Posted July 29, 2017.
A little while ago, after being named by OpenView Labs as one of their Top 25 Sales Influencers – their list of “25 of the most powerful thought leaders in the world of sales management, lead generation, and more” – I wrote an article on 3 relentless trends that are disrupting marketing.
Let's take a look to see how they turned out…
Click here to see the results »
Posted July 18, 2017.
I‘m sure you've noticed that becoming seen as an authority or “go to expert” has become rather fashionable as a marketing strategy. It seems that no matter what new tactic, tool or technique is being promoted, one of the main selling points is always that it will help you become seen as an authority in your field.
Write a book and become seen as an authority in your field. Do guest blog posts and become seen as an authority in your field. Do a podcast and become seen as an authority in your field. Be everywhere on social media and become seen as an authority in your field. Do live video…you get the idea.
Every guru and marketing trainer seems to want to teach you how to become seen as an authority.
Maybe you're a little bit skeptical?
I don't blame you.
The truth is that hundreds of thousands of people write books, yet only a tiny fraction of them are seen as authorities.
Millions of hours are spent on guest blog posts, podcasts and live video and again, very few people who do it are known as authorities.
And “being everywhere” on social media? Even if you had the time, there are countless thousands of other people doing it too – and again, very few of them ever get close to authority status.
Click here to find out what I learned on my journey to authority »
Posted July 12, 2017.
Back in the late 1990s I had one of those “duh” moments.
I was attending a workshop on selling consulting services run by my employer, Gemini Consulting. One of the core lessons from the workshop was the observation that your sales processes should be based on how your buyers buy, not on how you want to sell.
Simple. Obvious. Yet I hadn't thought of it like that at all.
Fast forward to today and that simple observation still applies to sales processes both offline and online.
But does your website really match how your buyers buy? In particular:
- What phases do they go through in their decision-making process?
- What do they look for at each stage?
- Have you made it incredibly easy for them to find what they're looking for on your website at each stage?
From a hard-nosed commercial perspective, you want the visitors to your website to do what you want them to do. But in the real world, they're only going to do what you want them to do if it matches what they want and need to do.
Or to use Zig Ziglar's more positive version, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
In the current frenzy of excitement about designing complex “marketing funnels” to maximise our sales we seem to have lost sight of the fact that your clients have their own objectives. And if your website doesn't help them achieve those objectives then they won't stick around, no matter how clever your funnels are.
So what is it that our clients want when they visit our site?
To find out what clients want and how to give it to them, click here »
Posted July 4, 2017.
That's a bold statement, isn't it? An exaggeration for effect, sure.
But I bet, like me, you've sometimes wondered whether clients really are all that loyal.
Well, now there's hard data to back up our gut feeling. The results don't make for pleasant reading. But they do tell us what really works if you want to grow sales (especially in business-to-business).
But more of that in a second. Let's back up to set the context so this all makes sense.
Last week I headed over to Washington to attend the CEB‘s 2017 Sales & Marketing Thought Leader Roundtable. A rather eclectic bunch of sales and marketing experts sat round as the team from the CEB (I should technically say the CEB, now Gartner) presented the findings from their latest sales and marketing research and we discussed, debated and gave them feedback.
They've done two big studies so far this year. One in sales which I'm going to discuss in this article, and one in marketing (digital marketing through the business-to-business buying cycle) which I'll discuss in an upcoming article.
Now it's worth noting before we jump in that this research is focused on business-to-business – ie marketing and selling your products or services to other businesses. And the research was primarily done with large organisations, both from a buyer and seller perspective.
But what you'll find is that the results are equally applicable whether you work for a big company or run your own little solo business like me.
The CEB research covered many areas. but the findings that jumped out for me, in many ways because they go against so much of what is being preached today, were about the best ways to grow business with your best and biggest clients.
Click here to see what the research said about growing client accounts »
Posted June 14, 2017.
If you've worked in a service business for any length of time you'll know the power that customer testimonials can have in shaping buyer decisions. Especially when the service is expensive, intangible and new to the buyer.
As eConsultancy showed recently, 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision and that results in an average sales uplift of 18% if you use reviews on your site.
And as I showed in my recent article on how to get star ratings to appear in the Google search results, having those reviews visible in the search listings can give you a significant boost in clicks to your site too.
So if that's the case, how come most of us don't use customer reviews and testimonials all that often on our sites?
The truth is that despite knowing how valuable reviews and testimonials can be, most of us don't have anywhere near as many really strong ones as we'd like.
In this article, I'm going to show you how to get more customer reviews and testimonials by following a few simple steps. So let's get going…
Click here to find out how to get more customer reviews and testimonials »
Posted June 14, 2017.
Today's podcast is a great follow-on from my recent article on the first steps to becoming an Authority where I highlighted that the first step is to understand your ideal clients and what they care about.
In the podcast, I talk to copywriter Chris Laub about the steps he follows when he's researching a market. And in particular how he does 1-1 interviews to build deep insight into potential clients.
In the podcast Chris shows you when research works well and when it doesn't, what sort of questions to ask to get beneath the surface and find real insights, and what pitfalls to avoid when doing research.
Click here to listen to the podcast »
Posted June 6, 2017.
There's no doubt in my mind (and my experience) that being seen as an authority in your field is the best way for people in expert businesses like consultants, coaches, trainers and other professionals to win more high-paying clients without having to become marketing geniuses or spend all their time on sales.
But of course, becoming seen as an authority is easier said than done.
Late last year I ran a survey asking what your biggest challenge in the area of building authority was. There were a huge number of answers which I then used to help me shape my Authority Breakthrough Program. But overall, three big challenges came out well ahead of the others:
Read about the challenges and how to address the biggest one »
Posted May 2, 2017.
Probably the question I get the most emails on is some variant of “what's the best X?”.
What's the best email marketing system? What's the best landing page builder? What's the best shopping cart?
And, of course, there's no one right answer for everyone. What suits a full-time online marketer with a team behind them isn't the same as what suits a small solo business with limited time to do their marketing in. And personal preferences play a role too.
But what I can tell you about are the tools I personally use. These are the ones that I've tested and I feel are the best to help me run my online business. They might well be a good fit for you too.
Click here for details of the tools I use to run my online business »
Posted February 28, 2017.
Brent Adamson of the CEB is back :)
You may remember my podcast with Brent from a few weeks ago where we looked at his research into the “Challenger Customer” and its implications for selling high-value products and services.
You might also remember that we touched on the concept of “Commercial Insight”. It's perhaps the most effective method for individuals and firms to both differentiate themselves vs competitors and motivate their potential clients to take action.
So I got Brent back for a second interview to dive into more details on Commercial Insight.
In the interview we talk about:
- What Commercial Insight is.
- Why traditional “thought leadership” doesn't work and the missing component you need.
- How to develop your own Commercial Insight for your products and services.
- How to communicate your Commercial Insight in a way that spurs potential clients to action, rather than causing them to reject or react against your new ideas
Click here to listen to the podcast »
Posted January 25, 2017.
Ever done a Google search and noticed that some sites have star ratings next to their listings, while most don't?
If a site is showing up as 4 or 5-star, it's going to get more clicks than sites with no stars at all. And people visiting the site are going to be going there with a good impression before they even land on the site.
And although Google don't release details of their algorithm, many SEO experts believe that having good star ratings and reviews can help you move up the search results. If nothing else, because people are more likely to click to your site because of the star ratings that higher clickthrough rate will move you up the listings over time.
I've found that since implementing this I've gone up in the search results a couple of places for some of my main page 1 keywords.
As it turns out, despite the fact that hardly any sites have star rating in their search listings, it's pretty easy to make happen. It's fiddly, as you'll see, but relatively easy.
I implemented some simple changes to my site and within 4 days I had star ratings next to my site for searches for my name, and the next day the star ratings were there for other important keyword searches for me as you can see below.
So how do you get star ratings to show up?
Click here to find out how…