Archives For cold calling

canstockphoto26876709You Have a Website, Right?

Does it Do Anything Useful??? 

What I  mean is this…Is your website a billboard online, or does it actually attract prospects? )Take note, I’m about to give you the secret to Internet Marketing with your website…)

Or did you just set up your site to education current customers for free? Probably not.

My guess is you wanted people to visit and buy…but they don’t. Why?

Probably because there’s nothing there to convert them.  (In a minute I’ll give you a free sample you can use on your own site…)

When I visit my Amazon account online, I am probably shopping for something. Even if I search for a product, like “Northface Tent”, amazon comes up. But I always buy stuff on Amazon, so I click and see what they have.

What happens when you Google “IT Services”, or worse, “Computers?” I just tied “Computers”.  976,000,000. That’s bad. Are you in there somewhere?

The Lead Magnet Strategy Works, If You Design It Right

I won’t go into great detail here. Instead, I have a free lead magnet you can download right now. But before using it, it’s important to understand it. And if you understand it, you can create more!

My Free Lead Magnet <<< Download it Here

In fact, I was recently listening to a presentation by a guy who writes ebook marketing materials for a living. He’s written dozens of like-ebooks for a single client. In one case a dentist had 26 ebooks on the dentistry website, published under different types of dental challenges.

So if you were having problems with your teenager’s wisdom teeth, you could go to his site and read his 20 page ebook on “How to Deal With Wisdom Teeth”.  (As you can imagine, he’s advertising for paid traffic, and directing different dental searches to his site).

Of course you’ll be asked to enter your name and email before downloading…If the content is good, it’s certainly worth the exchange. But expect to be marketed to once you’ve finished your download. And rightly so…if you have a toothache, you’re ready to buy!

What Topic Is Your Ideal Prospect Going to Read About Right Now? (Hint: Not Managed Services)

It could be a lot of things. If you call on CPAs for instance, they might want to know about recent trends surrounding Ransomware.

But you’ll need a title to grab their attention first.  A title about Keeping your CPA Business Up and Running During Tax Season might do it!!!! Or however about…

“What Will You Do If Ransomware Hits In The Height of Tax Season?” Hmmm, can you imagine what would happen if your own CPA were hit right before filing your taxes this year? That would be bad – but worse for him than you.

Get Some Insight Before Moving Forward – This Business Building Strategy Works

Download my latest ebook and read through it. Here’s what I want you to notice (Note, I am not saying this is perfect – but it does have what The Experts recommend).

  • A Title That Matters – Digital Revolution is a buzzword that will draw in a certain crowd worried about companies like Amazon (and any big-online business stealing the show).
  • Punched Up Copy…this means I’ve applied the rules of copywriting using by many of the great copywriters (Gary Halbert, Victor Schwab, and John Carlton for instance). Meaning, short punchy sentence structure, cliff hangers, transitions that keep the target audience reading, white space and pictures, power words, and much more.
  • There’s a Strong Call to Action…and it’s written to your customers, calling them to action now?
  • And it’s a Specific Call to Action  – an assessment. And justification is given to act now?
  • It Starts Where They are Now – Meaning the document considers what the customer might be doing right now before launching into an offer or call…, business growth and competitive advantage (customer experience). From there the ebook takes them where you need them to go (security).

So without going line by line, put on your “Target customer hat”. I mean, think for a moment, as though you were your best customer.

Download the book, and read it.

If it draws you in, perhaps your target customer is the one I had in mind when I wrote this manifesto. If not, use the same format and feel, and write your own…but I highly recommend having someone with Copywriting skills take a look before you go to market with it…chances are you won’t catch some of the subtle marketing-science behind what I’ve done here, making it hard to recreate the magnetic affect you desire.

In any case, give it a try…this is far easier than making another 100 phone calls to people who don’t want to talk to you right now…

© 2017, David Stelzl

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1-hc-book-ad-3-0aDoes Your Website Generate Meetings?

Is There Something on Your Home Page To Draw Me In?

And once in, will I move to paying status quickly, with a clear path to higher margin services?

I’ve been writing this month about value propositions and attracting new leads. Most of the reseller and MSP sites I visit don’t actually advertise anything. There’s no conversion process in place.

However, some offer a FREE ASSESSMENT or sign-up for their e-newsletter.   Does that work?

In an post (earlier this month) I showed how these types of initial offerings, offer little value. Few qualified buyers want another electronic newsletter, especially prior to building a relationship with you.

At first contact, there are a number of hurdles to clear before you start offering assessments and newsletters. (note: I like hard-copy newsletters once the relationship is established, even if they are not yet buyers).

But, for a moment, let’s pretend they do…(want your newsletter or assessment the moment they hit your homepage – an unlikely scenario).

What Happens When Someone Signs Up?

Pretend for a moment that someone would actually subscribe to your newsletter without knowing you (The other question is, would they actually read it?)…

So they visit your website through an organic search. They are looking for a new MSP provider; their current one just isn’t cutting it. Do you know they’ve been to your website?Is there anything there to capture this potential buyer’s name?

At this point they fill out your newsletter request form (but this probably doesn’t happen in real life). Are you notified now? Do you then make a call? Are they ready to buy your high-ticket item (full blown managed services)?canstockphoto40335869

Maybe. And if your team is on the ball you’ll might land a competitive quote (where price is the primary determining factor. But I’m getting ahead here…).

So last week  I tested this (you know, the newsletter sign up). My company name is SVLC. Someone who doesn’t know me would still see my name as a lead. During my research, I hit several MSP sites and subscribed to their newsletters  just to see what would happen. This is called FUNNEL HACKING.

Funnel hacking in simply looking to see what happens when you click on someone’s lead magnet. You could go pretty deep here. If they actually have some automation in the form such as up-sells and email response, you would try different options to see where they take you…and what emails you receive back.

Nothing…I didn’t get a single call or email. In fact, I didn’t even get an existing copy of their newsletter (email or hardcopy). The funnels were one step – Sign Up. Perhaps their newsletter will come out next month, but I’m not holding my breath.

Any web-surfer was only interested in that moment. A month later they’ve forgotten you.

I have no idea where my name went????? Will I ever get a call?

Great Lead Generation Takes The Prospect Through, Overcoming a Series of Hurdles

When I say hurdles, I don’t mean you’re setting up hurdles. I mean you are clearing the sales hurdles that already exist. Competition, objections, etc.

You don’t need to create more. There are plenty of roadblocks before you ever begin. Enter Nurturing Campaigns.

Cold traffic must be warmed before it can be qualified. I was talking to a guy just yesterday on a coaching call. He’s making tons of calls, having some good conversations (but mostly with IT directors). As I listened, it became obvious that, despite lots of calls, he’s only getting through to a few (that’s the be expected); however, he has very few meetings. Completely predictable.

He also has at least one lead magnet, but no real funnel to speak of. If someone happens to download his white paper (poor choice for a lead magnet in this market), he gets their name and makes a call. Rarely does it lead to a meeting.

Nurture and Ascension – The Key To Warming Traffic and Clearing Hurdles

So what should follow your lead magnet (I recommend this not be your email newsletter sign-up form – see Getting More Leads for some better options)?

I like webinars here. But something has to happen to begin the education process. When someone downloads an ebook, the chances of them actually reading it is low.  Yet they downloaded it, probably to scratch an itch of some kind. They’re trying to do something…

Sometimes a series of short emails that point the reader back to specific sections in the ebook can help. For instance, “I know you’re busy, but be sure to check out the One Big Mistake Every Business Is Making as They Move to The Cloud…it’s on page 4). Another strategy is the webinar…offering them an immediate way to get the information they need, without actually reading.

Here’s the funny thing. People will download your ebook faster than they’ll sign up for your webinar (speaking of cold traffic); however, they’ll sign up for the webinar if you offer it to them right after downloading the book. Strange, isn’t it?

And now that Everwebinar technology exists, there’s no reason to NOT do them. You can be running a webinar twice a week without ever touching it! But DON’T create one just yet.

You need a presentation designed to convert first (Note: The House & the Cloud Presentation is converting nearly 100% of the time when I speak at lunch & learns – you can get it here for just $1.00).

Once you have your high-conversion message in hand, start presenting live (by webinar) until you have perfected your pitch. The day you hit it out of the park is the day you can take your session recording over to your new Everwebinar application.

Amateurs Focus On The Front End

The front end is your low value offer…I see too many MSP providers trying to sell the big ticket item on day one. The other sin is an unwillingness to invest in the lead magnet (i.e. not willing to send hard copy or pay for an eBook that really works.)

So sales people are left to make tons of cold calls (as though it doesn’t cost the company money) to save a few marketing dollars: foolish thinking. The e-newsletter sign up and the free assessment (on your website) are really no better…

The focus should be on backend high-ticket items, with an understanding that lead generation requires investment. The cost per client acquisition is a number you determine by looking at marketing dollars spent in comparison to closed business (over a quarter for instance).

When I sell my book for $1, it costs me at least $10 – probably more when you consider the investments in funnel and webinar software products, shipping, and printing of the book. Too many people set stringent limits on their marketing budget, rather than looking at Marketing ROI.

If it’s costing me $10/book, but the entire marketing funnel is break even, at least I’m getting names for free. This is a whole lot better than buying a list…and the names are arguably better.

And if I know where to get traffic, my list may be growing exponentially over the quarter. Next, it’s time to look at ways to ascend that new prospect up the value ladder.

Stop focusing on every front end dollar. Instead, create a path from low cost/low value, to high profit/high value, with the steps necessary to clear the hurdles along the way (price objections, etc.).

Copyright 2017, David Stelzl

 

How Expensive Is Your Prospecting Strategy?

Time is expensive. How many calls can you afford the make to people who don’t care, won’t call back, or who might ask for more time consuming information just to get you off their back?

Earlier in the week I wrote about the number’s game. This is the poor advice many are getting that says, make 60 to 100 calls per day and you’ll get one deal per month. 60 calls per day is 1200 calls per month. All to get one deal? That’s like 40 hours, or one fourth of your month! How much does that cost you or your business? This is the mentality of sales activity based management. It’s wrong thinking.

Conversion Is What Matters

When you start looking at conversion numbers rather than number of calls per day, you come up with telling metrics. That one deal represents a .08% conversion. Does that sound good to you?

There are three components of outbound marketing to consider. Your market, your message, and the media you use to deliver that message. If your conversion is .08% to a deal, there’s a disconnect in one or all three of these components.$1 HC Book Ad

Start with Market

The first place to look is not media, yet that’s where people go first. Make calls, have an event, or send an email blast. If you do any of these things before looking at your market, you’re shooting in the dark. The more closely you define your market, the better.

Yesterday, on a coaching call with a rep going through the Security Sales Mastery Program, we took about 15 minutes to define his target market…individuals he is targeting with his calls. In just a few minutes we had a diagram of that person. When he stepped back to consider it, he said to me,”In 30 years no one has ever given me this perspective of the person I call on.” Suddenly he was able to see what that target person is thinking about, what they’re worried about, what they are trying to accomplish, and so much more. It completely changed his understanding.

This is the first step to moving away from the 60 calls per day program. It will save you time and an incredible amount of money. And it will lead to more sales.

PS. You may be qualified for sponsorship through one of our many distributor or vendor partners…Check out the Security Sales Mastery Program <<< Click, and look for the link to see if you qualify for a seat today!

numbersHow Many Meetings Are You Getting Per Month?

How Many New Clients Have You Picked Up Over the Past 12 Months?

I hear this all the time, “It’s a number’s game.” If you make 60 calls, or some say 100, then you should get 4 – 6 meetings each month, and 1 will close. That’s the silliest thing I’ve hear in a long time. It’s like saying, if I put enough quarters in the slot machine, I’ll eventually win. Odds are odds. It doesn’t matter how many times you flip a coin, the odds of landing on heads are always 50%.

Not Numbers, Think Strategy and Value

Here’s the hard truth. If you have something people really need, know who to communicate to and how to communicate, you’ll connect. If they really need it, they’ll buy it. If you sell them something they really don’t need, they’ll figure it out. If your offering isn’t great, they’ll leave you shortly after signing.$1 HC Book Ad

In my newest book – Digital Money, due out in a couple of weeks, I explain to business leaders exactly why they need to rethink security. I show them what’s going on inside their organization that is destined to lead to disaster. And then I tell them why they can’t fix this internally, and what to look for in an IT service provider.

If you want to know what that service provider looks like, I explain the whole thing in my book, The House & The Cloud.

Don’t Be Fooled

The number’s game leads to business failure. Gartner, The WSJ, and many others are telling us, “The cloud is here, adapt or lose.” Margins on MSP business are shrinking. And don’t expect the data center business to come back next year. I heard that from someone yesterday. It’s not going to happen any time soon.

© 2016, David Stelzl

Some Great Opportunities To Grow Your Business

First, this Thursday, Ingram Micro is sponsoring a free online workshop – Lead Magnets, How to Get Dozens of New Leads Every Quarter, Without Making Cold Calls.

Sign Up Here! (CLICK).

Second, the video above provides a summary of some great information I delivered over the past few months traveling around with the Check Point Software SMB team.  On this 30 minute video you’ll find an overview of strategies to transform your MSP business with security, providing a great foundation for the material I’ll be presenting on Thursday…hope to see you there. $1 HC Book Ad

Remember, you can get more detail by ordering The House & The Cloud – now for just $1.00 – for a limited time!

©2015, David Stelzl

 

phone angryProspecting is Hard!

My clients have been telling me for years that, “No one answers the phone anymore.” So why do we keep making so many cold calls.  I know there are training programs out there that claim to change all of this, but if the person you are calling isn’t picking up the phone, it’s pretty hard to improve on your message.  If you think a better vmail will do it, you’re headed down the wrong path.

What About Email Marketing?  

Email is better. If I get someone’s vmail, I may leave a vmail, but I almost always send an email telling them I left a vmail. Some people have visual vmail services, but for those who don’t, I’m pretty sure they are retrieving many vmails at once, or from their cell, and probably won’t take the time to record my number.  The email makes it easy.

Find Out If You Qualify For Free Sales Training w/ One of Our Sponsors!

Find Out If You Qualify For Free Sales Training w/ One of Our Sponsors!

What About Sales Letters?

But what happened to sales letters?  On a recent coaching call I was talking with a sales rep who is struggling to get meetings.  He makes his 50 or so calls per week, but the conversion from calls to meetings is low.  While listening to his explanation of why, I reflected back on a recent Lunch & Learn we did together. In just four weeks he had managed to recruit 22 business leaders! All new prospects.  So while he’s only converting about 4% of his calls to meetings, in just a few weeks he was able to set up the equivalent of 22 meetings.  What’s going on here?

It might be that the 22 came because I was speaking – but I don’t think so. None of them had ever heard of me.  It’s not like Zig Ziglar’s coming to town.   No, I’m not the reason for his success.  It’s the message we used to get their attention, and the campaign strategy we used to get that message out.

The phone calling message doesn’t work for at least two reasons. First, no one is answering their phone.  But second, you only have about 6 seconds to grab your prospects attention on a phone call.  And most of the phone calls being made are to get a meeting to review company slides or offerings. No business leader has time to do that. Especially knowing that there are thousands of people just like you calling for the same meeting.

The Lunch & Learn was successful because we had first identified a specific target market. In his case we were targeting CIOs of mid-sized companies, 500 – 2000 users.  Our first point of contact was a written letter. In fact, it was a 3 page letter written with conversion in mind. Most would have chosen a one page letter, but not me. For reasons we don’t have time for in this post, the longer letter is more effective. We followed up with two more emails plus phone calls. When we finally did get through to either the CIO or an executive assistant, our call was very focused on security awareness.  This is not a new strategy. Michael Bosworth, in his 1995 book, Solution Selling, recommends setting up one-on-one meetings using a similar educational approach.  And Dixon & Adamson, authors of The Challenger Sale (Even though the author is selling against what Bosworth teaches) is saying the same thing.

In the end, we had 20 of the 22 people attend, and every attendee agreed to move to the assessment stage in my marketing blueprint.  The bottom line is conversion. If your conversion numbers are great, whatever you are doing is working (at least for now). But if not, you may need more than some phone training or a clever vmail message.

© 2015, David Stelzl

PS. Want to convert 70-90% of your Lunch & Learn audience,? Check out the Marketing Success Kit.  It comes complete with training, prewritten letters, call scripts, and everything you need to know to effectively sell through live marketing event meetings.  Click Here to Learn More!

magnetAttracting Prospects vs. Pushing Them

Two phrases that caught my attention over the past 10 years:

  • Magnetic Marketing
  • Marketing Gravity

Both speak about marketing – but if you’re in sales, don’t think this is something for your marketing group – it’s not (at least not exclusively).  Finding new prospects is marketing – whether you’re in sales or marketing.  Once a suspect is interested, you can begin the sales cycle.

Cold Calling = Hard Forced Labor

Sometimes I hear a sales person say, “I like cold calling.” Usually it’s in an interview for a sales position and I don’t believe them.  How can someone like calling people who don’t answer, leaving vmails – never to be returned. And doing it tirelessly day after day with no results.

Both terms above come from authors who talk about the importance of attracting new customers rather than cold calling, begging, and pressuring people to do something.  The idea of finding those you really can help, and finding a way to get a unique message in front of them (not an easy task), is appealing.  If they can make the connection, suddenly there’s an attraction, or a gravity-like force, that pulls them your way.

I can think of several things I have invested in this year already that fall into that category…But I also know that people have tried to push me to buy things or give to causes that I am just not interested in.  The latter is uncomfortable and irritating.

Unique Value, Targeting Specific People

Demonstrating unique value to a specific people group – a group of people that need what you have, takes some work. It doesn’t start with creating an email or making a phone call.  You can’t even start by learning your company’s elevator pitch – it’s probably meaningless.  You must start by looking at the people you are targeting – at whatever level you target.  It might be IT people, data center managers, CISOs, or application developers…regardless, a study of their needs is the place to start.

Need Help Finding Clients –

Tuesday’s post is a great place to start – from there I would encourage you to join our Insider’s Circle to get more on this.

 

© 2014, David Stelzl