Archives For selling

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

inkpenCopywriting Just Might be The Next Skill to Master

If you’re in sales, you’re trying to connect with people. You’re goal is to grab their attention.  But the market is crowded…”Sales” strategies by themselves are no longer enough to reach new prospects.

Marketing is Not Always Marketing

You might have a marketing group. Bad news – most marketing groups are actually more administrative than they are true marketing.

They might be meeting planners, or they might be handling logistics like ordering cards and working with third party printers, etc. to create data sheets.  If you have marketing professionals that really understand demand generation and the science of moving people forward, you’re way ahead of most.

But Copywriting is Yet Another Thing

What is Copywriting? Hopefully you know the  term.  It’s a speciality area of marketing. Your marketing people won’t get this in their marketing degree, and it goes against just about everything you and I learned in English class.  Yet great copywriting is responsible for converting people more than just about any other marketing discipline.

When you see a great headline on a billboard or magazine, a copywriter wrote it. They probably wrote it years ago, tested it millions of times, and they know it works.  And they probably made a fortune writing that one sentence.

You don’t need to become a expert copywriter, however, if you want people to read your email, sales letters, or respond to your social media posts, you do need some input on this subject.

It would take a long post to actually give you the steps – instead let me point you to people like John Caples, Victor Schwab, and Robert Bly.  They’ve all written books on this subject. I think my favorite is John Caples, How to Make Your Advertising Make Money. Study and perfect your copywriting, and you’ll find it much easier to attract new prospects.

© 2016, David Stelzl

plug and playSelling Security is Not The Same As Selling Insurance

You can spin security a million ways to make it sound like there’s a return on investment, but you’re only kidding yourself.

So how exactly do you sell something that many people think they don’t need more of, and that really has no ROI?

I just wrapped up two training days with Brian NeSmith, President and CEO, and his team at Arctic Wolf, a security operation center that targets small and medium businesses.  As always I’m sure I learn more than anyone at these meetings.  And I have to say, I’m impressed with the technology and the team.

Arctic Wolf is exactly what small and medium businesses need as they move toward more IoT, mobility, and BYOD.  This morning as I’m wrapping things up and getting ready to head home for the weekend, a few key principles are on my mind…these are foundational mindsets every sales person must have if they want to sell security or managed services.

  • Security is not a product. Even if you are selling a product, don’t present it that way.
  • Every small and medium business needs more security. Specifically, they need the intelligence and insight into what’s going on in their network as they create and use data.  According to Gartner, 80% of these companies are working without any realtime detection element. Even if they have the UTM firewall, they probably don’t watch it. And if they did, they wouldn’t understand it. That means every one of these companies is a qualified prospect.
  • If budget comes up, something is wrong. Security is sold based on high impact of a likely event. Most decision makers won’t understand their risk, so start there. That means you’ll need to gain access to those decision makers early in the sales process – but not to show them your corporate presentation. Instead, talk to them about technology trends like IoT that will be used to grow their business.  That’s what they want to hear…then transition to the security risks that come with new technology.
  • The sale requires justification. Justification comes with getting them to see they have urgent issues – risk. Most assessments, like 90%, show urgent findings.  That’s justification. If you still can’t close, you are either talking to the wrong people, or hiding the urgency in the language you use. Be bold and upfront – be clear. People from China are potentially in your data!
  • Whatever you do, don’t get bogged down in the technology and how it works. This discussion can come later with the IT people – but the sale is made at the business level, and should be conceptually made before diving into the weeds.

For more on how to effectively sell security, check out The House & The Cloud…you can get it here for a limited time for $1.00 – free shipping, and no strings attached.

$1 HC Book Ad

 

Hannah-BookHow Many Unread Emails will You Write This Year?

What if You Put Those Words Into a Book

This week two of my family members did something important.  First, my daughter Hannah (age 23) published a book! Second, my father – and often a business advisor to me, sent me an article on email marketing.

In the article, the author tells us how many thousands of words the average sales person will write in a year, in the form of email. Most of them will go unread.

While the email article is more about how to change your email, the book is what I am really interested in.

Looking back over my own marketing efforts, the book has absolutely been my best marketing effort.  Mine (The House & The Cloud) is 275 pages. My daughter’s is slightly less. This may sound like a lot, but if you added up all of your unread emails, you might be close.

What would happen if you decided to write a book?  Several things…

  1. First, you would be seen as an authority on something.  Right now, if you sell, and don’t have a book, people probably treat you like “a vendor”.
  2. You would be forced to do some research – at least if you wanted your book to have some real content.  Once the research is done you really do speak like an authority.
  3. You would have one of the most powerful sales letters on earth. It’s so much easier to followup with a phone call to discuss your book than it is to talk about your company.
  4. You would be forced to organize your knowledge…Napoleon Hill, in his book, The Law of Success points out that wisdom is power.  But then defines wisdom as organized knowledge. He goes on  to say that, disorganized knowledge does not bring change, but organizing it into something that is really useful brings real change (or lasting solutions) and that is powerful.
  5. You would have one of the most effective business cards possible – something to hand out at events and networking functions. Something that converts to business.

Is it possible? My 23 year old daughter (who I think is pretty awesome) did it…and if she can do it – I believe many of you can too.

© 2016, David Stelzl

PS. You can get my best selling book right here for just $1.00!  Why such as low price? Give me a call and I’ll explain how marketing works….

$1 HC Book Ad

executive-1Three Things You Can Do To Earn A Seat At The Table

Continuing from yesterday’s topic on, Things Sales People Do That CIOs Hate, last week’s keynote also covered three things CIOs really need…and can’t easily get internally.

  • Security Intelligence.  Intelligence is the new security buzzword. Not that it’s new. But for years people have talked about “Defense in Depth”, “Zero Day Response”, “Layered Security,” etc.  Recent WSJ reports are telling us that just about every board meeting agenda allots about 30 minutes to security.  What do the leaders of that meeting want to know? They want a measure of risk – “What are the odds our company will get hit this year?”  Who, besides you can give them that information?
  • Advice on leveraging new technologies. In the interview I referenced yesterday, the CISO I was meeting with talked about his need for advisors. He can’t know everything, and his team is heads down on support issues, project implementations, and daily operations. They don’t have time to keep up with technology the way you do.  So rather than showing up with your corporate presentation, show up with research and examples. Knowing what other “like” companies are doing to compete will go a long way.  In the Interview he mentioned compliance as an area they constantly need more advice on…can you advise your clients on HIPAA, GLBA, PCI, etc.compliancy group
  • Trust. Most of the sales people out there are just trying to sell. Is that you? Do you care whether your product actually works, or delivers a benefit this client needs? If you do, and I hope you really do, you’re a minority. The great thing about security is, just about everyone needs new security. As threats evolve, and IT moves toward new disruptive technologies, the security strategy is constantly evolving. It’s safe to say that, regardless of who they end up buying from, they do need security. Make sure you are doing the things that earn that trusted advisor status. Security is a great place to start.

Copyright, 2016 David Stelzl

PS. Check out what Compliancy Group has to offer resellers…compliance offerings without going back to school for four years.

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.

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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

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