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mike coleman nashville online marketing

One of the big mistakes many people make with their email and social media is trying to say everything. Remember, less is more when it comes to email and social media marketing. Your emails and social media are not for telling people everything that you do. Thats what your website is for.

Consider offering one thing at a time and remained focused on one topic at a time when it comes to crafting your blog post, article, newsletter, or social media post. By doing this you accomplish a couple of things:

1. You make it easier for your audience to digest the information you are sharing with them.

2. It takes the pressure off you to write a lot of content. And one more thing about content. You don’t have to be “original” and have something profound to say every time, but you do need to be delivering content that is helpful and applicable to the audience you are trying to reach.

3. It’s much easier to track your results. Anything is your online marketing strategy, just like your offline marketing strategy, should be measurable. You want people who read your blog post, article, or social media post to take some type of physical action. That physical action could be a click, a download, a phone call to your business, signing up for your services, or any number of other things.

If you want to be successful in sales, stop being a salesperson and become a businessperson.

If you can convey to someone that you are not trying to sell them something, but instead you want to partner with them to increase revenue, increase market share, reduce expenses, increase their client base, or make their life easier in some way … then you have someone eager to work with you (or at least want to have a conversation). In other words, you want to partner with them to grow their business and make their life easier. It’s that simple. This approach (and shift in mindset) makes you a businessperson rather than a salesperson.

So, number one – you want to have the mindset of a businessperson (or partner) … not a salesperson.

And number two – you want to provide solutions. How do you know if there is a need and what solution you can provide? One way is online research. Visit their website or check out their LinkedIn profile. Find the key players in their organization. Prepare what you are going to say and then rehearse it a hundred times until you are comfortable with it.

Now you are ready for your first meeting or call. You’re going into the first meeting (or cold call) thinking of yourself as a business partner with solutions to help them grow their business and increase revenues.

Think about this scenario for a moment. If you walk into a business and you are trying to sell them on how great your product is, and you have to ask who is in charge of (fill in the blank), then you are viewed as a salesperson. And worst of all, you are viewed as a poorly prepared salesperson.

Now think about this scenario. You’ve done your research, you know the key players within the organization, you have established a need, and you have come up with a couple of solutions for them that will increase revenue. How do you think they will view you now? Now you are establishing your position as a leader who cares about their business and can offer a solution to a need that you have already identified. Now you are a valued ally, a trusted advocate, and a business partner.

Everything mentioned above also applies to your online marketing. You want to convey the message that you are a businessperson who knows your target market, knows the needs of your target market, and can provide solutions.

Review the Home page of your website. Is this the message visitors to your website are getting? Are they finding the information they need quickly or do they just see a nice graphic? Do they have to click on another link to find out your business philosophy, who you work with, what you do, and the solutions you provide?

I’m not saying you can’t have a nice graphic AND great content. But if I have the choice of having a shiny new graphic on my website or giving my visitors information that is pertinent to their business, I will choose giving them the information they want as quickly as possible.  This moves the sales process forward, and isn’t that really the purpose of your website?

If you approach selling your products or services as a businessperson, find the need, offer solutions, go into meetings fully prepared, and deliver value … then your career, business, and life will move to the next level and beyond.

As most of you know, I am a voracious reader. I really believe your success in life is all about the books you read and the people you meet. There are a handful of books that I read over and over again at least once a year. One of those books is “The Greatest Salesman In The World” by Og Mandino. This simple book tells you everything you need to know in order to be successful in sales … if you study, learn, and internalize each of the principles taught in the book.

I have listed the 10 principles here. I chose not to elaborate on any of them because I want you to really think about each one and make it your own.

1. I will form good habits and become their slave.

2. I will greet this day with love in my heart.

3. I will persist until I succeed.

4. I am nature’s greatest miracle.

5. I will live this day as if it is my last.

6. Today I will be the master of my emotions.

7. I will laugh at the world.

8. Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold.

9. I will act now.

10. I will pray for guidance.

Write the ten principles listed above on an index card or put them in your smart phone. Read them each morning before you start your day. It will make a difference.

You make a sales call and schedule an appointment to meet with a potential client. You have your first meeting and everything goes great. Your potential client tells you they have all the information they need and no need to have another meeting. They will call you. BUT the sale is not final.

What is the next step?

This is where a lot of sales people drop the ball. They wait for the client to take the next step, when the reality is you have to be in control of the sales process at every step. You can’t let your prospect control the flow of the sale. On a rare occasion, the client will call you back but many times you never hear from them again if you don’t take the initiative to keep the conversation going after the meeting. And many times, it’s not because they don’t want your services. It’s because they forget about you because they are busy with their life and their business.

So it’s up to you to make sure they don’t forget about you. How do you do that? There are many ways, but I’ll mention six here.

1. Send a handwritten note to thank them taking the time to meet with you.

2. A follow-up phone call a few days after the meeting to see if they have thought of any questions since you met.

3. A follow-up email to thank them for meeting with you and to let them know you are available should they have any questions. Keep in mind a handwritten note is better, but an email is better than nothing.

4. A direct mail piece that reminds them of what you discussed at the meeting with an overview of the benefits you provide as a result of using your services.

5. A postcard with an overview of what you have to offer, as a reminder.

6. Connect with them on social media channels, such as, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. (You should do this step before meeting with them, but if you didn’t, then now is a good time to connect.)

Building a business is all about building long-term relationships. Just because someone doesn’t need your services today does not mean they will not need them tomorrow. Always know what your next step will be to keep an ongoing dialogue with your prospects and current clients.

I need to call on this client BUT …

… they are getting ready to go on vacation.

… they are just getting back from vacation.

… it’s the end of the month.

… it’s too close to the holidays.

… they are just getting back from the holidays.

… it’s the beginning of the month.

… Monday is not a good time to make sales calls.

… Friday afternoon is not a good time for sales calls.

… they are cutting back on spending.

… they just had a management change.

… they don’t need what I have.

… they are already working with (insert name here).

… they don’t have the budget to purchase my product.

… it’s the end of the year.

… I just called them last week.

… I don’t want to be a pest.

… they just made a major purchase.

… nobody does anything during the holidays.

… it’s too late in the day.

… it’s too early in the day.

… I haven’t spent enough time preparing for the call.

… my promotional materials are not good enough yet.

Do you recognize any of these? If not, I’m sure you have a few of your own that you’ve used to avoid doing what you know you need to do. And just like everyone else, I’ve used a few of these in the past.

What is the underlying reason for making these excuses? Fear.

Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of what someone will think. Fear of success. And the list goes on.

Accept the fact that you will sometimes fail, and accept the fact that you will have some fear in your business. If you don’t have some level of fear in your business, then you are probably not doing enough.

It’s time to stop making excuses. Embrace failure. Embrace fear. Stop letting these things paralyze you and keep you from taking action.

Make the call, close the sale, complete the project, or whatever else you need to get done … NOW!