Are you going to fail?

Last week, a friend of mine scheduled a conference call with a new business owner and me.

Here’s the business owner’s background.
  • Franchise owner for 10 years
  • Didn’t renew franchise because they weren’t making a living and because they didn’t think the franchisor was doing a good job marketing.
  • Started company to deliver same services as franchise
Here’s what else I know about the business owner.
  • They didn’t show up for the scheduled call
  • They attended “Double Your Sales Using the Internet Without Blogging or Buying Expensive Software” and when my friend asked, “So what did you think of the webinar?” The business owner replied, “I understood his demonstration and how it can help a global sales effort by connecting with more people. I’m not sure how this would apply to a local walk-in business like mine. I want more people in my community to know about my services.”
All of you people that use your smart phones to search locally are probably LYAO right now!
Clearly, this business owner is way smarter than the franchisor, my friend and most definitely, me.
BTW, if you missed the webinar or have a friend that wants to grow their on line presence without a blog, here’s a link to the recording.

Why You Can’t Grow a Following!

Isn’t it all about reach? Why do some of you reach thousands and others reach 12? Don’t get upset with me, but it’s because you don’t understand people. 
You don’t understand their business. You don’t know what issues they’re dealing with or what their priorities are. You don’t get why they follow who they follow. All you care about is me, me, me, me, me.

Still there? Let me explain. What do you blog about? What’s going on in your industry and how awesome you are, right? Then you tweet a link to the post and send it out to your subscribers. You also probably ask people to RT your links.
What else? You probably also tweet stuff from your industry. Financial managers tweet WSJ articles. Marketing people tweet Hubspot programs.
How about client/prospect contact? When do you contact your prospects and about what? When you have a new offering, or you want to follow-up, want a referral, or you want something else that benefits you. Fair?
Here’s my point. You blog and tweet because you hope that your remarkable content gets somebody to buy from you. You share industry stuff because you hope that someone realizes that you can help with that. You contact when you want something that benefits you.
Here’s an example. I invited an insurance guy and a marketing person (among others) to this webinar. Both replied that they couldn’t attend and wondered if there would be a recording available. Neither of them promoted the webinar to their followers. Why? Because it didn’t directly benefit them. They’d like to attend to get help growing their business, but they can’t fathom that any of their followers might want the opportunity to learn how to grow their business.
Here’s the closing. People that read you get your message and file it. If they need you, they may or may not call you if you’re still in front of them. If you make information available that doesn’t necessarily benefit you, but may be of interest to a reader, aren’t they more likely to keep checking you out?
Am I wrong?

Proper use of LinkedIn

I shared my LinkedIn status with a LinkedIn group to let the group know about this free webinar.

I received this email in response.

Hi Rick,


I came across your LinkedIn profile recently and it looks like you provide great services and advice to businesses, small businesses and startups. I am part of a new online business community that helps people launch, run and grow their businesses, called mosaicHUB.

You would be a great addition to our community and I think you would benefit from connecting and networking with our growing community of entrepreneurs and small businesses.

You can create a free account by going to www.mosaichub.com, and signing up with your LinkedIn account.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like additional information. Here’s to building better businesses!

Cheers,

Stephen Fiedler
Notice in the first paragraph that he gets to the point. He strokes me. Tells me that he gets me. Tells me that he may be a conduit to my market.
Paragraph 2 – I’d be a “great addition”! “connecting and networking”
Paragraph 3 – Simple call to action.
Paragraph 4 – Leave the door open and a great toast!
Great job Stephen Fiedler!
Three other things:
  1. He didn’t ask me to connect. Great. We don’t know each other well enough, yet.
  2. He didn’t register for my webinar. Does he think he couldn’t learn anything?
  3. I wonder if he told his group and connections about the webinar. They may want to attend.
Any other thoughts?

A Sales Lesson from Carly Rae Jepsen (AIDA)

Last week I saw Colin Powell sing “Call Me Maybe” on a morning show. It probably won’t go down as one of the best performances of the song, but today’s lesson is in the lyrics of the chorus.


Hey, I just met you,
and this is crazy,
but here’s my number,
so call me, maybe?
Two weeks ago, I published “Don’t Rush. Slow Down. Make it special.“. Read those lyrics again. Doesn’t it remind you of meeting somebody at a networking event that shoves their card in your hand and says, “Call me.” (or worse, asks you for your card so they can call you)?
Or how about on LinkedIn, when you get involved in a discussion and someone decides that you’re a prospect. So, they send you a link to what they want you to buy along with their contact info (or worse, they call you)?
My point is that salespeople forget that there are four distinct steps in the AIDA process and that the Attention step must be totally complete before they move on to the Interest step. 
Hey, I just met you,” is the beginning of the Attention step and Carly Rae is right when she says, “and this is crazy,” because it’s way to early to say, “but here’s my number, so call me, maybe?
OK? Incidentally, don’t feel bad. It’s difficult to hold back. It takes practice. Lots.
Copied from MetroLyrics.com

Growing Sales in a Small Business

Yesterday’s post didn’t do it for me. When I read it this morning, I felt like I made it too much for professional salespeople and not for the business owner. I didn’t make the point that I wanted to make which was that I think that a blog is a sales tool that should be used by people that are looking to sell something rather than a marketing tool used by a marketer.

OK? Clear? Great.

How can a sales guy build blog traffic?

As most of you know, I’ve been blogging for a while, but I’ve been selling my whole life.

Let’s look at my blog. The table below lists the ten most recently published posts. If you check my blog, you’ll notice that the first 4 articles were published last week. The second 4 the week before and the last 2, the week before that. If you look closer, you’ll notice that the first two and the sixth articles were guest posts, written by somebody else. Why would they do that? Remember that there are almost 800 articles on this blog. Notice that the 10 most recent articles only accounted for 7,650 views. That means that the rest of the almost 800 articles accounted for 5,075 views. Each of the guest authors has a link to their website on my blog. My readers will have the opportunity to visit them. Why do I encourage it? My blog averages 1,000-ish views/day. Kelly’s post brought 2,644 views over a weekend and Don’s brought 1,180 during the same time. They told people about their article and new people had the opportunity to visit my site. One last thing about guest posts. The sixth one down, “Sales Experience Can Make a Difference” was published 11 days ago and has been viewed 986 times and is still ticking.
Other thoughts:
Who would expect “I’m Not a Salesperson”, “I hate sales. And I loathe salespeople.” on a sales blog mostly written by a sales guy?
When Don says “I’m an “Old School” sales guy using new technology.”, doesn’t that ring true with millions of salespeople that used to make cold calls, do trade shows or follow up on yellow pages leads?
And if you read the articles that I write, you’ll realize that they come from everyday life. Who did I talk with? What did they say? Look at “Asking “IS” Control“. 181 words. Lots of white space. Taken from real life. They don’t have to be long.
If you have other suggestions or ideas, please share them in the comments.
If you are a sales guy person or business owner that is looking to make the transition from tough, uphill outbound selling, to an integrated 21st Century Inbound Sales process,
Send me an email
.

I’m Not a Salesperson

Today’s guest blogger is Kelly Ward. Kelly is the owner of Digital K. Digital K is a professional web design company. Kelly loves web design, web development, online marketing and much more. She does not, as you will find out, love sales. You will love this post!


One more thing. Kelly has the opportunity to win a $250.000 grant to help her business. If you liked this article and want to help, please vote for her company here.

I hate sales. And I loathe salespeople. Like the lawn care technician yacking my ear off about aerating my
lawn. I despise the Best Buy HDTV salesman gauging my reaction to his prattling so he can plan his next
canned line about HDMI cables. I resent the Pottery Barn decorating consultant interrupting my 5-year-
old’s thoughts on My Little Pony hairstyles. And I detest the emails from SEO “gurus” telling me I really
need their service when clearly they have no clue that I offer that same service. 

I never wanted to be in sales. But I’m a business owner and I need clients for my business to survive.
I don’t have a dedicated salesperson; so it’s up to me. And I really don’t want to be that salesperson,
making my potential clients loathe me. If they feel like they’re on the defense fighting me off, this is
uncomfortable for them – and for me. Now what?
Much of my web business comes from referrals. The rest comes from leads my website generates.
When a potential client asks about my services, we have a conversation. I ask about their business and
their goals. I listen and determine if and how I can help them. I love those conversations because my
role is to help them. I’m not focused on persuading them to hire me. This is within my comfort zone
because I don’t have to sell anything – at least, that’s what I tell myself! But in reality, there is always a
sale involved.
Whether we sell products or services, we still need customers or clients. We still need to make the
sale. But our approach sets us apart from our competition. Are we listening to our clients and solving a
problem? Or are we simply trying to get the sale? Are we selling – or are we advising?
Some would say this is simply semantics – all sales people advise their clients. But there is a difference.
The best advice comes from those who listen. I’m an advisor – not a salesperson. And that’s how I sleep
at night.