Archive for sales
If you’re wanting to move your business forward, you’ll most likely need to up your marketing ante. However, with everything else you’ve already got on your plate, you might be contemplating outsourcing it. But it can seem like a big move. Here are three good reasons why outsourcing could be a good idea for you.
You’ve got better things to do. Unless you’re a marketer with a good lot of experience under your belt, you’re probably going to find doing your own marketing will take up significant amounts of your time, effort and energy. Chances are, that unless you’re planning a career change and could do with the extra practice, you could spend that time doing what it really is that you love doing in your business.
Just like I look at accountants/book-keepers, tradies (my husband laughs at this one), web designers, etc and think I could probably do those things myself – truth be told I can’t and if I tried, I’m almost guaranteed it would end badly. All of these take skill sets I don’t really own. If by some miracle, my dodgy attempts did kind of work, not only would I pull most of my own hair out in the process, I’d probably face issues down the track (any non-web developers who’ve tried doing their own code know this to be true!! Needless to say, I’ve learned my lesson).
An understanding of subtleties and congruence. A key reason why people might not engage with brands the way the owners would like is because something has made the customer feel uncomfortable. Usually they can’t put a finger on it, they just know it’s not quite right – and go searching elsewhere – and that’s bad news for the business. It can be something as simple as hitting a voicemail when calling into an organisation that promises great customer service or something as complex as having the wrong business name.
Recently a client’s business name was quite literally scaring prospects away from the door. The owners were having to work twice as hard to convince prospects that they really could do the job without being ‘hit up’ for the extra services the name implied.
Arm’s length objectivity. The client above, had known for a while there was something not quite right with their name, but they felt a bit stuck. Whilst they knew change was necessary, it was all feeling a bit too hard, so it was easier to do nothing.
A good marketer can not only point out what’s required, but will ease the transition process as much as they possibly can and often, when all is said and done, the change won’t be as hard as you think it’s going to be.
If you need more convincing about outsourcing your marketing, you might want to also read;
AKA How many touchpoints does your prospect need to become a client?
Have you ever felt frustrated by how long it takes to ‘convert’ a prospect to being your client? Or wondered what you’re doing wrong? Before you think it must be you, you might want to consider the (US) National Sales Executive Association figures on B2B sector sales below;
- 2% of sales are made on the first contact
- 3% of sales are made on the second contact
- 5% of sales are made on third contact
- 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
- 80% of sales are made between the 5th and 12th contact
Very similar statistics were also mentioned in Jay Levinson’s book Guerilla Marketing although he stops at 5. I’ve always worked on 7.
Whilst these statistics are heading towards being 10 years old, most likely, if anything, given the current state of the world economy, the number of contacts required to get a sale have probably gone up, not down.
Yet only 10% of people will make more than three contacts with their prospects and a staggering 48% of people will never follow up a prospect.
This all begs the question is there another way to do this rather than making 5-12 phone calls (which let’s face it, is a kind of daunting thought).
Yes. It means you have to stay in contact – whatever that means for your business – marketers often refer to them as touchpoints (or ways your prospect/clients are ‘touched’ by your brand.
You might consider using a blog, twitter, e-mail marketing, newsletter, media stories, whitepapers, events, thank you cards, branded items, tradeshows, advertising,“how are you doing” phone calls or drop-ins. In other words, you have to do whatever it takes to have your message in front of your future client, so that when they’re read to buy, you’re top of their mind, in front of their eyes or in their ears.
It also highlights the need to make sure you have your marketing touchpoints planned (systematised if at all possible), consistent and customer-focused (which means paying attention to the only question you need to ask yourself “What’s in it for me?” or WIIFM).
The moral to the story is, if it’s going to take 12 (or maybe more) contacts to have someone buy from you, make sure every single encounter with your brand counts.
PS: whilst these statistics are based on B2B research, if you’re selling to consumers, given the competition and noise in the marketplace for most items, you might also want to work on the same numbers. If you convert earlier – well done.
It’s not that your product or service isn’t the best in the world – it’s just that your customer, client or staff member isn’t really that interested.
So if they’re not interested in your product or service – what are they interested in? That’s easy – they’re interested in themselves. Your job as a business owner/service provider is to answer their most critical question.
“What’s in it for me?” or otherwise known as WIIFM?
Below are 7 steps for getting to your customers’ WIIFM:
1. Take a hard look at your materials (presentations, brochures, website) and any other touch points you might have – through the eyes of your customer. Who does it really talk about - them or you? How many times do you use the word you and your vs the number of times you use I, we, our, my, etc. How does your receptionist greet your customers when they call or visit.
2. Have someone not connected with your business (or industry) tell you what your product or service delivers and why that’s important to your customer. This is where external consultants can really help.
3. For every claim you make about your product/service (fast, cost-efficient, one of a kind) ask yourself “So what? Why is that important to my customer?” You should come up with reasons like (and these aren’t necessarily the right answers for you)
a. fast – gives your customers more time with to spend with their family or on their boat,
b. cost-efficient – because they’ll have more to money spend doing the things they love; or
c. one of a kind – they’re the envy of their friends.
4. Use emotions!! Paint pictures using those emotions. Don’t kid yourself that B2B buyers don’t buy on emotion. They do – it’s just a different kind of emotion. They want to succeed, have a bigger staff, be the one who saved the company all that money, gets that promotion, or just has less stress or more time with their family, boat, doing the things they love, rather than pfaffing around over a piece of equipment, technology, staff member who’s not performing as promised.
5. Once you know what you really deliver to your customers – try it on a couple of your best customers. Ask their thoughts and really listen – people love giving their opinion and they’ll love you even more for asking.
6. Once you’re clear on your message, use the same words and emotions in your brochures, sales calls, website, etc. Tailor it slightly for each customer – not everyone will have a boat (or a family). Find out what’s important to them and refer back to it from time to time.
7. When you write or produce something or plan a presentation, make sure your customer is at the heart of it – every time.
All you really need to do is think about why your customer is talking to you, reading your materials or visiting your site. What are they hoping is in it for them? All you have to do to transform your business is to make them feel they’re the most important thing in your world and then deliver your stuff.