Back

Apply

5 Inexpensive Ways to Get More Sales Leads

Generating sales leads can be a challenge but generating QUALITY sales leads can be even more difficult. What if you don’t have the money to invest in advertising campaigns, SEO or big marketing programs? What if your customers don’t fit the social media demographic and don’t know their Facebook from their Instagram? What if your scatter gun approach hasn’t been working? Simple. You re-strategise with a targeted approach to generating sales leads. Here are five different sales lead generation ideas that are cost-effective, a smart use of your time and resources, and laser-focused. 1. One to many Speaking at events your target market attend is a smart way to place yourself and your business front of mind of your ideal customer. It gives you credibility and added exposure. Ask the organisers of membership groups, networking functions, the local Chamber of Commerce, meet-up groups and community functions if they are looking for speakers for their event calendar.   2. Strength in numbers Collaborate with someone who has the same target market as you. Do a joint sales campaign or event with them. Look at businesses around you that are complementary to your offering. For example, if you sell fitness equipment, perhaps look at running an event in partnership with a personal trainer, dietician or maybe with a product like the Nutribullet. They can provide your audience with health and wellbeing tips that tie into your products.    3. Give them something fabulous Have a look at ways to grow the customer’s interest in our product. What pains can you remove or gains can you give them easily, in and around your product or service? Can you add a demonstration, provide a sample or provide a business tool that involves them in what you do? Some food businesses do this really well. They provide a taste, a gift and a low entry point product trial. It’s a way to get the customers' interest, but it's also a fantastic way to build trust and future sales.   4. Affiliate yourself An affiliate marketing strategy is a fantastic way to leverage sales growth and leads through other channels. You can approach other people or companies to promote your product or service and pay them a commission for that promotion. Something as simple as a hairstylist promoting a special price for their customers at the nail salon next door can not only generate sales leads but also raise brand awareness.   5. Get Referrals A solid referral strategy will get you the best sort of leads – those customers who already trust and are often ready, willing and able to buy. Make the strategy part of the communication throughout your client engagement process, not just at the end. Let the customers know that referrals are important to your business through telling a story, adding it to your paperwork or just saying it how it is. Check out some of these stats: 65% of all new business comes from referrals and referral leads close at 60-70%: Tom Hopkins 71% of prospects are most likely to buy from referrals: Hubspot Referrals close more than twice as often as marketing-generated leads and cost nothing: Sales Benchmark Index If you need to, provide your product or service for free to ‘social influencers’, those people that have already gained the trust of their tribe or community.    These are tried and true sales lead generation strategies that work. These strategies are a smart use of resources and will give you ample opportunity to exercise your sales skills!

Read more
5 Timeless Marketing Strategies To Acquire Customers

It seems that entrepreneurs these days are overwhelmed with all the different marketing strategies they can use to get clients and make more money. There are a myriad of traditional offline strategies and now a host of online strategies that are available. These days there is so much focus on the online marketing strategies that entrepreneurs often neglect timeless marketing strategies that can be used regardless of whether an offline or online marketing campaign is being used. Here are five timeless marketing strategies to get clients and make more money Use a fail-safe guarantee. With each possible purchase there is risk involved. Ultimately will this purchase deliver the results I am after? And with so many options available that promise results, how does an entrepreneur remove this risk and stand out from the competition? The answer is simply to provide a guarantee that removes any downside to the purchase. Worst case for the client is that they try the purchase and if they feel it doesn’t deliver, the problem is solved effortlessly and without stress. The added bonus is that the perception is that if such a strong guarantee is offered, the offering must be great. Have a call to action. What do you want potential clients to do when they see your marketing? Is it to sign up for a free special offer, buy a product or service that you offer, call you, email you or even visit you? You need to make is clear exactly what you want potential clients to do. It may not be obvious what you expect so don’t leave them hanging. Potential clients love to be shown the way. Build relationships. Business is all about people – owners, clients, suppliers, employees and contractors. People love to do business with people they know, like and trust. Not only build relationships with your clients but other business owners in complimentary industries. This could lead to other businesses promoting your product or service to their customers which are from the same or similar target market. For example, a bookkeeper could build a relationship with an accountant that would allow them to easily promote each other’s service to their own clients. It is a ‘win-win-win’ approach for both business owners and the client. Be consistent. As a business coach I see many entrepreneurs operating from a ‘feast or famine’ approach. When business is slow they market their business and get clients. They get busy and stop marketing. Clients stop coming and they market their business again. By consistently marketing and communicating with your existing clients, the inconsistent cash flow is solved and your clients will know, like and trust you. How would you feel if a business contacted you on an ad hoc basis every time they needed money? It isn’t the basis of a solid, long term, profitable relationship. Use testimonials that sell for you. Having social proof is a fantastic way to show potential clients what they can expect from purchasing your product or service. I heard a saying once ‘Don’t tell the world, show the world’ and this is exactly what happens with good testimonials. Testimonials are powerful. It is like free publicity compared to a paid advert or marketing strategy. Now I would love to hear from you. In the comments below, tell me your biggest insight you are taking away from this? If you found value in this article, please share it with your friends – it would mean the world to me. Thank you!

Read more
How to Avoid Being “Pushy” in Sales

Open more conversations with respect The other day one of the General Managers of a company I’ve been working with received an email from a service provider that was a competitor to one of the providers the company has been using. The email’s purpose was to start a conversation with the company and create the opportunity to demonstrate the service provider’s expertise/add some value. This email was the third and the company had replied in the past that it wasn’t the right time to discuss certain matters with this service provider. The email roughly went like this: Hi XYZ With the recent requirement changes relating to TOPIC there may be additional reporting obligations that you may not be aware of. We would love the opportunity to provide a workshop to the team at COMPANY and share our knowledge on these changes with you. The workshop will go through the recent requirement changes and how it applies to COMPANY. We’d also like to get an understanding of your business and processes so we can tailor the workshop so it would be good to have a chat with you prior. Would you please let me know when would be a good time for your whole team to come to the workshop? Kind regards ABC Client development executive The General Manager of the company took one look at this email and instructed a member of her team to reply with a polite “no”. In addition, the General Manager told me that this email has made her not want to work with this service provider in the future. That is, this Client Development Executive shut the door to a potential client relationship just because of a lack of awareness of some simple communication pitfalls. Wondering why? Let me explain. Deconstructing the communication First let me deconstruct the email (via highlighting and square brackets) so you get a sense of how the sometimes “minor” things can have a great impact on your clients perception. “… With the recent requirement changes relating to TOPIC there may be additional reporting obligations that you may not be aware of [this assumes client is not aware of its obligations]. We would love the opportunity [client doesn’t care what you would love to do] to provide a workshop to the team at COMPANY and share our knowledge on these changes with you. The workshop will go through the recent requirement changes and how it applies to COMPANY. We’d also like [once again client doesn’t care what you’d like to do] to get an understanding of your business and processes so we can tailor the workshop so it would be good to have a quick chat with you prior [asking client to share details with you before you get a foot in the door is too much commitment]. Would you please let me know when would be a good time for the team to come to the workshop and have a quick call? [Two action requests in one email is asking the client to do too much too soon] …” Avoid making these mistakes To avoid making the same mistakes in the above email, here are the key principles you need to remember. 1. Ask don’t assume – instead of assuming the client needs help or isn’t aware of an important piece of information, ask them! 2. Always communicate in terms of what’s in it for your client – they don’t care about what you’d like or love to do so focus on why they should care. 3. Be present to how much commitment you’re asking for – your clients’ willingness to invest their time and money in you is an indication of their commitment level. So don’t ask for too much time or information if you haven’t even managed to secure a coffee meeting. 4. Ask for one thing at a time, especially when your client has a low level of commitment – asking for more than one action at a time gives your clients an extra reason not to respond. These are some of the principles that underpin the License to Bill 12 Step Sales Process. If you follow them, you’ll be able to open more conversations and start more client relationships. What’s more, you’ll also start relationships in the right way – one that shows you’re willing to truly listen and respect your clients. One of the attendees from a previous training I hosted said “Jenny, I was skeptical initially but after your workshop, I can truly see how your approach applies day to day. Thank you.”

Read more
How to map out a marketing plan

Marketing plans are often long and complicated documents that get filed away and never looked at again. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Creating a simple, effective and consistent marketing plan is the key to following through, getting results and growing your business. I’m often asked “what marketing strategies work best” and the truth is, I can’t advise you which marketing strategy will work best for you without me you completing the foundation work of clarifying your vision for your life. Don’t just think I am talking about your vision for your business here – this must include the vision for your personal life too.  This is the essential element in creating a life you love. There is a lot of advice available to sort through so I will share with you the nuts and bolts of a marketing plan that will ensure you the best results. Understand who your ideal client is: I don’t want to hear you say “everyone” or “women” which is usually what new clients of mine say until I show them how, why and the amount of money they could make by getting crystal clear on their ideal client profile. it needs to be so specific that you could define not only their demographics but values and beliefs as well. Brainstorm your top marketing ideas: Take some time to write down your top marketing ideas and strategies that you want to implement in your business. Focus on what excites you the most as this will be the easiest for you to get done. Decide and schedule action steps: Break down each marketing strategy into action steps and schedule what you will do on a daily basis, weekly basis, monthly basis, quarterly basis and even a yearly basis. You may not know exactly what to do so get started with what you do know and the rest will start to unfold as you move forward. Get support: You may be thinking how you can get all this done as your schedule is already packed. To grow your business will require you taking some risks, calculated risks. If you don’t have employees to delegate your non-essential tasks to (scheduling, answering the phone, filing, accounts etc), consider taking the leap and hiring an employee before you feel you are ready, even if they start out casual or part time, to complete these tasks. This will leave you the time to invest in your business. Remember, the more time you spend marketing the quicker you will grow your business. Commit to the plan: Following through on a plan is what gets results. If you don’t do the work, then you can’t expect the success you desire. So do what is required each day, week, monthly, quarter and year for success to follow. Once these marketing strategies are implemented, automated and achieving results, move on to the next two marketing strategies so you aren’t relying on one main income source. You need multiple marketing strategies bringing you income consistently to build a successful, long-term business. Use the tips I’ve given you and get started today.

Read more
How to: B2B Lead Generation Through LinkedIn

LinkedIn is known to be the most professional social media/networking platform out there, applicable for businesses not to advertise their brand and sell products, but to find relevant people for their businesses, attract them and turn into customers or partners. So, overall, LinkedIn is a great channel for lead generation, right? But how exactly can you leverage its great potential to actually acquire leads? In order to get the answer to this question, continue reading. We’ll give you the best one. Content marketing is the primary driver for traffic and lead generation because content is a no-strings attached freebie; it gives people something before they’re asked to make a purchase and the modern consumer responds positively to this type of marketing.  Great content marketing is about the quality of the content but almost as importantly, the vehicle for delivery and the follow-up engagement. For B2B companies the right audience is almost always found on LinkedIn.  Why LinkedIn?  LinkedIn is the preferred social network for CEOs and boasts over 400 million users. It is an effective tool with studies showing that over 75% of social media B2B leads are generated through LinkedIn.   The site targets social networking among professionals and is considered the only acceptable social platform for many businesses – in fact, in most workplaces it is the only social network that can get through the filter, perhaps because you’re far less likely to be playing Farmville or Candy Crush, or looking at your cousin’s holiday photos on work’s time!    LinkedIn articles are regularly being published by businesses because it’s a hub of potential customers and partners.   More than that, LinkedIn makes it easy to directly engage with potential customers, which is the best reason for putting it front and centre of your B2B lead generation strategy. Influential marketers have gained 64 times more comments, 52 times more likes, and 24 times more shares on their articles than average users with of LinkedIn’s top writers generating an average of 54,000 new follows in 2016.  Getting started  The best way to get started with generating B2B leads on LinkedIn is to become familiar with it: 1. Use it often Use it to speak to people openly on posts or directly through paid upgrades like InMail (which allows you to contact anyone on LinkedIn even if they’re outside of your network).  2. Grow your network Join groups  relevant to your industry and target audience. Start off by just getting involved in discussions – build a reputation as someone who makes insightful contributions. This will help with word-of-mouth, which is still a powerful lead generation tool.  3. Post regular updates so your network is always aware of you. Market yourself as an individual and become a trusted leader in your industry. People respond better to people than brand pages with nameless and faceless people controlling the feed from obscurity.  Prominent examples Trusted leaders such as Zenith Media’s Tom Goodwin, Socialbakers’ Jan Rezab and Boston’s top marketing consultant, Katie Martell, made it on to LinkedIn's report on the top influencers of 2016.  The trust they have earned helps them get huge amounts of engagement and kick-start debates that encourages shares of their articles. Goodwin’s most popular post was how digitisation has changed the trajectory of TV and entertainment consumption. Katie Martell has become a top ten marketing writer on LinkedIn and is respected as someone who knows what they are talking about. That kind of reputation can be leveraged to convert audiences in customers.  Engaging with your audience  When posting content or updates try to include a hook that will encourage readers to share the article. This could be: an anecdote from conversations with industry leaders, an exclusive quote, business achievements, or namechecking an influencer whose work has inspired you. The idea is to give readers a compelling reason to share the post with their network to amplify the reach of your content.  However, the most important thing you can do is to meaningfully engage your audience. The best leads come from making a human connection by making your audience feel valued. You don’t need to spend all day saying “thanks for the comment” to everyone who posts, especially if you’re getting lots of comments, but a simple thank you to the first few comments will certainly encourage more. Try to ‘like’ every comment—it’s the most efficient way to acknowledge your audience—and leave more considered replies to comments that give you an opportunity to push home your message.  Taking the time to engage with your audience in the comments section is the best way to develop brand advocates who will share your content with their networks and help project your message. It also makes your business look more approachable.  Start collecting leads  Take a look at who is checking out your profile, who is reading your content and who is engaging with your posts. These are your leads. LinkedIn also has their own Ads platform with an optional feature called Lead Collection, which allows advertisers to collect leads directly through their LinkedIn Ad campaigns. This is an easy and efficient way to build up your lead generation list.  Generating leads through LinkedIn can be hard at first but once you’ve got a good routine of content creation and develop basic good habits of logging in regularly and engaging meaningfully with your audience it’ll get easier and become an instinctive part of your marketing strategy and the one avenue of lead generation you can’t do without. Do you use LinkedIn for lead generation? How does it turn out for you?

Read more
Learnings from recent workshop - How to turn the hardest part of sales into the easiest

Turn the hardest part in sales into the easiest Key learnings from the Practice Growth Formula workshop Many people enjoy having a chat with clients about their problems and helping them come up with solutions. What people don't enjoy so much is the part where they need to ask clients to buy their service and the price discussion that follows. This is what I found was the case at the Practice Growth Formula workshop I presented at last week. One of the main reasons the "asking for the sale" part is because they weren't clear on how to communicate what they do for clients. There was no succinct way to articulate their services in a way clients understand and can value. Attendees at our workshop walked in not being confident how to "close" a conversation. They walked out knowing that the close shouldn't be the hardest part if you've prepared in the right way upfront. Here's what they learnt.  Key learning 1 - Why we think closing a sale is hard The reason we often think that closing the conversation is the hardest part is a reflection of where we spend our effort. We are investing our energy at the end - when we have to tell the client about what we do and usually follow up with phone calls and emails to get the sale over the line. The effort diagram looks a bit like this.             No wonder it's the hard part! This way of doing things also means we waste a lot of time in the follow up and trying to explain our value. Have you had the experience of clients not returning your calls even though you thought you had a great sales meeting? It's because we're putting all the effort at the end and our clients know it.  There is a better way though - that is to spend more effort upfront. By that I mean invest the time upfront to get your services into a clear structure that's easy for you to communicate to clients and also easy for you to deliver. In other words, creating services that are productised.  This way of doing things makes it easier for you at the end when you're asking for the sale so the effort diagram looks more like this.                When you've invested the time upfront to structure your services well you can then focus your energy in each sales conversation to understanding the client and building a solid relationship. That's where the hard part is not the close. Key learning 2 - It will never be perfect Many of us are perfectionists at heart. We want to know that whatever we end up selling is perfectly structured before selling it. The problem is - perfection is unattainable. We can, however, create a great set of structured services by using client feedback to help us refine it as we go. That requires us to be willing to just get started. Test out your imperfect productised service on your clients and let them give you feedback. We've had this experience when we first rolled out our workshops and are still refining how we deliver it. We're having this experience with our Premium Packaging Program where we work with clients over a 3 month period to create productised services. Its been challenging and we've had to continuously improve how we do things. We know even with the best planning, until we start working with clients on each productised service we're not going to be certain what works best. But we're committed to putting in whatever effort and time it takes to get our clients to the result they want. We've had to invest more time than we initially budgeted to get our clients the outcome we promised as part of this process. And that's ok. Because we wouldn't have any productised services if we waited til it was perfect. And we wouldn't have been able to help all the clients we've helped along the way to refining our services.   Jenny Tse

Read more
Top 10 Tender Writing Mistakes

Let's be honest. Most businesses would prefer not to have to write a tender or a proposal to generate new business. But for many, business growth depends on successful tenders. It's true that writing a tender takes a lot of time and effort, so here are my top 10 tips on how to write a successful tender. Mistake number 1: Forgetting to answer the questionsIt might sound obvious – but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t answer the questions! With formal tenders, especially to government, answer the questions in the specific order they are asked. Many tenderers fail to do this and wonder why they are never shortlisted or selected. Mistake number 2: Too much waffleKeep it snappy – your prospect will be reading more than one tender or proposal. Yours will stand out if they don’t have to read through lots of long-winded waffle. Mistake number 3: Using passive, not active, voiceActive voice is more succinct and direct than the passive. The voice of a verb tells us whether the subject is doing the action (active) or whether something is being done to it (passive). Active: We are submitting our tender. Passive: This tender is being submitted by... Mistake number 4: It’s not all about you! Attract attention by focusing on your prospect. Begin as many paragraphs as possible with their name, and use ‘you’ and ‘your’ to personalise your tender. Mistake number 5: Not revealing what’s in it for themAll that your prospect really wants to know is what they will get by selecting you – so tell them! Highlight how your skills, knowledge or experience or what you propose will benefit them. Mistake number 6:  Making wild claims If you make statements such as ‘we are the leading/fastest/best value provider of’, back them up with proof from the media, quotes from happy clients, award wins or good survey results. Mistake number 7: Not giving great examplesGive short and punchy examples of how you make a difference to your clients. Mini case studies are great. Provide specific, factual evidence (or even testimonials) to paint a picture of how you have helped a client to save time or money, or how you devised an innovative solution to their problems. Mistake number 8: Looks can kill Poorly laid out tenders and proposals can fall at the first hurdle. If yours are well laid out, they’ll be visually appealing and easy to follow. Use headings, sub-headings, photos, diagrams and white space. If you are tendering for a project, include a timetable or a project management plan. Mistake number 9: Forgetting to jog their memoryIf your tender or proposal is to an existing client, remind them how much you have achieved together so far, all the problems you have resolved, or the extra value you’ve given. Describe the benefits of continuing to use your service or product. Mistake number 10: Overlooking typos Proofread your final draft. While a word-perfect tender won’t win you points alone, one with typos could cost you. Take time to check every word, and while you’re at it, check you’ve answered all the questions in the right order, and that you’ve met all the requirements for lodgement and attachments. 

Read more
Why Travel and Tourism Businesses Should Use SMS Marketing

Key Takeaways SMS marketing is often forgotten, but perfect for travel businesses where customers demand instant communication. Use text messages for notifications before, during and after travel through reminders, confirmations and live updates. SMS marketing is also a big thing as text messages are cost effective, personal and are read quicker than an email or online content.    The travel and tourism industry is one of many industries which demand real-time effective communication with their customers.  As online marketing channels such as social media and search engines take center stage, traditional channels are slowly being forgotten.  However, sometimes good old text messaging is still the best remedy. If you're running a travel business, sending SMS messages lets you interact with customers quickly to update them of their travel status and other promotions. This makes it easier for you and them to have a smooth journey.  Mass texting enables fast and cost-effective communication compared to conventional methods such as emails, calls or advertisements. These channels are limited to reach and time. Text messages are read within minutes compared to emails or online content.  Furthermore, choosing the right digital channel reduces tons of paperwork. With a smart SMS gateway, you can organize your database and send messages to customers instantly. You save time, energy and reduce your carbon footprint in the process by going paperless. There are many advantages and use cases for businesses that use a mass SMS service as their primary channel of communication. For travel and tourism businesses, text messages are perfect for two things: notifications and marketing.  SMS for notifications and alerts 1. Booking and confirmation Consumers tend to go online to book tickets. However, this requires an internet connection and the process can be complicated for some.  By using text messages, your customers can book tickets without the need to go online, which is handy for older generations and those who find themselves without WiFi. They will receive SMS receipts upon confirmation of the booking. This is a great way to stand apart from other competitors and also shorten the booking process. 2. Reminders Travel companies can remind customers of their flight schedules and also inform them of their check-in points. This is a great way to show that you care about your customers as it offers convenience and can help them from missing their flights. 3. Live travel updates Your company can send pre-flight information to their customers regarding the temperature, weather, the in-flight meal and also safety tips to help them during their travels. These little personal touches can go a long way with your customers. 4. Instant customer support In addition to notifications and reminders, you can also execute 2-way communication and answer your customers’ queries instantly. It's perfect for when your customers are already traveling and don't have access to internet. This is something few companies do and it might just give you the edge especially when trying to expand your services. 5. Valuable information When customers book a ticket for a specific destination, you can send them information regarding great places to visit, the best restaurants and the most affordable hotels in the city.  SMS for marketing and promotions SMS marketing is flourishing worldwide thanks to telecommunication innovations connecting us all. Smart businesses understand the potential of 160 characters in a text message if used appropriately. Tourism and travel agencies have adopted SMS marketing to distinguish themselves from competitors and for some, it is their unique selling proposition. 1. Seasonal marketing Send limited and exclusive offers to people subscribed to your SMS service through commercials, websites or even posters. Businesses use this to improve sales through tactics such as giving early bird discounts or after flight perks.  2. Off-Season marketing It is important to keep customers connected. During off-peak periods, you will experience down time but customers may look forward to this time as an opportunity to get cheaper rates. Most travel destinations are open all year round but there are best times to visit. For instance, travelers travel to the Middle East in the winter as summer months can be too unbearable. Use SMS to offer cheap deals during the summer to boost your sales. 3. Combined Marketing Many tourism companies offer a complete package that includes the pre-flight and after flight transport, hotel reservation, meals, and tour activities. Travelers find this incredibly useful and convenient, saving them the hassle of doing everything themselves to just have a good time.  It’s been over 26 years since the first SMS was sent. For all these years, consumers have become accustomed to using it for personal communication while businesses have failed to use it to its full potential.  Sure, it isn’t the most visually attractive channel compared to social media and advertisements, but it does the job these channels are meant to at a faster and more effective way. Plus, it’s great for internal communication as well, so you should definitely try it for yourself.

Read more