Archive for February, 2012

Do you have an attitude of abundance? by Lynn Hidy, PCC

Merriam-Webster defines abundance as ‘an ample quantity’ or ‘relative degree of plentifulness’ what a great way to approach sales! Start with the crazy idea that there are enough prospects out there for all of us to find our ideal customers, work together, and make money.

Taking an attitude of abundance means that every time you meet a new sales prospect, your brain believes that there are enough prospects out there and is evaluating if THEY ARE GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU. That may sound elitist, bear with me… not all prospects are created equal!

Out there are prospects who:

  • Buy what you sell
  • Need what you do
  • Have money to spend

These are the prospect you want to turn into customers!

They value what you bring to their life – job – business and are willing to pay you for your expertise. I’d challenge you to think of this both in terms of the results people get from your product/service AND what they receive from you as an individual.

On the other hand – there are also sales prospects who use the products/services you sell, yet don’t need what you do. When chasing prospects who don’t need what makes you unique, a few things could happen.

First, you waste time chasing and never earn their business. Even worse…. they become your customer! Then you spend a lot of energy trying to be the vendor they were looking for, doing things that are outside your normal scope of activity, all to live up to an expectation you’re not interested in meeting anyway.

Unfortunately every day I meet salespeople who think in terms of scarcity instead of abundance. They hold on tight to anyone who is willing to do business with them. Their fear of not having enough, impeding their ability to let go of the unprofitable! Yet letting go is the only way to make room for earning their ideal customers.

I’m not sure who introduced me to the idea of attitude of Abundance vs. an attitude of Scarcity because if I could remember I would give them credit here. This was probably one of the most important concepts that I learned – it helped me truly embrace walking away from bad customers, the ones who cost me more in time/energy/effort than the revenue I get in exchange BUT want to give me their money.

Embrace Abundance and believe there are people out there who not only buy what you sell, they also need what you do – that is uniquely yours. Now take a look at your list of customers, who are your bad customers? Find a way to disengage and gracefully break up with them… if you need help listen to Paul Simon “…the answer is easy if you take it logically…” (50 Ways to Leave Your Lover).

Lynn Hidy founder of UpYourTeleSales.com, is the specialist at creating profitable telesales sales people and organizations. Working with Lynn you will learn to create a phone experience where they will forget you aren’t actually having a cup of coffee together.

Of course you can always check UpYourTeleSales out on twitter, read Coaching over Coffee blog posts, connect on LinkedIn, or like us on Facebook.

When you subscribe to A Chip off the Block for an off kilter look at sales tips & tricks for telesales professionals you’ll receive our 3 step objection handling technique as a thank you.

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Go Google Me – An Interview with Fred McMurray

“Go Google Me” probably should be the mantra of Fred McMurray with three daughters and no sons.  Beyond his 23,000 Twitter followers, his thousands of LinkedIn first degree connections, this gentleman truly demonstrates how to effectively integrate social media into any marketing plan.

Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down and experiencing a massive brain dump or what some may call “drinking from the fire hydrant.” Here are a few of the many gems I picked up from Fred McMurray who is Chief Technical Office for Mediavine Marketing:

  • Need 10,000 to 13,000 Twitter follows to truly have a significant impact (think increase sales)
  • One online leader has 10 advocates (those who spread the word) and 100 lurkers (those who listen and take no action)
  • Klout is good for researching key words
  • Using ISP analytics is probably better than Google analytics
  • Alexa.com is a great trending tool and should not be ignored
  • Every 4 hours on Twitter there is a change in on-line population

Fred shared the number one challenge facing small businesses to even mid size ones is “time” specific to the distribution of social media content. He recommends automating content marketing as much as possible and provided this website: If This Then That

Additionally, Fred reaffirmed that a blog (check out his company’s blog Simplifying Social Media)  is the best way to secure traffic. Relevant keywords and quality writing are necessary for blogs to be shared in the social media world.

Part of Fred’s winning social media marketing strategy is the creation of LinkedIn Local network through Blog Talk Radio. He truly is an expert for creating influence by establishing local communities not only here in the Chicagoland area, but worldwide.

When speaking with subject matter experts, part of my goal is to confirm what I am doing is correct and learn where I need to make those insightful course corrections. Also validating best sales practices and overall business philosophy such as social media marketing strategy are additional outcomes from such engagements. These goals allow me the opportunity to share my newly found knowledge with others. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Reach out to at least one LinkedIn connection each day and schedule an appointment to speak with him or her.

Both of Fred and I share a passion about sales results and find those firms that provide social media coaching, social media marketing strategy, small business coaching, sales coaching to business consulting that fail to deliver results are annoying at best. Their unethical behaviors create more sales objections for reputable firms.  There does appear to be a lot of “snake oil salesmen” still in the marketplace because the customers are so unaware.

Fred has agreed to provide a future guest blogger post and I am looking forward to receiving that content.

What I also learned is Fred is a great believer in giving back through his efforts in working with Veteran groups such as Veterans in Transition to Wounded Warriors.

Again to reiterate this sales training coaching tip, reach out and touch someone in your social media network that you only interact with through the stroking of the keyboard.  You just may be surprised by the results of such a personal encounter. Remember, sales buying rule #1, people buy (think refer) from people they know and trust.

How can you increase sales if people do not know you or your firm?

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The Poor Me Sales Syndrome – Friday’s Editorial

Is it just me or is the poor me sales syndrome appears to be spreading its insidious infection even further and further?

Credit www.sxc.hu

This morning I clicked on another potentially good discussion over at a  LinkedIn sales group and then clicked on the link to learn more.

What did I read? 

Another sales landing page! 

Give me a freaking break!

Earlier this week I attended a local business to business networking event sponsored by Rick Gosser of Gosser Corporate Sales. He was celebrating his business anniversary by bringing in some of his vendors to showcase their promotional products. I went with another local small business owner, Paul Kennedy. to support Rick first because this was not about me, but about him and his local small business success.

During this business to business networking event I met several other small business owners including Angela Ramos of Inspiration Fitness and Dan Rosenberger. Angela had an open house the previous week to celebrate the relocation of her business to a larger facility.  Rick was in attendance there to support her.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Business to business networking is essential for small businesses provided there is clarity and intent behind the actions.

Personally I am quite tired of so many small business owners engaged in the “poor me sales syndrome.” These are the folks constantly complaining about their inability to increase sales. Possibly if they had a more giving attitude or what my friend Dan Waldschmit calls a giving mindset they would achieve their goal to increase sales?  And in many cases, I never observe these same small business owners supporting other small business owners or sales professionals unless there is some “quid pro quo” involved.

Last year around the Christmas buying season, “buy local” became a mantra for many small businesses. This attitude and more importantly behaviors of “buy local” appeared to have died just as quickly as the holiday mantra of  “Peace and Good Will.”

Now some who read this post may have as what my husband calls “tight shorts.”  They may be thinking, I hardly have time to market my own business, attend to my own sales, do what I need to do less alone support others.  These folks are so infected with the “poor me sales syndrome” it is oozing out from every pore in their bodies.

Get over it!

With so many small business owners engaged in content marketing which is really education based marketing, they are sharing their content under the auspices of this “poor me sales syndrome.”  These folks are truly clueless about what makes a great blog content as Martha Griffin recently posted.

The ability to increase sales is directly connected with the ability to:

  • Think of others first
  • Take focused and directed action
  • Be authentic

Now some may ask why call attention to this “poor me sales syndrome?”  Focus on being positive, ignore these folks may be their responses.  That advice is very good.

However, with so much emphasis on sales training coaching with the inability to increase sales being experienced by many small business owners to sales professionals, ignoring the “poor me sales syndrome” is much like the childhood story of the Emperor’s New Clothes.  These individuals may have some of the best sales skills and truly do not need more sales training coaching experiences.

By calling attention to this malady, this infection may awaken a few of those clueless individuals with one of those “Ah, ha moments, I could have had a V-8!”  Ignoring this anti business building attitude will only allow it to continue to be spread throughout the land in my humble opinion.

Inoculate yourself now!

Take action!

Look to promote others first!

Who knows you may find your goal to increase sales is far easier than you ever had envisioned.

 

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Shock and Awe of Business to Business Networking Costs

Does $38,900 shock and awe you specific to business to business networking costs? What would you say if I said that was probably more on target than you may care to believe?

Business to business networking is a significant business building activity.  Yet, the majority of small business owners to salespersons to C Suite executives fail to analyze the effectiveness of this frequently utilized marketing action to increase sales.

If you disbelieve this $38,900 or more annual investment, let me share how I arrived at this significant and often overlooked investment.

Chamber Investment: A typical small business owner joins a local chamber for $200 annual fee and then attends 10 – 1.5 hour monthly luncheon meetings at $20 each.  She then spends 3 hours each month on two chamber committees (12×3 = 36 hours). Given each event is an hour drive she racks up another 34 hours of time or two weeks of work each year.  Total dollars invested is $8,800.  Sales Coaching Tip: If you do not believe your time is worth $100 an hour, then this may be one reason why you are not reaching your goal to increase sales.

Results:  The small business owner average client value is $1,000. She secures one new client per quarter for total new annual sales of $4,000 and is one happy camper.

The Marketing ROI Gap:  The small business owner thinks the $400 is a great investment and relishes getting 4 clients per year from the chamber along with additional sales leads. She is getting far more back than being paid.  Oh, really? To recover the investment requires a minimum of securing 8.8 new clients or 1.4 new clients per month.

Professional Industry Association:  The small business owner joins a professional industry association to secure new sales leads where food costs are optional and the meetings are for 1.5 hours during the evening 10 times per year.   Drive time is still 1 hour round trip.  Total time invested is 25 hours or $2,500.

Results:  The small business owner secures 2 clients and six new sales leads during the year.

The Marketing ROI Gap: The individual believes again she is receiving a good return on investment as securing the two new clients didn’t cost her a darn cent not to mention those six new sales leads.

Formal Networking Group:  Believing in building local relationships, the small business owner joins a formal business to business networking group connected with a national franchise.  The annual dues are $600′  the weekly 1.5 hour meetings require $8 dollar breakfast tab and another 30 minutes in tracking referrals.  Drive time is 30 minutes round trip. Total investment is $1,016 out of pocket costs plus 130 hours of time at $100 an hour or a total of $13,000.

Results:  The first six months a few sales leads are exchanged, but not until month eight are any new sales earned.  Then 4 new clients are billed at the average $1,000 value and an additional six sales leads have been received.

The Marketing ROI Gap:  There exists a gap of 9 clients. However, the small business person is happy because the investment was just $600 and breakfast is a write off anyway.

Professional Association:  Believing in professional development and the value of business to business networking to secure new sales leads, the small business owner joins a professional association at an annual membership fee of $200.  Again, there are 10 monthly luncheon meetings at a cost of $20, the usual 1.5 hour of meeting time along with 1 hour of drive time. Direct hard costs are $400 with time costs of 25 hours at $100 per hour or $2,900.

Results: She receives two clients from being a member and is delighted.

The Marketing ROI Gap:  For this investment to generate a positive return on investment requires securing a minimum of 3 clients.

Miscellaneous Networking Events:  During the year, this crazy busy small business owner attends one weekly business to business networking event such as a ribbon cutting or an open house.  Time invested is one hour along with on average 30 minutes of round trip drive time for a total time investment of 78 hours at $100 per hour or $7,800. Additionally, she plans one out of the area networking luncheon or dinner each month taking a total of 3 hours of time along with $25 in food costs. Total hard costs are $300 with indirect cost of time at 36 hours or $3,600 for a total investment of $3,900.

Results:  From these networking efforts, she secures one new client per month at the standard client value of $1,000.  She looks at the time invested and thinks this is really too much effort for such meager results.

The Marketing ROI Gap:  Given the total expenditures for these business to business networking activities is $11,700 and she has earned $12,000 in new sales, these activities are generating the most positive return on investment.

When all the numbers in red are added, the total investment is $38,900.  This figure does not include participation in any tradeshows, purchase of business cards, development of website, costs associated with printing of brochures or giving any promotional items such as pencils or pens.

With an average client annual value of $1,000, a minimum of 38.9 or 39 new clients in round numbers must be secured.

Just imagine what would happen if that small business owner re-purposed her marketing budget and directed it to activities than generated better results?  Yes business to business networking is essential. However this does not mean the small business owner or salesperson should ignore analyzing his or her out of pocket expenses (direct costs) and time (indirect costs).

Business to business networking is not cheap, it is expensive.

Take a shock and awe lesson and consider putting in place a way to measure the effectiveness (marketing ROI) for all those memberships, lunches and hours invested.

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The New Generation Gap: 10 Things to Think About by Chip Scholz

I was recently on a plane sitting in first class eating a nice lunch on the way back from Phoenix. The gentleman sitting next to me looked at his lunch and said to me: “This certainly isn’t what it used to be.” I asked him what he meant, and he went on to tell me all the ways things “used to be.” My reply? Nothing IS. Nothing is what it used to be. It doesn’t make it bad or good.

Our conversation quickly slipped into the challenges of the rising numbers of young people joining the workforce and what’s coming in the next ten years.  While none of us can predict what those challenges will be, there’s no doubt that a new generation gap is already here and getting bigger.

Here are 10 things to think about:

1) Generation gaps are convenient dichotomies for writers, social commentators and consultants who make a living from singling out problems. People are still people. While many unique attributes are ascribed to people under 30 years old, young people still act and react in very similar ways as others. Their ranks include workers and slackers, poets and pirates. While many of the ways they choose to act, dress, and communicate are different, different isn’t bad or good. It’s just different. Isn’t it a much more interesting place to live when people are different?

2) There are many shifting societal changes happening right now, and we are in the midst of a transition from one generation to another. It is big and it’s happening. It isn’t as obvious as a comet and you can’t stop it by shooting at it. It will happen whether anyone likes it or not.

3) The Boomer generation needs to accept that there is another youth movement going on. While the over 50 set may be able to claim the moral high ground on peace, love and rock-n-roll, we are seeing another large, vital generation that wants to do things their way. It might or might not be the same way Boomers did it. Get over it!

4) There has never been a time when there was more overlap between generations in one way:  music. Parents and kids are listening to the same things. When you go to an “old folks” concert (The Doobie Brothers or Eagles comes to mind), you see just as many kids as you do parents. Next time you have the chance, compare the contents of each generations’ playlists on iTunes. Yep, pretty much the same content.

5) I overheard this statement the other day in a conversation between a twenty-something and a forty-something: “The difference between us is you still use the phone to talk.” Each successive generation is more comfortable with technology and is more reliant on it. Each group will have to learn to adapt.

6) There is a tremendous opportunity to work together, as long as the Boomers don’t get too parental. While a command and control management style may been a good industrial/manufacturing strategy, it’s not for those under 35. Words like “should,” “must” and “because I said so,” might be better left out of daily conversation. I don’t think the Boomers wanted to be told what to do; why does anyone think that kids of Boomers want to either?

7) For the younger set: Be open to learning from everyone, but decide for yourself. You have to frame your decisions with the information and background you have. Know when to seek out the pieces to the puzzle you don’t yet have. Context matters.

8) For the older set: Be relevant. Be open to learning from everyone, and challenge the assumptions of a lifetime. People, places and things are evolving all the time. Are you?

9) For all ages, remember one word: congruence.  The more actions and words match up, the more trust is built. While true for any age, it’s especially true for the arriving generations.

10)  Finally, nothing ever stays the same. Let’s focus on the good!

My flight from Phoenix was interesting: my seatmate and I were sitting in chairs in the sky, participating in the miracle of human flight, having a nice lunch and a conversation. How great is that?

Chip Scholz is the Head Coach of Scholz and Associates, Inc. He is an internationally recognized executive coach, public speaker and author. He is a Certified Business Coach and works with CEO’s and their teams across North America.  Chip blogs frequently on business  leadership topics within his blog Leadersnips,  He is co-author of Masterminds Unleashed: Selling for Geniuses and the recently released Do Eagles Just Wing It?

Chip can be reached at 704-827-4474 (EST) or visit his website Scholz and Associates. Additionally you may connect with Chip through these social media sites:

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The Sales Training Coaching Reality Is Bad Sales Talents Top Good Talents

Many of the sales training coaching programs focus on bad sales talents or sales skills (what people do not do well) instead of good talents (what people do well). Part of the reason for these misdirected actions are due to the lack of using a proven performance appraisal diagnostic assessment focusing on talents, on assessing actual awareness of each salesperson. The other part is due to the inherent negative conditioning already embedded within each salesperson.

For example, what are the first three (3) words most babies speak?

  1. Mom
  2. Dad
  3. No

Then the Nos turn into the Don’ts such as:

  • Don’t write on the wall
  • Don’t speak to strangers
  • Don’t go where you are not invited or asked

As the child grows consequences are added to the Don’ts and the now young person is Can’t conditioned.  Add all the other negative conditioning actions from failed answers in school, red pencil marks to peer pressure and no wonder negative conditioning is alive and thriving in most people. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Reluctance toward cold calling or the fear of cold calling  is far more due to negative conditioning than any other reason.

Another reason for the emphasis on bad sales talents within sales training coaching programs is it is much easier to construct a curriculum around known weaknesses or bad sales talents than around the individual good talents.

If we accept the premise that winning teams win because of their strengths, their combined top good talents, then this emphasis on bad sales talent  is quite ridiculous.

What I know to be true after working with professional sales people, small business owners and even C Suite executives, is that 95% of these individuals do not know their top talents, but that same percentage know their worst talents.  Then what happens the focus is on attempting to improve what they do not do well as the expense of what they do well.  They may even abandoned their natural sales skills because of this focus on bad sales talents. Also within this process, they may actually turn non-talents into weaknesses because of all this negative conditioning.

Effective sales training coaching requires a strong foundation based upon confirmed awareness within each individual.  When individuals have the personal Ah Ha moment then they are more open to change because What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) has been activated because now all of a sudden the emphasis is on Me and not on the organization.

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Where Does the Sales Process Really Start?

Many sales trainers, sales coaching programs and even sales books answer this question: Where does the sales process really start?  Their answers usually begin with the the infamous “developing rapport” or even the most simplistic one of “attracting attention.”  However, if we peeled away the onion so to speak, we would find the start of the sales process begins within each salesperson.

Credit www.sxc.hu

For when we ask where does the sales process really start what we are actually asking is where does sales success start?

Answer:  Between your ears!

Unless the salesperson has authentic self confidence through genuine self awareness, sales success will always be quite elusive.  Within that space between your ears, rests the reason for your desire to be successful, your motivation to reach further as an individual, to achieve more every day. Sales Training Coaching Tip: The majority of individuals know what they do not do well with far greater accuracy than knowing what they do well.

Understanding what you value, what motivates you, is incredible support you as you move forward to increase sales.  One of the better experts on human motivation, Abrahan Maslow, wrote about this subject and connected human motivation to emotional intelligence.  Unfortunately, many people truly do not know themselves nor truly understand emotional intelligence and consequently start the actual beginning of the sales process with bad or missing information.

Today, I saw a headline for a blog that suggested this writer, coach and consultant could build self esteem, self confidence quickly and easily. Well I beg to differ because unless you are building a house of cards, there is no quick fix solution to self confidence or self esteem. Acquiring true self confidence, being authentic from your head to your toes takes time and is an ongoing process. This is supported by research that suggests emotional intelligence deepens and grows with maturity for most individuals. In other words, the process of individual growth never stops.

If we look at some key indicators in society, we can quickly ascertain that self esteem in spite of nearly 40  plus years of public schools attempting to build self esteem has been for the most part a disaster. I know this to be true not only through my own observations but through one assessment, the Attribute Index, which looks at how people make decisions both externally and internally along with 78 key attributes or talents.

Socrates wrote that we as individuals must first know ourselves.  Then the next step as suggested by Kierkegaard is to choose who we want to be.  Finally we then can create the person we wish to be (Mirandolla). These three actions work in tandem to support us as we construct the life we deserve through clarity of thought.

Our sales success, the ability to increase sales, to build a business is no exception to this process that starts between the ears. So if you wish to understand where does the sales process really starts, then look inward and begin to understand how you make decisions, what motivates you and your key attributes or talents.  Through this ongoing self reflection process you will increase sales and your efforts will be far more sustainable than the quick fix promises within many self improvement books or even sales training coaching programs.

P.S. If you wish to take advantage and begin to truly know yourself, then take advantage of the Attribute Index along with a personal 90 minute debriefing.  This is probably the best investment of time and dollars you will ever make.

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Business to Business Networking Success Is? – Friday’s Editorial

How does one define business to business networking success? 

Credit www.sxc.hu

This week I attended 3 different business to business networking  events and upon reflection I began to further evaluate each event specific to my own marketing goals as well as to the bigger picture.

In working through this reflective and critical thinking skill process, I realized there existed before, during and after criterion in all events.

Before Criterion

Notice:  Was the event properly advertised with date, time, location, purpose of the event along with any cost to attend?

Interest:  Did the marketing of the event encourage additional interest as a “must attend event?”

Followup:  Was there a follow-up process to ensure registration was received and processed?

During Criterion

Edibles:  If food was present, was it tasty, appetizing, etc.?

Engagement:  Were those in attendance engaging with others?

Energy: Was the energy level high, medium and low?

Environment: Was the environment enjoyable specific to temperature, seating, place to hang coats if necessary, etc.?

After Criterion

Event Impression:  How would you evaluate the overall event specific to your goals?

Event Response:  For those you met, did they respond to your follow-up calls?

Not all business to business networking success can be evaluated by how many new sales leads (think business cards) were collected.  In some cases, attending these events can be for new knowledge, exploration of a new industry to even just supporting a business colleague or friend.

Yet having some evaluating process in place beyond the new sales leads I believe is necessary so that you can determine in the future if you wish to attend this business to business networking event or that one?

Now upon further reflection I realized business to business networking success can be evaluated using additional criterion. What I now have s a quick assessment for each event I attend.  In the past my only criterion was how many new sales leads I wished to secure usually from zero if the event was one of support to five new business contacts. As the old expression goes, if you cannot measure it you cannot manage it.

 

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Selling On Value Not Price Will Increase Sales

“Selling on value, not price, will increase sales.”

I cannot count the number of times I have shared this sales observation with clients and even on some of my social media postings. Of course giving credit where credit is due, my father told me this many, many years ago.

In sales as much as things change, they do indeed remain the same.

Yet the remnants from product based marketing (think price based) or traditional marketing still rampage their way through advertising to email blasts to those frequently and high traffic business to business networking events to social media postings. Yesterday was no exception.

In between sales coaching calls and returning phone calls, I scanned my Facebook feed. There was a posting about Pinterest, a new social media site that has been getting a lot of press and play the last few months. The posting said “check out our new guide” with a link. So I clinked on the link and then discovered the guide cost $17.  However since I have never bought anything from this firm and truly have not read anything so far that has prompted me to want to read more about this business, I could have care less if the price was $.07 or $700.

Like many others, I have been burned by buying a low threshold price product.  In many of those instances, I knew as much as not more than the authors and I actually was a far better writer. In this case, I knew nothing about the subject and could not find out anything about the authors.

For me the value was not the price but the expertise of the authors, the writing quality and the overall relevance of this social media site to my marketing action plan.  Since this eBook was being published by an organization, I had no way of knowing the level of expertise or the quality of the writing.  However, the association offering the eBook quipped back with “It’s only 17 for 4 how to guides.”

Further down my email in box was a quick article about how this site, Pinterest, was geared more to women than to men. Given my ideal customer demographics lean more toward men by 3 to 1, I quickly realized investing any free time on this site at this time would probably not deliver me new sales leads.  Better stick with LinkedIn and already planned  marketing activities.

Then in speaking with my most recent sales coaching client I attempted to illustrate an example of how today’s salespersons must look to the value from the buyer’s perspective and how selling on value not price will increase sales.

Imagine you are a Ford salesperson selling a Ford Focus to a new customer who happens to be Rush Limbaugh.  Now does Rush really care more if the car gets 40 mpg or he is more concerned about the technology and being able to sync his mobile devices? Anyway who listens to Rush knows he is a fan of high tech especially the Apple iPad and the technology aspect of a Ford Focus or any car is probably where he places a lot of value. Given his income, he is probably not as concerned about mpg as someone who may have a more limited financial budget.  Yes this may be an extreme example, but it illustrates the perception of value.

What many sales people do is to walk into that first time sales meeting with their perception of value tied to price and ignore what the potential customer, prospect or sales lead is saying.  Then they may even think they are selling on value not price and wonder why they cannot increase sales. Remember,

People buy on value unique to them.

The value within your solutions even those identified by past customers may not be the value perception or need from your newest sales lead.  To attempt to sell on price based upon your value perception such as in my first illustration of “It’s only $17 for 4 guides” will leave you pocket poor and provide fodder for a blog posting.

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How to Get Clients LINED Up Outside of Your Door, Down the Street and Around the Corner by Alan Boyer

Your marketing message (think how to get clients), what you say to people in business to business networking, in printed materials, or your website can change your business from one where you have to chase after new clients into one where they chase after you.

How to get clients all depends on what you say, and how you say it when someone first meets you, or reads something about you, or something you wrote. But most give a really weak, ineffective, first message.

What do you say when someone asks, “What do you do?:”

The Worst Message of All

The worst marketing message, the response to that question,  is the one I hear the most often . . . “I am a _______”, a label.

Why is this so weak and lame?

Because it doesn’t tell anyone what would literally compel him to beg you to help him which is . . . the results he’d get from working with you, and the value of that outcome.

No one cares what you call yourself.

Doesn’t tell him anything of value.

And it’s about YOU and not about THEM.

There are two key things that have to happen when they first hear what you do.

  1. What you say has to get their attention. If you don’t get their attention with the first words . . . they don’t hear anything beyond that.
  2. You’ll grab their attention when you tell them something they want and something that is a huge value.  So, give them results . . . and the value of those results. That grabs attention if the value is high enough.

By the way, when you say “I am a ______” where’s the value?  Where’s the result?

You may assume that they can figure it out, but no one really knows how valuable you are until you tell them or they experience it.  Don’t assume they should know!

Let’s take a look at an example that will leap out at you. In this case it’s an oncologist, a cancer doctor.  Compare what you say to what this oncologist says at each level of the development of his marketing message.

Start at the bottom where he says, “I am a doctor” and work your way up. Each step becomes more powerful, more attention getting IF you are one of his target patients that has cancer? Especially, the one who might be dying of cancer.

Keep in mind that a marketing message has to be targeted on a specific market to be powerful. A marketing message targeting the whole world won’t work.

Each step becomes more powerful, more attention getting.  IF you are one of his target patients that has cancer? Especially one that might be dying of cancer.

Start with the bottom message, the weakest message, is “I am a _____”, a label,  which is, what most business owners say.

Don’t be like everyone else!

Have them lining up to get what you sell instead!. Most people do.

This one fails because it doesn’t tell anything about results, or the value of those results.

The next more powerful message is one that’s a little more specific, and will gain a little more attention. “I am an oncologist.” This one is narrowing in on a niche, but tells “no results” nor “value.”

But both messages 1 and 2, at the bottom have another weakness. They are talking about the person giving the marketing message, not about the results they deliver to the target market. The prospect only wants to know what it’ll do for him, not what you do.

If you want to have people leaping into your lap to buy from you, it requires that you let them know something they are interested in. That would be something about them, their business, and some kind of result they’d get.

The bottom two messages are about the person giving the message, not the person who asked, “So what do you do?”

Move up to message number 3. “I work with cancer patients.” It’s still about the person giving the message. It does have a little information that his target market is a cancer patient. Nothing about results. This is just a little more powerful than number 2.

In this case, if you were hearing this message and are a cancer patient it’s likely that this one is starting to get your attention, but still not enough.

Is message #4 different? Can you imaging that if you were a cancer patient, and one that’s been told you might not survive, would this absolutely grab you and pull you in?

Wouldn’t it pull you in even if you are already being treated by someone else?

It does because

  1. It clearly calls out the target audience by name
  2. It clearly states what the problem is
  3. It talks about results, and puts a measurable value on it, 80% walk out cured in 3 months.

If you had the problem wouldn’t that simple message have you leaping into their arms begging them to help you? It would me.

If someone that had cancer heard “I am a doctor”, the first message, how would they respond in comparison?

So how do we do that for your business?

Alan Boyer is a business coach/marketing coach who helps businesses reach another $100K to $250K every 3-6 months . . . and to stop playing at building a business.  Have you been playing in the kiddie pool (not on purpose of course) and not seriously, rapidly, growing your business?

Alan can also be reached by calling 816.415.8878 or through these websites as well:

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