November 19, 2012
Should you call or email first? Hint: refer to tip 5!
By Maureen McCabe
This month, I was called by four nice and two not-so-nice sales people. The reason I say “four nice” is that each listened to my advice and said thanks, while the other two stated that they “didn’t know” and hung up on me! They weren’t interested in learning how to become more successful sales professionals.
All six sales reps “trolling” for new customers made the same error. You’re likely dying to know! The most deadly sin is Tip 1. By reading this blog and implementing the Seven Lucky Tips, you will “Generate More Profits” by prospecting more efficiently, in other words – better.
You likely want to know which tip is quintessential? (It’s my favourite word – the most essential of the essentials and I use it often!) The answer is – it depends on the number and frequency of the mistakes that you make.
Tip 1: Google Ads – don’t click
It’s shocking to learn how few sales people know that the first 2-3 listings that appear at the top of Google are indeed, ads. (NOTE: companies displayed below the ads are known as “organic” people found you naturally.
When you click on an ad, the advertiser (small business) pays for the click. Sorry, but ignorance is no excuse for any business development, sales rep, or business owner in the 21st century!
You are trying to sell your product or service to my company. How likely do you think I would be interested in your product or service if you cost me money by clicking on my Google Ad (also known as Pay-Per-Click, Google Adwords). There is not just one price, it varies based on the competitiveness of the phrase and how much the advertiser bid to have their ad shown.
Action Tip for Sales Reps: Since you now know it’s a Google ad, copy the URL to your browser. Sorry if I sound frustrated; I advertise on Google to attract new customers, not suppliers. As the owner of McCabe Marketing, Tip 1 is the single most important tip to me hence why it’s first tip on the list.
NOTE: Most people, including my clients (before they hired me!) do not successfully drill-down sufficiently to understand the source of the call. If you have been committing this sin, you may have not been caught – yet! Beware.
Tip 2: Business Development or Sales Strategy
Develop your sales strategy by focusing upon a specific target market. There are many ways to target your prospective customers but knowing who to target first is quintessential! You can target by geography, company size, industry, revenue, or an association that you or your company is a member.
Rifle shooting vs. horse shoes? You be the judge of which works best. You likely need an action roadmap a targeted marketing plan to grow your business exponentially.
Tip 3: Leverage Google
Looking for new customers? Use Google, Bing and Yahoo for research. The yellow pages (directory or online) are a great source for businesses.
Tip 4: Social Media – connect online first
Most businesses have some type of a social media presence. It could be: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus (G+) YouTube, or a blog. I have all five and more!
You can reach out and connect with your prospect before calling or sending an email.
Tip 5: Phone or Email
If you make a phone call or a few calls you can obtain the person’s name first, you can likely get a contact person’s name and email address. I recommend phone calls followed by an email – sent later in the day.
Tip 6: How you found your prospect
It’s key to provide value and not just promote your business. Let each prospective client know how you found them:
- Organically: advise the keywords you used.
- Social Media: perhaps you found them on LinkedIn or a blog? They will be interested to know which one.
- Word of mouth: Provide the person’s name.
- Or saw their ad but didn’t click on it because it would cost them money.
Tip 7: Follow-up
Over the past three years since I had a website, I would estimate that 98% of the prospecting emails never follow-up with a second e-mail inquiry. I refer to people such as this as “lazy” sales reps. To those that I respond via email (probably about four or so each month) I always ask the same question, “How did you find me?”. Once they replied to my question, only three have followed up with me in 2012! This is a real number for the first eleven months of 2012. Need I say more!
By reading this blog, you now know and will never commit the most deadly sin – click on prospective customers’ advertisements. Focus on how you found them providing value from the outset of your communications, whether it’s your first conversation or email note. Give the prospective customer a reason why they would want to listen to you beyond your two-sentence value proposition (which most reps don’t have or use effectively).
You need a targeted marketing plan, a process to drive more customers – contact me for free advice (a consultation.) Learn how to attract more customers – likely with less effort!
P.S. My one request – if you are in sales, please share this blog with your colleagues. We need to get the word out about clicking on ads!
But if you are a business owner looking to hire me… I’m glad you saw my ad and clicked on it!!! I look forward to helping you grow your business.
BONUS TIP 8 I know I only committed to seven lucky tips in this blog but this one really works. Look at the website of the company that you are contacting, know what they do, by looking at the “About” page, you will often find contact names, job titles.
Believe it or not, I get cold-calls and junk/emails from folks that know nothing about my business. It’s a dead give-a-way when you don’t use the company name but only, Hello! or something equally innocuous. They went to the contact page, clicked on email address to send me a note.
Check out my other blogs related to social media marketing for small business:
Small Business Social Media Tips: Claim Your Name!
Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Small Business
How to find more customers & great sales leads. Seven “lucky” success tips you need to know!
Small business online marketing video is a “peep show” to your brand. Learn how to create a video.
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Peter Arbouzis 08:41am, 11/27/2012
Great blog! Your insight on social media is definitely an eye opener and the rest of the tips can definitely help any sales rep better understand how to generate business.
Sheryl Covey 04:27pm, 02/27/2013
Great information. I definitely agree with your social media strategy and process. Your website is very informative and if I have any clients looking for someone I will recommend you.
Mark Scime 09:21am, 05/06/2014
Maureen, very interesting and informative….I am going to keep that in mind about the google ads…..