Infocusselling’s Blog

December 7, 2009

Launch 2010 Now–A New Way to Create Your Sales Plan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Educated and Aware @ 11:11 am
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The best time to start 2010 selling was about a month ago. Unfortunately most people will start 2010 selling just after they recover from New Year’s. That is way too late and a great way to miss a strong first quarter.

This will be the first of three articles to help you launch your 2010 sales today with a plan that will launch you towards success now.

First, start by making a written list of every customer you sold in 2009. If you have a CRM (and if you don’t, you should) then print out a 2009 sales activity report. As you write down the name, pick up the telephone and call them to say thank you. Don’t ask them about 2010 opportunities, don’t ask them for referrals, just tell them how much you appreciated the opportunity to serve them in 2009.

As you check that client off the list, make a note by their name regarding how you acquired the client—referral by whom, a business group, cold calling, email marketing, prior client, etc. Use a consistent abbreviation system as this will come back in step two.

If anyone mentions 2010 sales, go ahead and have the conversation and either log it and the appropriate follow through telephone call in your CRM or make a big red star on your printout next to that customer’s name. Repeat the process until you are all the way through the list. A CRM sure makes this part easy.

You have 300 customers and this call process will take too long? First, congrats on having a long client list. Second, since many of your calls will result in you leaving a voice mail, you should be able to make 50-100 calls a day so this is a week-long project. And, can you think of anything more important than touching every single client one more time this year as they reflect on 2009 and start to think about 2010? I can’t.

Step 2. Tally up your “where did it come from notes” so you know where your business is coming from. Look for trends and blocks of business from one source. You may find one advertising campaign was really successful. You might find that one group is more beneficial than others. One person may be your best referral source. You won’t do anything else with this yet, but you will want to know this for step 4.

Step 3. Look closely at those who brought up 2010 sales opportunities during your thank you calls. Why did that group bring them up? What characteristics make them different from your other customers? Which industries are they in—maybe part of your client base is doing better than another. What specifically did they talk about? Did certain product lines or options get more attention than others? You should spend significant time on this step and really think about why this group is already talking positively about 2010. As you generate a sales plan (step 5), it is much easier and much more realistic if you base it on what you know instead of what you guess.

Step 4 and step 5 will be here in about a week. Between now and then, your best activity is contact and analyze. Touch your customers and listen to them about their plans for 2010 before you create your own sales plan. While you are at it, get a CRM (such as http://www.addresstwo.com) because what you think of as just at tool will soon become your best friend.

July 3, 2009

Social Media–Social or Media?

Everyone has an opinion on social media today. Some feel it is the future of all communication and sales, while others feel it is a fad that is already passing. My concern as a sales trainer and coach is whether your social media strategy is working for you. How do you know?

Here is one post from someone I respect as a marketer. She was upset regarding a recent Twitter experience. Here’s the one sentence summary: auto responders are fake and do not help you build relationship and can work against you. Read the details yourself, and I bet you will agree. Karen’s new non-friend.

Other marketing experts claim that social media works for B2C markets but not B2B markets. One problem with social media on B2B markets is whether your target market is watching the social media mediums you are using. Here’s a thought from a marketing expert on why and how social media is not all it hypes itself as in B2B markets.

Here is someone who talks about how not to use Twitter, which is what I see way too often–blatant repetitive advertising, that, wow, look at that, repeats every so many days because it is being done by a program and not a person. Gee, is that a relationship?

I don’t have hard stats but from regular discussions, I think I personally know one person who is making a reasonable ROI on his or her social media time. One. And I’m not 100% positive that person is really profitable. I don’t mean “yeah, I’ve made some money from social media” as in you’ve sold a project or two. I mean you took your net margin (that would be sales less direct expenses) and took the hours you have invested in social media, totaled them all up, and then divided your net margin by your hours invested and found out that your net hourly rate for your social media time was as good or better than your other marketing efforts. Just for fun, try it out and see how much you make per hour.

I’m not saying social media is dead or even dying. I’m just glad more people are starting to question if it fits and how to get a measurable return out of it for the majority of people on it. As more true success stories filter out from the masses still looking, I’ll be the first to post them here.

August 4, 2008

Be Your Own Boss

Owning your own business is one of the key freedoms in America. Every day people start businesses with dreams and goals, not the least of which is to control their own destiny. Today is a great time to buy a business. The media keeps telling us how bad it is but the bottom line is that business profits are out there for good businesses with solid sales and marketing. If you have ever thought about owning a business, even in a remote fleeting moment of anti-boss anguish, give us a call. We know of several opportunities that include a golf course, retail stores, restaurants, small manufacturers, and various franchises that might be perfect for you. If we can connect you to your dream, great. It you want help buying and growing the business, that’s even better. Either way, if we know what you might be interested in, we’ll keep our eyes and ears open for the perfect match. Join the American dream-there’s nothing like it.

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