Archive for the ‘return on marketing’ 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.

 

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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.

Where’s the money flowing…

Seth Godin makes a real interesting point on his latest blog; where the money is there you’ll find the people working.

Interesting to me that it starts as an end still and then the means justifies it. (almost sounds like the torture debate going on right now)

Here’s a tag to Mr. Godin’s point; if there is money to be made you can well believe that someone is going to be searching for it.

He wrote that things change around once there’s money to be made in any particluar field. He related it to writers becoming publishers which is the reverse of what was. (When the Writer Becomes the Publisher / Seth Godin – 05/2009)

It would seem pretty logical that once the public wants something, they are willing to pay for it, so what is it that you have that they are willing to pay for? What message can you get across to them to tell them what you have is what they need? Many times I see “the best blah blah” or “Number 1 blah blah in the state” C’mon, do you really think that is going to attract attention? If it does, I’d be pretty surprised. Nowadays it’s just not enough. Mr. Godin back in 2003 made refernece to being remarkable(the purple cow). If you have a pizz,a shop fine, so does almost every other coner strip mall, what makes yours so different?

Here in Las Vegas, NV , a local pizza chain by the name of Metro pizza decided to become the “purple cow” of the valley by holding pizza making classes. Their pizza is great, but now they are the teachers of pizza making, and it’s doing very well. People are paying for classes and more are hearing by word of mouth how great their pizzas are. Do you think they can charge a bit more because of that?

Here’s the bottom line: You have to find the flow of money where it is moving and get in front of it. It’s the one time you want to get run over by the flood. Even if you can’t handle it you’ll have known what is was like and can most likey prepare for it better next time. Pizza makers to pizza making teachers,writers becoming publishers, what else can you think of that would set you apart and find you more income for your business through the right marketing message?

Keep it rolling!

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!

New beginnings….

Normally anyone would expect to see a plethera of yao yao which would basically say nothing. I will do my best to be sure that when something is posted that it has some kind of substance that anyone can use.

This beginning is a start of a new company venture. The partners involved asked me to come aboard to help with strategies and ideas to help with a new version of Appointment setting for Financial planners and Insurance agents with series 6 licenses. This in itself is a great opportunity, so why did they need me?

Well, apparently when the idea came about there was a pre-test done to see what the response would be to marketing this kind of service seeing that there was already a few out there doing it. Unfortunately as a lot of online deals go, there are a few companies not doing business honestly. So, credibility had become an issue. Of course those things can be easily remedied, but what about fulfillment? What do the customers actually get? Where is there value perceived or realized? what will be the companies Return on Customer? short term and long term?

Coming from a mixed background of Marketing and Operations(what a conflict of interest wouldn’t you say?) I now had the opportunity to address true marketing strategies after setting down an actual footprint for the operations and cost analysis, and what funds would need to be appropriated to ensure a sufficient budget would be in place to cover unforeseen costs of marketing and acquisition. (which there were many)

When all was said and done, actual profit of the “test” run came out just under even. (actually they lost a bit of profit on the first deal)

After sitting with the partners and explaining what the challenges were, one partner decided it was not a profitable idea to continue pursuing this venture and returned to a former client contract to continue producing revenue for the company. I had suggested against this but was not really allowed to explain what remedies they had that would turn this seemingly unprofitable venture into one that could become a self running branch of their company.

Speaking further with the second partner revealed, that it was always an intention to research further before running the test. They wanted to see if there was any feasibility in pursuing this venture as it was already making a different similar size company quite a healthy profit. They were doing so well with fulfillment there was no reason to think it was not a good venture to pursue.

I looked a bit further into what the company was doing with the second partner and found out that the fee structure was a bit different and that if costs were to be controlled more, that this company would have to restructure its fee schedule to cover initial costs. Then a fee for residual income and actual long term profit would be needed.

Return on Customer was being reviewed now and seeing that a long term commitment to a per schedule appointment for continual revenue generation allowed for greater returns on existing clientèle.

Once the partners began to see the actual response rates of the first test run, it became clear that this was still a viable venture to continue with, which allowed for new suggestions on how to attract new business through both conventional and Innovative methods in marketing. This now includes online optimization of their website and future PPC advertising, along with networking referrals which started to come in even before appointments were being set for the first test run client. This was a large indicator that because pricing had been set higher than normal and even though process and unforseen procedures and licensing issues arose, that honesty and integrity held the test client in place and kept them confident that we could produce what was guaranteed.

Closing ratio is up to the agent or planner of course, but as far as client acquisition and appointment setting goes, the process now has an actual path, and the marketing methods that are now in place are already producing a flow that is both manageable and profitable.

Statistically, increases should be noted within the next month or two, to a point that outward conventional marketing methods may not be needed, and only online optimization may need to be employed. Even with a conventional 33% fallout rate, with a base of 300-400 clients per salesman and two appointment setters per agent, profit margins for the company should still hit anywhere between 25%-45% depending on operational costs.

SO, what does this have to do with anything? I value professional opinions. It’s how I learned a lot about marketing and operations outside of school…I like hearing real world experience talking rather than theory. I’d like anyone’s opinion on how they think this pans out for the partnership. I’ve left a lot of details out so that everyone else can throw down and give their professional opinion. I value perspective, and honesty. Have at it!