You meet with a prospective client, and the meeting goes good.  There is definite interest in your product or service, but not enough to buy right on the spot.  You leave feeling positive that you have a chance to win the business in the near future.  You don’t want to come across as pushy, and you follow-up in two weeks to set another meetingwho, but unfortunately it is too late.  The prospective client has bought from someone else.

This isn’t uncommon today, and it’s not personal.  What we all have to realize and believe is that our society is completely overwhelmed with tasks, meetings, and messages.  Our electronic devices that were designed to help us consolidate tasks and free up more time have simply allowed us to do way much more than we used to, making us more busy and distracted than ever.  They have also allowed competition, direct and indirect, from across the globe into everyone’s back yard.

If you really want the business, and you really want to keep it, you’re going to have to find creative ways to stay in front of your prospects and clients.  If you don’t, you’ll be forgotten all too easy. Make sure you are in front of your clients often, by scheduling regular meetings and they know your commitment to them.  Follow up with prospective clients several times a week with information that has great value to them.  Send them client testimonials.

There are all sorts of ways you can keep your name in front of current and potential clients.  Find what suits your personality and go for it, and best of all, this little discipline will put you ahead of nearly every competitor you have!

Follow up or Fall Out

June 27, 2013

Here is a really pathetic statistic. Over 40% of the time a new prospect is never followed up with after the first call. Consider how distracted our society has become, and Hellothat should really scare you. You are exposed to more than 35,000 messages a day between signs, email, texts, advertisements, etc. Chances are your prospects forget about you the next day. How could they not? It’s not personal. They are just simply overwhelmed with messages.

The good news is that you have a tremendous opportunity to stand out simply by developing your organization’s follow up skills. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Schedule a follow up call before ending your meeting.
  • Send a handwritten thank you note. This is a lost art, but will put you ahead of nearly everyone.
  • Confirm the details and next action of your meeting with a brief email.
  • Add every new prospect to your email distribution list.
  • Call all prospects at least one time per week.
  • Meet with current clients weekly if possible, and monthly at a minimum.
  • If you have an unhappy client or things aren’t running to their expectations, follow up with them right away. It’s better to deal with a problem head and let your client know you are doing everything possible to deliver.

Today we all have more competition for our clients’ attention, and most of it comes from indirect competitors. Remember that someone is going to call them, usually someone different every day. If you don’t follow up, one day someone else will win their business and you won’t. You may have to follow up with a prospect more than 20 times to get their business, but that’s ok. They will know you’re committed to them.

How do you follow up? Share some of your best experiences with us.

Is your company on Facebook or Twitter? Are you curious how your time and resources are being used on Social Media Marketing? You’re not alone!

Social Media & Digital Marketing are the fastest growing sectors of advertising at the moment and having a clear, concise goal for these assets is imperative.

When you start your social media marketing, you must think of:

  • WHO will maintain your social voice?
  • WHAT do I expect to get out of social media?
  • HOW will you convert fans to money?
  • WHEN is the optimal time to make posts?
  • WHERE can I find qualified fans?

WHO will maintain your social voice?

Handing over the reins of your social media marketing should be hard. You are entrusting someone with the identity of your company. They are going to be responsible for creating and fostering a community of brand enthusiasts.

When you make the decision of WHOM, you MUST make sure that this person is very well aware of your current marketing efforts so that all mediums are consistent with each other. Then, they must be able to create engaging and consistent content. If you’re online and there is no movement, you might as well just log off. The more your brand sits there with no content or incentives, the bigger the chance for people to unlike your page and move on to someone who actually communicates with them.

Giving someone control of your social media marketing is giving someone control of a 24/7/365 advertisement for your company. WHO is knowledgeable enough about your business to be given this amount of responsibility?

WHAT do I expect to get out of social media?

If you jump in to social media marketing without thinking through your goal, you will be wasting valuable time. When speaking with clients, we ask for clear, succinct goals for their social media. Telling us that you want more fans is a given. Everyone wants more fans. But telling us that you’d like to sell 10% more of your product this month compared to last month is even clearer to us.

Knowing what you want your end result to be will help determine the kind of strategy to implement. If you want to sell more this month, your posts should reflect that – more posts about the product, pricing points on the product, information about the product, etc.

To that end, whatever you’re expecting out of social media will only be received by what you put in to social media. If your posts are nonchalant and off-topic, don’t expect to meet your goal.

PS. Don’t forget to let the person who’s handling your profiles also know what your monthly goals will be.

HOW will you convert fans to money?

Unfortunately, while social media is a 24/7/365 advertisement, it doesn’t always mean that people will flock to you to buy what you’re selling. Like with any form of advertising, consistency is going to be the key.

Fans have liked or followed your company for a reason. You’ve given them some kind of incentive to be a fan. Because of this, you must continue to hammer home your company name, products and services. The more consistent you are, the more you will be on the top of people’s minds when it comes time to buy what you have to offer.

Facebook received a lot of scrutiny recently when GM decided to pull all of their Facebook marketing budget. Claiming that the money would be allotted elsewhere because social media wasn’t ‘selling cars’ was a big eye-opener for the rest of the Facebook Advertising world.

While it may be hard to track exactly how many people bought a car directly related to any Facebook Advertising, it’s more than obvious that the marketing they put in place online was designed  to work directly with traditional advertising – TV commercials, radio commercials, print ads, etc.

Maybe GM forgot that social media was meant to be SOCIAL. The more people hear and see the product you’re selling, the more apt they will be to buy in the future and if you’re being social in the process, the more willing they’ll be to buy from you BECAUSE of your social-ness.

WHEN is the optimal time to make posts?

This has been the golden question for a while now and just like any advertising that’s done for any client, the optimal posting time for every single business is going to be different. Learning what time is going to be the best time to post is going to take some time to figure out.

Utilizing your Facebook page statistics will be the key. By analyzing data, you’ll be able to see which posts are creating the most engagement, which posts are being seen the most, which posts resonate with your potential clients the most, etc.

When you initially start your social media marketing, you’re literally creating a community from scratch. Since that’s the case, you will want to post at various times of the day in order to figure out what is working for you and what isn’t. This also works for businesses that’ve got a great presence online. It’s never too late to monitor what works and what doesn’t.

Recently, Buddy Media, a social media marketing suite that was bought by Salesforce.com, put out a study:  Strategies for Effective Facebook Wall Posts: A Statistical Review. In this study, they consistently remind businesses that every company is going to be different and figuring out your own optimal posting times will take some time, but they do offer some very interesting insights by industry. Take a look at a few of them below:

Entertainment Industry: Don’t overlook the weekends! With mobile usage growing, many of this industry’s target customers are extremely active on Saturday & Sunday.

Media Industry: Stay away from Mondays!

Retail Industry: Take a look at Sunday; think twice before posting on a Friday.

Automotive Industry: Sunday is your friend!

Business & Finance Industry: Engagement peeks mid-week.

Food & Beverage Industry: Engagement high mid-week and Saturday.

Healthcare & Beauty Industry: Look at Thursday!

Sports Industry: Post more on Sunday!

Travel & Hospitality: Look towards the end of the week.

In addition to this industry breakdown, Buddy Media also stresses the importance of creating short and engaging content while also creating concise calls to action. Don’t forget to include words like: Click here, LIKE us, Follow us, Call us, Stop by, submit, share, comment. You’d be surprised what people will do if you ask them to!

WHERE can I find qualified fans?

Our recent blog post, 3 Steps to Better Facebook Fans, and our subsequent webinar, delved into this topic at length. You can read that blog here.

In a nutshell, you must give fans some kind of incentive to LIKE your page. Use things like coupons, specials, giveaways, etc., to entice people to your page. Once they are fans, it’s up to you to keep them!

Facebook ads are another great way to target your specific demographic. With the wealth of user information, Facebook can offer some really great options when advertising. Pricing is open and based on your budget and can be bought on a pay-per-click or pay-per-impression pricing scale. We’ll be offering an in-depth webinar about Facebook ads in the future, so be on the lookout for that.

Finally, cross-promoting can help you find more qualified fans. If your advertising is consistent, your TV commercials should be highlighting your website which should highlight your Facebook page which should in-turn highlight everything else. Adding your pages to store receipts, posters, business cards, brochures, websites, commercials, etc., gives your core customers the opportunity to find you online.

By taking all of the above into consideration, you’ll have a better idea of how your social media marketing is working for you. Just remember that this is one piece of advertising that will stick around after 30-seconds. People can come back to your page at any point in time to see what you have to offer. What will they see?

Written by Danita Maldonado, Director of Social Media, SDB Creative Group

SDB SocialLink is a product of SDB Creative Group offering social media and digital solutions for businesses. For more information about SDB SocialLink, check out our website: www.sdbsociallink.com.

SDB Creative Group is a full-service marketing and advertising firm. For more information about SDB Creative Group, check out our website: www.sdbcreativegroup.com.

SDB Creative Group. Focused on your success. Empowering your future.

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Out here in West Texas, we have a car dealership that is known for its tacky approach to advertising. As a matter of fact, when we talk to potential clients, they always say, I just don’t want anything cheesy like the salesmen with the cars and circus animals.

So, why do we see those commercials continue to be made year after year? They must work… right?

Well, yes and no. They do work by getting the audience’s attention, but not necessarily the way the business owner would intend. It is often said that even bad publicity is good publicity, but no business really wants to have negative remarks made about their advertising. So why then, year after year, in every market in the country, are there dealership ads that sell cheese better than cars?

The truth is that it works. Unfortunalty, it is more effective to “ask for the sale” than to show beautiful cars going down picturesque roads. Those ads are easily forgotten, but the others are a little harder to forget, and as much as a consumer will say they hate to see those ads, everyone really wants a good deal.

Is there a way to have the same effect without the cheese? Absolutley! A well thought out campaign, with effective sales tactics can give your business the edge, without making your possible consumers cringe.

Bringing in customers and making more sales can be as easy as asking yourself 3 questions.

  • What’s Your Goal?
  • Who’s Your Target?
  • Are You Asking For the Sale?

Question 1: What’s Your Goal?

Although it’s a simple question, we are still surprised by the business owners who have no idea what they want their advertising to accomplish.

For example, if your goal is to focus on one area of your business and really make that particular area grow, a generic commercial with shots of your storefront may not be the best approach to reach that goal, and it’s usually is a waste of money. However, a campaign focused on the goals you set, will help guide your business in reaching more qualified prospects.

Question 2: Who’s Your Target?

Based on your goal above, what demographic will you target to make sure that your advertising message is directed at the right people?

We know you’re bombarded by media sales people day in and day out. While some of their products might be a good fit, others might not fit either #1 or #2. Don’t let those impulse decisions guide your end goal.

Think about the times when you go to the grocery store without a list. Do you always come out spending more money than you anticipated? Did you end up forgetting something? The answer to both questions is usually ‘YES.’ When you’ve identified your goal and then, identified your target, you will not only save money, but you’ll also be speaking to the right customers for your business.

Question 3: Are You ASKING for the SALE?

It seems like a no brainer, right? But again, it’s more often than not overlooked. If you’re selling widgets, make sure you include that you’re selling widgets in your message. Why do people need to come and see you? Because they need that widget. Let them know you have it.

Then, make sure your staff is trained and ready for clients to walk through the door, and, of course…they should (again) ask for sale!

While there are many people who ‘window shop,’ there’s a far better chance that they are in your store for a reason. They want something that you have and they found out you had it through some form of advertising. SELL THEM! CLOSE THEM! All you have to do is ask. Then, once you have their business, make sure to maintain that relationship by frequent contact and support.

By taking control of your message and making sure that it’s targeted to the right people, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make sales, which will then start to raise your bottom line.

Would like us to help you create a marketing plan for your company or for a future campaign? Give us a call at 432.218.6736 or email info@sdbcreativegroup.com.

For more information about SDB Creative Group, check out our website: www.sdbcreativegroup.com.

SDB Creative Group. Focused on your success. Empowering your future.

This week’s marketing must is pretty simple. You must have quality sales materials. First impression is everything, right? What do you think when someone hands you a business card with perforated edges, the ink rubbing off on your fingers, and the paper quality of a napkin? No bueno. The same applies to brochures. Brochures printed on plain paper have a very short shelf life.

It is very easy for any company to have sharp, highly engaging sales materials, but it is impossible to accomplish this through your desktop publisher. Make a practice of hiring a professional to design your materials. Use a professional printer for all your materials. Aren’t your clients worth showing your best? You will have better results, and best of all, your people won’t be embarrassed to hand them out.

Shane Boring