Victoria Treyger shares “There’s a reason email marketing ranks high on our list of recommendations for small businesses and startups: It works. Regardless of industry or organizational size, marketers across the board point to email marketing as the tactic that produces their highest return on marketing dollars invested. ExactTarget.com’s 50 Email Marketing Tips and Stats for 2014 reported that marketers received an average return on investment of $44.25 for every $1 spent on email marketing.
Not only is it effective, it’s also desired. In study after study, consumers regularly say that email is their preferred channel for brand communications. According to MarketingProfs.com, a study suggests that for nearly one-third of all consumers, email is the communication channel they prefer when it comes to marketing.”
Chris Dunn says, “According to the Pew Research Center Report of Social Media Usage: 2005-2015, nearly two-thirds of American adults use social media now. This is a near tenfold increase within the last decade.
Popular social media channels include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Snapchat. Each of these social media platforms are unique in its own right and require unique ways of engagement. Rather than try to master it all at once, choose a few you like and try to master those first.”
Megan Marrs shares, “I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of kick-ass content. If you can create it yourself, all the better (isn’t free always better?). Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting someone on your team to crank out some articles for your blog. Try top 10 lists, tip collections, best practices for your industry, etc.”
Susan Solovic shares, “I started my corporate career in the field of public relations and the business has changed significantly because of technology.
Today, by marketing your small business you can accomplish a lot without hiring a professional firm. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resources. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too.”
As you can see, marketing your small business doesn’t have to be daunting. The tools you need are more accessible than ever, and with these tips (along with a little creativity), you can build an effective strategy for your business.
QUESTION: Have another Tip (or question) for marketing your small business? Share with us in the comments below!
P.S. If you want to see the best results from implementing these expert tips, it’s important that you first know who who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Instead of using a spreadsheet, be sure to Download our FREE Customer Avatar Template Worksheet to get clear on exactly who you’re selling to.
The old adage of ‘you buy cheap, you buy twice’ can be a powerful one.
Promoting the quality of what you offer is a viable way of justifying charging higher than your competitors. And the same goes for services or software — the better the build, the less customers will need to spend on support and fixing issues.
You get what you pay for — and that holds true across the board, from selling million dollar Senior Living communities to selling $100,00 Elite coaching-mastermind groups.
When you’re selling high ticket products, highlight the longevity and the reliability of your product — “You can buy it for less elsewhere which might seem cheaper in the short run, but it ends up being most expensive in the long run because you’ll have to replace it over and over again.”
If you’re selling high end services, highlight the high return on investment of what you’re offering — “Let me show you how we get you results and even 10X the ROI.” Now how’s that for a powerful sales statement?
2. Win them with awesome ‘gotta-have’ features.
Another way to convince prospects is to highlight the features they get with you that they can’t get anywhere else. It’s a simple, yet effective way to communicate value in a way that’s easy to understand.
This comparison guide from Pipedrive is a really comprehensive (and honest) look at CRM features:
By pitting Pipedrive’s features against that of its major competitors (Salesforce and Zoho), they are letting prospects decide for themselves what service they need based on the essential features.
Feature-led selling is a great way to get someone to buy, especially if they have a non-negotiable feature they can get from you that they can’t get from anyone else!
Speak to your loyal customers and users and ask them what cool feature or service you could add that would transform their experience with you.
It may give you an idea of how to 10X your value. Keep constantly updating and renewing your product and service offering to ensure that you are are the best and most complete offering on the market.
3. Highlight experiential value.
Is there something that you can offer that no one else does right now? Have you got any features in development that are going to change the game? Are you going above and beyond and offering people a VIP customer experience?
This is all about showing your customers value by highlighting your uniqueness, as well as making a big deal about your stellar customer experience.
Speed of delivery – In some cases, customers are often willing to pay more if they can have the product sooner. Just think about the popularity of Amazon Prime — people will actually pay a monthly fee just to get their products quicker when they need them. Same goes for services — the ability to get started on a cleaning or service contract sooner can be worth its weight in gold for busy customers.
Personalization — People love products that they can customize and call their own — always offer this as an option if you can. Dropshipping and print-on-demand shipping models are a cost-effective way of offering mass personalization options and variants to your customers, without the need for a bespoke workshop.
For someone selling services, a bespoke contract might be a way to fulfill this same need — or just invest in great customer service and email marketing to personalize their interactions with you and your brand.
Emails can be a great way to remind people they are due another visit to you, or even wish them happy birthday from you and your team!
4. Harness social status.
In Europe where the roads are more narrow and the gas is more expensive, they love small city cars. Car brands Skoda, SEAT, and Audi are all owned by Volkswagen and many of their cars share the same components. And yet, the small Audis sell at a higher price due to the perceived value and status of having those four rings on the hood.
Social status — people love to buy into products and services that make them look & feel good in front of other people.
This is where you want to embrace the ‘soft sell’ and display customer reviews in prominent positions both offline and online.
You will also want to use language in your sales literature that sets you up as the premium or ‘go to’ supplier in your area.
Highlighting other big hitters or locally respected people and brands who have come to you already is a great way to increase your social credibility.
5. Let your customers sell you for you.
Go one up on reviews: in-depth case studies and testimonials are another great way of bringing your value or the value of your products to life. Invest in some user-generated content to put sales messages into the hands of your customers.
Why not shoot a customer happiness video to showcase your biggest advocates?
Platforms such as Feefo and Trust Pilot are reasonably easy to implement on websites and provide an easy to understand rating system for customers. Creating a community of happy customers will help with social proof, but you will also need to address your branded literature to ensure an aura of quality and value pervades your brand. Some standout customer quotes and stories should be your go-to value propositions when talking to an unsure prospect.
Spend time looking at how luxury brands market and sell their products — they often fall back on age-old techniques like storytelling to help communicate the social status of their brand.
Keep this in mind when creating sales literature like brochures, flyers, leaflets, and landing pages.
Sometimes appealing to people’s imagination and sense of wonder works better than being practical about it. (It’s why beauty salons and spas invest so much time and money in creating an ‘out of this world’ impression and experience).
People love buying into history and provenance. Make a big deal about your origins, and always highlight the human story behind your materials, suppliers, and vision.
For service-led businesses …
Highlight the prestige of your education or experience, or mention any significant awards and mentors who’ve helped you along the way. Showing that you’ve ‘been in the game’ for awhile can help convince people you are a serious contender.
8. Give value to the community.
Ethical buying is important to vast swathes of the population — tap into ethical consumer trends by communicating your ethical credentials during the sales pipeline. Encouraging your customers to pay more for a good cause e.g. responsibly sourced materials or responsible labor practices is a great sales tactic when price rears its head.
Even service businesses can leverage this strategy by having an awesome corporate social responsibility program, or using ethical supplies and suppliers.
Seek out partnerships with charitable organizations and certified bodies to add legitimacy to the causes you support. It’s not cool to use causes as a cheap way of getting more sales — you need to actually be committed and engaged.
9. Talk & write like you mean it.
Producing content to show you’ve got your finger on the pulse will help demonstrate the value in buying from you. People are much more likely to buy from suppliers and service providers who they follow and engage with on social media.
Ensure that you are ready to engage with customers across a diverse range of channels, whether they choose to call or tweet you.
You can show your customers you understand and care about the same things they do. So if for example you’re selling men’s watches, consider writing some content around men’s lifestyle and fashion to show you connect with your audience in a meaningful way.
Part of connecting with your audience is using an appropriate tone of voice and a brand that resonates with that audience. Sometimes, a stand-out content or ad campaign can grab the attention of customers and have them buy into you as a business. So, there you have it! Now be sure to take the time to implement these 9 steps into your business … OR
If you’d rather speed the process, you can get my help with a
HIGH TICKET SELLING QUICK START LASER COACHING Session, so you can position your high ticket offer to truly make it irresistible!
💬 QUESTION: What is one question about high ticket selling we didn’t cover in this article? Share your comments below:
Contributing Writer, Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on e-commerce and how companies can improve the way they represent their brand. She is passionate about using her experience to help brands improve their reach.
Getting new customer leads is exciting, but that enthusiasm can quickly wither when you don’t know how to best convert leads into new clients.
When this becomes the trend for your small business, you immediately ask, “why?” before seeking out solutions to combat your lack of sales from leads, you should be aware of some important sales conversion facts:
Online leads do not automatically translate into sales.
Per Marketo, only 25% of leads ready to buy from you.
1/4 of leads are qualified, meaning approximately 75% aren’t your ideal customer.
Now, don’t let these numbers frighten you. In addition to this, you must understand the psychology behind the lack of leads turning into sales.
The Real Reason Why People Won’t Buy from You
There are four primary reasons why small businesses fail to convert leads online. These sales barriers are as follows:
Trust: People don’t trust themselves, so how do you expect them to trust you immediately upon connecting with your business for the first time? Traffic to your website may not always translate into sales if your leads are reluctant to buy from you. The absence of trust can stem from a lack of proof showing you do what you claim, lack of contact information, a poorly designed website, or non-targeted content.
Authority: If you don’t establish yourself as the authority in your field, through quality content, you will find it quite hard to gain customers, because they may see you as untrustworthy.
Money: If your price doesn’t match the perceived value of your products or services, you are likely to miss out on sales.
Time: If the customers feel that the time is not right, they are likely not to purchase.
Turning Leads into Sales: 4 Key Strategies
There are four solutions for converting online leads, which when used together, can increase your sales conversion rates:
Sales Qualification Process
Email Marketing Solutions
#1. Develop Trust with Social Proof (Testimonials and Reviews)
Building a reliable brand will ultimately make it easier for you to market your product or services.
One of the best and easiest ways to build trust is through social proof, specifically reviews, and testimonials from your current or previous clients. Social proof will not only confirm that you’re talking the talk, but that you’re walking the walk.
When someone encounters your brand for the first time through your website, you need to: 1) show that you’re an authority, and 2) provide social proof.
Let your current customers sing your praises by encouraging them to write a review or testimonial through email, on Yelp, Facebook, or any other relevant review site. For those “special” reviews, showcase them on your website. Do not worry about getting one or two negative reviews.
This might work to your advantage, in that, they persuade leads to believe that your reviews are reputable. If people see that others are buying your products and enjoying them, they can be persuaded to follow suit.
Invest your time in writing well-researched and helpful blog content and eBooks. If your leads find that you are knowledgeable in your industry and in the various products that you’re selling, then they will believe in your ability to provide quality products.
You can hire marketing agencies to write blog posts for you. Or, you can learn simple shortcuts and time saving templates to train you and/or your marketing assistant to turn your knowledge into written blog articles for your business website.
#3. Utilize a Sales Qualification Process
One of the most crucial strategies for converting leads into sales is to have a qualification process. Lead qualification is the evaluation of the ability of a lead to purchase from you.
The qualification process involves gathering the necessary information about your leads to move them through the sales process. There are three types of leads: Information Qualified Leads (IQL), Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). How each is determined varies from business to business. Once your qualification metrics are defined, only then will you be able to take appropriate action that will convert your leads into sales.
Using a sales qualification process prevents you from coming on too strong and putting off potential clients. It also helps your sales team save valuable time and instead focus it on customers who are ready to buy.
Email nurturing is one of the greatest tools that you can use to convert leads into sales.
It’s all about leveraging marketing automation to follow up and remain in contact with any leads that come through your sales funnel. If you follow up with leads within 5 minutes, you are 9 times more likely to get a sale.
Strategically sending your clients or customer regular emails will drill information about your business and your services or products into their minds. The more they hear from you, the more they are likely to buy. You want to send targeted emails, to targeted email lists, based on where they are in your sales funnel and how they interact with your emails.
These emails can be anything from newsletters to content offers. The purpose of this strategy is to guarantee the right lead is receiving the right email at the right time.
The Bottom Line
Today, even though most marketing efforts are online, customers still need to feel that personal touch. By incorporating these few lead conversion ideas into your business strategy will help to ensure that you not only have thousands of people stopping by your website, but you will have them laying down their money!
QUESTION: What is your favorite strategy that’s been working for you in your business when it comes to converting leads into sales? Share your comments and questions below.
Author Bio: ShaDrena Simon is a digital strategist and inbound marketer for Yokel Local Internet Marketing Inc. You can reach her at: email@example.com
Is your business growing every year? Not just in sales revenue, but more importantly is your business ahead right now than you were this time last year in net profits?
Whether your goal is to increase your total net profits by $10,000 or by $10 million, you need to isolate individual values that collectively contribute to that end goal. Remember that performance measured is performance gained.
My own business has grown both revenues and net profits every year for 7 years in a row. There are the seven key places I measure in my business that gives me laser direction for what I need to do to continue to help more entrepreneurs while at the same time, boost profits.
Whether you are a small business owner or a solopreneur you can start measuring these same 7 areas in your own business to help you boost profits:
#1. Measure your time.
How you spend your time makes a significant impact on how much you can boost your profits. Instead of asking at the end of each year, “where did all the profits go?” start a habit of asking at the end of each day, “where did all my time go?” We all know the old adage time is money. Time is the first place I ask clients to measure and evaluate. I often help my clients design what their PDR forms should look like (personal daily report) based on their specific duties and function. On the PDR form, or even on just a notepad, jot what you accomplished and how long it took you to complete each task. Once you accumulate a 2- to 3-week snapshot you can then begin to identify not only your efficiency and productivity, but also your effectiveness.
Your effectiveness is what = the VALUE of your time. So, what is your time worth?
While efficiency is important, you can be efficient at all the wrong things. You won’t really be aware if you are not measuring and getting an audit of your time. Remember that performance measured is performance gained.
#2. Measure your marketing results.
Another way to boost profits is to look for ways to stop bleeding profits. If you are not measuring your marketing results you may not realize how much you’re wasting in profits from marketing that is not getting great results.
First, do you log in every prospective call?
how did they hear about your company?
what product or service they were interested in?
what grabbed their attention and interest in calling you as opposed to calling your competitors?
what is their contact info?
if they found you online, what keyword phrase did they search?
While this may sound like basic business practice it is one of the most common areas I see being skipped even be many established businesses. You can’t determine what would be a more effective approach to your marketing if you aren’t measuring how your current and past approaches have worked. Marketing mistakes bleed resources, and the biggest mistake is when it’s done arbitrarily. Remember that performance measured is performance gained.
#3. Measure your conversion efficiency.
If we want to boost profits, naturally, we need to boost sales. While sometimes sales might happen from a one step process, the average sale goes through a 7 step process. You want to the end result — to boost profits. You will boost more profits if you boost conversion in the 7 steps in your sales cycle.
Are you measuring how well each step in your process in converting?
For the catering industry they need to convert inquiry calls to an appointment to sample their food.
The health club industry needs to convert the first call into a compelling reason to come visit now.
Service industries whose calls are mainly from price collectors can still create a compelling incentive to get the prospective customer to sample their company whether it is in the form of a valuable newsletter or educational video.
The sample stage is an important phase in your sales cycle. You don’t want to simply react to the year end profit number without examining how each phase in your sales process is actually performing. Remember that performance measured is performance gained.
QUESTION: What is the one biggest block that keeps you from measuring in your business? Please share your comments and questions below.