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:
- Traffic you don’t own of control
- Traffic you control
- Traffic you own
- 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?