Tag Archives: sales

Developing Your Marketing Voice

Marketing Voice

Marketing Voice

Three Tips for Developing and Using Your “Marketing Voice”

The first hurdle one needs to overcome – before gaining the ability to market or sell anything – is getting the people you interact with – your potential customers; to “know, like and trust” you. And without question, the quickest and easiest way to leap that hurdle – is to be yourself.

The following quote while directed at the internet, is equally applicable to any kind of marketing.

“Authenticity, honesty, and personal voice underlie much of what’s successful on the Web.”

– Rick Levine / The Cluetrain Manifesto

I’ve quite often questioned this advice myself, considering I come from a long line of sarcastic S.O.B.’s. And while frequently tempering my opinions and writing style to suit the wider audience, I’ve learned many of my readers enjoy the sarcasm and would be disappointed if it I left it out altogether.

To get the most from your marketing efforts it’s important your potential customers get to know the real you – not some artificial made up persona you think best represents your business.

But many people struggle with this “letting go”, constantly feeling the need to edit “themselves” – as though what they as an individual think or write – is somehow unworthy.

Tip #1 – Write with Abandon

The best advice I’ve ever read for training yourself to write as you speak, to write as yourself, is to just write. Whether it’s a blog post, a sales letter, a newspaper ad, a Facebook status update or a Twitter tweet – just write – without editing.

Many of us have never moved past eighth grade composition. We sit down to write remembering cranky Old Maid Johnson leaning over our shoulder, prepared to chastise should we place an errant comma or smack our knuckles for a dangling participle.

I’ve never tried this but some suggest writing with your computer monitor turned off. That way, Old Maid Johnson – sitting on your shoulder like some grammatical devil – won’t be able to see what you’re writing.

If you can train yourself to write without constantly editing, your real voice will come through.

“Remarkable social media content and great sales copy are pretty much the same – plain spoken words designed to focus on the needs of the reader, listener, or viewer.”

– Brian Clark / Founder – Copyblogger

Tip #2 – Go Back and Polish

The key to writing with abandon – without editing yourself, is to get all your thoughts down on paper. It’s at this point – in the editing process – that the real writing begins.

Ernest Hemingway once said;

“The first draft of anything is $h*t.”

And that was Hemingway. Is there any reason to believe something you or I might write is going to be the best it can be, first time through?

But remember to stay true to yourself and your personality when you edit. Don’t sterilize yourself or you lose the personality. Look for situations where a more powerful word might better convey what you’re trying to say. As Mark Twain wrote,

“The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”

We’ve all read emails dashed off in rush of impatience or Twitter posts that make no sense because the writer didn’t take the time to polish.

Do I polish Facebook comments made in response to something my son might post, or a comment my niece makes on my wall? Of course not.

Do I bother to edit a two sentence comment I make in response to a post made by a client. Absolutely. I have painfully experienced multiple times – the necessity for editing what you write.

When it comes to a long-form sales letter the editing process can take many times longer than the creation of the first draft. Now is the time to develop incomplete thoughts – to choose the exact word that will make your copy come to life and your customers react.

Tip #3 – Let it Age

Like grass fed beef and a fine bottle of cabernet sauvignon in a five start restaurant – your writing will improve with age. So let it.

The immediacy of social media doesn’t really lend itself to the aging process. But it certainly wouldn’t hurt to double and triple check what you’ve written before hitting the “post” button.

If you’re working on a sales letter or a newspaper ad or radio script; stick it in a drawer and forget about it for a while. It’s best to wait for a final review until you can’t remember what it is you’ve written.

(For those of us past 50 this isn’t a particular hardship. Years ago I’d have to wait a couple of weeks for a sufficient memory lapse to develop. Now all I have to do is go upstairs, turn around and come back down to my desk. I just have to remember what drawer I put it in.)

Be Yourself

Never has this advice been more important than in today’s world of social media. Do not try to be something or someone you aren’t. You don’t need to develop an artificial “persona” you already have a real one.

Whether you’re writing blog posts or sales copy, Twitter tweets or status updates, always be yourself.

Stay true to your own voice making it easier for your potential clients to begin to “know, like and trust you” – and that can only lead to more business.

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Why You Need a Client – Getting White Paper

white paper

white paper

One of the most fundamental tools for financial services marketing is a white paper. Your white paper (or report) will do five important things for you. It will:

  1. Attract new leads.
  2. Encourage your current clients to send you more referrals.
  3. Make it easy for professionals to refer you.
  4. Position you as an expert.
  5. Gain you media exposure.

A client-getting white paper lets you leverage your time. It’s created once, and then brings you clients week after week, month after month. So, let’s talk about how you can use this powerful document.

More leads with your white paper
The first thing you should do with it is post it to your website and start giving it away to everyone who signs up for your list. You’ll want to let website visitors know why it’s so special-tell them straight up what value they’ll get from reading it.

The easiest way to give away your white paper to new subscribers is to put the download link in their welcome message (the email they receive, automatically, once they’ve signed up for your list).

Of course, this alone will help increase the number of leads you’re currently generating. That’s because, right now, people visit your website and click away before they get in touch. They may get distracted, or they just aren’t ready to pick up the phone and they think they’ll remember you later. But, we all know what happens next-they forget.

Most visitors, once they click away, are unlikely to come back on their own. That’s why you need to get their names and email addresses-so that you can keep in touch with them and bring them back to your website again and again.

That your report means you’ll be able to stay in touch with website visitors would really be a big enough benefit all on its own to justify having one. But, there are a number of other benefits to having this powerful white paper, too.

What are some of these other benefits?

Referrals from your clients
The first is that it encourages your current clients to send you more referrals. Many financial advisors have trouble coaxing their clients to send them as many referrals as they’d like. And you may find that you don’t enjoy having to constantly ask in order to receive those referrals. A client-getting report can change that.

Here’s how this works. You have your white paper professionally printed and bound. It looks great. Powerful. Engaging. Then, you either mail or hand-deliver a copy to each and every one of your current clients. Whether those clients are currently AUM clients or they’d just hired you for hourly services, they all get a printed copy of this white paper.

(By the way, the more white papers you can hand-deliver, the better, but for the ones that you simply have to mail, make sure to include a hand-written note.)

For those clients you know are likely to talk about you, give them an extra copy and encourage them to give it away. You can even say, “Please give the extra to a friend-and let me know when you need more copies.”

Giving out these printed copies of your client-getting white paper to your current and past clients will get them talking about you. That’s because the paper is written specifically to give them something to say about you. They’ll be excited to share what they’ve learned with the people they know and this will mean that they actually do talk about you. (Instead of just meaning to.)

Referrals from your network
You’ll also get more referrals from the professionals in your network. Make sure you give these professionals ten (or more) copies of your printed paper and ask them to give them out liberally. Set this up as a way for them to add value to their own clients.

So, for instance, if you have an estate lawyer in your network, you’d invite them to give out this white paper when their clients come in for a meeting. You’d tell them exactly why your white paper will be a “value added” report for them to give away. Because your white paper will look professional (and be chock full of excellent content), that estate lawyer will feel good handing it out, knowing that their client is going to get great value from it.

This is a win-win situation for the professionals in your network-they’re giving away something of high value that they don’t have to create themselves; their clients will get lots of value from reading it. And, what’s more, those clients are receiving it from a professional they trust so they’ll be all the more likely to pick up the phone and set up an appointment with you.

Position you as an expert
Having a high-quality client-getting white paper positions you as an expert. It makes it clear just how deep and wide your knowledge goes and what’s more, the process of writing your report will help you see (sometimes for the first time) just how much you know and just how valuable your services are.

That’s because it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of offering your services, and you can forget how far you’ve come, and how much you know. (Sure, you know you’re the expert, but trust me, even you’ll be impressed by just how expert you are.)

This white paper will amp up your confidence levels and will let people see you as the expert you are without you having to sell yourself or brag about your accomplishments. In that way, it’s perfect for people who are modest by nature because it builds your credibility but it doesn’t require you to shout “Look at me! Look at me!”

Your client-getting white paper also makes a great tool for taking out into the world to get speaking gigs. If you want to do speaking, send your white paper to the person who does the hiring. You’ll be surprised how often you won’t need to write a specialized proposal-they’ll just hire you on the basis of your white paper alone.

Get media exposure
In addition to using your report to get speaking gigs, you can also use it to attract the attention of editors and reporters. When a reporter reads it, they’ll see clearly that you’re a financial expert. What’s more, it’ll give them context for the article and likely help them to ask really smart, engaging questions-which makes it that much easier to give smart, engaging answers!

You can send your white paper as a way to introduce yourself to editors at trade publications-though they’re not likely to print it as is (although that has been known to happen, if it’s what you want!), it’s very likely to be a helpful piece for them to use. You can also use pieces of it to introduce yourself to editors at consumer interest publications (who usually have less time to read proposals-so you’ll want to just excerpt the parts they’re most likely to be interested in).

What’s more, going back to the credibility it will give you, editors and reporters tend to look for experts who have done a lot of writing when looking for someone to interview. So, having it for free on your website will let them see that you have plenty to say on the topic.

White papers are a fundamental marketing tool
A white paper is a powerful way to market your financial services practice. It will help you attract new leads, encourage your clients and professional contacts to send you referrals, position you as an expert, and bring you media exposure. That’s a pretty amazing ROI for such a short document. Of course, all of this assumes you’ve written it correctly. If you’re not sure how to write one (or if you just want to make sure you do that right) listen to our free¬†teleclass on how to write white papers.

Remember, this report can be leveraged in many useful ways that will help you attract more clients and grow your practice. It’s well worth the investment to get it done right.

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What Makes Good Salespeople Great

Salespeople

Salespeople

Have you ever thought about what makes good salespeople great?

I started thinking about this last weekend and created a list of qualities that, based on my observations and experience, make good salespeople great.

The difference between being ordinary and being extraordinary is actually quite small.

Consider the difference between winning the Kentucky Derby and finishing in second place.

Consider the difference between winning the Indianapolis 500 Race and finishing second.

In both instances the difference can be quite small.

Winners do make a difference especially if you’re a sales professional.

There’s nothing scientific about this list. It’s just 12 qualities that most great salespeople seem to have.

Here’s your list:

1. Great salespeople always seem to be smiling. You may not realize this but a simple smile acts as an attractor factor. Your smiling immediately warms up the environment you’re in. And since your smiling creates an involuntary reflex, it forces your sales prospects and customers to smile too.

2. Great salespeople always seem to have a “Can do attitude.” They don’t recognize the words “Can’t” and “Impossible.” Whenever they are challenged they always figure out a way to get the job done, especially if it involves one of their customers.

They never “Whine” about anything!

3. They’re also good listeners. They always pay close attention to their sales prospects and customers. Their eyes are like laser beams and not easily distracted when talking with their customers.

4. They also ask good questions. They prefer to ask open ended questions because these questions are the best to get their prospects and Customers talking.

5. Great salespeople are always focused on solving problems, not just making a sale. They realize the key to making more sales is solving more problems for their prospects and customers.

6. They never talk too much because they realize the less they say the smarter they’ll sound. Talking too much often puts the brakes on building rapport and credibility. The best substitute for talking too much is asking questions and attentive listening. Attentive listening usually means taking good notes.

You can assess every one of your sales calls easily by examining your notes after your sales calls. The more notes you have is the best indication of how much listening you did throughout the sales call.

No notes simply means you’re talking too much.

7. Great salespeople are slow to commit and quick to deliver. They seldom overpromise, which gives them the opportunity to exceed customer expectations. Over promising is one of the quickest ways to underwhelm your sales prospects and customers.

Let me give you example. When I take my car in for an oil and filter change they always tell me it will take at least one hour. So when the service manager brings my keys to my car in about 25 minutes how you think it makes me feel? Of course it makes me feel really good because they exceeded my expectations.

And don’t forget this – in this case the service manager established the expectations.

8. Great salespeople are always on time which means they arrive early for all appointments. Look at it this way. Being on time means you’re late. So always be early for every appointment you make.

9. They’re always enthusiastic. They love their work. They’re passionate about their products and services. They exude positive energy that can be felt whenever they walk into a room. This is not something people are born with. If enthusiasm doesn’t come naturally to you fake it. I’m serious! It’s important if you want to become a great salesperson.

10. Great salespeople are extremely goal oriented personally and professionally. They always have written objectives for every customer sales call. They don’t make routine sales calls because they know it’s simply a waste of valuable time.

They live every day with purpose and passion and so should you.

11. They never make assumptions about anything. They deal with facts and reality. They also treat their sales prospects and customers the way “They” want to be treated.

The Golden Rule says you should treat people the way you want to be treated.

The platinum Rule says you should treat people the way they want to be treated.

Think about this for a minute and let it soak in a little.

12. Great salespeople seem to have an attitude of gratitude. They appreciate your business and will often tell their customers that.

They also appreciate the help they get from their own internal staff people. They always express their gratitude.

The difference between good salespeople and great salespeople is not so big.

There is however a difference.

If you want to join the ranks of great salespeople read this list a few more times.

Discover the 12 Best Sales Questions To Ask Customers. When you ask these sales questions, you won’t be selling you’ll be solving your customer’s problems.

You’ll close more sales when you ask these 12 clever sales questions.

And your sales will take-off!

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The Importance of High Quality Leads for Your Business and How to Get Them

High Quality Leads

High Quality Leads

High quality leads will determine many things in your business some things which may be affected are listed below;

  • The morale of your sales team
  • The lead to sale ratio
  • The costs verses profits
  • The productivity of your team
  • The number of conversions
  • The loyalty of your staff
  • The drive to succeed by your team

Now we all know that sometimes it’s the sales people’s negativity rather than the leads, however you need to be able to determine this so that you can track your quality of leads affectively. You should have a process for all leads which do not convert to go through once the sales person deems it as dead.

One way to do this is to have all dead’s collected and called back, a friendly customer service call to determine if it was in fact that the lead was dead or not of high quality and also to see if the sales person really did everything possible to close this sale. Perhaps their technique was incorrect or the customer may simply not have liked their tone of voice. If this is the case the lead can be re-issued to someone else. If the lead was not of high quality, then you should refer to training your marketing team more effectively to fix the problem. If working with a marketing company then you should promptly send back all leads you have checked so that they can correct their team and provide training accordingly.

The importance of high quality leads for your business can sometimes be overlooked. There is no point in getting hundreds of low quality leads per week and closing fewer deals than you would with less high quality leads. You firstly need to determine however what exactly a high quality lead to your business is. This should be put in point form, a list of qualifying questions that potential clients need to answer before becoming a lead. This list should be used in your scripting for your marketing team or issued to your marketing company.

You also need to have a quality control section in your company, depending on the number of leads coming through would depend on how big it needs to be but generally you should only need one person who understands the importance of high quality and who also knows how to determine if it’s the sales person or the lead which is the problem.

There are many forms of lead generation so depending on what type of marketing you’re currently utilizing there may be many things to check on… with telemarketing it would obviously be the leads generated by the agents and this is fixed by implementing training and consistent coaching for the team. If its online marketing then you will need to check which keywords you’re optimizing and how this affects the quality of lead coming through. With email and SMS marketing you may need to check the message you’re sending to potential clients as well as the lists you’re using. There are many other forms of marketing but generally you need to look at the message being put across to the potential customers and how they would be interpreting this message. And also look at your current target market.

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Why You Need a Service Provider for an ACN

Investment

Investment

Let us suppose that you are one of those profit minded geeks in Australia. You are a quick learner and want to earn a lot of money in life. You always wanted to start a company of your own and not work for somebody else’s venture. You are willing to take risks in order to achieve what you want. In fact, you have already started working towards your goal. You have a company and a team working under you. But is that all you need?

You need to register your company with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Registering your company is a task full of hassles. But it is mandatory. You have no way out if you wish to carry out an ethical business. You can easily get service providers who may be willing to do this cumbersome chore for you. They may charge a bit for their efforts. But you can shed off the burden from your shoulders and relax while your work is getting completed.

When you register your company with ASIC, you get an Australian Company Number (ACN). An ACN is similar to the name of your company. It will be the identification of your company. You will have to include this number in all your company documents that are made public. It is a unique nine digit number. It does not take a lot of time for the ACN to arrive. Certain good quality service providers promise to get a company registered within twenty minutes.

The requirement for an authentic ACN is not much! You need to have a company name that is unique. You also need to have a registered office. The office need not be open to the public. But it should be a place where ASIC can send communication messages. The office can be the owner’s possession or a rented property. Hiring the services of an online service provider proves to be handy in such a situation. They can do the needful and also get your company registered at a low fee.

Any type of company can be registered with the ASIC. It can be a public company, a proprietary company, or a private company. There are many more formalities to be carried out after the formal registration of a company. A service provider to help you with the registration of a company and the acquirement of an ACN will ease the entire task for you. You can concentrate on your business while the documentation is carried out by an independent but dedicated service provider.

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