Big data is a huge topic these days but how can it really make an impact on your small business? More specifically, what can big data do to make your business more successful? We’ve all heard the hype about big data-it leads to better customer service and more sales conversions-but is that really true?

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Accentuating the positive always seems like the right thing to do. That goes for sales, too. After all, who doesn’t want to take the high road?

The fact is, however, if you are competing with similar businesses for market share, you need to tap into the most common reasons businesses tend switch vendors or providers. And while most businesses would rather stick with one vendor over the long haul because it is less complicated, they will make a change if they feel it is worth it in the long run.

If you are talking to a prospect who currently works with one of your competitors, chances are the only way you will get this prospect to jump ship is if you tap into the reasons that business’s current situation isn’t working out. But how can you help them to see there is a problem with their current vendor without seeming like a piranha? It all comes down to asking the right questions.

Question #1: How do you like your current vendor?
It’s that simple. A prospect may be unhappy with their vendor but has never been asked whether they are or not. Allowing that prospect to put into words how they feel could make all the difference. When forced to verbalize how they perceive their current vendor they may just finally realize what that vendor lacks.

Question #2: How many vendors do you work with?
When it comes to vendors or service providers, more is not always better. In fact, it’s almost never is. People want to avoid hassles. More vendors means more invoices, different processes and more time wasted on administrative tasks. If you can offer a B2B client one solution to all of their needs, chances are they will be interested.

Question #3: How much are you paying?
A lower price isn’t always what a business is looking for but the value they receive for that price matters significantly. When you can show that what you have to offer comes at an outstanding value (not necessarily a lower price), you can win over a lot of businesses because they will realize that they aren’t getting enough for what they are paying.

When you ask prospects these three simple questions, you allow them to decide for themselves that it is time for a change. In other words, they figure out what their current vendor is lacking without you going on the attack. You simply ask them the questions that will help them come to the right conclusion.

The GoLeads Growth Equation

Maximizing Results Webinar

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Bill Mattern presents on the topic: “Maximizing Results: How To Find More Customers Today.” Listeners will get the following outcomes:
• Spending more time with your best prospects
• Use tools and approaches that drive the prospect toward more
valuable engagements
• Get the most from any marketing channel or tactic
• Create powerful synergies between sales and marketing
• Avoid lengthy sales cycles
• Bring down your overall cost of sales and selling
• Create better customers and longer term relationships

If you are overwhelmed at the idea of multi-touch marketing you are not alone. Many business owners are reluctant to embark on this type of marketing campaign. This is unfortunate since multi-touch marketing is easier than you may think. It also is a great way to reach out to prospects and convert sales leads.

With all of the different forms of marketing available today, connecting with customers and prospects has never been easier. Despite this, many business owners are understandably frustrated when they reach out to customers only to receive less than desired results. So how can these results be improved? The answer is multi-touch marketing.

No single marketing technique is 100 percent effective for every prospect. That’s why it is so important to use a combined approach that includes things like direct mail, social media, content marketing, email marketing, and even cold calling.

Research tells us that, on average, it can take eight touches before you start a substantial conversation with a prospect. Multi-touch marketing allows you to get to this point faster and more effectively. In addition to improving a marketing campaign’s performance, multi-touch marketing also allows you to better anticipate your marketing costs; speed up the sales cycle; and streamline your marketing strategy.

When embarking on a multi-touch marketing campaign, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • Marketing materials must have the same look and feel. This will ensure that whether a prospect receives an email, is directed to your website, or opens a direct mail piece, they recognize it as coming from your business.
  • Results must be continually monitored so that adjustments can be made when necessary. There will be parts of your campaign that will speak to some prospects more than others. By monitoring things like response and click-through rates you will be able to decide which parts of the campaign are working better than others, and if necessary, make adjustments.

Marketing campaigns that combine elements such as inspiring online content, powerful emails, thought-provoking blogs, social media, and direct mail inevitably involve a greater investment of time and resources. However, it is well worth the effort. These marketing campaigns are also a far better investment than single-touch campaigns because they allow you to better connect with prospects and increase sales.

 

 

 

Summer is right around the corner. Vacations, family reunions and just hanging out at the pool put everyone—including customers and prospects—in a great mood. This make summer an ideal time to implement light-hearted marketing promotions that get the name out about your business.

The best part about summer-time marketing is there are really creative ways to promote your business without breaking the bank. If you are having a tough time coming up with ideas, no worries. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most festive, affordable, and imaginative ways to make sure the sun is shining on your brand all summer long!

Take to social media. Have customers and prospects upload their vacation photos and have people vote for their favorite. The person who posted the winning photo wins a basket full of fun summer goodies, a coupon for a free product or service from you company, or anything else you can think of. You can spend as much or as little as you want on your prize so you control how much you spend on it!

Get your name out there. Print your company’s logo on beach balls, beach towels, sunglasses, water bottles, or anything else you can think of that people use in the summer. Hand these items out to sales leads and customers and your name will be all over the parks and beaches.

Host a party. If you are able to spend a greater amount of money, consider hosting a BBQ, pool party, or outdoor concert for customers and community members. This will not only promote your business, it will promote goodwill among the community and your brand.

Do unto others. Another way to have your business viewed in a positive light is to plan and sponsor an event where all proceeds are donated to charity. The event can be as elaborate as a fireworks show or as laid-back as a car wash or dunk-tank. This is truly a situation where everyone wins.

Spread the news. Most cities and towns have a long list of summer activities. Print those activities on a notepad or magnet along with your company’s logo and contact information. People will refer to the information all summer long and when they do, they will be reminded of your business, as well!

There are countless ways to make sure that summer is a hot season for marketing your business. The key is to make sure that whatever marketing method you choose, it is fun for you to implement and a fun experience for your customers and prospects!

 

 

No matter how successful your small business, you should never stop looking for new customers. After all, circumstances can turn on a dime and you never know when you might find yourself needing to replace lost clients or grow your business.

If you are just starting out, you may be building your client base from scratch and are unsure how to attract customers. You are not alone. Even the most experienced business owners spend a great deal of time figuring out how to secure their next customer.

There are as many ways to attract new customers. Most businesses, however, will want to use tried-and-true methods that are most likely to secure additional clients in the shortest amount of time. If you fall into that category (and chances are you do), here are some important tips to make sure that whether you currently have a large customer base or are struggling to find customers, you can attract the number and type of clients you want:

Tip #1: Know your ideal client. When you know exactly who your ideal client is, you will have a much easier time attracting that type of client. When you cast too wide of a net, or use too general of a marketing message, that message tends to get lost on realistic prospects and sales leads because it is too broad.

Tip #2: Know where potential customers hang out. Are the customers you are looking for more likely to spend a majority of their time online? Are they best reached by phone or through a direct mail campaign? No matter how outstanding your marketing message, it has to be seen by prospects to be effective.

Tip #3: Know the answers. When you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, people will naturally be drawn to you and your business when it comes time to buy. Having a responsive website, blogging, creating quality content and being active on social media are all important steps to getting your name out there as the expert in your field.

Tip #4: Know how to create compelling calls-to-action. Encourage visitors to your website to subscribe to your newsletter. Ask them to follow you on social media. Create ads with free offers. Once prospects follow you or take advantage of one of your offers, you can begin to connect with them on a regular basis and fill your sales funnel.

Tip #5: Know the importance of follow up. Always follow up with each and every sales lead. No matter how interested a potential customer is in your product or service, if you never follow up, this prospect will quickly lose interest.

Again, there are countless ways to attract new customers. Using the tips listed above will help to ensure that you never lack for new customers or prospects.

 

When you are marketing your business, sometimes the last thing you think about is your call-to-action. This is unfortunate because a good call-to-action can be the most important part of any marketing campaign.

A call-to-action is a statement that tells a lead, prospect, or customer what they should do next. A weak call-to-action is easily overlooked or ignored. A strong call-to-action is one that people can’t resist and, more importantly, can’t help but to click on or respond to.

So how can you write a compelling call-to-action that entices your target audience to do what you want them to do? Here are some tips:

  1. Use short, action-oriented language. Call now! Download immediately! Don’t get left behind! These are all great examples of concise and effective calls-to-action.
  2. Show them the value. People want to know that if they click on a call-to-action it is worth their time. They also want to know what they will get in exchange for their time. Will it solve a problem they have? Will it save them time and money? Can they get more sales leads? Note: It is imperative that you never let people down with your calls-to-action. If you make a promise that by clicking on your link they will be able to save time and money, you better make sure they will!
  3. Provide an incentive. Purchase in the next 24 hours for free shipping!
  4. Create a sense of urgency. Click before time runs out! Many marketers are surprised to learn that if they tell people what they should do, they will actually do it!
  5. Think big. Little buttons at the bottom of a copy-heavy page aren’t going to get noticed. The bigger the better. Consider adding calls-to-action at the top of your page or in other prominent locations, as well.
  6. Make it clear where they should click. Make the click button looks like it should be clicked. Add borders, shadows, or even make it seem as if it is coming off the page. If people have to wonder where they should click, they probably won’t.
  7. Make it pop. You don’t want your call-to-action to blend in with your page, nor do you want it to clash with its design. The key is to use similar fonts and colors that work well with your design but that also pop off the page. Using plenty of white space also can help.

In most cases you will have to experiment a bit with calls-to-action before settling on which ones works best. If a particular call-to-action doesn’t seem to be working well, try another one. After all, an effective call-to-action can do wonders for your business so you need to pay close attention to what works and what doesn’t.

 

 

Every business owner wants a website that is highly visible to the major search engines but they struggle with how to make that happen. In many cases, these business owners become overwhelmed and throw up their hands in defeat.

If you are one of those business owners, don’t despair! While achieving a high SEO ranking is critical to your business, making it happen is not as difficult as you might think. What follows are some ways to make sure your website gets noticed by the major search engines while generating more sales leads for your business.

  • Avoid overly-general headlines. Whenever possible, mention the name of your business in the headline of any content you are posting to your website. This allows the search engines to recognize what your business is all about.
  • Don’t skimp on headlines. A good rule of thumb is that for every 150 words or approximately three paragraphs, use a headline or a subhead. In other words, break up large blocks of copy. This helps with SEO because it reiterates what your content is all about.
  • Caption images. You have heard that images are important but if you don’t include a description of those images search engines will pay no attention. The more descriptive your captions, and the more they relate to the content, the better.
  • Avoid telling visitors to “click here.” If you are linking to a different page on your website make sure you specify what is on the page visitors are being directed to. For example, if you sell mufflers and you want people to visit a page on your website that lists the different types of mufflers you stock, instead of “click here” write “muffler product page.” This is just another chance for the search engines to know what your website is all about.
  • Keep it fresh. This is an oldie but a goody. The more fresh content on your website, the higher its SEO ranking. Search engines want the latest content so it’s your job to give it to them! If you can’t keep your website updated with fresh content, consider hiring a company that will do it for you. It’s that important!
  • Get social. Social media increases the visibility of your website by driving traffic to and from your website. Make sure your website includes social sharing buttons so that people can go back and forth between your website and your social media sites. The search engines love this type of activity.

If you are like most business owners, you are probably already doing many of these things. All it takes is a few tweaks and additions and you are on your way to a higher SEO ranking.

 

 

When it comes to marketing your small business, you may be tempted to take a cookie-cutter approach. This is especially true if you are worried that your budget doesn’t allow for a custom approach to marketing.

The truth is, however, that every business—no matter how large or how small—has a particular target audience it needs to reach and should tailor its marketing materials to that target audience. Further, some marketing methods clearly work better for some businesses and industries than others.

In his article, Small Business Marketing Tips for 6 Industries, Drew Hendricks explains how small businesses should fine tune their marketing approach based upon their industry. For example, Hendricks gives the following advice for plumbers, electricians, and others in the home services industry:

Search engine authority: Generally speaking, your customers give you a call when something is broken or needs maintenance, so it is critical to rank well in search engine results. Build your authority — and therefore your rankings — with on-site search engine optimization (SEO), authoritative content about your business and services.

Hendricks gives suggestions and advice for other industries, as well. And while the article is not intended to be a comprehensive marketing strategy, it definitely gives small businesses something to think about and offers them a place to start.

For years business owners have been told that they must have a website. As a result, almost every business has one.

Unfortunately, even businesses that have had a website up and running for long periods of time still aren’t exactly sure what that website is doing for their business. Some business owners have websites for no other reason than they were told they needed one. Still others understand that a website is a marketing tool but don’t know why.

While the types of websites are as varied as the types of businesses there are, all websites have one very important function: lead generation. The truth is, as important as a website is to your business, if it isn’t generating sales leads there no point in having one. (While there are particular cases when a website is designed simply to give a sales team credibility, this is an exception rather than the rule.) In fact, having an outdated website can often do more harm than good.

To be effective, your website should be constantly generating leads that allow your salespeople to close deals. And in some cases, a website is the sales team! If your website isn’t doing a good job of lead generation, you need to make some changes. Here are three places to start:

  • Always be optimizing. Website optimization needs to be an ongoing process that helps your website become more effective over time. This is accomplished by becoming familiar with the behaviors of your website visitors, experimenting with changes that will encourage visitors to do more of what you want them to do (for example, buy a product), and then evaluating those changes to see which ones work best.
  • Get personal with your calls-to-action. Statistics show that personalized calls-to-action convert 40 percent more website visitors than blanket calls-to-action. If a repeat customer visits your site, your website should welcome him or her back to your site by name and with information about products which match that customer’s interests.
  • Nurture leads. The best—and simplest way—to nurture leads is to send thank you and other relevant follow-up emails. These can include things like special offers or discounts. Remember, it is much cheaper to nurture leads than to uncover new ones so don’t miss out on this important opportunity.

Remember, your website was created to work for you. Make sure it is doing its job.