Aug 272012
 

business growth, networking, planning,sales strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some business owners I meet complain that, although they attend networking events, they don’t actually get any work through them and question whether it is worth while bothering, given that there are 101 other things they could be spending their time doing.

Clearly, networking isn’t going to be an appropriate marketing tool for all businesses, but for many I believe it is. After all, if you needed a builder/ accountant/ IT specialist, wouldn’t you prefer to deal with somebody you have met and chatted to rather than somebody you didn’t know at all?

If you are going to use networking as a marketing tool for your business, as with any marketing tool you use, you first need a clear strategy in order to make it work well for you.

Below you will see my ‘top 5 tips’ to effective networking, this will to help you develop your own approach.

1. Choose the networking groups you attend wisely.

You need groups of proactive business owners, not ones that just meet to chat and feel good about themselves. Go along to the meetings with a goal in your mind for the number of cards you are going to hand out, receive, and the number of meetings that you are going to book.

2. Be clear on the type of business you are looking for.

Think about the size, type and location of companies you would like to work with. Make it easy for people to refer work to you by having a clear and concise offer.

3. Ask the people you meet about themselves and their businesses.

Don’t forget that people buy from people they like and showing interest in what others do will help build that relationship. Having a great story to tell will help make people interested in what you do, never try to just sell what you do.

4. Always follow-up on the people you have met after the event. Remember, networking is the start of the sales process, not the end. How do you follow-up after a networking event. Personally, I take all the business cards I have collected and I send invitations to have that contact connect with me via LinkedIn and Facebook.

5. Finally, make sure you measure the results of your efforts. Testing and Measuring is the key to reaching your goal for any activity that you participate in. If you aren’t willing to take the time to test and measure, then you might as well stop doing that activity.

So now you have a guide to effective networking, get out there, take action and make it work for you.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 August 27, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Growth Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Aug 202012
 

leads, sales, customers, delivery of service, referrals, cold calling, build a business organically

 

 

 

 

Exceptional Delivery.

Most business owners assume that they must invest big dollar amounts in new marketing campaigns in order to increase their lead generation. However, there are some very easy, cost-effective ways to exponentially increase your leads.

Contact your existing customers: It is six times easier to sell to an existing customer than to sell a new customer. If you concentrate on and stay in contact with your existing customers, they are more likely to do more business with you. Think about new or complementary products that they may be interested in. Give them a call just to say hello and ask them how it is going. They will greatly appreciate your interest and will become your advocates.

1. Ask for referrals:

Your satisfied customers, happy employees and devoted friends/family will want you to succeed in your business endeavors. Ask them if they know of other like-minded customers who may be interested in your services. If you ask most people for help, they are usually willing to work with you. When asking for referrals, be specific with your associates.

  • Identify a number of potential referral sources for the next year.
  • Schedule a lunch/breakfast with each referral, each month.
  • That will result in 12+ meetings and exponentially more new business contacts.

2. Cold Calling:

Want to know a quick and low-cost strategy that can generate massive results in your business, if practiced regularly? Simple techniques, like old-fashioned phone calls to suspects, warm leads or referrals, are usually used. The chief excuse of business owners for not using cold calling is lack of time. If you can’t (or won’t) do it, identify a resource within your team to handle this important task.

Discipline yourself to stop what you’re doing for five minutes a day, and make calls. Just two calls per hour, every business day, will yield hundreds of calls over a year. If you have a target list, you could place a call to each, once every quarter to let them know you’re there and you care! Remember, even if today they are buying what you’re selling from someone else, you can position yourself to be the second choice for when things change!

Focus on results, and set a daily goal; make calls until you reach the goal. This may be to get an appointment, sale or new referral (as appropriate.) In no time, this will become an effective habit/tool for growing your business. Once you’ve achieved your goal for the day, congratulate yourself and then go about doing the other tasks that confront you.

3. Deliver exceptional service every time:

This one is my personal favorite. I feel that if you are building a great service business, this should be your number one priority.  Delivering exceptional service does 2 things for your business.  The first thing it does is it guarantees that your current customer will be more than satisfied with their experience using your service. Exceeding the customers expectation will give you the confidence that your customer will be interested in continuing to work with you and your business. This is otherwise known as, the lifetime value of your customer.

Secondly, providing exceptional service will turn your current customer into a referral machine. Your customer will become an advocate for you and your business. So, if you have 200 satisfied customers that are advocates for your business, you now have 200 FREE sales reps.  This is a very powerful strategy, especially for the small business owner who has a limited budget to grow his/her service business.  I see this as a very organic way to grow your business.  Executing this strategy will help your business grow at a pace that is healthy. Not to fast and not to slow.  See Wednesdays post for more on growing your business organically.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 August 20, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Growth Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Aug 132012
 

entrepreneur, happiness, born leader, focus, take action, passionate about work, passion 

Here are five observations about the entrepreneurial mind and personality.

1. Entrepreneurs are passionate, inside and outside of work.

Whatever they immerse themselves in, entrepreneurs typically invest fully and passionately. This extends beyond business building into many aspects of life outside the workplace.

2. Entrepreneurs are committed to building businesses, not just coming up with great ideas.

Most people with ideas don’t build businesses. Most entrepreneurs we know look for good businesses to build, given their area of expertise. We’ve met countless individuals with a “great idea” who never Continue reading »

 August 13, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Happiness Tagged with: , ,  40 Responses »
Aug 062012
 

 

sales, sales people, conversion rate, follow-up, sales tips, sales scripts, sales testimonials, sales goals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Ask More Questions:

Questions are the answers in sales. Too many sales people tell their customers the features and benefits of their product or service but never take the time to find out which of the benefits the customer is actually interested in. So, ask them to tell you what they want.

2. Set Daily Targets:

A common theme in sales- chase enough customers in the hope that one or more will buy. In reality this leads to sales people only selling to the early adopters or price shoppers who would probably buy from anyone. However by keeping track of how many customers buy on average from a given number of leads and then introducing strategies to convert a higher percentage will ensure your sales team learn how to improve their results. Set daily targets and assess your performance against these targets.

3. Use Sales Scripts:

No one likes to hear someone read from a script, but customers do expect us to be consistent. So how do you ensure all your interactions with prospects are consistent and that you deal with objections in a professional way? By writing down what it is you say in any given situation and by training your team to use the same questions and language you can bring a lot more productivity to your sales process.

4. Offer / Guarantee:

Why should someone buy from you and not a competitor who can provide the same product or service at a lower price? What is it that you offer them or can guarantee them that will differentiate you from your competition? Your offer must generate excitement to get prospects to make a decision to buy now.

5. Ask For The Sale:

One of the biggest common failings in sales is not asking the prospect to buy. A fear of rejection, that the sale will be lost, prevents many sales people from actually asking the final question. Just do it and learn from those that say no so you can improve your conversion rate over time.

6. Learning:

To be successful in sales there absolutely must be a habit of learning. Learn from other sales experts, learn from books, learn from your best customers and learn from past experience. Both your good and bad experiences can be a huge help in improving your sales success. You must record these experiences and build your knowledge over time. Write it down so you do not keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

7. Testimonials:

We all need to be reminded of what we are doing right and why our best customers love dealing with us. Sometimes we focus too much on what is going wrong rather than what we are doing right. Focus on the good stuff and we will do more of it! Get your customers to write down their testimonials so you can use it in your marketing and attract even more great customers.

Question: When is the best time to make a sale?

Answer: Just after you made your last one. Ever hear stories of football players who stop scoring touch downs and it seems they will never score again? Well generally they change something about themselves; their attitude or a superstition or a habit; and then suddenly they are back in scoring form again and they keep scoring.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 August 6, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Growth Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »