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,
How are your sales today? Is it growing day by day? Well, it should be and if it doesn’t…oh boy! You are on trouble. It is a good thing that I have read a blog from KathleenSteffey about Increasing Sales from Salesjournal (@salesjournal). This blog is about the article of Adarsh Thampy. The title of the article is Are You Using These 25 Sales Techniques to Increase Sales? This is a question that you should have to answer at the bottom of the article. Everything are all listed below so if you are struggling with your sales, try these 25 sales techniques!
Are You Using These 25 Sales Techniques to Increase Sales?
By Adarsh Thampy
Increase Sales: 25 Sales Techniques That Work
Strategy 1: Use Content Marketing
The key is not to call the decision maker. The key is to have the decision maker call you. -Jeffrey Gitomer
A few years back, when you had a product or service to sell what did you do to get the word out? You tried press releases, television ads, paper ads, cold calls, banner ads, display hoardings and any other means you could afford. Business went to those who had the largest marketing budgets.
Fast forward to present day, people are no longer paying attention to the thousands of marketing messages that they come across each and every single day. With internet usage on the rise and people becoming more aware, all of these traditional marketing approaches are weakening day-by-day.
People who embrace relationship marketing, has already understood the power of content marketing. As compared to traditional methods of marketing, content marketing means getting found by prospective customers rather than trying to push your product or service to the uninterested masses.
With content marketing, there are a host of benefits
- Pre-qualified leads
- Lower marketing costs
- Higher conversion rates
- Higher customer satisfaction
- Lower customer acquisition rates
You should embrace content marketing not just for the benefits. Although it takes time, it’s what works very well now, and probably the only marketing technique that will work in the future.
Strategy 2: Use Upsells Effectively
If you are not using upsells, you are leaving money on the table. How many times have you ordered fries just because the sales guy asked you “would you like fries to go along with it?” or perhaps you were given a discount on something when you already made a purchase?
Upsells are very effective to increase sales. Once they buy from you and are in a buying mood, it’s easier to close an additional and related sale.
Many people who run online businesses give 100% commission to their affiliates on their product. Once people buy this product, they are presented with an additional high end product as an upsell. This is how many people make most of their money selling info products online.
Strategy 3: Create a Product Which Has Demand
Supply always comes on the heels of demand. – Robert Collier
This is a no brainer. Understand what your customer really wants. Is there some product already in the market that delivers the solution to your prospective customer? If not, provide it!!!
If there is already a product or a solution, try to think of a better way to satisfy the needs of the customer. This can be in the form of a better quality product. You can even bring about a twist in the actual offering to make your product more attractive.
Strategy 4: Clever Pricing Is the Key
Even peace may be purchased at too high a price. -Benjamin Franklin
Most of us who are not born to sugar daddies do price comparison shopping.
You may have a wonderful product everyone needs. However, if you price it insanely high compared to your competitor, you are going to find it hard to make decent sales (unless you are Apple).
5 strategies to price your product
- Do market research and understand your competitor pricing. With this data in-hand, either develop a product with lot more features and charge more, or develop the same quality product and price it lower
- High price can provide a sense of “high quality” since people have a deep rooted notion that higher the price, better the quality. If you price high, be prepared to deliver what your customer expects to get
- Similar to point #2, a lower price can indicate inferior quality. The best way is to charge higher prices by providing more value to your customer
- Price of a product is directly proportional to “perceived value”. If you can make you product seem superior to your competitor, you can charge a premium over your competitor
- Price is again proportional to perceived brand value. If you have a brand value attached to your product, people will more readily pay a higher price for your products or service
Final Takeaway: Your product is worth what your customer is willing to pay for it.
Strategy 5: Run a Customer Reward Program
You really don’t need to be a fortune 500 company to run a rewards program. Just make it a simple program where people can get discounts for being a customer and satisfying certain simple criteria’s such as
- Being a customer for 1 year, they can enjoy 50% discount on the first bill of their second year as customer
- Collect points and redeem points for discounts, gifts, and so on
- 10% discount on your purchase if you shop for more than 100$
You get the idea.
Strategy 6: Advertising Is a Necessary Evil
A magazine is simply a device to induce people to read advertising. -James Collins
Many people take to advertising as a means to sell the product in any way possible. What the marketer does not take into consideration is that customers do not like to be deceived or being sold to. Advertise only the benefits the product/solution can give and never ever hype anything.
Only if your product lives up to its claims will people return to buy from you the next time.
Advertising is essential to bring your product to the spot light. Make use of the advertising medium that best suits your product and the time it is released. Radio, television, print and internet are some of the mediums you can rely upon to advertise your business.
Never give your entire advertising contract to one firm. If you have a line of products, ensure that you give each product to a different agency and do a split test on who can produce the maximum benefits.
Strategy 7: Give Out Free Samples
It’s proven time and again that giving away free samples to your customers can help you increase sales. If you have a book for sale, make a chapter or two available for free. If you sell products, give small sample packets for users to try out. If you provide a service, offer a free initial consultation.
Once your prospective customer starts using your product or service, they will have increased confidence over their purchasing decision. This will lead to a faster sale.
Strategy 8: Reach Out To Your Customers
It’s not enough that you simply advertise your products. They only make the buyer more open to embracing the product. Once you test your product, reach out to your customers and ensure that they can buy the products with ease.
Strategy 9: Looks Definitely Matter
I almost always end up buying products based on the design. Whenever I go shopping with my family, I tend to pick products with nice illustrations.
If it looks like a school going kid made the cover I am almost certainly not going to buy that product. Include a touch of professionalism and also convey the meaning. This holds true especially for food related products.
What about Apple? Apple focused on the design and let everything evolve around it. The simple touch interface, sleek and highly usable design made Apple the most valued Tech Company that it is today.
Strategy 10: What’s In a Name or Is There Much More to It? (Hint: There is much more to a name than just being a “name”)
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet -William Shakespeare
Always choose a product name your customer can pronounce easily and can remember without jumping through hoops. Take extra care to name the products in such a way that the name itself gives out the product details. The name you choose must proliferate into the mind of your target customers.
There is nothing wrong with choosing a unique name and trying to brand it. The minimum you have to do is make sure people can write it down correctly if you just pronounce it.
Do you think people who are not familiar with the car brand Chevrolet will correctly write it down if we simply pronounce it (Phonetic Pronunciation: shehv-ruh-LAY) and not spell it?
Strategy 11: Quality is King
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected – Steve Jobs
Never, ever compromise on the quality of your product. If your customer loses the trust on your brand, your business will collapse like a pack of cards.
Some people tend to sacrifice the quality to prevent price hikes. But, if needed increase the price and serve the same quality rather than producing a low quality product. You can also choose to serve less quantity for the same price.
If you plan to stick around with your business for a very long time, any compromise on quality will never get you even remotely close to your goals.
Strategy 12: Give Your Dealers a Reason to Sell
Nothing can be more devastating than dealers refusing to sell your products. It could be that they are getting better pricing from your competing brand or that they do not see a reason as to why they should push your product. Give them good commissions and always deliver on time. This way you can build a long lasting relationship with your dealers and they will push your products more.
In the online world, we come to affiliate marketing. Affiliates are the ones who sell our products for commissions.
In the information publishing business, you can expect to give up to 75 % of the commission to the affiliates. If you give them lower commissions, they will promote your competitor who offers them a better compensation. It’s always the rewards that motivate the affiliate.
Very few affiliates promote based on value. That’s the ugly truth online. So make sure you pay 50-75 % commissions for your info products to increase sales through affiliates. Some even give 100 % commissions to build a list of buyers.
If you sell a service or a software, figure out the maximum commission you can afford to pay your affiliates while not incurring a loss. I have seen software vendors and service providers offer commissions in the range 3%-25%.
Strategy 13: Set Up Production Centers in Different Parts of the Country
Always try to diversify when it comes to setting up a production center. It is always best to have various centers spread over a large geographical area. When you concentrate more employees in one region, problems are bound to come up.
Put on your thinking cap and decide the next site for setting up a production center.
When you have an online business, it is best to diversify your support staff. It is also good to have a local presence since people will trust you more. If you have a SEO company for example, it is easier to rope in US or UK clients if you have an office in the US or UK.
Strategy 14: Diversify Your Product Range
A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets- Steve Jobs
The trick is to increase your market share in other related markets. If you concentrate on one particular product then the risk of MNC’s coming and replacing you is huge. So always spread out your line of products.
If you produce ham, produce different frozen food items, not just ham. If you have field staff and you need to make the most of them, it is necessary that you have a range of products to sell. You won’t make enough profits to pay a decent wage to your field staff if you concentrate on just one product.
In the online world, to increase sales, diversification is essential. You may have one product that teaches how to build muscle. You needn’t have the info about how to build six pack abs in the same product. You can instead have two different products.
This strategy to make more sales will help you price the two different products competitively as well as make more money through upsells or cross promoting the products to the two buyer lists you have.
Strategy 15: Listening To Your Customers Does Wonders for Your Business
Find out what they require. Why do they use the current product if they use any? What could have made their job easier? Always have an eye for details for such things.
The reason why you should be listening to your customer to make more sales is because it helps you learn the customer’s language. Once you start interacting with them and understand their problems, you will learn to convey your product marketing message in a language your customer understands.
Strategy 16: Be Unique With a Great USP
A good voice isn’t so important. It’s more important to sound really unique – Stephen Malkmus
Whatever product you bring to the market, it must have a unique angle to it. If you produce normal pencils, make it unique. Maybe the pencil has additional features such as higher resistance to the writing lead breakage or a comfortable grip or something like that.
Have a simple, yet effective USP.
If you are selling a book online about “making money online”, make sure that you have something to differentiate yourself from the rest of the people out there. If you have an online store, what makes it unique? Free shipping or do you have same day delivery?
Strategy 17: Test Locally and Deploy Internationally
Make sure that you release your product to a local audience first. Test it and see how it fares. If you can’t make sales locally, there is not much chance that you will make huge sales on an international level. Choose your local test market in such a way that there is a demand for the product there.
If you have an email list of people who have subscribed for information from you, try selling them your product at a discounted price. Some people call it internal launch. See how well they receive it. Make tweaks and improve constantly. This way you can increase sales online.
Strategy 18: Reinvest Your Profits
How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case – Robert G. Allen
It’s always a good bet to reinvest what you get from your business into your business. Never try to spend your business income for unnecessary things (Do you really need a new couch or a fancy office?). You must always have a cash reserve in case you plan for expansions in the future.
In order to increase sales, you must have a good product. TO ensure that you have a good product, you need to invest in research and development. Use your business income to fuel the R&D process and not withdraw a huge salary for yourself.
Strategy 19: Be Professional
I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away. – George Carlin
As your business expands, it would be difficult to manage your business on your own. When required, make sure that you recruit people who can align themselves with your values and business goals.
Being an online business, not many can afford to hire a HR. So, handpick the people you want. If you want to increase sales, then you need a dedicated team to help you with your goals.
Strategy 20: See Your Employees as Your Co-Workers
Never try to be bossy. Always make your employees feel that you are a part of them. If you try to portray yourself as the boss and others as workers, it may affect their morale.
Most people, who have online businesses, hire work at home people or have a virtual team. In that case, make sure you don’t sound arrogant and always pay them on time.
Strategy 21: Your Employees Are Your Greatest Assets
In case of delayed payments, it must never occur to your employees that you are purposefully delaying payments. In case of dire situations, inform your employees beforehand that there will be a delay.
If you have field staff, give those people hands on training. You must make sure that they are well versed with answers to any questions your prospective customers might ask.
Try to bring up people within your team. This will greatly boost the confidence and morale of your employees. Employee people local to the place whenever possible and if you have outstation employees support them as much as you can.
The quality of your employees can have a direct effect on how well your product sells. If you have a great team, not only will you products be great, but your team will find and solve issues faster and innovate easier.
Strategy 22: Be Honest
Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honesty are what matter. – Tiger Woods
File your income tax correctly. If you are not well versed with accounting, hire someone who can do it for you. If you provide services, give a money back guarantee to your customers. If you cannot provide the service as described, never hesitate to make a refund (If possible, a no questions asked refund).
Strategy 23: Provide Unmatched After Sales Service
If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will. -Bob Hooey
This is one area which I see many businesses fail in. They market their product, sell to their customers, and then no news from their support team.
It is equally important that you provide support to your customers. Only happy customers result in repeat buys and quality referrals. Do not forget the fact that word of mouth is still the best mode of establishing a brand and increasing sales.
Strategy 24: Set Up an Incentive Program for Your Sales Team
What motivates your employees to sell more other than your monthly pay check? If you have no incentives, then when most people reach their sales quote, they won’t try to sell any more. After all, what’s in it for them to work harder just to make a few more sales?
Provide incentive to your sales team and you’ll see that your sales will mostly increase after setting up the incentive. It can be anything from getting featured for the month on your company website or extra pay. See what works with your employees and give them what they want.
Strategy 25: Keep Testing
Keep testing your products or service. Experiment with your ad copy, your price points, your website structure, promotions you are running and so on. Only after a lot of testing can you come up with the most effective way to increase sales.
If your business is web based, then make sure you use conversion optimization techniques to test and find out the most effective way to close the sale.
Strategy 26: Always Over Deliver
It really makes your customers smile when they get something extra. You want your customers to smile and be happy for them to come back to you.
When I do SEO consulting, if there are small jobs like helping customers with some technical aspects of their website, I do it for them without charging anything extra. Sometimes when they come to me with small tasks, I do it without taking payments. These small things has helped me retain my most loyal and highest paying customers.
What do you do to increase sales volume? Do you find any other sales techniques that should have been mentioned? What is your #1 sales technique that out performs all others? Let me know in the comments.
Now that everything was laid down in your hands..what are your next step? Are you going to apply these techniques? We know that knowledge without application is nothing. Have you used these techniques before or are you still using it? What are the outcomes? You are free to share what you think works and don’t work.
Are you ready for a new video? Who loves video here? I, myself love watching videos, whether for entertainment purposes or for widening my knowledge. Videos are very easy tool to learn something because you can hear it and you can read it. Today, I will share with you a video about B2B Sales Tips which was uploaded by 2622robert17 3 years ago. This blog get me interested because of the title which is “B2B Sales Tips from a Bee” plus it uses bees as illustration. I think that learning B2B Sales through this video would be fun! Let us all together enjoy the video below!
B2B Sales Tips from a Bee
By Bob Riess
The voice is from Bob Riess. There are only 3 things he pointed out in the video and he explains how he came up with those ideas or conclusion. He said that the first thing to understand about B2B selling is that your potential customers only want to know few things about you and your company and these are the following:
1. How will your product/services help my company make or save money or at least make my life easier?
2. Who are your current customers?
3. What do these customers think about you and your company?
He tells his story when he was new to business and what he does doesn’t work until Jerry came into the scene and gave him some advice. Jerry suggests….
– sell short story that will convince customers that we are a successful company
– we deliver what we promise and
– we have a great product that will make a difference for them.
These suggestions help him concisely explains his company’s value and help the customer make the right decision to purchase from them.
Now, he is throwing short stories on how he helps his current customer and he does increase event registration by 85% and revenues over 30%
What I love about the video is how he explains things so simply yet very informative. What is your opinion about the video?
What’s up? Is everyone in the good mood this very moment? I stumble upon a short post from the ChangingMinds Blog and it makes me smile and I believe this will also set you into a good mood. What the author said in the blog is true. The post is simple but the meaning is deep. The mirror symbolizes a simple incentives marketing. You make people feel good and therefore they will keep on coming back to you and here is where the business started. Make profit by making people feel good. Here is the whole blog.
The flattering mirror
I went into a restaurant recently with my wife, who went to the bathroom and came back looking rather pleased. I asked her what was up and she told me there was a ‘nice mirror’ in the bathroom. She had looked at herself in it and somehow she seemed to look better than usual.
My wife always looks good and is not vain, and her observation stood out because she very seldom makes such comments. She is very observant, so clearly something was different. We chatted about what might be the cause and came up with thoughts, such as the possibility of less harsh lighting than usual (bathrooms are often quite stark), a slightly concave mirror (which would make people look a little thinner), and a slight ripple in the glass that softens the reflected image.
Whatever the cause, I wondered if it was deliberate and thought it a brilliantly simple way of creating happy customers. How many people have gone to the bathroom there and left with a warm glow, perhaps not realizing why, and then transferring the good feelings to the restaurant and the food? Of course the result would likely be them returning there and recommending it to others. And all because some smart person thought of a neat way to make customers feel good.
And what about mirror manufacturers? And home bathroom designers? You could sell such mirrors into many places. There’s a simple equation here: Making customers feel good = more business, more profit. Anyone with customers can consider at everything the customer does when connected in any way with the brand and think: How can I make them feel good here?
Does this post make you feel good? Do you know how to make people feel good about your product or services? This is very essential because our customers are our boss and they are the one who will keep us on the business. Love to hear your thoughts about it!
Are you looking for sales tool software? You might be interested with SugarCRM (@sugarcrm) tool. Why? Simply because it ensures the entrepreneur success with their innovative software. What’s great is you can have it within reasonable cost! Availing the modern business solution is not risky and it can pay back more than what you have invest on it. The tool offered enables you unlimited business partner. You will never leave behind as the software will continue to develop to meet the demand of competitive era. In return, your business will never be stagnant and will also continue to develop. You are always on the right track with this dynamic sales software. Come and read the entire blog below if you are interested!
Business Insider says you can bet your career on SugarCRM
Have you ever read something in the newspaper or seen it on the evening news and though, “well, heck! Why is this news? I knew that!”
We kind of felt that way when we read that SugarCRM was among the “25 Enterprise Startups to Bet Your Career On” in Business Insider. But, of course, we here have some inside information.
Not to blow our own horns… Well, okay. We’re going to blow our own horns. With a growing list of partners, an ever expanding galaxy of customers and an engineering team that’s focused on delivering on the idea of CRM for everyone, we’re doing important work in making CRM a tool for the entire business instead of a point solution for sales or support. And, by building a platform that integrates easily with other applications, we’re giving customers the freedom to build their own software ecosystems and the ability to make it work with a minimum of cost and hassle.
The companies on this list is impressive and include Box.net and Good Data – which already integrate with Sugar, giving us another leg up.
Want to join the team? Take a peek at Sugar’s career page and see how you can place your bet on SugarCRM.
It is given that the right attitude towards an entrepreneur success is the willingness to try everything to get his business goal. The confidence that you can achieve your goal can motivate you to work hard and makes you not afraid to take a little risk. Does this tool interest you?
To your success!
Are you using twitter in your business? Do you believe twitter sales roles have great influence? Many people think that they are just wasting their time on twitter but if they only know how to use it right, they will find out that it is very useful to them. If you aren’t getting any sale on twitter, it means that you are not doing it the right way. Lori Richardson (@scoremoresales) shares her formula on getting consistent sale from twitter with her blog she posted on Score More Sales. If you are struggling on this aspect then you have to read this post.
4 Twitter Prospecting Strategies
By Lori Richardson
As a long time Twitter user and fan, I have directly seen how more than 100 companies – mostly B2B find prospects and even close business through their Twitter account. Brands mastered this first, and now even some reluctant CEOs and marketers in small mid-market companies are getting on the bandwagon.
Some will say that it is not important to have a following – but I disagree. While our following is small compared to many out there, it consists of business professionals and people who tend to care about what we’re sharing and thinking.
The important piece is that we regularly (let me repeat – regularly) get connected to interesting people who want to discuss business. This means that regularly we get new sales opportunities through a combination of Twitter and LinkedIn. This goes hand-in-hand with creating blog content 4 times a week. Our results have exceeded even my optimistic expectations.
Here are the top 4 ways you, a busy professional in a B2B services or Saas or other technology, distribution, or financial services company can get started on Twitter for business growth:
1. Listen and Learn
By far the most important thing you can do now – today – is to set up a Twitter account if you have not already (where ‘ya been?), and learn how to listen. Try searching for topics and terms in your industry.
Example: If I am an IBM business partner, I’d have saved searches for everything IBM, so that I could re-tweet and share the content I find valuable and pertinent to my business. Within Twitter you can create lists and you can use hashtags to search (when you see a word preceded by the pound or hash sign, #).
For step-by-step instructions from Twitter on creating lists, go here. You can also use a service like Hootsuite to help you stay organized with who you are following.
Spend time searching and listening for what is happening in your market, with your competitors, with your customers, and with your strategic partners. Doing this alone can give you enough good reasons to contact prospects and existing customers to add value.
2. Become an Influencer in Your Industry Niche
Once you start listening it is very likely you will have things to share. As you connect with others online you will begin to grow a readership and a following. If you set your mind on becoming a voice for your industry niche or regional niche or product niche, with some focus you can grow your visibility and eventually become synonymous with your area of expertise.
Example: Here in Boston, Joselin Mane (@JoselinMane) is the voice of what’s happening because he created a service called Boston Tweetup to publish events and regularly tweets about them. He promotes others and at the same time it builds up his personal brand. By adding value to others, he’s a visible Influencer in Boston and also around the world.
Once you are comfortable researching and listening, begin re-tweeting others. The abbreviation RT on Twitter shows that someone is sharing someone else’s content. As you do this, add your own spin on things. I use Triberr (http://triberr.com) to engage with content my industry counterparts have created and help to promote stuff that I think adds value to the community at large.
4. Share and Add Value
The biggest piece about doing anything social is to add value at every step. By sharing content and ideas from others in your industry, you are helping people find what might also help them to grow their business. If my purpose is to help businesses grow, then I would focus on tips, tools, and ideas that do exactly that. Notice that I am not talking about myself, my products, and my services – I am talking about the industry, about industry leaders, and actual ideas to grow someone’s revenues. Find ways to do that in your space. If your business does offer something of value, mention it occasionally, but not as often as you talk about others.
Use the FOOF Factor as your rule of thumb: Focus on Others First. Share their great content, and promote them. What’s great about social tools is that they show who you are, so you don’t have to tell people. They KNOW who you are. Just keep adding value.
If you are already proficient on Twitter, what tips and ideas can you share here?
What did you learn the hard way, and how successful have your efforts been?
Follow me on Twitter, mention this post, and I’ll follow you back. I’m @scoremoresales
I believe we have learned something important today. Never waste your time on things that aren’t working instead, think how you can work things out to your advantage. Does number of followers matters to you? Are they all quality followers? You can also share your twitter ID here so people who are interested can follow!
This day, I have a video to share. This was uploaded by Joel Cohen in YouTube which entitles Mom & Pop Marketing vs. Reward Programs. Obviously this is about the comparison of the two but what intrigues me is the Mom & Pop Marketing so I watched the video. The speaker made a very good point about sales reward programs. Many entrepreneurs didn’t use it wisely and they are just issuing reward cards to compete with their competitors without thinking if it really gives them loyal consumers. He uses a restaurant business as an example and he also explains what Mom & Pop Marketing is. So if you are as intrigued as I am, watch the video.
Mom & Pop Marketing vs. Reward Programs
By Joel Cohen
If you want to have notes about the video, don’t worry because I did it for you.
Joel questions are, as an entrepreneur are you involve in gaining customers loyalty or just relying on loyalty reward program?
The answer to these questions helps you to examine yourself as an entrepreneur. According to him, in reality “today’s consumers probably have 5 to 6 different loyalty cards in their wallet.” They are only using it for discount purposes and not out of loyalty. The question now is how to gain loyal customers? His solution is to check your shopping habits.
Where Do You Shop & Why?
– Lowe’s vs. Home Depot?
– OfficeMax vs Staples?
– Chicago Uno vs Chili’s?
– Kroger’s or Harris Teeter?
Joel Cohen states why he chose the certain store and why it gains his loyalty. Answering these questions is another way of knowing what your customers need; it is like putting yourself on the shoe of your consumer.
He suggest that what is needed is the “Mom and Pop” Factor
> means to know your customers or to recognize them as a frequent diner and this habit often surprise them.
1. Focus on the question, “What are you going to do today that gets a customer/guest to be loyal?
2. Be visible
3. Be the face of the restaurant
4. At least remember your guests’ faces
5. Recognize and surprise a guest with a reward of kindness for their loyalty.
So now, if you are planning to have sales reward program, be sure that the client is worthy to be rewarded. Do you agree with the speaker? State your point!