Why doesn’t telesales work?

It doesn’t work because …
… when you provide a service, people will buy from you when they know and trust you. This is because when you sell a service, you can’t show it to people as you can with a product. You can’t show people what colour it is and how big it is; you can’t compare it to your competitor’s products. Quite often, you’ll be asking clients to pay you before you even start working with them. You’ll be persuading them to invest in you long before you create any results for them.
So this means that before someone buys from you, they need to get to know you and trust that you can deliver what you promise. Can someone build up that level of trust with just a phone call? Can you, or a telesales specialist persuade someone that you or they have never met, to part with their hard earned cash and give it to you? Can you (or they) sell something you can’t see, to someone who might not even be looking for your service?
For service businesses, telesales does not work.

It does work because …
… when you’re selling a product or promoting an event, you have something tangible that people can see and touch. If you’re selling products, you can actually show them to people. You can show them the cover of the book and some of the content. If you’re running an event like a workshop, you can show potential customers the material that you’re going to use. Because the event has a date, people can make decisions about whether or not they are free that day and how much time they want to spend out of their office.
Buying a product or booking a place at an event is transactional – it’s a one off decision and it’s a relatively easy decision to make. It’s not like investing in an ongoing service with monthly payments.

For service businesses selling products and events, telesales does work.

Don’t sell me X, sell me Y

Chantal Cornelius from AppletreeWhat do you really sell? If you’re a Marketing Consultant, do you really sell Marketing Consultancy? Is that what people actually buy from you?

Here’s an exercise you can use to get a fresh look on what you really sell. Ask people at a networking meeting, your clients or your staff for alternatives to what you actually provide. When I did this at a recent event, I said “Don’t sell me Marketing Consultancy, sell me …” and here are some of the suggestions I received:

… new clients

… introductions

… help with developing my community

… more business

… lovely customers.

Get the idea? So if you’re an Accountant, don’t sell me accountancy – sell me financial security. If you’re a catering company, don’t sell me catering – sell me an event that boosts my reputation. If you’re a career coach, don’t sell me career coaching – sell me my dream job!

If you need some suggestions for what you really sell, get in touch and I’ll send you some ideas.

Where is your business going?

Chantal Cornelius from AppletreeWhen you first set out on a journey with a map, you need to know where you are. If you don’t know where you’re starting from, you can’t work out the best route to your destination and you can’t determine how long it’s going to take you to get there.

If you’re putting together a Marketing Plan for your business, the first thing you need to think about is where your business is now. Knowing where you are at the start of this journey will help you plan the best route to your goals. It will also help you set your goals so that you can see the distance you’ve got to travel between where you are now and where you want to be. You might think that you’d like to take on 100 new clients in the next twelve months, charging each one £1000 per day for consulting or coaching. However, if you’ve only got two clients right now and you’re only charging £300 per day, you’ll have a lot of work to do to reach your goal. (If that’s the goal you really want to aim for, that’s great and knowing your starting point will help you plan the most effective way of getting there.)

So what is your business? What resources do you have to deliver what you do to your clients? How long have you been doing what you do and what sort of reputation and experience do you have?

You also need to think about the products and services that you currently provide and be clear on what you offer, to help you decide the best direction to take. Are you delivering what your clients actually want and doing what you really want to do? Is there a demand for what you want to offer or are you doing something you think people might want?

Who are your clients? What sort of people and businesses do you work for? Where are they and why do they need your help?

Finally, what about your competitors? Do you know who your main competitors are and what they do? How much do they charge and what makes you different from them?

There’s a lot for you to think about when you start creating a Marketing Plan for your business, but get really clear on where you are now and it will be easier to decide where to go and how best to get there.

Can you sell from the stage?

Chantal

Can you sell your products and services from the stage? I’m not talking about the theatrical stage or suggesting that you become an actor. This is about selling what you do from giving presentations.

For many years I’ve given presentations at networking groups. At the end, people tell me how much they enjoyed my talk, or how useful they found it. Many people subscribe to my newsletter as a result and sometimes people ask me for a meeting, so that we can talk more about their marketing. But I’ve never really ‘sold’ anything and waiting for people to ask for a meeting can be a bit hit and miss.

All that is about to change! I recently went to a workshop that teaches you to actually sell what you do from the stage, by talking about it. This sort of selling is not the pushy “buy it now before they all run out” sort of selling. It’s not selling where ‘selling’ is a dirty word. It’s about giving people something they need.

The reason that this sort of selling works is because there are two things that you absolutely have to have, if you’re going to do it properly. They are passion and authenticity. Without either, no one will buy what you have to sell.

So are you passionate about what you do? Do you totally love your job and your business? When you’re doing it, are you ‘in the flow’, where you lose track of time? If you have this passion then you can speak about it and sell it from the stage. I’m passionate about helping coaches, consultants and trainers to grow their businesses. I love working with people who want to make a difference through their work and want to build a successful business. I believe that marketing really works, when it’s done properly; that it doesn’t have to cost the earth. I believe that it’s about creating products and services that people want or need rather than selling them something they don’t want or need.

What about authenticity? Can you speak from the real you and tell the truth? When you’re presenting, are you being genuine or are you just trying to impress people? If you don’t tell the truth or set out to impress others, you won’t speak with authenticity and the audience will see straight through you. I could stand in front of an crowd and tell them how great marketing can be for their business, but only if they pay someone else to do all it for them, because the only way to get marketing done properly is to pay an expert. And then people would start throwing things at me! No one would buy anything I tried to sell, because it would be obvious that I didn’t believe what I was saying. And when you don’t believe what you’re saying, you can’t be passionate about it, either.

If you use speaking to sell what you do, are you passionate and authentic? If you are, then take a look at www.ShiftSpeakerTraining.com for the next steps in turning your presentations into profits.

If you don’t yet use speaking to sell what you do, I encourage you to, because it really works. If you’ve never spoken in public before, look for your local Toastmasters group (www.Toastmasters.org) because it’s a great place to learn the basics. And then go to www.ShiftSpeakerTraining.com to find out how to do it profitably!

Watch out for our new website

Chantal

We’re building a brand new website for Appletree, so I thought I’d let you know how we’re doing it and how we do it for clients.

The first thing we did was to ask ourselves lots of questions about how we want our new site to look. We looked other websites that we really like and worked out what we like about them. Our own blog is one site that we like, especially the line of bright apples at the top. While there’s a lot on the page, it’s all balanced, unlike our existing website which has lots of white space at the top and sections that don’t flow together. The apples and our logo don’t go together very well.

We also talked about the structure of our new website – what pages we’re going to include and all the elements we want to show on the home page. These include a sign up form for Scribbles, our email newsletter and sections were we can promote our new products and services. This new site is going to be very dynamic with lots going on and lots of news and fresh resources being added.

Alice took all the notes we made and worked her magic on the first draft of the design – here’s how it looked.

It’s great start – cleaner and more modern that our existing site. However, I’d like the colours of the new site to match the row of apples because they’re much brighter. No more pale green background, please Alice!

We also thought the new home page was a bit busy, so we’re taking the background boxes off the section titles in the columns and changing the text from white to bright green. Below is the next version. Much better!

What do you think of our proposed new website?