Posts Tagged ‘business support’

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5 New Year’s Resolutions for a Better Business

In Business Buy Guide,Business Leads on December 31, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: , ,

Are you ready to experience your best business year yet? Make your 2011 amazing and grow your business by leaps and bounds by making these five New Year’s resolutions.

1.    I will direct my marketing efforts outside my comfort zone.

Try at least one marketing program next year. Consider direct mail, Google Adwords, or even podcasting! Sure, you’ll be in for a wild ride ahead, but the benefits you reap will be well worth it.

2.    I will listen to my gut more often.

Even if you’re learning from the most wealthy and influential business experts, keep in mind that they’re still human and that everyone makes mistakes. Their advice may not always work for your particular situation, or they may be having a bad day.

Try this exercise. Review your current strategies and see which ones worked best to bring you more clients, money, and success. It’s very likely that you’ll find a bit of serendipity and/or your intuition in each of these.

3.    I will earn and claim my bragging rights.

Throw all those unnecessary apologies and excuses away. Sentences such as, “I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but…” and “This is probably a silly question, but…” should never come out of your mouth ever again.

4.    I will test drive at least one piece of business advice that I normally resist.

When I first became a copywriter, I resisted the idea of self-promotion. I also refrained from buying a copywriting phrase book and from using a headline generator. Nowadays, I can’t imagine my life without promoting myself and without these tools. Little things do make a huge difference.

Of course, if someone suggests that you sell all your possessions and live in a camper van in the middle of nowhere, say no. Remember rule #2!

5.    I will honor myself to stay motivated and enthusiastic.

What do you need? Is it listening to music while you work, exercising in the mornings, or going to the movies every weekend?

What kind of schedule suits you the best? Do you prefer to work continuously with absolutely no interruptions or in shorter blocks of time? Do the kids and/or pets have to go to daycare for a few hours so you can concentrate better?

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The 7 Rules of Lead Follow-Up

In Business Buy Guide,Business Leads on December 29, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: , ,

Rule #1: Following up leads is really a disqualification process.

Your objective should be to disqualify certain people from doing business with you. Have a set of criteria ready to help you determine their probability of conversion. You must be willing to let poor leads go so you can focus on creating and converting good ones.

Rule #2: Don’t waste your efforts on low probability prospects.

We spend a lot of time, energy, money, and emotion on our leads, and some of them take more of these resources to convert than others. These types of prospects are the worst, so watch out.

Rule #3: It’s better to have no prospects than a low probability one.

When we have low probability prospects, we try to change them. When we have zero prospects, we go out and look for new ones. And when we search, we will find.

Rule #4: A “no” is just as good as a “yes”.

There are only three possible responses that a prospect can give you: “yes”, “no”, and “maybe”. Many people beat themselves up when they’re not able to convert enough maybes, but this is the response that wastes the most time and energy. Personally, I’d rather get a “no” than a “maybe”, because most of the latter will eventually turn into the former. When somebody tells me “no”, I can move on to the next prospect. A “no” is just as good as a “yes” because there is certainty in both cases.

Rule #5: Eliminate the lead if you’re not getting anywhere with it.

If you’re not moving the prospect closer to agreeing to an in-person meeting, then you’re losing the game. If you know that now is not the right time to book an appointment, end the conversation. Call them back after a few days or a week if there is some motivation. You should be able to secure the appointment within the first five to ten minutes of the phone call. Your chances decrease as the conversation drags on.

Rule #6: People are more likely to talk with you when they think that you are willing to take “no” for an answer.

Consumers are wary of being talked into buying something from a salesperson. They believe that all salespeople are trained to corner them. The best way to deal with this fear is to let your prospect know up front that it’s okay for them to say “no”. Design your scripts so that they have a chance to say “no” early in the conversation.

Rule #7: Only spend your time on high probability prospects.

The largest cost in your business is not the advertising, the broker, the marketing, the car, or anything else. It’s the opportunity costs of investing your time in the wrong prospect and not getting paid when you could have found and worked with someone else who would have given you a commission check.

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Why Following Up is More Important Than Generating New Leads

In Business Buy Guide,Business Leads on December 27, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: , ,

One of the main reasons why small business owners often seek out new marketing strategies is because they think that the solution to slow sales is more leads. If you agree with this point of view, then have I got a shocker for you. According to the 2010 Lead Life Cycle Optimization study, over 80 percent of all leads generated by small businesses are never followed up with by a salesperson. Eighty percent! Can you believe that?

I went looking for these statistics not so long ago because I had a hunch that this was the cause of the sagging sales problem many businesses were having. Let me tell you about a couple of my own experiences…

Last year, I went car shopping. I usually use the same vehicle for as long as possible. My previous car was at the end of its life, so it was time for a new one. I visited a few dealerships, test drove four cars over four days, and made my purchase two weeks later. Guess how many salespeople bothered following up with me over that time period? Just one. I had told each dealer what I wanted in a car and left them my contact details. How hard could it have been for them to get back to me?

Here’s another story. This happened when I was 21. I was in search of an apartment and deliberately looked at seven different units, even though I already knew exactly what I wanted from the very beginning. Despite the fact that I filled out information cards and requested a follow up with each salesperson, only one called me back. I have a tip for all you sellers and realtors out there: follow up!

I’m sure you get the point by now. However, the real question here is not whether a problem exists or not, but why it is happening in the first place. I have some theories, and after training several salespeople, the same patterns emerge time and again:

•    You prioritize fresh leads
•    You intend to follow up but get too busy and eventually forget
•    You assume that leads which are a few days or weeks old are too old
•    Your days are too hectic for a regular follow-up routine
•    You’re not confident with your follow-up script or plan

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. That’s just how business is – you need to multitask and be constantly diligent to master everything.

The good news is, automated follow-up solutions are available for busy entrepreneurs like you. I suggest using a lead capture form along with an autoresponder series. Add some great customized copywriting and genuine promotional offers, and watch your sales figures grow!

Keep in mind that even something as seemingly unimportant as a follow-up call or email can mean the big difference between a new customer and a wasted lead.