I’ll be honest with you, creating leads is great, but it is also a nightmare if you don’t have the skills to convert them into sales. However, most of the business owners I meet don’t consider themselves to be good at selling and most have done little training; they try to workout everything themselves.
I think it’s like putting your head in a hole in the ground like an ostrich does! Wouldn’t it make sense to work on improving your sales and marketing skills on an ongoing basis?
Psychologists recognise that there are four stages of competence in any skill area. These are:
1) Unconscious Competence: You totally lack knowledge and skill and are totally unaware of the need for training – or the skill.
2) Conscious Incompetence: You discover there are skills you need and you may know that others are more competent than you.
3) Conscious Competence: You’ve acquired the new skills and knowledge. You actively put them into practice and gain confidence as a result .
4) Unconscious Competence: Your skills have now become habit and you perform tasks without conscious thought or effort. You’re on autopilot and your confidence is at a high level.
So my question for you is: Where are you when it comes to sales and marketing skills?
If you’re better than most small business owners, then you’re at a Level 3 in some areas and Level 2 in others. But even if you’re at the top of your game, there’s still a bit of Level 1 lurking around somewhere. It could be on LinkedIn, or to do with SEO or defending price.
Let’s face it, no one gets 10 out of 10 for everything that they need to know and the skills they have in sales and marketing. But the truth is – a lack of skills and knowledge is leaking money from your business each and every day.
One of the biggest mistakes made by most business is leaving referrals to chance. In other words, not having a referral marketing system and instead relying on the fact that you ‘do a good job’ to encourage people to refer you to others. And some people will do just that out of the goodness of their own heart. Others however, will think you always look busy and probably don’t need any more business. Whilst others may just not take the time to think about who to refer you to, because they are so busy.
My point is that “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”. Or, more accurately, you never MAXimise your referral possibilities. So you must plan.
Let’s have a look at the numbers! Suppose you have 100 clients and your plan is to ask each of them once per year for a referral. Let’s say that as a result you get 100 referrals (note – some clients will not give you any referrals, whilst others will give you 5 or 6).
Then let’s say that because of the quality of referrals in terms of leads you convert 50% of these into sales. What has just happened? You have just grown your business by 50%, with no marketing risk whatsoever.
So how can you MAXimise this? Well let’s get a little adventurous and say that we are going to ask for referrals twice per year, or even four times per year. I am sure you get the picture.
Then when you have thought about your current clients the next question to think about is who else will give you referrals?
This list could include:
How many times are you going to ask for a referral? What are you going to say? Who is the best person to ask? How are you going to train them? What is success? In other words, what would a good target of success be for this Referral Marketing plan? Could you set a target to win 10 referrals per month and to close 50% of those?
If not why not? People often ask me – Why do I send so many e-mails out? The answer is – because it works and I rarely send an email out without winning new business. I have a database of over 60,000 who all know me and an average email open rate of about 25%.
Email marketing is still one of the best forms of marketing on the plannet and if you are not doing it, or if you are not getting results, or creating sales and leads from email marketing, then you need to attend this workshop.
On 29th January 2015, I am running a one day workshop on how to create and abundance of leads through email marketing. This workshop is new and it is going to cover my latest ideas and concepts in email marketing in 2015.
During the workshop I will cover: