February 8, 2018
Cold calling has been around for longer than we can imagine. Yet, it’s still very alive today even with having a 2% success rate, which is mostly for the highly skilled sales professionals. Why doesn’t cold calling work nowadays? Firstly, it’s simply annoying for the consumers to receive, especially since they are busier now more than ever before. With ever increasing technology, consumers can easily research anything online. Therefore, they’re most likely not to engage or listen during the phone call. For that reason, we must redefine modern cold calling. Have you ever been persuaded to choose something simply because someone you know told you to? Let’s be honest, we all have! So why don’t we do the same when we’re reaching out to potential clients? Think of how different your cold calling conversation would go if you said: “Hi, my name is Jodie Binning, I’m the owner of Three Point Marketing. One of my clients mentioned that you need a little bit of help in growing your marketing and developing your website.” By hearing “one of my clients mentioned,” the consumer instantly develops trust. Instead of randomly cold calling, find connections and turn them into “warm calls.” I’ll leave you with a couple of tips to ensure your call is successful:
- Create a list of all connections. And use them. Doesn’t matter how big or small you feel each connection is.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. Do you think actors ever film a scene without practicing their script? Absolutely not. Write out what you would like to say in your call and the call is half done for you.
- Listen. One of the main issues in the modern age is that we talk before we listen. When you actively listen, the customer feels that you care. You also want to ensure that you’re asking strategic follow up questions.
- Ask for a meeting at the right time. After you’ve used your practiced conversation, listened to the customer’s needs, and know that you can help them: ask for the meeting.
And just like that, you’ll turn your modern cold call into a connection!
January 25, 2018
Marketing Ruts… If you haven’t experienced one throughout your business’s life cycle, then please share your secrets with the rest of us. Rather you’d like to admit it or not, marketing ruts happen and they can be frustrating, discouraging, and honestly irritating. Why isn’t this working? Why am I not getting any responses? However, it’s a new month, new quarter and you’re ready to try something different but you don’t know how. You’ll always have the option to look back and review what worked and what didn’t in your previous marketing strategies. But, how can you dig deeper? Let’s look at some advice on helping your process of getting out of a Marketing Rut:
- Brainstorm the worst ideas possible. In a way, this sounds like it would be fun to do, am I right? When your marketing isn’t going the way you were expecting, it’s time to brainstorm your worst ideas possible with your team. Google search some marketing disasters and look at things that companies have done that they completely regret. Doing this will allow for us to notice what success looks like and makes us think, “what’s truly important in marketing?”
- Research outside of your industry. What are some companies that aren’t in your industry that are executing extremely well on describing their product?
- Research inside of your industry. Look at some of the most successful firms in your industry even if they are 20 times bigger than you. This will allow for you to notice things you don’t incorporate into your marketing strategy. Additionally, it will allow for you to see how they are describing their value proposition and other points, which in return will give you ideas on how you can successfully communicate information to your audience.
Getting out of a Marketing Rut can be what you make of it, so make it fun! Let us know what types of things you noticed in your research in the comments below.
January 11, 2018
Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) – you participate in it daily. “So have you heard about that new iPhone X? It recognizes your face!” Rather you are recommending your favorite leadership book or your friend convinced you to switch gyms because the one your friend attends is “better,” WOMM affects us on a daily basis. WOMM has been around way before social media existed. It’s one of the first forms of marketing and is one of the most valuable. A study conducted by The OECHSLI Institute on the power of WOM influence for financial advisors states that 92% of clients found their financial advisors through word of mouth influence. 60% of clients say that the main reason they chose their financial advisor was due to word of mouth influence. So, the question here is how do we go about increasing WOMM in the 21st century? Here are some methods that you can implement into your marketing strategy:
- Ask top clients to share testimonials/reviews. If you have a website, this is a perfect addition. In fact, 79% of people report trusting testimonials and online reviews just as much as word of mouth recommendations.
- Offer an incentive. You’re probably thinking, “My client is super busy and doesn’t have time.” However, people are more likely to do things when receiving something in return. As you reach out to your top clients for either testimonials, reviews or even for your marketing campaigns, offer discounts or services as an exchange for their participation and referrals.
- Organize a formal referral program. This will make the process for your clients fast and easy. Additionally, this will allow for you to measure the results.
- What is your story? As always, ensuring your website is up to date and interesting is important. But what will increase WOMM is sharing your unique story, right on your website. Why did you start your business? What drives your business? Whenever you give people something memorable, they will share it with the people around them even if you don’t ask them to.
If you have a great example of successful WOMM for your firm, share in the comments below!
December 28, 2017
As 2017 comes to an end, it is the perfect time to look back on annual reports and evaluate your progress. Although it is important to look back on your performance, it’s also just as important to plan for the upcoming year. The new year can be intimidating, especially when competition is heavy. While planning your marketing for the new year you should make sure that it is: strategic, measurable, attainable, and cost effective. There are various ways to develop your marketing plans on a budget but one of the best ways is to provide a “personal touch” and connection that most clients don’t expect, but certainly value. This means going above and beyond for the customer by showing extra care and doing things out of the ordinary that the customer doesn’t expect. Here are 5 methods in approaching a “personal side” of marketing:
- Have someone in charge of marketing. This doesn’t mean you need to develop a whole marketing department. Is there someone in your office that you consider a “people’s person” or someone who likes to put events together? Assign them to the marketing tasks. The tasks could vary from arranging seminars and events to updating the website and blogs. Rather it’s having a marketing consultant, an intern, or someone from your office, having someone assigned to the job will ensure that it gets done.
- Arrange a reverse seminar. Instead of you presenting to your client, have them present to you. This will put the “spotlight” on the client and will allow for them to feel engaged.
- Conduct an annual event. We all know of a few companies in our areas that are associated with certain charity events. That’s the goal for your firm. Having an annual event, especially involving charity, will not only help out your community but will also provide advertising opportunities.
- Pick up your phone and call! Sounds like something you should already know, but it’s one of the more effective (and free) ways to market. Instead of sending an email, give your client a call. Have the call be from the financial advisor or attorney that is working with the client. Discuss with them any business updates and ask if they have any questions. This also allows for the client to develop a relationship with the firm and feel like they are a part of the process, instead of being left in the dark. Make sure to personalize each call and switch up the subject.
- Go above and beyond with the simple things. This means whenever a client is in the office, make a fresh cup of coffee and add a snack with it. Have a welcome sign whenever the client is entering the office. Provide a welcome package, make parking arrangements, give a map, etc. Go the extra mile so that the client feels truly appreciated. And this will not only help your “personal side” marketing, but will also provide word-of-mouth marketing. The clients will tell their families, friends, and coworkers about this.
Have more ways on providing a “personal side” to marketing? Tell us by leaving a comment below:
December 14, 2017
Have you ever been in an awkward situation where you’re at an office party or a networking event and you’re standing next to someone while there’s complete silence because neither of you have any idea on what to talk about? Additionally, you’re worried about how you may be portrayed to this person in your first impression or you’re worried the awkwardness will increase if you ask questions. Meanwhile, your head is thinking “How does he know the host? In what department does he work? Do we work in the same building?”
The good news is that research suggests that people who ask questions are more likeable than people who ask fewer to no questions. In fact, there was an experiment conducted at Harvard where volunteers were assigned to either ask a lot of questions or only ask a few. Once their conversation was completed, each participant rated how likeable the other person was. Through findings, researchers concluded that people who ask fewer questions weren’t as liked as the people who asked plenty more.
Of course, how and what we ask is just as important as the quantity. The Harvard research also suggests that specific follow up questions are the most effective. A good way to approach a follow up question is to:
- Ask a question
- Listen and understand the answer
- Ask a question regarding the answer
Not only does this make you more likeable, but it also shows that you are listening, which is an important trait to have no matter what you are doing. So the next time you are standing next to a person and you don’t know what to talk about, think: questions!
November 30, 2017
It’s getting to that busy time of year where there’s projects and deadlines, or maybe you’re trying to market your self to a potential new employer or new clientele. Plus you have the holidays to worry about! That can overwhelm the best of us. So the question is, what can we do to combat that feeling of being so overwhelmed? Here a few tips that might help you come out on top, and maybe you won’t break a sweat in the process.
- Recognize your tools. I know that this has been brought up in previous blog posts as well, but you will be so successful if you recognize and utilize the tools available to you. There are a million online resources, and think about the people that you know as well. Who is out there that can give you a step up, provide new strategies or idea, give you resume tips, etc. The list is probably endless.
- Get organized. Figure out which of your goals are the most important, especially in the short term. There’s nothing more overwhelming than looking at a to do list that is a mile long and feeling like you need to accomplish it all immediately. Once you do that you can figure out a game plan to start checking off the boxes.
- Use a planner. This has been said time and time again, I know. It’s so important though. Block out your day and give yourself time slots to complete your specific tasks. You will always be on track and accomplishing something, without trying to do everything at once. It will change your world, I promise.
- Be satisfied. One of the worst things that you can do is tell yourself that you aren’t doing enough or being productive enough or getting enough done. At the end of the day look at what you accomplished and feel good about those things instead of bad about the things that you didn’t get to complete. Tomorrow is a new day!
- Take the first step. This is maybe the most important step. Everyone will have tactics and strategies that work for them and you will have to figure that out on your own. Getting started is the hardest thing for everyone though. Of course everyone is going to want their plan to be perfect and executed as best possible, but sometimes you need to take the leap. If you spend too much time worrying and planning and re-planning you will go crazy! You just need to start even if you don’t have everything worked out exactly as you want.
So as the holiday season gets kicked off, take the time to relax and think about your strategy. When the new year rolls around you’ll be ready to hit the ground running.
What are you best tips to beat the overwhelm?
November 16, 2017
Customers want to be remembered. When you recognize a customer, something about them, welcome them back to your website, etc., that will leave a lasting impression with them. Customer retention and new customer acquisitions are some of the most important things to keep your business thriving and relevant.
You might be wondering why remembering your customer, even if it’s the website that recognizes they have visited before, is so important. First of all, it makes the customer feel important. It shows that you are caring about them and the service they receive. Secondly, you’re creating a connection with your customer. If you’re meeting face to face, people like to feel as though they know the people that they are with. And thirdly, whether it is electronically or in person, it makes everything about the experience that much more personal.
So, here is what customers appreciate you knowing or doing:
- Personalization. Make the experience tailored to the specific customer and they will appreciate it more than you know.
- Names. If you remember the customer’s name it can make all the difference in the world.
- Simplifying. Simplify the process for websites, simple loyalty programs, great customer service, etc. The more you do the less the customer has to do and that’s what they want.
Do you have any great tips or stories on customer relations? Share below!