Need to Make an Impression in Two Minutes or Less? Keep These 13 Handy Tactics In Mind

 

In the same way that I tend to make up my mind about people within thirty seconds of meeting them, I also make up my mind about whether a business proposal excites me within about thirty seconds of looking at it.” – Richard Branson, founder Virgin Group

Mr. Branson echoes the viewpoint held by many sales prospects. How will you impress me in the first two minutes of meeting you? Sales professionals have to make a good impression in order to close business. In many cases, you only get a few minutes to grab a prospect’s attention and persuade them to consider what you have to offer. Whether you call it an elevator pitch, cold call or instant presentation, you’ve got to be prepared to make your case in a short period of time!

As you prepare to impress a prospect in a two-minute window of opportunity, consider these 12 tactics prior to and during your initial sales encounter.

 

# 1 –   Research Your Targets

 

Preparation is critical in many situations in life; this is true when you get a shot to impress a prospect. You’ve got to know ho you’re pitching – both the individual and the company. What is your target’s background? Do you know the company history? Even if you cannot get a confirmed meeting with a prospect, you should spend time researching your target so when the time comes, you’ll be prepared to show him you’ve done your homework.

 

# 2 –   Understand Their Needs

 

Understand their needs 

Your objective is to fill a need, right? Then explain briefly how you and your solution    (specifically) can fill that need. What benefits will you provide? What advantages do  you  present? How long will it take? Show your prospect you understand what she  might be    looking for. Then come in with the reasons why your involvement will be a  good fit.

Needs analysis is a critical step in preparing for a successful first-time encounter.    Without understanding your prospect’s needs, you will likely get an empty stare and a lost  opportunity. Try to find out as many specifics as possible about her current situation and work your pitch around solving unfilled needs.

 

# 3 –    Organize Your Pitch

 

Too many unsuccessful salespeople enter pitch situations without a solid framework for what they will say. Bid proposal experts will tell you that you’ve got to divide your pitch into five parts:

  1. Problem statement – “I understand you may be looking for a software product that will automate your email marketing.”

  2. Proposed solution – “I’ve got an answer for the amount of time your salespeople are devoting to email distribution.”

  3. Benefits – “With our solution, you’ll find a 30% drop in time required to reach out to your database.”

  4. Pricing – “Our pricing will fit into your budget, and we offer easy monthly payment options.”

  5. Call to action – “May I call you next week to set up a time to discuss how well our solution will fit your needs?”

This organized flow allows you to smoothly cover the key considerations your prospects will be concerned with. While you should leave out specific pricing during an elevator speech, the other four components are important. The key is to distill each segment into one to three sentences each. Remember, your elevator pitch should simply cover the basics. The call to action should be a simple step, such as obtaining a business card or getting an email address.

 

# 4 –   Take a Casual Approach

 

You don’t have to be super-aggressive to win at the elevator pitch. Although it may be important to you to make a good impression, avoid showing your prospect how important it really is. Present yourself in a casual yet professional manner. Conduct your pitch as more of a conversation between peers, not a pushy sales call.

 

# 5 –    Be Genuine

 

Be Genuine

 

Prospects will recognize when you’re not being authentic. We’re all familiar with the phrase “be yourself”.  You’re more likely to be successful at creating a good impression if your target feels you are making your pitch in a genuine, authentic way. Think about it: you are looking to gain a level of trust in two minutes or less. Avoid trying to fit into a mold or reflect a certain posture; offer your prospects the real you and they are more likely to seek more information.

It starts with selling a solution you stand behind. You’ve got to believe in what your selling, and believe you are the one to close the deal. If your prospect recognizes you as a genuine person, she will engage with you in a genuine manner as well.

 

# 6 –    Ask a Few Questions

 

Most people dislike a pushy sales strategy and prefer a more conversational approach. That approach should include questions that will help you get the answers you need and lead to a more fruitful conversation. Start out by asking a couple general questions to show you have interest in your prospect and his work. Then follow up with one or two questions specific to the solution you are approaching him about.

 

# 7 –    Prepare for Questions

 

Sales agents may often prepare their two-minute pitches by focusing only on what they want to explain in a tidy format. However, prospects that may be interested in your solution will likely have a question or two, and you’ll need to prepare responses. Sure, you’re not going to be able to plan for every question out there, but you’ll have more success if you prepare for some commonly asked questions.

Prepare for questions such as “how does it work?”, “what is the onboarding process like?” and “how will your solution improve our business?”, among others. The more prepared you are for such questions, the more polished you’ll come across, leading to a positive impression.

 

#  8 –    Start With a One-Liner

 

Conversations among strangers start with an opening line. Open the conversation with an interesting, funny or topical statement. Humor usually works well to “break the ice”, but if you’re not a comic, make a remark about something that you and your prospect are sharing at that moment. For instance, if the weather outside is frightful, comment about it. Or say something about the location you are at. Your opening line should be a comment that cannot be misinterpreted or misunderstood, so stick with a simple remark to get the conversation going.

 

#  9 –    Observe Your Target

 

We’re not encouraging you to stalk your prey, but observing body language, mannerisms, attire and other details prior to opening the conversation can help you to understand the person you’re targeting. Try to complement his mannerisms with similar gestures (but stay authentic!).

Observe your target

 

Avoid mimicking your prospect, rather act in a manner that makes him feel comfortable and makes you seem relatable. Pay close attention to how he behaves around others if you’re in a crowd. Take a few moments to get an idea of his mindset, preferences and speech patterns before you launch into your introduction.

 

# 10 –    Focus on the “Why”

 

We often get caught up in explaining what we do when we’re trying to impress a prospect. Shift your pitch from boasting about your experience to explaining why you do what you do. By shifting the focus, it gives your prospect a chance to understand what you are all about a little better. You’ll have time after your pitch to get into details about your career, etc.

 

# 11 –    Make Your Pitch About Them

 

All too often, we have an inside-out perspective about what we’re trying to pitch. We have a solution we want to sell. It may seem natural to launch your pitch with first-person terms such as “I”, “we” and “our”. However, if you are trying to make a good first impression, start by turning that perspective around. Craft your pitch using terms like “you” and “your”.

By focusing your approach on your prospect and her needs, it creates a stronger level of trust because she will feel as though you are providing a solution that is in her best interests. 

 

# 12 –     K-I-S-S

 

You may not have enough time to get into a deep discussion with your prospect, so plan to be concise and to-the-point. Keep it simple, stupid (no offense intended). Even if you are selling the most complex software or complicated engineering solutions, you have to make your initial pitch one that is easily “digestible” for your prospect. Focus on the most important points about your solution in a way that that even a 10 year-old would understand (but don’t sound condescending).

 

# 13 –     Keep Your Eye on the Prize

 

 

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

 

 

 

 

Remember, nearly every impression that leads to a sale requires multiple  contacts. Don’t expect to convince your prospects completely in the first two  minutes. Rather, use the opportunity to discover if there is enough interest on his  part to further the conversation. Most prospects will be more impressed when you  quickly follow up with a call, email or other contact. You can make an excellent i    impression by showing tenacity, professionalism and follow-through.

So there you have it. When you incorporate these ideas into your two-minute pitch, you’re much more likely to create a favorable first impression. While it is difficult to prepare for every scenario, without preparation you may encounter prospects who will kindly nod, say goodbye, then leave without accepting any further contact. But if you prepare to make a good impression, you’re more likely to get approval for a follow-up call. Good luck!

 

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10 Tips to Improve the Performance of Your Sales

 

“80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting. 44% of salespeople give up after 1 follow up. – The Marketing Donut

 

“Each year, you’ll lose 14% of your customers.” – BusinessBrief.com

 

“We talk at a rate of 125-175 words per minute, listen at a rate of 125-250 words per minute, but think at a rate of 1000-3000 words per minute.  The processing gap creates opportunities for distraction and failure to listen attentively.” – The Mann Group

 

We would all like to think we’re great listeners that know exactly what our customers need. In reality, that may be far from the truth. Don’t just read these 10 tips; put them into practice in your business to start improving your sales performance today.

 

Tip # 1 – Everybody is a $alesperson

 

 

All employees have the opportunity to be salespeople regardless of their position or job description. Whether it’s Fred the customer service rep or Julie from accounting, here are a few tips on how to make selling a part of every person’s job. It is adapted from Patricia Sigmon’s Six Steps to Creating a Profit (Wiley).

 

  • Give employees an easy to follow instruction guide. This guide can be as simple as a bullet list that gives your company’s messaging about their products and services. It helps to tell your company story and illustrate the value they provide. In this guide, encourage your employees to engage prospects regularly in a conversation about your company’s offerings. The goal is to subtly spread your message, not overselling your product.
  • Make sure every email has a proper signature that has your company logo, links to your website, and information about your products and services. This should go out in every email automatically.
  • Keep an eye out for great talent in your organization. Maybe you have employees with a gift for social media or a writer that can create incredible sales letters. You can uncover some of these people by brainstorming with employees about what they can do to help generate more sales.

 

Tip # 2 – Listening to improve sales

 

One of the biggest challenges of selling is to get your customer talking, not you talking to the customer. Without listening, how will you know how you can help the customer? By letting the customer dominate the conversation, you can learn more about which products and services you can provide for them.

One of the best ways of doing this is a technique called active listening. It requires listening to the person with an understanding for what they’re saying. After they’re done speaking, you respond to them with a brief summary of what they’ve said.

 

 

By doing this you show your prospect that you fully understand what they’ve told you and you can use those clues to help you close the deal. You will also be demonstrating your respect for the prospect, which can build rapport.

Most of us, when we hear something interesting, will start framing a reply or planning what we’re going to say next based on what we’ve heard. The problem is, you’re doing this while the other person is still talking and you’re not listening to what they’re saying. One way to avoid this is to keep your mind on the speaker and mentally echo what they’re saying in your head.

 

Tip # 3 – Closing is a process, not a request

 

If your goal is to help a customer make the best decision, you’ll find that closing requires more than just asking for their business. When you are talking to your prospect, always listen for their pain points and opportunities to help them out. Ask them questions so you better understand their pain. These questions may or may not come from a checklist, but probably from listening to and understanding the person’s pain and how you can help.

 

 

During the closing process, you will transition the prospect by listening to them. Over time, you will gradually move the conversation from “what if” to “when” if the right decision is to buy from you.

 

Tip # 4 – Forget the elevator pitches

 

Elevator pitches have become popular, but in reality they’re a great way to bore your prospect. Do you really want to force them to listen to a 2 to 3 minute spiel about how great you, your company, and your products are? (It’s all about me, me, me!)

 

 

When you stop and think about it, do you like listening to people go on and on when they get to their elevator pitches?

Instead of forcing your prospect to listen to your bland, boring, and never-ending elevator pitch, give them an opportunity to talk instead. Ask them about what they do and listen. You’ll be surprised at how much more you can learn.

 

Tip #5 – Introverts are better sellers

 

 

We all know the stereotype of the fast talking salesperson who appears in movies, television, and other media. However, in the real world people that have a hard-sell attitude can quickly turn off customers. We know that one of the keys of selling is listening, and introverts are far better at this.

Introverts are more interested in hearing what other people have to say. Since they avoid small talk, they are actually able to naturally develop a deeper connection with the prospect.

Introverts are more likely to study and like sales systems, which can be a major contributor to sales success. While extroverts love to engage with people, they are more likely to fight the system because they enjoy seeing unexpected things occur. Introverts, on the other hand, generally like to use less energy and therefore like to use systems to help leverage their energy to get the best results for the effort they put in.

 

Tip # 6 – Cold calling helps you grow

 

Most sales people do not like cold calling. Some would do almost anything to avoid it.

However, picking up a phone and talking to someone you don’t know to see how you can help them is a great way to strengthen your emotional muscle. It will help you learn to deal with rejection and establish rapport with new prospects at the same time.

 

Here are some tips for successful cold calling:

  • Always treat the gatekeeper with the proper respect
  • Make a dedicated time each day for cold calling
  • If you get voicemail, leave a short voicemail message and assume that your call will never be returned
  • Always use your product’s benefits, not features during the call
  • Keep in mind that cold calling on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons will typically have the worst results

 

Tip #7 – Use customer experience to build your brand

 

Most companies become obsessed with branding. In the end, it’s your customer experience that can build (or destroy) your brand.

This is not a new idea. Companies like Starbucks, Costco, and Ritz-Carlton have been using their customer experience to build their brand for a while.

 

 

“Today, there’s no argument that discovering what customers really want, then delivering it through fantastic customer experiences, is a hallmark of strong brands,” says Paul LaBelle at Tibco Blog.

Some top drivers of customer experience are:

  • Communicating with your customers in plain English while avoiding jargon
  • Making sure your customers feel valued
  • Quickly resolving any problems customers may have

 

Tip # 8 –  Take care of your loyal customers

 

Getting new customers can be an expensive and risky proposition. On the other hand, your existing customers have already purchased from you and selling additional items is comparatively easy.

 “Getting loyal customers to buy from you costs nothing and is automatic. Therefore, your priority should always be to transform existing customers into loyal ones; new customers are only a priority when you're just starting out,” says Geoffrey James at inc.com.

If you focus primarily on getting a new customer and at the same time lose an existing one because you ignore them, you will have the same number of customers in the end. However, you will have lower margins because of the additional cost required to get a new customer over retaining your existing one.

 

 

In the end, by adding one new customer for every one you lose, you will actually lose ground and suffer from reduced profits and increased marketing costs as a result.

Make the time to take care of your customers and be sure your products and services perform well for them. Since you already have a relationship in place, it is less expensive to sell additional items from your product line to those that already love your products.

 

Tip # 9 – Sales training does not make top performers

 

If anyone ever tells you that going to a sales training will make all of your sales staff top performers, beware! While good sales training is certainly worthwhile, it’s only going to provide marginal improvement.

 

 

In order to get the maximum return on investment from sales training, it is important that sales managers continue to coach their staff after the training is over.

Unfortunately, most training efforts fail to reach their objectives, in large part because of the absence of any kind of reinforcement or coaching. In fact, one of my former bosses whom I have quoted before, Neil Rackham, conducted a study that indicated that post training, if there was no coaching or reinforcement activity, there was a drop-off of 87% of the knowledge acquired. That’s a waste of 87 cents on every dollar spent on formal development efforts,” says Scott Edinger with Forbes.com.

Some action items from Scott also include developing “a clear line of sight between sales actions, sales goals, and business outcomes” and coaching by asking, not telling.

 

Tip # 10 – Remember that customers love to buy, but not to be sold

 

We all like to buy things, but none of us really likes to be sold. This is why when salespeople try to manipulate customers into buying things, it often alienates and causes resentment.

The main point in selling is to help the customer make the best decision. Doing so will help add pleasure and influence the customer’s inherent desire to buy.

 

 

The key to this is finding out what your customers want. You can do this using customer interviews, where the customer will tell you things that they would probably never mention while people are trying to sell them. You can schedule an appointment and do the interview by phone or in person with structured questions so you can document the results.

 

Conclusion

 

As you have probably learned by now, listening is one of the most important skills when it comes to improving the performance of your sales. Once you listen to get an understanding of what your customer wants to buy, you can then align your business model to meet those needs. You start with a good understanding of what a real customer needs and how they go about finding a solution and meeting those needs. Once you have this information, you can use your great customer service and training to turn your new prospects into loyal customers and reap the rewards.

 

Image Courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos

What Behaviors are Common Among Successful Salespeople?

Many would-be salespeople complain that “sales is tough”.  They argue that dealing with prospects and customers is a losing proposition. Well, do you ever notice that some sales professionals really stand out among the crowd? How do they become so successful while many do not?

It might be true that training, coaching, skills and a reputable product or service can all make a difference in whether an individual is successful at sales. But, more importantly, it takes a focused approach to developing behaviors that will enable more effective sales situations.

When we talk with sales professionals, we have found seven common behaviors that have enabled their success.

 

Behavior # 1 –  Selling value over price

All too often, sales agents become focused on price. Sure, buyers have to pay a specific price in return for your solutions. But often salespeople find themselves battling price concerns when they should be convincing their prospects of the value they will receive for that price.

 selling value over price

According to Tom Reilly, author of Value-Added Selling, “two-thirds of sales managers feeling that selling value is the most perplexing problem facing salespeople.” Although price can be a significant hurdle, the cost of acquiring a solution is not usually the only objection buyers present. It can be a smokescreen used to get certain concessions or added features. To be effective at overcoming price objections, successful sales professionals refocus their prospects on the value being delivered.

 When price is addressed (which should come towards the end of the sales process!), you should reinforce the value that your solution brings to the table. Your first objective should be to make sure the solution you’re offering addresses their recognized needs. Once you’ve gained agreement that the solution will solve those needs, keep hammering the point that you can easily eliminate her need, right here, right now.

 

Behavior # 2 –  Being flexible and creative

Okay, there will be times when you can only offer a specific price. Today’s consumers feel empowered because of the abundant access to information. Even in the most commoditized industries, you can achieve success by creating options that can satisfy the most resistant buyers.

 Most companies look to salespeople to hold the gross margins built into their pricing. You can do this by offering more attractive payment terms or include add-ons which increase the value of the solution.  Successful sales agents act as consultative problem solvers, holding the line on price but exploring options that can close the deal.

 Effective tactics include:

  • Offering a trade-up – “I can offer you an additional month of service at the original price.”
  • Offering a discount in exchange for a longer commitment – “If you agree to a two-year commitment, I can offer you 10% off the original price.”
  • Offering additional service options – “We can provide platinum-level technical support at this price, which typically includes silver-level support.”
  • Offering a more attractive payment schedule – “If you sign today, we can accept a four-payment plan rather than a one-time payment.”

 

Behavior # 3 –  Spending adequate time with prospects (and customers)

Sales teams are often conditioned to get the sale and move on to the next conquest. However, this can be counterproductive to long-term sales objectives. Most consumers want to be sold a solution then ignored, right? WRONG! Today, buyers expect to feel a connection with the companies they do business with.

Spending adequate time with prospects (and customers)

One of the keys to sustainability as a sales pro is to engage with your buyers on a consistent basis. This doesn’t mean you have to be making weekly follow-up calls, but you should set a schedule to discuss issues that are relevant to their business or relevant to the solutions you offer. This is true for both prospect and customers.

An often quoted statistic claims that only 2% of sales are closed on the first visit. That means 98% of your opportunities require multiple engagements! Tenacity is a critical behavioral characteristic that most effective sales agents possess. Unfortunately, salespeople have a bad habit of giving up early in the game. Although we found conflicting numbers on multi-touch sales,

  • 44% of sales people give up after one “no”
  • 22% give up after two “nos”
  • 14% give up after three “nos”
  • 12% give up after four “nos”

or

  • 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
  • 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
  • 12% of sales people make three contacts and stop
  • 10% of sales people make more than three contacts

we know that customers are not typically going to buy on the first contact. Successful salespeople commit themselves to appropriate follow up activities.

You’ve got to put in the time with your buyers to get the payoff. The trick is to make each contact a valuable and productive engagement. Don’t simply send company sales collateral; help your prospects out by showing you understand their challenges. Provide helpful information. Ask more questions. They look for you to establish trust, concern for their well-being, and reliability, which can only be accomplished over multiple touches.

 

Behavior # 4 –  Building relationships across customer organizations

When you think about who you’re selling to, do you only consider the decision-maker(s) in your target’s enterprise? Yes, the decision-makers are crucial to successfully closing a deal, but there may be others who can influence the buying decision. For example, in many high-cost situations, such as industrial heavy equipment, there are end-users who may impact the success of a sale. This can also be true for less expensive items like medical supplies, where hospital staff may influence which products are used in their organizations.

Allow your focus to expand to other individuals in your prospect’s company. Spend some time reaching out to those who will ultimately use your solutions. It can also be beneficial to connect with finance staff and/or purchasing agents to ensure that the acquisition of your solution fits within their team objectives. Those who are successful at sales over the long run understand that there may be many players who contribute to a buying decision.

 

Behavior # 5 – Having well-developed networks within your own organization

This one might not be obvious, but we have found that those who have developed solid networks within their own enterprises are more successful than those who don’t. Why would it be important to establish an internal network? Because there are likely coworkers who can help sell to a specific customer, share insights into how other salespeople have found success, or suggest tactics that can help improve close rates.

Having well-developed networks within your own organization

Large companies that sell technical solutions may often have others who participate in the sales process, such as technical support staff or product managers. These individuals (and others) can provide valuable assistance with closing the deal. Get to know coworkers who can help you convince a prospect that your solutions is the one they should go with. It can be a key differentiator against competitors. Internal networks can be a valuable asset to your sales toolbox.

 

Behavior # 6 –  Spending time with senior internal people

Again, this one might not be obvious, but successful sales pros typically have good reputations with their sales managers and C-level executives. Spending time with your manager and other senior people can benefit your sales career in four ways:

Alignment with enterprise goals – ensuring that your productivity, tactics and other elements match the overarching objectives of the company

Recognition of achievements – leveraging your accomplishments for a higher sales position or executive role

Access to undisclosed information – receiving “inside information” that can help in your sales activities

Deeper sense of purpose – having a clearer vision of how your activities affect the company as a whole

Spending time with senior internal people

Getting in tune with company leaders can also help you forecast more effectively, improve your understanding of your role within the organization, and support others on your sales team (such as inside sales reps). [Tweet “Expend some energy engaging with upper management and you’ll find advantages that other people in your sales organization won’t have.”]

 

Behavior # 7 –  Continual skills improvement

Now, this one might be obvious to sales success, but it is a behavior that few salespeople focus on. Successful sales agents understand that selling skills are difficult to perfect. They may encounter any number of situations as they move through their territories, therefore, it is necessary to study and practice their craft on an ongoing basis.

Continual skills improvement

Here are two examples of skill-building needs that many sales agents neglect to address successfully:

  • Handling objections, complaints, roadblocks and negotiation. In order to advance the buying process, salespeople must be able to overcome sticky situations and sales-killing objections. While some scenarios may be common among purchase decisions, each scenario brings unique obstacles. A product demo gone awry. A problem with a recent purchase. You should continually consider how you would approach unusual circumstances and/or firm rebuttals to your offers.
  • Recognizing the stages in the buying cycle for each prospect. These days, buyers are empowered to do their own research, which can affect where they are in the buying cycle when you contact them. You have to recognize how far into that cycle each individual decision-maker is as you engage them. For example, you have to know when to avoid uncovering needs when a prospect has completed their information search. And just as critical, successful sales agents know how to interpret post-purchase behavior to make sure there are no unspoken issues that could put the next sale at risk.

Your sales skills are likely not going to be at their peak when you are hired. Therefore, to be successful over the long haul, you must pay attention to your shortcomings, and find ways to improve. Whether you attend training classes, read books by successful sales pros or spend time talking with other salespeople, your desire to improve your skills will pay off.

When you adopt these behaviors, you’re more likely to have the successful sales career you envision. Even if you experience early success, there can be unforeseen challenges that will impact your monthly, quarterly or annual goals. Take some cues from the most successful salespeople and the results will probably be surprisingly good!

10 Simple Ways to Get More Customers Using Psychology

Once upon a time shop owners knew all of their customers by name. As businesses have grown and become digital, those days are now over. While in most cases it’s no longer possible to know each one of your customers, you can use consumer behavior research to learn more about your customers.

Once you understand your customers, it will be easier for you to resonate with them and get more new customers.

Here are 10 simple ways to get more customers using psychology:

 

1. Knowing the three types of buyers

Regardless of the industry, consumer behavior research shows us that there are fundamentally three types of buyers. Knowing which type of buyer you are dealing with can help you reduce purchasing pain and maximize potential sales.

The three types of buyers are:

 

 

Get Customer Through Psychology

  • Spendthrifts (15%)
    • These people are able to spend the most money before reaching maximum purchasing pain.
  • Unconflicted (61%)
    • These are the average spenders.
  • Tightwads (24%)
    • These people spend less than average before reaching maximum purchasing pain.

Knowing how to sell the tightwads is critical because they can potentially make up a decent part of your customer base. Using the right words can help reduce their purchasing pain.

 

Minimizing purchasing pain for tightwads requires three strategies:

Focus on the small stuff: Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that using a single word had an impact on conversion rates. They changed the phrase for an overnight shipping charge from “a $5 fee” to “a small $5 fee” and they were able to get a 20% higher response rate among tightwads.

Reframing perceived value: Using reframing can be effective for all buyer types. However, breaking down a product into a smaller daily value, decreases purchasing pain.

Saying the cost of your service is only one dollar per day (cheaper than most cups of coffee) is better than saying it is $30 per month.

Bundle your products/services: All consumers, but especially tightwads, like to have their purchases in one easy process rather than purchasing multiple times. By bundling your product, you can reduce purchase pain.

 

2. Getting past analysis paralysis

You’ve probably heard the term analysis paralysis where we spend too much time analyzing a situation so that no action is ever taken.

A professor of psychology at Arizona State University, Dr. Robert Cialdini, researched the American Cancer Society donation process and found that adding one short phrase can dramatically alter results.

When members of the American Cancer Society went door-to-door, researchers tested a small change in the wording of their donation request.

Group A asked, “Would you be willing to help by giving a donation?”

Group B asked, “Would you be willing to help by giving a donation? Every penny will help.”

This subtle change in the question made twice as many people donate. 28% of the people in group A donated, versus 50% of the people in group B.

In the end, researchers concluded, “people are more likely to take action when minimal parameters are set.”

When some people are asked if they have $20 to donate, they may hesitate while they determine if they have $20. They may also ponder if they can afford to give away the money. By clarifying that even a penny makes a difference, it makes it clear that any amount, no matter how small, is really appreciated.

Using a small action or amount can make people more likely to make a move. When you clearly define the minimum, it can help people overcome analysis paralysis.

 

3. Label Your Customers

How many times have you used a preferred customer card at a drug store, grocery store, or other shop?

 It turns out labeling your customers is a powerful strategy. Research has shown that customers actually like being placed into groups.

 

When a group of researchers studied the patterns of 133 adults, the researchers told half of the participants they were more likely to vote because the researchers found them to be more politically active. The other half was not told this during the interview.

The so-called “politically active” group actually had a 15% higher voting turnout as a result of being told they were part of a special group.

The brain likes consistency so much that when we’re told that we are part of a group, we will be more receptive to that message. This is why the foot in the door technique works so well.

Labeling your customers is actually a good idea. One way is to create a gold status customer loyalty program. This will allow the group to feel like a superior consumer who spends more than the regular customers do.

People like being part of a superior group, especially when it meets their approval. People in that group will spend more because they feel like they belong to that exclusive group that spends more.

 

4. Using urgency to your advantage

Copywriters have been creating a sense of urgency for a long time and the reason is simple: it works. The key here is not to push people into making a purchase, but rather to use appropriate pressure to keep them from procrastinating.

By giving people a logical, well thought-out reason why they should make a purchase now, more people will.

 

5. Creating anticipation

Every time Apple launches a new product, people line up waiting in anticipation to get it.

[Tweet “Creating anticipation before your product release can be a powerful way to pique people’s interest”].

You can start with a press release and then use social media and your website to build interest.

By building a mailing list, you can keep people up-to-date and build anticipation before your product finally arrives. This can also be a great way to determine interest before new the product is released.

 

6. Restrict the number of choices

Giving consumers too many choices can be crippling.

When you are selecting between 2 to 3 pairs of sneakers, it’s easy to create a definitive opinion about which ones you should buy. However, when you’re faced with 20 different pairs of shoes, analysis paralysis can creep in. Giving your consumer too many choices may lead to negative emotions and confusion.

In order to resolve this issue, only show them one product at a time. The best number of overall choices is six. If you have to present more than six options, use a decision tree to help the consumer organize the information.

 

7. Give the user a trial

Consumers everywhere like to try goods before making a purchase. Whether you are sampling produce at your grocery store or trying on a pair of shoes before you buy them, a trial is a great way to get proof of quality. This is also true for consumers online. They want proof of quality that will give them the trust necessary to purchase a product or service from you.

If possible, try to give a free trial of your product or service to build trust. This free trial will allow them to test the quality of your product or service.

 

8. Use social proof to your advantage

If your potential customers believe that your product or service is well-liked by others, they are more likely to approve of them themselves. By building a list of product ratings, customer reviews, and social media metrics you can help build trust with your potential clients, which will ultimately help improve conversion rates

 

9. Show them what you stand for

[Tweet “64% of consumers stated they have a strong relationship with the brand because they shared values with the company.”]

Make sure you share with consumers your company’s values in a clear and concise way. While most of your customers will enjoy your products, the loyal customers will also resonate with what you stand for and how you can help them achieve their goals.

 

10. Focus on strengths and admit your deficiencies

According to social psychologist Fiona Lee, admitting your shortcomings is an opportunity to also show your strengths. By admitting your honest errors in judgment, you can help your customers appreciate your honesty and it shows you are in control of the situation. This is a much-preferred tactic than making excuses.

 

Conclusion

Using customer behavior research, you can get a better understanding of your customer.

 

Now let’s recap:

 

  • Knowing your buyer type will help you know the right strategies for each type.
  • Analysis paralysis will become a thing of the past when you establish a minimum commitment.
  • By putting your customers in an elite group, you can market to that group and increase their overall spending.
  • Creating anticipation will help people get excited about your new product or service.
  • Once it is ready, use urgency and a restricted number of options to get consumers to make a choice.
  • Build trust by giving consumers a free trial and providing social proof.
  • Share with your consumers what you really stand for. If you’ve made mistakes along the way, admit them and use it as an opportunity to show how strong your company really is.

By using these simple strategies, you can get more customers and increase sales. Why not start using them today?

 

 

Collabspot publishes whitepaper, Close more deals with 1:1 Marketing automation – a new and effective approach to automation in the sales

The sales department is the backbone of any organization regardless of their size and business nature. They drive the business, earn customers and ensure that the business keeps moving forward. In the current digital powered era where a large proportion of businesses have shifted to e-commerce, sales team is equipped with a myriad of tools to automate their processes and in doing their job more effectively.

From marketing automation system, CRM and Web Analytics to standard email & calendaring solutions- your sales team need all of them to be at the top of their performance.

 

Why standard marketing automation is not enough?

 

It’s no brainer that converting a website visitor into a qualified lead requires a potential lot of effort from your marketing department. They go through a series of marketing processes from writing blog and landing page copies, search engine optimization, social bookmarking to online advertisement in extracting out potential leads.

[Tweet “Marketing automation can convert visitors into lead but they lack abilities -later in sales funnel”].

Your sales team has to resort to use multiple different tools to work around with the lead and is mainly left with their personal abilities to convert leads into customers.

This practice is time consuming, inefficient and don’t deliver results as expected!

 

What is 1:1 Marketing Automation?

 

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However, if somehow, we bring the email inbox and the CRM together to create a 1:1 marketing automation system, your sales team is better at doing their job. The email inbox is the playing ground for your sales team to communicate with their leads; integrating it with the featured rich abilities of CRM enable them to be on top of their game.

 

Sales team requires data at their hand to be more effective in their processes and the 1:1 marketing automation approach delivers exactly that. It not only saves potential time for your sales team end but also helps in gaining wider intelligence about customer from previous experiences data- right in their inbox.

 

 

 

How 1:1 Marketing Automation is implemented?

 

Collabspot, “Closing more deals with 1:1 Marketing Automation” whitepaper defines and provides the roadmap to how organization can leverage the power of Collabspot to extend marketing automation right to the bottom of sales funnel. With its ability to bring and integrate sales CRM right into the Gmail Inbox, your sales team’s key tools and data of the trade comes right in a central location.

 

Your organization can integrate their popular CRM solutions into the Gmail Inbox including Salesforce, Sugar CRM and High Rise and can go about improving their sales processes and performance. It’s the perfect model of 1:1 Marketing Automation that automates the sales lifecycle and empowers your sales team with result oriented data to work with.

 

How 1:1 Marketing Automation help sales?

 

This whitepaper defines and demonstrate that why bringing the CRM into Gmail Inbox to deliver a 1:1 marketing automation platform has many benefits for sales professionals.

  • The combination of your CRM + Gmail Inbox delivers sales empowering and generating data right where your sales team needs it; they don’t have to spend time and effort to dig in and find customer information.
  • They can synchronize the lead’s data automatically with the data stored on CRM.
  • The ability to add and use email templates enables sales professionals to communicate the best and targeted message to the prospect.
  • Past performance records available right in the Inbox helps sales professionals in evaluating which email template performed best in which condition.
  • The native email tracking feature provides notifications on the statistics of email viewership and click through rate – another way for your sales team to gauge the effectiveness of their performance.
  • Moreover, [Tweet “by just having the CRM integrated into the email Inbox, the CRM utilization rate increases.”]

 

 

The ultimate goal and objective of this whitepaper is to guide businesses, sales professionals in particular, that how 1:1 Marketing Automation approach not only saves them time but also amplifies their performance. Where the sales team feels that they are left with little to work on the leads, Collabspot bridges the gap and extend marketing and sales automation right till the deal is closed!

 

Click here to download and read the complete whitepaper:

 

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September’s Happiness Report!

It’s time for September’s Happiness Report!

 

 

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 Why our customers are important

We believe that our customers know what is best. That is why we set a goal last March to deliver Legendary customer service. We’ve listened to feedback, added new features, and fixed some bugs. The result? Collabspot is better than ever!

 

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What we worked on last September

  1. Improved the task priority
  2. Properly assigned roles to people
  3. Fixed bugs
  4. Added new features.
  5. Improved processes within Support and Development team
  6. Hired a new Sales member who is customer-support focused! Welcome Jules!

 

 

Thank you, Anna!

After staying with Collabspot for two years, Anna, currently our Sales manager, will be leaving this October. We thank her for all the time and effort she’s given to Collabspot.. Thanks, Anna!

 

Customer Feedback

 

Customer Feedback

 

Top-notch customer service. Timely, professional and friendly. A+.

Mike from Power Tower

 

Your support is amazing, probably the most important thing which is keeping me interested in your product

Lary from LP Solutions

 

Fantastic help everytime with your Support team. Responsive and friendly.

Kit from InetProcess

 

[Tweet “So far the response has been good, like the way Collabspot helps me save time! Jerry from Little Mountain Printing”]

 

Super responsive and helpful with all my questions. Very satisfied.

Jake from Sococo

 

Collabspot Support is fast and effective. Our issue was solved and we always felt like we are in good hands

David from Inman

 

Went above and beyond in helping me this week. She was patient and qualified and taught me how to do things instead of just doing them for me (at my request). Awesome – thanks

Kit from InetProcess

 

As always, just give us a buzz if there is anything else we can help you with. We’ll just be here.

 

Cheers,

The Collabspot Support Team