Shy in Networking? Here Are 4 Tips that Will Work for You



Good news if crowds make you nervous: The advantage in networking goes to introverts instead of extroverts.

“What? you ask. “Introverts have an advantage in networking at social events?”

That’s right. As an introvert, you have advantages in networking and also advantages in becoming a leader. Yes, that’s true.

Extroverts aren’t necessarily great in networking or qualified to be leaders. They’re not naturals in the art of persuasion, charisma, have boldness or in getting projects done successfully.

Introverted people are more likely to listen. Listening is an important quality for networking and leadership.

Moreover, extroverts are more likely to feel threatened if their ideas aren’t readily acted upon. They especially act with fear when questioned or challenged by others.

Conversely, this also means introverts can unobtrusively dominate at networking and other events.

Here’s how you can make shyness work for you:

Envision success by listening

During the 1970s and 1980s in my career as a young broadcast journalist, I learned valuable lessons about listening, negotiations and leadership when meeting two presidents – Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

While I was very nervous, they made me feel important in the meetings. They were fantastic listeners. Ditto, when I interviewed Nancy Reagan.

Then, there was a comment by another great leader in American history: “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Theodore Roosevelt.

Of course, he was an American statesman, writer and the 26th U.S president from 1901 to 1909, 25th vice president, and governor of New York.

President Roosevelt knew success results from empathy and focusing on others.

So try to always ask open-ended questions, not closed-ended questions. By asking open-ended questions, you’ll get people to talk freely. (More on this later in this article.)

Many extroverts miss the point of networking. Networking should be all about starting and building relationships by listening well.

Take baby steps seeking quality contacts

It can be very entertaining to watch many extroverts and narcissists working at social event.

They’re so busy working the whole room and grabbing business cards, they’re not as successful in launching valuable relationships.

The trick is to be affable and likeable.

Quality prospects are not impressed by a narcissistic approach by someone running around willy-nilly collecting business cards without regard to the feelings of others in attendance.

Introverts, on the other hand, take the time to learn important information from a few people. This means they can make the most in chatting with the people they do meet, especially with other introverts.

Do this, and you’ll have a better shot at developing relationships.

Ask the most-advantageous questions

Extroverts get off on the wrong foot by talking about what they care about, which means they’re less likely to pique the interests of others.

So be a leader. Briefly reveal something about yourself so the persons will feel comfortable in answering questions. (People appreciate what psychologists have called “free information.”)

Then, don’t ask mundane questions such as “What do you do?”.

Ask questions that will prompt people to reveal important details, such as “What projects are you excited to be working on?” or “What interests you the most these days?”.

Read between the lines

Strive to be intuitive.

In conversing with a stranger, you also need to grasp what the persons aren’t saying. In effect, listen to what people aren’t telling you.

Success in sales is all-about creating opportunities for growth by finding needs to fill.

Once you entice people to talk about their interests or even their passions, you can anticipate their challenges and determine needs you’re able fill.

From the Coach’s Corner, additional helpful information:

Football Lessons for Business Networking, Partnering — Nine key steps for companies to become stronger by teaming with others. By combining resources, companies succeed in meeting the needs of customers.

Sales, Networking Strategies to Build Strong Relationships — Knowledge has always been essential for success. But the ability to sustain strong relationships was and is both gratifying and important for success. Here are tips for strong sales and relationships.

Listening Skills to Improve Your Relationships and Business Performance — What counts in communication? Listening skills for discernment and trust. Discerning people are the most successful and listening skills are important for discernment. That goes for athletes and management, alike.

Earn Profits via Innovation, Relationships and Local Marketing — If your company is struggling as a result of declining profits, at least three factors are responsible: The clutter of competition, management, and ever-expanding and head-scratching list of advertising options.

Tactics to be Memorable but Respected in Sales Calls — In this frenetic marketplace, creating a lasting impression on your prospects and clients – so they become loyal as repeat buyers – your approach should include seven tactics.

Sales Secrets for Getting by Receptionists, Gatekeepers — Getting past receptionists and other gatekeepers is a universal sales challenge. Successful salespeople, however, have the right insights and approaches for success. Here’s how they do it.

“Networking is rubbish; have friends instead.”

-Steve Winwood

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Storytelling: Motivate Customers to Brag about Your Company

 

More and more in marketing, you hear buzz phrases about storytelling – advising you about the concept of telling your story. It’s good advice.

Your best opportunity in marketing messages is to inspire your customers to write testimonials about their positive experience with your company.

Certainly, you’ll profit more if you can entice your customers to tell your story about your products and services.

Positive run-of-the-mill reviews are great, but it’s much better if you can get your customers to provide inspiring details about you.

Unfortunately, businesses struggle to persuade their customers to give a complete and outstanding review.

However, , you’ll see a domino effect if you employ the right strategies for customer engagement, collect their impressions and distribute it to your customers.

Once positive testimonials entice other customers to buy, the new customers will be inclined to become your brand ambassadors, too.

Four strategies to motivate customers to brag about your business:

Daily prioritize your engagement throughout your business

Your immediate goal should be to promote your brand as the best – with optimistic, powerful testimonials.

Go beyond just using social media. Develop a foundation to collect your customers’ impressions.

Inspire and appoint your employees to collect, edit ad publish customer stories. Monitor the performance of the testimonials on your social media and site.

Ascertain what you need

If customers are unhappy, they will crusade against you. If they are happy, most people will take you for granted.

So, avoid lethargy and disinterest. Get customers to sit down and go to work as your brand ambassador.

Don’t be mundane by giving customers a basic text box to complete.

Create a structure in which you make it easy for customers to be comprehensive to enable you to harvest their all-inclusive testimonials.

Use an easy-to-complete template to motivate customers to write.

Ask customers to explain the purpose of their purchase, how they achieved their goal, why the purchase was beneficial, and how they now feel about the purchase.

Show previous testimonials

Consider a reality – most customers aren’t the greatest of writers. So, help them with examples they can emulate.

Customers love a happy buying environment. When possible, use humor to make buying fun.

That should include soliciting the desirable tone and length of their stories.

Show gratitude – prevent buyers’ remorse

If you succeed in eliciting great testimonials, you should prevent buyers’ remorse. So, reward such customers.

You can do it in a variety of ways:

Consider letting them see their testimonial before you publish it. Happy customers are often delighted to see their comments online.

Provide rewards points. Toss in even more reward points if customers provide a picture. It’s truly worth a thousand words.

If your products are spendy, send them a check. The higher the price, the bigger the amount.

Good luck!

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant resources:

8 Strategies to Enhance Your Customer Service Image — Poor customer service is a salient reason why consumers aren’t loyal to businesses. True, today’s consumers are very demanding. It’s worth noting they’re demanding because they constantly encounter poor customer service.

Best Practices to Get Positive Customer Reviews on Amazon — Amazon has become the e-commerce destination where prospective customers can discover and buy anything they want. Here are four best-practices to attract great reviews.

Are You Attacked by Bad or Bogus Reviews? 5 Tips to Respond — Certainly you only want positive customer reviews. Internet-savvy shoppers read reviews to make buying decisions. Reviews can make or break you.

Marketing Tips via Mobile Devices, Reviews, Coupons — Digital marketing opportunities keep growing and growing. For instance, 70 percent of consumers research product reviews while they shop in stores. Ninety percent are relying on their mobile devices as they make in-store buying decisions.

14 Tips to Profit from Online Customer Reviews — For competitiveness and profits, businesses can’t afford to ignore the potential of online reviews. They’re a factor in revolutionizing commerce.
 

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”

-Robert McAfee Brown

 

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

 

 

 

 

Tips for Your Success with Effective Follow-up Emails


OK, businessperson, so you’re once again learning that an adage is true: “A watched pot never boils.” That’s especially true when hoping for positive information in business.

If you’re like many businesspeople, you’re experiencing stress waiting to hear back from clients or other associates. You’re wearing yourself out checking your inbox.

Ever wonder why you’re waiting nonstop for emails – why you’re unsuccessful after you send follow-up emails?

So you start thinking about all the quotations about perseverance.

You’re motivated to think of excuses to send yet another follow-up email.

Wait.

First, think about how you feel when you get emails that don’t motivate you.

Many such emails are insulting because they’re annoying, right?

Here are common mistakes in sending follow-up emails:

1. “In case, my email went to your junk…”

Imagining your email recipient never saw your email is unproductive. Sending such an email is fantasy thinking.

Your intended recipient will likely think the same as you.

Worse, the person is likely to think you’re immature from being awkwardly impatient.

2. “Just following up in checking you didn’t forget…”

By sending such an email, you’re assuming there’s an irrational reason why the person hasn’t responded.

Actually, you’re insinuating the person either has amnesia or isn’t organized.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

-Jean-Jacques Rousseau

3. “Because my email hasn’t been working well…”

By dishonestly trying not to insult the person, you’re sending the message that your email system is inefficient.

Scheming is not a virtue. Don’t send such an email unless it’s really true.

4.Realizing you’re really busy…”

Your recipient is likely to be insulted because you’re telling the person to make you a priority. That’s gauche. Put another way, it’s insulting.

Acknowledging the person is busy, but then to become an interruption in his or her day is unproductive and isn’t likely to be received well. You’re actually being dismissive of the person.

Solution

Forget the manipulations. Fake excuses will be obvious. They make you look like a dishonest amateur.

If you want an answer, show you have patience with true business acumen. Wait five business days between communications. Send truthful emails with value propositions.

By being patient – not needy – you’re far more likely to win. So don’t give away your power by being impatient.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are tips in the art of persuasion:

Insights – Why Marketers Should Show Moderation in Digital Communication — Businesses will decrease their chances for customer loyalty and repeat business if they don’t act with more self-control in digital marketing.

25 Best Practices for Better Business Writing — If you want to accelerate your career or turbo-charge your business, one of your priorities should be good communication. Good writing is necessary in a myriad of ways, including letters, advertising copy and presentations. A lack of writing skills will hold you back or even hurt your career.

9 Tips to Connect with People after You Make Your Speech — Typically, in making a speech at a public forum, businesspeople hope to get a return on their investment — here’s how you can get a strong ROI.

Are You Hungry for Marketing Ideas to Expand Your E-mail List? — Bloggers and Web site owners can benefit from the same potpourri of strategies to attract visitors and to persuade them to join an e-mail list.

Business Etiquette Dos and Don’ts – Sending Holiday Cards — One of the best investments for your business relationships is to send holiday cards. It’s an excellent way to stay in touch and to show gratitude in your business relationships. But you must do it right.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

-Jean-Jacques Rousseau


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




For Top Sales, 5 Rules for Targeting the Right Prospects



If you target the right prospects, you’ll save time and money and increase your revenue.

Later in this article, you’ll find the five rules to follow. They’re developed for B2B but work for B2C, too.

Firstly, remember that once you find the right prospects and turn them into customers, your goal should be to provide them with enough red-carpet service so they become loyal.

men meetingOnce they become loyal, you benefit from built-in automatic revenue increases, opportunities for an exponential increase in referrals — in other words, a cost-effective marketing investment.

So a priority is to cut through the clutter to get your message across to the right people.

Make sure they’re the key decision-makers.

A second priority is to develop relationships with them by creating an environment for them to buy with a professional selling process.

That includes a criterion for matching your prospects with the right products and services.

Here are five rules for targeting your best prospects:

1. Lay groundwork for a long-term relationship

You need to find a need to fill. Moreover, your prospects need to be likely candidates who need what you have to offer for many years.

Research each prospect for long-term potential – a lifetime relationship of repeat business.

You need to ask the right open-ended questions. Take precautions to build trust. Plan to provide the right value.

2. Research their marketplace environment

Maximize your resources to lessen your sales opportunity costs – consider more than just opportunity to sell to customers. Assess their entire environment – all their stakeholders – their competitors, customers, and strategic alliances.

Note: The bigger their marketplace environment the bigger your opportunities for growth.

3. Ignore dying sectors and companies

Put on your visionary glasses – forecast the growth potential of your prospects.

Watch for trends in technology and the tastes of businesspeople and consumers who want value, convenience and mobility. All you have to do is to consider the newspaper, dry cleaning or video-rental sectors.

For instance: It’s unfortunate but people don’t read newspapers. Those who want to be well-informed visit Web sites. Strange but true, people aren’t dressing as well as other generations and they’re wearing washable cotton sweaters — this is why dry cleaners are going out of business. Technology has changed how people watch movies.

To see if a sector or a company is in a growth mode, here’s a simple tip: Check to see if there’s an increase in hiring, and how it compares to other businesses and industries.

 4. Focus on value-minded prospects 

Capitalize on the five value perceptions that motivate customers to buy. About 18 percent of customers – in B2B or B2C, alike – will only buy if you’re selling at the cheapest price in the marketplace. Yes, one in five prospects will be hardcore — they always insist on paying the cheapest price — no matter what.

Avoid those people. Screen them out in the qualification phase in your sales process. They are the most troublesome.

Even if they buy, they’re more likely to return their purchase and demand a refund. Even if they keep the purchase, they complain the loudest and longest.

They’re unlikely to be profitable Centers of Influence — providing excellent referrals and influencing customers your way. Focus on people who are motivated by price and value.

Here are the five value perceptions of what your customers sub-consciously think in motivating them to buy from you:

Employees, Spokespersons – 52 percent. The key characteristics are integrity, judgment, friendliness and knowledge. Remember, about 70 percent of your customers will buy elsewhere because they feel they’re being taken for granted by your employees. And customers normally will not tell you why they switched to your competitor.

Image of Company – 15 percent. They are concerned about the image of your company in the community. Cause-related marketing is a big plus in forging a positive image. So is cleanliness and good organization.

Quality of Product or Service Utility – 13 percent. The customer is asking the question – “What will this do for me?”

Convenience –12 percent. Customers like easy accessibility to do business with you. That includes your Web site, telephoning you, and the convenience of patronizing your business.

Price – 8 percent. Price is important, but it’s the least concern among the five value-motivating perceptions.

5. Be astute about the differences among advertising, engagement and just spinning your wheels.

Just because a prospect engages you, it doesn’t always lead to revenue. It’s an art to avoid the tire kickers while discerning which prospects will buy.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

Prevent Buyer’s Remorse with 4 Precautions — In big-ticket sales — from consulting services to information technology — customer emotions run high. Buyer’s remorse will cost you a big sale. To prevent buyer’s remorse, you need to be a calming influence in order for the customer to understand you’re providing value.

6 Tips to Create New Sales with Successful Cold Calling – It’s important to create new opportunities with successful cold calling. Attending mere networking events or depending on a high marketing budget aren’t sufficient for strong sales. OK, cold calling isn’t always easy, but you must if you want to dramatically increase sales in double-digit percentages.

7 Tips for Strong Results in Setting B2B Appointments with CEOs – As every salesperson knows, face time with B2B prospects gives you a foundation for sales success.  Execution in the appointment-setting process is, of course, is key to being successful.   The ideal situation is to get sales leads via networking and referrals.

Is Your Company Underperforming in Marketing / Sales? Evaluate Your Culture – If you’re dissatisfied with your revenue, it’s time for an assessment of your culture’s operation. Why? Superior cultures drive business performance.

Top 18 Attributes of the Best Salespeople – What’s needed to be effective in sales? Merely having a gregarious personality will no longer cut it in the 21st century. Here are the top 18 attributes of the best salespeople.

“In sales, it’s not what you say; it’s how they perceive what you say.”

-Jeffrey Gitomer 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.



Profit Margins: 11 Tips to Increase Sales and Minimize Markdowns


Imagine being able to sell your products at full or nearly full margins. How would you like a dream situation – not having to mark down your products?

It’s important to develop and implement responsive, multi-dimensional strategies to maximize your sales.

Achieving a decrease in markdowns probably sounds like an impossible dream. Whether you sell computer products or high-fashion clothing, you can realize stronger profits with best practices in sales.

Here are 11 sales tips:

1. Update your Web site.

Consumers are increasingly shopping online. Women are leading the charge in shopping more on the Web. Make certain you have a strong brand personality – from branding slogan and logo to value propositions.

Massage your content and merchandising. You need high quality and accuracy in images and descriptions. Consumers love environmentally sensitive businesses, so if you’re progressive learn the right steps to brand and market your company as green.

Security breaches at major companies have prompted consumers to rethink shopping the nationwide box stores, especially in the all-important fourth quarter. This represents a growth opportunity for smaller businesses.

2. Avoid lowering price points.

You can’t compete on price with the big box stores, but you can strategize to compete on other values. Eighteen percent of consumers will only buy from you if you lower your price. That means 82 percent respond favorably if you target the five value perceptions that motivate them to buy.

From my article, The 7 Steps to Higher Sales, here are the five value perceptions – what your customers sub-consciously must perceive – to motivate them to buy from you:

Employees, Spokespersons – 52 percent. The key characteristics are integrity, judgment, friendliness and knowledge. Remember, about 70 percent of your customers will buy elsewhere because they feel they’re being taken for granted by your employees. And customers normally will not tell you why they switched to your competitor.

Image of Company – 15 percent. They are concerned about the image of your company in the community. Do know cause-related marketing can increase sales by double-digit percentages? So cause-related marketing is a big plus in forging a positive image. So is cleanliness and good organization.

Quality of Product or Service Utility – 13 percent. The customer is asking the question – “What will this do for me?”

Convenience –12 percent. Customers like easy accessibility to do business with you. That includes your Web site, telephoning you, and the convenience of patronizing your business. 

Price – 8 percent. Price is important, but it’s the least concern among the five value-motivating perceptions.

 3. Focus on service.

Your best asset is personalized service. This is especially critical around the holidays, as consumers are coping with extra stress. Consider hiring extra staff during the holiday-selling season.

Be prompt when you get inquiries and other requests. Make sure everyone is schooled in listening skills and are liberal in their use of the magic words, thank you.

4. Stay open longer.

Brick-and-mortar sales still outnumber online shopping. Consider extending your hours, particularly for  Q4 profit after Thanksgiving.

5. Include some freebies.

Take a page out of Costco’s playbook. The chain knows that consumers like added value. You don’t have to be a food retailer to emulate Costco. With certain products, give something for free.

For certain products, boost sales with a coupon offer or cheap gift card.

 6. Consider providing free shipping.

Extra shipping costs are a pet peeve with most consumers. Last-minute shoppers will appreciate shipping deals.

The one caveat: To consumers, clearly communicate your deadlines and inventory levels. Use words consumers readily understand like selection instead of inventory.

 7. Fine-tune your planning.

Arrange for unique products. Display some pre-wrapped, grab-and-go products that will entice harried shoppers.

Plan your calendar to make sales through the New Year. Shoppers are still in a festive mood and are conditioned to continue shopping. Your marketing should include events, product unveiling, e-mails and more.

 8. Track external exposure.

For items with your best profit potential, keep track of your marketing initiatives. You should be sure to align marketing with sales. That means coordination of all efforts to capture sales of products you know are popular in the marketplace.

 9. Listen closely to your prospects.

The voice of the 21st century consumer is online reviews. You can’t afford to ignore the potential of online reviews. They’re a factor in revolutionizing commerce.

Reviews are important because they influence prospective customers to buy from you. They’re also beneficial in improving your Internet presence because search-engine crawlers consider them to be relevant.

Beware of any negative reviews on your inventory errors or alleged Web site misrepresentations. Be sure to profit from online customer reviews.

 10. Be competitive with pricing from the start.

Once consumers shop you, you might not get a second chance. It’s a challenge but know your competition and customer buying patterns. Set your price points right the first time. On the other hand, don’t discount your prices too much.

You should manage the sweet spot – between your price-optimization and too-low pricing. For stronger profits, avoid typical pricing mistakes.

 11. Manage your inventory.

With proper inventory management, you can lower your expenses and increase your cash flow. For many businesses, that means taking a look at your inventory costs. When your products aren’t selling, obviously, it hurts. Products just lurking and collecting dust in your warehouse are costing you money.

If you mis-categorize products or over-stock items, you’re setting yourself up for markdowns. For the best cash flow, learn how to manage your inventory costs.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

To Cope with Rising Costs, Review your Pricing Strategy — Increased costs weigh heavily on the bottom line. If you’re being pressured by costs, it’s probably time to review your pricing strategy.

8 Simple Strategies to Give You Pricing Power — If you’re struggling with pricing strategies, you’re not alone. Many big companies have struggled, too. By way of explanation, according to a 2011 study, almost 90 percent of executives in a global survey forecasted their continued growth. However, they anticipated implementing just minimal price increases as they continue to slash costs, or at least closely monitor expenses, for positive cash flow.

Groupon Will Give You a Migraine for Ignoring Pricing Principles — Whether you’re an investor, small-business advertiser or even a customer, daily deal sites can give you a major headache. Continually, there are red flags about Groupon.

You Can Creatively Manage Your Cash Flow 7 Ways — If you’re taking the pulse of your business, of course, the first thing to consider is your cash flow. If your cash flow is poor, you feel poor because you can’t pay the bills nor can you use money for what you’d like to do. Your image can also suffer with vendors or with customers, if you don’t manage your cash flow.

“Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.”

-W. Edwards Deming 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




6 Sales Tips for Successful Cold Calling



For most businesspeople in an increasingly competitive marketplace, it’s important to create new opportunities with successful cold calling. Yes, it’s necessary to concentrate more efforts to create new sales.

Merely attending networking events or depending on a high marketing budget aren’t sufficient for strong sales.

OK, cold calling isn’t always easy, but you must if you want to dramatically increase sales in double-digit percentages. Develop and implement the right strategies. You’ll find yourself in the all-important groove for a happy buying environment.

ID-100223612 stockimagesA happy buying environment will create a sales utopia for you. Understand that all buying decisions are emotional decisions.

Once a prospect emotionally wants to buy, then she/he will start justifying the decision to buy with a list of reasons.

So use strategies to get enough face time with the right prospects.

To create new opportunities with successful cold calling, here are six tips:

1. Position you and your company as being the expert

Do whatever is necessary — well thought-out action steps — to become the knowledgeable expert in your field.

Otherwise, marketing is a waste of time and resources. When you’re ready, develop the right public relations, business card and other sales collateral. You want to be seen as the best. But be subtle — without bragging and using gauche statements.

2. Demonstrate enthusiasm and passion

Selling can be a roller-coaster ride, so stay positive. You’ll be more creative and resourceful, and your customers will like working with you.

There’s a carry0ver effect. Your products and services will be seen as the best.

“The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!”

– Marvin Phillips

3. Develop a system for maintaining a good prospect list

Know who they are and what they do, so you’re ready for the next steps. Make it a comprehensive list. As you get to know the prospects, prioritize them A, B or C.

4. Create a great elevator pitch, and develop benefit statements

That’s for each aspect of your services and products. You will ease the challenging aspects of selling, if you know you your products and services and how to align them with the needs of your prospects.

Further, if you use good benefit statements or value propositions, you’ll lessen the likelihood for objections about price.

5. Before you approach prospects, do your research

Understand their business and sector. Know whom to approach. My preference is to start at the top. Know what questions to ask.

6. Ask questions and listen

Be an active listener. Prospects don’t care what you have to say until they’ve had their say.

The best salespeople listen 80 to 90 percent in discussions with prospects and customers. In this way, you’ll know which benefit statements are applicable for your prospects.

From the Coach’s Corner, more best practices in selling:

The Lost Art – How and Why to Use Cold-Calling for Higher Sales — Are you lacking in sales? Do you get enough face time with the right prospects? Here’s how and why in-person cold calls will help you make sales.

8 Tips for Cold Calling By E-mail and Telephone — Since the advent of the digital age, cold calling went out of vogue. But in the lingering downturn – whether you’re in advertising or staffing services – cold calling has become the logical tool to use to generate clients or business customers.

Want More Revenue? Avoid the 7 Deadly Sins of Selling — Whether you are an established company or a startup, what you probably need most in this economic climate is a positive revenue stream. It’s possible with a higher-performing sales staff.

7 Tips for Strong Results in Setting B2B Appointments with CEOs — As every salesperson knows, face time with B2B prospects gives you a foundation for sales success.  Execution in the appointment-setting process is, of course, is key to being successful.

You Can Get Bigger Corporate Accounts in 5 Steps — So your company needs to grow and you’ve decided to go after bigger fish. Getting bigger corporate accounts is easier, if you develop the right system. But not only must you have reason to be confident, you must position yourself and your company to instill confidence in your prospects.

“The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!”

– Marvin Phillips


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Sales Lessons for Car Dealers in Building Trust with Customers



Guess who makes most of the decisions for the family in buying cars? Seventy-three percent of moms say they’re the chief decision-maker .

Increasingly, as you might guess, moms visit Internet sites to shop for cars but want face-to-face meetings before buying, according to a 2014 study by C+R Research funded by Cars.com.

Even though Cars.com would seemingly have a conflict of interest, nonetheless the data appears to be accurate based on my experience.

With consumers trying to cope with information overload – you’ll increase sales with long-term customer loyalty – if you build trust with consumers.

“There’s a lot for moms to consider when purchasing a new family vehicle, because their car is often tasked with hauling not only the entire family or carpool, but also all of the gear that goes along with them,” said Jennifer Newman, Cars.com’s Expert Mom.

Even though 71 percent of surveyed moms say research on the Internet is their preference, 68 percent want to negotiate in-person at the dealership.

Fifty-nine percent of the moms also say want to find a dealer with which they can have a long-term buying relationship.

Some disturbing information:

“More than 60 percent of moms surveyed said they trust the information they find online more than what they’re told from dealers, which means dealers need to go above and beyond to prove their authenticity and value,” said Jack Simmons, Manager of Dealer Training at Cars.com.

More findings:

— 90 percent of moms want the negotiation of the price to be as simple and easy as possible

— 71 percent of moms agree that shopping online for a new or used vehicle makes the process so much easier

— 66 percent of moms trust the information they find online more than information they receive from the auto dealer

— 62 percent of moms feel that most dealerships treat them like a valued customer

— 75 percent feel dealers are pushy and aggressive

From the Coach’s Corner, if you want more revenue, here are editor’s picks for maximum sales:

10 Tips to Optimize Your Web Site for Higher Sales — If you haven’t optimized your Web site for sales, you might want to reconsider. There are more and more indications that online shopping will continue to grow.

14 Steps to Profit from Online Customer Reviews — For competitiveness and profits, businesses can’t afford to ignore the potential of online reviews. They’re a factor in revolutionizing commerce. Reviews are important because they influence prospective customers to buy from you. They’re also beneficial in improving your Internet presence because search-engine crawlers consider them to be relevant.

How Mobile Strategies Are Most Effective with Cross-Channel Marketing — Businesses are increasingly using mobile apps to sell products, but the most successful know how best. They use cross-channel marketing tools.

5 Critical Fundamentals to Build the Best Sales Staff — The crucial question: How can a company develop a top sales crew? Short answer: Start with a premise — if it were so easy then everybody would be doing it. Long answer: Some companies are achieving stellar sales results in complex global situations by adopting best practices.

Checklist – Top 18 Attributes of the Best Salespeople — What’s needed to be effective in sales? Merely having a gregarious personality will no longer cut it in the 21st century. As a manager, if you want to improve your company’s sales performance, become a winning sales organization and review your recruitment techniques in hiring salespeople.

“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

-Mary Kay Ash


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 




Capacity Management So Production Meets Sales Demand



In planning for your production capacity, have you considered every contingency?

Picture this scenario: Your demand and sales have been great. That’s the desired outcome for any business whether you’re a professional service firm, produce chocolate eggs or manufacture aerospace parts.

But if strong sales are the reason you’ve maxed out your factory’s production capacity, you’d have reason for concern. You need to know which direction to go.

After all, it’s not problematic when your productive capacity is limited by equipment maintenance. But it is, if sales is the cause.

morguefile4811263248597You don’t want unhappy customers nor do you want damage to your reputation.

Here are seven tips:

1. Analyze your situation

Consider all your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. That includes all kinds of issues from staffing to security.

Get input from the perspectives of finance, human resources, marketing, sales and operations.

Do you forecast continuing demand? You need to decide whether you’re having a temporary sales increase or will enjoy robust sales indefinitely.

Your sales forecast and capabilities will determine what steps you need to take.

2. Increase your number of shifts

Decide whether you can merely schedule overtime, find temporary workers, contract with a temporary staffing firm or hire permanent employees. For quality controls, you’ll need to be able to assign key staff to work another shift.

If you’re uncertain in forecasting,  like many industries you’ll probably want to hire temporary help. If you can contract with a temporary help firm, you can always arrange to hire away their best workers if sales demand stays strong.

You don’t want unhappy customers nor do you want damage to your reputation.

3. Increase your capacity

This might be the simplest solution assuming there are no obstacles.

Variables include whether or not new equipment will necessitate more workers, or whether you use the same equipment and merely add more workers.

4. Increase your prices

In general, the view on the law of supply and demand is that a low supply leads to a high demand. So, if your sales forecast is bright, it might be time to increase your prices.

5. Outsource the additional work

Consider the feasibility of subcontracting the work. Be certain you can trust the subcontractor will uphold your quality of standards.

6. License your work

It might be plausible for your competitors to produce products for selling to your buyers.

7. Focus on products with better margins

Avoid capital investments on equipment or hiring personnel. Why produce thin-margin products when your other products are more profitable? Focus on them first and consider producing other high-margin items.

From the Coach’s Corner, related content:

Vision in Setting Goals with 8 Best Practices — Whatever your entrepreneurial dreams, focusing on the right details is a skill conducive for setting goals strategically. However, if management doesn’t ponder enough on action-oriented details, goals are inordinately difficult to achieve.

Accounting / Finance – Why and How to Determine Your Break-Even Point — Uncertainty can kill hope in business. Best practices in management mean having the right information to alleviate uncertainty in business. For that you need the right tools. One important tool – know your break-even point (BEP).

For Profits, Manage Your Growth at the Right Pace — Entrepreneurs frequently try to rush their business growth. Certainly, growth is great but if you scale too fast, you’re looking for trouble. The key is to prepare.

Increase Your Business Value with 5 Basic BPO Strategies — For your company to achieve higher performance, you often need to enhance your business processes. In essence, this means turning your attention to business process optimization (BPO), which is a holistic approach.

Strategies for Manufacturers to Increase Profits – When it comes to revenue for capital-equipment manufacturers, the key pivotal factors are innovation and service levels. It might be an obvious conclusion, but it’s confirmed by the IDC Manufacturing Insights’ 2013 white paper on the global capital equipment manufacturing industry. 

“If the other fellow sells cheaper than you, it is called dumping. ‘Course, if you sell cheaper than him, that’s mass production.”

-Will Rogers 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Performance Gap Solutions for Consultants in Income and Image



How’s business? If there’s a disparity between your income goals and your current financial situation, it would appear that you have a performance-gap issue.  

That’s right. It’s time evaluate your processes. Recheck everything.

In most cases, a performance gap issue arises from three factors: An unfilled pipeline with ineffective prospecting and follow up. Solutions for the three indicators require discipline. 

ID-100208147stockimagesFor many professionals, networking efforts aren’t sufficient in this economy, and so prospecting must play a bigger role. 

That’s affirmative. How else will you fill your prospect pipeline? 

First steps to zero out the performance gap 

You must have something to offer clients. A personal development plan is vital, including a curious mind and a continual search for answers to problems.

Moreover, you need a strategic vision plan. 

You must be sure you have laid the groundwork to enable you to build trust with clients.

Instead of worrying about sales results, focus on becoming a value creator. Be prepared to provide innovative ideas and exemplary client service. 

Once you’re ready to proceed, focus on your prospecting footwork. To zero out the performance gap, become more efficient. 

Review your sales approach. Merely having a gregarious personality doesn’t count. Suffice to say the best-selling consultants have 18 attributes. 

They know the five value perceptions that motivate customers to buy, they know how to overcome sales objections, and they know how to close sales by following a professional sales process. 

Generate a suitable number of leads. Seventy-five to 100 is an excellent starting point. Contact 15 per day and disqualify the companies that aren’t suitable for you. Replace the disqualified leads to keep your pipeline full, and start your sales process. 

Business-development follow-up

Once the business development process starts, the lack of follow up causes failure. Despite great marketing and targeting prospective clients, many professionals morph into oxymorons because they fail to follow up.

Professionals follow up consistently with respect to build an ongoing relationship with an attitude of service and gratitude. They follow up with people who can authorize signing of a check – whether it’s prospects they meet at events or with people who inquire about their services.

They follow up on a regular basis depending on how they prioritize prospects. Priority A prospects are contacted each week. Priorities B and C are contacted every two to four weeks or in a longer duration.

The priority is determined by the size of the company, their needs that need to be filled and their importance to you.

“Dress how you want to be addressed.”

-Bianca Frazier

Savvy professionals use a myriad of follow up approaches – event invitations, a note with a relevant article, telephone, e-mailing newsletters, and the best-of-all approaches – an in-person visit.

Along the way, it’s important to ask open-ended questions, listen intently, provide value and have something relevant to say.

My first client relationship in the 1980s evolved after weeks of meetings for coffee chats – and listening to the executive’s challenges whom I knew from a previous broadcasting employer. There was a myriad of marketing and management issues.

My only motive was for something productive to do as I was looking for opportunities, but had no idea the coffee chats would lead to a client after I provided helpful advice. After returning one morning from a six-mile run, I found a message on my telephone answering machine inviting me to solve the challenges.

After you create a business relationship: Never create the impression that you’re indifferent – by only to contacting the client when you want to sell something.

Professionals keep records. You can use a CRM system or a simple spreadsheet to track your calls and to check it each week to set up your call list each week.

The moral: Do the right things for yourself and in building relationships, and you’ll avert the performance gap.

From the Coach’s Corner, more consultant tips:

Profits: Size Doesn’t Matter but Image, Professionalism Count – Appearances and professionalism can make your small business seem huge. If you look as though you’re substantial and that you can handle anything thrown your way – your odds for success improve dramatically. That’s especially true in this economy. 

Tips for Building Long-Term Client Relationships with Effective Meetings – How are you faring with your clients? Not sure? To be certain you’re doing well, you must ask yourself three key questions. 

Consultants – Helping Clients Deal with an Emotional Crisis – No matter what kind of a consulting practice you have, it’s sometimes necessary to help clients deal emotionally with a business crisis. If you’re a management consultant and you’ve branded yourself well, the clients see you as a trusted confidante and visionary. 

Valuable Secrets for Profitable Deal-Making with Clients – If you’re in professional services or consulting, many times you’ve heard the phrase: “Give me a proposal.” 

“Dress how you want to be addressed.”

-Bianca Frazier


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of stockimages at  www.freedigitalphotos.net

Marketing – Have You Considered the Potential of e-Newsletters?



There are several benefits if you include e-Newsletters in your marketing mix. The most salient is that they’re a great way to achieve top-of-mind awareness with your customers.

Further, as a form of content marketing, they’re a favorite of B2B marketers.

Why? You can control your message and be a leader in your marketplace by cutting the through the marketing clutter with your very own advertising medium.

Businessman using laptop Free PhotoYou need to connect with prospects and customers, and continually stay in touch with them. Typically, customers don’t buy until they receive five favorable messages about a company.

Once someone buys from you, e-Newsletters are unique as a tool to build customer loyalty in that customers have to opt-in to receive them.

In effect, they’re a form of permission-based marketing, which means customers want to hear from you.

e-Newsletters give you a competitive advantage for growth because of the multiplier effect.

You can easily insert a social bookmarking service, such as the AddThis toolbar (www.addthis.com).  With the social media and e-mail forwarding buttons, you can easily go viral.

It’s a cost-effective strategy. It’s affordable compared to other advertising options.

But remember to comply with the CAN Spam Act.

Capitalize on your competition

If you’re a novice at this, research your competitors online. Pick an impressive Web site of a company in your industry that targets your ideal prospective customers, particularly a site that offers a newsletter signup.

Analyze why the newsletter is successful, and take notes for your later use – not to plagiarize or copy — but to use for ideas when you start your e-Newsletter.

Some of the big, credible companies have newsletters that include advertising. Consider buying an ad.

Note: Other than quality value propositions or benefit statements – why customers should buy from you – repetition is the key to success in marketing. Remember the “five favorable messages” principle?

And because you’re buying an ad in a newsletter from a company with a good reputation, you’re likely to gain automatic trustworthiness.

Launching your e-Newsletter

By launching your own e-Newsletter for which people sign up, you’ll start generating a list of prospects. You’ll be getting their e-mail addresses.

More on e-Newsletter benefits:

  • They’re a marketing-clutter communication tool to increase your prospects to convert into customers.
  • Your brand image is enhanced.
  • Like your big competitors, you might be able to launch an additional revenue stream by selling ads.

Keys for success

Remember the suggestion to take notes from your competitor’s newsletters? One should be quality content. Excellent content is important to build trust. For more, see: 9 Content Traits of the Best Blogs.

This means you should include insightful, well-written articles authored by you or a trusted employee. Employees are a great source of information because they deal daily with customers and are more likely to be familiar with their chief concerns.

To save time and build your image, you can also accept pieces by guest writers. Even better, articles written by loyal customers and business associates would be a great feature.

You must also make certain to have a system to manage your list. You can get a great free system via MailChimp, www.mailchimp.com.

Moreover, you can customize your approach with MailChimp’s designs, and get a simple analysis of your customers. You can leverage your social media, too. “With MailChimp’s Forever Free plan, you can send 12,000 emails a month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers.

As you grow and develop a budget, MailChimp offers more features for a price. There are other vendors you can consider, such as Constant Contact, www.constantcontact.com, which was the largest the last time I checked.

If you try these ideas, good luck, and give us some feedback on your experiences.

From the Coach’s Corner, more strategies:

Want to Start an E-mail Marketing Campaign? 6 Tips for Small Business — There’s a reason why many companies launch e-mail campaigns. They realize sufficient returns on their investments. So, it’s a popular topic here at The Biz Coach. I’ve written about the latest trends in e-mail marketing, and why e-mail marketing goes better with social media.

5 Free Tools to Operate, Market Your Business — Are you on a really tight budget, but need to run and market your business?  Ordinarily, I’m big on appearances – creating professional first impressions. But some free tools can suffice well.

Best Practices to Manage Your Global Brand, Web Reputation — As you no doubt know, the digital age has brought new challenges and opportunities. Best practices are critical in order to maximize your Web presence and to manage your online reputation. The key to Internet dominance is to think integration – naturally, the first steps include a quality Web site and synching it with your social media, business listings, inbound links and other elements.

The Key to Internet Dominance: Think Integration — Whether you’re a new or established business, it wasn’t that long ago that a strong Internet presence meant having a great Web site with a top ranking. Partially, that’s still true but the competitive marketplace continues to rapidly change daily, which means the No. 1 objective should be a vibrant, integrated presence.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

-Peter Drucker


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.