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Why Does This New Kind of Marketing Work so Well?

The Secrets to Generating Real Results
 
Buyer behavior has changed forever. That means the time has come for companies everywhere to either get on board or get out of the way because there’s no going back to the old way of doing business.
 
To truly understand this new shift in buyer behavior, you need to take a look at how and why it came about: In the beginning, before the invention of mass media, buyers everywhere relied on salespeople and word of mouth to inform their purchase decisions. Then mass media came along and advertising was created to take advantage of the reach associated with mass media.
 
All of a sudden, you could reach millions of people with a single advertisement. This helped spread sales and marketing messages far and wide. Reach and frequency was the name of the game. Tell as many people as possible, as many times as possible about your product or service and hopefully, when they needed it, they would remember your message and choose to purchase from you.
 
In the early days of the internet, marketing professionals adopted and adapted advertising’s interruptive best practices and broadcast-style approach. That was a mistake based on an old, outdated way of thinking. The fact of the matter was, just like with every other mass media invention (print, radio, television) that preceded it, the internet permanently changed the way people interact and exchange information.
 
Today’s buyers have access to more information from more sources than ever before. They ask questions, get answers, read reviews, do comparisons and start conversations with people they’ve never met; all on the web, all on their own terms and all on their own time schedule. Look at the buying patterns of your own prospects and clients.
 
Chances are, they are researching the purchase of your services or merchandise via the internet long before they ever step into your store or give you a call. Today’s buyers are looking for informative educational content followed up by a consultative, guided sales process.
 
As a result, the traditional outbound advertising and marketing techniques that worked so well over the past century just don’t perform like they used to. Faced with that reality, businesses have two options: throw increasingly large sums of money at the problem or find an alternative approach. Inbound marketing techniques are perfectly aligned with this new buyer behavior and they do a much better job delivering a remarkable purchase experience that helps to differentiate and ingratiate prospects with your business. 
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Topics: Sales and Marketing, sales, sales leads, Leads, real estate, marketing, Roman Badnarchuk, lead generation, Sales Training, N5R Sales Training, marketing agency, Top condo sales trainers, 2014

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How to Use Inbound Marketing to Generate Leads

Your Marketing Plan, Strategy
Before Tactics
 
 One of the key mistakes made by most business owners, CEOs or marketing executives is hiring a firm or firms that specialize in a specific tactic (website design, search engine optimization, PR or social media) without having a well-thought-out overall marketing strategy and plan for the firm. Even if you hire an inbound marketing firm, starting tactics without a solid plan in place is a recipe for disappointing results. Before you jump in and start working on the marketing tactics for your company, you MUST create an overall marketing strategy and marketing plan that addresses some key areas.
Buyer Personas – Who do you want to attract with your marketing? Who do you want to repel? You might want to ONLY work with large corporations and you might NOT want to work with individuals. This business strategy has to be reflected in your marketing. Creating target personas (detailed bios) for the people you want to attract to your firm is critical. 
 
TIP #1: Executing inbound marketing tactics without a solid marketing strategy and plan is one of the main reasons inbound marketing programs fail to deliver significant improvements in lead generation.
 
Voice & Tone – What do you need to say to those people to get them interested in your firm? Knowing how to connect and engage with your target personas is critical. If you skip this step, you run the risk of spending money on marketing that never attracts a single prospective client for your firm. You need to create messages that emotionally connect with your target clients.
Differentiation – What do you do that’s different than all the other companies in your market? What makes you stand out? What makes you remarkable? Yes, it’s safe to look like the rest of your competition but if you want to attract new leads for your business – you have to look, sound and act differently than your competition.
Tactic Mapping – What tactics do you need to implement to get to your goals? You need to have a broad overview of everything you need to do, when you need to do it so that you meet your new business acquisition goals. You need to have editorial calendars, schedules and detailed plans for each of the multiple tactics in an inbound marketing program.
Budget – How much investment is required? A marketing plan highlights a budget for the year and directly correlates that budget to expected results. Without this, you are just flying blind.
 
A little more on personas – One of the most important parts of your marketing strategy and plan is the creation of target market personas. Why? If you don’t intimately know who you are marketing to, you will never achieve your lead goals. Personas are more than just demographics. They include as much intelligence on your target market as possible. For instance, what blogs do they read? What email newsletters do they subscribe to? What trade associations or industry magazines do they read? What conferences or trade shows do they attend? What LinkedIn groups are they members of? Who do they follow on Twitter? Knowing these details about your prospects influences almost all of the marketing tactics included in your inbound marketing plan. It impacts the creation of your website, your social media sites, your blogging, email marketing and content creation effort – the more detailed your personas, the better your results.
 
TIP #2: If you’re not keeping score, you’re just practicing. Establish the number of leads your business needs to meet its new revenue objectives and then track performance against those lead goals daily, weekly and monthly.
 
A little more on goal setting – What gets measured, get’s done. Marketing has historically suffered from ambiguous goals, like getting your name out there or building your brand. Today, marketing has only one goal: generate leads for your business. But how many leads and in what time frame? Your marketing must be aligned with your business goals. Start with your high level goals. What are your revenue objectives for the year? If you need to add $1 million in incremental revenue to the top line and each new client is worth $10,000, then you need 100 new customers to hit your goals. If you have a 20% close rate on all sales opportunities, now you need 500 sales opportunities. If only 50% of the leads are actual sales opportunities, then you need 1,000 leads over the course of the year. If you don’t know these KPIs (key performance indicators) for your business, then getting to know them should be your first priority. Once you know how many leads you need, now you need to figure out how much website traffic is required to generate 1,000 leads. This is where inbound marketing shines. Each inbound marketing tactic in your strategic marketing plan contributes to website traffic, and overall lead generation. Welcome to marketing in 2013. I hope you see how important marketing strategy is to the performance of an inbound marketing program. Without it, you are virtually driving your car blindfolded.
 
 
 
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Topics: Sales and Marketing, sales, sales leads, Leads, real estate, marketing, Roman Badnarchuk, lead generation, Sales Training, N5R Sales Training, marketing agency, Top condo sales trainers, 2014

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Why Sales is the Most Important Part of Business?

 
Yong Kim, The CEO of Wonolo elaborates on the unspoken but known magic formula of success for students pursuing a business career.  I don’t blame them as I fell into this same path in my early career.  At the time, I recall the utter need and desperation to follow this algorithm, as I believed this was the only path to success.

Yet, if I could do it all over again, I would take a completely different approach.  What would I do now?  I would get a sales job.  In fact, it does not matter what type of sales - insurance, cars, cell phones, cosmetics… I would take any opportunity that would teach me how to prospect, qualify, pitch, close and manage customers.  And here is why.

The most important skill in business is sales

If I look at some of the most successful leaders in business, one undeniable common thread they all have is that they are incredibly gifted at selling.  They know how to create and share the story with their customers in a way that is difficult to resist.  Customers will say, “Wow, I really believe in this person.  I want in.”  

I am not just talking about selling a product or a service, but selling a vision.  Ultimately, you have to get people to buy into you, follow you, and choose to support you.  So, you have to sell not only to external customers, but to investors, your internal teams and new hires once you have your own team to lead.  Building a strong team culture, with enthusiastic and excited employees requires selling your vision of why the work is important to them and to your customers.  So, it’s critical to perfect selling, in all areas.

The most difficult skill to master in business is sales     

Sales is not just about closing deals.  It involves careful strategy around how to identify and prospect target customers.  Then, once you have successfully reached out to key customers and have gotten their attention, it requires thorough preparation of your pitch.  What are your customers’ unique pain points and how can you help offer solutions?  This courtship may take a few days to weeks, if lucky, but often times, it can take up to many years.  After successfully convincing them to trust you and your product/service, your job doesn’t end there.  The goal is to maintain a strong relationship, and keep your customers happy for many years to come.  

Each part of the sales process presents unique challenges and requires a multitude of skill sets to master.  Along the way, you learn how to be mentally strong; being diligent, persistent and patient are core traits of being excellent at sales.  So, the earlier you start, the more time you have to learn and master.

The most transferable skill in business is sales    

Various researches have estimated that people switch jobs about 7 times in their career.  Though the validity of this number has often been argued, one thing is clear; no one will have the same job, same role forever.  Case in point: people switch jobs at some point even within the same company.  Accordingly, roles and responsibilities associated with new jobs change, requiring a different set of capabilities.  Regardless, there is one skill set that is required in any job - effectively communicating with both internal and external members, collaborating across cross functional teams and delivering results.  These are fundamental skills naturally trained and developed in sales.  In fact, if you look at the background of top executives at successful organizations, many of them started their career in sales and continued to prove their leadership in different roles.  

I made my first cold call when I was in my mid thirties and only after I started my own startup.  Many long months went by without a single sale, even after making hundreds of cold calls and sending out thousands of emails.  I felt hopeless.  Even with my MBA degree, prior experience in investment banking and consulting, I could not get a single new customer.  It was a very painful truth to swallow - I did not know and had never learned how to sell.  

Fast forward several years (and I have gotten better at it), I am still learning.  I look back at the many years of missed opportunity to learn the art of selling and wish that I could have started the process much earlier in my career.  It’s been some of my most challenging times, but sales has taught me so many things about business in a holistic way.  Study your prospective clients, build relationships for the long term, nurture relationships once formed, never give up, etc.  

Most importantly, it helped me become a better listener and more empathetic to my customers’ needs.  Truly, having to work so hard to get one customer and seeing that that person has made a conscious decision to say yes, to give you a chance, and to choose to spend their resources on you, makes me that much more passionate to serve my customer.

So, if you are debating between Goldman Sachs or McKinsey, think again and get a sales job. 

 
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Topics: Sales and Marketing, sales, sales leads, Leads, real estate, marketing, Roman Badnarchuk, lead generation, Sales Training, N5R Sales Training, marketing agency, Top condo sales trainers, 2014

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