Archives For Technology

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!

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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

vance morrisAre Your Customer’s Getting The Disney Experience?

Retention with any form of managed services depends a lot on customer experience.

No one can argue that Disney hasn’t been a leader when it comes to attracting people – and building loyalty.

Yesterday I had the privilege of interviewing Vance Morris as part of our monthly SVLC Insider’s Circle Program.  Vance has lived on the other side of the Disney experience – the side creating it. Today Vance works with companies like yours to help create differentiation through customer experience.

There are two key value propositions out there right now that really matter… Customer Experience and Security. Imagine if your company could provide both!

Here are a few highlights from yesterday’s program… Want more? Join the Insider’s Circle

Read More About Joining The SVLC Insider’s Circle

First, Vance tells us it’s not really MAGIC.  But what is it? It’s more about consistent processes that make everyone feel loved.  He talked about the script you use when you answer the phone, and how your SE’s approach a client when arriving onsite. These simple things go a long way when you engineer them correctly, and train your people to follow through.

The Welcome Matters. Welcome kits are a big deal. But Vance took this a step further, talking about how to keep clients thinking about you long term. It’s more than just good service. The extras go a long way. An important point here was charging enough to add those extras.

Newsletters Create Magic. Vance showed us how a dentist and a carpet cleaning business leveraged the newsletter. This is an area I believe we are failing in!  In fact, I had to look back at my own efforts and make the decision to recreate. It’s not cheap, and it takes time. But I am convinced it matters.  People do read newsletters when they are worth reading…but no one wants to read about Microsoft patches…Vance told us exactly what to put in the  Newsletter if we want it to sell for us.

And there’s a lot more.  But these three things stand out as steps every one of us can take without too much effort.  And if we did…we would see some amazing results.

For those of you who are already in the SVLC Insider’s Circle – your copy of both the video and audio are going out this week…with our NEW newsletter (in hard copy as Vance recommended) shortly to follow…If you’re not – please consider joining us using the link above. These programs are designed to keep you up to date on the industry and in front of your competition.

© 2016 David Stelzl

 

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

IMG_3847Check Point’s One Step Ahead Campaign

If You’re Going To Be In the IT Management Business, You Can’t Afford to Fall Behind

This is not a blog post about Check Point – however I am at the Check Point SKO 2016 this week – and excited to hear the phrase, One Step Ahead. It’s Check Point’s 2016 Vision Statement Summary, but it needs to be everyone’s.  Pictured above – Amnon Bar-Lev, President of Check Point Software, communicating the vision to his team and reseller partners.

Meanwhile, Walmart if closing down about 150 stores including both superstores and the smaller stores they’ve experimented with since 2011.

Remember when Walmart was idolized for their amazing achievements using technology to build the JIT (Just In Time) inventory machine? They were unstoppable.  Taking over cities, pushing out the little guys. Taking over the world.

We probably all still buy from Walmart. I know my daughters pick up groceries there every week. But then look at Jeff Bezos, a computer science guy about my age. In 1994 he had a crazy idea to start an online bookstore. After consulting with his wife – she said, “Go for it!” and he did. He started Amazon.$1 HC Book Ad

That’s the competition. Amazon is eating Walmart’s lunch because they are one step ahead. And if you look at what they’ve done, it’s all about customer experience. The second most important value proposition I’ve written about over the past decade. Watch over the next 5 years and we’ll see some some big shifts in who leads in business growth. Expect companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook to reshape everything we know about business.

Several of the resellers I’ve been working with this year are here this week – and it’s become clearer than ever, Security is the Most Important Thing They Can Be Talking About To Their Clients.  

In fact, on the break today, one of these resellers had a quick call with a new prospect. They are evaluating new IT Mannagement companies right now, and wanted to meet him this week. Of course he can’t – he’s here. She then told him he would not be considered. His response – “I’m at a security conference and you’ll want to hear what I have to say because none of the people you are considering understand how to keep your data safe.” She immediately extended her process to give him a meeting next week. Coming from this week’s meeting, I expect he’ll be armed with a compelling story, an assessment offer, and a high likelihood of closing the business.

© 2016, David Stelzl

boring salesAre You Getting Leads to Talk About Managed IT

…Only to find that what your prospect really wants is a quote – to compare to others.  Price is your only value proposition here, so what do you do?

I was recently working with a small business reseller on the west coast. He had mastered the art of using Google Adwords to attract new business and was getting meetings.

The problem? No sales. His conversion from EDUCATION to SOMETHING was downright frustrating.

So how do you turn a meeting like this into something worth meeting about?

The answer, you need something in your meeting that’s new, exciting, compelling, and urgent. Napoleon Hill, in his book, The Law of Success, tells us that enthusiasm is critical. If you don’t love your value proposition, you’ll probably leave any meeting hungry. But you need more.

While enthusiasm is an essential part of moving people to buy, you also have to understand what they really need. In another section of Hill’s book he shares with us principles of the shirt sales person. The one who presents the shirt he likes assumes the buyer won’t buy a shirt. The seller who understands the real need sells multiple shirts.

But What Does the Small Business Owner Really Need?

Hint; It’s not managed services.

Managed IT offers the client a couple of things, but only one is potentially urgent. And only by identify urgent aspect of that one thing, are you going to differentiate yourself during this sales call. It’s security of course.

There are thousands of choices when it comes to buying basic server and network monitoring. There’s a well known business coach out there telling his clients to find something unique in order to sell more managed IT contracts – he’s right! But what unique thing can you bring to the table, that your buyer really does need, and that really is urgent? It’s security – but not just firewall management. It’s security intelligence – it’s detection/response.

So How Did My Client Start Turning These Deals Around?

Here’s what he did.  First, he learned to present a compelling security message. In his case he simply memorized the message I give in my book, The House & The Cloud.  It’s simple, straight forward, and compelling. As I’ve said before, I still use this message in lunch & learn meetings, and I’m converting more business owners than ever in one single hour with it.

Now, when he would schedule a new prospect meeting from his Adword campaign, he would go in armed with two things. Some basic MSP (Managed Services Provider) materials and his compelling security presentation.

He started his meeting out addressing the reason for their initial call – finding a new managed IT provider. But quickly transitioned to security. It went something like this:

“Here is what we can provide from a managed IT perspective…backup, monitoring, patching, etc…but the truth is, there are hundreds of companies that provide these same services in this city. And it would be hard to figure out who to use – in fact, many of them would do a good job, and prices would be all over the map.  But let’s look at what really matters.”

“Have you considered how secure your data is?”

Using the three questions presented in my book, The House & the Cloud, my client gathered some basic information. All of these companies are moving to the cloud. As they do, their approach to security must chance. And so he asked them.

“What are you trying to protect?”$1 HC Book Ad

“What are your relevant threats?”

“How comfortable are you with your ability to detect something is going wrong, and respond to it before it is too late?”

See The House & Cloud book to get the details on how this conversation should go. But from there, my client showed them a model I use to determine risk – The Impact Vs. Likelihood graph.

“This is what you need before you can make any sort of budgetary or technology decision. Without it you’re flying blind.”

He then spent ten minutes taking them through The House, Cloud and Coverage model – the message presented in my book. The point is, there’s one mistake just about every company has made when it comes to securing data, and this model proves it.

The response from his listeners was obvious. They too have been making this mistake. Their security has no detection/response capability built into it – and only a managed program can provide this to a small business client.

An Assessment Was Offered

The assessment does three things.

First, it puts everyone else (his competition) on hold, while he does his assessment.

Second, he now has face time with every decision maker. With his consulting hat on, he can talk to whoever he wants, because, in their eyes, he is no longer selling.

Third, he is building the justification he needs to sell this deal without budget being a concern. If the need is urgent (and it will be in most cases), the client will respond.

If the client does not convert, either you had the wrong audience, didn’t find the right urgencies (ones they care about – like the shirt seller above), or did not present the urgency in the context of their business.

The last deal my client worked on landed him the largest managed services contract he’s ever signed, worth about $20,000/month.

© 2016, David Stelzl

34 New Prospects – 100% Conversion

Security topics are hot right now. We recorded this interview (above) following a very successful lunch & learn event in Richmond. Randy Sklar, President of Sklar Technology Partners has been actively bringing these types of events to Richmond based small business owners over the past 10 years, and it’s paid off.  The message used to make this event successful comes right from my book, The House & The Cloud…and for a short time you can pick it up for $1.00!

Using The Interview…

The interview is something we started doing a few years back to increase the conversion on follow up. If you’ve offered these types of events to your prospects in the past, you know you need a much larger list of possible attendees to get 30 to sign up. In this case we used the strategies from my Marketing Success Kit to attract new logo business owners. It worked so well that we had to turn people away!$1 HC Book Ad

After the event begins the follow-up. We signed people up for assessments during the event (and all of them did sign up). Now, using clips from the event and this interview video, we have something to take to those who did not attend. The rest of the list.

In many cases you can double your results by using an effective marketing campaign after the event. I describe this in detail in the Marketing Success Kit. But in a nutshell, there are 6 groups to consider: 1) Those who signed up, 2) Attendees who did not, 3) People who agreed to attend but didn’t, 4) Those who could not make it, but wanted to, 5) people who did not respond, 6) and finally, those who unsubscribed, told you they weren’t interested, or somehow communicated that they did not want to hear from you again.  This last group can be discarded – they are not worth spending time and money on.  Each should receive a short video sales letter with one of your clips, followed my a short text email offering to come by and share insights from the speaker. Follow up your email campaign with phone calls to set up these meetings.

Try it – this is far better than making cold calls to set up a meeting, with an agenda to share you company overview. No one really wants to see that.

© 2015, David Stelzl