Archive for the ‘business’ Tag

Reaching decision makers…how to find them, how to sell them…

 

Got a question recently regarding how to get to the decision makers.

One is, just ask for them. When asked what it’s in regards to, answer! Its not always that easy though; sometime you have to plan it out a bit…here’s some thoughts on how to start finding then getting to, then selling them.

Who are my biggest targets that I want first? Who has the best reputation that will help me tell the rest of the marketplace, “I have earned XYZ, Inc.’s business and have already helped them increase their business by XX% or they made X amount of dollars recently by using my service to increase their sales or lead gen.”

Once you’ve gotten that list it’s time to do your research on who runs the show and how they do it. Are they Methodical? Spontaneous? Humanistic? or Competitive? These traits will let you in on how to get their attention. It will also tell you how toaddress them when it comes time to sit with them and present your product or service.

Whether it’s doing a simple connections program to start sending a news letter about mobile media and what it does for businesses, or if you choose to give good marketing and sales info that a decision maker can really sink their teeth into. (be aware that doesn’t mean email the heck out of them or send them huge sales emails) Simple short relevant to their industry stuff will suffice. You will begin to earn their trust. Then you can begin to reach out to them. If there’s a Gate Keeper, sell them on the benefits of why the decision maker needs to get back with you.

Gate Keepers have a job, and it’s not just keeping the gate. Many operators and receptionists are regarded as trusted advisors to what is good and what’s not to invest time into. They won’t allow anything they view as ‘salesy’ through the gate as it does nothing really for the company. You could have the best thing for that company but if the GK sees it as ‘just another sales call’ it ain’t happenin. Make it relelvant to the company’s needs, you may wish to look in the news to see what trends or challenges the industry is facing and offer that up as a means to present your solution. ‘You know I just read that normal radio and magazine ads just aren’t driving as much traffic as it used to…have you heard of mobile marketing and what it’s been doing for many of these kinds of businesses now?’ Get the pic?

Your best bet to reach the decision makers is using a targeted approach. Buying a lead list may not be in your best interest. You may have to go work out at the gym to find out who the decision maker or decision makers are. If it becomes a maze make sure you get to as many of them as you can and see who has the most interest and invite them out to coffee or lunch. Explain to them the trends of their industry and what you know about them. This gives you credibility as a ‘solution bringer’ not just a salesman. Then begin to bring together what your solution offers and make your case from there. Teams are now more trusted than in days of old. Make sure you get them on board if there is one, if you’re dealing with small businesses you should be able to just call and get the appointment.

It can be hard when everyone is away, sometimes it takes a lower level to sell you first. I’ve done it on many occassions to get to the main person I sold the receptionist on it. I didn’t always get the sale, but I got the appointment. That’s your goal for now. Make that list, begin to reach out, and then get the appointment. Once you’re in there demonstrate expertise on their industry, then yours.

I have a friend that has a motto for Sales people…”Sum Tertius”. It means, “Me Third” First the great one above, then you (my prospect) and then me third.

Work it like that and you’ll have a recipe for success.

 

Top Five Reasons to Outsource…Domestic

There’s talk of how outsourcing would make sense. It’s not huge, but it’s out there and it’s gaining a bit of steam.

So what would the top five reasons to outsource domestic be? The same as doing it offshore, it’s just that now you can afford it.

Here’s a short list as to what the benefits are to using an on shore solution.

BPO

BPOs are big honkin call centers meant for the big boys

1. Lower cost for operations – Face it, hiring an employee will cost you thousands even if they are minimum wage. The load pushes it up even higher and that just doesn’t cut it for 8 hours. Especially if you need the coverage for more than that. Having someone sit around that is only 8 hours and not necessarily producing that whole time is just not justified.

2. Able to focus on core functions – Virtual Assistants are great for one person operations, virtual reception, Live Chat and email interactions are great for small businesses that want to continue to focus on doing what they do best. (Doctors, Lawyers, Service providers, I even know a guy that uses outsourcing to sell his cigarette alternatives) Think about this if you’re tied to your phones right now, this is a way to get away from them and not be tied to our business, but it can be tied to you. You deal with the intel at your discretion, not the prospect or suspect.

3. Freeing up internal resources – Instead of having the receptionist tied to a desk and hiring another office person, why not have a virtual receptionist take care of the appointment setting and other non-core functions of the office (things that can be handled outside the immediate office) while the receptionist focuses on customer care, and assisting with other office functions. (Filing, follow up, proactive response rather than reactive)

4. Some companies can realize the benefit of re-engineering their processes while having a service like this in place; Even the little guys need breathing space to really see what’s going on. So, why not have an outsourcing company do some of the work for you, when the time comes to take that particular process back there will be other processes still needing to be covered.

5. Convenience – Do you really like having to answer your phone 24/7? Do you like missing your chat and missing a sale? Is it worth the lack of customer service when you’re sick that no one ever gets to them and interacts with them live? Why would you sacrifice that? I know a lot of people that have already told me that their customers know sometimes if the phone isn’t answered they’re busy…really? You will settle for that when there are opportunities to have someone else that you teach how to answer for you, how to work as if your actual employee, and can give that personalized service that normally only you can provide? You will settle for that?

If you have, you’ve given up your life for a business that owns you. Reminder: The American Dream isn’t to be owned by your business, (or anyone or anything else for that matter) but to own a business and succeed it. Find an onshore solution that can help you with some of your processes and get them off your shoulders. There are more benefits to doing this than I’ve outlined, but these five should get you thinking about doing something different, or we live out the definition of our friend Albert Einstein when he spoke on the subject of insanity.

PP what?

So I have been having a conversation with a new friend on facebook that related to how PPC and online marketing works. With how fast everything is moving and how much innovators are getting ahead, there are a lot that are being left behind.

He chooses attraction marketing for his online business and I have to admit it has its merits to a certain degree. I have had that conversation with a few marketers. The conventional ones like the new stuff and want to figure out the latest and greatest. Seemingly though the rest of the world is slowly catching up and certain “outdated” methods are just now beginning to take effect. (it boggles me that it takes so long for many to realize and accept what marketing is bringing to the table and then to respond to it taking even longer…oh well, human kind)

Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:

Media buying in the “Google” realm can be a bit daunting to some. I am certified with my company in PPC, and it works well provided you take the time to learn the intricacies of it and then use it creatively. It’s truly the only way you can get ahead, and if you do it right, it can turn out a real profit.

SEM / SEO is a different beast even though they are keyword driven as well. They can prove to do some real justice to a business owners bottom line, but can get really pricey. Together they work hand in hand to create relevancy and freshness in Google’s realm and it can really help drive traffic…again, IF you take the time to learn it right.

There are some good tricks that you can use that the attraction and affiliate marketers use to get into the right spots on the content networks that have proven on more than one occasion that Google is still the way to go.(this is a given by most that Google is the only way to go, heck they created this whole PPC thing right?)

Attraction marketing is the “long funnel” marketing model that can be really effective when done with diligence and persistence. As you have found, it can be a great help in generating the kind of traffic you may be looking for. As for the honesty of pics, be assured you will run into a few that are not so open about who they really are, even business owners sometimes are a bit shy to let out their identities on facebook, linkedIn, etc.

Don’t want to get into a long drawn out blah blah about online marketing, but this is where everything has headed, and will continue to head until someone comes up with something else.

What do you think?

Consumers are in control…you just figured this out when?

Just read in Yahoo Business News today that Wall Street is finally acknowledging that consumers, not capitalists, not republicans, not democrats, not international business, not anything other than “CONSUMERS” are in control of things. Right here, right now, we are standing in the midst of a transference of wealth. What shall we do to make it effective so we, the “market consumers” can benefit?

Many will see an opportunity and will find a need and fill it. The economy is about to return to a service base rather than a product or “latest advanced toy” basis. We have become so comfortable with ourselves, that our innovative nature took a back seat to comfort creature mentality and has set us back about ten years.

Here’s the point; if Wall Street is finally acknowledging that consumers are in control and many of the “big boys” are the ones that are the most affected, we have a chance to say, “Ok. No more crap. Let’s get this country back on the road by making sure you’re producing things that are smart. Not just the latest toy, but the latest innovations that prove we can produce just as well just as inexpensively, and let’s make sure we support the ones that do.”

Enough of being led like blind sheep as consumers we have a choice in where the money flows, let’s make wiser choices and effect the right change.

Here’s an example; Hyundai came to this country with a product that was cheap and built pretty cheaply by my standards. They banked…quite well. They turned around and took that and now produce a luxury vehicle that rivals our old friends BMW and Mercedes, and are competing. We as consumers told the other two that rest on their reputations and history, it no longer matters about your name, I want a car I can enjoy and I’m not paying huge bucks for it. I mean really, $400 for a brake job? and only the fronts? Sorry, I’ll go with a well developed smart car that gets major mileage and is light on my wallet.

Since the consumer market is holding a lot of its discretionary income close to home, businesses have to find new ways to market to us to get us to come spend. Else not we will continue to watch the downward spiral of the economy til well into the next decade.

We have Wall Street’s attention, I say we keep it and make something of it by showing them through our voice…our wallets…that we will only support those that will support us wuth better services and products. Now is the time, make it count.

Business Development…what is it?

Ok. So ‘ve had this presentation for a bit and felt it was time to put it out there both as a refresher course and a “newbie” course for those that don’t quite get what Biz Dev is.

Here isa link to a presentation that is fairly simple to understand, once I get audio put to it we will do more to get it out to everyone in the business world.

Many think this is elementary stuff, but I’ve been running into too many people that just don’t understand that when times are slow that is when you make your best investments in your marketing, and TRACK THEM! Then you follow your sales through and make sure your conversion ratios make sense, then you do it again. (you know; wash, rinse, repeat as necessary)

Here’s the link: Click here

Once you’ve gotten here,  comment and give me your thoughts on what you think are necessary steps to making business deveelopment really work in our now economy…and be careful, there are a lot of emotions running right now, be critical in your thinking, find facts not feelings.

Financial help

I was looking at my financial statement earlier this evening and I was thinking…” what the? I’ve got a LOT of empty spaces here…where the heck is my 401 I had from IAB? Why didn’t that get rolled over when I left? Who’s got my money now? CRAP! I have no idea where my money is!! How  does this thing tell me where that…WHAAAT?!?! UGH! SOMEONE HELP PLEEEAAASSEE!!”

Well, I just learned that an unsuspected financial expert has emerged and is going to be blogging on playboy’s site giving the layman a fair shot at making things work, and taking down the man.

Duff McKagan is Playboy’s new Financial Guru, and I for one believe after reading his story about why he was chosen, and a believer that he will be worth more than his weight in gold nuggets!

He comes from a background that most would think he doesn’t know squat. Well, he knows squat and a hell of a lot more.

Keep up on his blog at:

http://www.playboy.com/mt-tb.cgi/20942

Definitely a place to learn more about finances, what works what doesn’t and one of his objectives is to expose the BS in the industry that loves to confound and confuse. I LOVE IT! Finally some straight talk on how to keep it together!

Now where’d I put that last bank statement…..

What is this SEO thing anyway?

So what is this SEO thing anyway?

What wonderful news! I got a call from a young Entrepreneur that is CEO of an SEO company called, “Addoptimization”. She wanted to meet with me at the RIO before she left town to talk about some business development venture. Why not? Any “biz dev” stuff is worth checking out right? Not to mention she invited me because of our e-Book, “Power Marketing on A Budget Guide”, and wanted to talk about how to get that further out into the marketplace where it belongs.

So I said, “Sure I’ll see you at the RIO.” This after two invitations to go to the Consumer Electronics Show on Friday and Saturday, an invitation to a private industry party that I couldn’t make it to because of other meetings already arranged on Saturday night, and then finally fitting a time in to sit down and talk with her and figure out what she wanted to propose on Sunday Evening. (by the way the Affiliate Marketing Summit was starting this week…the place was a zoo! It took a few text messages to even find each other.)

Whew! What I got was a great schooling, in such a simple way, that I had to write about it.

What a concept! SEO! WOOHOOO! What the hell is SEO anyway? As I chuckle to myself, I have to think, “When we, the professionals sit there and talk to the “deer in the headlight syndrome” clients, about e-Marketing in general, do they really know what the heck we’re talking about”?

Alright, so, for you veterans, sit down, shove a piece of coffee cake in your mouth from the break room, grab a cup of coffee, and let me get this out for our clients, the business owners, that don’t speak Greek like we do.

SEO as an acronym means nothing to the average Joe. Even when spelled out most think, “huh?” Spelled out it means, “Search Engine Optimization”. Again, “HUH?”

Let me speak in a language you can understand…in fact everyone understands this language; Money. It translates “Lead generation” into “conversion” in other words money, mullah, dolleros, denari….get it? Not necessarily directly into conversion, but definitely greater rates of conversion. I’ll explain.

When someone goes online to find something they used to use what are called “keywords” as a means to find what they were looking for on the internet. In the old days that was easy since there were not so many providers of services and products. That’s of course no longer true nowadays as everyone has a website now. So how does someone find you? In the mess of everyone else that is in your industry, it’s a needle in a haystack search right? Wrong. This is where SEO comes in.

The search engines use certain rules of engagement to sort out who gets to be found. Those rules are applied to the net via their “search engine”. You type in keywords and the engine finds what you’re looking for…about 45,234,635 results to sort through… WHOA!

This is what you do, you hire someone that knows how to tweak your website enough that you get into the top ten, top three, or top spot. If you didn’t know after page one, unless someone else is totally dominating the first page, that most people stop searching, you are most uninformed and at the mercy of your competitors business. So it pays to get on page one ok?

How you get on page one, is through coding, and tweaking, and other tricks of that trade that I can’t even explain, nor do I care to.

This is the bottom line; if you don’t have SEO, you don’t have leads. You remember, leads? You know the thing that brings you sales? The thing that gets your business money? It’s the reason you got a website in the first place remember? To get more leads and get more business?

What you weren’t told by the guys that built your website is that you have to be submitted to the search engine(s), (so they know you’re there) and then you have to get SEO and be monitored so you keep on the top ten at least. If not, you get bumped down continually until NO ONE SEES YOU!

Gosh that’s harsh huh? But here’s the good news; although it does cost to do this, there is a greater substantial return on investment as you are now picking up 80% average of traffic looking for your product or service. If you have the right company doing it for you, you will get the ranking you need, and the right response rate to your site, and if your site is designed correctly, it will get you leads or sales whichever your site is designed to do.

This is a two part series and next round I’m going give you some tips on how to make sure you get the best “guy” for the job.

Keep it Rolling!

Hydroelectric Power Goes Greener, With In-River Turbine | Technomix | Fast Company

Hydroelectric Power Goes Greener, With In-River Turbine | Technomix | Fast Company

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If you’re not ready….they will be!

Well this was posted around Facebook and a few other places today, so why not here?

 

Look here’s the skinny…year’s end is upon us…so what have you done to plan for the next round? Your competition is trying to squash you so they can corner the market(even if it never happens the point is).

 

You have to have something in place so you can get ahead and leave “them” behind. If you can’t do that, you might as well close your doors.

 

So what is below is a toolkit my friend created for small business owners to fend off the big dawgs trying to out advertise you. Heck in some cases you could get some better prices for your marketing if you do it right. You might even get some free publicity…but you won’t get anything if you don’t start planning NOW.

 

But to do it, you’ll need to get this stuff in your hot little hands or on your computer so you can absorb the info and start the planning process….Don’t let the rest of the year go by with,”It was seasons…” as an excuse.

 

Keep it rolling!

When was the last time a prospect called YOU with money in hand to do business?  Did you know that, with just one minor change to your marketing message, you can double or even triple your responses?

 

For a limited time Facebook users can receive a special discount for an amazing new marketing tool-kit designed for business owners and marketing professionals.  Called the Power Marketing on a Budget Guide, this resource will steer you through the myriad of marketing options and create a “buzz” that is GUARANTEED to make your phone and cash register ring!

 

Check this out: www.CorporateRainMakers.com/PowerMarketing/Facebook.htm and start marketing like a pro today!

What’s next?

Hey gang,

Just thinking today about a client I’ve been working with and the thinking that seems to riddle small business owners and their thoughts on what they can do with what little they have.

Interestingly enough, when I sat and spoke with this budding entrepreneur, they seemed to believe everything rides on their productivity. In the beginning this is always true, unless you have a truly developed business plan that includes a comprehensive marketing plan and a hardcore operations SOP.(Standards of Operations) What they didn’t realize is that they are much better positioned in this current economy due to the effects of the recession that is in place right now.

After talking a bit with this Business Owner, they started to see that even with what little time and power they had, they actually had more freedom than a company that is having to ‘reinvent’ itself.

See, when a large company has to reinvent, they have to restructure, which usually means someone’s moving companies involuntarily, they have this huge undertaking to assess and begin the process. This takes quick planning which can overcompensate their intended result. Then once the ‘fat trimming’ has finished, the rest of the crew has to pick up the slack and reorganize so that operations become streamlined and more ‘cost effective’. This has its ramifications as the original plans of the company was to operate at full strength usually by the 5th year in business. This would then profit the company and award dividends to the share holders. Unfortunately as everyone is seeing this not to be the case for the next couple of years…at least not with the mainstream companies

With the recession in full swing, and I mean that with all prejudice towards the failing economy fostered by faulty administrations, and clueless economists, and now chicken $#!T investors, larger and even medium size businesses are suffering by their own SOPs, and policies which are holding them back form making the bold moves to get them ahead of everyone else. For them to have to restructure everything they got used to, everyone in the organization has to be retrained to take on more responsibility, and work harder to help the operation profit.

Meanwhile, the little guy who has no one but themselves to depend on, has no limitations of a ‘major plan’ to reinvent themselves. They are just beginning to invent, create, brand, and produce for their target market what it is they have to offer. Hopefully you guys are beginning to get the picture, because I hate having to say things twice.

The ‘big dogs’ are struggling to keep their values in the Stock Market, while the little guy is having to just worry about his next check paying the bills.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the big guys have to pay rent too unless they own the building, but, they still have much more to deal with to reach their goals, and have a LOT more to deal with in terms of labor relations, benefit packages, accounts payable and receivable, risk management, etc. The little guy? hmmm, can I make my house payment this month?

What I’m trying to get at is this. When you think as a small business that you are disadvantaged, you couldn’t be more out of touch. Especially in this time! You, as a small business owner, have so much to look forward to. You have a recession, giving you a better shot at getting your supplies cheaper, gas being less now makes it cheaper on having a mobile office, which is usually the norm for smaller service businesses. Rents for office spaces in some places are stupidly cheap. If you can’t afford one still, stay home! I mean really…What’s it take to show you, you’re in a really good spot right now?

I know small businesses that landed larger contracts just because they were smaller! Their proposals to their clients were much more cost effective even if they were value based on their pricing! The big guys can’t compete because they have to charge more to keep up wth their costs! Then they have to reasses their budgeting simply because they have to make good on their promises to their shareholders…the small guy? “Honey, I’m hooome…I got paid today…let’s go out to eat tonight!” Get the idea? Perhaps oversimplified but you get the point right?

So today, I give the ‘little guy’ a boost by saying, “Quit cryin! You don’t need a WAAAMbulance, you need to get your head into the game and play hard, it will get you there. Find your target market, get your name out there through Smaller Budget Marketing efforts. Now is the time to meet new potential clients, new networking connections, new supply lines for office or manufacturing…you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find. Make this time work to your advantage!”

Now….Go get ’em!