Category Archives: Lead Management

Coffee Shop Commerce: 5 Ways To Use Hot Beverages To Grow Your Biz

It’s not uncommon to meet colleagues, customers or prospects in public venues such as coffee shops.  My observation is most people are using them strictly for scheduled short meetings with specific people – you talk, have a cup then leave.  There’s more to it if you look deeper.

HOLD COURT

Schedule at least 2 mornings or afternoons (not lunch hours) per week – when you have “computer work” to do –  and set yourself at a table.  Announce to your SOI in advance when and where you’ll be.  “I’ll be hanging out at Janie and Jackies’s Jumpin Java Joint Tuesday morning.  If you’re out and about, stop by and say Hi.” Read the rest of this entry

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STEEEEERRIKE! Is a Blinding Fastball Enough?

NOTE:   Here in the thick of World Series season, it reminded me of this post from last spring.


So I was listening to a Grapefruit League game on the radio yesterday and I feel the first stages of  full blown BaseballFever.  I guess it’s time for a baseball/business analogy.

Two pitchers: One consistently throws 97-98 MPH 4-seamers. He has other pitches but nothing spectacular.  The other has a fast ball that doesn’t go much above 86-87. His specialty is alternating the fast ball with a 65MPH change-up.  He also throws a great curve that drops straight down at just the right moment.

They are both about the same age and their ERAs are similar.  Which one is the more valuable pitcher.  The answer according to Schwartz’ Guide To Baseball is the second pitcher.   His variety and control can make him unbeatable.

He has BALANCE

Balance is important in your sales an marketing efforts as well.  You may be bringing in 5 new accounts per month.  That’s all fine and good, but what are you doing to retain and grow your existing clients?

Keep a close eye, not only on revenue but also on how long clients actually stay with you.  A successful business will do it all.

OK – enough of this,  back to the game!  Here’s one of my favorite Yankees combining two of his talents – baseball and music.

Marketing Is Worthless If You Don’t Convert Leads

There are many different types of marketing, each having a specific goal. At a high level though all marketing has the same goal – To generate interest in your product. It is about getting people to raise their hands and acknowledge that they are aware of what you sell, and there is a possibility that they are interested in making a purchase.

There a soft value to putting your name in front of as many people as you can. Brand awareness can be critical to a company’s success. While it’s not a bad thing to increase awareness of your product or service the question becomes that in terms of ROI, marketing programs are often measured using circumstantial evidence.

The bottom line goal of every company is to increase profit.  That’s why profit is on “the bottom line” of a financial analysis.  There are only two ways to improve profitability – increase revenue or decrease expenses.  The prime revenue source for a company is sales.

Take a look at this sales results graph from a hypothetical company that launched a new marketing campaign in January and ended it in May.  “Sales Results” is typically defined as orders that are delivered and invoiced.

With complete certainty we can state that the marketing program was PROBABLY a driving factor in the sales increase that began in February, continued to rise until about 30 days after the program ended. We deem the marketing program a success.Are there other factors that could be the root cause of the increase in sales?  Of course there are.  Better inventory management, improved shipping measures, better invoicing procedures – just to name a few.

So how do you actually measure the success of a marketing plan if not on sales results. It depends on the objective of the  program.  The most common type of program for small and medium businesses generally has the objective of increasing the number of “Leads”, “Inquiries” or “Requests for information.”

So at the end of the day if the number of leads received during the run of a program went up, the program can be declared a success regardless of the sales results.   Sort of like a surgery that is deemed successful regardless of whether the patient lives or dies.

What exactly is the value of a lead?  I would submit that if you don’t do anything with the lead, it has absolutely no value.  Another way of putting it is this: “A Lead and $2.25 will get buy you a ride on the subway.”

Soooooo – acquiring the lead is important, but selling to the prospect is equally important.  If you don’t have a specific plan to follow-up and close as many of the leads as possible, the money you spend on marketing could be wasted.

As Jerry Seinfeld might say “You know how to GET the lead, you just don’t know how to SELL to the lead.”

Effective Communications Means Knowing Where Your Audience Hangs Out

One of the questions that seems to come up pretty frequently in coaching sessions is “What is the best  method of staying in touch with my prospects and clients.”

There are so many different ways to communicate with people today it’s hard to know what is the most effective choice. Here’s the magic answer.

It’s Up To Them!

Too often you hear sales folks say things like.

I don’t believe in all this new technology.  You can Tweet, Email and Facebook all you want but business is done in person.  MY clients like to see who they dealing with and I like to be out there shaking hands – it’s what I love about sales,

or

It makes no sense to use old-school techniques. MY clients have no time to waste on personal meetings.  I stay in touch by Twitter, Texting, Email, and current up to date methods. You have to use the latest thing to show that you are on the cutting edge.  I simply don’t have the time to visit and call everyone.

Either of those positions is fine – as long as you Read the rest of this entry

Sorry! I’m Really Swamped!

So your spouse asks you on Monday morning if you can pick up the dry cleaning today. You say you will do it the next day as you are “really swamped and just don’t have the time.”


As you’re packing up your stuff to leave, you scan your email Inbox and notice a promo piece from a big electronics store with the subject line Selected Laptops 30% Off – Today Only.  You have been needing a new laptop for a while so you click the link in the email to see if there’s a suitable model.  You find one.  The normal price is $699 – on sale today only for $489.

You somehow manage to Read the rest of this entry

LEAD MANAGEMENT PROJECT: Step #1 – Gather

I wrote earlier that you should have ZERO TOLERANCE for not having a documented “next step” for EACH AND EVERY name in your database.

This is the first in a series of posts on how to get there and what to do next.  When you’ve completed all the actions in this series you should have a crystal clear picture of how to begin using the vast amount of information you already have to increase your sales.  Read the rest of this entry