUE

What sellers can do to create a compelling reason for their customers to buy:

Don’t try to make up something compelling. Find out what’s already compelling.

  • What’s the real strategic objective?
  • What’s the real outcome that they need?
  • How does what I do, in a way, help them get to that outcome?

Getting this information before sitting down with a decision-maker about it:

  • Put the relationship ABOVE the transaction.
  • Listen and understand your customer’s needs.

4.  Not building consensus

Why sellers have a tough time building the consensus:

  • They don’t know they need it.
  • Sometimes stakeholders don’t want to give up the power.
  • Some salespeople just have trouble giving that commitment.
  • Politics as an important part, acknowledging the threat, and dealing with it together.

Current projects Anthony is working on:
Book: 17 Elements: 9 Success Elements and 8 Sales Goals
Connect with Anthony via thesalesblog.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thesalesblog
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/iannarino
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarino
Email: iannarino@gmail.com
Join the newsletter every Sunday
Scroll down in his site and sign up to get each post in your email everyday.

Anthony’s Major Takeaway:

Put the relationship above the transactions if you want to have lifetime relationships, if you want to be a trusted adviser, and if you want to stake out that position where you own all the opportunities.

If you put the transaction above the relationship, just being transactional makes you transactional. Your customer is going to treat you that way too because you set the standard. 

Episode Resources:

www.thesalesblog.com

Anthony’s blog on the 10 Mistakes that Kill Sales Opportunities

Judy Garmaise – The Power of Follow Up