The Secret to Crafting an Awesome Sales Pitch

The glory days of blind pitching are over—paving the way for a new way of doing things in sales and marketing departments everywhere. Much of the shift can be seen in how people are using online technologies to find information about brands, buy products and services, keep up with trends, and connect with people or communities. Customers are moving away from traditional sellers and are choosing to engage with companies that reach out to them in ways that are delightful and educational at the same time.

The 2015 State of Sales report, put together by Salesforce, offers useful insights in identifying key areas of concentration among global leaders when trying to close sales. The report found that sales companies are focusing on analytics, mobile platforms, customer interaction, team selling, and technology adoption. In brief, hard selling is out while incorporating technology into the sales process to enhance the customer experience is taking over far and wide.

The Nature of the Sales Interaction Matters

Indeed, the nature and level of interaction you establish with customers can very well define the kind of response you will receive from them. The difference between these modes of communication will determine the tactics and strategies you should use when pitching:

  • Email is a versatile communication tool that you can use to send a quick update, reply to customer correspondence, or sort out confusion or disputes with clients. Since sending emails is something that can be scheduled, it gives you room to edit your sales pitch and enhance your message for clarity, as well as give it a formal but still friendly tone.

    With emails, your voice or physical appearance doesn’t matter, so you have fewer things to worry about, and you can focus on communicating your message clearly. Plus, it’s the least obtrusive method of communication with your clients, which eliminates any nod to a hard sell.

  • Phone Calls are a quicker way to get customers’ attention and have an on-the-spot conversation charm. The response you get is immediate, and you can ask specific questions to help you find out the customer’s pain points.

    However, cold calls are a much more abrupt style of interaction, and since your prospect can’t actually see you, you’ll need to get past some barriers that are typical with clients receiving cold calls. Upon moving past this stage, however, cold calls can turn into warm leads that are far more receptive to your communications.

  • Face-to-Face meetings can both be a bane and a boon for salespeople. Your customer is sizing you up through your pitch, tone of voice, or physical appearance. Indeed, building a good first impression is crucial here, as it can make or break the sale.

    On the positive side of face-to-face meetings, friendly conversations help you get more up close and personal with your client. At the same time, you’re able to present yourself as a likable person through the use of tactics like positive body language.

Tips for Your Next Sales Pitch

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Category: Sales

Your Business Could Easily Be The Best In The City

Opening a business in a city has its positives and negatives. You’ll reach more customers than you would have done if you’d simply opened your store or business in a small town, but you’ll also be dealing with far more local competition than if you’d opened your business in a small area. There are pros and cons, but you shouldn’t let the challenge overwhelm you. The big players in the game haven’t pushed out the need for smaller businesses in the city, as many people don’t buy into big corporate brands.

 

If you want your business to be the best in the city, you need to stand out from the crowd. Your brand needs to entice customers in a way that your competitors cannot, and that means you need to be showcasing the ways in which you differ from businesses similar to yours, rather than repeatedly boasting the strengths about which these other companies have already boasted. Here are some pieces of advice to help your company on its mission to be the best in its industry within your city, regardless of how small or large your organisation may be.

 

 

What are customers missing?

You need to know the city in which your business is situated. You need to know the people of this city and what they want. When you look at the local competitors within your industry, think about what they’re missing and then fill that gap in the market so as to appeal to your potential customers. Of course, the most vital element of this is that you’re filling a gap and offering a solution that people actually want or need, rather than simply offering something new for the sake of it.

 

You might be the only cake shop in the city which plays Michael Jackson on Sunday afternoons, but this isn’t likely to draw in too many extra customers (well… it might, but it’s not likely to make much difference). Becoming the only cake shop in the city to make unique cake-based sculptures of certain celebrities, however, might be a gimmick which would turn heads. You need to be confident. Consumers likely have so much choice within your area that you need to be offering something they can’t get anywhere else so as to definitely be the best at what you do.

 

Get your tech up to scratch.

Technology is vital within business. If you’re not using the fastest gear or software, you’re falling behind. You should be looking into using Cloud services to safely backup your data or reduce the need for as many servers on the premises, but company computers should also be updated fairly frequently in line with the latest models. You could look into companies such as Delta Comtech for IT support services as well, as problems will arise. You don’t want technology to let you down, given that every business relies on computers and the software on them for essentially every operation involved with the running of the organisation. Downtime or loss of data are two problems that could entirely ruin your reputation in the eyes of customers.

 

 

Online marketing.

Online marketing isn’t only useful for global businesses; your local customers will be using the internet to browse for goods and services that they need, which means your business needs to be using localized SEO to really stand a chance of competing with other companies within your industry. You need to get involved with local events and local media to stand a better chance of ranking highly in local search results. Get involved with your city.

Category: Business

SEO Mistakes That Are Costing You Money

As everyone who has a business presence online knows, investing in SEO is vital if you want to success on the Internet. Without SEO, you are relying solely on luck to rank for those all-important keywords that describe your business and the products and services you sell. However, what you need to understand is that there are many, critical mistakes you can make with SEO that will, eventually, start costing you serious money.

In today’s guide, I’m going to take you through some of the terrible SEO mistakes made by many businesses new to the process. Read on to discover how to avoid this scenario, and ensure your ability to engage the search engines is intact. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

 

You haven’t heard of mobile optimisation

If you aren’t optimizing your website for mobile devices such as phones and tablets, you will be punished by the search engines. Not only that, of course, but you will miss out on a lot of customers. As intuit.com.au point out, well over half of all consumer searches are done on a mobile device, and if you take a desktop-only approach, you will not be appealing to any of these people.

You produce poor content

Your blog should be a vital resource for your customers, not something you barely pay lip service to. Google penalises sites that have poor quality content these days, so investing in better quality writers – or freeing up the time so you can create your own blistering content – will pay off. Interesting articles and information is what gets shared online, not the kind of 1-cent-a-word garbage you get from using content mills.

You chose the wrong SEO company

According to LdSeoSydney.com.au, there are many things that an SEO should give you – but false promises are not one of them. And make no mistake about it, the consequences of using a dodgy SEO company can be devastating. Sure, you might get some short-term gains, but if the firm you choose employs what is known as ‘black hat’ tactics, you will eventually get caught by the search engines. And that could mean your entire site is penalised – permanently – and can cause you untold problems. So, always do your research when trying to find an SEO company to work with your business. And also, make sure they are happy to share their working methods with you – all good SEO companies will do this.

You don’t ‘do’ local

If you are relying on local customers to provide a foundation for your business, you also need to rely on local SEO. As Google and the other search engines tweak their services, local is becoming more relevant. In fact, one in every five searches is already location-specific so you can see how many people you are missing if you don’t attempt to work out a local SEO strategy. And, as a final point, it’s worth knowing that almost half of those searches have a buying intent – which could prove incredibly invaluable to you and your business.

 

Category: Business

9 Easy Ways To Increase Your Conversion Rate

The main goal of businesses for having a blog or website is using it as a platform for reaching out to more people and converting them into clients. It’s not enough that you are getting many visitors on your website, but the big question at the end of the day is if you successfully turned them into customers. If your conversion rate is low even when your site traffic is high, look into this matter carefully as this is where the growth of your business depends on.

There are simple ways on how to increase your conversion rate, which will also make your sales go up. One of these is making the navigation of your site easier. If your site is difficult to load and disorganized, visitors may end up leaving as soon as they reach your homepage.

Most people are busy and they don’t want to spend much time looking for things they need on your site. Remove unnecessary images or texts and make it easier for the audience to see what you have to offer. Speaking of the audience, make sure that you are attracting the right market and that you serve what they are looking for.

To help you get better conversion rate on your site, we prepared an infographic that shows more ways on how this can be done. The steps are easy to follow.

Check them out on our fun and useful illustration below, and start getting more clients.

9 Easy Ways To Increase Your Conversion Rate (HowSBO)

Your Website Isn’t A Hit? These Are The Reasons Why

It takes a big person to admit their website is working. Seriously, it does. Lots of people like to kid themselves by finding excuses as to why the site isn’t a huge success. Let me tell you that this strategy will only make it harder to gain notoriety. Sites need a person in the driving seat that can spot mistakes so that they can find a solution. Only once the site is error-free will customers take notice start to visit more often. Here are a few of the mistakes that you might be making and how to put them right.

 

Not Using Video

What do you think when you think of social media? Facebook? Twitter? Of course you do because these are the two of the Big Three. However, there is one more you need to think about, and that is YouTube. For the past decade, YouTube has been the leader in everything video-related. Now that video-related content is taking over in 2017, it’s time to use the Google based company to your benefit. A site that incorporates video has two distinct advantages. The first is a share of the users which go on YouTube on a daily basis, and the second is the opportunity to go viral. Both are very lucrative for any individual’s or business’s website.

 

Forgetting To Test

 

Good sites implement new technology and platforms on regular occasions. But, what separates your site from the sites that work is testing. The number of people that test before they go live is a joke – the number is that low. When you think about the effect a broken feature has on the audience, there is no excuse not to try before you buy. After all, it’s not like it takes a lot of time or effort. Take a marketing ploy as an example. To see which tactic works best, you only need to tweak two pages so that the message differs slightly. Then, with the help of analytic software, you see which works best.

 

 

Unwilling To Generate Traffic

The ‘if you build it they will come’ theory isn’t going to work in 2017. The competition is too stiff for any site to have the time or the patience to test the theory. So, it’s vital you understand the importance of finding techniques which attract new visitors. There is a reason PPC and SEO works, and it’s because it goes out and finds the interested parties. You can’t afford to wait for them to find you because the chances are they won’t bother – they’ll go with whatever comes first.

 

Not Evolving To SEO

Let’s stay with SEO for a minute because it’s important. Frankly, its importance is central to the site’s success – that is how much it helps. What doesn’t help, though, is not adapting to the times because search engine optimisation doesn’t stand still. The best sites use the best SEO has to offer, and to do that they have to change tact depending on the era. In basic terms, that means doing everything from investing more time in your content to optimising visual content.

 

If you take care of these problems, the site will be a hit. That is certain.

 

Category: Business

Making Your Website Profitable Again

Perhaps you had a relatively popular website in the past, or maybe you’ve just lost some customers and, as a result, you’re not getting as much profit as you’d like from your business. Contrary to what many people have been preaching, a business website is not a sure way of improving your business’s exposure and driving sales. Sure, you might be able to provide some information and you might even have the patience to setup an eCommerce platform to allow customers to buy you products. However, that doesn’t mean your website is going to be popular the moment you publish it onto the internet.

 

 

Is your website draining money or making you money?

 

Unless you have a well-trained financial advisor or you’ve had practice managing your books, you probably don’t have a clue if your website is actually making you money or not. Many online businesses actually gain most of their profit from sales, advertising revenue and even affiliate marketing. However, if you’re a local business with a physical location, then chances are you’re probably not relying much on the internet at all.

 

In times like this, you have to consider if your website is actually draining time and money, or if it’s actually a profitable addition to your business. The best way to do this is to use analytics. For instance, by tracking the number of users that visit your website and then monitoring if they actually buy something or if they go on to look at the physical location of your store. This is what’s called conversion rate. The idea is that you compare the number of unique visitors on your website to the number of people that actually bought something from your store.

 

With the help of a third party such as Lightbox CRO services, you could potentially drive your online sales with a mix of marketing, website optimisation and social media growth. It’s a complicated process which is why many companies offer a turnkey solution for your website troubles, and it’s always recommended to consult a third party before tackling the challenge on your own and potentially making it worse.

 

 

Rekindling interest in your website

 

One of the best ways to improve your website’s relevancy is to get involved with communities. For instance, if your website is based on a specific topic, such as a blog about cats or a website that reviews movies, then get involved with those related communities. For example, head over to a movie community and speak to people about the latest releases, subtly hint your blog and try to get recognised. If you’re working hard to expose your brand on social media, then you’ll have readers flocking to your website assuming you have a unique opinion about what you review.

 

If your website is a business one that sells specific products, then consider sending review products and samples to prominent bloggers, video content creators and even publications in order to get a review. The more you expose your business, the more profitable your website will become and the more likely you’ll get repeat customers.

Category: Business

Taking The Ricky Gervais Out Of Your Workplace

 

We’ve all been there before. We’ve all witnessed a scene in the workplace reminiscent of ‘The Office’, either due to gross incompetence, a human resource disaster involving inappropriate behaviour between colleagues or simply a lack of productivity widespread amongst all staff members. Of course, failures in the office can rapidly start to trickle down into the very core operations of a business and could have big consequences for the smooth running of your corporation.

 

It’s your job to keep things in order as the employer and shut down avenues which are leading to consistent and continuous problems within the business, time and time again. It’s your job to boost productivity. If you want to avoid feeling as if your office is part of a failing business in a Ricky Gervais sitcom, then here are some tips to help bring the office environment, mentality and the business as a whole back up to scratch.

 

Identify strong and weak employees.

Unfortunately, you may have to let some people go. When low levels of productivity spread across a team, it’s unlikely that all those people you hired just so happened to simultaneously become incompetent. Some have claimed that there is proof for toxic employees being “contagious” to other members of staff in a company. One bad attitude can affect everyone else’s attitude, and the domino effect really takes hold of a business quickly after that. You need to go to the source, find any workers who have forgotten the meaning of professional conduct and let go of anyone who is ultimately bringing the whole team down. You might be surprised to find that the entire mood of the office lifts after you do.

 

Create a fun environment.

An office cannot function well without well-functioning people, which is why you should be striving to create a workplace in which it is fun for your employees to work. This doesn’t just have to include a fish tank in the corner, beanbags for chilling out or even an ice cream machine in the break room, though all these things would likely boost employee morale. Still, simply allowing your workers freedom with the dress code, freedom to go out for a bit at lunch or simply to get creative with their work station means the now-happy workforce will liven up the office environment for you. It’s people who create a pleasant environment more so than even the most contemporary design style.

 

Get out of the rut.

An employer and the average employee are both bound to become unmotivated and uninspired when the day to day operations of a company become routine. Business is about constantly striving towards growth and new goals, but neither is possible if you forget to push your company forward. Productivity levels are bound to drop and people are bound to let standards slip as soon as they have nothing left to which they can aim. You need to break the routine and challenge your employees, as this is what people need in order to kick their brain into action and force themselves to work hard. If you tell them to do something they haven’t done before, your workers will be out of their comfort zone and desperate to work towards finding some level of balance again, which will get them pumped and ready to go.

 

 

Remove hazards.

Perhaps one of the biggest pieces of advice is that you need to ensure your office is efficient on a practical basis. Companies such as Ellis Whittam could provide help with creating a safe, healthy workplace. Hazards can lead to lawsuits, but, even if legal action is not taken, a failure to meet the basic safety requirements that a person would expect when working in any sort of workplace is going to tarnish the overall reputation of professionalism that your business is trying to project. Having some sort of safety net in place to prevent such incidents and respond quickly if something bad should ever happen means that your firm is choosing to portray the image of an organised, safe and caring company.

 

Redesign the office.

The aesthetic of a working environment affects everything involved with the way the people within that environment operate. If you want to look around the office and see more than half-asleep, zombie-like employees then you need to be developing surroundings which foster a healthier and more alert mindset in the people you employ. Using warm, natural lighting rather than blinding, artificial lights means fewer headaches and better concentration, for example. Even the design of the chairs can have a practical benefit, as ergonomic chairs look nicer and are far more comfortable for employees. Ergonomic design also fosters healthier joints, which means fewer aches and pains and higher productivity levels.

 

 

Communicate well with employees.

A company is nothing without leadership, and a failure to connect with your workers whether that involves understanding their issues or simply directing them in terms of what they should be doing within their projects is a failure to lead the company properly. You need to be valuing the hard work of your staff, as this will not only let them know that they’re doing something important, but it’ll motivate other members of staff to try harder in order to get the recognition they deserve too. Offering rewards such as bonuses or perhaps even a promotion to those who work exceptionally well is a great incentive for people to reach higher.

 

Bring the team together.

The best workforce is one which is valued individually and as a collective. Perhaps some members of staff flourish through solo work, but the company needs to be acting as one unified entity. You should be encouraging cooperation before competition, as it is other businesses within the industry which are your competition. You need to be ensuring that members of your team value and respect one another, even if they sometimes lock themselves away and work alone. The key is that everybody moves in the same direction, and therefore the business moves in the same direction.

Category: Business

Training Is As Important As Hiring, And Here’s Why

A social business, or any business for that matter, will place a lot of emphasis on appointing the right employees. Once a business has the right person, the company will benefit as great employees affect everything. On the face of it, there is a real reason your company places a lot of emphasis on hiring the right people. However, it isn’t the only important facet to consider when it comes to employees as some aspects are as important or even more so. Here’s why it’s time to understand that training is just as significant.

 

The Best Aren’t Available

Sure, you want the best people for the job, but the best people aren’t always available. They might already be in a job they don’t want to leave, or they might get offers from other companies. The truth is that if they are the best of the best, there will be a lot of competition for their services. Training, though, allows a firm like yours to take a different route as the best employee isn’t necessary. With the right training methods, it’s possible to mould a decent employee into a brilliant one. In fact, it’s possible to do it with every single person in the office. You might not get the best from the beginning, but you can have the best with a little patience.

 

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People Get Bored

One thing you can guarantee when you start a business is that people bore easily. The process of coming into work day after day doing the same thing is monotonous. The problem from your point of view is that it’s necessary for the sake of the firm. Training, thankfully, allows you diffuse the situation as it transforms a stale job into an exciting one. Just taking time out of the day for a one to one session, for example, is enough to keep the workforce fresh. Teaching them how to perform new tasks and providing them with new skills, then, is bound to give them a new lease of life.

 

Small Team Pack A Big Punch

 

Small to medium businesses have a problem with money, the problem being they don’t have enough money to survive. Yes, you would love to go out and hire a host of new employees to take care of sales but you can’t afford to. Labour is a huge expense, so paying someone a wage isn’t the answer. The answer is to train an existing member of the team with experts in sales training. With guidance, a social media boffin could sell a mechanic a rusty bag of wrenches, saving the firm a fortune in the process. Anyone can learn new skills as long as they have the coaching.

 

 

Company Benefits

Even if you have the best team, you would want them to become better. A small business, or any business, can’t afford to rest on its laurels because of the competitive nature of the industry. Training allows the company and its employees to learn more about the role and grow. The result is they work harder, faster, better – everything a business needs and wants.

If you don’t believe in business training, you should now.

 

Category: Business

Marketing, PR and Communications

Marketing, PR and Communications. Three areas of your business where you need to be bang on. The foundations of a relationship you build with potential consumers, they captivate, communicate and care for your clients. They can also be pretty damaging to your business if you get them wrong so it’s worth considering the long term effect of any strategy before you kick off.

One company which thought they had stumbled across a cool marketing whizz was Casa Sanchez in California. They popped a sign in their window offering free lunch for life to anyone who tattooed it’s logo on their body. We guess it seemed like a fun idea at the time and maybe Casa Sanchez thought that one or two people may be crazy enough to do this. Unfortunately 40 newly inked customers came through their doors. At this point the restaurant decided to get the accountants involved and realised if all 40 customers took up the offer and ate lunch every day for the next 50 years, it would cost the company $5.8 million dollars. This is a great case of a simple and free idea for them, ending up costing a fortune. And a lesson, to never underestimate what people will do for a free lunch.

Marketing will make or break you as a business. Finding a good digital marketing company is a good place to start. Don’t be led by them when it comes to budget, you lead when it comes to the figures. Tell them what you can afford and then hand the reins over. You need to run any ideas they come up with past your accountants. Get someone to crunch the numbers and tell you if there is enough potential gain to make the spend worthwhile.

You could go it alone in some areas. Social media is a good place to start but before you put your company online you do need to understand a few of the pitfalls. Having your business on Twitter means you give the world direct access to you when things go wrong. A great example is the recent mistake made by a British flower company who failed to deliver their product on Valentine’s Day. Straight away their twitter was full of angry customers all airing their issues. Unfortunately the company had a very poor strategy for dealing with this. There were no apologies made, no resolutions and they came across as simply not caring. The truth is they just had no idea how to deal with the situation. If you take a look at Interflora who also had a few issues on Valentine’s Day, you will see that their social media team openly apologised, made very quick resolutions and everyone was happy. The lesson to learn here is that ownership is important when you are on the world stage. The ability to say “Ah, we have made an error. This is how we are going to fix it for you” can turn a bad situation into a good one.

Best advice when it comes to your marketing and communications strategy? Leave it to the professionals.

Category: Business