Tag Archives: sales

3 Step Formula For Selling Anything Online

So, let’s imagine that you have developed a trusted relationship with your clients. You have led them through a process of demonstrating trust in your services or products but they don’t know what to do next.

All modern marketers live by the philosophy that you can always improve the effectiveness of your marketing through split testing.

And this is because the market changes so rapidly that we have to keep testing to find what works.

The biggest problem in online selling

Business owners and marketers have struggled with how to “pitch” online with variable results.

Worse case scenario: they have no strategy how to write an offer.

This is dangerous. You usually only have one chance and you can never go back and take the client through the process again. You are losing money at the final hurdle, the last step and it could be easily avoided.

This formula works consistently and across every industry because it is based on psychology. Don’t let the simplicity fool you. It works.

  • Here’s what I got – state what your product or service will do for them
  • Here’s what it will do for you – benefits on a superficial, psychological level and at a deep meta message level
  • Here’s what you need to do next – specific instructions coupled with psychological influencing strategies.

I have mentioned psychology several times during this because the formula without psychology will work. Add psychological influencing principles and your conversion rate increases considerably.

But do not read this idly. Test it against your current page. Only through split testing your web pages can you develop the most converting page for your website.

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I HAD To Share This With You – What To Avoid When Presenting To Your Board

I’ve recently read some well intentioned advice from mentors, coaches, experts and gurus who have all come from similar positions.

They are hired to go into organisations and advice buisness owners on what they need to do to take their company to the next level in whatever skill set that may be. I saw one consultant offering advice to a marketing executive who was trying to convince his MD about the value of marketing. It read:

“…….ask him where he spends his money: whose shirt is he wearing, which car does he drive, who does he bank with, which airline does he use, which is his favourite restaurant, which phone is in his pocket, which gym he goes to, what laptop does he use and so on.

Then ask him why, and if he says anything like I feel good in them, it’s cool, it’s convenient, it’s cheap or luxury, the people are friendly, the product does what it’s supposed to, I keep going back there because they know me – that’s all Marketing.

If that doesn’t work, ask him where next year’s new and returning customers are going to come from if there’s no communication outwards or brand building, no understanding of what value you’re offering at what price, no product innovation and no understanding of what it’s really like being a customer”

This was painful to read.

Imagine if you were the MD receiving these questions from a marketing executive who is basically calling you an idiot.

So, why is this approach so ineffective? It starts from the position that you are right and he is wrong about how to run his business.

And no one likes to be told they are wrong. But everyone does have self doubt on something in their lives. It’s natural. It’s what keeps us moving forward trying to find ways to improve and be more efficient.

How can we reposition this that will be eloquent?

FIrst off we need to start from the position that they are fine as they are, in whatever they are doing. They do not need to do anything to their business if they do not wish to.

Everything in the world has a cause and effect. If you do X then Y will happen. If you do nothing then Z will happen.

If the MD decides to invest in marketing (X) then sales / brand awareness / customer loyalty etc (Y) will increase. If the MD does not decide to invest in marketing then it is possible that you will lose sales, brand awareness will decrease, customer loyalty will fade (Z).

As soon as you become emotionally attached to the situation your judgement becomes clouded and the most effective action to achieve the goal may not be pursued.

With the example above, what was particularly interesting was that the conversation was about what the marketing executive wanted to do – not what the business needed or wanted to do.

If you were the MD how would you feel?

I emailed the maketing executive separately to give some caution to the “well intentioned” advice from the “expert” to consider his approach to influencing a a senior executive. Watch this space.

For more non positional influencing strategies I recommend I’m Ok, You’re Ok by Thomas Harris available at amazon.com

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Im-Ok-Youre-Thomas-Harris/dp/009955755X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352991286&sr=8-1

What Is The First Word You Think Of When I Say “Sales Person”?

“Greasy”, “deceptive”, “liar”, “slimy”, “manipulative”, “sleazy” one person shouted out “great guy”

So I asked “how many of you in this room are sales people, raise your hands?”

About 50% of the room raised their hands.

However, not all of them were aware that they were sales people.

“If you’re an owner of a business you had better be raising your hand” a further 30% raised their hand, and my last question had 99% with their hands in the air….

“If you are a parent you had better be raising your hand”

And I used the example because are kids great sales people. You don’t have to teach them with how to deal with rejection, they let it pass on by and keep coming. “You can’t have an ice cream” 10 minutes later they’re licking a cornetto with a smile on their face. No one taught them any scripts, nothing

What I want you to understand is that the single most important skill in life come down to one thing. We hate the word selling and all the negative conetations that come with that, but it’s the word that all leaders have.

So I’ll give you the word that it really is – influence.

What changes companies? Leaders. The only way to change a company is leadership.

Leaders solve problems and maximise resources.

If you could solve the problems then it would already be solved. You have to get others to help you do it, and that requires influence. If you can get people to maximise thier resources that requires influence.

If you’re going to get people to partner with you, provide resources or capital you need influence, develop supplier relationships. If you’re going to have an impact on your kids, on your community on the world then it requires influence

And yet most of us think of it as selling as so we don’t master it

If you can’t influence, you can’t lead

But if you can influence powerfully, intelligently and with integrity there is no limit to what you can envision and make real.

And if your influence becomes more than you just you and you are able to influence systems, people, companies, cultures,

If you can turn other people into influencers, now what ever you envision about can be made into reality.

So the question becomes, how do you influence? And how effective is your current strategy?

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.

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.

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.