Tag Archives: closing sales

Building Detailed Marketing Profiles to Drive Better Sales

Scott Sommer and I gave this presentation during the Summit on Thursday afternoon. We had a blast, and enjoyed the interaction we had with the audience. We reviewed a process in which you can begin to think about building more useful information

in your customer profiles such as behavioral information, more qualitative and quantitative details that go beyond our traditional demographics of geography, product type, customer type, industry, etc.. I walked the audience through a campaign example that showed how marketers can use that profile data within a variable data campaign that let’s you customize communications to make a stronger impact. At this point, Scott took the floor and went through the process of what happens when a sales person is at the door of someone who potentially received a “marketing campaign”. He shared some big assumptions that can thwart any good door opening opportunity, and outlined how sales can effectively amplify the messages being shared to increase the resonance. Fortunately, you can see Scott’s presentation below, but my portion of the presentation had some technical difficulties and was not captured in this download.

Let us know your thoughts, do you agree? Disagree?

Check out our Slides on Slideshare:

Watch Scott’s portion of the presentation:

Watch live streaming video from marketingandsalessummit at livestream.com
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Equipping and Servicing the Sales Channel for Results

This topic will be presented at the ISA Marketing and Sales Summit by Kevin Hambrice of K-TEK.

It will encompass four key areas:

1) Evaluate current sales and marketing assets

Have you ever wondered where your hidden marketi

ng assets are?

This section of Kevin’s presentation will discuss how to uncover assets such as past, present and future customers, as well as determining average customer values, and closure rates.

2) Propose how we focus and grow

This area will address how to take those assets and grow them to ultimately increase sales.

It will include how to increase prospective customers, convert prospects to customers, and increase average customer value.

3) Define the sales and marketing foundation

Why should a customer do business with you? Why do customers (really) do business with you? What is your business and what does it offer? What is unique about your company or product?

In this part of the presentation, Kevin will examine how to:

  • determine your strategic marketing position (SMP)
  • optimize current marketing resources
  • leverage your existing customer base
  • create marketing alliances
  • use direct marketing to best effect
  • network locally and globally.

4) Develop new marketing strategies

Learn why being good is not enough. Establish how to integrate sales and marketing efforts and become a master at direct response marketing. Understand why it is vitally important to sustain lines of communication with customers – even after the sale.

Suggested marketing strategies will include maximizing testimonials and referrals, adhering to ethical principles, preparing responses to objections, and implementing performance incentives.

See you at the summit!

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Planting Seeds: Moving Closer to A Sale

This is a guest post written by Scott Sommer, PA, CAP, who is an Automation Technology Manager at Jacobs Engineering Group and a business development and sales guru in the automation industry.  Scott shares his thoughts on sales follow up activities, and how to move closer to a sale.

In a time not so long ago, sales people used to knock on doors, selling everything from encyclopedias to brushes to vacuum cleaners.  Perhaps you are too young to remember those days, but the key to their success was often not the timing of the sales call, but the effectiveness of the follow-up to the initial contact.  Most sales were made during the subsequent visit, after the potential client had a chance to look over the brochure, or try the product for 7 days, or view the samples.

In the “old days”, timing was paramount.  Don’t disrupt meals.  Avoid “high-traffic” times, like right after school.  Even though the times have changed, the need for good timing has not.   In the “modern” scenario, calling on someone as they first walk into the office in the morning, or during lunch time, or at the end of the day should be avoided.  The temptation is to “catch them when you know they are in the office”, but this can back-fire if the interruption to the day is viewed as an annoyance.  Make your follow-up call strategy less of a sales pitch and more of a conversation.  Taking your client to lunch makes that “interruption” in their schedule enjoyable.  Even a well-placed voice mail during those hours when your client is likely to not be able to take your call is not only non-intrusive; it can give you the opportunity to “plant a seed”.

It would be wonderful if the first follow-up after the initial sales call always yielded a sale.  It most often will not.  But every contact should encourage the client to move closer to the sale.  So the intent of the follow-up call is not to scratch out an order (if that happens, it is a bonus!).  The intent is to continue planting seeds.  Give the client something they can think about that would help them identify your product with a solution to their needs.  Perhaps it is an email with an article that highlights how others in their industry found real, tangible benefit from implementing your product.  That will open the door for a follow-up conversation about how the product could do the same for them.  Or perhaps a phone call to invite them to a free ½-day educational seminar which presents the technology your product employs.  Engineers love to receive technical manuals, application data, and sizing software.  Seeds, one at a time, planted subtly, can lay the foundation of a winning follow-up strategy.

Every follow-up contact should give the client something of value that moves them closer to a sale.  Follow-up should be a regular part of your sales strategy.  Ask your client how often he should follow-up if there is not an immediate need for your product.  Engaging the client to help set a mutually-agreeable follow-up schedule helps establish a relationship.  Take clues from your client.  If you sense they are being annoyed with weekly follow-up calls, then they probably are annoyed.  Back off to monthly calls or try other forms of contact, such as the ones given above.  Gauge each contact by keeping a journal of how the client responds.  Remember, each contact should move them closer to a sale.  If you don’t sense movement in that direction, try something else.

Finally, use follow-up contacts to help separate those clients who will probably never buy from you from those that have possibility.  There is only so much time in the day, and sales energies must be spent on those clients who are likely to buy, now, or in the future.  Use a follow-up strategy to know when to walk away.

Follow-up must be an integral part of your sales strategy.   To get you started, the first follow-up after an initial client visit should always include a simple Thank You for the time they took to meet with you.  The rest is up to you.  Tailor the strategy to your industry and client base.  Plant seeds, and watch them grow.  Happy selling!

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