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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Happy Halloween! 3 Halloween Treats for YOU!

sales strategyHappy Halloween! We hope you are having a spook-tacular day! Since we can't visit all your offices for Tricks and Treats, we thought we'd share a few Halloween-themed blog posts we love.

Topics: sales strategy Inbound Marketing Sales

Why Media Companies Need to Drop Tradition and Embrace the Inbound Movement

Youve_Got_Leads_Now_What_The_5_Steps_to_Convert_Your_Inbound_Leads_into_CustomersThings have fundamentally changed in the media industry, and I’m excited to have the privilege on November 8th to discuss why inbound marketing will be critical to the next evolutionary phase for media companies.

Currently, a majority of the media companies (TV, Radio, Print etc.) are not using inbound marketing (blogging, thought leadership, lead generation, email marketing and social media) as part of their strategy to increase the number of leads their salespeople are getting—or leveraging it as a way to drive a more retainable revenue stream via their service and advertising offerings.  

Topics: content marketing Lead Nurturing Digital Lead Generation Inbound Marketing

Sometimes you just need a little help opening doors

opening doorsOur grandson wanted desperately to go outside and play at the splash table. Of course, at one year old, he’s not allowed to do that without supervision. 

Topics: Social Media referrals Sales

What Kind of Seller Are You?

sales strategyB2B sellers fall into one of three categories. Take a look at the description of each category or level to see where you reside:

Topics: Needs Analysis brainstorming Sales

What to Do When the Sales Leads Start Flowing

inbound marketing forumSo you drank the inbound marketing Kool Aid and it’s the sweetest you’ve ever tasted. Your team is churning out blog content, and your landing pages are generating leads at a rate you’ve never seen before. Give yourself a pat on the back—you’ve made it further than many other companies (including your competitors). Now that you’re generating leads like a pro, it’s time to look closely at that often misunderstood, nebulous area known as the middle of the funnel.

Topics: content marketing Lead Nurturing Lead Generation Inbound Marketing

Does Your Sales Process Turn the Prospect into a Spectator?

sales strategyThink of the last family wedding you attended. Did you sit at a table with Aunt Nelda, picking at your salad? Or did you get up and mingle and dance? Did you do the funky chicken?

Topics: Proposal setting expectations Needs Analysis sales strategy Sales

One Simple Question That Can Change Business Relationships

customer serviceAn article called “Tasting Menus” in the New York Times caught my attention last week. It was about a new concept sweeping fine dining restaurants in America—lengthy meals with many delightful menu choices. What intrigued me was not the description of the food or the menu—it was the care the restaurant staff took to make the diners feel like partners in an experience. 

Topics: customer satisfaction Sales

Are You Running in Circles, or Asleep at the Wheel?

inbound marketing, photo by Mike AndersonWhen it comes to inbound marketing, most companies fit into one of three categories:    

Topics: Inbound Marketing target persona

The Hit That Knocks You Out

sales processImagine if a Pro Football QB had their most effective off season of their career from a training and conditioning standpoint, but wore no equipment in the first game of the season. It would take one hit, and they could be out for the season!

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales

Does Your Site Need To Be Optimized For Mobile?

site optimized for mobileShowrooming. Most of us have done it—walked into a store, found an interesting product… then pulled out the smartphone to see if we can find the product cheaper online and make a purchase there instead of in the store. This trend is becoming more popular, and it is forcing retailers to boost their existing mobile presence and experience or be left behind.

Topics: customer satisfaction Digital websites

Reputation management is not "completely wrong"

All day long, my friends have posted Facebook status updates like this, "Go to Google. Click on Images. Type 'completely wrong' and see what images appear." What shows up is a collection of photos of Mitt Romney.*

completely wrong
Topics: Social Media content marketing Digital reputation management Inbound Marketing

11 Things Your Clients Won’t Say Out Loud

  1. client needsIf you anticipate my needs before I know I need them, I would love you (and buy from you) forever. I went to a hotel recently. It had make-up remover wipes. I had no idea that I needed make-up remover wipes… now I don’t know what I used to do without them. Wouldn’t it be great if your clients didn’t know how they got along without you? Start by anticipating their needs.
  2. I want to feel included in the process. Find ways for your client to make decisions that are guaranteed to provide a good outcome. For example, if red is the best color for creative, let your client choose from a few pre-selected shades of red.
  3. I want to feel smart even if my ideas are missing the boat. Sometimes people have a misguided focus on a path that won’t be the best use of their resources. Asking good questions initially, and asking follow up questions based on the client’s answers, provides a great opportunity to discover needs—as well as opportunities to respectfully redirect.
  4. I always like getting a great deal. Help your client figure out the best pathway to their desired outcome by first defining exactly what that outcome looks like. Making sure you’re addressing the core needs is the best start to providing quality solutions that get results.
  5. I love examples. Clients hear you telling them, but make sure you are also showing them how you can deliver. Do you have a success story to share? Share it… everywhere. Share someone else’s success story (with appropriate permissions of course) and apply some of the key concepts on your client’s challenges.
  6. If you tell me to ‘Google it’ I will scream. If you reference online material, make sure to give clients specific web addresses. Double check that hyperlinks in emails, presentations, etc. are working properly.
  7. I want to feel like we’re friends (but not BFFs). Building relationships with a buyer is important. Try to find the sweet spot between being an outsider and developing a friendship.
  8. I need to know you’ve got my back. Clients are putting their trust in you and expecting you to deliver. Keeping in touch with clients as key steps of the plan are implemented is a great way to ensure they’ll feel like they’re in good hands.
  9. I expect to always be your number one client. Keep yourself accessible to clients (via phone, email and also through LinkedIn). Respond in a timely manner, and be reassuring of client decisions with you.
  10. Don’t make me figure things out. There’s lots of ways to help clients understand new ideas or processes. Start by breaking up the information. Sometimes full sentences aren’t needed and bullet points are easier to digest. Understanding how your client learns is also helpful, as some people want to read more information and others may want to walk through each step over the phone.
  11. I like doing business with people who respect my time. We’re all busy. Use valid business reasons to add value to communication with your client. Also, keep ‘word fluff’ to a minimum. Tell clients everything they need to know in as few words as possible.

You’re a lot more likely to retain a client long-term if you deliver the specific value they’re seeking. Download the retention checklist and see how you're doing!

Topics: customer satisfaction setting expectations Sales

Reason #1 You Need to Jump on the Inbound Marketing Bandwagon

inbound marketing

Topics: content marketing content strategy thought leadership Inbound Marketing

Remembering one of the greatest innovators of all time

innovation and thought leadershipInnovation is important. We salute all of you that are thinking of—and trying—new ways to add value, deliver service and provide new information to the customers you serve.

Topics: content strategy thought leadership Digital Inbound Marketing

Einstein Wasn't that Smart

sales strategyHe said so himself. 

“It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”

—Albert Einstein

Topics: sales strategy Sales