Category Archives: business start ups

What Is Social Selling & Why Should You Care? [Part 1]

By | business start ups, Established business, Marketing, Selling, social media | No Comments

Over the past few months there’s been a lot of hype over social selling so I’m going to explain exactly what it is (and means) in a series of posts. The first starts here – obviously!

Meet Jessica. She’s a a buyer and she’s looking for a supplier. She doesn’t do a Google search and then call to make her inquiry. Instead, she searches Google, reviews the supplier’s website, considers their services, checks their reviews and reaches out to her connections for verification or recommendations. If she thinks they’re OK, after having done all that and having compared them to other suppliers, she then makes contact via email or the phone.

Chances are, you’re no different to her. When you’re looking for a new supplier you do the same thing.

Why?

Well it’s because buying has changed.

And, it doesn’t matter who you are or what industry you’re in, that’s a fact.

Today’s buyers are better informed and better connected thanks to technology. Social media had lead the way and revolutionized everything.

And, as a result we need to sell in a different manner – that is if we’re going to outperform our peers and the competition (of course).

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How to implement a social selling plan that really works

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how to implement a social selling plan

 

Social selling, what’s all the fuss about? Has social media really ripped up the rulebook on marketing so that we need to rethink everything? Is broadcast marketing dead? Is it all about communication, involvement and feedback – a place for people to talk about things they care about?

YES!

In a world that’s disconnected, we now seek to belong and build communities. So we follow, like, link, subscribe and make friends. We work at speed – networking, connecting, sharing, contributing and supporting.

As a result business is changing. It’s becoming more transparent, agile and authentic than ever and social is the catalyst.

So, as someone who’s required to sell your tactics have to change.

In order to win in business now you have to understand exactly what motivates your prospects so you can add value. You need more influence in your market and you have be more engaging so you can cut through the Internet “noise” and connect with your buyers.

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How to Sell: 9 Stupidly Simple Steps to Boost Sales

By | business start ups, Established business, Marketing, Sales, Selling, social media | No Comments

How to sell without a hefty marketing spend to most could seem impossible. However, in today’s world it’s not just sales that has got harder – marketing has too. B2B buyers and decision-makers are highly educated on the products and services they require. They’re hungry for information. Their appetite demands 24×7 consumption, whenever and wherever they can.

Forbes recently reported that 80% of B2B purchasing cycles are completed before the buyer considers contacting the vendor. You’re feeling this and know this to be the case.

So in order to get your prospects’ attention and differentiate yourself from your competitors, you need to satisfy them like never before. And that means that if you’re in sales or marketing you’ve got to pull together. You need to form a united front both in terms of knowledge and understanding when engaging, nurturing, and interacting with your prospects. In essence you need to become a team of superheroes who join forces for the greater good of your prospects and your company.

This blog has been written to help address these challenges. It has been broken down into the following 9-steps:

1. Calling a truce
2. Researching and creating an ideal client avatar or persona
3. Defining a sales-qualified lead and processes
4. Developing the most appropriate messaging strategies
5. Creating engaging content to attract and nurture prospects
6. Meeting prospects where they’re hanging out
7. Using the internal sales team for qualification
8. Obtaining more information from marketing
9. Measuring, assessing and reporting

Now, before we get started, I just want to stress that this blog is targeted at sales and marketing professionals, sales and marketing managers, and business owners. The aim of it is to help you get ahead in business, to get you thinking about sales and marketing integration and to help you get buy in if needed.

Now, let’s get started and go through how to sell!

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Social Selling Master Class – Cracking The Code

By | business start ups, Established business, Marketing | No Comments

Social media is an established fact of modern life in the corporate and the private sphere.  It’s changing the way we all do business.  If you’re going to have success with it as an entrepreneur, consultant or sales or marketing executive you need to understand that it’s not just another marketing tool. It’s so much more powerful than that as it provides a two-­way channel of communication, allowing you to connect and engage with large numbers of people quickly. It also maintains the characteristics of one-­to-­one conversations because your market (audience) can use social media to respond quickly and directly.

If you’re interested in learning more about it, then take this opportunity to jump on a FREE Master Class that’s happening this week. I encourage you, as always to embrace the change and to seek out better ways to build your business, personal brand and sales. And, obviously if you need help with this, then please get in contact.

social selling master class

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Social media for C-levels: A threat or an opportunity?

By | business start ups, Established business, Marketing, Sales, social media | No Comments

Time and tide wait for no man. And, when it comes to social media for C-levels it is now no different. Social media is maturing. Gone are the hype days when it was simply a case of not understanding but having to join in if you happened to be in marketing. Today it’s in a production phase and revolutionizing brands. It’s empowering people, including staff, to have a voice and communicate their message.

And, whether you like it or not, social media is rapidly evolving into an essential leadership tool. With an expectation for company leaders to embrace it, which is being silently communicated, the pressure is now on for C-­levels and ambitious executives to get involved and leverage off it. However, with so much at stake, the question that’s troubling everyone is…

…how to do this the right way!

And, it’s this lack of understanding that’s tending to make C-­levels sceptical and reluctant participants, unrealistically fearful of making mistakes and in an uncomfortable position of learning whilst leading.

This e-­Book (which you can get by sending me an email) has been written to help you, as a C-­level, or aspiring one, understand how you can build a powerful C-­level social media presence.

It covers:

  • Positioning
  • Messaging
  • Exposure

Before you delve into it, I’ll be setting the scene and looking at the challenges and opportunities. For example, how information can be deliberately leaked or unintentionally gleaned, how deals can be done and reputations built or ruined, all through social media portals.

The content contained within this e-­Book will provide you with insight and help you get you started with creating a strong social media for C-levels presence. It’s here to help you get ahead in terms of your career and learn that when an effective social media presence is created, opportunities abound.

Now, before we get started, I just want to stress that this e-Book is meant for those who are fairly new to social media. If you’re an executive, Manager or Director, or a business owner, the content contained here will provide you with insight.

Now, let’s get started!

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If you struggle to convert sales this is your solution

By | business start ups, Established business, Marketing, Sales | No Comments

How to Convert Sales with Jane Frankland

 

You’re struggling to convert sales.

You’re one social interaction away. One call away. One email away. One meeting away. One proposal away. One presentation away. One contract away.

Only one.

Sometimes you meet that one connection. You know you’re right for them. They know they’re right for you. It seems like a match made in heaven but for some reason you don’t get the deal.

Sometimes business development and solution selling sucks!

Right?

And yes, even if you’re chanting my sales mantra #22, “Rejection is God’s protection.”

So, let’s get real here and look at why.

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Sales promotion: Do this & be seen as a rookie

By | business start ups, Established business, Marketing, Sales, Selling, social media | No Comments

Tired of not having enough sales?

Sales Promotion for an Increase in SalesWhen it comes to sales promotion, tell me…. How great would you feel if you could see an immediate result i.e. an increase in sales by applying 1 simple tweak to your business?

I know it’s a silly question but humour me.

It’d feel great, wouldn’t it?

Well If you want to see an increase in sales from your sales promotion you’ve got to get an edge on your competition. And, to create a truly competitive advantage you’ve got to understand 3 things inside out, namely:

  • Your market
  • Your competition
  • Your offerings

But, there’s 1 more thing you need in addition to these 3 things AND it’s vital. This is what I’m going to be going through today.

Story time

Now just to warn you, this is a video I was going to use for the How to Succeed in Business blog. However, I decided against it as I knew that there was too much to say and that’s why it refers to business as usual. 😉

Moving on to the next stage

So you’ve watched the video and now you’re shaping up quite well. You’re saying, “We‘ve got a great service portfolio, fair prices, flexible lead times, superb customer service, and an informative website with up-to-date research and thought leadership.”

Right?

And, you’re wondering whether you’re now going to be inundated with calls or emails from ready buyers.

Yes?

The answer, in a word, is….

No!

Why? Sadly they won’t believe you.

Without proof, you’re only going to sound like a lame marketer or rookie sales person.

Being the best isn’t enough. Being perceived as being the best isn’t enough. Your buyers need to believe you’re the best option for them.

If you don’t prove your claims, your buyers are unlikely to really believe them. And, as a consequence your value proposition, which is essential for your sales promotion becomes about as useful as a chocolate fire guard.

So what’s to be done?

Several things. For starters, you can use social proof. This will go a long way to substantiate your claims.

Basecamp uses social proof to validate their main claim of being the “World’s #1 Project Management App.” They use an image (as we all think and remember in pictures), plus 2 specific numbers to make the claim believable (“285,000 companies” and “2,000 projects”).

Basecamp and Jane Frankland

Now I’m sure you’ll admit that this looks good, but if you want to see an increase in sales I’ve got to tell you that impressive numbers don’t always work.

Numbers can prove how popular you are, but when you’re positioning yourself as a “trusted advisor and expert,” saying, “1,000 people consider me an expert” won’t work.

You need something else.

And, this is where testimonials and case studies (or success stories) come in. A few well placed testimonials and case studies (on your website and social platforms) from those with influence in your market make the claim credible. They can even take away the need for you to make any claims yourself.

For example, instead of me telling you how wonderful my company is, I get others (my clients) to do this for me.

Here’s an example of what I did for my last company. I used one of our clients – a sought after FTSE 100, William Hill, to make the claim alongside mine. The claim had added weight as testimonials in this particular sector were almost as rare for obtaining as finding a needle in a haystack.

corsaire william hillFinally, there’s one more thing you can do with testimonials.

You can craft them so that they take away the last doubt people might feel about your promises. Just include a statement that answers the doubt. I teach you how to do all of this in the courses and consulting I offer.

Now I want to hear from you…

Tell me what your thoughts are on sales promotion. Do you have any great tips? Please share your stories and experience here, and if you’ve got a question, just pop it down here.

Thanks for being a sport and participating!

With love and gratitude – as always,

P.S.

Finally, if you know someone who’d LOVE the insight from this sales promotion post, please send them a link. You’ll find solo entrepreneurs, consultants and yes, even sales and marketing managers who manage people who’ll be interested to hear about this.

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How to succeed in business [warning the how will surprise you]

By | business start ups, Established business, Marketing, Uncategorized | No Comments

Learn to dominate your market

How to Succeed in BusinessIt doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, if you want to know how to succeed in business I can tell you this…

You’re going to have to get to know your competition and know that they’re going to be worthy.

There’s always going to be someone who’s going to be better than you. And yes, let’s get real, there’s usually one or two of them who are creaming it in the market as a result!

There’s a brand with a better domain name, a blog that’s got more readers, an e-commerce site with more customers,  a consultancy with more consultants, accreditations and certifications, and so on.

Am I right?

Now, it’s tempting to think they got there just because they got lucky. And, whilst fortune just might just have played a role in their growth, you and I both know that their continued success isn’t about luck. Instead, it’s because of several key things – one of which is this:

They’re better at marketing than you!

BAM! I said it!

Those who win in the game of business aren’t necessarily the best at what they do, but they’re perceived as being the best at it and it’s usually on account of having better marketing.

You can bet that they’ve also got the best value propositions and they know how to use them too.

So let’s get real for a moment….

What makes you valuable?

This is key.

People won’t ever buy from you if they don’t understand why they should. In other words they’ll only pay attention to you if you’re communicating a strong value proposition.

Now I don’t want to lose you with marketing terminology (it’s a bore), but in case you’re wondering what a value proposition is, I’ll fill you in.

A value proposition is a sentence or a paragraph that includes a believable collection of the most persuasive reasons why your target audience should notice you, and take the action you’re asking for.

Here are 2 examples:

1. We deliver high quality face-to-face appointments with key decision makers in target accounts that you’ve selected, on a performance basis i.e. you pay only for the appointments you get with the clients you want. No set up fees, retainers or expensive daily rates.

2. We deliver the maximum cyber security protection from your spend on a control. And we prove it.

Once you’ve got your value proposition figured out, you can use it as the basis for all your marketing messages.

So, I’ve got to ask you this….

What’s your marketing message?

Before you answer, let’s look at an example. I’ll use a consultancy and scenarios I see time-and-time again.

Watch the video or skip if you prefer.

If your consultancy has the run-of-the-mill service portfolio, standard prices, average lead times, reasonable customer service, and a static website, why would anyone buy from you? Surely there’s a competitor who beats you in at least one of those aspects? Nothing stands out above average.

However, if your consultancy has the most highly accredited consultants but the other things are just average, then the buyers who value using highly accredited consultants have compelling reasons to buy from you.

Apple doesn’t have the largest product selection.

Amazon isn’t the most prestigious.

Aston Martin’s aren’t the cheapest. (hear me sob)

I hope you’re getting the message!

My point is this:

You don’t have to be the best in every way but if you’re the best in at least one way, you’re going to be the best option for the buyers who value that aspect. And, you’re going to stand out from the crowd, which makes it easier to sell to the buyers who value that aspect.

Remember buyers buy from you or your competitors for a variety of reasons. Something has to make you the best option for your target market otherwise, they’ve got no good reason to buy what you’re selling.

So, in order to maximise your opportunity you’ve got to know what your target market – your avatar – wants from the start, and then you have to deliver it to them impeccably and exceed their expectations. Furthermore, as I said in a former blog ‘Warning Business As Usual’as an experience.

So start always from the view point of:

  • What do my clients need? (needs)
  • What do they want? (wants)
  • What do they have to have? (desires)

If you’re not sure on these points just ask some friendly target prospects or tap into the places they hang out and you’ll be sure to gain some valuable information. For example, are they on Twitter,  LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc? Do they belong to any groups? Do they blog? Are they featured in the press? Summarize your findings.

And, if you’re lucky enough to get in front of them, here’s a great question you can always ask:

“What keeps you up at night?”

Now I want to hear from you…

Tell me what your thoughts are on how to succeed in business. Do you have any great tips? Please share your stories and experience here, and if you’ve got a question, just pop it down here.

Thanks for being a sport and participating!

With love and gratitude – as always,

P.S.

Finally, if you know someone who’d LOVE the insight from this how to succeed in business post, please send them a link. You’ll find solo entrepreneurs, consultants and yes, even sales and marketing managers who manage people who’ll be interested to hear about this.

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P.P. S.

If you want to learn how to grow your business, then I’m promoting Marie Forleo’s B-School right now, and as part of this I’m offering an exclusive bonus. The details will be revealed very soon.  Click this link if you want in on the action.
 

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