Marketing

Video Killed the Telephone Star

online-video proposals

5 Ways Online-Video Proposals Enable Sales

A long time ago the telephone was the primary sales technology.  Today it’s the computer – and for the early adopters, online video has become the primary channel to share, sell, instill confidence, and motivate prospects to close.  

You’ve probably seen the stats - they are impressive enough to repeat:  Over 6 billion hours of video is watched each month on YouTube alone.  More people watch video online than on all of the cable TV networks combined.  

So how are you using video in your sales proposals?  We use video to connect better with proposals and follow-ups using an online, sale-enablement software we created called Proposal App www.proposalapp.com.

Here’s an outline of the 5 big value propositions we discovered by bringing video into the sales process:

1.When selling the invisible – you can make it tangible

If you are selling something that no one can actually touch, like your ideas, your services or consulting, you can make it tangible with video.  Use video to show off your office, team, deliverables, your concepts at a whiteboard and of course, your confidence, charm and enthusiasm.

2. When selling a high ticket item – you can show off the features

Do you sell houses, cars or yachts?  Video is a great tool for showcasing the details.  Take the prospect for a tour, narrate through it and showcase what’s of value.

3. With a larger sales force – you can keep your message consistent

By creating an explainer video (a brief 1-2 minutes presentation about your firm or product), you can make sure your sales force has a consistent message about your firm and the confidence that you can audit their presentations anytime you like.

4. You can tap into and maintain your prospect’s enthusiasm

Nothing helps keep your audience excited more than your excitement.  Including a strong video of you can truly boost your prospect’s excitement.  If you’ve been making a living by motivating others to buy, then video is an unfair advantage for you.  Dig in.

5. You can sell the entire value proposition

Let’s face it.  There is a lot of competition out there.  If you can promote the entirety of your brand and the power of your ideas, team and products in any way, video will be it.  Have fun, hire a company to create an explainer or dive in with a great Do-It-Yourself version today.

Video is here to stay. Just like a silky telephone voice was a great asset to a life on the phone, being comfortable with video is a great advantage for selling in the digital age.  But only if you know how to use it well.  So, if you want to sell, communicate and make your point in a compelling way, start experimenting now.

Intellectual Capital as Your Sales Tool

intellectual property

So how does the wisdom inside your head become an asset?  How does your intellectual capital help advance your immediate sales and marketing needs?  You turn that wisdom of yours into a product.

For most of our clients WHAT they do from a 40,000 ft. view isn't so very different from anyone else.  But HOW they do it, and WHY they do it is TOTALLY unique and quite often is the "secret sauce" for all their success.  The genius of their business lives in the HOW and the WHY not the products or services themselves.  And if prodded, most of my clients will relate a very unique, hard-won perspective on the work the do, how to do it well, and how to create optimal results.  Sometimes they know it's powerful.  Sometimes they think it's common sense.

So let's agree that the wisdom, insight, and lessons learned in the trenches ARE the most important assets your company possess.  Want proof?  Try training a junior to do what you do without all the wisdom behind it and see how well they perform.  Well, if you can't scale since you can't train, then what you've built is a business that ends with you.

So don't stop selling the way you've been all these years to take on some new gimmick.  Instead, take what's working to a new level by naming it, explaining how it works with a graphic and outline how that unique worldview perspective you have (no matter what it is) communicates into a totally unique experience for clients.

Pain-Free Referrals for 2016

referrals Here’s a conversation I’ve had roughly 1000 times with my clients, no matter the industry, age, income, or years in the business:

“Where do you get most of your clients?” I ask.

“From referrals” says my client very confidently.

“So, how do you ask for referrals?” I inquire.

“Oh I don’t ask.” Says my client.

Me, silent for a second or two while I process. And then finally, “What?”

“We don’t ask. I mean to but I never quite get around to it. We even used to have a process for it but, well…not anymore.”

“OK, let me make sure I understand this: So you get most of your clients from referrals. They are the most profitable relationships and have the highest close ratio… but you don’t ask for them?”

“Yup. Really crazy right?”

“But, you think you ought to be asking right?”

“Oh absolutely.”

“But you don’t?”

“Nope.”

Seriously. This form of crazy is costing companies like yours big percentages in growth and I just can’t keep quiet any longer. I’m on a crusade! I’m becoming the ShamWow! guy for people to ask for referrals. It’s simply time for you to address this no-cost game changer. If you have a referral program and follow it, you get a pass from today’s blog. The rest of you are mine.

Here is a legitimate process to increase the number of referrals you receive and you can work on it immediately. Consider it my gift to you for 2016:

First is your mindset: Consider that your clients likely don’t know you need referrals – if you don’t ask they’ll never know.

  1. You may have a great referral request question you’ve been taught. If not, the one I like to use puts emphasis into the service of others and not self-service and it’s simple: “Who do you know that needs our help?”
  2. Build a referral talk into your client meeting agenda – literally put it into your agenda so you won’t “forget” to ask.
  3. Create a target client profile and share it with clients. Include attitudes and desires, fears and goals of this target profile just as much as their demographic information.
  4. Meet with your top 20 clients one-on-one. Buy them a coffee and tell them you promised your team you’d ask for referrals…and that you need their help.
  5. Send a drip email campaign to your client base – every 4th email close with the request for an invitation to someone that needs the help.
  6. Go to LinkedIn and hunt for Right-Fit prospects in your clients’ connections. When you find someone, ask them for the introduction.
  7. Ask 20 of your top clients to sign a single letter endorsing you. Ask each of them to send it to 10 of their top relationships (yes, that’s 200 people). If they happen to know some of the same prospects all the better!
  8. Have someone else on your team ask for Maybe hire a part-time “client concierge” whose sole responsibility is to ask each one of your top 100 clients every year for an introduction.
  9. If someone wants to introduce you, make them introduce you via email by COPYING you on the email to the prospect. Then a. You’re in control and b. You get to see how your client pitches you.

What is left to say here? You get it. Referrals are the Captain Crunch of business growth. Now just do it, delegate it, or pay to have it done. Just attack it.

Oh, and before you go…Please share this blog or our website link with someone that you know who would benefit from knowing us! :)

 

Build a Story Bank

story A very dear friend and client of mine, George MacAllister, shared this smart idea with us a few years back and it never left me.

George has 24 stories he’s gathered and memorized.  They are complete stories that he’s told over and over and uses from time to time to illustrate a point, communicate an important idea or to build credibility.  He’s written them down, put them into categories and organized them so that he’s ready to use them whenever he needs to conduct a presentation or close a deal.  As a professional sales trainer, George knows that this is a powerful capability to hone and leverage.  And when George tells a story, boy he really delivers.

Brilliant.

So here’s the exercise:

  1. Make a list of all of your best stories
  2. Categorize them according to the purpose they serve
    • “Who I Am” stories
    • “Moral of the Story” stories
    • “Case study” stories
  3. Outline them or even write them out and save them
  4. Practice them so you can tell them well

How to tell it well?  To tell a good story you have to remember to enjoy the telling, include details, relish the contrasts, enjoy the pauses and imbue them with passion and enthusiasm.

  • Characters: Who are the people in the story and how do they talk, think dress?
  • Challenge: What is the key question or need they are trying to answer?
  • Adventure: What was the unique idea or premise that they embarked upon?
  • Conflict: Who or what stands in the way of their success?
  • Result: How are they (or will they) overcome this conflict?

 

Creative Services – Why It’s Not Just About The Design

helvetica It’s easy to fall into a creative services trap when thinking about your company’s brand identity, website, and marketing collateral. Royal blue or Cyan? Helvetica or Serif? Guess what - It’s not all about the design! If your branding wins design awards but doesn’t tell your story or affect your bottom line, it isn’t doing its job.

Branding is about strategy and gives valuable insight into what makes your company unique and the values that lie at its core. It’s about identifying your market and speaking directly to them. Who are they? What are they looking for, and how can you help them? Your branding has a job to do and it isn’t just to look pretty.

Let’s talk about your website for example. Think of your website as a 24/7 sales girl. It’s our job to tell her what to wear, what to say and who to talk to. Putting her in a blue dress doesn’t matter unless it actually matters to your market. Now, I’m not suggesting that design means nothing (I am in creative services after all), I’m simply saying that spending 12 months perfecting the minute details of your website means 12 months that your sales girl is sitting on the sidelines.

A live website that’s 80% perfect is working 100% harder than a website that isn’t live at all.

 So how do ensure that your branding is doing its job? Start by asking a couple of questions:

  1. Who is my target market specifically? What problems are they facing? What are they afraid of? What gives them comfort or makes their life easier? Are they men, women? How old? What do they believe in? You can’t possibly know how to talk to and appeal to them if you don’t know who they are.
  1. What is true about me/my company? You’ve learned a thing or two over the years – what is unique about what you do or how you do it? What lies at the center of your business? It doesn’t matter who your audience is if you don’t know what you have to offer them.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 2.32.29 PM

Branding strategy is built by understanding where you and your market intersect.  You make money by expressing where you create value, to an audience who value it.

It becomes really easy to answer questions like: “Royal blue or Cyan?” and “Helvetica or Serif?” when you know what you are aiming at, what your market wants and what you’re offering.

Look for my next blog “The 10 Things Every Website Needs to Have” to learn more about how to make your marketing and branding work harder for your company.

What Business Are You In? Tip: It's a Trick Question

What business are you in?

Simple right? You answer that one all the time. Kids' soccer games, bar mitzvahs, networking. "What business are you in?" And we typically answer with the same old tired answer we're accustomed to...

Here's a big idea: The way you answer that question will determine your company's destiny. Really. If you consider the context of what you do and keep the labels at bay, you can open a doorway to creativity that can transform your industry.

Take this under advisement:

Harvard Business Review, 1960: Marketing Myopia by Theodore Levitt

Levitt's famous article pointed out that if the railroad companies had asked themselves what business they are in and answered, "the transportation business" instead of "the railroad business", they would have owned the airlines.

Labels determine what services we focus on. Labels make us product focused not client focused. They make us industry focused, not solution focused. Labels determine what type of clients we can work with and what kinds of problems we solve. Labels are destiny.

So I'll ask you again, What Business Are YOU in?

Want to read Levitt's article? Here's the link: http://bit.ly/1uUqakZ

Jon LoDuca Founder The Wisdom Link

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