Spray and Pray Kills Sales Momentum

Spray and Pray

Entrepreneurs demanding sales growth is business as usual. Achieving that growth presents the challenge. While a specific marketing plan is a good strategic start, results depends on actually connecting with prospects and converting them to customers. Targeting customers who pay is a clever figure of speech and a lousy strategy. Launching sales initiatives broadly into the marketplace is slightly better. Identifying niches where the business has experienced success integrates concepts and tools that have a legitimate chance of delivering. Coordinating marketing and sales activities with consistent messaging, targeted criteria and measurable benchmarks pave the way to sustainable growth. But how?

Process
Preparing for success means planning with a clear path to executing the best available tactics. First, incorporate market research to understand who wants the product or service, and why. Be thorough and be quick in identifying opportunities. Fully expect the target to evolve. Prospects appear more clearly once the selling starts and new users come out of the target market’s crevices. Next, connect with known and desired prospects. Selling is a numbers game. Prospect with a quantity-driven mindset.

A broadly quoted sales truth states, “Nothing happens until someone sells something”. Consequently, prepare for success. Successful entrepreneurs anticipate their reality. In establishing growth processes, the ability to deliver the product or service must have integrity. Businesses do not want to outsell their capacity. That damages their brand. Consistent storytelling, coordinated collateral, operational capacity are essential to successful growth campaigns. Ultimately, the successful process nails marketing, prospecting, selling, fulfilling, and measuring.

Results
Measurement extends beyond sales planning and activities to include results. “What gets measured gets managed” is an old business cliché. Often clichés endure because they are true! Beyond measuring dollars spent on social media, collateral, market reports and advertising, track prospect feedback identifying successful and unsuccessful tactics. Spend money on activities that produce results. Stop spending money on activities that do not produce results. It is not as easy, nor obvious as it sounds.

Upon achieving results, repeat. Achieving success and repeating winning tactics establishes business momentum. Key targets to track include understanding costs associated with incremental sales. Margins matter. Catalog anecdotal intelligence that reveal success. While these activities use financial and time resources, ignoring them ultimately wastes financial and time resources by continually reinventing success characteristics. Spray and pray may lead to blowing away immediate sales targets when opportunities are fertile. But when the marketplace demands competitive selling, then measuring and analyzing results with surgical precision is the only way to sustain growth.

Takeaways
Spray and pray kills bugs and sales momentum! Planning is essential. So, is effort. The process takes time on the front end. Ignoring planning wastes time throughout the process. Launching new initiatives stokes competitive fires and creates enthusiasm. Nevertheless, use marketing intelligence. Coordinate messaging for better storytelling. People still buy emotionally and justify with logic. Prepare, then execute niche driven growth initiatives. Sustain winning processes, which includes regular setbacks. They ultimately drive superior results. Market for quality, then sell for quantity! Focused efforts will deliver results. Repeat success tactics. Build momentum. Slaughter the goals!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

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Connective Marketing – We All Get More

Kids Fun Run

Marketing data and analytics are amazing! They provide better decision making. They quantify processes and results leading to business success. Except it ignores the human element. Emotional connection drives business development. People buy from people. Clearly, branding helps. However, recognize that branding is assigning human characteristics to products, services, and organizations. Think about it. Do you count a brand, or like a brand? Essentially to grow a business, it needs a personality. That personality must be appealing, or at least truly likeable. Collaborating with appealing partners goes a long way toward sustaining communal growth.

Coordinated Partnership
Building a mutually beneficial voice in the marketplace is the core of Connective Marketing. Beyond finding a partner who agrees to share goodwill, this tactic coordinates joint values and resources to present to the marketplace. Connective Marketing is a strategy that links organizations through intentional relationship and partnership. As a matter of fact, partnerships between non-profit and for-profit organizations are particularly positioned to maximize this benefit.

For example, a program that provides Social-Emotional Learning tools to troubled students collaborates with a business that provides learning supplies to secondary students. Their common message is the holistic development of successful students. Cross-marketing opportunities focus on community events and websites that target over-indulgent parents looking to provide their children education tools. The comprehensive message is developing students with the intelligence, aptitude and social skills for ongoing success. Between events and multi-media content, the combined entities can attract customers to their cooperative services and tools for more successful students. As an extra bonus, the combined delivery results in more happy and satisfied parents.

Aligned Brands
To build momentum regarding both organizations, strategies must be deployed that connects both entities’ offerings. Considering that a brand is what the customer experiences as opposed to what the seller claims, coordinated images, verbiage and intent requires uniform presentation. Using the same branding methods and images is too simplistic. The coordinated messages must be in alignment across channels and audiences. Beyond claiming marketing synergy among the partners, the organizations must be very conspicuous in synchronizing messages.

While synergy is essential, results emerge because the partners intentionally coordinate their messages to leverage cooperative benefits. Both organizations benefit because they share a common target audience and provide a complementary benefit. A running club partnering with an athletic apparel retailer meets that objective. Both entities pursue a healthy, communal clientele. They both target prospects with personal characteristics emphasizing attractiveness and achievement. Intentionally aligning brands through coordinated messages and channels easily results in synergistic and cost-effective marketing to their audience.

Takeaways
Beyond typical measurements of effective marketing, the impact to prospects and customers must be central to all tactics. Coordinating joint benefits to the target market is critical to the relationship. Furthermore, leveraging individual reach and audience must include both partners’ resources. Their storytelling must be coordinated such that all constituencies contribute and benefit from the same narrative. Connective Marketing becomes a significant part of their branding. Besides, who does not want to connect with a group who already demonstrates their ability to deliver more for their partners?

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

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Fail Your Way to Success

Churchill image with V

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” according to Sir Winston Churchill, a masterful statesman. He might as well have been a masterful salesman considering how he convinced supporters and skeptics to accept his solutions for a sustainable Great Britain during World War II! Tenacity, persistence, execution are all sales characteristics that Churchill brought to his national stage. He engaged every interaction with friends and foes alike as if it were his last. Considering the high stakes of international politics, and a world at war, each interaction may have been his last. Not to equate every sales interaction with the future of the free world, the fact remains that his mindset led to his success. Sell like your future depends on it!

Iterate
Every prospect and pitch are not greeted with resounding success. Failure is a heavy burden that all sales professionals must bear. For professionals who dislike the word “fail”, options abound. Don’t fail. Iterate. Create a vocabulary and habit of constant innovation and trial. Approach every prospect with the expectation of success. Bring your best market intelligence and sales pitch. Question insightfully. Then, adjust your reasoning, until a resolution is reached.

When using a strategy of iteration, the process is critical to success. Bring as many tools and tactics to each engagement as possible to ensure success. One pitch should feature several fact gathering questions to reveal prospects’ critical issues. The next interaction should feature sharing market intelligence to reinforce expertise that helps solve targets’ burning issues. To further move prospects closer to a relationship, share endorsements from other satisfied clients. Such level of detail requires preparation and persistence. But, what successful campaign does not?

Advance
Going from failure to failure is indistinguishable from try, try, again. Success is a process. Business development clearly embraces that process, otherwise it would be called business done! Each step, technique, and connection serves the goal of moving closer to generating revenue. Upon encountering resistance or even denial, learn the challenge’s lesson and deploy the increased knowledge toward the next opportunity. Recognize this tactic as advancement toward the desired goal. That goal is business development results.

No statesman wins every debate. No sales professional closes every deal. In all cases, success happens by winning the ones that count! Advance relies on the unyielding desire to win. Setbacks are part of the process. Take resources, relationships, and lessons from each engagement; apply them toward the next success. Advance toward the next and subsequent victories! Successful sales and future growth directly result from building professional skills and knowledge so that solutions and client satisfaction continually improves. Use every interaction as an improvement opportunity that leads to advancement, and then goal achievement.

Takeaways
Trust strategies that emphasize abandoning unsuccessful processes and evolving successful ones. Simultaneously, maintain salvageable intelligence and techniques to be applied toward future success. Iteration proves that successful opportunities remain ahead. Advancement means continuing to progress toward ultimate success. Neither iteration, nor advancement are ultimate goals. Revenue generation is the ultimate goal! Results are the fuel that keeps the statesman and the sales professional going. New threats present new opportunities. Solving those conflicts, winning those skirmishes, achieving results repeatedly sustains successful efforts. Business results demonstrate earned victories. Keep your enthusiasm for results!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director for Hunter And Beyond, LLC

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Engaging Your Audience

Audience Engagement

Once upon a time… is the classic opening to a story. Anticipation builds for a conflict between good and evil. That process is how storytelling works. Unfortunately, in business separating heroes from villains can be very tricky. Resolutions have unforeseen consequences. It’s all fun and games until the animal rights group starts picketing Little Red Riding Hood’s Apparel Shop because her supply chain unfairly abused the wolf. So, she puts on her marketing hood, and quickly determines a communication strategy to maintain customer loyalty. She must figure out what to tell her audience, when to tell them, and how to tell them.

When To Tell?
Early and often is a good communications strategy. Effective marketing quickly moves to correct situations when priorities or events change. Furthermore, effective marketing engages the audience, instead of broadcasts to an audience. Messaging must be bilateral. The marketplace requires a conversation, not a sermon. Optimally, marketing communicates solutions to prospects who are ready to take action. And, prospects act quickly! Aligning promises and execution when customers experience the seller is essential. The widget must work. When it does not, the seller must quickly tell the customer why and when it will work. Bad news travels fast. Great marketing must travel faster!

Clever messages are good for generating trial. To generate new clients, referrals are more effective with memorable messages. Repeat customers generate more revenue as a result of memorable execution. Whether the product requires delivery, or an experience, it must meet growing expectations. Effective marketers consistently deliver on these expanding promises. And, when does that promised experience have to be recreated? It must happen every single time!

How To Tell?
Whether customers align with a product through social media, or by displaying a specific lifestyle, customers want to be part of sellers’ story. A hungry customer wants to eat according to promised expectations. Fast food can be mediocre, but it can never be slow! Likewise, cute shoes better create envy among customers’ peer groups. Clearly, customers want honesty. But, to separate from the competition, sellers must provide memorable transactions. Vivid visual and verbal images tell winning stories that are repeated. Then, customers return.

Presently, prospects and customers want to participate in the marketing and sales experience. Furthermore, they want recognition as part of the brand. Apparel brands continue to become more audacious, because consumers want to be clear in their brand identification. Technology brands are so eager to communicate innovation they no longer count straight. Version nine has become a relic of a landline era. To engage audiences to rush to become customers, anticipating trends means sellers are too late. In apparel and technology, giving customers tools to design the brand’s future creates engagement, and the only shot at customer longevity.

Takeaways
Successful marketing relies strongly on timing and effective channels. Messaging must go out timely to connect with the audience such that the audience is willing and able to receive it. Then, successful vendors listen. Effective marketing engages audiences to take action by purchasing, then contributing to the branding. Winning sellers communicate verbally, technologically, and experientially such that brand storytelling is now a cooperative effort with customers. Engaging an audience is a two-way street connected by trust. Sell to the marketplace accordingly.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

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Delivering Your Brand Daily

Business Delivery Service

“Creating enduring value happens one interaction at a time. One person, one referral, one organization, one community, one interaction at a time!” ~Glenn W Hunter. This quote concludes Day One of my branding seminar. Despite the multitude of branding definitions, this one emphasizes the singularly delivering consistently great customer expectation and execution. Delivering such experiences on a daily basis reflects successful brands, and consequently successful businesses. Storytelling then simply features reporting the facts. Large, small, or in the middle businesses that consistently deliver to their audience ultimately win. They earn the privilege to tell a fundamentally true, great story!

Saying While Absent
According to Jeff Bezos, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Regardless, how much money a business throws at its branding efforts, the marketplace ultimately determines its true success. Either the business delivers honestly, or it does not. Fail to live up to its marketing claims, and the brand immediately defaults to being untrustworthy. Marketers still must craft the image. But, the marketplace will reveal the authenticity of the claims. The truth will emerge!

To articulate a palatable message, operations must demonstrate consistency with the brand’s claims. Authenticity becomes the currency of the marketplace. Customers may be fooled once. However, a business model based on ongoing trickery will ultimately be the butt of the joke. Consequently, as a brand brings its message to the marketplace, consider what the customer will say when they are alone with the product. More than ever, customers share their impressions. Then brands crash and burn once their image no longer can stand to the marketplace’s truth.

Activate Influencers
So, who is really telling the truth? If only effective branding consisted of the great comments that people made. But, brands reflect both positive and negative comments made in the marketplace. Consequently, be intentional about having an audience that willingly makes positive statements. These statements are not the results of payments or arm-twisting. These statements must reflect authenticity. The sentiments must be true! These influencers must demonstrate authenticity for the brand to flourish, or risk their own reputations.

Upon courting influencers, the brand must create a positive experience. And, the best way to guarantee positive experiences for targeted influencers is to deliver a positive experience for all users! Create a positive experience in every single interaction. Accomplish this feat with operational consistency. Grow the accomplishment by sharing positive images and anecdotes that easily circulate. To activate influencers, deliver superior experiences to your audience, then ask them to share their story.

Takeaways
Branding and Storytelling are inextricably linked. They are forever connected. While any vendor can establish a story. It takes listeners that repeat it to create enduring value. Consequently, businesses and professionals needs to develop a story worth telling. Consistent integrity in business interactions is still rare enough to be viewed with distinction. Including other parties in the story is important in building a following that will emotionally invest in a successful brand that keeps its promises. Organizations, their leaders and stakeholders must genuinely and consistently contribute to the message. Fundamentally, “say what you mean and mean what you say” results in a successful enterprise. Effective branding and storytelling simply justify the marketing guys hanging around and helping!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

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Today’s First Call

making-calls

Procrastinate (verb): to grab a cup of coffee, visit with a colleague, read one more blog, review your call sheet, one more time, go to the restroom, rehearse your script…Sentence: No successful sales days begin when professionals procrastinate! Who remembers learning new words with this method? Unsurprisingly, bad habits are learned in a similar fashion. On the other hand, positive results are also achieved by applying proven structures. For example, storytelling communicates practices that become part of successful cultures. Persistence evolves into new habits. Eventually, creating a positive narrative to start the sales day inspires successful sales professionals and positive results. Such results begin with the first call.

Launch
With so many internal, external, technological and administrative distractions, getting to the first call can be tricky. Simply, remove your ego and your emotions, then start. Launch the day with purpose. Rockets do not leave the earth without ignition. Likewise, stratospheric sales results do not start without the initial thrust, the first activity. The first call represents the majority of the energy required to launch. Then, the resulting momentum continues as a result of the initial thrust.

To generate significant sales results, preparation is equally important as execution. If scripts are part of the process, then they must be learned. Proper training on CRM applications must be completed. Prospect lists must be available. Industry-specific intelligence must be utilized. Most importantly, fearlessness must be engaged. Despite the enormous amount of details that fall under these steps, fundamentally success relies on execution in connecting with prospects in order to communicate value to the next customer.

Process
Obviously following the first call, a second call happens. Moving from one opportunity to the next one involves establishing a process. The process is necessary for accurate recordkeeping and preparing for subsequent sales activity. The successful professional benefits from repeated processes to establish a routine. The routine empowers the sales pro to spend more time interacting with the marketplace and less time repeating efforts to gather information. By establishing and trusting the process, successful professionals spend more time producing their most valuable output. Time is spent making sales.

Whether the process is designed by the organization, or left to the devices of the individual, process fidelity is important. It creates consistency in minor tasks to deliver maximum efforts toward the major tasks, which are generating more sales. An essential component of establishing processes is identifying the most value enhancing activities in order to spend the most time with them. While preparing today’s first call is important, maximum sales results are a byproduct of executing processes that communicate with the most future customers.

Takeaway
Business development success is a process. The process features preparation, confidence and action. Then, like any process, success requires that you trust it. If the process proves to be unsuccessful, then modify or replace it. During spare time, research other processes until finding one that appears reasonable, and then implement. Many roads travel to sales success. Engage storytelling around the product or service that converts prospects to customers. Speak directly to their emotional benefits along with practical solutions! Networking internally and externally unearths opportunities to obtain best practices to reveal specific needs. Launch proven processes with confidence and tenacity. Show fidelity to them to generate the desired results. Repeat those last two steps until achieving personal sales goals. Launch now!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

 

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Mastermind Groups, Networking and Niches

Proud to lead

Why is the smartest person in the world not the richest person in the world? If all knowledge and insight resided in one individual, then that solopreneur would manage all of our affairs. Fortunately, groups have demonstrated that knowledge and productivity can be leveraged more effectively through group efforts. Such efforts can deliver exponentially productive results when specifically targeted. However, how can a collection of talented individuals with finite resources maximize their abilities for business gain? What does success look like in this environment?

Benefits
Legendary speaker, Jim Rohn, often proclaimed, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” To maximize personal growth, choose your group wisely! Mastermind groups emerge to maximize the capacity of a specific group of five, or any other quantity. Businesses clearly benefit from cooperative thinking when capital committees convene to make investment decisions. But, what happens when great thinking unites to identify individual opportunities across assorted disciplines? Combining networks, experiences, and insights still yield greater results for the group and each contributing individual.

However, the process requires trust. Trust can only be earned. Common values provide a great launch point. Regarding mastermind groups, their foundation may be community-oriented, faith-based, or social. Networking groups operate similarly. The essential element features individuals’ aligned contributions coordinating to maximize benefits. Successful groups assemble according to a specific schedule for specific purposes. Whether the purpose is influencing the political landscape, identifying investment opportunities, accelerating personal development or exchanging wealth generating opportunities, the input’s sum must be greater than the parts. Accomplishing aggressive, predetermined goals then result from aligned members systematically contributing resources, capital, and relationships toward tangible gains.

Limits
Upon establishing audacious and ambitious goals, what obstacles remain minimizing performance? Whether groups assemble formally, or informally, limits are largely imposed by their communal vision. Essentially, members determine their own limits. Individual groups establish their culture and character. They set their own rules. Intellectual capacity may be limited, but that does not necessarily inhibit progress. Hustle regularly surpasses brilliance. Moral boundaries will undoubtedly influence limits. But, the organization that seizes intellectual, relational, and financial resources are free to maximize their performance. Only then, do they really have to address moral constraints.

Depending on how aggressively the group integrates information, talents and resources, they can build fortunes and favors across communities and industries. Intentional collaboration with aggressive and aligned members negates limits and unearths disproportionate opportunity. The key to success remains fostering a disciplined environment of shared resources and rewards. Identifying and incorporating desirable skills and relationships that contribute to the group is paramount. Embracing and enforcing reciprocity helps. While naked greed can easily be disruptive, deliberate and intelligent investment of social and financial capital is enormously profitable.

Takeaway
Knowing where the group’s individual and communal strengths lie is essential to success. Establish and respect internal boundaries. Recognize each member’s unique skills and connections. Then, understand where group expertise stops. Gathering smart folks together does not guarantee results. However, aggregating like-minded people who cooperatively target specific challenges for personal and professional growth endures! Collaboration leverages strengths. Likewise, dominating niches has tremendous business upside. Cultivate power by intentionally growing a group with aligned expectations and ambitions. Engage individuals that quickly contribute to, then participate in the network. Deliberately, exceed all perceived limits!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

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