Category Archives: Sales

It’s time you learned about the art of referrals.

You have a business, but are people talking about it?

man holding card referralsWord-of-mouth is just as relevant today as it has ever been. When a business asks you to talk about how great they are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on, that’sword-of-mouth. When you provide good content that others can share, that is also word of mouth. Today, potential customers are more likely to pay attention to people they know and a large general following (e.g., Yelp) than if they see the same commentary in a company advertisement.

In fact, they’ll pay much more attention. The Word of Mouth Marketing Association published some research a couple years ago that found “the value of a word of mouth impression is from five to 100+ times more valuable than a paid media impression.”

You don’t have to spend all day convincing people to spread the word about your new business on social media.

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Ask SCORE: How can I build solid customer relationships?

Keep your customers happy with a personal touch.

You’ve seen people so absorbed with their smartphones that they appear oblivious to everything that’s going on around them. Of course, everyone is entitled to their personal privacy, and perhaps the message or video on their phone really is that important, but spending too much time in a “heads-down” position can be off-putting to others.

Many entrepreneurs, particularly those who work from home, operate their small businesses much the same way when they rely too heavily on email or texting to communicate with clients. Digital communication is convenient, particularly for work-related issues and updates, but numerous studies have come to the same conclusion—customers want to be treated like people.

When you take a technology-centric approach to communication, you’re missing an opportunity to foster a relationship with your customers, a quality that is becoming increasingly critical when deciding who we want to do business with.  Continue reading

Successful marketing takes a bit of creativity.

I often work with SCORE clients who want to create a successful marketing strategy so they can find customers for their products and services. During our conversation, I introduce the Bullet Point Marketing Plan and share a copy of the six-question worksheet.

After they identify their “Class A Prospects” and think about where they might be “hiding,” I ask how they intend to reach them. This can be a bit of a struggle, so I tell a story about some friends who delivered hand-addressed 9×12 inch envelopes to the offices where their Class A prospects were “hiding” and well protected by “gatekeepers.” The envelopes contained a business card, a personally addressed and hand-signed letter, plus a reel-to-reel audio tape containing samples of their work.

This was in the 1970s. They were selling their services as writers, arrangers and recording engineers for radio commercials in Los Angeles. Their target audience consisted of creative directors for advertising agencies who had never heard of these Seattle guys who had just moved to L.A. The “lumpy envelopes” were opened and my friends got lots of calls. The calls turned into lots of business for their new production studio.  Continue reading

What’s the best way to influence sales prospects?

If you own a B2B company, you know that the process of turning a lead into a sale can be long and challenging. What’s the best way to guide a prospect through the purchasing journey? A study of B2B decision-makers conducted earlier this year and reported in eMarketer offers some useful insights.

First, the days of educating a clueless buyer about your product in person are largely over. B2B buyers are well educated on their options, because they do most of their research ahead of time before ever contacting a vendor.

According to the study, Selling to the Information Driven Business, 63 percent of B2B buyers surveyed don’t contact a salesperson until they’ve actually made a purchasing decision. In other words, at the point you talk to a buyer, they’ve already formed their own opinions of your product or service.  Continue reading

Facebook now offers mobile storefronts.

11891347_684775194985827_1052862395_nLikes ≠ Dollars.

Facebook wants Pages to actually earn money for the 45 million small businesses that use them. So today (9/9/15) Facebook is upgrading Pages with a tabbed mobile layout that lets them display storefront “Sections” where users can “Shop” for products or view a list of “Services” the business offers.

The company is also making calls to action on business Pages, such as “Call Now,” “Send Message” and “Contact Us,” bigger, more colorful and more prominent beneath the cover image.

The “Shop” section will include Buy buttons powered by Facebook’s partnership with Shopify so users can check out without leaving the social network.

Facebook is also testing Buy buttons that link out to a business’ traditional website.

These changes are the biggest made to Pages since 2012. They build on Facebook’s recent announcement of new messaging capabilities for businesses and badges for companies that respond quickly. Today’s updates could make Facebook Pages a utility, not just a presence for businesses.

Read more on TechCrunch.

E-Tip: Strike the Responsive Chord

by Clyde McDade, Beach House Creative (LinkdIn)

Hello Fellow E-Marketer,

It’s our sixth lesson of “Thirteen Reasons Why Marketing Campaigns Fail”. I’m excited to get into today’s lesson. The better you understand your audience the more response you’ll get from them.

Another reason marketing campaigns fail is, because the marketer doesn’t strike the responsive chord with an audience.

People ignore what doesn’t grab them. They further ignore messages that are irrelevant. How do you solve the problem of striking the responsive chord? Here are a four steps to do this with every marketing campaign.  Continue reading