It was such a beautiful morning! Every morning I tried to find something good to read before I start the day. Is this also one of your habits? Of course, my day wouldn’t be completed without sharing what I think is interesting. For today, it has something to do with conversation with client which you can also use in sales promotion. This article is written by Michael W. McLaughlin(@MWMcLaughlin) of MindShare Consulting. He states the significant of conversation in your business. It can help your business to grow or it can bring your business down. I will let you read the full article so I pasted it here.
What’s intriguing is that the consultants whose businesses do well whether times are good or bad aren’t always the ones with the best price, top industry position, or the longest track record of success. Yet, they still thrive.
So what sets these consultants apart from the rest? What you will find is that winning consultants prevail because they have higher quality conversations with their clients than their competitors do.
Not the Usual Mindless Chit-Chat
Most of the successful consultants I know are good communicators. After all, at its core, the consulting business is about conversations–with clients, colleagues, competitors, partners, and others.
Part of that is schmoozing, which is not unimportant in this business. But if you really want to up your game as a consultant, find ways to elevate the quality of the three substantive conversations you have with clients on a regular basis: diagnostic, sales, and consultative conversations.
Those are the interactions that build your credibility with clients and matter most to your business.
Diagnostic Conversations: Seeking Mutual Gain
Any consultant can listen to a client’s description of the situation and offer up a potential service solution. It’s not hard, given that most clients pre-qualify consultants before they talk to them. So clients know ahead of time who can help them with the pre-defined issue. The result: the consultant talks to the client, hears a familiar problem, and offers a predictable solution.
This approach to a sales opportunity may fit the bill in some cases. But in most competitive situations, you’ll find at least one consultant who doesn’t suggest the obvious solution to the client’s self-diagnosed problem. That consultant will ask more diagnostic questions, delve into the matter more deeply, and resist the urge to “solve” the problem immediately.
The inquisitive competitor withholds judgment, gets the facts, and identifies the client’s need–as opposed to just agreeing with what the client wants.
Before you try to sell anything, invest time and energy in diagnostic conversations to build trust, establish your credibility, and make sure that the client’s project would be mutually beneficial to you and the client.
Sales Conversations: Answering the Big Questions
Effective diagnostic conversations set the stage for productive sales conversations in three ways. First, they help you write a more compelling sales proposal that has greater clarity. You won’t have to rely on the typical boilerplate; you’ll have enough detailed information to write a highly-focused, thoughtful project plan.
Second, your sales discussions will include fewer assumptions and more certainty about how you would conduct the project. Assumption-free proposals and sales presentations inspire confidence and demonstrate your competence.
Finally, your client will experience what it’s like to work with you, providing an opportunity to answer the big questions about the personal chemistry between you and the client’s team, the rigor of your work style, and the depth of your expertise. Once the client can draw conclusions on those questions, the project should sell itself.
Your sales conversations, though, must follow this rule: clients want to hear about themselves, not you. So you have to answer the big questions about you by focusing on the client’s issue, the way you’ll approach that issue, and the value your client can expect. Sales presentations that are mostly a recitation of your qualifications won’t get or keep a client’s attention, and that puts your sale at risk.
Consultative Conversations: Staying Top of Mind
I once worked with a PR consultant who wanted to keep in touch after we finished our small project. Every now and then, I’d get an invitation to lunch or a request for a meeting to talk about an issue or two that he thought would interest me.
These conversations always went the same way: He’d show me some interesting research or suggest an intriguing idea. We’d talk about its relevance, and then he’d pitch a project to me. Every idea he brought to my attention had a price tag attached, even though we never discussed any potential projects before our “keep in touch” meetings. That consultant never worked for me again.
For many clients, what you do when you’re not working on a project with them (and there isn’t one looming) defines the on-going relationship. But it can be a challenge to keep past relationships current when you are not actively engaged on a specific assignment for a client.
Most consultants know exactly what they should do to maintain contact with past clients, but something holds them back. Why not pick up the phone and call your client? Why don’t you send that email? The most common concern I hear is that the client will think it’s a self-serving sales call, not an honest attempt to help a valued client.
The best way to avoid that dilemma is to talk to your clients about staying in touch before you finish projects. Usually, they want to hear from you, especially if you’ve done a good job for them. Just be sure that what you have to offer is useful–a new way to think about an old problem, or a trend that could change how the client does business, for example.
The point of keeping in touch isn’t to go for the client’s wallet each time you meet, as my former PR consultant did. Bring ideas without the expectation of gain. You want to stay top of mind, build your relationship, and demonstrate your commitment. Your client will remember that when it comes time to hire a consultant again.
Talk Is Cheap?
The saying “Talk is Cheap” may ring true for some businesses, but not consulting. To thrive, you need to master the basics, of course, including services marketing, sales, project delivery, and client relationship management. But your skills in these areas can’t be used to their best advantage unless you also master the three make or break conversations with clients.
To be a good communicator you must be prepared all the time. You should know what to say when client is asking you of something. When you are confident of your service, it would be very easy for you talk about it but you must not overdo it, you should talk in a casual manner or as natural as possible. It shouldn’t sound like pitching. Are you a good communicator?
All the best,
I love reading blogs and it is so funny that I can relate to every blog I’ve read. There are things that we already know but didn’t need it for a moment and get reminded that we do now. We have heard of sales perks, whether we are salesman or the buyer. This is very familiar to us and very beneficial too! Let us remind ourselves on how this thing can affect our sales. Here is a blog from Changing Minds entitled “Valuable giveaways”. I can relate to that because I am a seller and at the same time a buyer.
One of the ways of persuading people is to give them something for free. Because then the exchange principle says they are obliged to do something for you in return. In fact you can ask for something worth much more than the value of your ‘gift’.
A typical way this happens is when people give you something on the street (such as a flower) and then ask for a ‘donation’ in return (or even somehow convert a gift into a flat-price sale). Charities (and others) have picked up on this and begging letters that come through your door may well include a free pen. Hey, look, you can even use it to fill in the donation form.
Another, different way this principle is used appeared through my door this week. I subscribe to a monthly computer (PC Advisor). I started years ago with a ‘free trial’ offer and am still suckered in. It’s ok really as I use the magazine to keep up with what’s new in the marketplace.
Anyway, let’s get to the point. The magazine comes with a free DVD full of trial software. This month, however, it was very slightly different. In the top right corner was an orange triangle (grabs the eye) with the words ‘DVD worth £117’ in it. The magazine has always had other monetary value statements and this was no different with a black circle lower down with ‘free full program worth £35’ marking a bit of utility software.
But I’ve always pretty much ignored the £35 sign and usually quickly scan it for anything useful and throw it away if not. But this time I hesitated and put it on the table next to me. Why was this?
Apart from the more attractive use of colour (orange rather than red), the £117 sign breaks the £100 barrier, at which I start to think ‘hey, that’s a lot of money’. Throwing it away hence seems like throwing away lots of money. So if I leave it there, I am more likely to install the ‘free’ programs. Which actually are mostly things like a ‘three month trial’. And before long, I could get sucked in, just as I was when ‘trying out’ the magazine, many years ago.
Hmm. Excuse me a minute. … There. I have now put temptation firmly in the bin!
We are using our emotions when we are buying and this is so true here. Once the person offers us something for free, we felt that we are obliged to bring back the kindness, so we are really an emotional buyer, aren’t we? Leave your comment below!
Good day isn’t it? I wish what I have here today will make your day better. It is a blog from Strideapp (@strideapp) teaching us how to pitch. If this is your waterloo then this is for you! This will help you cope up with the sales competition. The initial step in pitching using business e-mail is not to give the entire detail of the business. Make it precise and inviting to arouse their interest to interact with your marketing proposal. Ensure also the format and outline. The next step is to tell your boss the content you send to the client. Why you have to do that? Read the complete blog!
How to Pitch: 3 Simple Steps to Getting Your Ideas Across
By Andrew Dumont
Regardless of what you do, pitching (large or small) is undoubtedly part of it. Don’t buy it? As a consultant, you have to pitch your expertise to potential clients. As an employee within an organization, you have to pitch your ideas for budget allocation. As a small business owner, you have to pitch your product or service to prospective customers. The list goes on.
The thing that remains unchanged is the fundamentals of doing so. This post is meant to help walk you through the fundamentals of pitching, so that you can better convey your ideas, and generate excitement around them.
1) Say More with Less
When you begin formulating your pitch, it’s easy to get caught up in all that you want to say. Likely, it’s a topic that excites you or an opportunity you’re anxious to capitalize on. What this typically leads to is overly wordy pitches and long emails without a clear takeaway. The best way to refine your thoughts is to get them all out on paper, without any filtering. Think through the value, the core of the pitch and why it’s valuable to the other party. From there, refine. If you find yourself pitching via email, make sure to follow this fantastic format that Rand laid out in a recent Whiteboard Friday. It provides a great outline to follow.
2) Help Them Pitch
Once you gain initial interest from your email pitch (or presentation), you’ll still have some work to do. In most cases, your pitch will likely need approval from another person — a boss or colleague, for example. What this means is that you have to make it easy for others to pitch what you’re pitching, to whomever they need approval from. The best way to do this is to create a onepager with the following information:
- Value Created – What is the value of what you’re pitching to the other party? How can they measure it?
- How It Would Work – Screenshots of the proposed idea or product, along with a timeline for implementation.
- Trust Signals – Call out happy customers, big brands that you’ve worked with.
3) Test, Then Test Again
Finally, as with any process, there’s a way to refine it. Although pitching is primarily qualitative, it can be fine-tuned. Think of pitching as a science. Try different tactics and measure how they perform. Use different subject lines, different levels/titles of contacts that you’re working with, different onepagers. Whatever you can alter, you can test.
Of course, this only scratches the surface on the topic of pitching, but it’s a great place to being. Frankly, it’s all you need to get started. You’ll pick up the rest along the way. The hardest part of pitching anything is the fear of starting. The fear of being turned away. Once you’ve made an attempt, you’ve won half the battle.
If you have any other tips on how to pitch, feel free to drop them in the comments below.
The business should never stop developing its operation to meet the fast changing development across the globe. It aims to give insatiable opportunity as it allows you to work online and collaborate with talented people worldwide. It sets no boundary for an entrepreneur to outreach the overseas services that he can use to be successful. What about you? What is your pitching style? We love to hear from you!
While I am surfing through the internet, something pops out in my mind, a question about how to start a sales promotion. It is always not easy to start anything, especially if you have to begin from the scratch. I search in YouTube to watch a video about starting a sales promotion to have an idea and the video below is what I’ve found. This is uploaded by eHow Channel…you can click here if you want to watch more of their videos. This is the first video I’ve watched and I feel like sharing so here it is for you to watch.
Marketing Strategies : Starting a Sales Promotion
The person in the video is speaking quickly and I think that you might not grasp all of his words so I jot down some of the important things for you to remember before doing your sales promotion.
Here’s the list.
1. Develop a plan
2. Do a research
3. Answer questions such as
a. who are you trying to pull in with this promotion?
b. who do you want to buy your products?
c. who do you want to get out and market it for you?
4. Determine advertising module to use.
a. online advertisement
b. offline advertisement
5. Determine your budget.
6. See if you can get in touch with your prospects personally by visiting and speaking to their community, companies or school.
Having done this I believe you are good to go!
For the first timers, let me hear your thoughts. For the experts, let us hear your words of advice!
Hello to all the visitors!
Thanks for visiting our page! As a sign of gratitude, I have a video here for you to watch. This is not mine, I just saw it in YouTube but I think that it is worthy of your time. We all know that contest is a good marketing campaign for any kind of businesses. However, most of us are struggling with contest ideas. This video not only gives you an idea on what contest to run but how you can effectively run it using Facebook Page. Any contest would be useless if not properly run. You can do it by yourself or you can get an assistant to do it for you. The only thing that matters is you have an idea, you execute it well and you get your desired results.
Here’s a quick video for you.
Facebook Contest Ideas | Ideas for Facebook Contests
This video might be old, in fact a year older but it does still makes sense. Admit or not social media is a great tool for marketing and Facebook is a leading platform. As stated in the video, many entrepreneurs use this because of its number of users. The speaker has shown different examples where you can get ideas from. I write down the 10 steps to a FB contest for your reference.
10 Steps to a FB Contest
- Narrowing down the particulars
- Study Facebook compliance issues
- Plan your custom tab and overall graphic design
- Create a video for introduction and to state the details of the competition
- Write down your ads
- Determine Promotional Methods
- Optional: Promoting via Facebook Ads
- Choose a person who will create, maintain and manage the contest
- Determine your budget
It all goes down to careful planning and great execution to make an FB contest campaign successful!
Have you run a successful competition before? Share us your experience!
Best of Luck!
I find something interesting to share for all of you today. You know in the sales industry, getting ahead with our sales competition is one of our primary goals and this is a tough one. This article from Radius really caught my attention, you know why? Because it says that you can get 50% returned calls from voicemails! Returned calls rarely happen right? If this is possible then you can get ahead of your competitors easily! Sounds good? Here’s the entire article written by Tibor Shanto entitled “Get More Call Backs: How To Increase Returned Voicemails By 50%”. Enjoy it!
By Tibor Shanto
My friends in the telecom industry tell me that voicemail isn’t going away any time soon. They will continue to offer it to all customers, often promoting it as a productivity tool, with one key value being your ability as a user to avoid and dodge sales people.
As a result, sellers have two choices:
1. Avoid leaving messages and develop calluses on your fingers from dialing a prospect over and over.
2. Learn an effective way to leave messages that get returned.
Number one is an obvious no-go. But, you are going to need a roadmap to succeed with number number two. Read on…
Take a step back to answer a fundamental question – what is the purpose of the exercise? Most sales people get this wrong, and by virtue it is downhill from there. The aftermath is an onslaught of falsehoods spread that voicemail does not work. The only goal for leaving a voicemail is to get a call back – period. It is not to set the appointment, to convey information, or to sell; all you want is a call back. When that call comes, that’s when you advance things to appointment, sales call, etc.
Most sellers leaving a voicemail reach way beyond just getting a call back. They tend to leave way to much information on their voicemails, and then crash and burn in the process. Listen to most outbound messages and they’ll say something to this effect – “Please leave a detailed message”. Why do they want all that detail, so they can know and rationalize why they should not call you back!
Think about it, the two most commonly used rejections while prospecting are “I’m all set” (Status Quo), or “Not interested”. If you give them the details, that’s the reaction they’ll have, and you’re not there to deal with it, and, bam, no callback. So don’t play into that – play smarter.
Here is a simple process for getting calls back: Be counter intuitive and in the case of voicemail, less is truly more effective.
If they don’t have the detail they are looking for and their curiosity has been piqued, you create an environment to generate a return call. Your goal is to create a bit of mystery, one they can solve with a phone call, so don’t hesitate to be cryptic. You’ll need to be ready with names of companies you have worked with who are similar or in the same industry as your target. No cheating – making things up is not allowed.
Let’s say you are calling a trucking company LMNOP to sell your product and you have done good business with ACME Transport.
Once you hear the beep:
1. Hi George, my name is Tibor Shanto, from Mountain View Company.
2. You can reach me at 416 822-7781.
There are a couple key factors to consider in this step. Don’t say “Please call me back at your earliest convenience”. Nothing, really nothing, smells more like a sales person on the phone than that statement. Be firm, authoritative, like you demand a call back. Say, “you can reach me at…” or “I can be reached at…”.
Say your number slowly. It’s not a race – give them a chance to write it down. Don’t be one of these guys making them rewind two or three times. The easiest way is to visualise yourself writing the number as you leave it.
Next steps are:
3. Leave their competitor as a reference. ”Please reference ACME Transport when you call back” or “It’s with reference to LMNOP Transport.”
4. Then hang up. Again it is important that the reference you leave is in fact someone you have done business with.
Simple as that, and that is why it works – the simplicity. How well does it work? I have 50% of my voice mails returned within 72 hours – try me. There are a number of other things to consider like additional techniques and coverage models to consider. Click here to watch a complete video. Feel free to call me when you try and it works. Or if it does not work, call and I can help.
The steps are so simple, like what they have said “less is more”. The author is right, you shouldn’t relay all the information in a voicemail, give them reason to call you back. Do you believe that his steps are effective? What have you learned? Write it down in the comment box.
Like you, I love reading materials that help me to prosper with my business and I apply anything that I think fits in. Today, I stumble upon this blog from Insideview which talks about freebie. Who doesn’t what freebies? Of course, we all want freebies and so with our business clients. Often not, business used to choose suppliers who will give them more than the other suppliers do. Reasons are self-explanatory but I want you to read this blog for you to have an idea on how you are going to apply this in b2b sales. I grab the whole post here for you.
By Lisa Fugere
While it isn’t big news that customers like to get things for free, sales pros take note: a new survey conducted by MagicFreebiesUK has found that 60% of consumers purchase a product after they’ve sampled it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a product or service, a free trial can be a significant source of sales.
A psychological component cultivated by most Western societies, called the norm of reciprocation, stipulates that if someone does something for you, you feel compelled to return the favor. When you offer something for free, you initiate the norm of reciprocation and the recipient of the freebie is more likely to buy from you in the future than had you approached him or her with nothing but a promise and a bill.
While freebies come in shapes and prices, one consistent factor remains true for all freebies: the more time that elapses between the giveaway and the purchase event, the lower the likelihood that the reciprocation norm will activate. Therefore, it is important to time your “gift” to allow for adequate sales follow up no later than a week after the free event.
Up to a certain point, the power of the freebie compounds. The more freebies you give out, the more the norm of reciprocity will affect your prospective client. This means that giving out a free email newsletter or a weekly blog post that offers some actionable advice can build up the emotional component that drives sales. A high volume of freebies is ideal, as long as you don’t give away big ticket items. Once you cross the threshold into giving away the products and services that comprise your revenue, you risk sabotaging your sale. If your prospect can string you along until you give them your offering for free, why would they ever commit to buy?
Managing the freebie is the key to its success. When you develop your marketing plan, space out your freebies in the following manner:
The first freebie should be something highly valuable, such as a 30 day trial or a full-sized sample product. If you aim to grow your brand awareness and following, you won’t capture new leads with insignificant offers. If you’re worried that freebies will anger existing customers, put a time stamp on them and limit them to newbies. Don’t forget to offer them a chance to opt in to a newsletter or email campaign to receive more freebies down the road.
The next freebies, which you’ll likely hand out to prospects whose business you’d like to win, should be a series of freebies, rather than just one. The theory of content marketing is built entirely around the concept of freebies; marketers give content away in hopes of drawing in and engaging leads. Use a newsletter to push free content to your prospects, and offer up coupons and helpful tips. If you don’t have a content marketing system in place, you can promote other peoples’ content. Find a content powerhouse that pertains to your customers’ interests and push their content out. Send it personally to the prospects with whom you’re working. We’re all inundated with content these days, and if you can provide something that actually helps your prospects, you’ll earn points in their eyes. And hopefully those points will transform into dollars. At the very least, if your content doesn’t push prospects away, it will get your brand in front of them on a regular basis.
The final freebies, the ones that go to existing customers, should relate directly to your product. Free training, free usage tips, free help guides – anything you can send to your customers to help them find greater success with the products and services you sell to them – will significantly improve your brand image in their eyes, and if your content is good, they’ll get the most out of your products.
The norm of reciprocity is huge in sales, and as MagicFreebiesUK found out, it can have substantial results when used correctly.
After reading this post, are you going to promise that you will be more giving? We have taught by our parents that giving is a good deed and that it is better to give than to receive but what’s best is that when you give freebies you will receive more? Don’t you think that giving is so rewarding? Tell me your thoughts and write it down on the comment box!