Sales Strategy: Chat Summary from 7/13/2010

We’re chatting about Sales this month. We discussed Sales Strategies for small businesses and how to measure the results.

  • We’re on alternate Tuesdays (in the summer) from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on July 27, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
pmohara: Hi all – Pamela from @batchblue here. I’m the moderator of the #sbbuzz chat, so let me know if you have any special requests.
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Hi All – Scott Blitstein, part of the @batchblue customer experience team. Currently air-conditioning-less here in Chicago. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #sbbuzz @CraigElias I share insights on how to get new customers by harnessing Trigger Events #sbbuzz
ginabee: Good evening Everyone! Gina from http://www.writeytidy.com looking forward to once again partaking of the communal wisdom herein. #sbbuzz
stellel: Hellooooooo! I’m Christelle and I’m on the Customer Experience team too. Nice to see everyone this evening! #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Enjoy the extra tweets about #sales and #triggerevents as I attempt to participate in my first #sbbuzz
samuraivt: Hi #sbbuzz, I’m Anthony owner of Samurai Virtual Tours. Servant helping people and the businesses they work for.
lindadessau: Hi all, it’s Linda from the Content Mastery Guide – editor and ghostwriter (intro for #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight we’re kicking off month long discussion of small business sales efforts. Send me any ?s you want included. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q1 Do you have a formal sales strategy? What does it include? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @JenPowter Welcome, Jen! Nice to see you here 🙂 #sbbuzz
batchblue: @JenPowter Hi Jen, welcome! Your program sounds cool! #sbbuzz
JenPowter: @lindadessau Hi Linda – I SO owe you an email…to follow, I promise! #sbbuzz
JenPowter: @batchblue Hi, Great to meet you! #sbbuzz
CraigElias: My strategy is focused on relationships with those who are just like my best customers and those who typically become them #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
MHBoys: we have a 51-step marketing plan that works well when we have the time to follow – changes revolve around verticals and geography #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias Well said! #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Our strategy has been to provide stellar service but we’re looking at formalizing it more. Adding some resources to support. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Every time I think of an answer, I realize I’m talking about marketing versus sales. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q1 Our sales strategy includes a great deal of customer education and service. That & my mom facebooking her friends 🙂 #sbbuzz
MHBoys: @lindadessau how do you separate the effort between sales and marketing in solo or small companies? #sbbuzz
ginabee: @lindadessau That’s a great point – I wonder what the difference *really* is? #sbbuzz
CraigElias: To make #marketing relevant to #sales, make it 1:1 instead of 1:many. It’s amazingly simple and effective #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @MHBoys I’m just starting to piece this together, but marketing is what attracts people to enter into a sales conversation. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau a very blurry line. I think of marketing as the flirting and sales as the actual date. 🙂 #sbbuzz
lindadessau: I like how this article explains it: http://bit.ly/aZQ0iP #sbbuzz
lindadessau: I love the spiritual approach to sales (e.g., @MarkHeartofBiz), but I need more practice/awareness to bring it into the moment. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 from @MHBoys @sbbuzz How does a small business lower the cost of finding new customers? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: What’s occurring to me right now is that I need to have WAY more conversations (practice) than I’m having. #sbbuzz
JenPowter: I think of marketing as cre8ing awareness so people know what I do/what I offer. Sales is when they buy it & become a customer #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Focus on those who are most likely to buy in the short term based upon an #TriggerEvents that make it more important or relevant #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q2 – Creativity. Traditional methods are expensive and not even all that effective today. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz Q2 Finding clients is very inexpensive with social networking tools. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: we have a combo marketing/sales plan and budget – it gets expensive when we work it (especially in labor) … #sbbuzz
JenPowter: Q2: Deliver exceptional value so you’re current customers become your raving fans and help promote you & your biz #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Another favorite strategy of mine is to follow up bounced emails. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: @CraigElias looks like I’ll be learning about #TriggerEvents #sbbuzz
ImAfterdotcom: On Twitter: sbbuzz: Q2 from @MHBoys @sbbuzz How does a small business lower the cost of finding new customers? #sbbuzz http://bit.ly/dseTrP
lindadessau: @CraigElias Tell us more about how you do that, Craig – my latest campaign had quite a few bounces! #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q2: Look at actual costs on ads, events etc. & how it converts. Surprising how much it can cost to acquire new customers. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: You can turn every bounced in email into three or even four #sales opportunities #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #1 If they were a customer follow them, #2 If they weren’t talk to the person who takes their place – they want to change things #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #3 the person who took their place where did they come from? That company also has someone new in the job who want to make changes #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q2 (cont.) I’m reading @jaffejuice ‘s “Flip the Funnel” about creating customer fans, very relevant to this conversation! #sbbuzz
MHBoys: @lindadessau A2 I find more value in vendors and current clients than new clients with social networking tools (might be me). #sbbuzz
mriggen: @lindadessau Indeed, time is a challenge regardless of what you’re doing. Part of the problem (er…opportunity 😉 #sbbuzz
stellel: @mriggen I might need to borrow that book… 😉 #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 I’d also recommend @ducttape‘s Referral Engine. Awesome read. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Another strategy is to get better #referrals. Ask people for referrals to those who just got a job as… insert ideal job title here #sbbuzz
mriggen: @stellel I’ll put it in the @batchhaus library when I’m done – it’s quite good. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @samuraivt Good point. We forget how powerful a good website is. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @mriggen I guess I meant that because most of my marketing efforts are free or low cost, it’s important to measure my ROI of time. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3 Do you have more than one sales channel (ie a product & a service)? How do you expand to new ones? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @MHBoys Referrals sources and collaborators also – though I’ve definitely gotten clients directly. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: To expand sales channels #1 add a service to your product and sell it to your existing customers. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz Q3 Recently I re-branded to make sure all “channels” were housed on the same site. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #2 Keep the product and target customer the same and expand your geography #sbbuzz
JenPowter: Q3: working on creating offerings/products at a number of different price points – great for my business, great for my clients #sbbuzz
elizabethcrouch: Q3 yes & looking for a PR/marketing/publicist person or firm 2 extend reach .. too much time spent on trying *free* channels #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #3 Keep the product and geography the same but find a new market for what you sell. #sbbuzz
JenPowter: Or the reverse +serv 2 prod. RT @CraigElias: 2 expand sales channels add a service 2 ur product & sell it 2 your existing customers. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @samuraivt Totally true re: website. I’m a mentor for an incubator group, that’s one of the first things I tell ’em. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @samuraivt we love Hubspot. Great advice – and very relevant for attracting new customers inexpensively #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #4 Focus on your competition not competitors. A jewelry store who views other jewelry stores as the competition is missing the boat #sbbuzz
MHBoys: @elizabethcrouch good point – at some level when the business grows we’ll have to delegate internally or externally #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Men buy jewelry for special occasions. The other things they buy – chocolates, flowers, perfume etc. are the competition. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @CraigElias This is what we @batchblue refer to as “hugging it out” 🙂 #sbbuzz
samuraivt: @mriggen too many ppl and businesses wanting to get into social media but completely ignoring optimizing their website. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q4 How do you measure your sales results? #sbbuzz
samuraivt: Q3 developing new products we think about corresponding web pages or even new websites and URLs also FB pages. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 I had a great system going with BatchBook SuperTags to track where clients were coming from, but I haven’t been doing it 😦 #sbbuzz
CraigElias: You measure sales results first based upon activity and then based upon results. It’s a mistake to only measure results #sbbuzz
JenPowter: Q4: Can’t wait to hear the answers, need to get better at this #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias What do you mean by measuring sales activity versus results? #sbbuzz
kimpagegluckie: Re: Q3 I have services (consult & classes) – trying to put a product to my service, not the inverse. Growth curve for me! #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Analyze past wins to know which activities lead to winning customers and then do more of these activities. aka #WonSalesAnalysis #sbbuzz
samuraivt: A4 Show me the money. #sbbuzz
kimpagegluckie: Q4 Money is last measure. List growth, web traffic changes, direct questioning, referrals… all midpoint measures of sales process. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias Right, so aren’t you essentially measuring results (i.e., winning customers)? What am I missing? #sbbuzz
tiasparkles: @lindadessau @JenPowter @Elizabethcrouch I hear some bzzz bzzz #sbbuzz in my ears
elizabethcrouch: @CraigElias on Q4: how do you measure, then quantify activity that leads to results #sbbuzz
kimpagegluckie: Q4 Have a target date. Pick 3 time periods from start to then to evaluate how’s it working. If it’s not, tweak or change. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 Measuring sales results is looking at metrics (traffic, trials, usage, conversions, longevity) & spotting the patterns (or holes) #sbbuzz
mriggen: @samuraivt After they show it to you, they can show it to me! #sbbuzz
CraigElias: I am measuring results initially but I’m analyzing which activities lead to results and then focusing on those activities #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q5 What sales efforts/strategies would you like to learn more about?#sbbuzz
samuraivt: A4 sales and marketing isn’t just about #’s, popularity, branding it is about closing sales and making some money. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias I see – yes, looking at all those numbers and metrics will make my head swim – need to put it in context. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Even if you have a sales team on commission a good 5-10% of their total compensation should be based on activities completed #sbbuzz
articlemuse: Linda Dessau: I like how this article explains it: http://bit.ly/aZQ0iP #sbbuzz http://bit.ly/aJ6n5s
lindadessau: @samuraivt Absolutely – stats, etc. don’t mean much if you’re not earning enough to keep your business (and life) going! #sbbuzz
elizabethcrouch: @articlemuse thank you! #sbbuzz
kimpagegluckie: @samuraivt A4 – yes it’s about money, but some focus on money too fast & don’t know to brand, build reputation for longevity $$ #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias Take the action and let the outcome take care of itself 🙂 #sbbuzz
MHBoys: A5 measuring social media impact on sales (but also branding and marketing efforts) #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 Agreed it is not just the numbers – but the stories behind #s. Why the big jump? How to replicate? #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Alas, we have come to the end of our chat. It is now Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: @lindadessau That’s a keeper! You said it better than I did. Lots to be said for being succinct in your messaging #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q5 Interested to see info re: traditional sales now integrating w/social media. Who’s doing it well? Is there a difference? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias Thanks 🙂 It’s been nice having you at our chat – I hope you’ll be back. #sbbuzz
elizabethcrouch: thank you everyone .. this goes so fast! #sbbuzz
JenPowter: Wow – that was fast! Thank you ~ #sbbuzz
pmohara: Thanks to everyone who joined in tonight – great to see some new friends here! #sbbuzz
MHBoys: On-Site Technical Solutions moves business to the Cloud for better & less expensive tech – become a fan at http://budurl.com/3bfp #sbbuzz
kimpagegluckie: @elizabethcrouch Thanks! I just discovered this just and dropped in at the end. So hello. Put it in my calendar. Great group! #sbbuzz
pmohara: I’m Pamela from @batchblue Social CRM and the lady behind the @sbbuzz bee #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Thanks for a great chat everyone, thanks @pmohara for hosting! Please connect with me at Content Mastery Guide http://ht.ly/1Z0o0. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks to everyone for all the great discussion! We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://sbbuzz.biz
elizabethcrouch: @lindadessau is a super succinct writer! Each of you is courageous in biz! #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Thanks all! I’m with @batchblue – we make software for small business and host this chat. Great info tonight! #sbbuzz
CraigElias: I’d love the chance to apply my ‘stuff’,at no-charge, to those who participated. Text or call my cell# +1.403.874.2998 if interested #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @elizabethcrouch Thanks 🙂 #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted each Tuesday night 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!
JenPowter: @andreajlee Hey Andrea!! We just had a little #wtlead reunion #sbbuzz
samuraivt: Goodnight all in #sbbuzz. Pleasure chatting with you all.
kimpagegluckie: That WAS fast. Abt me – I teach part time entrepreneurs how to grow their business no matter how limited their resources (marketing) #sbbuzz
MHBoys: thanks for the RTs @elizabethcrouch @lindadessau @ImAfterdotcom @stellel @sbbuzz @JenPowter #sbbuzz
mriggen: @CraigElias Wow that’s awesome Craig! Will follow up, thanks for offer! #sbbuzz
elizabethcrouch: @CraigElias thank you! let’s all stay connected in thought, word, actions! #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Inspired by @CraigElias – if you sign up for new BatchBook account, use promo “batchfriend” for 30 extra free days! #sbbuzz
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