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As we move into times when it is harder to win work then we must work harder than ever on our design, the look, the feel. All sales professionals know this. They know that first impressions count, that ‘looking the part matters’ and that body language is the most powerful kind of interpersonal communication.
And yet do all our materials match that. Do they make the best first impression? Do they really look better than all our competitors?
I’m sure this matters. As does retaining your detail and rigour during the project itself to ensure a first class delivery.
As an aside I am betting that the recession will see an end to the glossy style of minimalist reflective design that has dominated for the past 3 years. I think we will see more detail and curves in a time of uncertainty.
It doesn’t take a genius to look back at 2008 and work out that 2009 is going to be tough on the high street.
I’m currently editing a video on “Change”, featuring interviews with a number of people. Whilst Change is obviously a hot subject at the minute, I discovered a quote from successful entrepreneur John Haines in which he suggests retailers should be doing the exact opposite right now.
It’s a shorty but a goodie.
According to a new study, spam emails get 1 response in 12,500,000 emails. That’s less than 0.00001%! Amazingly though, even with such a poor response a large spam organisation such as the Storm Network will make around £4500 profit a day.
Compare this to the general sales market who will on average get one sale in one hundred people and the stats look even more outlandish.
So is spamming the answer to all our sales problems? Nope. For everyday businesses there are worldwide laws that prohibit us from spamming without prior consent from the recipient. Even the junk mail that falls through your door has been loosely authorised by your good self and a helpful 3rd party (remember that tick box at the bottom of that magazine subscription form which said something along the lines of “I authorise you or a 3rd party to fill my mailbox with guff”?). It is a fine line between what is legal and what is illegal but a common way to spam is to use indirect linking which takes you to a webpage with a banner ad for the product on it and not directly to the manufacturers site.
So how do we get people to sign up for our marketing campaigns? In whatever campaigns your run you need to create a hook which will mean people will give you their contact details. There are many examples of this and you just need to pick the right one for your business, from running a competition to giving something away for free. The bottom line is when you’ve been granted access to contact someone, then it is a free license to bombard them until they say stop.
I’m not condoning spamming in any way, I’m just pointing out that it exists and has existed in more ways than you probably realise. In fact you might have even done it yourself without even knowing it.
It’s a well known fact that commercial broadcasters the world over are struggling the reap the rewards they once did from advertisers, in fact these days the profit margin is getting very narrow indeed.
That’s why many broadcasters are trying new techniques like themed ad slots and dedicated single product commercial breaks. UK broadcast Channel 4 have gone one step further however, for tonight at 8:10pm they have teamed up with Honda to run their first ever live commercial.
It features sky divers jumping out of an aircraft attempting to form the word Honda in under 3 minutes 20 seconds. If they compete the task it will be exciting for the viewers, if they don’t complete the task it will also be exciting for the viewers. If the viewers tune in, which they are being encouraged to do it will be a win-win.
Channel 4 are making big claims though about it being the first live TV adverts, whereas the slightly more skeptical of us may be thinking back to the days of the 1950′s TV studio ads where all TV was live and the only way to advertise a product was to feature it in the studio with the presenter.
No one has ever tried to perform such a stunt as skydiving live in an advert though, so hats off to them for that one.
Are you going to be watching tonight?
or if we’ve gone forwards in time…
Did you watch it? Did you tune in specially?
Recently we made a film about personal brand as part of The Platform. In part of it we visited a business breakfast meeting where each delegate had 1 minute exactly to pitch themselves to the other business representatives in the room.
Some of these people were old hands and had practiced their pitch many times. Others were new to the situation and hadn’t prepared at all.
The great thing was it raised the question to us, can you pitch yourself or your company in one minute? Many people can’t it seems, when really it should be something that rolls off the tongue.
In The Gravity module within The Platform we created a whole new exercise based around this thought called The Elevator Pitch. Imagine the scene; You’re riding an elevator when it stops, the doors open and Richard Branson steps in. After a moment he asks who you are and what your business is. This is your golden opportunity, your one chance to impress but the question is do you know exactly what you want to say?
Seth Godin also recently asked the question, what comes first the story or the work?
Have you got your story straight?
Our most recent module for The Platform was entitled Gravity. You don’t need much of a scientists mind and you don’t need to sit under an apple tree for hours waiting for the inevitable to happen to understand the principles of gravity.
So, we have designed a whole new model based around gravity which demonstrates how a person can attract more business just by simplifying their whole work and marketing ethic. After all pulling business towards you is far easier than trying to chase it down.
Below is a sneaky peak at the Gravity Model, click on play to watch and enjoy.
For more info on the Gravity Model and The Platform please contact us.
Check out this link on Questioning. A great resource to use and share as it goes through questions to avoid as well as ones to use to your advantage; whatever the situation.
The rest of the site looks pretty interesting too – it’s all about how how we change what others think, believe, feel and do.
Everywhere is an opportunity to spread the word and hook customers.
An example we use a lot is what would you say if you were stood all alone in an elevator when suddenly at the next floor Richard Branson steps in? You have the time it takes to go 10 floors to sell him your idea.
We’ll be covering the elevator pitch in detail in the Gravity section of The Platform.
Maybe you don’t actually need to say anything at all, perhaps all you need is a simple prop like the girl in the picture!
The image to the left is what is known as a call to action. Most commonly you’ll find call to action selling on internet sold e-products (an unregulated area with no official RRP), but you can find them in everyday life too:
- Buy one get one free at the supermarket!
- Half price sale at the sofa store must end today!
- Two tickets for the price of one at the cinema, Wednesday only!
- Get the full 12 CD rock anthems for just £17.95 (time limited offer)!
A call to action is one of the oldest sales techniques in the book, but why not use it when it works so well? Companies with e-products use it all the time, heck you can even buy a plug-in for your website which ensures your call to action is up to date – “This is a time-limited offer and expires at midnight (insert today’s date here!)“.
So if it works so well why isn’t it used more in other types of sales?
As a business we all have something to sell whether it comes in a box or it walks into the purchasers office. Using a call to action on our products not matter what they are could result in a sales decision faster if the customer thinks that they only have today to decide otherwise they may have to pay full price for your service.
So today I raise this challenge to you:
Think about your product and how much you want to sell it for at the top end. Then think about how much you would be prepared to reduce that cost by if you were to go into negotiations. Now that is the price you leave on the table as you walk out the door, but don’t forget this offer ends at midnight and after that the product goes back to full price.
A call to action could not only eliminate the need for lengthy, time wasting negotiation it could also eliminate the competition before they even step in the ring.
This is a time-limited blog post, read now for free or pay me what your business loses in profit for not taking heed!