Category Archives: blogs

Tuning Up Your Sales Techniques for 2019

Guest Post by Jean Wright                                                                                       

Jean Wright

Jean Wright

It’s a new year and time to turn those promises made by prospects last year into sales for this year.  It’s also a time to make new contacts and nurture your relationships early on to give the momentum you need to carry you through the year.

Turn a “Put-off” into a Sale

You’re on the sales call, make the presentation, ask for the sale and overcome objections.  As happens from time to time, no matter how well prepared you are, before the close the client puts off or delays the decision.  Some of the best put-offs are heard toward the end of the year.

A put-off by a prospect could be something like “I’m too busy right now, call business presentationme in a few months” or “Call me in 3 months when I begin making my budget plans for next year.”  Most companies will have made those budget preparations before the end of the year, but some may be on a different schedule so you may still have an opportunity.

No matter what time of year it is, listen to those cues and make a note of them on your calendar.  Any put-offs like these require you to determine a future date that is mutually agreed upon to reconnect.  Make that call and help them get re-acquainted with your product or establish a meeting time to talk things over.

A number of developments may have occurred since you last spoke, i.e. there may be a new decision maker at the company; your contact may have left the company; the company may be expanding and now there is a fresh opportunity for a sale.

A put-off isn’t always the end of the road.  Things can change in a very short time, and if you follow up as planned, you may still get the deal after all.  Sometimes your prospect can’t reveal the reason for the delay because something is happening internally at the company.  Later, when you re-connect and their plans are revealed, the outcome may be in your favor and you’ll get the sale.  Persistence pays off.

Network Like a Pro!

networkingThe best compliment you can receive about being “known” for what you do is when someone seeks you out at a networking event and says “I was told I had to meet you.”  People want to find connections either for their own personal gain, or because they have been looking for your product or service and heard that you can help them.   That instantly identifies you as an expert on something: An expert connector, an expert in the field you represent, or someone that other people look up to.

A new year brings many new opportunities. People set new goals and are enthusiastic about the year ahead.  As you plan your networking, aim to attending a variety of networking events that will expose you to different people.  Select quality over quantity.  Get to know the right people, not the most people.  After the event, follow up the next day.  Set up meetings to continue the conversations.  If your follow-up doesn’t lead to a sale, ask for a referral.  They likely know someone who needs your services!

Fill Your Funnel 

If you are following up on those promises from put-offs, and attending at least one networking event a week, you are filling your funnel for future business.  As it fills, sort through the leads you’ve collected and determine which are worth pursuing and which are a waste of time. 

Strive to build relationships with people who are connectors and can help you be more successful.  This leads to building a solid reputation for yourself so you can earn their trust.  Recognition as a trusted sales professional should be your goal.

About Jean Wright:

Jean has been working in sales and marketing positions for most of her career. She has a degree in Communication Arts from Marywood University.

Since moving to Frederick in 1993, Jean has worked as a local sales director for a national  home-based business company, as development director for a private school; sold memberships to local businesses for the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce; was employed as a local general manager for a global company; and is currently an account executive at Frederick Magazine.

While general manager at Regus, Frederick, she achieved 3rd and 4th quarter business center “Top 5% Global Customer Service” satisfaction ratings.

As a Chamber Membership Representative, Jean was ranked in the top 15 nationally by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives national sales program for sales dollars and memberships sold.

Jean is also a Leadership Frederick County Class of 2013 graduate, president of the The Women’s Business Network of Frederick, and a member of the http://wbnfrederick.org/marketing committee of The Community Foundation of Frederick County. She is a contributing member of The Spring Ridge Friends and Neighbors Club, which she founded 25 years ago.

Jean is currently working on her first book about her career in sales.

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Five Steps to Content Marketing

You’ve realized that content marketing is a key strategy to drive more traffic to your website and grow sales, so you’ve spent time creating engaging, detailed blog posts for your website.

Now that the article is live, nothing is happening.

Your content could be getting lost in the crowd without the right content marketing plan in place. To see real results, you need to effectively promote your content so that your target audience will see it.

Un fact, many marketers believe you should spend 20 percent of your content marketing time actually writing your content and 80 percent of your time promoting it.

This article from Constant Contact’s Syed Balkhi will show you how to create a content marketing plan in five easy steps, so your blog posts, etc. will be seen and shared by as many people as possible.

1.  Send your articles to your email list

The people most interested in your content should be the first to hear about new posts. The subscribers to your email list are already interested in you, so they’re more inclined to read your blog post and share your content on social media.

Send the people on your email list a weekly round-up newsletter of your new content or send them an email each time a new article is posted.

If you don’t already have an email list, you need to start building one now because it’s one of the most effective tools for lead generation.

2.  Schedule social media posts

Social media platforms are a great way to get your content seen by new people. Eighty one percent of marketers found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing, according to Social Media Examiner.

You don’t just want to send one tweet and be done with it, you’ve got to create a schedule to share your posts many times on multiple different platforms. You can use a tool like Buffer to schedule your social media posts at optimum times to encourage shares and increase your visibility.

3.  Repurpose your content

While blog posts are great for SEO and educating your audience, it can be difficult to engage people with a text based post because many are now searching for more entertaining mediums like video. Repurposing your blog posts to appeal to your audience members who respond best to visual content is a great way to distribute your existing content further.

By repurposing your best written content into videos and infographics, you can save time and drive new traffic to your website. Infographics perform very well in B2B industries and you can use a tool like Piktochart to easily turn a text post into an eye-catching infographic.  For repurposing content into video format, a tool like Lumen5 is a great option.  Here’s a quick one we did of this post!

4.  Answer your audience’s questions

There are people all over the internet searching for answers to their burning questions, using search engines, forums and discussion groups. If you can participate with your audience in these places and answer their questions, it’s a great way to promote your content.

A site like Quora is one of the top places on the web where people go to find answers to a number of different topics. You can join the site and offer your expertise, it’s a free and effective way to promote your content and show yourself as a leader in the industry.

Reddit is another forum where you can accomplish this. Also try searching for Facebook or LinkedIn groups related to your industry where you can join in on the conversation as well.

5.  Pay to promote

Another way to get your content in front of a ton of new audience members is to pay to promote it. Paid content promotion is up 5x since 2014, according to Orbit Media. And while a huge bonus of most content marketing is that it’s basically free, paying to promote your posts can really be worth your while, especially for new businesses and entrepreneurs.

Instead of sharing your content on social media and hoping that some interested users find it and click on your site, Facebook ads allow you to target your ideal audience. You’re able to pinpoint who should see your content by selecting age, location, profession and interests preferences so that your content will be sure to reach the right audience.

Creating an easy content marketing distribution plan is going to diminish a lot of the stress that comes after posting new content, since you won’t have to sit around worrying that it’s not being seen or shared. If you follow your content marketing distribution plan every time, you can guarantee you’ll get a ton of eyeballs on your content.

If you’d like help with your content marketing, blog posts or email marketing, give us a call at 301-514-1102 or email us at [email protected]

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