Category Archives: Sales

A social media sales funnel for websites and blogs?

Sales funnel for websitesThe concept of a social media sales funnel:

The top category is the biggest one and represents the largest number of people – potential customers. You initially capture potential customers by creating awareness – they find your social media site through a search. The bottom category represents the smallest number – those who have made the purchase, your committed customers.

Now, here are the 5 steps to follow to construct your simple online sales funnel.

Landing page1. Create a landing page that has an impact! Your website’s landing page is the first impression for your potential customers. Take time to make sure that it visually looks great with headlines and subheads that provide value, (confirming this is the best place to be). A good website-design landing page gives the impression that is offering information the site visitor is looking for and not be inundated with “buy this” or “time is running out” phrases. That said, encourage visitors to sign up for some sort of list, or subscribe to the website. This gives you that all-important contact information, which becomes your first line of communication to start them down the sales funnel.

online special offer2. Develop a front-end special offer. The next step is to shift potential customers from “interest” to “consideration” which leads to buying your product or service. When developing your front-end products and associated upsell offers, try thinking – “How will this help create more desire for the next special offer I’m going to present them with?” In other words, at this step, you need to be “pre-selling” on the next step in the funnel.

add to cart marketing3. Give an upsell offer on the back-end. Offer your customers who just bought or are about to buy an opportunity to upgrade or add-on to their purchase. Once they have just about clicked the button to buy your product or service they are more likely to buy an upgrade. Why? Because they have found your product or service to be the best value – the reason they are about to click the buy button. Create an offer that will deliver even more benefit to the customer. That also means you make more profit because an upsell typically involves a higher margin item or service.

sales funnel offers4. Offer a downsize option. In the same way that you encourage customers to upgrade in the upsell step, this element of the funnel calls for you to offer a downsize option to customers you are about to lose due to price. Your product offering maybe out of their price range but they still want something similar or less quantity of what your special offer promotes. Consider this a way to engage a customer unable to buy from you due to budget constraints. Those constraints may change if they like your product and come back.

marketing sales offers5. Follow up! The last step in the sales funnel is to follow-up with the new customers you have acquired and ensure they are happy with their product or service. A great way to accomplish this is to offer a membership-based rewards program. This will allow you to remain in contact with customers, giving you the perfect means for telling them about new deals and services.

Click this link to go to my “new-age” sales approach blog.

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Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba, His 10 Rules for Business Success

Jack Ma is the richest man in China, 18th richest man in the world and worth 29.7 billion dollars. He was rejected for employment many times – he couldn’t even get a job at KFC in China! He applied to Harvard 10 times. Never give up! Jack started with 18 employees Alibaba Jack Maand  now has over 20,000. This 8 minute video provides insights into his business success creating the global trading company, Alibaba,  From a branding perspective, Jack provides insight into the Alibaba name and “genie” logo.

Some of his rules for success are obvious, but Jack makes them seem more important to do: Don’t let rejections defeat you, keep your dreams alive, focus on culture (mission and values), ignore naysayers that your idea is stupid, get inspired, stay focused, and branding – create a name people can easily remember. Also, make customers your number one priority, look for opportunities (he explains what kind), and have passion in what you do.

Sales Presentation: Engage Your Audience

Presentation skills

Seven ways to improve customer presentations:

  1. Provide a “Want” – not an Info Dump!  Be conscious of making sure the audience comes away with information that has value to them and not just pontificate of your knowledge. Give them just enough information that makes them “want”more – your products, services, expertise, a follow-up meeting, etc.
  2. Lead them with numbers. Tell your audience where your presentation is going. For example list 3-5 main points, tell them what you are going to tell them, and number the points! People like numbered lists because they know what to expect, where you are in the presentation, and it also helps them to better remember your presentation points.
  3. Create 3 basic parts to the presentation:  1. Introduction. 2. Content (which should contain 3-5 numbered points). 3. Conclusion: tell them what you told them.
  4. Communicate nuggets of info. Keep it simple. Make sure each point has an intro and conclusion so the audience can take away identifiable nuggets of information. It also makes it easier for people to take notes and retain the main points of your speech.
  5. presentation tipsTake your audience on a journey. After quoting a fact or a statistic to validate a point, engage the audience with a metaphor or tell a personal story. It makes it easier for the audience to understand and remember your points.
  6. Create a great first impressions at the podium. Looking to the back of the room, and slowly side to side lifts your head up higher and gives the impression you are confident and knowledgeable about the topic you are presenting. Avoid darting your eyes back and forth and around the room –it makes it appear that you are looking for a way to escape.
  7. Use vocal variety and pauses. Vocal variety shows passion as a speaker. It’s like a hit song that has a melody and a chorus, soft and loud –and just the opposite of a monotone presentation. Vocal variety creates subliminal dynamics that keeps the listener interested and engaged.

Are you old-school or new-age sales?

Technology sales personIf I was evaluating a technology-based sales person with a lengthy resume, I would base it on more recent sales history – no farther back than the last 10-15 years. Back 20+ years ago computer and technology sales people could boast big impressive sales numbers because sales were “easy” compared to selling in today’s  highly competitive marketplace. Why? The world was switching over from paper and fax machines to computers and networks. Plus, connecting to the early stages of the Internet. Every company was buying technology and computer related products.

Back then the sales approach was totally different – you could make an easy sale on computers and networks based on price or superior technology because it was changing so quickly. Companies were buying entire telecommunications and computers systems – they were all basically building from scratch.

computer sales

Now successful new-age sales sells the “value” of a company’s technology – because there isn’t as much difference between the competition as there was in the early technology days. Yes, most companies now think they have something new and different, but typically not different enough for the customer to recognize or understand the difference without a lot of marketing and sales communication.

A new-age sales person articulates value propositions and creates the perception in the customer’s mind that the product and company is unique and offers a better value than the competition. That takes additional time, effort, and patience

best selling tipsAdditionally, it is equally important for the new-age sales person to partner with marketing because a successful sales person is part of the sales process and not the whole process. They are patient and learn how to become an important part of the “social media engagement” process. The new-age sales person understands how social media marketing and a company’s website are now an integral part of the entire sales process, as they are not the lone-wolf sales person glad-handing and selling like the good ole’ days.