For some reason, I’ve been hearing a lot of focus on sales lately. So, I thought I’d give my 5 cents. Technology has made selling as complex as dating, not always a good thing. As service based businesses we seem obsessed with social media (even with fewer than 1,000 followers meaning not many people are listening yet), Groupons, email…..it’s like we forgot how to personally relate with our prospects.
So, what do we do about that? Try reverting back to some sales basics!
- The telephone. The most overused reason I hear to avoid phone calls is that “it will be invasive.” So, the creation of email has made the phone call rude and invasive? You know what? An email is WAY easier than a phone call to completely ignore. And, if your prospect is busy, forget it, your email is getting buried in a pile of more important priorities. Get over your fear of being invasive and JUST DO IT. (Thanks, Nike.) Seriously, what’s the worst that will happen? If your email isn’t getting an answer, then it’s not like you have a hot prospect. So, that phone call, if they pick up, tell you you smell bad, and they never want to hear from you again, isn’t any worse rejection than lack of response to your emails. Now, if you can’t handle someone saying to your face that they are not interested, I can recommend some great therapists for you. You should get over that bull as quickly as possible so you can use one of the best tools around to set up a meeting with your prospects.
- Live networking. Nowadays, we have virtual networking, we have speed networking, you name it. But nothing beats a live event where you can approach everyone in the room, introduce yourself, and find out where you can best be of service. The act of being in person, and having quality time, instead of 2 minutes, gives you so much increased likelihood of meeting a prospect than tweeting your best business tips. Oh, and while you’re AT the event, unless social media is your business, please don’t spend the whole time tweeting because it is EYE CONTACT that engages people!
- Knock on the Door. If your ideal client is a mom-and-pop shop, why not just pop in, give them your card, and see if they’d be open to setting up a future appointment?
Want more awesome ideas to get more clients and make more money? Click here!
If you own your own business, you will at some point need to go through the process of finding some clients. (At least until you can hire someone else to do that for you!) Unfortunately, when starting out, it’s all too easy to fall into the opinion that you’re too pushy. This can devastate your business because “I’m too pushy” will have you give up contacting someone after only one attempt, and “I’m too pushy” will have you judging yourself as an awful person, just for following up, even with someone that may be desperate for your service or product!
So, let’s bust the over-pushy bull together! Here are some ideas to help you:
- Remember people need you! You have a valuable service or product. The world needs it. Instead of focusing on your fear, focus on the fact that you are making someone’s life better with what you have to offer, and let that inspire you to make more than one attempt to let someone know about you.
- Persistence and Pushy are not the same. In my opinion, “pushy” is akin to “manipulation” Pushy is where someone bullies you into buying by making you feel badly for not buying. Persistence is where you make good notes in your Customer Relationship Management system (don’t know what that is? Check out HighriseHQ) with the date and method of contact you used and enter a note for you to follow up in a week and actually do it!
- Try using the phone, for something other than the internet! With the ability to use our “smartphones” we’ve gotten kind of dumb, letting the phone do everything for us online. Do you know that the best way to connect with someone is, well, to connect! Your voice (unless you’re a smoker or have a terrible cold or laryngitis) can be way more effective than an an email! Don’t leave phone calls out of your prospecting strategy.
Want more BullBusting Tips to help your business grow? Click here!
I was recently at a networking event and met a charming young woman early into her business. As we spoke about ways that she could cultivate new clients, she told me that she realized she is too young for most people to take her seriously! You know that raised the bull flag for me, so here we go.
In today’s world, young people actually have a lot of support. For example, I was recently watching Shark Tank (love that show!) and saw a teenage girl get the sharks to invest about $300,000 in her jewelry business. At under 18, she was already a millionaire! Kids today start using technology from the moment they are born. There is the baby monitor, and then the toy cell phone, and then the iPad to distract them with movies….so, by the time they are teenagers, they have more technical skills than the lot of us “older” folks. How old was Mark Zuckerberg when he created Facebook? (About 20.)
The point is, age has very little to do with whether you can be successful in your business. Worrying about your age simply means that you are more focused on how others may judge you. In fact, confidence and passion are the main ingredients in your success. If other people perceive that you can meet their needs, and that doing so excites you, they are going to think very seriously about hiring you – whether that be for a full time job, or buying the services or products your business has to offer them. Focus on what you bring to the table, and the attention will come off your age.
Want more inspiring tips to help your business reflect your passion? Click here!
I’ve been intrigued, recently, speaking to various business owners, at the mindset that they need to beef up their Facebook Fan Page and Facebook strategy, as if this is the end-all-be-all of marketing strategies. In fact, many of them profess they “hate Facebook” or “can’t stand Facebook, but I have to learn”. And so, they seek out guidance on how to make use of their Facebook Fan Page as this is going to get them tons of clients and revenue.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the metrics are in, and Facebook is not doing the job you want it to. For those of you that profess to hate Facebook and that you can’t stand using it, I’m about to show you why this may be GOOD for your business.
- The Numbers Matter. You need to take a good look at how many Facebook Fan Page followers you have. Considering a typical 1 – 2% response rate, if we have less than 5,000 – 10,000 followers, our post impact will be minimal. So, before you have the big numbers, you have small reach. Unless you have unlimited advertising budget, you may have 1,000 followers, but if only 5 see your post, then it doesn’t do you much good.
- Facebook Advertising Sucks. They keep changing everything. Earlier this year, I ran an ad for Facebook page likes, and for a little more than $5, got around 100. The recent ad I got for $5 netted me 8 fans. In fact, I was also told to expect 4 – 9 fans with my ad. You tell me, is it worth the money if those 8 new fans are not guaranteed to see and read my content on Facebook?
- You Need to Go Deeper Into Your Numbers. If you do want to use Facebook to grow your following, at least make it a habit to see who your followers are. Understand the age groups and the countries that are following you RIGHT NOW and target your posts to them. (Click here for a PDF file that shows you how, and makes it easy!) For example, one of my clients is targeting women over 55. However, her primary audience is currently women 25 – 34. So, we discussed how one idea would be to write posts about “Information your mother needs to know”. See how you can strategize your posts to reach the audience you want via the audience you have.
Now, let’s have some fun!
WATCH THE VIDEO that explains why LinkedIn posts may be a better marketing strategy than Facebook
GET BULLBUSTING MARKETING TIPS that help you keep marketing simple, and show you how to reduce marketing overwhelm and frustration!
If you’re a business that’s just starting out, or trying to get to the next level, you may have realized that it’s hard to generate revenue if you don’t have customers/clients. Some of you may have been lucky to have a decent referral/word-of-mouth base that’s kept you going. Until now. But if you don’t make enough money from word-of-mouth referrals, or you don’t have any, and you’re just waiting for the universe to answer your daily prayer of “please send me more business!” then you may be in for a rude awakening. It would be nice if our prospects simply lined up outside our door, waiting for us to open it, and if we could plant a customer tree, water it and find that several clients on our tree were ripe to work with us each week!
Sadly, no amount of tree watering and universe praying will work to get you clients….at least, not by themselves! (Hey, I am a believer in the power of the universe, and aligning your thoughts with what you want to attract. However, we need to add some physical determination to the spiritual to ultimately succeed.) So, just what kinds of activities might help you get to a point where it feels like customers do grow on trees? Here are a few ideas:
- Ask for business. You probably just read that and said, “duh!” Now, read it again. How many people are you actually calling, emailing, or meeting at events, and ASKING to meet with you to see if you’re a good fit, as opposed to TELLING them what you do? Now you see the difference? The first, and most basic, step to getting customers to grow on your tree is to plant the seed by asking them to make time to discuss their business and yours and see if there is a fit.
- Follow-up. Again, you probably think this is basic. But how often are you keeping track of everyone you speak with, and following up with them weeks, or months, later to see if they might be ready to work with you? Things change over time, and that prospect that seemed “luke cold” last month, may have reached a point where he is badly in need of your services, right now. Remember that it can take several conversations before you close business.
- Grow your business around your business. Existing customers (and clients if you are a service-based-business) are a great source of business! The nice thing about owning a business where you develop your own services and products is that you can develop them around your clients/customers! So, as you work with them, you will learn what they need after they finish using one of your programs, products, or services. Now you can create the next level layer they need, and not only continue to help them, but also continue to grow your business.
Want more ideas to attract more customers? Set up a BullBusting Strategy Session and get some great business growth strategies and implementation help!
If you have a Facebook Fan Page, you know the fun of getting people to like your page. You may even have struggled with which image to use for the banner, spending days, or weeks, going through every photo on your hard drive, then doing Google image searches, then realizing you didn’t want a copyright issue, so changing to royalty-free image searches, then worrying about publishing a page with no posts….
If you are open to it, however, creating a Facebook page can be easy, and, so can the process of getting people to like your page. Here are a couple of ideas from a free report I recently wrote:
- Make sure you share your page with all your audiences. In order to create a Facebook page, you must first have a Facebook (personal) profile. You can log in as your personal profile, and share with your friends the link to your new page! (Or old page, if you haven’t done this yet!) Your immediate friends and connections are a great audience to ask to like your page! You will also see, on your fan page, the ability to invite friends to like your page. This can be a bit more time consuming, but is another way to reach the same audience.
- Make sure your fan page header clearly communicates what you are about. Consistent branding is important. But, what’s really important is that someone who visits your page can understand, in under 10 seconds, what you are about. We each need to decide whether your page resonates with us, or offers us something we need. My old banner was really cute, and consistent with my branding, but fairly unclear when it came to messaging. Make sure you don’t turn away potential likes because of unclear messaging.
- Use all your online real estate to create awareness of your page. If you have a website or a blog, make sure they have links to your Facebook fan page. If your website gets visits, why not inspire people to stay connected with you longer term by providing them the link to your fan page?! Ideally, you can find either an icon which we all recognize as Facebook, or a widget that invites people to connect.
Want more ideas? Download the full report here! There’s even a helpful video tutorial!