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Posts Tagged ‘Social Network’

MarketingMarketing and sales are crucial to the success of any entrepreneur. Whether you have a real estate practice, a contracting service company, or you are a franchise owner, knowing a few good marketing tips can take you from good to great as you set your plan for the next business year.

Over the years, I have had so many people say, “Mary Anne, I get great evaluations in my training and I want to go out on my own.” Or I hear the statement, “I don’t know how you do it, it is such a risk to be self-employed.”

I have been self-employed for all but three years of my multi-year career and I have never felt like I was taking too big of a risk, because I figured out a few key things early on. It’s not your evaluations or even your product that determine your success. I have seen many people with great ideas and an excellent product/service struggle significantly or fail entirely, simply because they never learned how to correctly market themselves or their business. So here are five tips you can employ now to help you survive and thrive in this competitive world:

1. Know your target demographics.  Ask yourself these demographic questions and then pay attention to your answers so you can target appropriately.

  • Who are the actual people who would benefit from your product or service?
  • What geographic area do they reside in (and how far do you want to go to serve them)?
  • What do they value most and how can your product or services meet their needs?

2. Keep your friends close and your competitors closer.  It is important to know your competitors and set yourself apart from them. You need to be able to give unique and realistic reasons why customers would want to work with you instead of the competition without ever knocking the competition.

3. Create content that fosters emotional engagement.  There should be an impactful connection between what you offer and what your customers need. Rather than leading with the sale, focus on engaging customers on their journey to success.  Create a lasting emotional connection that will nurture them towards the point of sale. Your message should be short and sweet. It should encompass their needs instead of being a story about you. Use a transition such as, “We offer a service that will [state the values and what it can do for them].”

  • Example: “We offer a service that will build the confidence of your team members, increase your customer satisfaction and reduce the stress of our managers through our proven training.”

4. Create short compelling videos. If you want to connect with your audience, your greatest impact is through video. It creates rapport by giving your viewers a sense of who you are. Viewers are able to feel like they know you, like you and even trust you before ever having a conversation with you.  People are beginning to use videos not only to educate, promote and inform, but to post casually and answer questions on social media platforms.

It is clear that the world is increasingly going visual in its engagement with content in the social world. Taking a visual-first approach unleashes the potential for engagement across all social networks. – Neal Schaffer, President, PDCA Social

5. Connect via social media. Social media platforms are the perfect place to tell your story, share your lifestyle, and market your business/self.  Instead of just contributing to the constant noise and chaos, allow your social media platforms to work for you. Develop a strategy that promotes you and your brand, without being overtly salesy. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter change rapidly, so it is important to keep up with key changes and adopt practices that work best for you and best represent your brand. Use a portion of your marketing budget to have social media influencers promote your product and services. This will open the door for potential customers you would not otherwise reach.

Five simple tips; no magic tricks and no secrets revealed. It will take discipline and hard work.  When you begin utilizing the tools that are already out there for you, letting them work for you, and implementing these tips in the right way – you will see massive growth in your business.

 

 

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Call Center OperatorDo you ever procrastinate making that sales call? How often do you wish your rep’s would just “get on the phone”? Would it help to know how to make a cold call warm?

Below are two ways you can turn a cold call into a warm lead:

  • Use social connections. Understand and believe in the power of six degrees of separation.   Use LinkedIn as a resource to see who you know that may know the prospect and will be kind enough to help with an introduction.   Then utilize the personal connection with current clients by asking if they may know a person you are trying to reach inside their organization or in the company you are trying to gain as a new customer.  If they do, ask for an introduction. This takes work on your end, but you can easily turn cold calls into warm leads this way.
  • Ask for Referrals. I am amazed at how many people walk away from a satisfied customer forgetting to ask for referrals. You know this; they are the best avenue in when calling. A person is more inclined to talk to you if you have a common friend or relation than if you are a complete stranger.  I challenge you to look at your prospect list, ask yourself if you are satisfied with the number of referrals on this list.  Based on your particular business, create a Project 100 or 200.  They say the average number of people at a funeral or wedding is 250.   Build up your base of referrals to the number you feel needed to get ramped up.

For more tips on sales calls, see my article:

How to Get Appointments via Phone Calls: Five Tips for Sales Success

And/or these previous posts:

The Sales Messenger on Telephone Calling

Eliminate the Dread of the Cold Call

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Did you know that Facebook has over a billion users, LinkedIn has over 200 million , and Twitter has over 200 million active users?

What does that all mean to you?    If you are not tapping into the social selling frenzy, your competitors are and you could be missing potential customers.

networksocial.jpgSo where should you be when it comes to social networking?  Start by talking to your current customers to find out what networks they use to build and maintain their business and personal relationships.  Also ask where they go in order to educate themselves and learn about new products/services that can help them perform their own jobs better.   Pay close attention to their answers, those are the networks waiting for you.  The chances are pretty good that their partners (and competitors too) are on the same networks.  Tap into those particular social networks to prospect for new business and continue to build relationships with your current client base and watch what your competitors do.

You may not know all there is to know about social media and selling – do not let that stop you.  Fortunately there are helpful sources for businesses to leverage this trend on the web and in books like the The Zen of Social Media Marketing plus many other new books.  Before embarking on a social journey to improve your selling or marketing skills on any network, check out the Solution Selling Blog for 9 Tips on What Good Social Selling Looks Like and The Social Selling Manifesto infographic.

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In short video below, Jill Konrath (the author of SNAP Selling) suggests 3 ideas to use LinkedIn to increase you call returns five fold.
1. Check contacts to determine if you know any of the same people.
2. Have your mutual connection call your prospect.
3. Build relationaships so you can contact with a personal connection.

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The Sales Messenger book

The Sales Messenger book

I have done another guest post on a different business tips blog. This blog has a group on LinkedIn and contains posts from experts in the areas of business, careers, leadership, lifestyle, marketing, social media, and technology. My article topic Everybody Must Sell! offers four questions that Small Business Owners (SBO) should ask themselves if they are not seeing the sales they desire:
1. Are you building an ongoing relationship?
2. What value do you offer the customer?
3. Are you hard-selling the customer?
4. Do you use the words “but” or “however” when the customer raises an objection?
The DailyBlogma post provides quick tips from my book “The Sales Messenger” to help an SBO plan a different sales process to make sue they “make the sale” instead of just telling the customer what they want to sell. Feel free to add any lessons you have learned related to sales or running a small business via a comment posting on that blog posting or on this post at Peak Perfromance Solutuions.

I was also interviewed by another podcast blogger, Tony Michalski, this month in one of his teleseminars. This time it was an hour with Master Key Coaching on a few of the selling secrets in my book. I hope you find the link below to the recorded podcast from that interview helpful – Interview with Mary Anne Wihbey-Davis, Author of The Sales Messenger.

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