The paperclips didn't need a sales pitch. Neither do your clients.

SELLutions

5 Keys to Successful B2B Marketing

by GSchulz 23. June 2015 13:03
   Successful business to business marketing involves a tricky balance that even major business conglomerates can struggle with. To stay ahead of competitors, it’s important to constantly revisit your marketing campaign, analyzing your goals, revenue and client market. Whether you are revamping your B2B marketing strategy or just getting started, the following five keys to successful B2B marketing can help you on your way.     1)  Define Your Brand   Before you can begin to market your brand, you need to have a strong brand definition. What can your product do that others can’t? What makes you stand out? What gives you an edge over the competition? Before pitching your brand to potential clients, you must be able to answer all of these questions, and answer them with confidence. Whether you’re selling paper towels or high end jewelry, if you can’t define your product’s personality in five words or less, then you need to tighten your marketing pitch. Statistics show that the average consumer attention span is now just eight seconds, that’s lower than the attention span of a goldfish. To capture the attention of the modern consumer, ensure that your branding is concise, snappy, and has a voice of its own.   2) Hire Your Focus Group   As you prepare your pitch for your B2B sales venture, include members of your focus group in the decision-making process. For example, if your product is aimed at women between the ages of 25-34, your entire marketing team should not be made up of men between the ages of 45-54. If hiring your focus group is impractical (if your product is aimed at six year olds, for instance), then test the effectiveness of your pitch through your social media platforms (here we’re assuming that parents will liaise on behalf of their children). As you introduce your product to the wide world of social media, you’ll begin to receive the kind of consumer feedback that should play an integral part in the creation of your pitch.       3)  Identify Your Client   Successful B2B marketing is not about selling to the first client who will buy your product, it’s about finding the best client for your product. Before pitching your product, identify your niche. Who do you want to sell to, and why? Remember picking essay titles in high school? The narrower the focus, the better the results. You can’t market to everyone, everywhere, or your pitch will lack the spice of individuality that attracts high end B2B buyers. Before choosing your buyers, do as much research as possible on their B2B reputation, the products that interest them, and the demographics to which they cater. The better you understand your client, the more easily you can convince them that your product is exactly what they’ve been looking for.    4) Ready Your Pitch   Your buyers don’t know how great your product is, and your pitch is your only chance to convince them that it’s marvelous, flawless, and indispensable. Remember that B2B buyers have not just their own interests in mind, but the interests of their customers as well. Your pitch is the first step in a complex decision making process, so be ready to answer any questions that your buyer might throw at you. B2B buyers are more rational, careful and calculated than the average consumer, so flashy gimmicks are not necessarily going to work. It’s not enough to make your buyer want your product, they have to need it.     5) Cultivate Positive Client Relationships   As you build your marketing success, keep in mind the importance of cultivating and maintaining positive client relationships. Once you’ve made a successful sale, ensure that your product delivers as promised, and keep lines of communication open between your business and your buyer.    Always think of the value-add.  What can you offer your customers, that others aren’t offering?  What pain points can you solve for your target audience to improve brand loyalty?  Shopify, for example, offers templates, such as a Bill of Lading template, to facilitate the business needs of their customers.  You don’t have to be a large e-commerce platform to offer these widgets - in many cases simple apps and tools can go a long way in creating customer loyalty.   For any growing business, B2B referrals are crucial, and you won’t get them if you miss deadlines, fail to communicate with your clients, or deliver misleading pitches. As tempting as it may be to cut corners early on to optimize your ROI, it won’t help you in your end game. Offer fair prices, maintain a positive attitude, stick to your integrity, and your B2B relationships will not fail to flourish. ______________________________________________________________________________ Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.           Click here to share this post.

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Top 5 Things Every Salesperson /Business Developer Should Know!

by GSchulz 22. June 2015 13:07
 What’s the new normal when it comes to developing business? This is not the old ‘ask a few questions, give your features and benefits and trial close’. The 70s wants their slick sales guy back. Today you need to be smart, curious and a true consultant to sell. Here are a few things that today are imperative in business growth.    
1)   Tell the prospect its OK to break up….Rejection is a result of trying to sell someone your product or service as opposed to tell them you what you are calling about, let them know it seems that because of what they do you could potentially work together, but (pull back) you don’t want to assume that you are a good fit. What you’d like to do is ask a few questions to see if the two of you are a fit and if not, we decide it’s a NO then we only wasted a few minutes? Sound OK? This allows you to give a NO as an option right upfront. Then you have asked for it as opposed to a prospect pushing you away and that is the rejection.  
2)   Mining for customers is different today. Networking is the true key to finding and keeping customers but most people do it wrong. Networking events ate not for direct prospecting! Recognize this scenario? “Hey do you guys use promotional products? here’s a sample, we can really help you!!”..” NO! Instead I say go to an event and look for Strategic Alliances, people that you can refer business back and forth to as opposed to hitting your potential prospects so hard. We all know building business on referrals is the best way to do business so lets network for good alliances that you can refer business to and that is a good source for your referrals.
3)   Research should be used for credibility. Research is essential today before you pick up the phone and call anyone. No excuses! The most important reason to do your research on their web site, Google etc. is to create good, quality questions to ask them to engage your prospect in conversation and truly understand their needs not to tell them that you’ve researched their company and since they do this, we can sell you that…  
4)   If you need to discount to get the business is almost always a result of one  of these things.
a) The customer doesn’t truly trust you/your product or service so there is only price to use as a differentiator or b) you haven’t truly understood the need for the product. I know need seems simple but it isn’t.   What are they trying to say? What impression are they trying to leave, how do they want to be seen? What are they using it for? There are lots of questions to not only understand what a prospect needs but the true deep-down ‘whys’. Asking questions will let you also gain credibility and trust but not Selling and truly asking and listening….       
5)    Listen and shut up!! Wow! If I could teach people that are in sales/business development to ask questions and listen there would be a lot more success in business! Telling isn’t selling…but it comes from a good place. We are excited about what we represent and want other to be excited too but excitement doesn’t sell, questions and true engagement does. Long ago we were taught to ask a few questions and when you hear a “ buying signal” jump in and tell them you can help with that and how. NO! When you ask a question, wait for the answer and whatever the answer is, especially if it may be something your product or service can help with, the best next question is, “tell me about that”, then SHUT-UP!!!     Click here to share this post.

Decision Making in Business

by GSchulz 15. June 2015 11:50
Interesting…making decisions in business.   Get in the that restaurant, get a table, order your food, eat and get out?  Same in business?  That easy eh? Decision making is very different.  Yes, it can be quick but there is a reason why it may happen fast. I am under the impression the values are a big part of our decision making process.   When your behaviors and decisions are consistent with your values you show integrity and you feel good about your decisions.   When you do things that are inconsistent with your values you become uncomfortable and uneasy with your choices.   Having an understanding of your values is critical because it will help you understand what is important to you.   This is why we react when we perceive someone’s decision as odd, it’s because we don’t understand their value system.   We are all different. In sales we may be pitching a product that we perceive will help a prospect tremendously but they’re not buying.  It may say the prospect time and money and we are scratching our heads because they won’t decide.   We may be at an impasse because we have not aligned the benefits of the decision with a prospects values. Here is a quick example…. Auto sales, every day people walk in dealerships with the financial wherewithal to buy any car on a lot.  The sales rep that is able to assess this prospects values will be able to find that person a car more quickly.  A top performer will lock in on values very quickly by asking some very simple questions and steering them in a positive direction.  Here are a few questions that might be asked to help find values.  What are you currently driving? What drew you to that model when you purchased it?  What made you consider taking a look at this car company today?  Did it require much maintenance?  If you had a chance to put any feature on your last car that you did not have what would it be?  All these questions will help evoke responses that will help you detect a value system.  Find a vehicle that makes him align with his value system the more interested the buyer and ultimately the happiest.   In the end it is uncovered, that the prospect feels that a (2) door Porsche is for the guy trying to be noticed and he perceives that guy to be very flamboyant.  Instead he wants to a 4 door sedan in black because it is understated and does not say, “hey, look at me”.   All this has to do with a value system.   Values come up in every decision we make and the better we are at understanding each prospects values they consider important the better the outcome. Thanks for your videos, they help me stay on my game! 
-Ron Hilo, Independent Golf Representative Click here to share this post.

Are You Hiring A Players for your Sales Team?

by GSchulz 8. June 2015 15:41
What if the bottom quarter of your sales team produced as much or more revenue than the top quarter? What would that do for your company?   What would happen if you replaced the bottom quarter of your sales team with A players that get consistent over the top results?   When I talk to CEOs about this issue and ask these questions, they often give me these excuses, (because that’s what they are, excuses);   Belief- We get fooled into thinking they are A players when we interview them. By the time we figure out that they aren’t, we are already too invested”. Reality- You aren’t assessing them properly. Sales people, especially ones that have had many sales jobs are professional interviewers. They know what to say and how to say it so you will be completely impressed and blown away by how much “potential” they have. We are blinded by the charisma and charm they have! You need a non-subjective sales assessment to help give you additional tools to get out of the emotion, the falling in love, and get to the heart of what this person is about.   Belief- “We really can’t afford to pay for A players”. They tend to be expensive. Reality- Guess what? You are already paying for them through your lost business! Additionally if we monitored better the progress of a new hire and stop allowing excuses to drag out the pain, we would know sooner and loose less.   Belief- “We have loyal C players in sales that have been with us in sales for years, through thick and thin. We can’t just let them go!” Reality – Just let them go? How long have they been C players? If it just started, maybe you need to find out why and give them an opportunity to improve. If its been going on a long time, you at least need to wan them or see if there is another position that might be better for them internally.   Belief – We want to hire fresh new players in sales but we cant afford to train them. Reality- Typically go get raw talent and train them your way is the better way to go. You can afford to hire them, put money into training and monitor as you go. If they aren’t beginning quickly to “get it”,  cut your losses quickly. We tend to hand on to seasoned salespeople longer because they “must just need more time”. In that case then the ‘newbee’ might be just the answer.   Belief- I’m not sure where to find A players. When I am looking for someone new I can rarely find someone I would consider an A player. Reality- Of course not! A players aren’t out looking through the regular channels! They are either on a job and you need to typically seek them out or they put their feelers out when they are looking and are scooped up immediately! If a great salesperson is an asset, not a liability, don’t you want additional assets all of the time? Here is the question I would ask you. If you found an A player today, someone better then your best salesperson, wouldn’t you find a place for them? Of course you would, so why aren’t you looking every day!! That’s right! You or your sales director should be interviewing at least 2-4 candidates a week! Even when you don’t have a spot for them. How else will you find the gold!! Click here to share this post.

Greta Schulz Changes Publications

by GSchulz 11. May 2015 20:51
For Immediate release;    
SELLutions moving to South Florida Business & Wealth    

April 3, 2015 - After eight years of writing the SELLutions column for The South Florida Business Journal, Greta Schulz is moving exclusively to South Florida Business & Wealth.

“South Florida is made up of business people that are also wealthy and their buying habits are reflective of a wealthy community. Learning how to sell to this demographic will be a powerful tool and I am excited about the challenge,” says Schulz.

The monthly SFBW was launched in September to 30,000 senior-level business readers throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. SFBW is the second-largest local business magazine in the U.S. and is part of Lifestyle Media Group, a 10-year-old company that publishes 10 Lifestyle magazines. Chairman and CEO Gary Press and Editor-in-Chief Kevin Gale have a long relationship with Schulz that began when they were publisher and editor of the Business Journal.

“Greta is not only a great columnist, but has been a fantastic sales trainer for Lifestyle Media Group. I am pleased that she has joined SFBW exclusively,” Press said. Schulz said one of the advantages of her move is that the column will be available to a widespread audience at the SFBWmag.com website, which does not have a firewall. Readers just have to put the keyword “Greta” in the search window to see all the past columns. SFBW Editor-in-Chief Kevin Gale says he has received positive feedback about Schulz’s approach in SFBW.  “Greta has structured her SFBW columns to specifically appeal to senior-level business executives who know that sales is the foundation for any successful business,” he said.

SFBW’s launch comes as South Florida is experiencing an unprecedented boom that has positioned it as the international business hub of the Americas. “The continued economic growth of countries such as Brazil, Colombia, and Chile, has had an unbelievable side effect on South Florida. The amount of dollars flowing in from overseas is astonishing. More and more affluent South Americans and Europeans are making South Florida their permanent home,” says Raul Garcia of Kaufman, Rossin & Co. Five South Florida cities have made Forbes’ list of America’s top millionaire capitals as the region offers no state income tax, a vibrant business community and a sophisticated cultural scene. One recent example is Tudor Investment Corp.’s Paul Tudor Jones II’s purchase of a $71 million estate in Palm Beach. Click here to share this post.

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