Archive for December, 2011

How to Increase Sales Tips & Snippets #19 Research

The last of the how to increase sales tips for 2011 is research.  In marketing, investing the time to do your research is critical to how effective are your marketing strategies and tactics (think conversions).

Credit www.sxc.hu

Each day millions of  crazy busy small business owners to sales professionals are sending unsolicited emails. Most are received with almost as many hitting the circular basket (junk folder). There are some marketing experts who continue to advocate for this type of marketing vehicle (sending unsolicited emails) because of its effectiveness (quantity over quality).  Well, from my perspective, it has not worked, but then I could be the exception.  If I am the exception, that probably has more to do with being educated than anything else.

In this morning’s email I received the following unsolicited email with at least four marketing mistakes because of poor research.

Hi, Please let me introduce myself, my name is ***** and I work as a link-development manager for ****While doing research for one of my partners I noticed processspecialist.com and I would like to tell you more about what I can do for you.

In my portfolio I have collection of well maintained websites that can match your site in terms of subject, quality and relationship.

I would like that both my sites and yours will gain more traffic, visibility and higher rankings in search engines. If you are interested and would like to get more information about my proposal I would be happy to send you all the details necessary to make it happen, just drop me a line.

Person’s name
Person’s email
Person’s website

http://www.linkedin.com/person’s name

Even though this person said he or she did research, obviously that did not include my first name.  Big Marketing Mistake!

Since the person included his or her LinkedIn link, I clicked on it and learned this person had an incomplete LinkedIn profile and less than 20 connections. Marketing  Mistake #2

Then I hopped over to a Google SERP website, plugged in the website listed within this email, the two key words located in the web’s title bar and discovered, not to my surprise, this site was not listed in the top 64 reporting sites.  Marketing Mistake #3

So I plugged in my main website using the key words “increase sales” and my site was ranked #10.

Finally, I noticed the Alexa ranking to be over 1,700,000 and the site had no Google page rank.  Marketing Mistake #4.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  SERP, Alexa ranking, Google page rank are all trending tools and should be viewed as such.

Of course my mind wondered what value could this company bring to me that promotes their business as SEO specialists and their website has no Google Page Rank?  Again, my main website has a Google Page Rank of three.

All of this took less than 3 minutes and it was self serving as it served for the basis of today’s marketing and sales blog posting.

Another problem with this poorly researched unsolicited email was the mention of proposal.

Since people buy from people they know and trust, why would anyone mention proposal first without establishing a relationship?  This person has been infected (or worse yet trained) by what I call the 3Ps virus where someone spews price, product or proposal on you within the first three minutes.  Jeb Blout in his book, People Buy You, calls it “pump and dump.”  Marketing Mistake #5

The emphasis on this email is all about the person sending it as indicated by the word “I” and not about the buyer.  Marketing Mistake #6

Final mistake is the blog button on the website did not work.  Marketing Mistake #7

>My suggestion for any 2012 marketing strategies is to engaged in investing time researching your prospects Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Think of your prospects as potential customers.

  • Sure blast emails may reach a lot of people, but are they truly effective?
  • Do they tick off more people than are responding to your unsolicited emails?
  • Are you providing writing fodder for other people?

And when you are doing all of this research to support your marketing strategies, make sure your button to your blog is working as well.

Funny Sales Cartoon

Credit www.funnysalescartoons.com

Funny Sales Quote

Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.
William Clement Stone

May 2012 Be a Year Filled with

Incredible Peace and Abundance for

You and Yours!

!!! Happy New Year !!!

 

 

 

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2012 The Year of Emotional Intelligence for Business – Friday’s Editorial

Emotional intelligence will increase in its acceptance, relevance and use in business during the forthcoming year of 2012. Yet, there will be many folks who still just don’t get it and will even fight it.

I was reminded of this after reading a response over at Google+.  The individual who responded is not an entrepreneur, small business owner or even a professional salesperson.  Yet, he felt compelled to offer his opinion from a less than positive perspective including the use of what some still considered to be inappropriate language.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Emotional intelligence can be reflective of one’s business ethics.

Then over at a Facebook group, there was additional discussion among the members about specific marketing strategies used in Twitter and where it was a good practice or just plain bad manners.  The majority of responses so far (100%) sided with bad manners. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  The use of Socrates’ 3 Filters is a great way to ensure you are demonstrating high emotional intelligence. Is what you say kind? Is what you say truthful?  Is what you say necessary?

Each day we have the opportunity to demonstrate emotional intelligence.  For some individuals this is a high demonstration and for others sadly they are clueless. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  When people respond with negativity this may also be an indication of dissatisfaction with their own life and consequently must take that translate that dissatisfaction into anger directed at others. Responding back in anger will be useless.

With the explosion of technology and its impact of social media from LinkedIn to Facebook to blogs, those who are truly emotionally intelligent will have strategic advantage over those who are not. This strategic advantage will become a competitive one and bottom line will increase sales.

Today as I continue to work on improving my own emotional intelligence, I invited numerous colleagues to consider becoming a guest blogger on this blog.  Yes some are competitors, but as one of my colleagues has often said “We drive by more business than we will ever have.” My sense is this marketing strategy will be very beneficial to all concerned.

Having right shorts (a phrase borrowed from my husband) about your competition is quite ridiculous given that we all share the same number one competitor – The Status Quo.  Sales Training Coaching Tip: Tight shorts is another way of defining a lack of emotional intelligence.

Here are three quick resources if you are seeking to expand your own emotional inellgence:

To increase sales in today’s every socially connected world will be directly connected to your ability to be an emotional intelligent individual and business professional.

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The Right Question for Climbing the Success Ladder

Many self improvement consultants to life, business or sales coaches to behavioral specialists discuss the traits necessary for climbing the success ladder. However as important as those characteristics, traits, talents, attributes or capacities are, they fail in many instances to answer the right question.

And that question is

“Does he or she want to do it? (Whatever it is.)

Climbing the success ladder is far more often an issue of positive attitudes and sustainable habits than just plain old knowledge and skills.  Yes knowledge and skills are required, but without positive attitudes and sustainable habits supporting the knowledge, the skills and the talents, stepping up each rung becomes more and more difficult.

I just read another piece regarding regarding how to secure college success as so many college students continue to lack the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and habits required by employers according to such published studies as Workforce 2020. Again, the discussion is about throwing more knowledge at them instead of looking at both knowledge and skills plus the positive attitudes and sustainable habits respective to climbing the success ladder.

Educators and employes may wish to consider looking at the brain research regarding the amygdala and how this storage for all emotional experiences affects behavior including learning.  The desire to “want to do” something rests within this part of the human brain. Human beings are emotional creatures and logic comes second only after the amygdala gives permission for the event to be passed onto the neocortex area of the brain.

The next time you are faced with something that will lead you closer to sales success, business success, college success or life success, remember your desire to step up that next rung will always take priority.  Your ability to keep answering the “right question” as you take each step will eventually get you to the top of your success ladder.

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Crystallization of Clarity Reinforces Future Success

Years ago when I became affiliated with Resources Associates, I heard this word crystallization specific to goals. Yet today my sense is crystallization begins with clarity and then is transferred to those WAY SMART goals.

Credit www.sxc.hu

 

Clarity is all about removing the fog, the vagueness, that surrounds an image,a  thought and most especially a goal. The more crystal clear one’s clarity is, the greater ability to visualize and emotionalize where one wants to be in the next 6 months to 3 years.

The challenge is clarity does take time and time is for many perceived to be in short supply even though time is a constant and the supply never changes.

What also helps to ensure crystal clear clarity is knowing one’s purpose, one’s passion, one’s values, one’s vision and one’s mission. All of these are essential parts or pieces of the puzzle that each of us build as we grow and move forward in life.

Today’s posting is brief and one to encourage reflection.

Also thanks again to Dave Woodson for having me as a guest on his pod show.

 

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Time The Sand of Seconds and of Life

Time appears to be even more the sand of seconds when I recently read about what happens every 60 seconds on the Internet. How busy we are in staying connected through sharings of Tweets, updates, blogs, Skype calls, etc.  We certainly appear to be living in a mad, mad, mad time driven world.

Credit www.sxc.hu

Each day we have 86,400 seconds that once the sands of time fall they are never to be recovered again. This is why time management is an oxymoron as no one can manage a constant.

The leaves the question what are you doing with your sand of seconds?

Are you making them count towards your purpose, passion or plans?

Are you thinking tomorrow I will take care of that task?

Are you believing there will always be another day?

Benjamin Franklin wrote “Time is money” and that is certaintly true especially today with so much business being conducted through the Internet marketing as noted previously in 60 seconds on the Internet. Yes much of Internet marketing is free in that it costs no out of pocket expense, but it still does cost money when putting a dollar value to each second.

“Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time” is to say “I don’t want to.” These words were spoken by Lao Tzu a sixth century BC Chinese philosopher and the father of Taoism.

Returning to Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanac, he penned “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.

Yes time is the sand of seconds and of life.

How you live your life is very much about how you live the seconds and minutes of each hour.

 

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Success in Sales and in Life

What does success in sales and in life mean for you? To answer this question begins by defining success.  I am always surprised by the number of people who use words and yet have no solid definition for those words relative to their own actions.

Credit www.sxc.hu

Years ago, I was also in the same boat and did not have a definition of this often spoken and written word.  Then I aligned myself to a company, Resource Associates Corporation, that looked at training curriculum including sales training from a developmental and leadership perspective. This curriculum had defined success as:

The continual achievement of predetermined goals, stabilized by balance and purified by belief.

As time progress, I amended that definition to include the following:

Fueled by my passion and aligned to my purpose

More time progress and with another colleague, Laura Novakowski,  we came to define success as:

“Success is a continual self-discovery of new positive attitudes and strategies that tap our limitless energy by connecting  our passion, purpose and performance. Through written goals  and action plans, we will direct our behaviors to achieve our dreams and support our core values.”

Now define the word sales and each person has a potentially different definition. Personally, I like Zig Ziglar’s of:

Sales is the transference of feelings.

As to life, that definition is also as varied as the other two words. However, in its simplest form, life is also the transference of feelings as human beings are emotional creatures. Yet there is more than just transference of feelings, but a state of being, a state of knowing and not knowing, a profound connection to the universe.

Since this is the week between Christmas and New Years, this posting and the others to follow will be more inspiration in nature as there is always time to share the latest trends, sales skills and business strategies of how to increase sales. Now is the time to reflect and rethink about where we want to be in 2012.

 

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Christmas Is a Season of Peace

Today is Christmas Eve and many individuals are not in a state of peace, but of hurrying up to buy last minute gifts, food preparations or traveling to families and friends.  Thinking about being in a state of peace is difficult during the most calm of times.

A local newspaper here, NWI Times, published a story about some individuals who sought peace and respite from this crazy busy time of year by physically engaging in a poem by Robert Frost. These folks engage in this trek each year on the shortest day of the year.

Here is the full text of the poem with the last lines having particular significance:

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

As this year comes to an end, maybe now is the time to embrace this season of peace; to take some time to return or find peace within you.

When we are anxious, troubled, focused on real world events, there is a tendency to lose our inner sense of peace and calm. This lost potentially not only affects our mental, physical and emotional health, but our ability to increase sales and run our businesses both efficiently and effectively.

I leave you with these two questions along with a most sincere wish for a Christmas full of incredible peace:

  • What promises will you make by 1/1/2012?
  • And more importantly how will you keep them?

Merry Christmas and Peace Be with You and Yours

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Expand Your Marketing Influence – Friday’s Editorial

Social media through groups such as Facebook to blogs to article marketing expands your marketing influence.  The challenge is to think differently, to get our of your own way.

My thanks today for Tibor Shanto who provided me the opportunity to be a guest blogger over at his site. Yes Tibor and I have similar practices in the sales training coaching arenas and probably similar customers. However, not everyone who reads this blog or his blog is the right fit for either one of us. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Remember reciprocity. Offer others to guest blog on your site as well. I am awaiting Tibor’s article.

I met Tibor through another website where I contribute articles – Sales Blogger Union.  During the past couple of years, we have encouraged each other as well as other individuals such as Dan Waldschmdit, Skip Anderson, S. Anthony Iannarino, Kelley Robertson, David A. Brock, Craig Klein and Lynn Hidy. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  By bookmarking quality blogs, you can make comments and look for return traffic. Make sure you write your name in the comment section to ensure quicker SEO pickup.

Your marketing influence is not just about you, but your connections and more importantly how you interact with those individuals.  Just to accumulate a lot of connections and leave them like business cards on your desk is quite pointless just as it is to bombard your connections with your buy, buy message.

People buy from people they know and trust.  As your expand your marketing influence, more people will come to know you and begin to trust you because you are being authentic, real and caring. For selling is far more about buying, than anything else.

Again, my appreciation to Tibor Shanto and Merry Christmas to one and all.

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Emotional Intelligent Selling – The Answer to Increase Sales

After speaking to a group of small business owners yesterday at the Hammond Innovation Center about entrepreneurs and emotional intelligence, I recognized how many individual fail to embrace emotional intelligent selling within their businesses as the answer to increase sales. Also I witnessed once again the ongoing confusion between marketing, selling and the overall sales process. Sales Training Coaching:  Effective marketing is critical to your business and to ignore it will only keep you pocket poor.

Credit www.sxc.hu

Zig Ziglar stated that “sales is the transference of feelings (I really love this simple definition), then it seems quite logical to be searching for how I can employ emotional intelligent selling into my daily sales behaviors. However a quick search using Google Adwords tool revealed that no one searched for this phrase “emotional intelligent selling.”

Confusion Continues

In marketing the term value based marketing is risen to the forefront of many discussions and has only increased the confusion.  This term is related to value based selling and values based leadership. Emotional intelligence is very much present when value or values are discussed.

With the explosion of social media, emotional intelligence is very much evident and in some cases the lack thereof. The challenge is to understand the value, the inherent worth of your solution, through the eyes (beliefs) of your potential customers (prospects) and customers. This value may or may not be your core values as discussed in many articles specific to value based marketing.  What you believe the value to be may not be the value as perceived by the customer. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Marketing is all about attracting attention and building a relationship.  To do this well means you are engaged in emotional intelligent selling because you are selling you as a real, caring person.

Selling as well is far more about the capacity for emotional intelligence than specific sales skills. However reading the majority of articles by sales experts, sales consultants or sales trainers, the emphasis is on technical selling skills such as negotiation, asking questions and ignores or maybe presumes that emotional intelligence is present.

Since there is still confusion about the overall sales process as I note in my book, Be the Red Jacket, no wonder emotional intelligence is not appreciated for its role in marketing and selling.

What I am now observing is continued confusion when emotional intelligence is discussed specific to marketing, selling, the sales process and how to increase sales.  Daniel Goleman defined emotional intelligence through the work of Howard Gardner and his own research. Now translating that definition to the business world and especially for those engaged as professional salespeople is probably the source for the confusion.

Simply speaking, the demonstration of emotional intelligence within emotional intelligent selling is all about caring first about others. This does not mean you forget your core purpose for being in business to make money. What is means in my opinion is first you must care about others. Actively listen to what they are saying, observe their body language and determine how you can support and even reassure them.

I recently interviewed Daniel Waldschmidt for a forthcoming article on leadership and business to be published in a Houston/Dallas/San Antonio business journal, NBiz. He shared how one of his VP expressed frustration at a weekly meeting. Instead of going full steam ahead with the busy, chock full agenda, Dan stopped the meeting to determine how he could support this VP.  This was a demonstration of applying emotional intelligence. Dan was applying emotional intelligence selling to one of his internal customers, his employee.

Yesterday, I received a potential sales lead from a sign up for a free sales skill assessment.  He shared that his number one sales challenge was “no sales model to sustain the growth.” Sales Training Coaching Tip:  If you ask a question in your sign up forms, then invest a few minutes to answer each person personally otherwise do not ask any question.

In answering his sales challenge, I wrote:

As you mentioned a lack of a sales model, please find a gift of my sales process to you. Some people call a model a process.
What I also suggest is returning to the strategic plan and looking at goals in these key areas: marketing, sales, customer loyalty, leadership/management, growth/innovation and financials.
The sales process works with all areas and it not a stand alone model working in isolation.
Then what was even more interesting was his response:
Dear Leanne,
Thanks a lot for your kind sharing.

The “marketing-selling-marketing” process is terrific which can

  • distinguish our current marketing from the selling precisely
  • recognize the key checkpoints for sales management
  • design and develop the training specifically

Merry Christmas

Not only was my response emotionally intelligent selling so was the return response from my potential customer.

As the year closes, consider embracing an emotional intelligent selling attitude (belief).  President Theodore Roosevelt said:

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

His words only seem to make sense for salespersons who walk the path of increase sales through emotional intelligent selling.

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Emotional Intelligence Engages the Senses

If you haven’t already noticed it, emotional intelligence has been the focus of this week’s blog postings. As I continue to explore this incredibly rich subject, I realized how emotional intelligence engages the senses and the impact on the ability to attract attention,  build relationships (the purpose of marketing) and eventually an increase sales. Let me explain.

Credit www.sxc.hu

A study recently released by Epsilon Targeting suggests that the United States Postal Service is still the preferred vendor for direct mail. Sixty percent of the respondents reported receiving an emotional surge because they “enjoy checking the mail box for postal mail.”

Direct mail provides many opportunities for the senses to connect. First, someone may hear the postman and may even start emotionally anticipating the arrival of mail especially during the holiday season or special occasions such as birthdays. Second, touch through the hands are present as the mail is taken from the mailbox and sorted.  Next the eyes are engaged busily scanning the mail in hand. Sometimes when opening the mail, the sense of smell is activated through the offering of scented papers. Throughout this process emotions are building.

So if the simple act of direct mail can create an emotional response, then the question is how can you leverage your emotional intelligence to increase sales. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Being self aware is an integral part of emotional intelligence.

Part of the definition of emotional intelligence is about motivating others.  Marketing is also about motivating people off their current dimes and onto your dimes. If you can create emotionally compelling marketing messages that engage the senses of your ideal customer, then you are potentially demonstrating emotional intelligence. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  The sense of smell may not be present, but a strong emotionally based compelling marketing message can have your ideal customer activate that sense from a memory engram.  Folger’s coffee commercials are great examples.

Maybe this can help to explain why videos have become so popular and effective in marketing.  When executed well, videos can increase emotional engagement and can also demonstrate the emotional intelligence of the individual using this marketing medium.

Videos engage the senses of sight and sound. In some cases, the image on the screen can elicit emotions.  “Tear jerker” movies anyone? Sales Training Coaching Tip:  A compelling marketing message when infused into a story may also demonstrate high emotional intelligence.

The capacity for emotional intelligence is present in all interactions. How you as a salesperson leverage that capacity is up to you.

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