Many entrepreneurs, no matter how confident they appear to hate the idea of sales calls. And to be quite honest the way this guy in this post describes cold calling I am right there with them. The only time I ever did cold calling was when I took a gap year to Australia. As a broke backpacker you take pretty much any job you can get and I landed a job cold-calling for a charity.
I can’t remember if it was commission only or low pay and commission… the only thing I remember was the utterly awful and depressing office we were in. The boring sales scripts and the depressed look on everyone’s face.
You’d think that working for a charity it would be more rewarding right? Well actually I think it made it worse – you basically have to guilt trip unsuspecting people into giving up their money for a cause they probably weren’t thinking about until you showed up in their house.
6 hours in and I looked just as depressed as everyone else in there. I did try to crack a few jokes and cheer people up but it didn’t go down too well with the boss and I walked out (might have been fired – can’t quite remember) of the job on day one having made zero sales.
Pretty sure at that time I had about 50 dollars in my bank account but my thought process was I’d rather sleep outside on a beach and look for volunteer work than waste my gap year inside some stuffy, awful depressing office.
9 years later as Chief Happiness Officer at a Content Marketing Agency sales calls are part of my life again. And, I actually enjoy them.
In fact, I am pretty sure I enjoy it more than the clients, which is why I have now set up our site to take payments through the website instead of forcing them on a call with me.
As a work at home – sometimes work in a cafe entrepreneur I LOVE connecting with other entrepreneurs. It brightens up my day to speak to other people doing great stuff – and more so I love speaking about how we can help them and add value to their business.
Rejection is still a part of the process. I don’t close every call, in fact probably the majority aren’t closed straight away. But it doesn’t phase me.
Technically it is pretty much the same deal. I have a rough path to take on the call i.e a script, I am speaking to someone who I hope will give me money and rejection are very likely. So, why is it different to the Australian job?
I’m going to outline some core differences here;
THE SECRET METHOD TO FEELING CONFIDENT DURING EVERY SALES CALL
PRE-QUALIFY YOUR CALLS WITH CONTENT MARKETING
One of the reasons I love having sales calls is because the people I am speaking to have already told me they want my help. As a Content Marketing person I know that means they probably know quite a lot about me already. They have probably read several of our blog posts, researched our company online, read some guest posts, checked out our social media posts. Maybe even looked me up on Linkedin.
They aren’t going into the call totally blind. They know what I do, they like my vibe and they want to see if I can help.
This is the value of authentic Content Marketing. You want to attract the people onto your sales calls who you want to work with and enjoy speaking too! My writing is a bit quirky, a bit creative, honest and quite raw.
I don’t mind testing new content ideas out and being open in my communication. SO, I tend to attract clients who are quite similar to me & that’s great because those are the types of people I want to work with.
Maybe that’s a bit strange – wanting to work with people like you… but UM who doesn’t want to work with people they get on with?!
MAKE SURE YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE OFFERING
I fell into the trap as a newbie entrepreneur of having a very vague list of activities I could do for someone. I’m sure your skillset if you looked at it, could cover quite a broad spectrum. BUT, if you aren’t really specific about what you offer then your sales calls are going to end up vague and loose direction.
Your clients want you to provide a solution to their problem. So it’s your job to figure out what their problem is and show that your solution can help them solve it. Not come up with some random solution you might be able to offer. I hope that is a clear distinction for you because it has helped me a lot!
FEEL CONFIDENT IN YOUR ABILITY TO PROVIDE VALUE
This one can be tough. It’s a chicken and egg situation, you need to feel confident about your skills to get your first client but how can you be confident without having your first client and doing a good job for them?
When I first started moving into a more content focused offering I did small jobs for free to get feedback. How did I know if I was any good? Would people actually pay me for my writing? I took a number of small writing jobs which could be delivered in a few days.
The clients I had were blown away by the work I did for them and it really gave me the confidence to focus on creating content. I even asked them what they believe I should have charged and I got back several hundred dollars which at the time seemed CRAZY to me.
I still get fear come over me about the results we provide, I have very high expectations and put a lot of pressure on myself there. But I constantly remind myself that we are all on a learning curve and we can always improve. And, the positive feedback from our clients continues to come in creating an Agency which is growing organically as much as through our Content Marketing efforts.
To be that says we should feel confident in our abilities!
So, remember, a piece of praise, a referral, and a thank-you are very, very important. Always celebrate when you receive them and remind yourself of them every time you communicate with your product and service.
Any smart entrepreneur will realize the importance of tracking the behavior of their prospects. Guiding and following your prospects through every step of the purchasing process is the only way to create effective marketing campaigns that reach customers in a specific, personalized way and increase sales. This is where marketing automation tools become crucial.
How can your business benefit from marketing automation tools?
Among the endless advantages of marketing automation, maintaining consistency when building and sustaining relations with customers are certainly the most important benefit.
If marketers base their communication with prospects on Facebook or Twitter, they may find it challenging to post and tweet on a regular basis. This may be due to many reasons; numerous work tasks and duties, unplanned meetings, family priorities, etc.
Marketing automation tools help you achieve consistency in the means of maintaining regular relationships with existing and potential customers.
When marketers have a sequence automated posts on a schedule, instead of posting each one manually, they are able to create a sense of constant presence.
Visitors then know that your business or brand is actively engaging with customers. This includes providing fresh and relevant information about the products and services that you sell.
Other benefits of marketing automation tools include better use of data, more effective data storage and increased overall efficiency in the process of completing tasks.
Marketing tools can simplify complex data analyses and help users predict market fluctuations. Effective data storage helps users evaluate their marketing strategy, as well as predict and overcome possible obstacles.
Marketing automation tools that every business should consider using
Once you acknowledge and understand the benefits of marketing automation, you find it tricky to choose the right automation tools for your business.
Whether your business is well developed or just a small and fresh start-up business, these tools can help you tailor your marketing campaigns more effectively.
HubSpot is popular for a couple of reasons, but one reason stands out above the rest. This is probably the most user-friendly platform you will find. It is convenient, straightforward and intuitive to use.
In fact, this is probably the only platform where you dive straight into advanced marketing tactics without having to read any documentation.
When you do eventually need help, HubSpot offers excellent support and documentation.
While HubSpot was originally built for smaller businesses, it is now used by larger businesses too. So regardless of the stage, your business is in at the moment, you might want to look into this platform to see whether it meets your needs.
HubSpot represents the perfect example of a “marketing automation solution”
It offers the ability to manage and email your leads. It allows you to create, manage and promote content. It includes basic SEO features and a decent amount of templates. It helps you capture leads and create landing pages as well as do all of your split-testing.
This is the same rough feature set that’s common to all marketing automation platforms. The differences are slight and primarily in the style of implementation. Some tools have a few extra features that stand out. Others differentiate themselves in how they implement the basic features, and whether it fits your company culture.
While we could try and list all of the pros and cons of HubSpot compared to the other platforms, there’s really no need. HubSpot offers a free trial where you can fully test whether it meshes with your needs. This is far superior to reading any reviews or opinions on which platform will or won’t meet your needs.
Unlike HubSpot, Marketo isn’t suitable for any business at any stage. It specifically targets medium to enterprise level customers and its pricing points reflect this. If you’re a small business owner, feel free to ignore this vendor altogether for now.
The one area where Marketo differentiates is in its focus. It was always focused more on B2B types of businesses. This reflects the depth that same of its features have.
This explains why it has some of the best lead-nurturing functionality. But it also explains why it isn’t very user-friendly. Whereas HubSpot can be picked up by anyone in minutes, Marketo assumes you have a staff of IT people and marketing specialists to handle it.
Pardot is another marketing automation tool that you will like if you’re a B2B business model. One of the first things people notice when compared to Marketo is its ease-of-use. It isn’t as simple to use as HubSpot, but it is probably the most intuitive out of the enterprise tools.
Being a Salesforce product, you might want to consider it if you’re a Salesforce fan. Obviously being a product of the same company, it has excellent integration and syncing with Salesforce.
The one thing you sacrifice with Pardot (in comparison to Marketo) is the lack of depth to the features. You get a more pleasing and usable interface, but the features are a lot more shallow.
If your marketing automation needs are primarily about nurturing leads through email, ActiveCampaign is the one for you. Nobody beats ActiveCampaign at email marketing automation.
The great thing about ActiveCampaign is that it makes complexity easy. It allows you to set up even the most complex marketing strategy an experienced marketer can come up with. Yet it makes even such a complex setup seem to like playing a simulation game – it is very intuitive to do. In the rare chance that you get lost, it provides some excellent learning resources for newbies. Due to this, ActiveCampaign can be practical for businesses of all sizes.
What do Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, and ActiveCampaign have in common?
In the sea of marketing automation tools, Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, and ActiveCampaign are recognized as reliable products that most every business should consider using. Despite their differences, these four tools have a lot in common. They help marketers focus on their prospects and accelerate them through the sales funnel via an act-on solution.
Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, and ActiveCampaign are all well integrated with other popular solutions. These are tools that are dynamic and offer numerous features, all to the benefit of your marketing strategy. They will all help you with implementing a quality inbound strategy. These marketing automation tools help marketers attract more visitors to a website, convert them to leads and even paying customers.
Make your business stand out and get in front of prospects
Within the past few years, marketing has changed significantly. Instead of pushing products or services onto potential customers, marketing is now based on intriguing people and earning their interest.
While the “old” marketing relied on one-way communication through slogans and short messages, modern marketing communication is all about two-way, interactive communication. Modern internet marketers don’t play “chase and catch” to find customers anymore; they don’t practice cold calling as much as they used to. Now, they tend to base their marketing strategy on entertaining and educating prospects.
If you are looking for an effective way to reach out to prospects and convert leads to customers, you should consider a modern marketing approach. Regardless of the size of your business, using some of the marketing automation tools mentioned above will help you achieve positive results.
In addition, these marketing automation tools can decrease your costs. With a good automated solution, it takes only one employee to set up lead nurturing and complex marketing campaigns, rather than a dozen experienced marketing professionals. After your marketing campaign has been set, your business will automatically send out numerous personalized emails to prospects, based on their specific interests.
Whether you choose Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot or ActiveCampaign, you’ll be able to track the way your prospects interact with your business. Each of these marketing tools can provide you with detailed information on website visits and clicks, content downloads, and much more. This will help you understand their decision-making process and create better relationships through interactive communication, and appropriate, well-timed reactions.
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