get-more-leadsHow to Sneak Into Your Prospect’s Office Undetected

Using Lead Magnets and Funnels to Launch Your Year Just Might Be Your Best Bet

If you’re following my blog, you know I’ve written several articles over the past few weeks on creating the value proposition, defining your target market, and building your list. These are all necessary steps for a BIG year…

But how do you get new names on your list? That’s today’s topic.

You can buy a list or buy traffic. But what happens when you reach out to that list with cold callers or email? Do leads respond?  And when you introduce yourself from XYZ IT Services Company, does your prospect smile and invite you over for coffee? Probably not….

There has to be something else to get your list warmed up before anyone will want to hear your message. And that’s where lead magnets come in.

GREAT lead magnets are few and far between. That’s good news!!!!

This morning I went searching for great examples of what TO do…do you know I couldn’t find any in our industry? No surprise really, but that means you have an opportunity to race past your competition.

In fact, I just plowed through about 1000 reseller websites, cleaning up a call list I have. I would say that no less that 75% of the websites I hacked (for information purposes only) were down right depressing – Embarrassing. But I will save that for another time…back to lead magnets and list building.

Things You DON’T Want to Offer, If You Want to Attract List

First stop, Google. I figured I would just funnel hack a few IT Services companies. You know, resellers that sell IT Services or MSP solutions.

The first company to pop up on Google’s paid2017-01-13_07-47-36 advertising list was a company called Proactive ITI…Next I did a quick search to make sure they were not one of my clients. Nope! Whew.

They actually do have a homepage that attempts to convert. Two problems. First, the offer is below the fold (meaning you don’t see it unless you scroll down). Second, they have the dreaded FREE ASSESSMENT offer (Which they are calling, A Second Look).

Then (checking their URL on SimilarWeb.Com) I noted that their bounce rate is 100% and their traffic numbers are extremely low. They could probably take down their website and sales wouldn’t be affected.2017-01-13_07-55-05

Next, I clicked on CDI, an IT Integrator in the North east.

Their home page offers NOTHING for conversion, but they do have a landing page.

But again, it’s the Free Network Assessment. I have some inside-track as to how their business is going, and my understanding is that their network assessments are few and far between, with little to no conversion.

Free assessments, white papers (such as the one offered on CrowdStrike’s homepage), and a free tour (like on I found on DFT Data Center’s site) generally don’t work well.

No one is going to believe that your free assessment is worth something if you offer it to anyone who finds you online.

White papers are stale and outdated… And a tour? Who wants to go visit an IT provider just to walk around and look at rack space?

Great Lead Magnet Ideas – Something You Can Start Building Today

So, what makes a great lead magnet?

  • Your book (even if someone writes it for you).
  • Special report on business relevant topics such as The Digital Revolution.
  • Free training session (recorded user awareness training for instance).
  • An infographic on Security. Perhaps a maturity model.
  • Checklist for something relevant.
  • Even a quiz

Notice, white papers don’t work, but special reports do. The book has been my number one conversion tool. I get hundreds of leads by offering my book for $1 online.

And since I do require the $1 payment (which of course is a loss-leader), the prospect is more qualified. Not too many high schoolers are going to pull out their credit card for my book, even if it is just one dollar.

The Everwebinar has also been a high conversion program, but requires a little more effort upfront. So in my case, I am offering the book, and then taking buyers to the webinar.  I have another funnel I use that offers the webinar training first. I’m using that funnel with resellers of a specific brand technology, endorsed by their executive management – so a sort of bridge is created to the cold lead.

What Makes a Lead Magnet Great?

In one word, Relevance.

But it must be consumable too. People love books, but getting someone to read is somewhat of a challenge. And so, leading with a book, followed by a video makes perfect sense.

People want the book, but would rather watch the movie, once they know it’s available.

In addition to relevance, it must be written to convert.

Great sales letters are written using a copywriter style of writing. Copywriting is a style of writing that your English teacher would frown upon. However, it is what sells.

Sometimes the most polished writings and prettiest websites offer no conversion. Commercials written for entertainment attract more spectators than they do buyers. So don’t judge the letter, book, or webpage by it’s ascetic appeal or cool-factor. Conversion is the only metric that matters.

Great marketing starts where the buyer is NOW.

So if the buyer is consumed with customer experience and mobility, that’s where you need to begin. If saving money is top of mind, and cloud seems like the obvious answer, start there.

But then take them where you need them to go. Prospects looking at less expensive MSP solutions are not automatically disqualified, when you think this way. Perhaps you can start with a lower MSP price in your dialogue, then transition to the heart of IT Services (which should be keeping data secure). From there you can offer the assessment.

So the basic MSP service is less per workstation, but the necessary security makes your monthly recurring contract actually more expensive. Will they buy it? With the proper justification, the sale is made. I’ve seen it happen more times than you can imagine.

Other Options…

Can you write a book or put together a  training video? You can. If you don’t write well, or don’t have time, you can always get someone else to write or speak for you. You can do it through a short interview (as I did with one of my clients recently), or you can give an online presentation, record it, and have someone transcribe it.  From there, you will want someone with copywriter skills to edit and punch up your copy.

Remember, no one really likes to read business stuff (well, except for a few weird people like myself). So make sure your written work is exciting, entertaining, and full of great (business relevant) content. Write like you speak, not like a textbook.

Getting Magnets In the Hand’s of Prospects and Converting

Getting your lead magnet out isn’t that hard. I’ve used postcards at events, text opt-ins (also at live events), blog posts full of content with links to get more (code for Lead Magnet), my website homepage, and paid traffic ads on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Subscribe now! and I’ll be filling in the details as we take this journey through 2017…building more funnels and lead magnets to create qualified IT sales appointments!

© 2017, David Stelzl

 

angrybusinessman

Just Because Your Message Is Poor Doesn’t Mean You Should be Selling Harder

What’s Your Value Proposition?

When I look at a reseller’s messaging, I ask myself, “So What?”

Is there a compelling reason to buy here? Will the CPA, doctor, lawyer, or business executive care? Or is this message designed for techies without a budget?

Great Marketing starts where someone is right now…

Then takes them to where you need them to go!

(Discover the Most Effective Security Value Proposition in my Book The House & The Cloud…Special offer)

There are Five Components of an Effective Value Proposition…

But before I get to how to build one, let me share with you one memorable experience where the sales rep was clueless and wasted over 3 hours of his day trying to convince my family to buy…

The Product Guy and His Value Proposition Mismatch

Our vacuum died…It was a bad day at the Stelzl house. 6 Kids (Now 7), all very young, full of energy, and making lots of messes…But it gets worse.

You see, I grew up in an “Electrolux” family…if you’re over 45 you might remember the original Electrolux brand (the current Electrolux is not the same). It was like a cult following…

As a boy, our family bought one vacuum and we used it forever. Electrolux was the Cadillac of vacuum cleaners. These high-end cleaning machines were only sold in-home. Stores didn’t carry them.  They were expensive. However, they lasted forever. In my mind there were no other options.

Jump ahead to life as a married man. Electrolux is not the same company. Having been acquired and cheapened, it’s nothing special…

I tried buying one of the newer models (a whole story in itself), but it just didn’t last like the original I knew as a boy.

With our dead vacuum in hand we needed something fast!

Skipping through all the shopping disappointments, one salesperson stands out, and that’s what I want to focus on here. He’s the Rainbow guy. A reseller of sorts selling high-end hardware.

Rainbow vacuum technology is compelling.   It’s the “Water Vacuum”. You can buy one for about $2000. A refurb might be $650.

Perhaps you’ve seen Rainbow’s demo in your home at some point. My wife came across this amazing water machine while researching healthier vacuuming options. If you’ve studied this out you know that there are some nasty microbes nesting in your rugs, on your beds, and even crawling on your skin.  Under a microscope everything looks like a Creature Double Feature. Yuk!

So the guy shows up…He’s the Product Guy w/ a Value Proposition

Immediately he launches into the technology. His system doesn’t use traditional filters It’s water based filtering technology. Even the smallest microscopic stuff is sucked up, defenseless against this thing.

And then he did the most amazing thing…

He took my vacuum, spread out some dirt on my rug, DISCONNECTED the vacuum hose from the machine, and vacuumed up the dirt! Did you catch that? The vacuum attachment wasn’t even connected!!!!!  But the dirt still disappeared.

His message was obvious. Our the traditional vacuum was just pushing the dirt into the rug to make it look clean. Hmmm. (Pretty cool sales strategy…you have to admit).

But there was just one problem. He didn’t understand us. Here we were, sitting in the living room of a two story house, with 6 kids (we have 7 now), all quite young at the time, and going crazy.

All we could do was try to keep up with everything including homeschooling all of the kids. With all the busyness, our kids did a lot of the cleaning, but we had toys, schools supplies, and stray sock everywhere (Legos and all kinds of tiny army men all over the floor).

So, when I asked him to let me pick this thing up, I found out it weighed a TO! “How are my kids going to transport this thing up and down the stairs?  It’s a daily occurrence that the vacuum is upstairs and there’s a spill in the kitchen.”

“Well,” he replied. “You might have to get it for them…”.

Then, what about emptying the water after vacuuming (something that must be done after each use)? “You just dump it in the woods,” was his answer.

Outside?  Who’s going to do that? And what about when it’s snowing or freezing outside?

“Well, you might have to do that too.” Whoa…

And then the final blow, “What about all the Legos and army men that are going to get sucked up into that monstor? What do we do about that?”

“Well, you could run the water through a stainer or something.”

Are you kidding? With all kinds of fuzz, hair balls, and food particles, you expect me to be out in a rain or ice storm,  straining toys out of dirty water? (Are you picturing this?)

TOTAL DISCONNECT….

You see the problem here. His technology is great. But for a family with a bunch of little ones, homeschooling, etc., operational efficiency is what’s important. Not than getting dust mites out of carpeting (Even if the rep things otherwise.)

What was my wife thinking? Did this sales guy have a clue?

Where were we (mentally) at the moment he came through our door? We were busy, stressed out, needing relief. The Rainbow guy probably should have greeted us, observed the chaos, and admitted, “This is not a great solution for a family like ours,” and moved on.

On the other hand, the wiser rep would have approached our home, not with cleaning technology, but with ease of use.

Operational efficiency is one of the 4 THINGS BUYERS BUY (from my book, From Vendor to Adviser). And then (knowing there are hundreds of lightweight vacuums) he might have focused on longevity, knowing we can’t afford for this thing to be out of commission for even one day with all of these kids. And from there, moving to a risk mitigation sale…

You want your kids to be healthy, right? Vacuuming keeps the allergens down so your kids will be healthier! And families that have easy-to-use vacuums, vacuum…in fact, the kids will do it all, if you let them.

Here’s a Simple Strategy for Getting Your Value Proposition Together. It has 5 5Components.

1. Trends

Trends are like sound bites. They bring credibility. But remember, great marketing starts where someone is right now. So using the marketing Avatar I discussed a week ago, you are choosing trends and sound bites that matter to that person.

But, facts alone are NOT that interesting.

In fact, if you call on the CIO, he probably knows what’s going on in the news before you do. So, coming up with a news-bite that matter won’t be easy.

I talk more about Sound Bites and how to use them in my book, The House & the Cloud [Page 69]. READ it, DO what I’ve recommend, and people WILL see you as the expert! (That coveted TRUSTED ADVISOR status).

Instead of just quoting day-old news, take your sound bite and add some INSIGHT to it. Matthew Dixon in his book, The  Challenger Customer, does a great job of explaining why insights are so powerful and how to use them in the sales process.

The bottom line , INSIGHT is what grabs a prospect’s attention.  For instance, the vacuum guy might have looked at our crazy home and quoted a statistic on how infrequently the average home is vacuumed and why that creates an overabundance of health issues. (Sound Bite).

His [insight] would then be, “That’s because most vacuums are so hard to use. Only the parents can vacuum and they don’t have time. But mine is so easy, even a child can operate it. In fact, most kids think vacuuming is fun. My kids wanted for toy vacuum for Christmas. So I give him a real one and now he cleans for us.” What mom would ignore an insight like that?

2. What I See (Further Insight)

What have you observed? Your client lives in a vacuum of sorts. They don’t get out much. So they don’t get to see what you see.

Failed IT projects, IT Budget overruns, poor IT decisions, major security disasters and system downtime,… the list goes on. If you’ve been in this industry any length of time (and have been taking notes) you have wisdom you are probably take for granted.

Think of yourself as the hub or portal of IT wisdom and insight.

(And if you are not that person, become him. You have everything you need to be the go-to source for IT strategy and chances are you competition isn’t doing anything with this knowledge.)

Note: CRN, MSP White Papers, and Continuum & Kaseya data sheets

are not a substitute for personal development.

So what are you seeing? A digital transformation is taking place without regard for real security. Malware is traveling surreptitiously through a global maze of routers and switches, undetected. And is hitting companies where they can’t see it until it’s too late.

3. My Concern (Great Place to Shed a Tear)

Are you concerned for your clients? This is where the Successful sales people stand out. They care…do you?

When your client senses that you actually care about their business, and that you are in fact passionate about helping them survive, it shows. The rep who is just after another product sale ($$$$) to make quota falls short here.

So, take a moment and consider why you are in this industry. If you believe you can help people, then start focusing on their problems and helping them find lasting solutions.

If the Rainbow guy really cared about us, he would not have told me to take point on transporting his dinosaur, and cleaning out filthy water in the middle of the night, in the snow, with a strainer (YUK!) Instead, he would have admitted that his product wasn’t a good fit for our situation.

4. What We Are Doing About It (Your Lab)

What you are doing is coming up with solutions. At least I hope you are.

Anyone can sell JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disk). But what about securing data and keeping people from cybertheft?

Is your company looking at the best ways to secure a small business? Or ways of providing security intelligence to a mid-market or enterprise account?

As a sales rep, it’s your responsibility to study. When I drive or fly I am constantly listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and recorded coaching sessions. That’s right. I do everything I tell my clients to do.

I offer monthly programs to keep my clients on top through webinars, podcasts, blogs, and training programs. But I also subscribe to several programs (Which I personally fund) for my own business to keep me moving in the right direction.

College never ended for me. I’m taking new classes every day! I hope you are.

5. Specific to You

Now it’s time to apply this to the client.

Here’s what I say. “As I see your company (Fill in something like, moving into the cloud or going through a digital transformation), I believe you will be at risk if you don’t take steps to ensure (Fill in something here such as assessing your risk levels with the impact vs. likelihood graph, another concept from The House & Cloud).”

At this point you should have the client’s interest and a proposed next step. In most cases you’ll move to an assessment or discovery process to validate your concern in their situation. (Impact vs. Likelihood).

Write It, Memorize It, Use It…

Your value proposition should be powerful and well rehearsed.

Only the “Specific to you” needs to be modified. The trends/insights are updated occasionally, and the “What we’re doing” changes slowly over time as your company’s solutions evolve.  Minor changes should be made as you observe your target market’s response.

Effective selling demands a strong value proposition, not more brute-force selling. If you’re staring to sound like a used car sales person, it might be you just don’t have a great message and you are trying to make up for it with manipulating sales tactics.  Join us in the SVLC Insider’s Circle Facebook Group and let’s collaborate on your message for 2017!

© 2017, David Stelzl

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Do You Have a Solid List to Sell To?

Not Having a Great Prospecting List Just Might Be The End of Your Business Success…

If not, this one weakness may be the thing that keeps you from hitting or exceeding your 2017 goals. This post is my first post of the New Year, so let’s kick this year off with a plan to 10X the business you’re in!

13 Years ago I started my company (Stelzl Visionary Learning Concepts) using a list handed to me by a security product manufacturer. 250 names of companies that would benefit from my offering, if only I could reach them.

I was excited…

After all, lists are expensive and often filled with misinformation. My newly acquired list was clean, up-to-date, and accurate. One problem… I didn’t (at the time) know what to do with it. I emailed each prospect. I also tried calling…I took a great list of names and  turned it into sales resistors.  Now what????

Not one turned into business (at least initially). I was approaching sales like a junior sales rep, not a marketer. I was doing what most sales people do – calling repeatedly (pestering people I don’t know) to get them to buy something.

Business was slow, but I learned a valuable lesson. My friend’s list wasn’t my list.

If you want to sell more, you need one of two things. An organic list of traffic you own, or a way to convert a cold list (or cold traffic) to a list you own. In both cases you need a list you own  But I’m getting ahead of myself….

New Year, New You, New Way To Sell

Conversion: Building a List of Qualified Leads You CAN Sell To

There are four kinds of  traffic (think of each name on your list as “traffic”).  They are:

  1. Traffic you don’t own of control
  2. Traffic you control
  3. Traffic you own
  4. Traffic you used to own (which is like traffic you control but different)

What you want is traffic you OWN…so stop cold calling and start list building…

You’re in sales. And the more traffic you own, the more people you can direct down paths that lead to solutions, and profitable business. It’s win/win. And a win turns a profit. But without the conversion process, you’ll just be cold calling…

The other two types of traffic are made up of people you MUST convert to traffic you own (if you plan on growing your business this year).

Traffic You Own is The Best Traffic To Have – So Let’s Start Here…

Let’s take look at traffic you own. I love owned traffic…this is my personal list. A list I have nurtured and pruned for over ten years, with thousands of names on it.

These are the people  who have opted in to my mailing list or marketing process.

Perhaps they’ve bought something, they’ve downloaded a special report, or attended a live event. They know me by name, and have opted to give me their name and email or phone contact information. Do you have a list like this? If so, how big is it. More importantly, is it growing each month?

If you have a compelling value proposition, and you have nurtured your followers, chances are most of them will eventually do business with you in some form or another.

The key is nurturing, educating, and offering relevant solutions along the way.  Fail to nurture your group, and your tribe will fall into the abyss. Every neglected name eventually becomes  “traffic you used to own”.

In 2007 I taught classes for Cisco direct sales reps around the world. I collected hundreds of names. But lacking the automation necessary, I failed to keep up with each individual.

Occasionally I would send out an email blast but more often than not I would get “Unsubscribes” and complaints about spam. People who had once opted-in for more information and training updates had forgotten me. That’s my fault, not theirs.

Bottom line, you want more traffic you own, and you need a way to keep up with each potential buyer, farming like you would a crop of high-margin, grass-fed beef.

Then There’s Traffic You Control – Another Group I Love

You control traffic when a person subscribes to your blog, Likes your Facebook page, or follows you on Twitter.

When I do a joint venture webinar with Ingram Micro or Speak at the Avnet Partner Summit, I am in front of traffic I don’t own but can control.

In my recent Ingram Micro sessions I converted 90% of my “Controlled Traffic” to “Owned Traffic” using a simple opt-in strategy…and a conversion strategy is exactly what you need if you want to own more traffic.

Notice here that Traffic You Control is highly valuable, and the conversion metrics can be extremely high…

Using lead magnets (such as a video or special report) work well. In my recent 90% conversion event, I used a Text Msg Opt-In to a summary video of my session. It worked like magic…

Over the years I’ve tried all kinds of conversion methods, including handing out cards and brochures, passing around a newsletter sign-up list , and back-of-the-room book sales. Back-of-the-room usually converts about 20%. Following up cards converts 2%.

At an event years ago I offered a free onsite coaching session following my breakout. The conversion was low, but the business I closed was easy and extremely profitable. Some of those clients have been with me for over ten years now.

But the Text Msg Opt-In has by far been the most effective (I’m using FixMyFunnel to convert these leads).

During reseller Lunch & Learn events I doing something similar to convert. The attendee is converted from controlled or uncontrolled (which we will get to in a minute) to owned through a hardcopy letter campaign (Yes, you heard me right – hardcopy snail mail sales letters).

The event itself is an up-sell campaign delivered to controlled traffic. Our conversion with owned traffic at live events is nearly 100%. Notice that we needed to convert them from controlled and uncontrolled to owned before the up-sell could take place. So we are going from hardcopy letter, to event, to assessment…and on to MSP contract.

Finally There’s Traffic You Don’t Control – Not As Good, But Good To Have, If You Can Convert

Even though my new list was clean, the names on that list were uncontrolled traffic. They didn’t know me, had not visited my site, and had not been referred to me. My list was no different than an expensive magazine mail list.

Other examples include Social Media sites like Facebook or Google+. LinkedIn searches, guest blog traffic, youtube channel views, and organic traffic to your website offer more examples.

Converting uncontrolled traffic is similar to controlled traffic. You need a lead magnet.

Right now my oldest son is looking at various sales positions as a next step in his career. We were talking the other day about prospecting and I pointed out that finding traffic and converting it is the place to start. If you’re employer hands you a list of 300 names to call on, that last thing you want to do is start cold calling them to set up an introductory meeting.

Doing so will likely chase those people away. Better to find a lead-magnet they’ll want, and get them to opt-in. Do exactly what I did at the Ingram Micro event. Offer content and a way to get more. Then, once converted, create an ascension path just like the one I created at the Ingram Micro event and target that 90% conversion rate.

Coming later this month, I’ll be discussing how to build effective lead magnets and conversion strategies that will both build your list and create ascension to higher margin solutions you offer.  Stay tuned and feel free to post questions right here…

© 2017, David Stelzl

P.S. Transformation is here – that means security opportunities abound…are you ready?

 

Ready for 2017?

December 29, 2016 — Leave a comment

new-years

Happy New Year!

One important thing I do every year is remember those who have allowed me to come this far…Who can you thank for helping you get to where you are today?

Last week we celebrated the completion of our 13th year in business!

During our dinner we took time to honor those who God has brought across our path to enable us to be here today.  Included in that list are:

  • My wife and kids who encouraged me to start this business in 2003.
  • My father, an entrepreneur who encouraged me from the start and has offered much sound advice along the way.
  • My daughters who have diligently worked alongside me over the past decade – sometimes without pay in our start-up phases.
  • Fred, a small business owner who encouraged me to leave an IT Director role – to move to the technology provider side.
  • Kemper, a reseller business owner and our first client – landed in early 2004. He is also the one who introduced me to my biggest client today!
  • Bill, an entrepreneur who encouraged us to restructure our offerings to make them scalable and user friendly. His advice was key to building the global training business we run today!
  • All of those in the Mastery Coaching Group, Peak Performers, and Insider’s Circle who entrust their business growth in part to us.

I’m sure there are others that should be mentioned. Take a moment before the New Year begins and thank some of the people who helped you get to where you are today…

© 2016, David Stelzl

trump

Who Do You Call On? What Do They Really Need?

This Is Where Your Value Proposition Begins…And Trump Provides Some Great Examples.

When I ask a sales rep what they think is top of mind for their target prospect, most answer in terms of their product set or technology. 

No thought is given to them as a person. 

2016-12-23_07-12-02Do IT people really think about storage and servers all day? Is the CIO pondering security most of his day? What about the small business owner? When he wakes up this morning will uptime or managed services be his first thought as he pours his cup of coffee?  Probably not!

There’s a simple process you can go through to put some definition to your target customer.

And it starts by thinking of them as a real person rather than a chatbot or some predictable automata. Set aside your products and services for just a minute and consider who you call on.

When I think of target customers I am thinking about 4 key areas. These four areas profile the person I want to call on (Yes I know, profiling is a bad word in our day and age but if you want to grow sales…). They include:

  • Demographics – the basics. Include things like gender, marital status, income bracket, education level, etc. Set aside any politically correct thinking here. You’re looking for averages across your target market. Every detail matters.
  • Business Goals – what the company or an owner is working toward to be successful in their current company role. Note that the IT Director is going to look much different than the CIO or Small Business Owner.
  • Personal Aspirations – This gets personal. For instance, most CIOs are near 50 and probably thinking about retirement, and having enough in the bank to retire well. They may also have kids coming out of college with an aspiration to help them launch a successful career.
  • Fears – Everyone has fears. But there are common fears. For instance, Napoleon Hill, Author of Think and Grow Rich cites the top most common fears among men. Poverty is number one. What are your prospects most common fears. Perhaps Hill’s list will work for your market as well.

You really want to know three things. Their profile, where they hang out. And what they care about…

Today we only have time to discuss profile.  Trump, and several well known celebrities provide solid examples. Ready?

It’s tempting to be general. To try being all things to all people. This is a mistake.

Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Dan Kennedy (a well known copywriter), their success proves show that it pays to take hardline positions when connecting with your target market.

Trump won the presidential election by doing this very thing. He was abrupt, pointed, insensitive, but focused. Perhaps you hated watching him in the debates, or thought you would do a better job. None of that matters. He won.

He knew he needed to target swing states with blue collar workers in the rust belt for instance. He was after the electoral votes, not the popular votes. He knew how to win – or at least his marketing team did.

His digital marketing team didn’t focus on conservative white collar business men. He had that locked up long before winning a spot on the republican ticket. His message was brilliant. Make America Great Again. It’s an active message targeting those who are sick of the status quo. He focused on those who had lost faith in people who tout government experience and political savvy. And like it or not, he won.

Take one of your target prospect titles.  Small business owner for instance. Draw an X on your paper and use the four categories I’ve listed on the 4 quadrants.

Now start listing bullets to define the four areas. Be as specific as you can. If you don’t know the average income for small business owners, find out. If you know small business owners are in the 100K range, tend to have small savings, but average 50 years old. You know they have about 15 years to save enough to retire. Maybe 20. If they run into major health issues like a heart condition, it will put a major kink in their savings program.  You should know this. Chances are they spend more time thinking about their personal finances than they do Microsoft’s next upgrade.

As you meet with prospects in your target market start asking more questions that fill in these quadrants. When you start you might be thinking you call on all small business owners. However, as you continue your research and look at past successes, you just might find that certain personalities, backgrounds, and verticals work much better than others. Each person relates to different people groups differently. And while you might excel with one profile, you might not with others.

It might also prove true that your favorite profile is not politically correct to announce – which was probably true for Trump. But that really doesn’t matter. Keep it to yourself and start winning.

© 2016, David Stelzl

 

family 2014We’re Celebrating Christmas…

At the Stelzl Home! 

December is a special time of year for us…and we want to share it with you.

Each December we make special preparations to celebrate Christmas. Part of it is celebrating you! You see, in addition to Christmas, this is the month we formed Stelzl Visionary Learning Concepts.

Last night we gathered together over a special dinner to complete our 13th year in business!  The average business goes out of business – only 10% make the first year. And 10% of those make ten years… And without you, there wouldn’t be a business. 

This year we are grateful for those who have been with us in various programs for over ten years!

We’re also grateful for many of the new connections we’ve made this past year! For those we’ve been able to help in start-up mode, and those who are in transition moving from traditional MSP to Higher Value Services such as Security. For the hundreds of sales people we’ve helped, who hit to road every day looking for new opportunities and doing everything they can to support their loved ones.

Our team is committed to your success!

In the coming months you’ll start to see changes designed to give you more. We recognize selling is hard and getting harder as product sales decline, MSP services commoditize, and big companies reach down into midsize and SMB companies.

Every day we’re forming new partnerships and expanding our relationships to gain sponsorship and support from your distributors and vendor partners…we look forward to finding more ways to help you grow your business in the coming year!

Merry Christmas…From the Stelzls.

© 2016, David Stelzl

salesWhen You Sell, Are You Lying?

Last week I wrote about “5 Things Not to Say” as a reseller…you need a better value proposition but you can’t afford to lie about it. You’ll be found out and it will destroy your business. A good name is hard to establish. It’s harder to recover.  What’s your value proposition? Why should I buy from you? Some common lies…

 

We’re Better Than Everyone Else

If you resell technology and provide managed IT, it’s common to think you’re better than everyone else out there.

But is that really true?

No one knows. How can you measure the best reseller? Unless you’ve worked for both companies there’s really know way to know. If you’re both on Amazon in the form of a book there will be ratings and comparisons. But your business isn’t a book or gadget. So don’t say, “We’re the best.”

Instead, consider some alternatives:

  • Our customer satisfaction ratings are 5 star! Chances are you competition didn’t bother the poll their clients. Set yourself apart!
  • We have CISSPs on staff. Chances of smaller resellers carrying this level of certification are low. SANS.Org certs are equally impressive.
  • We provide a 100% money back guarantee. So there’s no risk. Can you say  that?
  • Show them customer testimonials expounding on how great you are.  Your customer can say “You’re the best,” you can’t.

The Price is $X. Is It Really?

Are you discounting when the pressure’s on?

Telling your prospect the price is $1000/month and then cutting it in half to get the deal is dishonest. If the price is $1000, it is. If it’s $500, then say so. Cutting your price to get the deal leaves your prospect wondering if they now have the best price.

Instead, consider these alternatives:

  • The price is too high, so cut the scope or change the payment options.
  • Add something to the deal pro-bono to prove your quality (but don’t add a monthly feature). For instance, waving your fee for an assessment lowers the up front price, but is not technically a discount.
  • If in the end the competition has better pricing, remind your prospect that low-ball pricing either means the competition is desperate and can’t deliver the same quality for the price they’ve quoted or they have less expensive people, which also means lower quality.
  • If your prospect chooses the low price provider ask to reconnect in a year to see how things are going. If the other company really can deliver the same quality at a lower price your prospect has made a wise choice…but it’s unlikely. There are no “apples to apples” comparisons when dealing with people, culture, and personality.

You Provide Security and Disaster Recovery Services

Do you really? Selling firewalls and providing security are not the same thing. Offering backup and recovery is not disaster recovery.  Yet I see these claims all the time on reseller websites.

Learn what your customers really need and then study out the fine lines that distinguish different offerings and descriptions.

For instance, pen tests and vulnerability assessments are often sold as risk assessments. But if risk is not quantified in the report the client is left without a measure of risk. When I explain this difference using the impact vs. likelihood graph in my book, The House & The Cloud (Pg. 194) the response is predictable. It’s an ah-ha moment for the client. One that often leads to conversion.

In the coming weeks I’ll be showing you have to create compelling message  that is truthful and high-impact…stay tuned!

©2016, David Stelzl