Small business owners often struggle to find the best marketing strategy that fits their budget. Here is a look at some of the greatest tips for getting the most bang from your marketing budgeting.
Whether you’re a B2B, B2C or expert firm, you’ll walk away with enough secrets to successful marketing to add new leads and find loyal customers.
How Do You Successfully Market a Small Business?
Small and medium enterprises in the United States spend marketing dollars directly based on a business owner’s decisions. Smaller businesses might find it wiser to focus on local clients first. According to Statista, companies spend around $173.3 million per year on local advertising. They split the rest between TV, radio, digital and events.
Successful marketing strategy execution often starts with an overarching goal. Small business owners find a top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) strategy works well to build brand awareness and develop a loyal customer base. Over time, you’ll gain referrals from your current clients.
What are some of the top secrets to successful marketing campaigns? Here are our top suggestions for small business owners.
1. Learn From Your Customers
Get to know your audience and what their needs are. The better you understand your buyers, the easier it will be to meet their needs. You can survey them, pay attention to buying trends and ask what you can do to improve their experience.
With your TOMA marketing strategy, you’ll want to take actions such as:
Call those who buy from you repeatedly and ask why they chose your brand in the first place.
Inquire about how you can help them refer more friends and family. For example, can you offer any materials that would be of help? Reward them when they do refer new customers.
Survey your customers after a successful campaign. Find out why they chose to buy and if they have other needs. When you understand their pain points, developing the relationship you need to keep your brand at the top of their thoughts becomes much easier.
Pay close attention to any negative comments or complaints. How can you fix the issue for that customer and prevent it on future orders?
2. Use New Technology to Manage Clients
You don’t have to track every little detail of your clients’ needs. Instead, invest in technology that handles customer relationship management. Regular emails from you can keep you at the forefront of their thoughts.
Send a birthday greeting to let them know you enjoy their business.
Offer discounts when sales slow down to clear out old merchandise and make way for new.
The happier your clients are, the more you can use their reviews and testimonials in your marketing campaigns.
3. Promote Yourself
Put yourself in the shoes of the average person visiting your site for the first time. If you’re a newer business, they’ve likely not heard of you and don’t know if they should buy. However, they’ll feel more comfortable trying out your product if you stand behind your work.
People often have to hear of you several times before remembering the brand name and messaging. How can you promote yourself consistently and frequently for your TOMA approach?
Create a social media persona matching your brand personality.
Post frequently and predictably at the same time of day and on the same weekdays.
Enlist the help of others to get your name out there. Ask customers to share your social media posts or forward your newsletter.
Pay for ads to get in front of the same people repeatedly.
Feature glowing feedback from customers and highlight how much you believe in what you offer. Do you feel your product or service is the best in the industry? Thinking about your unique value proposition and using it in your marketing can help gain new clients’ trust.
4. Send Welcome Emails
You likely already know email marketing can be highly effective at attracting and keeping customers. However, did you know that welcome emails have a 91.43% open rate and offer an opportunity to highlight your brand personality?
How can you enhance your brand awareness via emails?
Stick with brand guidelines, using your logo and brand color palette for instant recognition.
Make calls to action (CTAs) look the same as the ones on your website so people know to look for a particular pop of color.
Create great subject lines that tell users exactly what they’ll get when they open the email.
You can also track how well an email performs by seeing how many opens you get and who clicks through to your offer.
5. Use SMS
Short message service (SMS) is an excellent way to add personal touches to messages you send. You might use it for customer service issues and to problem solve. There are also many ways to connect with your clients through small positive messages.
Circulate an offer, discount code or just share news.
Add links to orders or short surveys.
Send a happy thought just to let customers know you are thinking of them and care about more than just making a sale.
Thank them for an order or update them on the status of one.
Many businesses have found great success with this marketing strategy. 98% of people will open your message, which is why thousands have used texting to drive customer retention.
6. Set Clear Employee Expectations
As your company’s leader, you must train your employees in the customer service model you want to exude. Make sure everyone understands your expectations and their role in the buyer’s journey.
Write out what your company policies and philosophies are.
Encourage employees to tell others why it’s a great place to work.
Feature your top staff members. Put a face to the workers for better brand awareness.
At the same time, you don’t want to create an atmosphere where people say, “That’s not in my job description.” Set the example by jumping in and helping when someone feels overwhelmed or has a tight deadline. If your employees see you taking the lead and helping others, they’ll be more likely to embrace the same spirit with their work.
7. Watch Trends
Pay attention to what kids are into and how other businesses in your industry market to their customer bases.
When apps like TikTok first arrived on the scene, mainly preteens used it to repeat dances and popular songs. Today, companies worldwide use them to reach new customers via fun marketing videos.
Stay on top of what your competitors are doing.
Study their social media presence. What kinds of posts do they schedule? How often do they post? Do they use paid ads?
Why do people know their name? Do they do a lot of radio interviews? Perhaps they sponsor local groups and have a strong presence in your community.
Study their name versus yours. Is their business moniker more memorable or more applicable to the industry?
Take a step back and rethink your brand image. Don’t be afraid to rebrand if necessary or to tweak colors and messaging until you hit what keeps your brand at the forefront.
Why Should You Change Up Your Marketing?
Embracing new trends and paying attention to what works for the competition are the secrets to successful marketing. You may not have time to woo people one-on-one, but you can automate relationship management and invest in social media marketing.
If you fail to step up and try new things, you risk growing stale and your customers getting bored with your brand. You only have time and effort to spend. If something doesn’t work, replace it with a new idea.
If you choose to focus on a top-of-mind awareness strategy as outlined above, run everything through the filter of how it will impact brand recognition and keep your audience engaged.
Which one of these list items would you like to implement today to find your successful marketing strategy?
Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn!
Whether you’re a chiropractor, own a SaaS company, or run a law firm, B2B and B2C companies vary widely in their business models. Yet, the things they have in common are the desire to generate leads and drive business growth.
Though achieving these goals through marketing can be time-consuming, this article will present the top growth methods for successful marketing execution. Here you will learn how to accomplish three ways to help you become a better marketer:
Create multifaceted content
Build customer relationships
Adapt to new tools
Plus, you’ll know how to implement each method by utilizing the top tactics below. Here are the top three approaches you should consider implementing today.
Creating Multifaceted Content
Content marketing isn’t just for B2C brands. B2B companies are also making a significant jump in this marketing realm by creating a strategic content marketing strategy.
Yet, when it comes to helping entrepreneurs become better marketers, they must focus on creating content for more than one channel. This approach uses well-rounded subject matter to attract new leads and convert prospects by focusing on audience pain points in different areas of the internet.
Here are a few tips to help you implement a multifaceted content strategy.
1. Create Buyer Personas
When developing different content, understanding who the content is reaching is important. You should have a clearly defined audience, known as a buyer persona.
A buyer persona gives you a picture of an ideal customer. The details of a buyer persona include demographics such as age, income, location, etc. In addition, you should describe the buyer’s personality, interests, goals, wants, and needs.
2. Align Content to the Sales Funnel
Once you create your buyer personas, you can add an extra layer to your content marketing strategy by mapping the buyer’s journey. In essence, it helps to create “evergreen” content that addresses customer issues at each stage of the sales funnel.
A sales funnel’s purpose is to nurture the prospects at each stage, helping them move closer to sales. The process works like this:
Awareness: This is the top of the funnel where prospects are looking for information to help them articulate their problem. Content at this stage should focus on the buyer’s pain points rather than the product or service. Examples include informative blogs, ebooks, guides, infographics, etc.
Consideration: The buyer at this stage understands their problem and is now ready to find solutions. Consider creating content focusing on specific solutions to solve the buyer’s problem. Examples include webinars, product features, and comparison blogs.
Decision: The buyer is ready to compile a list of solutions. You can create brand-specific content at this point, focusing on the benefits of your company’s offerings. Examples include case studies, reviews, and demos.
3. Measure Return on Investment
Once you start creating content to maximize traffic and convert leads, you must understand the results of your content marketing campaigns by analyzing data. Based on your goals and timelines, consider using metrics to measure your results, including:
Total leads such as email subscribers, purchases, and free-trial sign-ups.
Total impressions from Google Analytics.
Traffic from the content you publish.
Changes in bounce rates.
Once you analyze your results, you can use this information to maximize future content marketing strategies for success.
Establish Customer Relationships
One method of helping entrepreneurs become better marketers is forming organic relationships with customers. Customers are savvier than ever and don’t want you to bombard them with sales pitches or advertisements.
Instead, they prefer to get to know you first. That way, you understand them better and can create products that cater to their needs. One way you can start building customer relationships is through social media.
You can use social media to post customer reviews or user-generated content to attract new buyers and increase your customer base. Engaging prospects and providing valuable content your customers find share-worthy across various platforms is also useful. Additionally, you can gain regular feedback and distribute content that fosters engagement and drives website traffic.
Here are some tips to help you get started on social media and form relationships.
1. Choose the Right Platforms
Not all social networking sites were created equal. That’s why it’s important to consider which platforms you’ll use for your business carefully. The best way to decide is to look at your target audience’s demographics and determine where they spend their time on social media.
B2B businesses mostly rely on LinkedIn or Facebook to reach their target audience. For example, a broker might be interested in connecting with users to gain qualified leads for buyers interested in purchasing a home. Meanwhile, B2C companies might use Instagram or TikTok to engage users since their target audiences are mainly on these platforms.
2. Think Creatively
Avoid being afraid to create fun content. Social media is a place to develop personal connections. So whether you’re a B2B or B2B brand, it’s important to show the human who’s behind the other side of that screen.
Consider putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and what they might find interesting. How can you mix intriguing and easy information for your audience to consume?
Making an additional effort like this can help you connect with your audience and stand out from the competition.
Adapt to New Tools
Marketing is constantly evolving. There will always be new trends and directions to explore. While it’s not necessary to master all things at once, you can still become a specialist in an area or possess multiple technologies.
One example is discovering how to make video content for marketing.
Video content is one of the most powerful tools for marketing today. Hubspot Blog Research found that 88% of B2B and B2C brands have an entire team dedicated to creating video content.
Yet, why is video such a staple of marketing? It helps raise brand awareness, increase revenue and advertise products.
If you’re considering going in a new direction with video, here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Focus on Stories Instead of Sales
If you want more people to watch your videos, create value for them instead of focusing on your brand. The best video content shares stories that connect with the viewer’s emotions.
For example, suppose you’re a doctor specializing in sports medicine. In that case, you could tell a story about how your business changes clients’ lives. Essentially, you can develop a story about how you’re making a difference in your community.
2. Be Strategic in the First Few Seconds
Attention spans are short these days. Therefore, a successful video provides clarity and gives viewers confidence that what they’re watching is worth their time.
Consider grabbing attention with a hook, such as a quick preview of what’s coming in the video. You can also attract more viewers by creating a high-quality thumbnail. The best thumbnails are clear and begin to tell viewers what they’ll gain from watching your content.
3. Create a Call to Action
Always include a call to action that aligns with your marketing goals. Do you want them to visit your website or share the video on social media?
You can easily instruct your viewers to take action by asking them in the video through someone speaking or using text.
Either way, adding a call to action is easy and can create results you wouldn’t have without one.
Use These Top Methods to Become a Better Marketer
You can ultimately reach your business goals using these methods to become a better marketer. Without these strategies, you won’t be able to collectively produce results such as obtaining leads, increasing revenue, and scaling your business growth.
The marketing space is crowded. Therefore, these tactics will allow you to distinguish yourself from those with similar offerings.
What other methods can you share that have helped you to become a better marketer?
Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine.
She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and
user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and
Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design, and/or tea on LinkedIn!
▶ you’re struggling through a low point in your business right now or
▶ you’re trying to figure out how to pivot in your business
▶ you’re feeling discouraged, and overwhelmed handling all the uncertainties .. you’re not alone.
You’re in the right place.
I got to sit down with a powerhouse group of three seasoned entrepreneurs who share candidly about what they did to pivot in their businesses. We’re going to go deep into their own battle struggling with discouragement and how they ultimately conquered their head trash.
We’re also going to get tactical with a robust discussion on actionable ideas you can take away to help you gain clarity on when, who, what, when and where you might pivot in your business.
ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS WE DISCUSS:
1- When did you start your first business and what did your business look like before?
2- What happened that led to you making a pivot and what does your business look like now?
3- What was the lowest point for you in that journey and what were some of the negative thoughts and emotions you struggled with then?
4- What tactics or strategies did you try that you found was NOT helpful to you in that low season?
5- What decisions/mindset shifts/actions made the greatest impact on you to make a successful pivot in your business?
ENGAGE IN THE CONVERSATION WITH US! Share your comments on any of the questions below.
1- What is one nugget that encouraged you from this Roundtable Discussion?
2- What question do you have about pivoting in your business?
3- What is one negative belief you struggled with or conquered?
⭐️ ARE YOU A BUSINESS OWNER? … INTERESTED IN JOINING A PEER ADVISORY MASTERMIND GROUP?
⭐️Learn More Here: https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com/MMG
ABOUT OUR ENTREPRENEUR ROUNDTABLE PANELISTS:
Stanley Greeneis the founder of www.PowerThinkingCorp.com He offers global resilience training and exercises that give you the knowledge and ability to retrain your brain and increase your effectiveness. His training is based on over 30 years of scientific research. Clients include insurance giant Aflac, media powerhouse Comcast, as well as organizations in China and Japan.
Marvin Epsteinis a serial entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of karmainternational.com and partner in BeverlyHillsPublishing.com A co-founder of Karma International- an exclusive private membership organization dedicated to connecting exceptional & inspirational entrepreneurs both socially & professionally. Previously he started I.A.T Capital a business that allowed him to work with fellow entrepreneurs in the areas of finance, media, hospitality, health & wellness as well as the film production company, Pure Media Studio. A Ted Talk speaker, author, and philanthropist he believes in the power of “who you are not what you do” is what makes a difference in the world. His book, Humility Branding published by Beverly Hills Publishing a firm where he is now a managing partner explains why humility is the key characteristic to inspiring greatness in leadership and experiencing happiness. His passion is to work with “character-driven entrepreneurs through the power of unconditional humility and integrity to inspire greatness and make this world a better place”.
Jon Keelfounded of ImprovedTogether.com in 1997. He has developed a reputation as a results oriented Business Advisor from having helped almost 1,300 businesses in 85 niches increase their revenue since 1997. Jon also co-developed the Xavier University MBA E-Business program, where he taught Online Marketing and E-Commerce for four years. Since early 2022, he has focused solely on LinkedIn, where he provides a SaaS product that increases post exposure and engagement, teaching, training, coaching and mentoring, including corporate workshops. He frequently speaks to audiences about performance-based marketing. He has written several books and numerous articles. He co-developed the first pay-per-click search engine bid management software and wrote the first book on pay-per-click search engines, “Instant Web Site Traffic.” His most recent book collaboration is “Success Secrets of Entrepreneurs, published in April, 2022.” He currently resides in Dublin, Ohio with his wife of 50 years, Colleen.
TRANSCRIPT OF OUR ENTREPRENEUR ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
Please note that some words may not have been correctly spelled or transcribed correctly. Time markers listed may also be slightly inaccurate For best accuracy and learning experience please be sure to watch the video version here: https://youtu.be/liOVdJ4IpCA
Yoon Cannon (paramountbusinesscoach.com)
so listen, if you’re struggling through a low point in your business right now, or you’re trying to figure out how to have it in your business If you’ve ever felt discouraged, We’re sure doing that right now.
If you might be feeling overwhelmed, handling all of the uncertainties in your business. You are not alone. You are in the right place.
I am young Canon, and I’m really excited to sit down with three very impressive entrepreneurs who have fought through the same battles and they have gone through the journey of pivoting in their business.
They have experienced all of the same common negative thinking or negative emotions, and they have come on the other side, so welcome.
I’m here to talk with Stanley Marvin Epstein and John Keel, so welcome, gentlemen. Yes, absolutely so. just the audience a little bit more about each of you.
I’m just going to kind of stagger the introductions. I’d love to know. you know. I’ve got a bunch of questions they were going to be talking about.
Really, when you first started your business, What did it look like when you first started? What does it look like?
Now we’re going to talk about what happened in your business that you had to decide to make a pivot.
And what was that journey? Like? You know, What did you try That didn’t work? What did you try That ultimately did help you make that pivot and make it successfully so our audience can learn from the collective wisdom of others who we’re going to share with You know today, so I’d love to talk about that And so the first person I want to ask you know, when did you first start your business, What did it
Look like I’ll introduce is Marvin Epstein, Marvin is a serial entrepreneur of Karma International Dot Com and partner in Beverly Hills publishing Dot com.
So he is an excuse. Will Beverly or Karma International, what they do, is an exclusive private membership organization dedicated to connecting exceptional and inspirational entrepreneurs both socially and professionally, So, just to tell you a little bit about Marvin’s background, he started I, Eighty capital.
Actually, that he started eighty capital. A business allowed him to work with fellow entrepreneurs in the areas of finance, media, hospitality, health and wellness, as well as a film production company, Pure Media studio.
I think that’s really cool. I actually had a live performance production company at one time anyway. So Marvin is a Ted talk speaker, author, philanthropist.
He believes in the power of Who you are not, and what you do, who you are and not what you do.
All right. So to take it away, Marvin, talk to us about when did you start your business And what did it look like In the beginning?
Well, first of all, thank you, Unan and John, it’s a pleasure to be on the panel with you. We started Carmen in two thousand and five, two thousand and six, and the focus was I was just coming out of.
I guess you would call it more traditional finance and the hedge fund world, And what I realized in that in that industry, for the most part was more about what you do.
and when I skipped over who you are, I realize there were some pitfalls in knowing some of the character of some of the individuals that I was associated and working with, And I realize because of the way I was wired, and because of what was going to make me successful, I was looking at seeing people that were
To be people, I want to get along with people. I respected people I cared about, and fortunately I met a gentleman Eric Stokes, and he is the original founder of Crime International, And when we started talking about this, it was very clear to me that his focus was more about who you are than what you do.
So it’s more about the character of the person, the reputation of the person, the soul of the person, than it is the project or the deal or the transaction.
And as all of us on camera know is, you know, we’ve all been involved in multiple deals and multiple transactions.
The majority of our success is because of the relationship that we’ve built with the people on the other side.
So the one thing that was really important to me going into the next venture was knowing that these are people I really cared about.
I respected. I wanted to be around in a relationship way and then we could talk about the business side, so we became an event based driven venue in different chapters throughout the country
And the idea was to meet socially, to gather to meet people, and get an idea of who they are.
And you know as I say, what their table matters are, To make sure there’s not a food fight when you get into a business transaction, You know very big success from the standpoint of all these entrepreneurs that are reputation based and people want to be around these people not just because of their success in business, but because of who they are.
That message alone, Marvin is really going to help a lot of people just to have that refreshing reminder that if your business is kind of on a low point right now, a lot of people are associating that as your identity and to what you said and what your business is about.
It’s spreading that message. It’s about who you are, and that’s such a timely message for so many people right now to dig into that.
That’s your identity and not what you do and not what your business Does I love that love? Love, love that, John.
I’m curious about your business. and just to introduce John kill to everybody, he found it improved together. Dot Com in one thousand nine hundred and seven.
He has developed a reputation as a results oriented business advisor firm and he has helped over one thousand three hundred businesses in eighty five niches.
That’s tremendous. He’s helped them increase the revenue since one thousand nine hundred and seven so, he has co developed Xavier University M B A, an m, B, A business program, where he taught online marketing and E Commerce for four years, but in early two thousand and twenty two, so I love this because it’s it’s recent.
He focused soley on Linked in, so I can’t wait to hear about your pivot story. So he provides a Sas product that increases it exposure and engagement.
So he teaches, he trains coach mentors and it also includes Corporate workshops, John is a frequent speaker to audiences about performance based marketing.
He’s written several books, numerous articles. He co developed the first paper Click search engine bid management software and wrote the first book on paper click search engines, called Instant Web site Traffic, Very cool.
I’d love to learn more about that, and his recent book Elaborate collaboration is success, Secrets of entrepreneurs, published in April, Two thousand and twenty two, and John resides in Dublin, Ohio, with his wife Colleen.
fifty years. congratulations on. Wow, so many questions. congratulations on fifty years. So John, we’d love to hear. So you started a business in one thousand, nine hundred and seven, and tell us a little bit about what it looked like in the beginning.
I mean, my third career actually went to work for Sold in one thousand, nine hundred and ninety five, basically to save my family, I had been very, very successful, so several hundred million dollars worth of equipment with my engineering background and discovered the Internet in ninety seven, thought that would be a great tool for small business, because I believe I’m passionate that small business people, small businesses are the future of the world’s economy.
I believe it’s not big business, And so I marked on a journey of twenty five years to help small businesses grow increase revenue.
had a lot of success doing that until March first of two thousand and twenty. I wonder what happened then?
Whole long story. But I work over the years because I really learned and executed marketing, online marketing, offline marketing, and several mentors told me early on, the numbers never
Entrees, many business peoples think well, it’s going to get better, and in my case, the numbers are took a nine percent drop in two thousand and twenty.
Yeah, because things just stopped and my, I knew I need something different, so that’s why expertise and that’s just taking off exploding quite frankly from ninety seven to two thousand and twenty.
Well doing what I’m doing. Thank you very much. really proud to be here such good company. so really appreciate this opportunity.
Yes, the company started our thinking started in two thousand and eleven, but it’s really the culmination of all the things that have happened in my lifetime
You know as a young young child and you know every mother go through, you know, separation at bad, leaving and bouncing back that she had to do personally, you know, financially, you know playing in sports and actually you know failing when I used to watch basketball basketball games for class in eighth grade, and and one day they were short handed and they put me in the game.
They said, Come on and I told him I couldn’t play. not a play in anyway, and I just failed miserably And that drove me to bounce back and learn the game And I became our city player to University of Pennsylvania, for N B, a whole, fame coach Chuck Daily, and then moving on in business, you know, taking on under forming organizations, focusing on the people and their mindset, you know, trying to
You know, working to turn them around as we did that we made them more optimistic and made them more solutions, focused more collaborative results.
You know, just went through the root, going through other business adversities, Where after our cable company was working in Telecom cable vice President rising, but in two thousand, John remembers.
We had the dot Com bubble. I took over. an Internet company was burning three million dollars of cash a month, And you know the thought was you know more money would be, you know, coming in because it’s a dot com and then all of a sudden the dot com, you know, the as Marvin would know, the venture capitalist.
Whoa, wait a minute. this isn’t going to work. you know, Just say you’re a dot com and get tens of millions of dollars and that was all over.
and here I am with a company. I raised eleven million in three weeks And we had to figure out a way with one hundred seventeen employees there to get through, and I had to lay off those hundred seventeen pivot.
Find a different model and we position for broadband, but from company to company. Since that it turf, which was building turf fields, and then we hit in two thousand and eight, you know would do big recession.
You know, what I learned was that it didn’t matter what school you attended. You know family background was, You know how, if you inherited tons of money, what really matters is whether you have what it takes to bounce back from setbacks.
Because the one thing we all have in common and I found this to my travel to China, Tokyo to teach.
this is that it all had crushing adversity. The question is how fast can we doubt that Most of us bounce that, but can we bounce back faster?
And so when I came across this company called Reflective Learning at the intellectual property rights material that came out of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, I thought, Oh, my goodness, teaching this stuff that I pretty much experienced my entire life, and ultimately I was able to buy the company.
We had to pivot, you know, because the model that they have was working, and that led to what we do today with power thinking you know, Helping people to you know, tap into the power that we all have to bounce back from life’s adversity.
Recent pivot was at the start we acquired a company that built you know, twenty six hour online courses. Great courses, great content taught by the professors and researchers that did all of the work around this one course for teens, one for adults.
So I thought Ok, Well, they just did a poor job marketing. That’s why they failed. They were trying to market this to companies for their employees.
A company. wouldn’t you want more resilient people? Because if they’re more resilient, your results are going to be. Just didn’t work best years.
you know, they said Ok, You know what? It’s been too long. We put too much money into it. We’re done.
Route. I came and bought the budget, but I made a mistake. just the same thing. Ok. Well, you know, I’m a better sales person, so I think I get this done and it just didn’t work.
And so it was only about five years ago that I realized that I needed to pivot Actually, you know, Vice President of Comcast their Comcast University Learning center, After Hear me present and so forth and taking you online course, he said, Wait, stand.
You can do this yourself. You need to scrap that course and that was very tough. I know that a lot of money was dumped into it.
It’s a great course that people just didn’t get through it some reason, And that’s when I had to make the pivot and find a different way, and ultimately what it led to, where these weekly calls where I can present material consistently and over three month period or so, people would actually, you know, have to shift their brains.
It would retrain their brains, so they would recognize when they’re falling into thinking traps when they beating themselves up too much with a blaming others too much, or the mind reading.
Wow, so your pivot was you realize that the delivery mechanism was to build the business around courses. and of course we hear that all the time, especially in the last five years how you need to, you know, you need to create a course based business, passive income, right and you just found it wasn’t really being effective.
So now you’re doing weekly calls and if you pivot anywhere else, as far as the delivery, are they still getting a course?
Are they getting anything out of a course where my membership? So we buy people to the calls at no calls, and if they what you know, additional benefits access to all the recorded calls and videos that we share.
two hour course that I actually put together. So of course, here is what we want to clarify.
It’s nothing. So you know what we, what we, what we do is we recognize it, courses. we could do courses and do well.
I mean, that’s not the issue. My goal is to help people to transform. Yes, so I just want to make money selling courses.
I can do that, but the people ultimately wouldn’t get the benefit. This is not about knowledge, this is about getting people to change, challenge their beliefs, being able to recognize deep rigidly So that’s a process transformation process that big instructor led on a weekly basis, keeping short only thirty minutes, as has been very effective, so I wanted to just make money so
Courses all day long, but I know that people would change because they take the course and they go. Ok.
I do everything. there is no doubt, So it’s drove out. Drive on the highway. Somebody cut some of it.
Get angry and you know, put up the bigger. so I know that we have accomplished, but with what we do, people have changed.
They produce the negative emotion bounced back, Pastor, Have tremendous testimonials, So you’re making that pivot family?
I wasn’t smart enough to work. I couldn’t figure it out myself. Just stumbled into it. I was doing a pilot for Affleck.
I actually joined Affleck five years ago. All the things that I’ve joined them as a commission only sales person.
I never Done that in my life. I’ve led sales teams created, sales teams could always say Ok how you doing?
but you know what your pipeline look like, but never did it myself and I did it in part because I wanted to understand what they go through and see if there was an application.
We found that there was an application for what I do, because I thought there’s a mental battle that you have to win every day as an entrepreneur as a commission sales person Because you’re faced with rejection.
You talk about bouncing back after every phone call. You have to bounce back and keep pushing. And we piloted the program in central Pennsylvania.
Now it’s available after the new associates, available to new associates of A. And so we tried. This pilot was doing a lot of face to face.
I was going out with people and help, and actually, it was one of the regional regional sales coordinator that suggested that
I love that, so I think that what I’m hearing from your story that our audience could consider taking away would be to really pay attention to ideas and suggestions that other people have, and those other people might be in the form of a.
maybe I have to go out and get a gig somewhere else as a side hustle. or you know, pick up a commission only situation.
Or maybe that suggestion is coming from a friend, a colleague. But what you did is you really paid attention to his suggestion, and you ran with it and you weren’t afraid.
you were coachable Right And that’s what I’m taking away from from your story that our audience can think about.
Well, I don’t even know how to make a pivot. I don’t even know what I would change. So John, talk to us about your process.
How did you come up with the idea Idea, all right. Well, clearly we’ve been hit. The pandemic. Has has really hit a lot of businesses.
How did you come up the idea where to pivot in your business in a conversation?
And thanks so much for that stand. There’s a part of the last thirty five years of my career has been being involved with people that are much smarter than I am.
I’m not the smartest guy in the room I just hang out with and that’s instrumental. through association mastermind groups, coaching mentoring.
I paid for coaches for thirty five years because I can’t do it on my own. Not smart enough. but when I saw what was happening, I mean things basically shut down.
It was a real mental thing I had to overcome because I’ve been very successful over twenty five years in helping businesses increase revenue.
I know the online world and the things I’ve been doing for twenty five years just Working anymore again, the numbers don’t lie, and a conversation with a friend of mine in early March, he reminded me, I’ve been talking to him for two years about linked in as a great business to business tool.
And what I didn’t know back then, what I know now is that ninety nine percent of Lincoln’s eight hundred fifty million users use it ineffectively.
This is per link in me, and that’s interesting, and they asked me a couple questions and we ascertained very quickly that I wasn’t using it.
effectively introduced to some people who had developed a software that dramatically increases linked in post exposure engagement. I’m old enough again.
They call me the old dog with new tricks. I’ve been around a long time, and I heard it all.
I don’t believe things Necessarily, so I started using. I started trying all of a sudden. I saw it was like I had died, and with the results I was getting, I kept trying.
Kept using the same results. So I just scheduled zoom call with the owner of the business and said You know, you know, we don’t know each other.
This is a great tool. I love to take this because I have a great network here in the States, and he said, Well, I’m going to expand through white label partners.
People who have access to the software not got my four, and by the way, I was one of them and you know we didn’t know each other, and I said Well, that’s great for them.
But what about me and he said, Well, I’ve checked you out. You have an excellent reputation. Long time in the marketplace.
Would you like to be number five, but I’m not stupid, and I said When we get started, so I
Sas product under the Big umbrella group Improve results, improve together two businesses in August, and it just began to take off and again, because people don’t in this particular mechanism of linked in the platform of Link, and people don’t use effectively, Most people are very very frustrated.
so I added to that then, not only having the access to the software as a Sas product, but teaching, so I do a monthly free three one hour sessions, teaching all things like them.
Because linked in is changing so dramatically fast. They do a good job of incorporating changes. They do a very poor job.
I believe telling anybody about them. I happen to be listened, Guys, who knows what’s going on, I listen to them and I use what I
Information I get from them, study a little bit share with my network and again, I’m not that. I’m not that smart.
I listen very well. I love that and there’s a lot of people who went through that same exact journey as you that that I speak to right, and they’ve been doing very well, had a successful two thousand, five hundred and thirty plus year career as an entrepreneur, And then suddenly you know the nature of the business that they were, and they’ve been hit hard.
So what I’m hearing from you, John is is you didn’t Just you went further than thinking about. All right, How can I find?
Where can I find the people who are looking for the services I’ve always sold. but you went out and thought about.
Well, there’s already products out there that are selling And how can I white label that? And it’s still in the wheel house of the brand that you have built all these years.
You’re still helping people grow their business. You’re still. Yeah, you’re still in the marketing game, but you really thought about and were open.
What are some other products that I can white label Just similar to sand, story of selling another product, Affleck, and quite frank, Because my dad told me early on, it’s hard to steer a parked car if all you ever knew was.
Oh thank you, and first of all, one of the things that I really appreciate of all panelists is the one thing that I think your audience needs to understand is we’ve used the word listen in every one of our responses to the things that
You’re asking, and being a good listener is one of the key ingredients. I have an expression. The best teacher is an unconditional student, And I can tell by hearing Stanley’s expression and hearing John’s expression.
I mean, it has nothing to do with age has nothing to do with socio economics has nothing to do with demographics.
I want everyone that’s watching this to know that there’s no better or worse in anything that we’re describing and all the walks of life that we’ve all come from different and similar.
We just became good listeners and better understood what people were saying, So I think you know what message and by the way, John, I’m going to champion your cause because I love what you’re doing with Linked in because I think linked in has got millions of sheep and very few shepherds, and how they did that to get everybody to talk themselves into, I think is a story in itself, but
I love what he’s done to actually capture that and say, Look, I’m going to. I’m going to help you.
You’re using it, but now it’s going to be about value and what stand is taking as athletic career And knowing, I mean, Chuck Daly’s an icon in sports, but an icon is a brilliant individual and we all looked at something and said, If we listen, somebody will share this with us and we’re the same thing as when somebody wants to share something.
The most important thing that we can do is listen and when I made, I guess you could say the latest pivot.
It started after my Ted talk and when I partnered with a fellow Karma member who had a publishing company, Andre Albright, and she was a publisher of my book, and when we saw what was going on with, we didn’t know how long anything was going to last where we weren’t going to be in person.
she already had a business that was remote and her team was all over the world, so she’d been doing this for years
And I looked at this as well. You know. it’s a short term thing. we’re going to get over this quickly.
You know, how could this last more than a year or whatever? And the answer that she was telling me is it doesn’t matter how long it lasts.
If you have something that doesn’t affect it and it’s successful, then you’re going to be successful. Anyway. She’s been doing this a lot longer than the pandemic started, so it already perfected the concept of having this remote team, and she already understood the publishing industry very very well.
In fact, she’s publishing her twenty seventh book this year, so she’s definitely like polished as a publisher, a marketer brand expert and promotion, Npr.
It’s all internal, but what I looked at is because I was obviously one of the proof of concepts to go through this process when when I saw what was happening is the first thing I said is you know, I need to do a
Assessment of what I really want to do and who I am and how I want the universe to know me, because if I’m going to do anything to get out from whatever the hole is, However, the whole deep deep wide, whatever, I need to be able to tell somebody who I am and I need to be able to have a brand that’s wrapped around that.
So you know, as we joke about the elevator pitch in the small building is, I want to be able to tell somebody who I am and how I’m valuable, and let them come back to me.
Have the expression It’s not who you know and what you know. it’s what other people think you know. So if other people and I think Dan is a perfect example, because it sounds like in some of his transitions where it was more about what other people felt he knew, And then he championed that cause, and that’s little bit of a shortcut for your audience is every one of us has skill sets, And if
We look at everything we have and basically hit the delete button with everything we don’t have, because there’s always going to be something we don’t have that somebody else has, So we’re never a hundred percent, But we are valuable and we are of value and that self assessment that reaching out to people that you care about that you trust that you respect that you want to be closer to, and then find out what it is they’re looking for, And it’s not a matter of having to train by reading a manual.
It’s more by being value to them and them coming back to you and saying, if you’re this interested in what I’m doing, then I want to invest the time to make sure you can be one of my advocates.
You can be one of my champions, And that’s how the relationship with Andre and I built is, I said, Look, we’re not doing events right now and things like that.
How can I help grow your business, And the comeback was is Well, you know I’m looking for media, more media relationships, looking for more marketing partnerships and sponsorship.
I’m looking to elevate the brand. If you have ways to do that. Let’s talk about it. So she gave me a roadmap because I opened the door to say, How can I be of value?
And I think John and Stan and you and you and I have had this conversation. The first thing is if you’re of service, then people will find a value.
If you’re if you’re of self promotion, then it’s just not as valuable. We’ll just say it that way so to be a good listener, to do a self assessment, and then to reach out to the people that you care about and respect, you’re gonna get tremendous tremendous value.
And I think everybody on this panel has created such an amazing network more, because we’ve all given value to someone and somebody else has real
I love that. So what I’m hearing from your story you shared, shared a lot of a lot of stuff right right in that segment.
But one thing is you are open to what does that look like for you to help that person. First you started, you know, wanting to show up wanting to help that person that you’re speaking with instead of I’m here to try to sell you the surfaces, the preconceived services that I already have, and instead of doing it that way, you just showed up with a heart to help and you, you didn’t limit with answering.
Ok. Well, I can help you through x y Z services we already offer, and to me it sounds like you did really the same thing as John, with white labeling, but in Andre’s case, she didn’t use the word white labeling
She used the word partners and what that looked like for her, so it’s very. It’s got some similarities, you know, but I love that.
So just in pivot in exploring people who are trying to explore. where can you make a pivot in your business to get you back on track.
And it’s being open to hearing what other are saying. It’s also showing up with a heart to help. Not being married to that type of help must look like the services you sell being open to what those multiple revenue streams could look like.
And really that ultimately it starts with the heart to help. I love that and to what you shared earlier to Marvin, You mentioned about your Ted talk night.
I watched your Ted talk. I loved it, love, love, love that, your talk about humility and what Use this as a segue to our next question because you know it is our perspective on interpretating the challenges that we’re in situation that you might be in.
So if you’re going through a tough time your business. I think sometimes God just uses hard times to bring us some more humility to your message.
So if you’ve had decades of crazy success, it’s got to easy to get puffed up and sort of stink of pride, and nobody’s attracted to that, you know, And so hey, perhaps I really do believe God can use our mess to end up being our message, and your message with your humility.
Ted talk was wonderful. so if all else, if that’s the only thing our struggles are crafting in us or cultivating in us, is just kind of making us into more humble
People with a heart, and not to forget that we’re here to help. We’re here to serve. And I loved your tip about doing an assessment.
Just going, doing a deep dive in who you are. What drives you? You know what really matters what kind of impact you want to make for people, and starting there to decide and discover where you could pivot next in your business, But the reason why?
Ok. so go back to Milly, You go back here to talk. I want to have each of you go back to really, where you had the darkest thoughts.
you know. As far as the head trash, the doubt, the second guessing overwhelmed discourse. I don’t know if you ever struggled with discouragement at any point in your entrepreneurial journey.
So Dan, I know you teach this, but I’m curious. take us back You yourself struggle with those negative thoughts and emotions and just tell us how you felt back then and how did you?
How did you? What were the first steps that helped you get out of that and training? training your brain?
Well, you know, there’s been a number of occasions where you know. Unfortunately in society certainly praise success. and those who are quote unquote successful.
And what we don’t realize is that those same folks that we are praising have gone through tough times as well.
Somehow we have to figure out how to change that, I think, with the you know more, talk about mental well being and mental health
I think that’s starting to happen and people realize people out there who are have had challenges from time to time who are having challenges as we speak, and going through those dark times.
And so we used to frown upon that. Oh, you know, I feel bad for you, you know, I want to be successful.
So for me I, it was. I took over a company I was planning, but I wanted to get back into more entrepreneurial environments at work like cable.
And so I actually left Bell Atlantic. At that time, it was never rising, but I left them to be the president of a music video channel that competed against M.
V, called The Box, and they actually back in the mid nineties or so They had almost like music videos on demand.
It was like a video Jukebox. Regional name was Video Jukebox and they had been struggling. They were losing markets because the types of videos they were playing back in the nineties.
It was the gangster Rapid, but you know those young people loved it and they could order those videos of the phone or Nine hundred Number Question was up in arms, and they pressured cable systems to get rid of the channel, And they did in New York, which major market D, C, and the company was in it.
In a tailspin. I made a pitch, the board that I come in and save that company and the company which was then the largest cable operator, called T.
I. that was going to buy them and did the due diligence and backed off. I said I can get suitors back to the table in six months, And so I came in, and in that six month period did
What most folks thought was impossible, string of things, the strategy that we put in place to differentiate it. And but the problem was when I came in as the president of Box Usa person, that kind of screwed up the company board was what, for whatever reason felt that you know, we keep him as a C.
O, and I still had to report to the. I. arrange for the meeting with a large company to come back to the table.
We had a big presentation. After my six months or so, they agreed to take another look at the company and then I was out.
They were dealing with the c e O at secret meetings with them, and you know, announced a merger thirty days after that meeting, and in a few months later before my stock options were to be best, it terminated my contract at our board meeting.
I’m on a phone Phone board meeting and a contract was terminated. I was absolutely devastated. My wife said it was that she said she thought I was depressed and I’d never heard that word before and I thought me depressed.
She said You’re depressed, And you know it was tough because I would talk about it all the time and I apologize, folks.
I thought this stuff was behind me, but you asked me. You know. the consolation was, I came into another company channel in Philadelphia that was bought by Comcast and you know I got a million dollars out of that, So it was you know about Backus, but still to this day you know, stock options by the way three years later was worth.
The first of all the emotion you know, and I always talk about these negative emotions. Anger. there’s guilt, there’s embarrassment, sadness and anxiety.
The big one for me was anger and anger. Is it really believe that someone did something you know by a late.
You’re right. And so you know, I had to you know. Mitigate that feeling. you know. That was there for you know, a couple of years, and I had to, in order to to really take on this new challenge which was starting a news channel.
You know, I had to you know, figure out a way to let it go, let go that anger
Back then I went through a metamorphosis in my life, a transformation of my life thirty years ago when my marriage was in poor shape.
When I have been married fifty years, and for me it was all faith based. If it weren’t for that, I don’t know what I hope, the local
That process was, you know, the head trash, all that all that stuff. the way I used to talk to myself, verbal, My wife would leave the room.
she said, you wouldn’t talk to your worst enemy. You talk yourself and I have found many people don’t realize.
Think about it when you speak bad stuff. The first person to hear it is you, because your ears are the nearest to your mouth and the mind does not know the difference between a truth and a lie.
so when I speak lies things that aren’t true, that just gets fed right into writing just over and over and over again.
But as we’re going back now about three years ago, I’ve gone through a lot of that already in terms of the way I speak myself and I didn’t have any negative feelings about that.
It was disappointment When I wasn’t doing what I knew it was capable of doing or seeing the results I knew was capable of doing, and just I guess again, it was the faith that just kind of kept me going Because I do a thing every morning.
I call it my John time. I spend an hour. I go analog before I go digital like that, and a lot of that is getting my head straight for the day for me.
Once I get on line, it’s over the day’s over in terms of accomplishing things, so I kind of set myself up every day for success, if you will, being able to come through the disappointments that will occur during the day, I can’t remember Margaret, whether it was you or Stan who said Crap’s going to happen.
It’s called life. Deal with it. You have to learn to deal with it, and a lot of that is emotional intelligence
Which I’ve studied a lot on the last twenty years, and I just don’t let crap get me down. And that just didn’t come over night.
I had to work through that over several years, really reading and studying and continuing to speak the right words to myself both verbally and emotionally internally.
I love that. So you go analogue before you go digital, and in that process that your morning routine you’re spending that time just being aware of what are the thoughts that you’re allowing to come into your mind, and what are the positive thoughts that you are choosing to engage in, And the other thing I do to show, I keep a journal and I don’t have all the answers Most days, I don’t know all the answers and I write the questions down, and so I have found that
Maybe not right away, a week later or two later, subconscious myself, conscious will, which were the subconscious working, and so the subconscious process can come back and I’ll get answers and they just come to me.
I love that when you’re sitting still being mindful and self aware, you have those those better thoughts, those more positive, empowered thoughts that come to you, so I’d love to share or love to have Marvin share next, but before you share it just made me think John, of my own example.
I had struggled starting my coaching business because I started it, Didn’t realize at the time I was starting it in the recession of two thousand, seven thousand and eight.
I had sold my last Businesses, I sold all of them in two thousand and six, and at that point you know I’ve had four businesses under my belt and thirty to eighty people on my payroll.
So I thought how hard could it be to start a coaching business and I started the recession. I’m telling you, It was out of all the businesses.
This, it was the hardest one I started, and it put me in a lot of head trash. One of the things that I realized later that I was, I didn’t realize in the moment that I was saying to myself, Is I started thinking, Gosh, I should be further along.
I’m more advanced than this, and I would say things to myself like I lost my. You know, Why isn’t nothing working for me or something to those effects right?
And and it wasn’t until after actually I hired a coach. I hired a life coach And she was she’s She was wonderful, being able to just let me talk and articulate giving me some feedback.
And one thing she pointed out, I didn’t realize at the time that I was doing, she said, Well, you are choosing to believe that the thoughts that you have, You’re saying you lost your minus touch.
You’re believing that and when you believe that, that’s when you suffer and it, and it continues to propagate more.
and it just clicked. You know. So the thing that was helpful for me was, It took me a long time to be self aware of what are the destructive thoughts that keep playing in my mind?
And it took somebody else to what I had to do was because I didn’t get to that awareness quick enough by myself.
I had to go seek help, and for that person to actually give me the feedback. Wow, you really beat yourself
Up, really, I do. I didn’t realize I did that, and for her to feed back the kind of inner dialogue that I was obviously having of myself, And so that really, it just felt like it freed me to to then just say, Oh, Now I can move forward and say you know what, I’m not going to choose to believe that I’m going to believe this instead and writing down.
much like yourself, John, Just journaling and writing down. What are the? What are the? What are the truths I’m going to choose to believe, And what are the reoccurring lies that I seem to be susceptible to keep listening to That I have to actually write down and say I do not believe this.
This is a lie. So that exercise was definitely helpful for me, Marvin. How about yourself? Do you have a like, a specific inner dialogue that you know
Just would send you season of discouragement, And what was that? Perhaps maybe our listeners have that dialogue going on right now.
Well, I think to keep it brief for you, I think in my early s, I was sold on the excitement and the enthusiasm and the opportunity to be a part of something that I was excited about and didn’t do a whole lot of research on the person, and unfortunately it ended up costing me and a couple of family members a lot of money and a lot of heartache.
and I was so embarrassed that I didn’t want to tell my family what happened that I literally just said to myself.
Now it comes down to like this is truth time. This is how. how well can you defend yourself and what are the tools you have
So I literally just started looking anywhere that I could to find a position that would get me to pay rent for the next month, and I didn’t really care what it was, because I’m going to make myself qualified by what they need.
I’m not. I know. I’m not going to need to be a lawyer or a doctor in thirty days, so I’m not worried that I have to go and go to a training.
but whatever training is, I’m just going to tell them exactly what I need from them and they’re going to tell me how I get to do this, so I’m going to be solution oriented, and the one thing that I’ve come to realize is I have an expression.
The universe does not reward strangers, So if you connect with someone and they feel like you’re going to be of value to them, they will do more for you than somebody.
Would That just looks at your resume. So I literally went in and I took several interviews, and every one of them I told the same thing
Said, My goal is based on what I read you’re offering. I need to make this much money in thirty days.
If you promise me to do this, I will do everything I need to do to make sure I’m your next champion and testimonial.
And so I ended up doing direct sales. I wore a chef’s outfit. I went door to door and sold restaurant subscriptions, And what I did is, I took my marketing hat and I took my survival hat and said, if I go door to door one at a time, I can sell one at a time.
But if I go, the health clubs and the insurance companies, thank you, Stanley Affleck, and other companies that have you know, brokerage houses and real estate mortgage brokers that have all these people in one office.
And then what I want to do is I want to get my foot in the door to be able to present it to the person that’s in charge.
Instead of buying one, they’ll buy several. and instead of using the word buying, I’m gonna say this is the value that I
I want to provide you, tell me how this becomes of value, because everything in my mindset was when I go home tonight.
I need to know that I was productive and I was successful and I was rewarded, and every day I put a tally sheet to say I know what I need to get to dollar figure to be able to pay this rent, And it wasn’t so much a financial.
It was financially motivated, but it was motivated because I felt like this was a test. I didn’t look at this as a self pity conversation.
Because that was the case. I would have told my parents what happened. I looked at it like this is my test.
This is my journey and now it’s my turn to perform. And how can I do this? How do I prove it to myself?
And I think what John and Stan, and you, and all the things that we’re telling the audience is all these things are internal.
If you. If you mentally prepare yourself first to say, what is it Can do what is it that I can provide value for, And how badly do I need it?
That’s how we find a way to succeed. And in my story and everybody’s story that I’ve heard, it’s always been those moments that have said internally, I know I can do this, so first we have to prepare ourselves mentally to say I’m ready to go to battle, whatever the battle is, and I just need to know what I need to do is the end goal, and however I get there, I want to be able to keep offering value for somebody to want to take a chance on me.
and the end result of this business, I ended up becoming their regional sales manager.
I love that. I love that, and one of the things you shared really resonated with me, Marvin when you said this is a test, because those couple of words forward, as has often been when I’ve had rough patches throughout my career.
Those four words Often, just me right back out just to remind myself and I would just put on posted stickers.
I was meant to get in a bracelet. I didn’t ever get that far. but just key words like this is a test would snap me out of it and say this is a test.
Ok. stop that. stop that, think and think it kind of stuff. So I love, love, love that. So as we wrap up, this has been such a refreshing conversation because it’s you’ve all been so authentic, transparent, sharing from your low points, your high points, your low points, and it’s a journey.
and just like life, there’s ups and downs and I just I’m so grateful for your candid honesty and the real tips that you’ve shared others can take away from.
so in closing, I just want to ask you to be share one piece of advice, because my firm belief is encouragement is oxygen to the soul, and my heart is that this converse
Would be a huge encouragement for other entrepreneurs out there If you just had one short message to to share To wrap things up to encourage our listeners.
what would that be? John? Can you? can you share something to encourage our listeners?
In today’s world, many small businesses are struggling to compete against large companies because most people would love to work for those organizations. The most typical scenario is that small businesses get what’s left from the applicants of big companies.
Your employees will help you make your business bigger. So it’s always best to look for top candidates as they’ll contribute to your organization more.
Hiring top talents in a company is one of the keys to its success. If you’re running a small business, one of the challenges your company faces is recruiting excellent employees.
This article will give tips on how small businesses can hire top talents and improve their company’s performance in the industry.
5 Recruitment Strategies For Small Businesses
It may sound easy to create your hiring system, but it is challenging, especially for small businesses. There are plenty of ways you can secure the best candidates.
Offer Flexible Schedules
Small businesses can attract excellent talents by offering flexitime. Most people are looking for a flexible job, especially regarding schedules. Employees use the time to search for other ways to earn money, such as freelancing, while others use it for personal growth.
Most employers think employees might not do their tasks if they don’t keep an eye on them. On the contrary, giving them flexible time allows them to increase productivity in your organization.
For instance, they have to finish 40 hours a week. Instead of making them complete it in five days, they can finish the 40 hours in four days with a 10-hour shift. They would have more free time for themselves to be used for personal growth or family.
Another example is they did 12 hours today; they can come in late the next day. Not only will it give your team more rest, but they can also make critical decisions for the company’s betterment.
Offer Competitive Compensation
Let’s be practical. We all need money to live and enjoy our lives, so job seekers consider salary before applying for the opening. If they have the skills but think they wouldn’t get the salary they deserve, they’d most likely turn away and look for another company.
Their skills are investments. They have spent countless hours studying to earn from them.
However, when it comes to compensation, salary isn’t the only thing involved. You can also add insurance, incentives, bonuses, and other perks that employees can get. Doing this will also improve your employee retention rating.
If your business is in sales, you can offer incentives if they reach their weekly or monthly target. This will make them try to sell more, increasing your sales.
Providing competitive compensation can also increase productivity in your organization. The employees will become more motivated to do their job, improving your business situation.
State Clear & Appealing Job Descriptions
Job seekers dislike unclear job descriptions. Before they consider the position available in your organization, they will read the description. If they find it very confusing, they’re more likely to give up on the job before applying.
Nobody wants to read texts that are full of jargon. So, it’s best to create straightforward job descriptions. You should include all the essential details, especially about the compensation, qualifications, and responsibilities.
Serious applicants and job seekers always want to be clear on what they are getting into. They don’t want to waste their time going through a hiring process that doesn’t give them clarity about the job description and requirements.
Job descriptions are your first move to attract top talents, so make sure that you write concise and appealing words to reach your target people.
Create a Referral Program
Small companies have more limited funds than larger ones. They would try to save costs as much as possible, including the recruitment process. You can lessen the cost of your recruitment by using referrals.
Referral programs are affordable. You don’t need to allocate a large budget to run the program because your employees will do it for you.
It’s one of the best ways to find new talents for your company and, at the same time, promote a stronger employer brand as your current employees would recommend your company as one of the best places to work.
Your current employees will help you look for the talent you need. For it to become more effective, you can offer the referrers monetary incentives for every successful referral. Giving them gift coupons or shopping vouchers will encourage them to invite the people they know to apply for the job.
Remember to keep the referral program simple and keep the referrers updated even if their referral didn’t qualify. This will boost the employer-employee relationship.
Share Equity or Ownership
Sharing equity/stocks or ownership is not a very common approach when looking for talents. However, it is very effective and can keep the key people in the company.
Candidates are not just looking for jobs; they want to ensure their future and create opportunities for themselves.
Offering them a certain amount of your company’s equity can motivate them. The percentage isn’t necessarily large. A small amount is a good start, but when the company becomes bigger, its share value also increases.
You’re also teaching them how stocks work and probably become great entrepreneurs in the future.
Build a Strong Employer Brand
Think about large companies, such as Google and Amazon. They have built their brands that many people could easily recognize as one of the biggest companies in the world.
To build your company brand, you will create a strong connection with your clients or customers as a company. Creating beautifully designed logos, attractive websites, and effective marketing strategies are some ways to establish your brand.
Creating a strong employer brand is similar to your company brand. As an employer, building relationships with current employees is beneficial in successfully recruiting the best people.
Talents want a stable job where they can work for a long time and see improvement. Aside from offering competitive compensation, invest in upskilling and professional development. You can provide them with free training and seminars. This will help you acquire high performing teams to help your business improve and become bigger.
Serious job seekers will surely love to work for your organization because they can also improve themselves and become better at what they do.
Start Succession Planning
Employees usually ask themselves what they would get if they stayed longer in a small company.
Larger companies offer various opportunities to their current employees. A small business might not be able to compete with all of those, but when you offer promotions, such as leadership, to your current employees, they would feel valuable.
Recruiting external candidates isn’t the only option for small businesses. You have your current employees to become the next key person you need. You don’t need to look elsewhere to find the right person because your employees are your excellent people source.
Always use data to back up your succession planning. It’s important to know who the right candidate is among your workforce. Using a metric performance system is the best way to identify the person.
You can check which person has been doing well and deserves a promotion.
Use Combinations of Recruiting Techniques
Small businesses shouldn’t just focus on their recruitment process; they should also consider the ways to secure top talents for their companies. Posting a job and waiting for a candidate isn’t a strategy to help your business grow.
Follow the tips above to attract more top talents. You’ll have more candidates to choose from and will be able to hire the best ones to improve your company.
SECRETS TO ATTRACTING TOP SALES TALENT FOR SMB OWNERS
There is a growing crisis in sales talent. According to Forbes, companies are “struggling to keep the sales reps they have, and having an even harder time finding and developing sales reps to replace them.”
Recruiting and retaining top sales talent has always been challenging. But, if you are trying to grow a small or mid-size company, it’s an added struggle to compete with the bigger salaries Enterprise companies can offer.
To help you attract top sales talent and navigate this era of the Great Resignation, I’ve rounded up six SMB owners to share their advice how they overcame specific constraints to recruiting sales talent.
SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #1. Hiring Salespeople Who Can Produce Quickly
We have focused our energy primarily on inbound marketing, which is conducive to having a team of farmers.
Farmers are generally better with accountability and providing the data needed for closing the loop on the customer journey. Hunters tend to be more outgoing, extroverted, and harder to keep track of. We have found this role has been the hardest to fill and keep and are still in search of a good one.
Lars Helgeson Founder / CEO, GreenRope All-In-One CRM with Marketing Automation
SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #4. Managing Budget & Expectations of the Sales Team.
ReadCube is part of Digital Science, which is part of the broader Holtzbrinck Publishing conglomerate. People who work in the Science Technical and Medical (STM) sectors know that Digital Science is a hot commodity.
So, I leveraged three core ways to be able to attract top sales talent.
I engaged my network looking for potential sales candidates who already had a rolodex.
The sellers I recruited worked for me in a past professional life, so we had/have mutual respect for each other.
I also worked with a headhunter.
From those tactics I was able to source 15-20 top qualified candidates to interview.
In our 15 years in business we have been through many challenging times such as a recession and Covid 19. 2022 has been just as challenging, the challenge this time is finding quality talent.
Only 4-5 years ago if we contacted 20 potential candidates we would get 10 quality resumes. Today, if we contact 50 we are lucky if we get 1 strong candidate. What we have done to combat this situation is think out of the box and consult with our clients to do the same.
Although the clientele might be different the core processes and sales cycles are the same.”
Jim McKenna, President at Definitive Search Partners We Partner with You to Bring You the Highest Quality Candidates!
SALES HIRING CHALLENGE # 7. Candidates Who Change Their Minds
LinkedIn recently published the top challenges facing recruiters. A staggering 75% of recruiters report they’ve dealt with candidates who went through the entire interview process, only to then change their minds last minute. (Ugh!) Unfortunately, this is growing problem that’s been happening at an increasing rate in the post pandemic world we are living in today.
How Yoon Cannon Helps SMB Owners Overcome This Challenge:
While it is unrealistic to completely eliminate this problem you can expect to greatly reduce candidates changing their minds by focusing on the big rocks I call the 3 R’s:
Remote Options: The latest studies are finding that 56% of candidates turn down jobs because of lack of flexibility to work remote. They want flexibility more than they want pay and security. Where we have been able to help SMB owners is by designing systems to help you effectively manage a remote or partially remote team while boosting their sales performance.
Retention through Relationships: Working remote certainly gives your sales team greater work-life balance, but it can also lead to your sales team feeling too isolated and disconnected. Pandemic or not, never forget human nature has proven throughout history that people will often stay with a company longer, not necessarily, because they love the actual work they do, but because they love the people they get to work with.
Introduce candidates throughout their interview process to multiple managers and peers in your organization.
Show the vibe of your people and the camaraderie they enjoy through your company videos.
Create and showcase several videos of you, the founder as well as your leadership team. Don’t make it “corporate”. Be your genuine selves. Candidates will want to work for you if you give them ways to feel like they got to know, like and trust you.
Recruiting Funnel: There is no one reason why a candidate changes their mind last minute. There are multiple reasons.
FIrst off, to make sense of this here is an analogy. Startups are like rock bands. Whereas, rock bands will send out demo tapes to whatever label will throw money at them. StartUps send out pitch decks to whatever VC will invest in them.
Either way, most of them never make it out of the garage. To get a record deal in your favor, getting out of the garage and touring is the best way to do this.
Investors want to see traction and there is no better way to show this than to have paying customers. It doesn’t matter who you know. People with money have it for a reason, they don’t spend it foolishly. Ironically, the far majority of VC funded companies also fail.
My best advice to any Entrepreneur is to get as many paying customers as possible and as quickly as possible. This also comes at great cost if you are irresponsible.
Peeva’s approach is a top to bottom approach.
Rather than hire a ground swell of boots on the ground (outside sales professionals) to make cold calls and hand off marketing literature and then pay them to chase and bother busy prospects, it was much more productive for us to establish a beta relationship with a large corporate chain of vet hospitals.
From the C-level down, we were then able to scale at a much quicker rate with veterinary professionals and hospitals without ever meeting them let alone speaking with them. Our veterinary professionals essentially do sales for us, by selling Peeva to pet owners.
I did all of this myself, before requiring any sales professionals. It was not until after I established these types of accounts before brining on a veterinary relations director that overseas 3 other sales professionals that follow the traditional meet face to face sales model. No VC needed, and the only VC’s I ever speak with at this point are those that reach out to us.
I hope this helps many entrepreneurs that will go broke or focus on an exit strategy before getting started.
Michael Hamilton, CEO / Founder of Peeva
Universal pet identification and central database
SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #9. Sales People Who Are Transactional
The biggest challenge in hiring my first sales team was the transition from their past selling “norms” into trusted advisors that would solve the customers problems as opposed to selling our products and solutions.
I hired sales talent who had the desire and hunger and weren’t too worried about their sales track record as that was in the past and CVs are exactly that past achievement. I was more interested in how I can transform the potential that existed to meet what our customers needed. So, I trained them to be consultative and not transactional.
The key is well-structured, performance-driven incentives. Why not offer unlimited upside to grow your business?
Of course OTE must be achievable so that your team can accurately forecast income and plan their lives. But incentivizing sales talent to treat your business like it’s their own has been the single most important thing. How can you make them feel more like an owner, rather than a rep?
Alex Goldberg, Founder Fin vs Fin
Discover the best wellness products
SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #11. Making Our First Sales Hire
It’s easy at first to try to go too big, too fast especially while building a solution or consulting business. While growing an early sales team, it usually works well to start with one great sales professional to help you begin bringing your product or service to market.
Early on, it’s about learning quickly and allowing the sales, marketing and product development cycles to evolve together. It’s more difficult to do this with a large team in place, and I’ve seen firsthand how painful it can be to change or adapt once you’ve made a few great but potentially mistimed hires.
That will help you define and grow your offerings to fit the needs they’ve seen solving this problem first hand.
Based on the approach that works, it may make sense to hire more sales professionals with a similar background, or it may make sense to partner with a larger firm that is in the industry that can be trained to cross-sell or up-sell for you.
There’s no one-size fits all method, and you may find that direct sales hires, outside SDRs that focus on meeting generation, or a partner channel oriented approach work for you, or a healthy mix of the three may be the best approach. It’ll all depend on your industry and the state of your business, so the first step is to start trying and learning!
Akash Agarwal, CEO, Conmitto
Configurable cloud software for supply chain management
SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #12. Creating a Large Team of Sales Advocates as a Startup Company
Having been an entrepreneur for over 20 years, growing and scaling multiple teams and companies, sales is the lifeblood for growth. The challenges in hiring great salespeople and teams have evolved over the years. In my latest start-up at AQai we have focused on two key aspects to grow our company through a specific sales and go to market strategy.
Firstly, having a compelling mission, one that deeply resonates and connects with our audience of coaches and HR leaders. This driver to inspire & empower every human with the skills to adapt and thrive. Ensuring no-one is left behind in the fastest period of change in history, has been the corner stone to attracting truly great talent.
The second and important strategy has been to empower a global network of distributed agents to act as our sales advocates. With this strategy we have managed to rapidly train, certify, and enable over 200 coaches and consultants to win more business, and do more interesting work. With their sales and success, driving exponential growth on our adaptability assessment and training platform. This strategy has removed the traditional thinking for hiring, and the barriers of initial funding the growth of a direct sales team.
Using this strategic approach has enabled us to land significant projects with companies like Microsoft, IBM, The Federal Reserve Bank and Havi, among many other pioneering, people focussed organizations.
To find out more about our work, the community we are building focussed on the mental health and wellbeing in the future of work, please check out www.aqai.io
Ross Thornley, CEO & Co-Founder AQai
Change, retain and prepare your people for change
SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #13. Making Sure We’re Hiring the Right Kind of People to Fill the Role.
The biggest challenge we’ve faced in hiring sales talent is making sure we’re hiring the right kind of people to fill the role. Sched helps individuals and teams create great events with our event scheduling software.
We invest significant resources in training our sales team to be able to offer solutions for our customers’ challenges when trying to plan great events.
We want to make sure our salespeople can uncover problems, explain our solutions and build trust along the way.
Instead of just hiring a Sales rep, we are trying to hire people who over time can expand their roles.Our company is remote, distributed and filled with self-motivated, accountable people. We look for bright, hard working, results-oriented individuals with high levels of integrity because they are the most likely to succeed within our team. Finding these people makes our typical hiring process look more like an audition than the typical “application and interview” process.Hiring good people is tough. Hiring good sales people is even tougher. Our hiring process helps reduce some of that risk and increase the probability of a successful sales hire.
Marvin McTaw, CEO of Sched.com
Event Scheduling Software & Event Mobile Apps
So, there you have it. Thirteen founders sharing their personal advice on how they overcame specific Sales Talent Hiring challenges.
▶ QUESTION: What specific hiring challenge would you like to see covered in this article? Please share your comments below.
▶ Not Sure What The Best Way is to Solve Your Sales Hiring Challenges?
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