Thursday, 23 May 2013
I have spent many years working in sales and marketing and the sales process that I always relied on was IFNOC. It's important to keep in mind when on social media you are just in part of the sales process. If you are using social media for a business of a brand then you are selling to to them as the purpose is to get the customer engaged and then to your site.
The Process is Called IFNOC
Needs Features Benefits
I find that a structured sales process works much better than being chaotic when pitching.With a structure it allows you to guide your potential client through your pitch and not to lose control.
Who are you?
Why are you calling?
Where are you from ( your company)
The aim here is to quickly let them know who you are and what the point is in you pitching them.
Don't start by describing what your offer/product is as you have nothing to base your pitch on.
This is one of the most important parts of the process this part is where you get to know your client.
To start the fact find you need to ask open questions.
Open questions begin with such as: what, why, how, describe.
The aim is to get your client talking and about them and their business you want to understand what they do and why they do it
One of my favorites to open with is : What does your business do?
Once you have a good idea of what they do, then keep with the open questions but start asking questions directly related to your product Eg:
How would it benefit you of being on page one of google?
The reason you are asking these questions is to get COW ( customers own words) you need COW so when you are presenting them with a solution you can use what they have said to sell your own product.
Needs Features Benefits
Now we move onto the sales presentation, from the fact find you should have established the clients needs.If you haven't then keep asking those questions until you have.As without understanding what the client needs your pitch is going to be useless.
In a sales Presentation you want to be looking to work with 3 points the customers need ( why they need your product),the features of your product ( what your product does) the benefit to them(What the product will do for them)
A example for a SEO service :
The Need is to be on the first page of Google
The Feature would be back links and social proof
The Benefit would be to receive more traffic to their site which mean money
So I would say something like :
You said that you would benefit of being on the first page of google, with our service we are able to build targeted backlinks and social proof getting you on page one. This would benefit you as you would see more traffic to your site and more traffic means more money.
If sales were as simple as that then my day job would be alot easier, but most clients will have objections. A objection in my view is a buying sign you just need to deal with the objections and find any said ones to take you to a nice smooth close.
Each product will have its own objections but there are always generic ones eg:
I can do it my self
You will find that there are actually simple ways to deal with them. So going with the SEO product i will look at some objection and potential responses.
Its too expensive :
You said it was important to be on the first page of google, how much business would you need to do just to cover this service ? As by using us to do your SEO you will easily cover the cost and then make even more.
I can do it myself
I am a expert in SEO and have been doing it for 5 years , I have no idea how to run a ( insert clients business) but by letting us do the SEO for you you have a expert doing the work saving your time so you can focus on your business.
There will be other objections and issues that a customer has with your products and pitch, but from my experience there will be a set number for each product so document them and make your self a list of solutions.
You will probably find that the Objection handling and the Close sometimes will blend into each other but in the end you need to finish off the deal and the aim here is to get the customers buy in and confirmation.
There are a couple of types of close formal,Summary and casual.
This is when you will sum up the needs of the client and then take them through the needs of the client and covering and terms and conditions.IF you have ever had personal finance this is the sort of style they would use.
You will sum up the Needs of the client and then just confirm they want to buy the product.
it can almost be as simple as saying where do you want the invoice to go to .
The most important part of the close is getting the customers buy in and time scale , if they have said just send me a email that is not buy in. You want the customer to say they want to go ahead and then discuss a time frame with them.
Regardless if you are cold calling or face to face pitching the process will work if you're fact find is good then everything else should fall into place. Remember to have a notepad to make notes as it will help and don't worry about saying to the customer please wait a moment while i work out the best solution for you. But keep trying work on the open questions and dealing with those objections and sales will come
Hope that is helpful and if you have any questions then go ahead and ask
Read More »Labels: Business Planning, Sales
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
It's a very important part of the research process to understand if you are selling to a need or a want.
Take bread as an example; it's a staple food and as people need food to live there is a clear need for bread.
So why are there so many different types of bread?
This is where customer want comes in. The customer may want it to be crunchy or soft, a roll, sliced, unleavened or with cheese on the top. Yes, the bread is a staple food but now we can see different types of bread that turn it from a product that is needed to make it a product is wanted.
When introducing a product to the customer it is important to establish the difference between the need and the want, so that the presentation can match.
A need is something that is necessary for organisms to live a healthy life. Needs are distinguished from wants because a deficiency would cause a clear negative outcome, such as dysfunction or death. Needs can be objective and physical, such as food, or they can be subjective and psychological, such as the need for self-esteem.
Wants are often distinguished from needs. A need is something that is necessary for survival (such as food and shelter), whereas a want is simply something that a person would like to have.
Once we understand the distinction between needs and wants we need to take that and apply it to a product. Often in society we define products as necessary where there is no real life giving need. Needs are defined here more subjectively and the product is required in order for an area of life to be more enjoyable.
Let's use the ever faithful wine as an example. Some events may need wine, some may want it. A wine tasting has a fairly obvious requirement for wine in order to be a success. A dinner party on the other hand could use many other beverages and be successful, although wine may be wanted, it's not needed in order for the event to meet its purpose.
So how does this help us better understand our customers?
If you can identify how your customers will use your products then you can start to understand where your customer will be coming from. With this information we can start looking at how your message can be brought to them. There is no point driving traffic and offering your product somewhere that is empty of customers to receive your message.
Read More »Labels: Business Planning
Thursday, 16 May 2013
How did you do your market research?
Before you can really sell or promote your brand or product you need to understand who your target audience is and then how to get to them.
Let's look at Wine as an example.
I will break it down into a few categories
I am a great believer in looking at what the competition has done first and then improving on the process, you have all heard the expression if its not broke don't fix it. I much prefer to improve a working system and refine it.
If its not broke don't fix it
PriceIf you take a trip to your local supermarket then you can find wine from all over the world and at a range of prices. In my local Supermarket you can find wine as cheap as £2.99 a bottle all the way upto the £50 mark.
So lets put some of the wine into categories
£2.99 - £5 - Everyday drinking Wine-
So from a product point of view this is a low prices stable seller that sells in large quantity
£5-10 - Premium everyday drinking Wine
This is still a everyday product but it's aimed at a different demographic the customer is who will be buying this will have more disposable money.
£10-20 - Special occasions Wine
As we start moving up the price bracket the type of buyer changes again this product is not a bought for a special occasion maybe for a family occasion or a dinner party
£20+ Collectable Wine
The target market is collectors and investors so this once again will have a very different demographic and rate of sales
With Wine there are many different types and price points, before you can sell your product you need to be able to understand where you fit in and does your product match your price bracket. Understanding where you are pricing your product will allow you to understand what volumes you need to sell and also who your competition is selling to.
LocationWhere are you selling your product?
If we look at our 4 types of wine where would be the ideal places to sell them?
£2.99 - £5 - Everyday drinking Wine-
This is ideal in the everyday shop with high footfall and also would be seen as house wine in many restaurants and Bars.
£5-10 - Premium everyday drinking Wine
Do you know that supermarkets decide there prices and products based on what their customer demographics are so you would fine wine at this price in specialist shops supermarkets that are in more upmarket areas.
£10-20 - Special occasions Wine
This is where you need to be selling the product from a specialist outlet
£20+ Collectable Wine
Once again you will find this type of wine in a specialist store and also this can be classed as investment grade wine so will be sold by investment companies and never actually leave the bonded warehouse.
So where is your product being sold at the moment? is it an everyday product or a niche product? Being able to identify how your competitors take their product to market is vital when doing your research. Once you know where similar products are being sold then you can use that information to start forming a picture of your customer.
Join me for part 2 when I discuss about needs and wants.
Read More »Labels: Business Planning, Social Media
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
So I left my day Job a few weeks ago ready to set up and help business and brands get online,use the internet and Social Media to benefit their business. Part of this is setting up my new website that will be offering Social Media Training I wanted give you all a taste of what I am building as a thank you for reading.
How to make a digital plan for your business
What is a Digital plan?
A digital plan is the plan for your business online, it should be the combined strategy for your business or Band incorporating Social media and your Website.
It’s important to have a plan before you start trying to market your brand online as if not it’s very easy to get lost in the sea of Social Media and websites. Before taking the first steps online it’s important to understand who your target audience is and where they are?
I will break down each step for you that I do with my clients so you can understand you to make your own plan.
What is Web 2.0?
A Web 2.0 site may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where people are limited to the passive viewing of content. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folksonomies.
Web 2.0 changed the way we use the internet: Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones have now changed how your customers interact with your brand. When a customers now wants to buy a product they will google it and read reviews or post on Social media and ask their friends for advice and suggestion. Web 2.0 changed the experience to allow customer instant contact with brands and gives them the ability to make more informed decision. This is a big reason why it’s now very important to have a presence online so your customers can find you.
What are the Digital Channels?
A Website is your home on the internet and for some companies this is there business, It’s important that you have your business online so people can find you. There are many important factors on a websites but the biggest 2 are the following
- Easy to be found on google
- Clear way to contact you
Many people say the money is in the list, having a email list of your customers is a very powerful tool in your digital toolkit. With more users now with a smart phone your message goes directly to them where they are. If you then combine both useful information that gives your customers additional value and a sales message or product, this will leave you with a engaged customers that is looking forward to your next email.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google +, LinkedIn and Pinterest are some of the biggest Social Media platforms. They all allow you to communicate in different ways understanding these and where your customers are is key to your plan.
With smartphone and better internet speed getting your message across in a video has never been easier. There are now many different video sharing site as well, all the major social platforms allow you to upload videos or share them.
Podcasts and audio clips are becoming more common with your customers being able to take your content and listen to it on the go.
What type of media is used?
What is the main type of user on the channel?
So now we understand what the main channels are its now important to understand who your customers and target audience are.
Who are your audience?
When you setup your brand did you have a target audience in mind? Are you selling fashion or maybe baby accessories?
For the full report
From my own observations
Twitter is great for B2B and making connections while driving traffic to blogs and sites.
Facebook is great for B2C and if you have a product to sell to domestic customers is great.
Pinterest – Lots of women use this platform and is a visual platform so if you have products add them here
LinkedIn – This is great for B2B talk business and answer questions and get involved in groups.
So once you know who your audience is then you can then start to plan where to go to engage with them.
Spying on your Competitor
It’s more than likely that there will already be competitors on the Internet and from them we can work out what is working best for them.
We need to pick out 2-3 competitors and answer the following questions for each platform
- How many follower
- When was the last tweet
- Do they talk to anyone?
- How many fans
- When was the last post
- Do they talk to anyone
- How many followers
- How many boards
- Do they get many comments?
- Do they respond
- Do the blog?
- How often?
- Do they get many comments?
- Do they get many shares?
- Do they have a channel?
- Do they have many videos?
- When did they upload the last one
- Do they have many comments?
- Can you easily sign up to their mailing list?
- What sort of email do you get back?
- Was it any good?
You can keep going with different platforms and similar questions. But once you have done this for 2-3 of your competitors then you should also be able to see what is working for them. Social proof is one of the best ways to understand what is working.
Then Score each platform 1-6 in order of results for competitors Eg
Twitter – 5
Facebook – 2
Youtube – 6
Email – 1
Then simply add each platforms Scores together and this will then show you which platforms are going to be the best for your business. Take the top 3 from them and this is where we will start with making your plan.
Making the plan
We are going to start with the top 3 Channels that are working well for our competition. It’s important that we now set SMART targets as you want to know that the work put in is providing ROI.
So if we take Twitter as the example Platform:
We set the following
We want to gain 500 followers in 1 month.
Specific - 500 Followers
Measurable – 500 followers is easy to measure
Attainable – Is it actually achievable, yes if correct methods used
Relevant – Is this actually relevant – Yes as it’s important to build a following to increase reach
Time Sensitive – 1 month gives us an amount of time to reach this target.
So you need to set SMART targets for your top 3 platforms.
Then you need to break down those targets and decide how you will achieve them.
So for twitter we need to get 16 new followers a day so how will I achieve that.
I will Follow 30 People Each Day
I will do 5 Tweets and 10 RTs
I will do 2 #Hashtag networking events
Once you have all 3 of your platforms all you need to do is to go and do it.
Keeping track of your Targets
Once you have set your SMART targets then it’s important that you check on them, If you have set a 4 week target then check each week on how you are doing, have you achieved 25% of your target? If that great, If not then you need to ask some of the following questions
What didn't work?
What else can I try?
Keep repeating this process every week and you will hit your target.
This is example and of one of the module I am developing to help people understand and use Social Media along with a 60 day course that will break it down into easy chunks.
Has this helped you gain a better understanding on how to plan? If so leave me a comment and share it with other that might benefit
Read More »Labels: Facebook, GooglePlus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Social Media, Twitter
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
While there are an endless amount of articles, guides, and even books and products designed specifically to help you understand the strategic aspects of using Twitter for business, very few actually dive deep into the nitty-gritty tactical and everyday things that you’ll need down in the trenches.
Because of the unique limitations of Twitter – reaching far beyond the 140 character limit – you’ll have to understand exactly how to leverage this platform to boost your followers list, gain almost instant credibility in the marketplace, and drive more and more people through your sales funnel.
Keep things casual
The first thing that most businesses do a when they sign up for their very own brand-new Twitter account is post some sort of mission statement in the biography section, followed up almost immediately with a handful of tweets filled with nothing but corporate jargon.
And while you’ll probably have a handful of mid-level managers smiling and nodding at your tweets while fixing their bright red ties and horn-rimmed glasses and taking sips out of their ceramic coffee mugs, you’re going to miss the mark with the overwhelming majority of your marketplace.
It’s called a social network for a reason, and you’ll want to keep things as casual and laid back on Twitter as humanly possible. Now, this is not to say that you can’t effectively pitch and sell people through your tweets – but you’ll want to do so leaving the $15 words out of the mix.
Give your Twitter account a distinct personality
The second major problem that people do when they jump into the Twitter-sphere is to blast out a number of different messages just to see what sticks to the wall. And while this can be an effective strategy for figuring out exactly what kinds of messages you should be focusing on, if you’re still doing it a handful of months down the road you are using Twitter incorrectly.
Because you are literally swimming in a sea of communication blasted out by more than half a billion people – with 9000 tweets being sent out each and every second – you’re going to really be up against some significant odds with trying to generate eyeballs to your messages.
The only way – of the only way – you’re going to be able to cut through the clutter and noise and start to create some form of relationship with fellow Twitter users that will convert into customers later down the road is by establishing a distinct personality that they can come to rely on.
This is what separates the truly masterful Twitter marketers from the also-rans, and one of the best ways to boost your business almost overnight just by tapping on to the speeding train of leverage that is Twitter. It doesn’t have to be overly edgy, confrontational, or in your face – though each and every one of those personality traits can be dramatically effective if used correctly – but it does have to be a distinct personality that your followers and even complete and total strangers can identify with your brand for business instantly.
Read More »Labels: Social Media, Twitter
Monday, 13 May 2013
While most of us interact with a social media network each and every single day for a significant amount of time, the truth of the matter is that the overwhelming majority of people just don’t understand the difference between using it for social reasons and tapping into the amazing leverage it offers businesses.
Google Plus is no different than any of the other social media platforms, and if you’re going to wring the most out of this amazing platform – tap into underdeveloped markets, drum up more hot prospects, and convert visitors into customers at higher and higher rates – you’re going to need to understand at least the fundamentals of using this powerhouse platform.
Target your messages according to Google Plus Circles
Maybe the most effective tool for improving your Google Plus marketing methods would be to ensure that you are sending specific messages to specific Google Circles.
Allowing you to completely and totally segment your list, so to speak, you won’t have to worry about your blasts ending up unread were instantly deleted – or people that would have otherwise stayed on as your follower abandoning ship the cause they don’t feel a connection with your interactions – using Google Plus Circles is a must.
Not only should you divide your Google Plus Circles into business contacts and non-business contacts, but you should also try to a deeper and segment lists according to the different demographics and information that you have on them. Now, granted this can take a significant amount of time that most people just aren’t willing to put in – but if you try to focus on laser targeting all of your communications you’re going to enjoy results that those other people will never be able to see.
Integrate Google Hangouts as much as possible
This is what really differentiates Google Plus from all the other social media platforms – rather than just read different status updates or communicate through text or pictures, you’ll be able to actually set up videoconferencing with your Google Plus followers.
This can instantly ratchet up your credibility to new heights, putting a real face and personality behind the business that you are running an operating. I can’t tell you exactly how important it is for modern day customers to feel like there is a personality and human being behind the products and services that they purchase.
The days of having faceless entities pitch us and sell us things that we don’t really need – and in many cases, don’t even really want – are long gone. The only way you’re going to the able to truly differentiate yourself from all the other pretenders in your industry is by getting in front of your marketplace and being seen by the people who give you money for your products or services.
Now, you don’t have to set up regular Google Hangout dates that are running on a weekly basis – and though it wouldn’t be a terrible idea – but you should try to integrate this incredible technology as often as you possibly can to maximize your profitability.
Read More »Labels: GooglePlus, Social Media
Friday, 10 May 2013
While there are any number of ways you can use Instagram to dramatically overhaul your marketing and advertising messages, the fact of the matter is that there are specific unwritten rules and guidelines – fundamentals really – that will help you stay on the good side of your marketplace while also having truly tremendous influence over all of the people who see your Instagram photos.
These insider secrets are going to help you to really unlock all that Instagram has to offer, maybe the most powerful visual medium as far as social media networks go. This has the potential to help you boost your business in ways that you can’t even imagine right now, but only if you master the essentials below.
Always – always – look to create interaction with each and every one of your Instagram uploads
Even though social media networks like Instagram were specifically designed to facilitate conversation between users and content creators, most people still use them as a depository or display of all of the things going on in their life or business. Understanding that Instagram is a fluid environment that easily facilitates conversation and still ignoring it and posting things in a static fashion can have truly devastating impacts on the effectiveness of your Instagram account, wiping out all the goodwill that you’ve been looking to establish.
Try to create real interactions with each and every one of the Instagram uploads that you produce, effectively boosting the participation that your marketplace has with your business as often as possible. This can be as simple as asking questions in the photo comments section or as intricate as designing full- blown contests where your marketplace can win real rewards. It’s up to you how far you decide to take this when implementing, but you’ll want to try to make it as much of a two-way street as possible.
Cut all of the postproduction before you get to Instagram
One of the reasons that Instagram was able to explode in popularity as quickly as it was is the simple fact that it provided a handful of powerful photo filters that gave our camera phone pictures a bit of a retro look, one that up the quality while at the same time retaining the amateur look and feel of the actual subject matter.
And though Instagram has certainly added to their range of filters, more and more people are posting professional grade photographs to their Instagram account in hopes that folks just won’t notice.
Bad news. They do.
This truly cheapens the interaction, as it makes you seem more plastic and phony then you’re probably looking to be associated with. Instagram was established as the perfect vehicle to quickly share your favorite snapshots, and there’s just something about the amateurish look that camera phones are able to deliver that really creates an instant relationship with the marketplace.
They feel like they are looking at photographs shared from a close friend, rather than production stills produced by a business looking to sell them things they probably don’t need. By all means integrate any of the Instagram filters when you upload to the service, but don’t try to overproduce or professionalize the shots that you’re uploading ahead of time.
Read More »Labels: Instagram, Social Media