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1. You don’t make people feel safe when they order. Remind people that they are ordering through a secure server. Tell them you won’t sell their e-mail address and all their information will be kept confidential.
2. You don’t make your ad copy attractive. Your ad lists features instead of benefits. The headline does not attract at your target audience. You don’t list any testimonials or guarantees included in your ad.
3. You don’t remind people to come back and visit. People usually don’t purchase the first time they visit. The more times they visit your site, the greater the chance they will buy. The most effective way is to give them a free subscription to your e-zine.
4. You don’t let people know anything about your business. They will feel more comfortable if they know who they are buying from. Publish a section called “About Us” on your web site. Include your business history, profile of employees, contact information etc.
5. You don’t give people as many ordering options as possible. Accept credit cards, checks, money orders, and other forms of electronic payments. Take orders by phone, e-mail, web site, fax, mail, etc.
6. You don’t make your web site look professional. You want to have your own domain name. Your web site should be easy to navigate through. The graphics should be related to the theme of your web site.
7. You don’t let people read your ad before they get your freebie. When you use free stuff to lure people to your web site include it below your ad copy or on another web page. If you list the freebie above your ad they may never look to see what you’re selling.
8. You don’t attract the target audience that would buy your product or service. A simple way to do this is to survey your existing customers to see what attracted them to buy. This information will help you improve your target marketing and advertising.
9. You don’t test and improve your ad copy. There are many people who write an ad copy and never change it. You have to continually test and improve your ad copy to get the highest possible response rate.
10. You don’t give people any urgency to buy now. Many people are interested in your product but they put off buying it till later and eventually forget about it. Entice them to buy now with a freebie or discount and include a deadline date when the offer ends.
Many business owners who operate a business want as many clients as possible, both those who have just started their business and those who have owned one for a long time. They are, however, not fully utilizing all of their assets as they could be in order to achieve their desired results.
The objective of increasing business profits isn’t only met by attracting more clients. There are several other reasons why a business doesn’t make as much money as it should besides not having enough clients.
Here are a few simple, yet effective business coaching ideas that will help you unlock the hidden profits in business and also some reasons why things aren’t operating at full potential as they should:
– Focus more time on the important matters – you may not have enough time available to boost your business, especially if you are the one who is serving clients on a regular basis. In this case, you should consider hiring somebody to help. Running a business takes a lot of work, so let the employees handle the day-to-day issues, while you take care of the important ones such as developing strategies for present and future growth. Set aside an hour each week to brainstorm ideas, implement strategies and nurture key business relationships.
– Carry out competitive intelligence on other businesses, especially the ones that are successful and emulate them. This doesn’t mean copying whatever they do. Take the best parts of your competitor’s business and apply them to your own. It is also very important to keep a close eye on the competition, regardless of the nature of your business. If you are running a restaurant, for example, you should inspect the services, the offers and the prices of the competition. By doing a little research on other businesses, you will be able to reorganize, improve your services, adjust the prices depending on the competition, as well as introduce new offers to your clients. By knowing what your competitors are up to, you will always be one step ahead of them.
– Spend less of your gross profit on overhead and ineffective marketing. Lease unused space in your office or warehouse. Track sales as a result of expense. Employ salespeople on a higher commission scale rather than a high base salary. Test and measure for effective marketing campaigns before dumping a ton of money on any marketing campaign that is doomed to fail from the start.
– Instead of competing on price, develop an ultimate strategic advantage™. Emphasize the qualities that make your business stand out and create a whole new positioning in the industry. Find out what really matters to your clients by surveying them and give it to them.
– Talk with clients and find out if they are delighted or not. Ask for suggestions. Dissatisfied customers will not return, while a delighted client will refer others.
– Nurture existing clients. Instead of focusing on acquiring new customers, concentrate on nurturing and maintaining the clients that you already have! Make sure they are pleased with the services you provide for them and pay attention to their needs, desires and complaints. It is very important to establish and maintain good relations with your clients, as they are the ones who keep your business running.
Many business coaching companies encourage selling more to existing clients because it improves a business bottom line by increasing the lifetime value of a client. It also brings new clients, attracted by positive experiences from your delighted clients. Referrals lower your acquisition cost through word-of-mouth marketing and this also adds to business profits.
– Up sell other products/services. Selling extras is known to be a great method of increasing profits. For example, grocery stores strategically place many magazines and snacks near the checkout. People browse and buy these while waiting in line raising the average dollar sale with these extras. McDonald’s is well-known for its up sell before a sale is completed by simply asking a simple question to add on more products (complete meal, fries, sundae, or apple pie).
– Increase your advertising – advertising is expensive but if things work well, the money will definitely return to you. You can also try to make the best use you can out of free advertising. Get the most out of promotions and limited offers, especially around holidays.
– Seek out business coaching advice. Having a comprehensive set of business strategies can help you further, by providing you with new efficient methods of increasing the profits of your business. To operate a business effectively long-term, most businesses will have to deploy several strategies in order to diversify their sources of leads and maximize their profitability through smart marketing, team building, and business process management.
Sometimes we can all use a friendly reminder to keep us from backsliding into old ways of thinking about selling that lead us down the wrong path with potential clients.
New Thinking = New Results
Maybe it’s time to take a different approach. Maybe we need to seriously analyze our sales thinking so we can identify why we’re not making more sales. Take a look at the table below and thinkabout your current selling mindset. How would your selling behaviors change if you changed your sales thinking?
Traditional Sales Mindset Vs Unlock The Game™ Mindset
1. Always deliver a strong sales pitch. Vs Stop the sales pitch — and start a conversation.
2. Your central objective is always to close the sale. Vs Your central goal is always to discover whether you and your potential client are a good fit.
3. When you lose a sale, it’s usually at the end of the sales process. Vs When you lose a sale, it’s usually right at the beginning of the sales process.
4. Rejection is a normal part of selling. Vs Sales pressure is the only cause of rejection. Rejection should never happen.
5. Keep chasing every potential client until you get a yes or a no. Vs Never chase a potential client — you’ll only trigger more sales pressure.
6. When a prospect offers objections, challenge and/or counter them. Vs When a potential client offers objections, uncover the truth behind them.
7. If a potential client challenges the value of your product or service, you must defend yourself and explain the value. Vs Never defend yourself or what you have to offer — it only creates more sales pressure.
Let’s take a closer look at these central Unlock The Game™ concepts so you can begin to open up your current sales thinking and become more effective in your selling activities:
1) Stop the sales pitch — and start a conversation.
When you call someone, avoid making a mini-presentation about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer. Start with an opening conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that your product or service solves. If you don’t know what this is, ask your current customers why they purchased your solution. One example of an opening phrase might be, “I’m just calling to see if you’d be open to some different ideas related to lowering the risk of any computer downtime you may be having in your company?” Notice that you are not pitching your solution with this opening phrase.
2) Your central goal is always to discover whether you and your potential client are a good fit.
Let go of trying to “close the sale” or “get the appointment”– and you will discover that you don’t have to take responsibility for moving the sales process forward. If you simply focus your conversation on problems that you can help potential clients solve, and if you don’t jump the gun by trying to move the sales process forward, you will find that potential clients will actually bring you into their buying process.
3) When you lose a sale, it’s usually right at the beginning of the sales process.
If you believe that you lose sales because you make a mistake at the end of the process, take a look back at how you began the relationship. Did you start with a presentation? Did you use traditional sales language like, “We have a solution that I believe you really need” or “Others in your industry have bought our solution, so you should consider it as well”?
When you use traditional sales language, potential clients can’t help but label you with the negative stereotype of “salesperson.” This makes it almost impossible for them to relate to you from a position of trust. And if trust isn’t established at the outset, honest communication about the problems they’re trying to solve, and how you might be able to help them, becomes impossible too.
4) Sales pressure is the only cause of rejection. Rejection should never happen.
Rejection happens for only one reason: Something you said, as subtle as it might have been, triggered a defensive reaction from your potential client. Yes, something you said. To eliminate rejection, simply shift your mindset so that you give up the hidden agenda of hoping to make a sale. Instead, everything you say and do should stem from the basic mindset that you are there to help potential clients. This makes you able to ask, “Would you be open to talking about issues you might be having affecting your business?”
5) Never chase a potential client–you’ll only trigger more sales pressure.
“Chasing” potential clients has always been considered normal and necessary, but it’s rooted in the macho selling image that, “If you don’t keep chasing, it means you’re giving up — and that means you’re a failure.” This is dead wrong! Instead of chasing potential clients, tell them that you would like to avoid anything that resembles the old cat-and-mouse chasing game by scheduling a time for your next chat.
6) When a potential client offers objections, uncover the truth behind them.
Most traditional sales programs spend a lot of time focusing on “overcoming objections.” These tactics only put more sales pressure on potential clients and also fail to explore or understand the truth behind what the potential client is saying. When you hear, “We don’t have the budget,” “Send me information,” or “Call me in a few months,” do you think you’re hearing the truth, or do you suspect that these are polite evasions designed to end the conversation?
Rather than trying to counter objections, you can uncover the truth by replying, “That’s not a problem” — no matter what clients are “objecting” to — and then using gentle, dignified language that invites them to reveal the truth about their situation.
7) Never defend yourself or what you have to offer — it only creates more sales pressure.
When a potential client says, “Why should I choose you over your competition?,” your first, instinctive reaction is probably to start defending your product or service because you want to convince them to buy. But what do you think goes through your potential client’s mind at that point?
Something like, “This ‘salesperson’ is trying to sell me on why what they have to offer is better, but I hate feeling as if I’m being sold.” Rather than defending yourself, try suggesting that you aren’t going to try to convince them of anything because that would only create sales pressure. Instead, ask them about the key problems that they are trying to solve, and then explore how your product or service might solve those problems –without ever trying to persuade.. Let potential clients feel that they can choose you without feeling “sold.”
You too can improve your sales effectiveness if you are open minded and willing to try a new and more natural selling approach.
Making money online is the goal of every entrepreneur, and one of the most effective ways of generating revenue online is to use Google Adwords. But, to make the most of what Adwords offers, you must have a firm grasp on how to run an effective Adwords campaign.
The first step you must take is to learn everything you can about Adwords. That means you must invest time in researching Adwords, and you may also want to consider taking an Adwords course or purchasing an Adwords guide.
Here are seven ways that will help you increase your Google Adwords revenue:
1. Once you have a thorough understanding of Adwords, consider how much you want to invest initially to bid on keywords. Set a budget that you are you comfortable with, and stick to it. Once you drive more traffic to your Web site and, in return, make larger profits, you may want to increase your budget. For now, however, only bid what you can comfortably afford to pay.
2. Know how to use keywords to maximize your investment. Your main keyword or keyword phrase should be in the headline of your ad, in the ad itself, and in the content on your Web site.
3. Your ad must be innovative and grab the attention of your prospective customers. Illustrate to your prospective customers WHY they should click on the link and visit your Web site. Remember, the objective is for prospective customers to click on your ad.
4. Your Web site must contain information that is valuable to your target market. Once prospective customers click on the link to your Web site, they want to find information that they need and can use. By providing unique and compelling content, you’ll give prospective customers to both sign up for your list and visit your Web site again and again (provided that you add fresh content on a regular basis).
5. Always keep track of the competition. You must know what your competitors are doing, so you can ensure you’re doing enough to get ahead – and stay ahead – of them.
6. Use a variation of keywords, including commonly misspelled words. By using a variety of keywords, you’ll reach a larger audience.
7. Avoid using negative or inactive keywords. If a keyword isn’t getting many hits, stop using it. Likewise, avoid using negative keywords. All of your keywords should be directly related to your target market.
If you apply the right techniques, you should see an increase in traffic to your Web site which will, hopefully, increase your overall profits. Remember, you should only bid as much as you can comfortably afford.
Purchasing keywords before having a thorough understanding of what to expect could end up costing you money, so be sure to do your research before you actually start bidding and placing ads.
You’ve built a website. Wonderful! The next question to ask is this: Once you get a visitor’s attention, how can you bring them back?
Of course, you don’t want every visitor returning, but rather customers and potential customers. Articles and other content published on your site should be relevant, interesting and well written. Unique content will give your site a better chance of reaching targeted visitors through search engines.
Here are seven ways to keep customers coming back to your website:
1. Run short-term specials. Internet users love a bargain, and sales are a sure way to capture attention. Use short sales periods to motivate people to act — giving them three months to make a decision will just help them avoid making the decision to buy. Let users know that the items on offer are always changing to encourage them to visit your site regularly. And get creative with your specials. For example, consider giving away a free gift rather than just cutting the price.
2. Make your site topical. Internet users often look online to learn more about interesting topics in the news. Creating a link between your business and a hot news story can be a great way to attract visitors to your site. This is a common tactic used by public relations firms to get media coverage, and could work equally well for you.
3. Update information regularly. Why would a user want to return to a website that rarely changes? Keeping your information up-to-date sends a message to visitors that your company is current and serious about doing business.
4. Hold a competition. This is a great way to get visitors excited about your website and what you do. Consider asking users for feedback, so that it doubles as a market research tool. Prizes don’t need to be extravagant, but should be fun and appropriate for your target market.
5. Send out an e-mail newsletter. This popular promotional tactic is an effective one. Don’t expect to build a list of thousands of subscribers, but focus instead on building a high quality list of targeted readers. When sending a newsletter, keep it short and informative. Promotions are expected, but don’t overdo it.
6. Join niche e-mail groups. If you have the time, participating in a targeted e-mail list is a great way to connect with potential customers and keep reminding them about your business. Participation in a group works best when your company services a niche market. For example, the owner of a pet store might join a mailing list for pet owners. By participating as an expert, the storeowner is able to promote his business to a community of prospective clients.
7. Know your customers. An understanding of the needs and goals of your clients is the best way to ensure that your marketing efforts are effective. Statistics and tracking reports will help you gauge the interests of visitors to your website. Website usage statistics will help you understand how people come to your site, and what they do once they have arrived. Are they finding what they want, or do certain pages on your site trigger them to leave? Was the contest you ran successful? This understanding will help you hone your online marketing efforts.
Marketing a business can be fun, exciting and creative. It can also be very frustrating and expensive if one doesn’t know what outcome they are looking for or how to evaluate cost effective methods of marketing.
Over the years people have come to know me for my unique ability to develop low cost and no cost strategies to market and promote a business, product or service. Strategies that have realized incredible returns.
Some of my successes have included:
– Before my last book was published I pre-sold over $8,000 in books
– Over 250 people registered for a recent seminar in less than 2 weeks and the cost to promote was under $25
– One company used my strategies for a career expo and made over $180,000 in consulting fees
– One speaker sold over $23,000 in product sales back of the room at a two hour seminar with strategies outlined in my program
I don’t share this to impress anyone, rather to impress upon you when using the right strategies for your market, you can realize some incredible results.
People have also come to know me as someone who is a stickler when it comes to putting systems in place. My marketing successes are a direct result of the systems I have implemented.
With a bit of forethought, planning and desire, you can successfully market your business in a very effective manner. Below are seven proven strategies sure to increase visibility, leads and sales.
1. Business Cards
Business cards are often one of the most underutilized tools in one’s marketing.
Use the front and back of your business card to gain full benefit. Depending on your market you can put some very valuable information on the back such as a sports schedule, emergency numbers, or special dates people want to remember.
Keep some in your wallet, your automobile, on your desk, and some at home. Be sure to carry them with you wherever you go and be willing to hand them out as opportunity presents itself.
Creatively distribute your card. When you eat out you can leave one with the tip.
If you borrow a library book, use one as a book mark. Hand them to clerks in stores who may know other people who could use your product or service.
When someone gives you their business card be sure to enter their information in your database. Send them a short note or email within 48 hours of meeting them to keep your name fresh in their mind.
2. Send a picture
A great way to keep your name fresh in a customer’s mind is to send them a picture of when they purchased a product or service from you.
Put a picture of a buyer’s auto purchase in a beautiful calendar. Likely, the proud owner of the vehicle will display the calendar for the next 365 days.
For specialty gift shops, when a customer makes a substantial purchase, have a picture taken with the shop owner. Frame the picture and send it to the customer.
Chances are very good the picture will be displayed proudly for friends and family to see.
A dentist who specializes in smile makeovers can easily arrange to have a professional makeup artist and photographer capture the patient’s beautiful new smile. No doubt the patient will be more than happy to show others their new look.
Associations particular to your market are a great resource for marketing. There are associations specific to virtually any industry, job type or business. A quick web search will likely show you how much is available.
A major opportunity within many organizations is the chance to network. Additionally, to make presentations. Along with presentations come publications.
Often, when you do a presentation, you will get a mention in the association newsletter, their Ezine and/or on their website.
In many cases, when an organization has a newsletter or Ezine, they welcome the presenter writing a press announcement for them. It saves them time and often assures you have a better chance of the information making it into the publication.
They may also welcome you writing an article for their publication or website.
This lends itself to pre-presentation visibility. Additionally, you will position yourself as an expert and increase credibility.
Most organizations have the following opportunities that can help you to gain visibility and do some very effective marketing:
-Links to you website
-Discounted advertising rates
-Business referral services
-Special recognition events
-Business and membership directories
In many cases you will need to be a member of the association to take advantage of the multiple marketing opportunities. In other cases membership is not necessary.
4. Committee Involvement
Committee involvement is a great way to give back to the association or community while building visibility for you and your business. In some cases, you may even want to get involved in a committee where you have little experience or knowledge. This will give you an opportunity to stretch yourself and meet and network with individuals you may not have otherwise had the chance to meet.
5. Contests and drawings
Contests are a favorite for many businesses such as restaurants or those that have high foot traffic. Contests are a great way to build your database quickly.
You are generating very hot leads when you have a contest with people who have already frequented your place of business. The key though is to do back -end marketing. Far too many businesses hold contests, get lots of names and do nothing with them. In this case, it is a complete waste of time to hold a contest.
You can advertise a contest to gain new foot traffic in your place of business.
Trade show booths are a great place to hold a contest. Pre-show marketing helps to generate traffic at your booth. Invite people to stop by booth # _____ (whatever your booth is) to enter to win. Creative contests can also generate free publicity.
Join with other companies who have products or services that compliment yours and promote each other. Let’s say you have a massage business. You could partner with a candle company to sell their candles to your massage clients. They can give out coupons for your massage business. Or the candle company can partner with a gift basket company. Cross-promoting is only limited by your imagination.
This can considerably cut down the cost of business promotion and allow each business to use promotion techniques that might be too expensive to implement alone.
Secure special offers from various businesses who want to share a similar market as you. When a customer buys a minimum amount they receive a bonus packet with the various offers from the other vendors. This is a win/win all the way around. The other vendors gain visibility, you have something extra to offer you customers and the customers get incredible value for their purchase.
Be aware of who you cross-promote and joint venture with. You want someone who will be equally committed to a campaign.
Many people rush into business thinking it will be easy to run, but very soon they realize that it is not as easy as it looks. A successful business is a finely tuned machine. In order to keep your business running smoothly it is important to avoid making mistakes.
Here are the 7 most common mistakes to avoid:
1. Not having clear objectives: Many business people start a business without clear objectives. They fail to set realistic goals for their marketing and consequently set themselves up for failure. It is important to make a list of goals and objectives based on a quarterly time line. If you do not have company goals and objectives you are like a car driving without a road map. Make sure all employees are briefed on company objectives. When your employees are not properly prepared you will not be able to achieve company objectives.
2. Neglecting to analyse your potential customers is a dangerous mistake. It can lead to many problems. When you do not analyse your customers wants and needs you do not know what products and services to develop for them. This will lead to targeting the wrong market and neglecting to understand your own niche market. It is important for any business to do their marketing analysis so that you can target your market and maximise your sales.
3. Not testing: By not testing your sales copy and places you advertise with split testing your advertising, you will be losing sales. Split testing is simple to do but many businesses fail to do this. This results in a lot of wasted time and effort. If you do not test your ad copy and marketing promotions you will not have a proper idea of the ads and promotions that are pulling and what is not working. It is simple to do by placing 2 ads for the same product in a publication or website etc. You can then see which one is performing the best.
4. Not budgeting: Budgeting is extremely important in business. Your business should never run out of money. This is especially true with your marketing and advertising ventures. It is important to have a monthly or quarterly budget for your marketing. Within that budget put aside money for each promotion you will be doing. Start small, test and then build on successes. This will allow you to always stay solvent and have enough for promotions.
5. Giving up too soon: Companies go out of business at an alarming rate these days. One of the reasons is that the owners give up too soon. Just when success might be just around the corner they give up and decide to close the business down. In exactly the same fashion marketing promotions can fail. You need to give your promotions at least 3 months before you decide to scrap them. Some promotions will take longer than others to bring results. As always, test all marketing tactics before you launch a larger promotion. Patience is one of the hallmarks of business and you need to implement it.
6. Poor sales copy: How often have you wanted a product but when you read the sales page you had serious doubts? Poor unprofessional ad copy will cost you sales. In fact without good sales copy you will not be able to sell effectively at all. It is critical to your business to get this right. If necessary get an experienced copywriter to do this. It is worth the investment, as you will see returns when you make sales.
7. Not screening your employees carefully: To handle the extra load for the Christmas season you will need to hire new employees. It is very important not to rush into this. There is no dearth of people needing employment but you need to screen them carefully before hiring. One rude customer service agent can cost you customers. Do not take this type of risk. You want to preserve the integrity of your company at all times and screening employees is the way to achieve this. You will then be able to build a core of loyal professional employees that will be an asset to the company.
The golden rule is to diversify. You should always use multiple forms of marketing promotions in your business. Do not just do one or two promotions and then wait for results. This will slow company growth and your business will stagnate. The last thing you need is to slow your marketing in the Christmas season. So remember to diversify and enjoy the increase in sales.
By avoiding these mistakes you will take your company to the success you deserve. You will be able to have year round success for your business and really be able to cash in on the Christmas season. So plan ahead and be careful not to make these common mistakes.
Cold calling the old way is a painful struggle.
But you can make it a productive and positive experience by changing your mindset and cold calling the new way.
To show you what I mean, here are 7 cold calling ideas that even the sales gurus don’t know.
1. Change Your Mental Objective Before You Make the Call
If you’re like most people who make cold calls, you’re hoping to make a sale — or at least an appointment — before you even pick up the phone.
The problem is, the people you call somehow always pick up on your mindset immediately.
They sense that you’re focused on your goals and interests, rather than on finding out what they might need or want.
This short-circuits the whole process of communication and trust-building.
Here’s the benefit of changing your mental objective before you make the call: it takes away the frenzy of working yourself up mentally to pick up the phone.
All the feelings of rejection and fear come from us getting wrapped up in our expectations and hoping for an outcome when it’s premature to even be thinking about an outcome.
So try this. Practice shifting your mental focus to thinking, “When I make this call, I’m going to build a conversation so that a level of trust can emerge allowing us to exchange information back and forth so we can both determine if there’s a fit or not.”
2. Understand the Mindset of the Person You’re Calling
Let’s say you’re at your office and you’re working away.
Your phone rings and someone says, “Hello, my name’s Mark. I’m with Financial Solutions International. We offer a broad array of financial solutions. Do you have a few minutes?”
What would go through your mind?
Probably something like this: “Uh-oh, another salesperson. I’m about to be sold something. How fast can I get this person off the phone?”
In other words, it’s basically over at “Hello,” and you end up rejected.
The moment you use the old cold calling approach — the traditional pitch about who you are and what you have to offer, which all the sales gurus have been teaching for years — you trigger the negative “salesperson” stereotype in the mind of the person you’ve called, and that means immediate rejection.
I call it “The Wall.”
The problem is with how you’re selling, not what you’re selling.
This is an area that’s been ignored in the world of selling.
We’ve all been trained to try to push prospects into a “yes” response on the first call. But that creates sales pressure.
But, if you learn to really understand and put yourself in the mindset of the person you call, you’ll find it easier to avoid triggering The Wall.
It’s that fear of rejection that makes cold calling so frightening.
Instead, start thinking about language that will engage people and not language that will
3. Identify a Core Problem That You Can Solve
We’ve all learned that when we begin a conversation with a prospect, we should talk about ourselves, our product, and our solution. Then we sort of hope that the person connects with what we’ve just told them. Right?
But when you offer your pitch or your solution without first involving your prospect by talking about a core problem that they might be having, you’re talking about yourself, not them.
And that’s a problem.
Prospects connect when they feel that you understand their issues before you start to talk about your solutions.
When people feel understood, they don’t put up The Wall. They remain open to talking with you.
Here’s an example based on my own experience. I offer Unlock The Game™ as a new approach in selling. When I call a vice president of sales, I would never start out with, “Hi, my name is Ari, I’m with Unlock The Game, and I offer the newest technique in selling, and I wonder if you have a few minutes to talk now.”
Instead, I wouldn’t even pick up the phone without first identifying one or more problems that I know VPs often have with their sales teams. Problems that Unlock The Game™ can solve.
For example, one common problem is when sales teams and salespeople spend time chasing prospects who have no intention of buying.
So I would start by asking, “Are you grappling with issues around your sales team chasing prospects who lead them on without any intention of buying?”
So, come up with two or three specific core problems that your product or service solves. (Avoid generic problem phrases like “cut costs” or “increase revenue.” They’re too vague.)
4. Start With a Dialogue, Not a Presentation
Let’s return to the goal of a cold call, which is to create a two-way dialogue engaging prospects in a conversation.
We’re not trying to set the person up for a yes or no. That’s the old way of cold calling.
This new cold calling approach is designed to engage people in a natural conversation. The kind you might have with a friend. This lets you both of you decide whether it’s worth your time to pursue the conversation further.
The key here is never to assume beforehand that your prospect should buy what you have to offer, even if they’re a 100 percent fit with the profile of the “perfect customer.”
If you go into the call with that assumption, prospects will pick up on it and The Wall will go up, no matter how sincere you are.
Avoid assuming anything about making a sale before you make a call.
For one thing, you have no idea whether prospects can buy what you have because you know nothing about their priorities, their decisionmaking process, their budget, etc.
If you assume that you’re going to sell them something on that first call, you’re setting yourself up for failure. That’s the core problem with traditional old-style cold calling.
Stay focused on opening a dialogue and determining if it makes sense to continue the conversation.
5. Start With Your Core Problem Question
Once you know what problems you solve, you also know exactly what to say when you make a call. It’s simple. You begin with, “Hi, my name is Ari. Maybe you can help me out for a moment.”
How would you respond if someone said that to you?
Probably, “Sure, how can I help you?” or “Sure, what do you need?” That’s how most people would respond to a relaxed opening phrase like that. It’s a natural reaction.
The thing is, when you ask for help, you’re also telling the truth because you don’t have any idea whether you can help them or not.
That’s why this new approach is based on honesty and truthfulness. That’s why you’re in a very good place to begin with.
When they reply, “Sure, how can I help you?,” you don’t respond by launching into a pitch about what you have to offer. Instead, you go right into talking about the core problem to find out whether it’s a problem for the prospect.
So you say, “I’m just giving you a call to see if you folks are grappling (and the key word here is ‘grappling’) with any issues around your sales team chasing prospects who turn out to never have any intention of buying?”
No pitch, no introduction, nothing about me. I just step directly into their world.
The purpose of my question is to open the conversation and develop enough trust so they’ll feel comfortable having a conversation.
The old way of cold calling advises asking lots of questions to learn about the prospect’s business and to “connect.” The problem is that people see right through that. They know that you have an ulterior motive, and then you’re right back up against The Wall.
These ideas may be hard for you to apply to your own situation at first because trying to leverage calls based on what we know about our solution is so engrained in our thinking.
If you stay with it, though, you can learn to step out of your own solution and convert it into a problem that you can articulate using your prospects’ language.
And that’s the secret of building trust on calls. It’s the missing link in the whole process of cold calling.
6. Recognize and Diffuse Hidden Pressures
Hidden sales pressures that makes The Wall go up can take a lot of forms.
For example, “enthusiasm” can send the message that you’re assuming that what you have is the right fit for the prospect. That can send pressure over the phone to your prospect.
You must be able to engage people in a natural conversation. Think of it as calling a friend. Let your voice be natural, calm, relaxed…easy-going. If you show enthusiasm on your initial call, you’ll probably trigger the hidden sales pressure that triggers your prospect to reject you.
Another element of hidden pressure is trying to control the call and move it to a “next step”.
The moment you begin trying to direct your prospect into your “sales process”, there is a very high likelihood that you can “turn off” your prospect’s willingness to share with you the details of their situation.
It’s important to allow the conversation to evolve naturally and to have milestones or checkpoints throughout your call so you can assess if there is a fit between you and the person you are speaking with.
7. Determine a Fit
Now, suppose that you’re on a call and it’s going well, with good dialogue going back and forth. You’re reaching a natural conclusion…and what happens?
In the old way of cold calling, we panic. We feel we’re going to lose the opportunity, so we try to close the sale or at least to book an appointment. But this puts pressure on the prospect, and you run the risk of The Wall going up again.
Here’s a step that most people miss when they cold call. As soon as they realize that prospects have a need for their solution, they start thinking, “Great, that means they’re interested.”
What they don’t ask is, “Is this need a top priority for you or your organization to solve, or is it something that’s on the back burner for a while?”
In other words, even if you both determine that there ia a problem you can solve, you have to ask whether solving it is a priority. Sometimes there’s no budget, or it isn’t the right time. It’s important that you find this out, because months later you’ll regret not knowing this earlier.
Putting the Pieces Together
Have you ever wondered where the “numbers game” concept came from?
It came from someone making a call, getting rejected, and the boss saying, “Call someone else.”
But with the new way of cold calling, it’s not about how many people you call. It’s about what you say and how you come across.
Do you remember the definition of insanity—continuing to do the same thing but expecting different results?
If you go on using the same old cold calling methods, you’ll go on experiencing the ever-increasing pain of selling.
But if you adopt a new approach and learn how to remove pressure from your initial cold calls, you’ll experience so much success and satisfaction that it’ll really change the way you do business, bring you sales success beyond your imagination—and eliminate “rejection” from your vocabulary for good.
When businesses think of team building, business owners usually associate it with building their company’s internal workforce into a lean-mean fighting machine. Team building, however, should be extended to include external relationships such as those with other businesses. Enter joint ventures or JVs for short.
Joint ventures generally are business partnerships established between two or more parties (individuals, business groups, companies, corporations) for the purposes of expanding the business and achieving merits by joining forces and working as a team. The parties involved in joint venture agreements complement each other, leverage each other’s assets assets, compensate each other’s weaknesses, and at times equally share risks.
Less than 5% of businesses actually use joint ventures effectively and most don’t even use it at all. In order to get the most out of joint ventures correctly, multiple factors such as choosing who to partner with, approaching potential partners correctly, negotiating a win-win deal for all parties involved, and having a well-coordinated execution need to be taken into consideration.
There are several types of joint ventures. Big companies may join forces to become even more powerful and thus dominate the market, while small companies may team up to build a stronger presence in their market niche in order to fend off bigger, resource-rich companies. JVs can also be used to gain access into foreign markets. Foreign companies often form joint ventures with indigenous companies that are already present on the market, but lack capital or financing to truly take advantage of the market potential. Foreign companies can bring money, new technologies and competitive strategies into a joint venture deal, while benefiting from the relationships and the brand of the domestic company.
These complementary partnerships benefit all the businesses involved if set up correctly with the right partner. Here’s a powerful but simple example of a JV that many businesses can take advantage of to grow their small business fast. It is a highly efficient method of increasing business profits by teaming up with another partner whose business is non-competitive and offers a highly valuable asset, a highly responsive client list that would be interested in your products or services. By tapping into this hidden goldmine, small businesses can save thousands of dollars in marketing expense to reach their target clientele while achieving the goal of boosting the bottom line. The business offering the vehicle in which to reach these clientele, the client list, benefits from offering complementary products and services that it does not sell and makes a cut of the sales generated from marketing to this list.
Here are 5 tips for joint venture success:
– Choose your partners carefully. A joint venture has greater chance of being successful if partners have an excellent reputation. An essential component to good team building is having the right partners. They must be trustworthy and have a high level of integrity.
Joint ventures involve extensive team building effort because it is a relationship between two parties and if the relationship is to last, it must be nurtured and kept going. Both parties must be able to trust each other and deliver on each other’s promises. To find the right partner, perform solid market research and approach only businesses you would want to do business with long term. If you want to form a partnership with a certain company, make sure that its business practices are in-line with yours. It would be very difficult for you to form a reliable team with people who lack motivation or professionalism, so you should look for well-trained, open-minded potential partners.
– Know what to expect from the beginning of any JV relationship. Know from the start what your goals are, what you want to accomplish, and see if your goals are attuned with the partner. Each company should come up with a marketing plan and clearly specify what is expected from their potential partners.
Plan your strategy ahead of time and make sure you cover all the legal aspects stipulated in your joint venture contract, like resource availability and management, special allocations, mutual gains, deductions and income issues. Stick to the business development plan and establish new priorities and goals as you progress. By efficiently managing resources and by maintaining a good, competitive business policy, you will secure the longevity and the success of your business.
– Draft proposals like mini-sales letters. Compose a professional proposal letter explaining the advantages of the joint venture in a convincing way. Keep it short, clear, concise and coherent while briefly introducing your business and why they should do business with you. Remember to tune in to the radio station your prospective JV partner listens to, WIIFM or What’s In It For Me.
If you want to propose a joint venture to anyone you have to give them a really good reason why they should do it. Otherwise, they will most likely decline your proposal. Big, successful companies receive many joint venture offers so you have to stand out. You should educate them about the advantages and the benefits of choosing you over the others. If this partner happens to be a dream partner, stay persistent as persistence demonstrates sincerity and determination to make it work for the potential JV partner.
– Avoid shooting too high with your offers. If you are a smaller business, do not target your offer to a large company first as it will most likely be thrown away. Instead of aiming too high at this point, establish successful joint ventures with small companies in order to get noticed by the bigger, powerful ones. Establish a reputation as a solid business owner who knows how to turn joint ventures into gold for their partners. Businesses naturally gravitate towards successful businesses. Remember to toot your own horn by announcing JVs through press releases and/or articles in trade magazines. As your business expands, the competition will quickly become aware of your presence, and there is a chance that powerful companies might come up with proposals of joining forces with your company.
– Be honest and open with all business transactions always. Once you have negotiated the details of the joint venture, the actual work begins. In order to keep things going, a lot of trust, understanding and expertise are needed for ongoing team building on both sides. Maintain an open dialogue and always address issues upfront before it becomes a bigger problem that threatens to break up the partnership.
These are the basic rules for joint ventures and it is ultimately up to you to see whether a deal will be successful. Learn with each joint venture deal to improve on the next deal. Deals can only be made if you go after them. With lots of hard work, you’ll develop enough expertise to be a joint venture expert and take your business to the next level.
Determining a profitable website is not easy especially if you are looking to flip it for higher profit within a short time frame. However, with the correct steps and procedures, it is possible even for a beginner to pick up a good site with great potential to start off.
The first step to determine if a website is worth the investment is by the number of income streams it has. Most websites have more than one income channel such as Pay-Per-Click advertisement (Google Adsense etc), Pay-Per-Action programs (AzoogleAds, ClickBank etc) or selling of own products. Basically, this step is to analyze the current profitable channels and see if you can expand or add in other sources of income. Never rely only on one income source for a website.
The second step is to find out where are the traffic coming from. Most websites should have a healthy amount of constant traffic from the search engines followed by social bookmarking sites or regular visitors. If the majority of the traffic is coming from the search engines, proceed to ask the owner what are the keywords that brought in the traffic. Try out the keywords in the search engines and check out the search engine rankings of the site.
You should also check with the owner what are the top search engines that direct the traffic to the site. With these information, check the on-page optimization effort of the site and you may have more ideas for improvements after you have bought it.
The next step is to highlight the areas of possible improvements of the site. If you can come out with at least two quick fixes to the site that can increase the value created to the visitors, the traffic to the site will increase to the next higher level eventually. For example, if you can include an online tool to calculate the financial networth of a person in a financial blog, that would most likely benefit all your readers in a long run.
The fourth step is to check for back links to the site that you are interested to purchase. It is highly recommended to use Yahoo backlink analyzer to check for backlinks since it displays almost all the pages that linked to the site.
With the above four steps, you should have no problems choosing a profitable website that can generate a stable income for some time. You are advised to check on the seller’s history as well to know more about the seller’s background before confirming the transaction.