Using LinkedIn as a Prospecting Tool to Turn Cold Calls into Warn Calls

Using LinkedIn as a Prospecting Tool to Turn Cold Calls into Warn Calls

Jacci Adams of 3X4 Consulting, a social media consulting company, did a presentation on how to use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool. I was impressed with the simplicity of her approach that I asked her if I could share it. She agreed. Please give Jacci’s website a visit to see more details on what she does.

A special thanks to Jacci for allowing me to share one of her “trade secrets.” In being transparent, Jacci is a client of mine. Because I know her so well, I am confident she can help if you are confused about how to use social media to grow sales through social media lead generation.

I cannot give you LinkedIn training here so I am assuming you are a member of LinkedIn and know how to use the search tool.

  1. Click on the advance search icon in the top right of the LinkedIn home page.
  2. Type in the industry keyword/title for the people you are trying to reach (i.e., Chiropractor, Manufacturer, Realtor, etc.)
  3. Enter the zip code of where you want the search to target and the mileage radius of how far you are willing to go.
  4. You can find any connections you have that meet the search criteria.
  5. For the 3rd connections and beyond LinkedIn provides only the first name and last initial. If you click to see the full name, LinkedIn will ask you to upgrade. Here is where you get creative
  6. Click on the company’s website link (in the search results.) Go to the About Us tab and see if the information you are looking for is there. Many times it is. You can get all the background you need.
  7. Do a Google search on the person’s name
  8. This search will tell you things like where they went to school, businesses they are associated with and how long they have been in business.
  9. Using LinkedIn you can do a search to see if anyone in your network knows them. If so either request an introduction of call them directly and introduce yourself. You already have enough information about the individual to know what you have in common.

If you do not have time or do not what to do this research yourself, you can hire someone through:

www.odesk.com

www.fiverr.com

www.99percent.com

If you know how to use the tools above and you are uncertain about making the call, consider improving your people skills so you are more comfortable. You can learn more www.akris.net.

Happy Prospecting

Ron Finklestein
ron@businessgrowthexperience.com

ww.businessgrowthexperience.com

You can subscribe to my blog at www.ronfinklestein.com

Free Marketing Tip to Bring Hundreds of People into Your Business Each Month

Free Marketing Tip to Bring People into Your Business

I am a member of AmSpirit, a networking and business referral group. We meet at creative source. Creative source does great work and I suggest you check out their website.

My reason for this post is to document Creative Source and how they bring in hundreds of business owner and sales reps into their office each month at no cost to them. Creative Source has a big conference room they allow others to use at no charge. They do not provide coffee or tea. Several networking groups meet there, Toastmasters meets there. I held some sales presentations there before I knew Mike. Mike, one of the owners, feels this is a good way to give back to the community.

By giving back to the community, he has hundreds of business people come to his place of business each month. Each business owner who walks through the doors each week sees his work, reinforcing his brand. He provides a table for others to place their brochures. He is not afraid of competition and some competitor belongs to the groups who meet there. He does all this and it cost him nothing. I am so impressed with his tactics that I writing a blog about his approach.

He is not a client. I am not his client. I just see his approach as a risk free way to attract hundreds of people to his business each  month. I do not know how much business he gets, nor does it matter to him. His primary reason is to give back to the community. The visibility and support he gives the community is amazing.

If you can, try this. It cost nothing. I taught this tactic to a restaurant client of mine and he has groups meeting at his restaurant regularly. He visits various groups and invites them to use his spare room at no charge. They pay for coffee, breakfast or lunch, and his repeat business has sky rocketed.

To Your Business Success,

Ron Finklestein
330-990-0788
ron@businessgrowthexperience.com
www.businessgrowthexperience.com
Improve your people skills and grow sales: www.akris.net

 

How to Price a Product

Your pricing formula (or pricing a product or service)

I recently received a request from one of my blog readers to do an article on pricing your product. He sent me some great articles he found on the net. After reading them I realized he may have been over thinking the pricing issues. To me it is fairly simple. There are only three outcomes to consider:

  1. Your product is priced too high and no action is taken (the competition is complacency.)
  2. Your product is priced too high and it invites the buyer to buy from someone else (I need to make sure I am getting the best VALUE.)
  3. You price your product to low and you introduce concern from the buyer because he wonders what is being missed (lack of trust.)

Pricing your product can be simple if you let it but you must price it from the buyer’s perspective. As a business owner you need to know both your fixed and variable cost and ensure you cover those cost while remembering the buyer is not concerned with your cost. They simply don’t care.

From my perspective, here is what you need to be concerned about. What does your competition charge? This is important if the consumer has a preconceived notion of the value of the product. For example, if I go to a paint store and see a gallon on paint is priced at $50, I might go to another store to see if I can get the same quality (different brand) for a better price. I may have a belief that I am not going to pay more than $30 for a gallon of paint (or $20K for a car, or $3 for loaf of bread, or $1 for a pen, etc.)

The bigger issue for me is the value proposition. I believe people will pay to solve a problem and in many respects they will pay a premium if they believe you are the right and safe choice. Making the buyer understand that you are the right and safe choice is both hard and critical. Understand this is not a universal construct. For example, if I have $1 to spend for pen it may not matter if it is a BIC or another brand as long as it fits my budget. If I have a Rolls Royce for sale and my buying audience cannot afford a Rolls (or do not want it) then price it does not matter.

The hard work is the unique value proposition, helping other to understand your value, where and how to market your product and knowing how the problem you solve will allow you to charge more.

Pricing the product is in fact telling a story about the product. For example, why would I pay $50 for a gallon of paint when I can a similar product for 40% less? If price is not an issue, you can focus on the parts of the products story that are important to a client. The higher price for the paint can be told in a story: it is safer (less smell), easier to clean (important to a busy mother because it save time), last longer (don’t have to do it as often), provide a better finish (looks better), or is easier to apply (saves time.)  If those concepts are not important to your audience, you have a different kind of problem.

Sometimes price is not a consideration. If you are selling to high net worth individuals, they are buying prestige and convenience. The price is secondary. If I am buying a gallon of paint, price is primary.

Finally, pricing is impacted by the demographics of the audience. It is harder to sell your product using “pain” as the value proposition when selling to an older audience because their life experience tells them that “been there done that. This too shall pass.” Pain works better on younger people who have a need for more immediate gratification.

Bottom line is that pricing is an effective marriage between cost to produce, what people will pay, and the story that motivates them to buy.

 

To Your Success,

Ron Finklestein
www.BusinessGrowthexperience.com

ron@businessgrowthexperience.com

330-990-0788

 

Can you be Successful at Sales?

Anyone can be successful at sales provided you have the right behaviors and mind-set.

In 2003, Tim Connor published a book called Soft Selling.   In it, he compared how poor salespeople and successful salespeople managed their selling time differently.   He allocated the salesperson’s time into six major categories:

·   Prospecting

·   Sales Presentation

·   Service

·   Administration

·   Travel

·   Self-Improvement

 

He found that when it came to time management, poor salespeople allocated their time as follows:

·   10% on prospecting,

·   23% on sales presentation,

·   15% on service to others,

·   30% on administration,

·   20% on travel,

·   and a meager 2% on self-improvement.

 

These numbers are stunning at first glance if you believe and take Connor’s numbers seriously.

Note that only 10% of a salesperson’s time was being spent on prospecting and a whopping 30% of their time was being spent on administrative duties.    In other words, the salespeople who failed were spending more time managing their paperwork and administrative duties than managing or growing their sales pipeline.

 

10% of a poor salesperson’s time was being spent on prospecting.  It’s no wonder their sales were falling short of their expectations and their sales pipeline remained empty. They were spending more time on paperwork and presentations when they should have been out looking for new suspects to qualify. Contrast these numbers with how well successful people managed their time when it came to selling.  Connor found that good salespeople spent their time as follows:

·   45% on prospecting for new business,

·   10% on their sales presentation,

·   20% on service to others,

·   5% on administration,

·   10% on travel,

·   And 10% on self-improvement.

If you want to learn how to get better at sales and be seen as a partner to your customers check out Collaborative Selling. To learn more go to www.akris.net 

 

Sincerely,

Ron Finklestein
Business Growth Facilitator
www.businessgrowthexperience.com  

 

 

Why Relationship Skills Matter

Why Relationship Skills Matter.

We all belong to the human race. It is a simple sentence and a statement of fact. There are many assumptions made in that statement. One of the primary assumptions is we belong to the human race. Because of our membership in this august society, we know how to build safe, effective, successful and lasting personal and business relationships that allow all parties involved to grow, prosper and get results.

I am not sure this is a valid assumption.

Why? Though we have much in common, many of us have not been taught know how to build rapport, connect with others, understand the best way to support others and know how to ask them to support us. This is evident by the divorce rate; as many as 50% of marriages end in a divorce (Source divorcerate.org.) What is interesting to me is that the divorce rate drops the older we get. For example the divorce rate is 38.8% for American males age 20-24 versus 6.5% for American males age 35-39. It would seem the old men get the more they understand relationship strategies.

The question is how can we shorten that learning curve?

In business, according to Grant Thornton, 97% of all business owners want to strengthen the customer relationship.

SCORE suggests that 64% of all small businesses fail because they do not know how nor do they understand the value of marketing. Marketing is nothing more than a process through which companies build strong customer relationships. Can you imagine how simple life can become when you understand this and implement relationship strategies in your business?

I could go on but you get my drift.

To address this problem, I teamed up with Dr. Tony Alessandra, one of the world’s foremost relationships strategies experts, to create a web site that teaches you how to build safe, effective, successful and lasting personal and business relationships. The web site is called People Smarts. In this site we address relationship strategy issues, presentations skills, collaborative selling skills, marketing, personal growth and development, how to treat people the way they want to be treated and a host of other important and powerful topics that, when applied, will help you create more effective relationships to get the results you want and need. The site contains a full array of videos, eBooks, PDFs and MP3 to support you in your personal, sales, business and leadership development needs.

We invite you to explore and try out this site. In lesson one (which you have access) you will learn the different between the Golden Rule vs. Platinum Rule and experience the overview of all functions of relationship strategies. In addition, you will receive an introduction of the two dimensions of behavior. In this lesson, you will be presented with a very simple model that has been validated with hundreds of thousands of people.  It is a powerful guide you can use to improve communication and morale, build better work groups, and develop better relationships with co-workers, supervisors, customers, vendors and others.

I invite you to give People Smarts a try. To learn more go to www.akris.net. If you have questions please feel free to call Ron Finklestein at 330-990-0788 or email him at ron@akris.net. This powerful tool can also be used in you place of business for all your employees. If you would like more details about this opportunity ask Ron and he will provide the details.

Ron Finklestein

www.peoplesmarts.ws
admin@peoplesmarts.ws

330-990-0788

What is the Difference between Personal Development vs. Internal Development?

Personal Development vs. Internal Development.

What is the difference between personal development and internal development?

Personal development is intended for use by one person. Personal development is usually skills based, the learning of new skills for example.

Internal Development exists in the interior of something. Internal Development is creating change from the inside out and focuses on changing beliefs and behaviors.

In my mastermind group, the people who have been in this group for 10 years have one thing in common: the desire for internal growth. The people who do not stay with the group leave quickly if they do not share this value.

Internal development (growth) is more difficult and longer lasting, if you can be open to new things, new ways of thinking and implement what you learned.

In personal development, after a new skill is learned the purpose of participating ceases to exist.

Which is more important to you?

Ron Finklestein

ron@ronfinklestein.com
330-990-0788

www.ronfinklestein.com

To receive these posts directly please go to www.businessgrowthexperience.com and sign up for the free eBook, “Six Questions Your Prospects want Answered before the Buy.” You will then be added to the email list.

To receive great business training at an even better price please check out www.aboutbusinesssuccess.com

Making the Most of Your Networking Time

Making the Most of Your Networking Time.

I was facilitating a Business Growth Experience group today and we were discussing the value (or lack of) different networking events.

Assuming the networking event is the right networking event for you, here is how you can make the most of any networking event you attend:

  1. Treat it as a job. Be serious. You are not there to eat or drink, you are there to meet people.
  2. Set a goal for the event. How many A contacts do you want to meet?
  3. When you receive someone’s business card determine if and when a follow-up is required. I do this by writing a A, B, or C on the back of the card. A means immediate follow-up for immediate opportunity, B means follow in the next few days, possible opportunity, and C means I send them a “nice to meet you” email and file the card.
  4. After you meet your goal, eat, drink and be merry.
  5. Next day do your follow-up.

Ron Finklestein
Business Growth Facilitator
Need high quality, low-cost business training? If so check out http://www.aboutbusinesssuccess.com.

 

The New Marketing Strategy Guaranteed to Work

The New Marketing Strategy Guaranteed to Work

Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development.

Marketing is designed to persuade you to take a specific action (call now, space is limited), or not do something (don’t throw that away, recycle it).

People have become cynical. Marketing has become so sophisticated that people feel tricked into doing something only to find the product or service did not perform as stated or expected. We are inundated with thousands of marketing message daily from people trying to part us from our time, energy and money.

What’s a marketer (business owner) to do? I have new and powerful marketing technique that is guaranteed to work. What is it you ask?

It is quite powerful. You simply market your products and services with Integrity. Integrity is defined as adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.”

Wouldn’t it be great when we encountered someone selling a product or service that interested us that we felt we could trust the person or company? That we could have an open dialog; that the message was to be consistent and had integrity. The honesty was there.

There are six questions your prospects wants answered before they buy. You can download the report at http://www.aboutbusinesssuccess.com. This report will help you communicate your message with honesty and integrity.

This message was prompted by a bad experience I had will my bank. I should say my old bank – I just left them. Here is what happened. I received my home equity line statement from my bank and the bank demanded the loan be paid in full. We are not talking about a small about of money. I called customer service to see what was going on. I was told my house was in the collections and foreclosure process, I could do nothing to stop it, and no one I could call. The process must run its course. They told me I was late 30 times (BTW, I was never late.) When I suggested they made an error, I was told I was lying.

I spent hundreds of hours trying to solve this (as a small business owner this time away from my business was quite painful) finding the right people to talk too, feeling really stressed out and helpless because of the stress it put on my family, only to find out they made a mistake. My house was not in foreclosure, it was not in collections, and all was fine.  I did not get so much as a letter of apology. I think they were afraid I would sue. Don’t worry, I am not that kind of person. The letter I did get, saying my credit was not damaged,  did not have a signature. The collection letters I received that had a phone number would not return my calls. I was even told they called me and I know they did not because I have just one phone I use for all call and the call log does not lie.

While I am going through all this I see the banks’ commercials on TV about how easy this bank is to work with, how much they care about their customers and how responsive they are to their customers’ needs. I was quite angry that there was a total and complete disconnect between their message and their actions. At this time, I should point out that I had been with this bank over 30 years. I am in process of changing banks. I paid off the loan in questions, and I am creating an arm’s length relationship with my new bank.

Contrast that with the city where I now live. They put in a new sanitation line on my property that caused all kinds of water  problems in my yard. It has been a slow process but they are taking ownership and fixing the problem at their expense and the investment they are making is not insignificant.

Problems will happen. It is how you handle the problem that is important. Which organization was more in integrity with their customers? Is your message congruent with your organization’s action?  Do you deliver what you say you will deliver? Is your marketing message consistent with your company’s actions? All people want is to be treated fairly and honestly. Do you allow people in your organization to do that?

Do you handle your customer problem with integrity? Do you handle your sales with integrity? Do you live your life with integrity? Do you market with Integrity? Are you seeing a theme here? Being in Integrity is all that you do and be? The true disconnect is when your actions are not consistent with your words.

Ron Finklestein

Http://www.businessgrowthexperience.com
ron@akris.net
330-990-0788

Business to Business Marketing Internet

Small business skills are essential to anyone running their own business and that includes internet marketing, especially business to business internet marketing. We see internet sales letter where someone has made $200k dollars in weekend running an internet business. I believe these most of these claims to be true but what they do not tell you is the year or two it took to develop the product, create the lists, test the sales letters, define the optin process, and the list goes one. If you have no business experience these sales letters make it sound like anyone will achieve these results. Internet marketing has its own rules. But one thing is consistent with both traditional marketing and internet market: you must understand what your audience wants to buy and present it to them in a way that makes it easy for them to understand why they should buy from you.

I call this earning the right to do business and there are six questions you must answer that on the surface appear insignificant. They are not.   Here they are:

  1. What do you do?
  2. Why are you different?
  3. What is the one thing you do better than anyone else?
  4. Why should prospects care?
  5. What is in it for them?
  6. Will they buy from you?

If you cannot answer these questions you cannot expect your customers to know the answers either.

To Your Success,

Ron Finklestein
330-990-0788
ron@akris.net