Marketing a Start Up to Prospects & Customers

For a start up to have any success in generating sales, you have to know four things:

1 Who can buy your product or service?

2 Who are the decision makers?

3 Where are these decision makers going to make buying decisions?

4 How do these people make buying decisions?

I covered the first two questions in a previous post. Let’s focus on questions three and four. To find out where the decision makers go to make buying decisions you need to do following:

Ask them, how did you decide on buying product XYZ? This will be easier to with your existing customers but prospects will respect you for asking questions that other people don’t. Another place to see where decision makers go to buy your products is trade shows. You could attend as either an exhibitor or an attendee. Try to get a booth at the show. Exhibitors are provided with demographics of who attends the show and have a chance to interact with buyers directly. Does your customer base have a specific incentive to make purchases at a certain time period? For example, when I was a sales rep in the Dental industry, the IRS allowed dentists to write off capital equipment purchases they made up to a certain amount. If you cannot afford to go as an exhibitor then go as an attendee. This way you can see what goes on first hand.

Now on how these people make buying decisions. This information could be obtained by asking them or it could be obtained by looking for published research. If none exists, conduct a survey and offer a free gift to fill it out. You could even include questions on how they came to a decision to make a purchase. SurveyMonkey is a good way to do this.

Social Media Marketing

Marketing your business using social media is a great way to build your business and reach potential buyers. Before I discuss more about this, I want to ask you some questions?

Do you have a website? If not, why not? Websites are easy to put together. I put mine together rather quickly. Having a site helps your business come up in searches. When I Google you and your business what comes up? Go ahead and try it now. If nothing comes up, that’s not good!

Now you’re asking what do I put on my website? I would put basic information that sells who you are and what you do. I would also upload information on your products and services. You should include a resume, testimonials and a blog. A website is like fashion, it is never finished. You can look at my site as an example. I also write a blog and publish online newspapers. I use my blog to give my followers a value massage. This blog is published on WordPress and Tumblr. I share the content throughout my social networks. I will cover how to build a website and a blog in future posts.

The Social Networks that I would have a presence on are the following: LinkedIn,Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. I also have social sharing buttons on my site and blog. Pinterest is also a good network; however I have focused on the first four.

I would try to build a following on each these networks. Your best bet on how to do this is to share good content with people. When I started, I shared other people’s articles, and then I wrote my own. However, I still share others content that I find interesting. You can market your business with these updates. Search for people who are have an interest to what you have to offer. I have provided links to articles I have written on how to do this on these networks.

These are the basics on how to market a start up to prospects and customers.

Additional Resources

http://www.slideshare.net/Dgalantenyc/small-business-marketing-101-56503388

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 17,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 13,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to be a CMO to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

How Brands Can use Cultural Diffusion to Sell & Market Products Abroad

things-to-know-before-entering-international-markets

image via marketing 91.com

The United States is an established country with a built up infrastructure. Depending on the product and industry, brands may see product sales hit a plateau based on a high market saturation rate.

Go to Market Strategy

One go to market strategy that brands may use to increase product sales is to sell into new markets. Chances are that brands have exhausted all markets and customers based in the United States. Upon reaching this conclusion, brands need to decide if they want to sell and market their products abroad based on the principle of cultural diffusion.

Cultural Diffusion

Cultural diffusion is the spread of one civilizations ideas, customs and beliefs from:

1. one nation to another

2. from another area or region to another.

To see if international marketing makes sense for brands, they must list the positives and negatives of this go to market strategy. Positive benefits include the chance to increase sales and gain revenue from a new source. A negative of this go to market strategy is that it will require a large outlay of operating cash to implement and execute. This may drain resources from other programs in the organization.

Contacting Local Authorities

Before brands can start selling products abroad, they need to check with the commerce division of the Foreign country’s government. The Commerce division of the government can guide brands on the proper procedures needed to sell and market products abroad.

Market Research

image via smartdraw.com

New Market research needs to be conducted for the international markets brands intend to sell into. This research includes, new buyer personas, competitive analysis, cost of customer acquisition, pricing, promotions, understanding local laws and customs.

Product Development

Product specifications need to be aligned with the customs and laws of the country. These products may need to be re-branded with a different name. Outside of the US, product measurements need to be converted to the metric system; triggering a change in the product packaging.

Examples of International Brands

A few examples of Global brands are Starbucks, McDonalds, Auto makers and Oil companies.

Starbucks

image via http://chinaexpat.com/wp-content/uploads/u659/starbucks.jpg

Starbucks operates stores abroad and follows local customs.

McDonald’s

A McDonald’s in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Businesses as well as people can exemplify cultural diffusion.

Image via http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/grade3/geoimages/Image16.gif

McDonald’s uses local ingredients to make its food. For example, in Greece they fry french fries with olive oil. McDonald offers alternative sandwiches in countries where citizens are not allowed to eat beef and pork.

Exxon Mobil

https://goodlogo.com/images/logos/esso_logo_2709.gif6

Exxon Mobil, operates under the brand name ESSO in Europe and uses the metric system to measure gasoline.

Auto Makers

Image via Dan Galante

Global Automakers , use the metric system when making cars and trucks. Also, these cars and trucks are made to the specification of local laws. Vehicle models made for foreign markets have different brand names. In England and other UK countries, the steering wheel is on the opposite side of vehicles made for the US market.

Deciding What an International Go to Market Strategy will look like

Once brands have an understanding of customer needs and competitive analysis, they need to decide what channels to use to sell their products. Brands can set up stores and offices that sell direct to the end-user. They may decide to partner with distributors who sell to the end-user directly or through licensing and/or use an e-commerce model. Brands may decide to use a combination of the above channels. They also need to decide how many people will need to be hired to execute the go to market strategy.

Using Data to Make a decision about whether or not to Implement an International Marketing Strategy

All the numbers and projections need to be calculated to see if International marketing is right for Brands. Each brand need to examine its financial health, and come up with an investment amount needed to execute an international go to market strategy. This amount needs to be measured against: financial health , potential sales, revenue, profits, cost per customer acquisition, market research, procedure to enter the market and opportunity costs. Based on these numbers, brands may decide to enter the market or use their operating cash for other programs.

CMO’s are you selling your products abroad? Why or Why not?

Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.
Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 16,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 10,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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Steps to becoming your own Sales Manager with Activity-Based Selling

Image via Salesforce.com

In order for Sales Reps to be successful in sales, they need to think like a Sales Manager. To be able to do this they need to be able to track their own numbers and activities in the Sales pipeline. Using a system such as Activity-Based Selling, it is now possible to see your numbers in real-time along with pending deals and actions needed for the next step. This kind of Sales analysis will help you be successful.

There are five tasks in the Activity-Based Selling system that you need to master to become your own Sales Manager which includes: 1.Meeting and Exceeding your Monthly quota, 2. Creating and implementing a daily sales plan 3. Prospecting for new leads and customers, 4.Turning in timely reports, 5.Using Sales CRM to aid in accomplishing the above.

Below, we will see each of these steps in more detail.

1.Meeting and Exceeding your Monthly quota

To be successful as a Sales Rep, it is imperative that you meet your monthly sales quota. In order to meet this quota or goal it is important to know what it is. To achieve this goal it’s important to have a conversation with your manager about how you will be evaluated and what numbers you will need to hit.  The monthly sales quota that you receive may seem overwhelming at first.

Image via http://salesmanagement.org

Therefore, you should break it down into smaller parts. For example, a $100,000 per month quota divided by 20 working calendar days means that your sales must be a minimum of $5000 per day on average. To exceed the monthly goal, double the daily goal.

Now before you can dive head first into calling on customers and prospects you’ll need to have belief in yourself and the products you offer, product knowledge, competitive analysis of how your product measures up to competitors and at least a basic understanding of how to handle objections; if you are new to sales.

Image via http://smartdraw.com

Common objections voiced by prospects include: pricing, loyalty to a competitor, bad prior experience, not being the decision maker and wanting to think it over.

Images via www.scpgr.com, www.areyouresourceful.com

2.Creating and Implementing a Daily Sales Plan

 Once you are assigned a Sales territory, it is important to understand its demographics. As a Sales Rep in a new territory, you want to know: the number of prospects, the geography of the territory and the locations of prospects on a map. Using this information, the next step would be to divide the number of prospects by the 20 calendar working days in a month to come up with the amount of daily calls needed to visit everyone in the territory. Use a map to determine the order of people you will call on. As a Sales rep, you will want to call on people near one another to manage your time effectively. Write this plan out and go over it with your manager and most importantly make sure to use it every day.

3. Prospecting for New Leads and Customers

 

Image via www.nateleung.com

Now that you are executing your sales plan, it’s important to get in front of the people who could say yes to your offering. To be able to do this effectively, it is essential to be able to handle objections during sales calls. To have success, handling objections are the key to obtaining more sales from appointments. As you hone your selling skills, you will find it easier to make presentations and ask for the order. Once Sales are made it is important to make sure customers are satisfied with their purchase. You have earned the right to ask for more business, testimonials and referrals only after the sale and successful implementation of the product.

4.Turning in timely reports

Image via www.merapi.holes.es

As a Sales Rep, it is easy to get lost in the details when you are running a sales territory as there are many things to manage at once. However, you are still responsible to turn in your reports and update your records for customers and management; incomplete records can hurt your sales and your performance evaluation.

5.Using Sales CRM to aid in accomplishing all of the above

Sales CRM software allows you and your Manager to track all Sales pipeline activity which allows you to make informed decisions on all actions for all required interactions on pending deals.

Sales CRM enables Sales Reps to become their own Sales Manager, tracking their numbers and comparing them to other time periods gaining valuable insights on what is going well and what they can do to improve. This kind of Sales analysis and reflection enabled by Sales CRM is essential for sales success.

Major Sales CRM providers are:

Salesforce,

Image via Salesforce.com

ACT!,

Image via FlexAct.net

Oracle and

Image via docs.oracle.com

HubSpot

You can sign up for free trials and/or product demos by clicking the links above.  

What Sales CRM are you using? Comment and share your experience below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 15,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 10,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

 

 

 

How to use Marketing to gain customers for your Small Business

  • How to use Marketing to gain customers for your small business
  • Applying marketing strategies to engage with customers while driving product sales

Be-a-successful-online-small-business

image via ciceron.com

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAATWAAAAJDg3MWM4YWM0LWMyMWYtNDQwOC04OGU0LTg0NDVhYWQ3MzE1Mw

How to Qualify and Close Leads

In my last post, I wrote about the various ways businesses can get leads. Now that you have collected all these leads, what do you do with them? In this post, I will discuss how to qualify and close the leads you get.

Prior to calling on the leads you need to do the following:

1 Read the business cards looking for notes you jotted down about where you met the contact and something about them. (A phrase or keyword)

2 Enter this information into your CRM software.

3 Do this for all the leads you receive.

Next you need to plan a form of action. You need to decide your method of contact. Are you going to call the people on the phone, email to follow-up, market to them through direct mail or make a cold call in person disclosing that the prospect contacted you about your product and services?  The method that you choose will depend on the kinds of product you sell and the size of your business/territory.

I am going to focus on the email follow-up and the in person cold calls.

Following-up via email

You should write the following:

Dear Mr. Smith:

Hi it’s Dan Galante.  I hope you are doing well.

We met at XYZ. You saw a demo of product xyz. /We discussed__________.

I would like to speak with to know your thoughts. If you are interested or have any questions email me at Dan@dangalante.com  or call 1-555-555-5555.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Dan

Dan Galante

This letter asks for feedback from the prospect without being too pushy.

Based on the reception you get from this letter, you can qualify the prospect as a Cold, Warm or Hot lead. This activity needs to be logged in your CRM software.  This letter could be followed-up with a phone call or an in person cold call.

Making an in person cold call

I spoke about how to make a cold call  in an earlier post.

To do this successfully you would need to the following:

1 Make friends with the Gate-keeper.

2 Ask to speak with the decision maker.

Being that you are following-up on a lead; you already know the decision maker and can ask for them by name. When the gate-keeper asks why you are here to see the decision maker you should say that they contacted you about your product.

If you get to speak the decision maker; build rapport and be ready to deliver your sales presentation. Make  sure to ask for the sale. Also be sure to qualify their objections.

If the decision maker is not around; try to get an appointment.

Whether or not you make the sale, make sure to log this activity in your CRM software.

It is important to follow-up on all your sales activities and to keep records!

This is how to qualify and close leads.

Until next time, thank you for reading.

How to Generate Leads for Your Business

Lead Generation is an essential building block for businesses to find potential buyers who are interested in their products and services. In previous posts, I discussed how to prospect and identify your target market. In this post, I will discuss how businesses can find leads and what mediums can be used to obtain leads.

Many mediums can be used to obtain leads. These mediums include: Direct mail, Email, Marketing, Surveys, Advertising, Social Media, referrals from current customers, business networking, trade show marketing.

You have to see what strategies will work for you. Your product and budget will help to determine how you go about obtaining leads.

Direct Mail

Direct mail can be a great way to find prospects. You can create a message with pictures and compelling copy. The idea is to piqué the interest of your prospect and to include a card with paid postage that they can send back requesting more information. You can use CRM software to track your results and fine tune who to target.

Email Marketing

Email lists can be purchased from a list broker or self-generated from your address book. You can also use services like Constant Contact that allows people to enter their email addresses if they want email from your business. This is known as allowing them to opt in.  Before proceeding with an Email campaign make sure to get permission from people through an opt-in email. If you do not get peoples’ permission to send them email it can be considered spam. Email is a cheaper item than mail. You can have a wider reach to your customers. I would suggest creating a message that is compelling. Make sure to use pictures and colors that look appealing.

Surveys

Surveys can be a great way to get information about prospects and customers. You can ask specific questions that can provide information on what the prospect is looking for. Also you can ask questions about when the prospect is looking to make a purchase. This information can be stored in CRM software. Surveys can be done through direct mail, email or online through internet polls.

Advertising

Businesses can advertise their products and services. The advertising can be a spot on the radio, television, Social Media, print and billboards. Television ads can be short commercials that appear on TV shows or they can take the form Infomercials which are at least a half hour in length. Television has been a preferred method of advertising for years because television has a massive audience. The internet is also a great way to advertise. You can use pay-per-click advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google. (LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, Google AdWords) This is an effective method because you can specify who you want to see your ad by different demographics such as Geography, Age, and Profession. You can also use keywords to trigger your ads.

 

Social Media

Social Media is a great tool to get leads; specifically LinkedIn. You can explore the questions and answer section to look for potential customers. The questions and answers section is a great way to ask people for information or to answer questions. Answering questions can allow you to position yourself as an expert on a topic. Members who ask questions are allowed to choose which answers they think are good and which one they think is the best. I was named a Sales and Marketing Expert in the areas of Lead Generation, Sales Techniques, and Direct Marketing by members whose questions I answered.

Print

Placing ads in newspapers can also help your business because newspapers have many readers. Newspapers are usually in print and online. Your advertising on this platform could take the form of a classified ad or article marketing. Industry trade magazines also fall into this category. Billboards can also help your businesses visibility.

Referrals/Testimonials from Customers

Referrals and testimonials from your customers is one of the best ways to get leads because they remove doubt from the prospects mind about your capabilities to perform. Referrals could take the form of a video, a recommendation on LinkedIn or a Slideshare presentation. I have the last two that I listed. Referrals and Testimonials should speak to the quality of your work.

Business Networking

Attending networking events at your local chamber of commerce or at a professional association can be a great way to meet potential prospects and to generate leads. At these events you can talk informally and exchange business cards. You can briefly discuss who you are and what you do then move on; remember you want to network with as many people as possible.

Trade show Marketing

It is important to attend industry trade shows either as an exhibitor or an attendee. Trade shows are a great way to keep up to date with trends in your industry. This will allow you to hone your expertise which your customers pay for. Trade shows are a great place for you to get leads because customers go to them looking to make purchases either at the show or soon after. If you are an exhibitor, require attendees to give you their contact information to see a demonstration of your product. This can be the start of an informal conversation which you can follow-up on later.

I have listed a variety of ways that businesses can get leads. The methods you choose depend on your product and budget. You have to see which methods will work for you.

Next time, I will discuss how to qualify leads and convert them into sales.

Until next time, thank you for reading.