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Thursday, 15 December 2016

MM Tip #11 - Do you hate Sales?

Are you watching your monthly sales getting deeper and deeper into the red?

Are you thinking that you need to "get yourself a good salesman"?

Did you know that the moment you signed your name on the dotted line to start your own business, you became your own best salesman? Are you?

When I worked as a business consultant with a local college a few years ago, my job was to work with 32 different businesses each year in their 10 month program, helping the businesses in that program implement the program into their own businesses. It was my job to visit with each of these 32 businesses each month to help them implement the things they were learning that month into their own business.

But how was I going to help these businesses unless I knew where their bottom line was?

To my dismay, I discovered that 85% of these small businesses were technically bankrupt. (This actually matches the Statistics Canada numbers.)

The question that arose time after time was, "Are you in sales?"

When I asked that question, I would receive answers like, "I'm in transmission repairs." or "I'm a designer." or "I grow poinsettias." Nobody would say that they were actually in sales.

Guess what! Each and every one of us whether we are in business or not, is in sales. From the time we are born, we learn how to sell. We become masters at it through our formative years and into adulthood.

We are in sales every waking minute of every day of our lives. We are selling ourselves to our families, our spouses, our relatives, our neighbours, our teachers, our friends, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker...

By the time we are adults, we are masters of sales.

So, do you like sales?

Why is it that as soon as we hear that we might have some remote connection to sales in our business, that we suddenly freeze up not know what to say? Why can't we just pick up and speak with energy and enthusiasm about our product or service? Why do we have a challenge with targeting people's pain? Why do we not see how we can help them through their eyes?

How many sales have you missed because you were afraid to ask for the order? You were afraid of how to form the phrasing to close the sale? Were you so afraid of losing the sale that you could not form the words to ask?

Remember that you are a born salesman, so this should be a "piece of cake" for you.

Just because you now have a business does not mean that you have suddenly become everyone's enemy to sales. Why is it that as soon as we have a business, we suddenly feel like we are stuck and have to relearn how to sell?

Follow these two rules of sales success:

1. The questions are the answer.

Ask questions to find out exactly what it is that your customer is looking for and how you can help them.

2. Practice, practice, practice.

Read books about how to ask for the sale and practice. Horses and pets are very good listeners...so are stuffed animals. I have pitched to all of the above.

Would you like to keep on struggling with your sales online or learn how to do it online in my MM 303 - Putting it all together on 15-30 minutes a day? Putting it all Together 

Catch the EarlyBird by reserving before midnight the 3rd Friday of the month.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress


MM Tip # 9 - 5 Keys to the hard truth about online marketing?

Are you wondering if it is worth your while to market business online?

Have you been online for a while and not made any money with any of the platforms?

Just what is the big secret to online marketing? Does anyone have the "golden key"?

Most of the time what I see regarding online marketing, is that people get on and try it for a week or two... maybe even a few months, and when they do not make a sale, they say it does not work, quit and move on to try something else.

You are your own best salesperson. Nobody else can do it for you. You and only you can speak for yourself and your business the way you need to because only you have your own unique style.

Are you afraid of failing? Are you afraid of winning?

If you are stuck in a rut with a job, you are going paycheck to paycheck and your boss dictates where you can live and what you can buy. You are putting fur coats on your boss's wife's back. Is that what you want? -Or do you see yourself in greater things?

If you really want to make your online marketing work, Get a coach! Get some training, and practice, practice, practice.

Remember "Rome was not built in a day".

There are some key elements to making online marketing work.

1. Get started.

If you have been sitting on the fence trying to decide when to get going or waiting for the perfect time when all the "ducks are in a row", think again. That will NEVER happen! So just dig in and get your "hands dirty".

2. Have a plan.

Sometimes we can get far too intricate with the details of what we need to do to get our online business rolling. Keep it simple.

3. Stick to the plan.

When you get stumped or run into a roadblock, remember that it won't last forever and you have not yet acquired the skills to rise above that particular challenge. Keep persevering, and you will overcome that challenge.

4. Keep on Keeping on for at least a year.

Stick with your online marketing plan for at least a year. Use steady daily routines that help you to keep on top of your plan by establishing daily habits that keep you on track. Just starting your online marketing system and then visiting it occasionally will take 5+ years instead of one year...because when you slack off, your rank drops dramatically in the search engines, and you are basically starting all over again when you finally revisit your system to tweak. You MUST stick to a daily regimen for 1 year.

Remember that posting once a day will never work. You need to be posting at least 5 times a day!

Yes! You heard me correctly!

If you are not making any money online or offline, look at your daily routines. If you are not on a regular daily routine of essential tasks to build your online marketing business, you will NEVER be successful.

5. Be ready and willing to help.

When you get clients as a result of your online marketing, what do you do with them? Do you sell them your package or widget and then never connect with them again? I hope not. I hope that you have a regular follow-up routine that keeps them in the loop of the latest and greatest innovations and ideas to help them further with their own marketing systems online.

Remember that it is not all about yourself; it is all about how many people you can help.

If you leave any one of these 5 things out of your online marketing strategy, you will be sorely disappointed.

Remember that you can always catch one of my webinars to help you. The one that helps you put all your marketing together and get it running on autopilot is MM 303 - Putting it all together on 15-30 minutes a day. Putting it all Together Catch the EarlyBird by reserving before midnight December 16th.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress


MM Tip #10 - Business Etiquette 101 - Since When are You Late for an Appointment?!

Have you ever been stood up for an appointment and left sitting and waiting?

I am sure that we all have.

Just what is the etiquette here? How long should you wait for someone to show up before you leave? Should you give them a phone call? What should you do?

This happened to me this week. Understand that I always enter my appointments in my manual daytimer and my online calendar, so as not to make any mistakes.

I had an appointment scheduled with someone first thing in the morning. I live an hour away from where we had scheduled to meet. So naturally arose early to make sure I would be on time. I arrived right on schedule and sat down to order my mint tea.

Half an hour later, I began to wonder what was happening with my appointment? He still had not shown up, so I phoned him. He was at work and seemed totally oblivious that we even had an appointment at all. I was shocked to say the least! Then he had the audacity to say that I should drive another half hour over to meet him.

First, he stood me up and second he has the nerve to suggest that I drive over to meet him. Well you can only guess what happened next.

Yup! He got written off.

For one thing, I already had another appointment scheduled in the same location immediately after our first meeting, and then was scheduled for the rest of the day until 9pm that evening.

Know what he had the audacity to say? "You should meet people at your inconvenience and my convenience." I already had done that! Duh!

I guess you can tell I am a little hot under the collar over this, but if someone is in business and they want to make a great first impression, here is what should happen according to the "Book of Christine".

1. Schedule the appointment and mark it in your calendar.

2. Confirm the day before.

3. Show up 5 minutes early.

4. If you are not going to show up, at least have the courtesy make a call to let the person you are to meet, know.

5. Wait 15 minutes and if the person you were to meet does not show up or call you to let you know they have been delayed, get up and walk away. Then leave any follow-up, up to them. If they do not call you, they were not going to be a good customer anyway.

If we are adults and serious about our business, then we should take responsibility for our own appointments and not wait for someone to remind us. Isn't it refreshing when they call to confirm with us first!

Am I right, or Am I right?

What are your thoughts on this subject? I would love to hear.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress


Friday, 9 December 2016

LinkedIn Tip #78 - How do I keep my competition from viewing my connections?

Are you afraid that your competition will steal your clients from you?

Are you appearing as a witness in court and do not want any of your connections to interfere with your credibility? What if someone views your profile and sees who you are connected to?

Then you will want to hide your connections from view. But how does one do this?

Have you searched through all the buttons and tabs on every page of LinkedIn and still come up empty?

Here's what you can do!

Go to your tiny icon of your headshot in the top right corner of your profile. Hover your mouse over the tiny headshot and you will see a drop-down menu appear.

Scroll down the drop-down menu to "Privacy and Settings" and click on that. You will then see what I refer to as your "back office"  for LinkedIn.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find "Go to previous version of settings". Click on that phrase.

LinkedIn will ask you to sign in again, so you will need your email and password for your LinkedIn handy.

Once inside, you will see four tabs on the left side of the page. Click on "Select who can see your connections" located under the "Privacy" tab. It is the fourth item down under the "Privacy Controls" column.

Click on the words " Select who can see your connections". Your choices are "Only You" or "Your Connections". Select "Only You".

Now you know how to hide your connections from your competition. Well most of your competition. The only ones who will be able to see your connections will be people who share your first connections, or have endorsed, or recommended you. 

Thanks to Sid Clark for helping me clarify exactly how this setting works.

Personally, I have never worried about who views my connections. If I have been doing my job right, my connections will be loyal to me. It is all about building strong relationships with your LinkedIn network. People still like to do business with those they know, like and trust.

Do you have a question about LinkedIn that has been puzzling you? Send me an email: marketingmentress@gmail.com.

Like I have said before, it is not all about me. It is about how many people I can help.

Make it a great day!

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress


Monday, 5 December 2016

LinkedIn Tip # 77 - 3 More Tips on How to Get Your Articles Liked and Shared on the Pulse.

So your hard work is not being read, liked and shared on LinkedIn?

Why is that?

1. You post your article or blog only one time.

Just to be clear, you only publish each article on the Pulse one time. When you publish through the Home Page, your post is also automatically posted on your Profile Page. It remains there for eternity unless you remove it.

What I am speaking about here is to repost your article/blog on your Home Page Updates, NOT to republish on the Pulse.

The Pulse is continually moving. That's why it is called the Pulse. So if your post goes out at 8:00am, by 10:00am it is long gone and people who check LinkedIn will miss your post completely ... let alone if anyone checks it after 10:00am. So your post will only be seen by people who check their LinkedIn feed right around the time of posting.

When your post goes out one time at 8am, on November 10th for example, two hours or more after that, your post will never be seen on your main feed.

So here is how you get around this dilemma.

Use an auto-posting platform (I prefer SproutSocial.com) and schedule your post to go out on a different day of the week and different time of day, once a month, six months ahead. (December 10th at 10:00am, January 10th at 2:00pm, February 10th at 4:00pm, and so on) When you choose the same date each month, it automatically becomes a different day of the week as you move through the months.

Remember that people check their messages at different times of day, so only one posting for each of your blogs will be seen one time by only a few of your followers.

Then there are all the people that are not connected to you now. They have never seen your post.

2. Share your post with multiple groups.

On LinkedIn, you can join up to 100 groups now.

Join groups that contain your ideal customers and start sharing your posts with them. Use the link you get from your published article on LinkedIn. When you do this, it will automatically take your readers to your Profile Page.

3. Educate and Inform your audience.

People like to be educated and informed ... and entertained just a tad.

Make your articles engaging through educating and informing.

No preaching or pitching with every article you publish. Here is where you engage the "Rule of 10 Posts" (Wayne Breibarth). Of the 4 posts you write yourself, only one is a pitch. Check out my article When Do I Pitch?.

You are using your writing to build trust. When we pitch or preach too much, people are repulsed and will turn you off. They will do the unthinkable and "DELETE" your precious work from their feeds.

If we want to be liked, we need to be engaging.

All this said, publishing on LinkedIn is and will always be a work in progress. We need to be continually practicing and trying new ideas and finding ways to entice our audience to read, like and share our "stuff".

There isn't only one single "be all- end all" to publishing on LinkedIn.

Keep trying and when you find something that works for you, keep it up.

It is not all about me. It is about how many people I can help.

Give me a shout for your complimentary 15 minute consultation. marketingmentress@gmail.com

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress





LinkedIn Tip #76 - One More Reason People Don't Read Your Posts

Still wondering why you are not receiving more "Likes" on your LinkedIn posts?

Every time we write an article/blog post and publish it, it is yet another experiment in finding our target audience, enticing them to read our material, "Like" it and "Share" it with their own networks.

How can we ensure that our network is reading our work?

Here is what I've discovered.

It is all about the Search Engines.

I hate to have to break this to you, but... when you publish anything online, you first need to get the search engines to find it. It is all about SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

UGH! You say. Well that is just the way it is and if you want to have people read your stuff, there are some rules about the search engines.

Here is a simple trick.

When you are going to write an article, think about what people will "Google" if they do not know your name or your business. Write down all those words. Then use "Google Adwords" and find some more words. You can also use Google to check for key words in the websites of your competition.

Use these "keywords" in your posts.

Make sure that you have used these same keywords in your own website as well.

Then set up a blog site on Blogger. The reason for this is because Blogger is owned by Google, the most powerful search engine on the "net". Their search engines will search through everything on their platforms first. Then when you publish on Blogger, it also instantly invites you to share your blog on Google +. Google+ is of course also owned by Google. So more exposure to their search engines.

After you publish on your Blogger site, wait at least 24 hours before you publish on the LinkedIn Pulse. Why? Because you want the search engines to have time to find your blog on their platform first. Then they will find it more readily on other platforms. If you have never published before, it would be a good idea to wait 36-48 hours.

This is what I have personally discovered through my own blogging.

It is not about how many books you have published or how many articles you have written. If nobody is reading and liking your work, one of these previous links is missing.

Try implementing these steps and you will notice a definite improvement in your readership. (Likes and shares).

For more ideas on improving your readership and posting on LinkedIn...and a complimentary 15 minute session with me, let's chat. marketingmentress@gmail.com

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress
Twitter

LinkedIn Tip #75 - 3 Keys to Getting Your Posts Liked!

Are you wondering why you do not have more people reading your Pulse posts?

Often I read posts by my LinkedIn friends and see how they are not getting very many people to read and like their labours. It can be discouraging to say the least. It leaves you wondering if you are a good writer? Perhaps you even stop posting your articles all together.

There could be multiple reasons this is happening to you...and you are not the only one this is happening to.

So here they are, the LinkedIn Pulse according to Christine!

1. You are writing about topics that you are interested in and not your audience.
It is vitally important to publish things that you know are answering questions your audience has. A rule of thumb I always use is "What is keeping my ideal client awake at 2am?" Then try to remember questions you receive on a regular basis from your clients.

2. Your blog titles are not engaging.
Here too try to think what your ideal customer's pain is. What will make them "click"? Use questions, incomplete sentences and sequences of steps in your title. People like to know that there are some key things they can do to accomplish ... whatever. When we use an incomplete sentence, it raises the question "what's next?" and people instinctively click. Asking questions engages us and makes us want to answer back.

3. Your article is waaayyy toooo long!
In this day of "bing, microwave oven", we have become so accustomed to only waiting 3 seconds and there is our answer online. Or we watch a television episode where a major life challenge is solved in 1 hour or less.

With the speed of the internet and rapid answers at our fingertips every minute of the day, we have a lot of information coming at us constantly. Most people will only read the first paragraph, and if they see that the article is longer than 500 words, they will not read it.

Personally, I try to keep my articles under the 500 word mark. This is long enough to get a point across and yet short enough to be engaging.

To keep your articles under 500 words, I have  written this topic in several segments. Watch for LinkedIn Tip # 76 - One More Reason People Don't Read Your Posts.

Enjoy!

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

MM Tip #7 - Are you riding on your "Laurels"?

You have worked hard to get your customers ... and now what?

Did you remember to say, "Thank you"?

And how do you thank your customers in this day of online systems and make it memorable?

It has been my observation that this is not something new. After sales service has always been something that is "last minute" at best. Few companies have a system in place to conscientiously thank their customers for their business.

Some give a gift certificate; some verbally thank their customers; some send an email; but mostly businesses just forget to thank their customers all together.

Perhaps they are forgetting "on which side their bread is buttered?" They are in business because of customers who seek them out to use their products and services. Do they remember that?

I had the privilege of working in sales and marketing for a prominent furnace company a few years ago. It was my responsibility to help the company get business.

Shortly after I started working there, I discovered that they had a database of over 30,000! Yes, you read that correctly.

There was a definite disconnect between these past customers and processes within the organization. After inquiring as to what their process of follow-up was, I discovered that little was done at all, if anything...and they were constantly looking for new business.

I was in shock!

While there, I implemented a follow-up system.

1. We sent a thank-you email immediately after the service.

2. Within 24 hours one of our staff members phoned each customer to make sure everything was good with the customer and their furnace was running well.

3. A monthly newsletter was sent out to all the entire mailing list.

4. A database kept track of when next furnace servicing was due and 30 days before that due date, a special letter was physically mailed to the clients reminding them that it was time to schedule their next annual service. They were offered a special discount for being loyal customers.

5. If the customers did not book their service, the following month, they received another physical letter offering them more services in the package for slightly more money, but the package was worth a lot more. There were some considerable savings with this package.

6. The month that the client's furnace system was due for service, they received a phone call reminding them that their furnace was due for its annual servicing and verbally offered another special. This offer was even more money, but there were even more services offered in the package for considerably more savings.

Ninety-five percent of the 30,000 existing customers rebooked their servicing appointments by the third reminder.

It was my responsibility to make the follow-up calls after the servicing and I was still receiving thank you responses on my phone and referrals for the company a year after I had left the company.

People really need that physical connection.

With all the digital this and online that today, many of us feel a big black hole in our lives. We miss the smile on someone's face and the musical words, "Thank you for shopping with us."

Tell me, how do you feel about your customer follow-up service these days?

How would you suggest businesses improve on customer "Thank you's" today?

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress






Monday, 21 November 2016

MM Tip #6 - Why do you need a mentor?

A wise mentor suggested that I could share more statistics regarding my online marketing system.

He has inspired me to share.

All too often we fail to track our progress with our marketing. When we speak in generalities, people naturally wonder if there is any substance to what we are claiming.

Isn't that the truth!

I am so thankful for great business associates and mentors who are much more experienced and wiser than myself in many ways, not only with LinkedIn.

If it were not for wonderful coaches and mentors, I would never have achieved the results I have today with LinkedIn.

Along the way, I have met others who have accomplished great sales results using LinkedIn as well. In fact, there are videos on YouTube.com about how Microsoft has eliminated cold calling and replaced it with Sales Navigator on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has been diligent in gathering many statistics and analysing them to determine how to rank members using their platform. One only has to Google for these stats.

As for myself, I humbly own an SSI (Social Selling Index) of 89-90 out of 100. It fluctuates from day to day. What this means is that many of my online connections are now coming to me to ask for coaching services on LinkedIn.

There are 4 key areas that LinkedIn includes in determining your SSI.
1. Establish your professional brand. (25/25)
2. Find the right people. (21/25)
3. Engage with insights. (18.57/25)
4. Build relationships. (25/25)

"Your SSI measures how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging them with insights, and building relationships. It is updated daily." LinkedIn Quote

Social Selling Index also gives you insights on how to improve your social selling.

The unfortunate challenge I find with coaching people on LinkedIn is that most of them want the knowledge, but fail to get on the platform on a daily basis or to use auto-posting platforms to help them maximize their brand presence.

Just one post a week will never be seen. One post a day still will not be noticed. The goal is to work up to 5 posts a day on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

You cannot build the presence or the relationships without being on the platform at least once a day to interact with people who respond to your posts.

What are the challenges you are having with LinkedIn?

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress