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Don’t Be Afraid of Email Marketing: Cultivate Better Relationships With Prospects

Don’t Be Afraid of Email Marketing: Cultivate Better Relationships With Prospects

NURTURE LEADS FOR MORE OPPORTUNITIES

Email marketing can be scary. But it doesn’t need to be.

Learn how to instantly establish and maintain rapport with your prospects, getting them to know, like and trust you by making an emotional connection through your messaging.

Don’t be afraid to build better relationships and earn more new business with prospects using email.   

Download the "Cultivate Better Relationships With Prospects via Email" whitepaperWe’ll show you how to cultivate better relationships with prospects using only email in this detailed but delightful whitepaper.

  •  Learn what questions to ask in order to make the best first impression when you connect with a new prospect via email
  •  Discover how an email campaign can break the ice with new prospects, keep them engaged and pave the way to a sale
  •  Follow six tips from the pros to develop credibility, rapport and trust with your email marketing prospects for more warm leads

Discover how to cultivate better relationships with prospects via email.

GET YOUR FREE WHITEPAPER NOW >>>

 

See the other valuable marketing whitepapers we offer, including:

Visit our Free Whitepapers page to learn more and give your marketing a boost.

 
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Posted in: Business Development, CPA Firm Marketing, Email Marketing, Email Newsletters, Lead Generation, Marketing, Marketing Best Practices, Prospecting

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Method Or Magic — What’s Your Approach To Lead Generation?

Method Or Magic — What’s Your Approach To Lead Generation?

Ask accountants, lawyers or financial advisors what’s the key to business development, and you’ll probably hear “marketing.” They’re right — if by marketing they mean lead generation: the process of identifying prospects that have a service need you can meet and that you have a good chance of converting into clients.

Too often, though, marketing is thought of as a kind of magic, in which certain actions and incantations conjure up clients out of a cloud of smoke. So the firm creates a website, sends out a newsletter, presents seminars and attends conferences — and waits for the phone to ring. If it doesn’t, or at least not as often as the partners would like, they look for different wizardry.

Marketing without lead generation is like driving without following directions. You might end up where you want to go, but you’re more likely to drive around in circles until you run out of gas.

ASSESS YOUR MARKETING ACTIVITIES

Before you can set a growth goal and devise a plan to reach it, you need to review what you’re currently doing to market your firm, and determine how effective that is for generating leads. To this end, it can be helpful to ask your partners how they’d rate your firm on various factors that drive lead generation.

The chart below shows some items you may want to include in your survey, as well as results for a hypothetical firm, ranked in order of the results shown. You may want to ask about other things, too, such as how well your firm showcases its capabilities, how effective your referral program is, and how well your partners are cross-selling different services to existing clients.

By conducting a survey like this and analyzing results, you can identify your marketing strengths, as well as areas that need improvement. Your findings can provide a basis for building a business development program that replaces “magic” with method.

marketing strategies for lead generation

For example, at our hypothetical firm, it’s clear that, while the partners are good at closing sales and are incented to do so, they don’t have much time for that. Also, the firm isn’t good at capturing, tracking and following up on leads. So a lot of opportunities to develop new or additional business are lost.

In addition, brand awareness isn’t high, and the firm isn’t producing enough content to regularly share new information via a newsletter, its website or social media. So it’s not taking as much advantage of content marketing as it might to increase awareness, boost website traffic, generate leads and position the firm as a thought leader in key practice niches.

DETERMINE YOUR LEAD GENERATION NEEDS

As important as the art of communication is to successful marketing, it’s not enough. Good marketing also requires “science” in the sense of the disciplined application of proven methodologies to achieve desired results. To determine your lead generation needs, this means working backwards from your revenue growth goals.

To illustrate this point, let’s say that your firm wants to grow revenue from its health care niche practice by $30,000 next year, and that fees from a typical client in this niche average $6,000. This means you’ll need to come up with five new clients.

Furthermore, let’s assume that:

  • Your sales closure rate (the percentage of sales appointments that result in an engagement) is 25%
  • You get sales appointments with 95% of your leads (assuming they’re “solid” — from calls to action, emails or phone calls)
  • Your marketing response rate (leads generated) is 1.5% of contacts

This means you’d need 20 appointments, 21 leads, and a list of 1,400 prospects. Can you do that?

If you go about it methodically, there’s a good chance you can — provided you have a content marketing program focused on lead generation, not just information sharing, and that you can come up with the required number of prospects. If your list is too small, you might need to adjust your goal or improve your response rate, appointment rate or sales closure rate. This means you might need a better list, a telemarketing professional, better or more frequent marketing communications, or sales training for your partners.

DEVELOP A CONTENT MARKETING PROGRAM

To generate the number of leads required, you’ll need a multi-touch marketing program, not just a single communication. It often takes 21 exposures to generate the seven recognitions for someone to even begin thinking about you. So if you limit your marketing to just networking, a newsletter, your website, a Yellow Pages ad or a few emails, tweets and social media posts, you’ll probably fall short of your goal.

Because content marketing enables you to touch prospects frequently and cost-effectively, you’ll want to make it the driver of your lead generation program. To do that, you’ll need a system for identifying prospect interests and capturing information from various communications that facilitates follow-up.

To this end, make sure your website has “contact us” forms that capture – at a minimum – a prospect’s name, phone number and email address. Ideally, these forms will connect with your client relationship management (CRM) or sales management system so you can easily do and track follow-up. For emails, including email newsletters, use a distribution program that allows you to track opens and clicks, so you can identify prospect interests and use that information to identify leads. For your blog and social media, watch for comments to your posts and reply to those who make them to start a conversation that can result in a lead.

USE CONTENT THAT’S ENGAGING, TIMELY AND RELEVANT

To get the attention of your targets, engage them and get them to take a desired action — for example, fill out a response form, send a reply email or call your office — you’ll need content that’s timely, relevant and helpful in addressing key concerns of your audience. And you’ll need to share it frequently enough to build and maintain brand awareness, demonstrate expertise and show thought leadership. Also, it helps to explicitly invite targets to contact you for more information or assistance.

Regularly sending or emailing a niche newsletter to your target audience is a proven way to do this. By focusing the content of your newsletter on the needs and interests of potential clients, readership will increase. Also, recipients will be more receptive to other communications from your firm and more likely to respond.

If members of your firm don’t have the time or ability to regularly produce content that’s relevant to a particular practice niche — in our example, health care — consider purchasing it from a vendor like us. We offer newsletters in print, online and email formats for that and many other practice niches. Firms like GBQ Partners LLC in Columbus, Ohio, find them very helpful in achieving their lead generation objectives. As Sara Robertson, GBQ Director of Marketing, says:

Niche marketing is the cornerstone on which we’ve built our success over the last 10 years, and niche newsletters from BizActions and PDI Global have been a key component of our marketing strategy. We use them to increase and maintain brand awareness, show thought leadership, provide value to our clients, and generate leads. Their focused content helps us target specific audiences and grow our niches.”

In addition to sending out a newsletter, you should post articles, videos, white papers and other relevant content on your website and use emails, tweets and social media posts to drive people to see it. The articles in our online Content Store and the videos we offer for websites and newsletters are excellent for this purpose. Whenever possible, include on your website pages a form for visitors to fill out to request a whitepaper, newsletter subscription or additional information about a service so you can capture the information you need to follow up on such leads.

Also, consider sharing tax alerts, summaries of relevant tax laws, and timely articles on important news to show that your firm is on top of legislative and economic developments. Or conduct a targeted direct mail campaign, in which you trickle out postcards offering a relevant whitepaper or inviting targets to a seminar or webinar on topics like tax planning for physicians and dentists or accounting software for hospitals and health care providers. Again, if you can’t develop these communications in-house, we offer content you can use for that purpose.

GENERATE AND FOLLOW UP ON LEADS

If you have a content marketing program for repeatedly sharing relevant and helpful information with your target audience that encourages contact with your firm, you’ll generate leads. But getting leads won’t do you much good if you don’t follow up on them. Also, it’s not enough to simply have a lead management or client relationship management system. You must also implement procedures for data entry, lead assignment and tracking.

The importance of prompt follow-up by someone with good telephone and sales skills cannot be overemphasized. First impressions matter, and a prospect’s first encounter with your firm will often determine whether there’s a second. The person who follows up on a lead should be pleasant, professional, well trained and knowledgeable enough about client needs and the services you offer to make a compelling case for having a more in-depth conversation with an appropriate member of your firm at a time that works for the prospective client. If you don’t have a person like that on staff, consider hiring or contracting with one.

The point here is that method is as important to following up on leads as it is to generating them. Just as leads don’t magically appear, they don’t magically result in sales. But by methodically following up on them, you will see results — and achieve your growth goals for revenue and new clients.

 

Get lead Nurture-Prospects-With-Email-Whitepaper-300nurturing tips for your prospecting email marketing campaign in this insightful, free whitepaper.

  • Learn which questions to ask when you connect with a new prospect via email to make the best first impression
  • See how to you break the ice with virtual strangers, keep them engaged and pave the way to a sale using an email campaign
  • Review six tips to develop trust, credibility and rapport with your email marketing prospects to generate more leads

Get the whitepaper >>

 

 

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Posted in: Business Development, Business Growth, Client Development, Content Marketing, Email Newsletters, Lead Generation, Marketing, Marketing Best Practices, Marketing Strategy, Newsletters, Online Marketing

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The Most Costly Marketing Mistake You’ll Never Know You’ve Made

The Most Costly Marketing Mistake You’ll Never Know You’ve Made

Everyone is aware of the importance of first impressions, yet most people compartmentalize the concept thinking it only applies to their physical presence.  Certainly the appearance of your attire during a job interview, or your handshake during an introduction, or even your smile or the first words that float out of your mouth during a presentation are critical, but your online presence is often the good first impression you may never make.  And if you fail that test, odds are you will never even know you’ve blown your big chance. Don’t make this costly marketing mistake.

Even if you’ve been able to make your first impression with a strong physical appearance, step two for a potential client these days is to check out your online credibility. Your Internet presence not only needs to be an award-winning smile, the shine on your shoes, a confident handshake and the opening salvo of your elevator speech, but more importantly, it should help you develop rapport.  This is where a good marketing department can help win or kill client acquisition for a salesperson.

Let me explain it this way.  We all have insurance.  Like many young adults, I took my parents’ advice and called the insurance agent they used when the day came for me to get my own car insurance.  I remained with that agent when I got married and bought life insurance and then bought my first house and all the mortgage and accident insurance, etc.  As the years went by my rates kept creeping up.  I would call the agent asking why.  Because he was an accomplished salesperson the answer was always easily explained and reassuring.  Yet over time he grew complacent.  He quit making calls to touch base and the annual Christmas card was generic and obviously automatic.  One day another agent called asking if he could just send me a competitive quote.  That quote opened my eyes.  No longer would I pay a higher premium for inferior service.  I went online; did my research; and then after my online first impression of the competition, called and gave a new agent a chance to sit down and make a good second impression.

The decision-making process is now a circular journey with four phases: initial consideration; active evaluation, or the process of researching potential purchases; closure, when consumers buy brands; and postpurchase, when consumers experience them.” -McKinsey&Company

So why did I choose the company and agent I did to meet with?  The online presence of the firm I chose was focused on my needs, not in touting their features and benefits; although there was plenty of that within the pages of their site for me to review if I wanted.

What should your online first impression contain?

  1. Your website should contain testimonials and plenty of them (something on nearly every page), by real clients in their own words.  Trust is built through conversation, not marketing hype.  Personalize your online testimonials with the client’s photo.  And focus EVERY page’s content on the customer’s needs, not your firm.  You can offer a solution, but establish the need from the visitor’s point of view before you do.
  2. Your Facebook presence should be updated daily (or at the very least least weekly) with real life situations and your solutions in short, easily grasped concepts.  Offer useful information, not sales pitches.
  3. A business Twitter account can convey your focus on customer service.  Using the insurance agent still as example a tweets like: “Just reduced John’s coverage and premium because his car is finally paid off.  Congrats John! #InsrCost” just may get a new prospect to visit your website.
  4. Email. Regular email just isn’t as effective as a well-rounded email newsletter.  Newsletters give you more bang for your buck in that you can present multiple articles for your readers to find of interest.  Also an effective newsletter platform will allow you to deliver specific content to target audiences increasing your results.  Providing a consistent delivery of relevant business and industry content to your entire database rather than haphazardly sending one-off, self-serving batch emails about this month’s marketing promotion will ensure the impression you are making is continually focused on your prospects and clients.

Put as much thought into your online first and second impressions as you do into your physical first impressions.  Keep in mind that online impressions need to be as open and conversational as the physical.  And everyone prefers talking about themselves and topics that directly affect them over listening to you about what you have to sell.  If your Internet first impression isn’t impressive, you’ll never know that you lost a potential client because there will never be a second chance.

 
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Posted in: Branding, Email Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, Prospecting

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An Email Autopsy: The Dissection of a Truly Horrific Email

An Email Autopsy: The Dissection of a Truly Horrific Email

I’ve always been fascinated by spammers who send unsolicited emails to marketing professionals. Don’t they know that we have high standards? That we will pick apart any and all errors, beginning with being sent an email that we didn’t subscribe to? I call this instant, once-over examination – where I mentally analyze and dissect every fallacy and gaffe – an email autopsy.

A few months ago, I discovered Ginny Soskey’s post “Why Is This In My Inbox? Deconstructing the Worst Spam Email of All Time” and did a double-take. I had already started a draft of this post because I had received the exact same SPAM email that she used in her example. Clearly, she and I have had similar experiences and job roles, which have perpetuated similar attitudes, and we have a similar writing style (for the most part). All of which somehow led to both of us being added to the same spammer’s email list (without our permission, of course).

Fortunately, I saw Ms. Soskey’s post before I had finalized my own and therefore had a chance to tweak my article so that we didn’t use the same verbiage to describe this disgusting email (such as “horrible,” “horrendous” and “anatomy”). I chuckled as I edited my draft as I noted the eerily familiar approach to the subject, descriptive language, and overall disdain for sickeningly poor marketing tactics.

Don’t Spam Your Audience

There are some horribly spammy emails out there, and we (as marketers) feel your pain. One would think that spammers would know better than to spam a marketing professional, especially one specializing in email communications. Sadly, one would be wrong. We get them, too. This one that I received a while ago was so appalling that I kept it to use as an example of what not to do with email marketing.

What was so wrong with it, you ask? Review the original email (lightly redacted, but otherwise verbatim) below, and then enjoy my slightly ranting dialogue about what makes it so abhorrent from marketing, communication, branding, and relationship-building perspectives.

An Email Autopsy: The Dissection of a Truly Horrific B2B Email of the Spam Variety

Example of a the worst B2B email spam message ever

1) Unrecognizable Sender Name

“jake@redacted.com” sent me an email? Jake who? OK, admittedly I was able to see the sender’s domain, which gave me a clue (like a punch in the face) that this email was going to be spam. But for a moment, let’s suppose that the sender’s domain was not a dead giveaway and was something generic like “redacted.com”. Since “jake@redacted.com” is not in my address book, and is not an email address I recognize, I am likely to delete the email without even looking at it. I’m sure I have friends who have emailed me at home from new email addresses that I have deleted because I did not instantly recognize the correlation between the sender’s first name and the domain used.

Including your last name in your email address is one way to ensure that your recipients recognize your email even if you change your sending domain. This is especially important for business emails (though some of my friends should probably take note as well). Better yet, make sure that your full name appears professionally in addition to your email address and that you’ve asked your subscribers to add you to their white lists.

2) Terrible Subject Line

“B2B and B2C OPT-IN Email Lists”: First of all, what about them? Does this email contain an article about best practices for growing and maintaining opt-in email lists? [Yes, I am now laughing loud enough to surprise my furry canine office companion, who is now looking up at me from her cozy sleeping spot under my desk.] Secondly, now that I have read the email and understand what it is really about, let me point out that there is no such thing as an “opt-in list” that is for sale. I don’t know anyone who has ever subscribed to a list and said, “Yes! Sell my contact information so that hundreds of other companies can spam me”.

This subject line was obscure and unclear. A better practice is to write compelling, specific subject lines that speak directly to the recipient and address exactly what the email is about.

3) Generic Greeting

“Hi.” Really? You don’t even know my name? It’s Becca. If you’re going to greet me so casually in an email, go ahead and use my name. I may still recognize immediately that your message is spam, but at least you’ve shown that you do actually know my name. If you’re really clever, a personalized greeting that uses the nickname I prefer might even confuse me enough for me to keep reading your spammy email.

And if you’re not a spammer, personalizing your greetings is actually a good idea. Even though we all know that an email database somewhere is merely filling in an empty field, personalization still does what it sounds like it does: makes the email more personal. Which is a good thing if you want people to read your messages.

4) Bewildering Introduction

“I wanted to check if you are in practice of purchasing email lists? Reach C-level decision makers, Business decision makers, HR professionals, Healthcare Professionals by Specialties email lists across the globe.” ….WHAT??! I am perplexed right off the bat because “Jake” is asking me a trick question. Right? He must be asking me a trick question. Why would I ever purchase an email list? Then I try to read the next sentence and am bewildered by the incorrect grammar, inconsistent capitalization and overall incoherence.

Make sure that your B2B email introductions are clear, compelling and descriptive. You only have a second or two to make your case to your recipient to encourage further reading of your message. Make it count. Does spelling matter? Yes. So does grammar. I admit that I am a bit of a Grammar Queen, but I know for a fact that I am not the only consumer who refuses to do business with a company that sends emails (or brochures, or postcards, or letters) that are chock-full of spelling and grammatical errors. Strive for expressive brevity. Use your spell-check tool and ask someone else to proofread your messages if writing is not your forte.

5) Exploding Bullets

I won’t copy the entire bulleted list from the email here, because frankly, it is too long, too convoluted and too wordy. The point of bulleted lists is to call out a small amount of information in tiny, easily-scanned, brief little phrases. Each one of the bullets from this particular email could have been (and should have been) its very own bulleted list. Squashing six bulleted lists into one bulleted list is not an effective strategy for any kind of writing, but especially not for email marketing.

When you have a lot of information to impart, break it down to the most important, absolutely vital pieces. Less is more. Consider setting up a drip campaign if you have more than one point that you want to make or more than one value proposition to share.

6) Spooky Irrelevance

The entire email above should be marked with a giant number 6. This is what makes this email so horrific: irrelevance. The sender obviously knows nothing about me, what I do, the type of business that I am in, or whether or not I am a decision maker. He clearly doesn’t care if I would benefit from or appreciate anything that he has to offer. He even ostentatiously admits ignorance a few times in his email (“let me know your target industry”, “if you are not the right point of contact”, “if you are in practice of”). That makes me feel just a little bit nauseated, both as an email marketing professional and as a human being.

Know your audience. Target your emails. Segment your own email lists by demographics, topics of interest, service needs, and other data points that will ensure your marketing messages are relevant. Relevance is the number one most compelling element in an email. It doesn’t matter if you are selling accounting services or plastic widgets. If you don’t customize your content to each of your recipients, you are wasting your time. Make sure that your emails offer some kind of benefit and value to each of your readers by including content that is specifically relevant to their interests and needs.

7) Obvious CAN-SPAM Trickery

“Any views or opinion expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of [business name].” This made me laugh so loudly that I scared my dogs. Grammatical errors in this CAN-SPAM trailer aside, the sender didn’t even bother to insert his company’s name into the copied-and-pasted poor substitute for a CAN-SPAM footer. As I noted in point #1 above, the sender’s domain hinted that the email was spam. A super-quick web search for the domain used in the sender’s email address revealed that the domain did not even exist. Perhaps that is why there is no company name in the footer. There is no such company. And yet, because the sender actually included a contemptuously written, incomplete CAN-SPAM footer, the email was not actually trapped in my spam folder.

Sigh.

Don’t try to con email programs with fake CAN-SPAM trailers or illegitimate company names. It’s just not ethical marketing behavior.

8) Manual Unsubscribes

“If you’re not interested to further emails, please reply with the subject line as ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’”. Again with the despicably poor language. But overlooking that pet peeve, “Jake” is making it as difficult as possible to unsubscribe to his spam. Not only do I have to email him rather than just clicking on a link, but now I also have to manually block his future emails in my email program because I have no doubt that he will not actually unsubscribe me from his mailings.

While technically this technique is compliant with CAN-SPAM rules and regulations, it is annoying. Annoying your audience is truly not recommended.

Final Thoughts…

Thus ends my rant on spammy emails. Hopefully, your messages are much more professional and relevant than this hideous example. The goal of B2B email marketing is to increase your company’s branding and reputation while establishing trust and long-term relationships. Emails like the one shown here certainly do not accomplish this mission.

Have you received a brilliant email that you just couldn’t stop raving about? Please share! In the near future, I will write another post on “The Anatomy of a Brilliant B2B Email” just to get the email marketing universe back in balance.

 

Get lead Nurture-Prospects-With-Email-Whitepaper-300nurturing tips for your prospecting email marketing campaign in this insightful, free whitepaper.

  • Learn which questions to ask when you connect with a new prospect via email to make the best first impression
  • See how to you break the ice with virtual strangers, keep them engaged and pave the way to a sale using an email campaign
  • Review six tips to develop trust, credibility and rapport with your email marketing prospects to generate more leads

Get the whitepaper >>

 

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Winning New Clients is a Numbers Game

Winning New Clients is a Numbers Game

In one way or another, firms are constantly in the game of winning new clients. Generating new business is a numbers game. However, the reality is that obtaining new clients (or lead generation) needs to be a process. Your lead generation strategy should be a systematic method that is monitored and tracked on a consistent basis to insure success.

If you think about how many times you need to touch a prospect to take them from introduction to closure it becomes self evident that a solid plan is a crucial component of a winning game. When you sit down with the partners to look at growth for the upcoming year, how do you establish a growth number? Is it a percentage of revenue? Is the dollar amount based on last year’s gross revenue? Many firms are missing a couple of critical pieces when setting their firm’s revenue goals.

Begin with the end in mind

If you live by Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, (Habit #2: Begin with the End in Mind) one of the most important rules to remember is thinking with the end in mind. What is the end goal? Is it realistic? How are we going to get there? If acquiring a new client can be four to six times more expensive than retaining one, wouldn’t it makes sense to create a systematic, consistent process to streamline costs instead of a machine gun approach?

Establish the rules of the game

So, let’s create a scenario of how to establish the numbers and the process by which you might use to reach these numbers.

First of all, do you know the following:

  • How many prospect meetings you conducted last year?
  • How many proposals you issued last year?
  • What were the average fees?
  • How many did you close?

If you want to really dissect the numbers, you can go through this process by industry vertical. According to the recent study by Hinge Marketing, How to Create a High Growth for High Value Professional Services Firms, specializing is key to achieving growth and high valuation.

Break down the play-by-play

Now break these numbers down a little farther – by partner. How many deals did your partners close, and what was the average sale? This historical data is important to developing a plan and process that is achievable. This process will be beneficial when you begin to assign the revenue numbers by partner.

Let’s say you want to generate $1,000,000 in new business for the firm’s revenue goals for the upcoming year. What do you think it will take to get to that number?

Here are some variables to consider as part of the process based on the firm’s historical data in generating new business in previous years:

  • How many targets or “most wanted” companies (and in what verticals) do you need to reach as part of your strategic business development or marketing plan?
    • How many prospects?
    • How many referrals?
  • How many times have you (or will you) need to touch those targets with your brand and thought leadership in order to get their attention or warm them up to your firm?
  • How will you reach these prospects to obtain an introduction?
    • Perhaps you will use a rainmaking partner, a business developer or a lead generation company. Setting up a consistent process or plan goes a long way toward producing results as opposed to randomly meeting people.
    • With a clean, targeted list of approximately 200 companies, a good outsourced lead generation company could produce four to 10 appointments or meetings per month. Their success goes up 50% if the prospects have been warmed up sufficiently prior to any lead generation campaign.
  • What tools do you have in place to create, manage and track the process?
    • Assuming that you have created that targeted list of companies, how will you drip out your messaging? Have you considered email newsletters, email blasts, social media, direct mail, advertising, website, calls to action, networking events, industry associations, etc.
    • Remember that it takes 21 impressions to take a company from introduction to closure.
  • Do you have a CRM system to track the process? If not, are you tracking with an Excel spreadsheet?
  • Do you have key people in place to follow up on leads and is there a system of accountability?

The reality is that it is probably unlikely that the partners can touch enough targets and build enough relationships throughout the year to reach their goals. Marketing can play a very important role in building and nurturing relationships with these targets.

Below is an illustration of what the numbers might look like based on our discussions with hundreds of firms across the country:

  • New revenue goal: $1,000,000
  • Number of targets needed: 1,000 to 3,000 (including prospects and referral sources)
  • Number of meetings obtained: 62
    • (A percentage of these meetings will not make it to the proposal stage; perhaps an estimated 15%)
  • Proposals issued: 53
  • Closure rate: 50%
  • Average sale: $40,000
  • Sales needed: 25

Also consider whether or not you will be breaking these numbers down to the partner level (that is the $65,000 dollar question), and if a system of accountability will be put into place for your partners.

Solid strategy yields results

If firms are not approaching revenue goals in some systematic manner, how can they possibly reach their goals by simply networking and relying on referrals? Not to mention that while this approach has been effective for firms for years, it is difficult to manage and track. Additionally, landscape is ever-changing and becoming increasingly more competitive.

When you are going out on an appointment, or even on a phone meeting, remember to put your best foot forward and use your “A” team. In a highly competitive marketplace, your best people should be in play to ensure that your goals are being met. Now is the time to start thinking strategically about the numbers game so that your firm comes out as a winner.

 
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Roundup: A Cauldron Full o’ B2B Halloween Marketing Tips

Roundup: A Cauldron Full o’ B2B Halloween Marketing Tips

Halloween marketing isn’t only for peddlers of costumes, candies and frightening decorations. Professional firm marketers can also benefit from the year’s scariest holiday. Find out how you can use seasonal marketing to scare up new business for your firm in today’s roundup of spooktacular posts full of B2B Halloween marketing tips.

 

BOOooost Your Halloween Email Marketing Campaigns With 7 Spooktacular Tips [Infographic]

BOOooost Your Halloween Email Marketing Campaigns With These 7 Spooktacular Tips & InfographicAre you taking full advantage of Halloween, the second-highest most profitable holiday? Not only does the scariest day of the year generate huge revenues, it is also one of the most popular themes in marketing. Don’t be afraid to include thematic elements from this spooktacular opportunity in your email marketing. With nearly 70% of the population planning to celebrate Halloween, smart marketers know that their target audiences will respond positively to spirited messaging… READ ON.

 

13 Frighteningly Common Email Marketing Blunders to Avoid Like Tainted Halloween Candy

13 Frighteningly Common Email Marketing Blunders to Avoid Like Tainted Halloween CandyWhat do Halloween candy and email marketing messages have in common? They will both be immediately trashed if they seem suspicious or appear creepy. Parents carefully inspect their children’s trick-or-treat goodies, tossing any that are remotely questionable. Your subscribers will do the exact same thing upon receipt of your email marketing messages. In addition to giving your email a quick visual scan to analyze general aesthetics, they will also make a split-second decision about… READ ON.

 

Halloween Marketing Can Be Scary Good For You

Halloween Marketing Can Be Scary Good For Your BrandAre you using Halloween to its maximum potential in your marketing efforts? You don’t have to be in retail to take advantage of one of the most popular holidays of the year. October offers oodles of creative opportunities to increase brand awareness, reach new markets, and jump-start your holiday marketing. According to Experian, 49% of marketers planned to launch their Christmas campaigns before Halloween. In the meantime, don’t forget to maximize the potential of Spooky… READ ON.

 

7 Frighteningly Simple Blog Post Tricks for a Killer Blog

7 Frighteningly Simple Blog Post Tricks for a Killer BlogWriter’s block can paralyze even the most experienced writer with fear. Don’t let blogging haunt you. Help your inner writer escape the confines of your labyrinthine mind. Whether you are a professional blogger or someone who has been unwittingly drafted to write an article, these seven frighteningly simple blog post tricks will help you maintain a killer blog full of freakishly compelling content. First, try answering chillingly common questions… READ ON.

 

Killer Images, Holiday Greetings & Brilliant Design: Everything You Need to Know at Our Webinars

Killer Images, Holiday Greetings & Brilliant Design: Everything You Need to Know at Our Upcoming WebinarsDon’t be afraid to create and use brilliant images in your 2014 holiday marketing! We’ll show you how easy it can be at our upcoming webinars. Join us for Creating Killer Images For Your Content Marketing on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 2:00 PM U.S. Eastern (and get free CPE). You can also catch our session on How to Use the BizActions Platform to Create Brilliant Holiday Greetings on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 2:00 PM U.S. Eastern… READ ON.

 

Don’t Scare Away Potential Business: Cultivate Better Relationships With Prospects via Email

Don’t Scare Away Potential Business: Cultivate Better Relationships With Prospects via EmailEmail marketing can be scary. But it doesn’t need to be. Learn how to instantly establish and maintain rapport with your prospects, getting them to know, like and trust you by making an emotional connection. Don’t be afraid to build better relationships with prospects using email. Read this whitepaper to remove the fear from your email marketing strategy. Well show you how to better relationships with prospects in this insightful whitepaper… READ ON.

 
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Posted in: Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Imagery in Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Best Practices, Online Marketing

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The Evolution of Marketing – It’s All About Charisma

The Evolution of Marketing – It’s All About Charisma

Marketing has existed as long as men (and women) have walked the Earth. It began internally – in fact, physically. Initially, marketing was the essence of one’s being. The evolution of marketing began with those who subconsciously and innately “marketed” themselves, earning them positions of power and authority. In a word: charisma.

Granted, way back in the day, you may have become the leader in your clan because you were bigger, stronger or more intelligent, but even the majorly-muscled were influenced by the people with charisma.  Depending on the size of the group, charisma is often more prevalent in those with leadership positions than any other quality. Even small groups lacking the necessity for a leader with a particular skill set almost always defer to the person in the group with the greatest charisma.

What is charisma, specifically, and how do you develop it?

Charisma comes from the ancient Greek χάρισμα khárisma, meaning:

 1) compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others,

2) a divinely conferred power or talent.

We’ve all been influenced, sometimes even to the point of fanaticism, by an individual with a compelling attractiveness, be that beauty, eloquence, or physical prowess. Depending on your personal beliefs, charisma may indeed be divinely conferred, but it almost certainly is developed by the individual to a level that captures the attention of his or her fans. There may actually be several different traits that – when combined – create this powerful force called charisma, such as creativity, confidence, communication skills, commitment, persistence, intuition and the ability to inspire others. When leaders fail to move us, they most likely lack one of these core ingredients of true charisma, making them less persuasive and influential.

How has charisma affected the evolution of marketing?

Natural charisma in the few has not deterred those with less obvious charisma to develop other means of marketing their ideas to gain influence over others.  Over the centuries, our society gradually replaced those possessing raw, inherent charisma with story-tellers who spun tales around the dinner fire in the wilderness, minstrel singers who wandered from castle to castle, and eventually, with writers of the religious and scientific.

Benjamin Franklin is often credited with introducing the first mail-order retail business in the United States, but it took Aaron Montgomery Ward to unwittingly enable the creation of a powerful global network in 1872 with the first mail-order catalog that included a process for shipment of orders received that would ultimately lead to everything we consider as “marketing” today: direct mail, mail order, telemarketing, and even social media.

Demonstrating charisma in today’s marketing sphere

Word of mouth referrals are a frequently considered the greatest advertising mechanisms, but there is something even better and more persuasive: personal charisma. Charisma is much harder to emote in our globalized society. Charisma is most effective one-to-one or one-to-many (live and in person). How do you demonstrate charisma when you can’t meet every prospect face-to-face? Make sure that your charisma comes across loud and clear by utilizing the best media outlets to share your divine talent, such as video, photos and the written word.

Some business owners with specific products to sell often produce late night TV commercials and run them on stations that their target audience watches, according to demographic statistical analysis. Politicians agree to participate in debates that are nationally televised, not because they enjoy doing them, but because the chance to show off their charisma to the masses and the exposure they receive is invaluable (candidates lacking charisma stand out like sore thumbs and lose the public’s trust as a result of these debates). Many charismatic business thought-leaders have developed “fan” followings by writing blogs that interest their target audiences and including a relatable, candid headshot along with their bylines in their monthly email newsletters.

Boost your charismatic influence for better, more impactful marketing

Include a video of a charismatic representative of your firm in every online or social media presence you use. People respond positively to other people. They are more likely to register for your webinar or other presentation if they feel a connection with you. A video can radically change the public’s perception about you, your firm, and your industry. Videos are able to capture that charisma that has made you successful, enabling you to position yourself as an expert that puts others’ needs ahead of your own and earn more business.

If your marketing doesn’t include more than just text, charts and bullet points, you are missing significant opportunities to create a bond with prospects by showcasing your charisma, which means that you are losing potential business. Don’t be afraid to get in front of the camera and help your prospects discover your natural magnetism. You are guaranteed, as proven throughout the evolution of marketing, to reap the rewards of your star power.

 

Get lead Nurture-Prospects-With-Email-Whitepaper-300nurturing tips for your prospecting email marketing campaign in this insightful, free whitepaper.

  • Learn which questions to ask when you connect with a new prospect via email to make the best first impression
  • See how to you break the ice with virtual strangers, keep them engaged and pave the way to a sale using an email campaign
  • Review six tips to develop trust, credibility and rapport with your email marketing prospects to generate more leads

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Posted in: Advertising, Email Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Best Practices, Marketing Strategy, Social Media Marketing

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