How Do You Develop A Relationship With Clients On Email?

 

When I ask business leaders, CEOs and Managing Directors where does most of their business come from the reply, 99% of the time, is the same.

From our existing customer base.

Yet very few businesses have a strategy on how to continutally engage, upsell, cross sell or sell more to our existing customers. Instead 80% of budgets and usually more, will be spent on attracting new customers.

So let’s turn that on it’s head.

How do we leverage our customer base so it is generating revenue at an optimal level.

The psychology behind increasing sales from within our existing customer base is that they have already bought from you, or at the very least are on your mailing list. You have a dialogue, and from that you can start to build trust.

You will, of course be segmenting your lists of customers to establish at what stage of the customer cycle they are at and how you want to move them along.

No? Well let’s leave that for another day. In the meantime let’s focus on developing a relationship with a client.

Newsletters are dead

Just because it is news to you doesnt mean that anyone else cares. In the 3 second world we live in today, unless your communication instantly speaks to your client they will ignore – or worse – unsubscribe.

The Trust Bank Balance

Trust in you is very low. First you need to start increasing that trust through thought through, deliberate trust building communication. As you repeat this their level of trust in you will slowly increase. Then when you are at a stage where they trust in your AND see the results then ask them for the money.

If you do it before this you are likely to wind up the same as every other company out there – shouting at the customer to try and get them to part with their hard earned money.

There are several ways to do this which I will share with you in a later blog.

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Test: How Far Will You Or Your Business Grow?

One of the most frequent questions that I am asked in my group coaching, workshops and talks is this: Why can’t I grow my business or career – I’m stuck!

Rather than try to give an answer for the individual I ask everyone to do this quick exercise to find out what’s happening.

Every time people do this they discover the key piece that is missing from the puzzle.

This literally takes 3 minutes.

One Rule: Be honest to yourself and Dont read the Correct Answer until you have answered the question

  1. Get a pen and paper
  2. Look at the island at the top of this post. You have given permission for me to take you to this island. Let me tell you a little about the island. It’s warm and sunny with the perfect temperature for you. The sun’s out, there are no animals on the island, it’s a very non-threatening place. If you could imagine a place that you could want to go to, this is where you would want to go. That’s the island.
  3. You’ve given me permission for me to take you there.
  4. Now, there are some rules about going.
  5. I promise to bring you back in 15 minutes, so don’t get nervous about being left on the island.
  6. I would like you to leave your religious beliefs behind. Not that those beliefs are not important or that they add value but for the purpose of the exercise I would like you to put those beliefs to the side for one moment.
  7. I would like you to go to that island and I would like you to sit down on the sand with the waves just in front of you lapping at the shore.

Here’s the question:

  1. I would like you to leave all of your roles in life behind. Leave them with me for 15 minutes. This means that you are no longer a father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister. You are no longer a person who is employed, managed, directed or has any responsibilities. You are not a person who has achievements or accolades. And remember you can have them back in 15 minutes.
  2. And while you are on the island, sitting there by yourself I want you to rate what is left. In other words, what is left as you are alone on the island without your roles to define you.
  3. I’d like you to take a look at yourself and put a rating on a 0 to 10 scale. 0 being without your roles in life you are completely worthless and 10 being without your roles in life you are of great value and there is the scale inbetween. When you have that number write it down.

The Correct Answer:

………………….

………………….

………………

………….

…..

..

.

.

.

.

.

.

Everyone is a 10

If you put anything less than 10 what’s happened is, is that you have been programmed, conditioned and influenced by the world to believe that you are less than 10.

What you rated just now was your own self identity and self esteem. All that was left on the island once all your roles are gone. So many of us believe that our value is the roles that we have in life. But the  point is this, you came in without any roles and your leaving without any.

Why is this important to you?

The number that you have written down determines the rest of your future business, career and happiness. Big claim right?

How can you use this?

Let’s say you wrote down a number of 5 and you are hoping to progress to a job that is, from your perspective, a 7. All the time you are preparing for it the 5 in you will be saying “you’re trying to be something you’re not” or “you could never do that job” or “you’re not worth that much money” or something else.

Conversely, if you rated yourself as an 8 and are in a job that you perceive as a 5 then you are coasting, and if you are not already, you are probably bored.

This affects you in looking for new jobs or your business also. If Mavis the cleaner loses her job she will probably go and look for another cleaning job, if Donald Trump lost all his millions he would be working to get back to that level as soon as possible.

It’s all a matter of understanding what your self identity is as a starting point, where you want to get to and then developing and implementing a strategy to take you there.

The ideal: You rate yourself as a 10 and you see the job that you are doing as a 10.

It is incredibly rewarding when you make these breakthroughs and I hope this post has helped you towards it.

The Master Key To Succesful Sales

I learnt this master key when I first started out in sales as a store assistant at my local Clarks shoe shop.

I was about 15 and had started in the Men’s section. I had no idea what I was doing. Sales training for Saturday staff didn’t exist back then and my results spoke for themselves.

It got so bad that I was called into the managers office one day and told that if my sales didn’t pick up soon he was going to have to let me go. This was a kick in the guts and I was determined to be the best sales person they had ever had.

So I went back on to the shop floor and was even more enthusiastic, even more helpful, even more “salesy” – and my sales dropped even further.

I was devastated. My dad picked me up one day from work and we got chatting about my ineptitude at sales.

“Son, you have to realise one thing. If a customer loves their shoes why would they want to buy a new pair?”

And that was one of those light bulb moments that we’ve all had. There was nothing “wrong” with their shoes, so why did they need a new pair?

I went back to work the following weekend and worked this into my sales patter – “Sure is hot out there today, you must be hot in those shoes?”, “You’ve got a job interview on Monday? First thing an interviewer looks at is the quality of your shoes”, “I turned my ankle on a trek because I didn’t have the right walking boots, has that ever happened to you?” (obviously these are examples thrown in during the conversations).

And that day I was second in the store for total sales. The following week I lead the store in sales. And from that day on I was the leading sales person in the store for 4 years. All thanks to that one piece of advice.

An undisturbed prospect will not buy.

I will caveat this master key with one thing – you cannot overtly “disturb” them through any form of emotional statements. If you do this and they pick up on it they will very quickly turn on you and you will lose the sale. Instead help them to uncover that they have this pain and that only your product or service can bring them relief.

Check out my other blog post “the New ABC of Selling” that has a little more about questioning techniques.

What Is The New ABC Of Selling?

Always Be Closing………… is for amateurs.

Glengarry Glen Ross is one of my favourite films written by David Mamet with an outstanding cast of Jack Lemon, Kevin Spacey, Vincent Price, Al Pacino and Ed Harris. Originally written as a play it gathered support and was quickly greenlit to be made into a film. However, the most famous scene with Alec Baldwin was added for the film when Mamet felt it needed a punch in the gut half way through.

And Always Be Closing was unveiled to the world.

Of course as sales professionals we had known this for years. Now the cat was out of the bag.

Procurement managers and sales contacts were quickly taught with how to “deal” with pushy salespeople who followed this patter. The sales person would try the Ben Franklin close to take control back. You know the one where you make a list of pros on one side and cons on the other for buying this product or service. That was developed over 100 years ago.

You think they don’t know that?

The 80’s and 90’s gave us the Powerpoint sales pitch. The sales person would start the sales pitch with a power point presentation and at the end hope that the customer has seen enough to say yes (if they were still awake).

Then in 00’s came the selling with some NLP (neurolinguistic programming) techniques thank to people like Tony Robbins but the customer adjusted to this by training their staff on what to look out for and expect.

So where next for the sales professional? Is there something that trancendes decades?

Here’s the thing. People, regardless of who they are can all be sold to. At some point every person in the world has bought something that a sales person somewhere has sold them. It might just be that it isnt you.

And for most people it’s technique of “here’s what I’m selling, do you want it?”

The truely great sales professionals – and here’s I’m talking about sales professionals who make millions in a day closing deals – for them it is about adapting what they are selling to the customers psychological needs and wants.

So, to give you a tool that you can use immediately try this.

Always Be Curious

That’s it. Always Be Curious.

You can never persuade anyone of anything. But you can help them discover it for themselves. And they only way that you can do this is through elegant questioning.

“I’m curious, why do you think other customers pay us more than the average?”

“Help me understand how we can get funding for this project”

“Can I check if my understanding is correct?”

Or some other variation. Try, experiement, have fun.

What Can Sherlock Holmes Teach Us About Office Politics?

“Politics” is rampant in every organisation and it always will be.

Sometimes it is calculated, sometimes it is unconscious but why does it happen at all and is there any way of managing it?

“You see, but you do not observe” (Sherlock Holmes) A Scandal in Bohemia, 1892

As CEO’s or leaders within companies it is critical that we are able to observe what is really going on within our organisation to ensure that we are not only presented with the “facts” that we want to hear.

The reason that organisations have politics and always will is because people are trying to get their needs met. It has nothing to do with you or the company.

Suppose we look at the banking industry. Would it be unreasonable that this greed for making more and more money at the expense of ethics is born out of a desire to be better than someone else – and in that industry the bonus was the measure. Their needs were significance. Can you imagine this person as a child? What they may have been like? Highly competitive?

Or what about the person in the company who is blaming other people when things go wrong and taking credibiltiy of other people’s successes (the are strongly linked)?

And the reason that we are all conditioned to have certain needs and behave in certain ways is because when we were children it worked with our parents so our subconsious brain makes the link that this works, why stop doing it?

Why Isn’t Your Marketing Campaign Working?

Tell me if this sounds familar.

You have read all the books, gone on the courses, maybe even invested in some marketing “experts” to help with your marketing.

And for a while it worked. You started to see some return on your investment. Sales increased. Then things slowed down and you were back to where you were.

And it’s not your fault. The marketing “experts” used to be “experts”. But in the marketing landscape of 2012, those techniques no longer work and here’s why.

Traditional marketing follows the theory that if the market wants something then if you put something out there in that space and position it correctly people will buy it. This just doesnt work anymore for a reason.

People are predisposed to ignore you. They have to. There is so much information flying in their direction that they make decisions in nanoseconds to just keep up.

So marketing experts then said “you need to stand out more! Differentiate yourself!”

The only problem with this is that people diversified and differenitated themselves so much that it went full circle and now no one is differentiated.

What is the purpose of all marketing messages? To connect with someone for long enough that they will not click “back” or throw you in the recycling bin. And how do we do this?

By first speaking to the indiviudal on a personal basis.

Here I mean approach your prospective clients as you would a friend. As a person you respect.

Here’s the test. Imagine you are checking your emails and you see an email from your best friend.

You know they’ve got something of interest to tell you and you trust them to not send you spam. You then open the email and read what they have written and usually respond to thank them at least.

What has been your experience? Amongst all the noise and shouting of people trying to get your attention the person who speaks quietly and get’s through.

There are a lot of ways to do this. Firstly become an expert of understanding human psychology – afterall it underpins everything we ever do – or at the very least find someone who is that is.

How Much Of Your Time Is Wasted With Internal Politics? And What Do You Do About It?

Personal Agendas Ruining Growth?

Particularly in larger organisations, internal politics can dominate the board rooms as machiavellian games are played out by individuals – often unwittingly. The question is, how much time, money and resources are wasted as a result.

Do peoples personal agendas and “baggage” often cloud the situations and lead to conflict when a more swift decision and agreement is needed?

It is very easy for leaders and managers to say that “we are all heading in the same direction” however, in reality this can be a much more difficult goal to achieve. There are several reasons for this. Most stem from the fact that we all have our own reasons for going to work in the first place. We all have deep psychological needs that we are trying to meet through our job and how we accomplish it.

Where conflict arises is where their needs arent being met and so they retaliate. Bear in mind that this is all happening on a subconsious level.

So i’m interested, how have you manged to reduce conflict in the board room?

There Are Only 3 Ways To Grow Sales Revenue

There is always a lot of talk about how to reach new customers and expand our customer reach. In my experience, 80% of revenue comes from our existing customer base while 20% comes from new customers. However, generally (sweeping statement) most marketers spend 80% of their budget and resources chasing the new customers that account for 20% of the revenue.

So how do we leverage our existing customer base?

Excellent dialogue that speaks to the individual personally. If you talk to your customer from the perspective of a “company” they will quickly turn off to your message. If you talk to your customer like a friend sharing something you start to develop good will.

This good will is the magic ingredient to developing longer term profitable relationships. I have seen far too much direct messages miss the point with thier direct messaging and ultimately leave the customer confused and “turned off” to your messages.

There are ways to avoid this that start with a deep understanding of what the customer really wants to achieve and how you are going to ultimately lead them to it.

Is the decoupling of number of facebook users and share price a concern for us all?

Emperors New Clothes?

Social media. We all talk about how important it is. We are all aware of its impact on society. The question is really – Is it actually going to grow my business?

I am always amazed at people who proclaim social media to be critical to the growth of their company and revenue. Well again here is the biggest example of that NOT being true. Facebook has over 1 billion users and yet it’s share price continues to fall as revenue projections consistently fail to materialise. Bigger is not better.

And maybe we can see this already closer to home. I have attended several networking events with social media “experts” and “gurus”. Thing is, anyone can call themselves a guru or expert last time I checked there was no certified body handing these qualifications out. Anyway, they are all stood around plying their trade to desparate companies who are trying anything to keep revenue coming in.

My concern with this is this: if you are so good at social and online media – why are you even here? All of your business should be coming through your online activity?

Talk the talk or Walk the Talk?

How can you immediately find out how “good” they really are? Go to their twitter account or facebook page and check how many “likes” or “followers” they actually have. You will be very surprised.