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Sales & Marketing

6 Posts authored by: Ebong Eka

It’s always easier to sell your products and services to people who know you than to those who don’t. More important, one of the better ways to increase your client base is to restart the sales conversation with prospects that have been through your sales process before.

I know what you’re thinking: “But what if they said, ‘I’m not interested in doing business with your company?'” That’s a fair question but the wrong one to ask. Better questionsare:

      1. How do I get past prospects interested in doing business with my company?
      2. Has anything changed from our original interaction?

 

Answering those two questions will dictate whether it makes sense to pursue past prospects. We recently helped a small business owner improve their sales process and increase sales by turning their past prospects into clients.

These are the 3 steps to turn past prospects into future clients.

 

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1. Identify why the prospect came to your business originally

Why did the prospect originally call or email your business? People spend money for products and services to solve a problem they have or to get a desired result. Companies that can clearly identify the true need of their clients can easily create predictable revenue. Knowing why your prospects came to you will help with identifying how to approach them again. There was something about your business, solution or messaging that led them to believe you could help them.

 

2. Ask the hard questions

 

Ask yourself and your customer difficult questions. For example, why did your prospect choose another company? Have they found the solution they wanted? What does their ideal situation look like?

 

If you know why people spend money, you can ask the hard questions to solve their problems. Asking prospects important hard questions is uncomfortable but necessary. Your prospects will appreciate your honesty and they will respect your professionalism for sincerely trying to help their business.

3. You need to ‘Follow up’


They say that there’s riches in niches. I say, “There is financial freedom to follow up!” How many times have you wanted to buy something and added time to the equation because you were unsure of the decision to buy? You ask yourself questions like, “Is this product or service good for me or my business?”, “Am I paying too much money?”, “Will this solution work for me because the previous company let me down?” Prospects think the same thing.

 

Following up with your current and past prospects allows you to restart the conversation, answer questions and position yourself as the expert.

So, how should you follow up?

 

Create a sales cadence on following up with them. In other words, how much do you contact them and in what manner? That can be via emails, phone calls, direct mail or a combination of all three. How impressed would you be if a company constantly reached out to you in different ways answering your questions and addressing your needs before you ask them? How many times have you heard of someone who needed your services but forgot you were the expert so they googled someone else?

 

The goal is to be top of mind for your prospects. You want to be the first person they think about when they think of your industry. If people know you, they can buy from you. Your past prospects already know who you are and they came to you for a reason…so remind them how awesome you are at what you do!

 

 

Read next:

Understanding the Sales Cycle: The Top 5 Tips for Prospecting and Closing Sales

5 Tips for How Not to Feel Salesy When Selling

The Five Best Customer Relationship Management Tools to Increase Sales

 

About Ebong Eka

 

Ebong+Eka+Headshot.png

Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a

fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.

 

Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax andmanagement consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.

 

Ebong is also the founder of The $250 Tax Pro, which provides tax preparation and consulting services in the Washington, DC area.

 

Web: www.ebongeka.com or Twitter: @EbongEka.

You can read more articles from Ebong Eka by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Ebong Eka to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Ebong Eka is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Ebong Eka. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.  ©2018 Bank of America Corporation

You don't need to be a natural salesperson to grow sales for your small business, you just need the right strategies. In my experience working with small business owners, video has led to positive results attracting new clients.

 

The goal with video content marketing is to start the conversation with an interested prospect. It's not to make the sale on the first introduction.

 

The key to success is following the right steps even if you are camera shy. It’s important to note, however, that before you turn on the camera, you must first define your audience, identify how they consume information and set the stage for your on-camera entrance as the expert.

 

Here are 5 steps to using video to increase sales.

 

1. Identify Your Ideal Client

 

This may sound obvious but identifying your ideal client makes it easier to also identify their needs, wants and problems. You can also acquire information about your ideal client's key business stats, including  revenue, business size,  industry profile, or the type of product or service offered, among other details. This information is important because you have a better ability for targeting in your advertising and social media marketing efforts.

 

2. Identify Where Your Ideal Client Resides

 

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It's important to identify where your ideal client resides online. In other words, what type of information do they consume and where do they consume it? Thus, the job title of your ideal client matters. For example, if you're the owner of a software company that sells services to chief information officers of consulting companies, there are certain publications, trade organizations, Facebook and LinkedIn groups they spend time with. Additionally, the CIOs may read or study certain information for their industry. Knowing this helps you create valuable content for your prospective client.

 

 

    Related Content: 3 Social Video Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business

 

3. Make a List of Frequently Asked Questions

 

After identifying the ideal client,  craft a list of frequently asked questions. People buy goods and services for two reasons: to get a desired result and/or to solve a problem. The CIO you sell goods and services to is always looking for answers and solutions to his or her company's problems. Creating a list of FAQs highlights you as the expert to solve that problem. More importantly, answering a question your prospect is concerned with before they ask shows you're aware of their challenges. It makes it easier to show your expertise.

 

    Related Content: The Small Business Owner's Guide to Social Media

 

4. Understand the 3 Keys to Video

 

This is the most important part of using video for your marketing and client attraction strategies. I shoot my own videos for LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook and in my experience, lighting, sound and backdrop are overlooked considerations when shooting a video. . Many business owners struggle with video because their lighting is bad, audio is terrible and the backdrop isn't framed correctly. You can quickly and easily shoot your own video with your mobile phone, a tie clip microphone (easily found online)  and use your office or backyard for the backdrop. If you're not skilled with video, you should consider hiring a videographer to help.

 

    Related Content: Q & A: Growing a Social Media Following

 

5. Make Sure Your Video Has Important "Calls to Action"

 

Adding a call to action is one of the easiest, yet most overlooked strategies to selling with video. A call to action is a direct instruction to the viewer to do something you want them to do. For example, on radio or TV ads, a call to action would be "visit our website" or call this 800 number to buy this product.

The difference with your video is that you're not asking your viewers to buy anything, instead you're asking your viewers to contact you, post a comment with a question and/or share your video with a colleague.

 

If you provided important content to a prospective client, your next step is to encourage them to make contact. The call to action guides your viewers to your next steps.

 

A Word of Caution with Video

 

Don't fall in love with the vanity metrics of your videos. Vanity metrics are likes, shares and comments. Vanity metrics don't lead to new clients because if a viewer is interested in your services, they'll call or email you directly based on your call to action. The goal is to present yourself as the expert with the right experience to solve your prospective client's problem. Think of it this way: who you connect with is more important than how many. Wouldn't you be happier if you connected with the CIO of a major company, even though you only had 10 views on your video?

 

About Ebong Eka

 

Ebong+Eka+Headshot.png

Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.

 

Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax and management consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.

 

Ebong is also the founder of The $250 Tax Pro, which provides tax preparation and consulting services in the Washington, DC area.

 

Web: www.ebongeka.com or Twitter: @EbongEka.

You can read more articles from Ebong Eka by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Ebong Eka to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Ebong Eka is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Ebong Eka. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.  ©2018 Bank of America Corporation

Finding new customers and consistently driving sales are invaluable goals for every business owner. In this post, I’ll provide small business owners with advice for developing a predictable client attraction process to prospect more clients and close more sales. Here are five tips to help you on your way:

 

1. Identify your target audience and leverage their contact details

You can identify your target audience by first understanding your market and its challenges. This makes it easier to also identify key decision makers and influencers, who might produce relevant content online. Use sites like LinkedIn to find the contact information for those key decision makers. The more information you have about your audience, the better off you’ll be in building a process that leads to closing more sales.

 

2. Make warm calls63662271_s.jpg

Your initial contact with prospects should always be “warm” – or, preceded by some sort of contact with the potential customer or prospect. One easy path to building a relationship is following your prospects on social media and engaging with select content. In doing so, you can begin to familiarize your target with your company affiliation, your name, or other things you think would interest the prospect.

 

Ensure your communication is professional and not pitchy. Potential clients are often turned off by a direct selling approach. It makes them feel that you only care about selling them your services and products instead of solving their problems. Warm calls build trust.

 

3. Use social proof to establish yourself as an expert in your industry

People listen to experts when deciding who to do business with. Imagine what your closing rate would look like if you were the most sought-after expert in your industry. One of the ways to become a thought leader is to share content illustrating your expertise. For example, establish a blog to showcase your expertise, post articles on other people’s blogs and create content for YouTube and Facebook.

 

There are many free social media platforms to make your ‘voice’ heard in the marketplace. Use them to share your solutions to prospects' problems. Social proof is an exceptional way of inviting leads. Once people identify with you in solving a certain or some problems, they will look for you and buy your services or goods.

 

4. Build trust with clients

Remember the old saying “People do business with those they know, like and trust”? Building trust with your prospect increases the likelihood of closing the sale. One way to build trust is to use a referral. A referral from a source your prospect always trusts transfers a level of that trust to you. 

 

Another way to build trust is to keep your promises to your prospects and clients on the little things. Ensure that you offer value to your clients and you are a person of integrity. Keep your word and deliver beyond customer expectations. When you win the hearts of your clients, they will refer others to you. It also helps to ask for referrals from friends, current clients and family.

 

One of the primary rules in selling is to promise what you can deliver. When prospecting, think of repeat business. No client will come back if their buying experience is bad.

 

5. Sell

Once there is a relationship between you and your prospects, sell yourself well. At this crucial point, introduce your products or services. Ensure the client gets more value than they’ve paid for.

 

When selling, don’t be in a hurry to close the sale. Instead, educate the client with as much information as possible about the product and how that product will solve their most painful problem.

 

Creating a repeatable sales process is the key to increasing your sales. Even if the prospect says “no,” it’s important to understand the real reasons why they are saying “no.” For example, I recently helped a small business owner create a simple sales prospecting process and overcome sales objections that led to them closing a high five-figure sale in less than a week.

 

The wrong sales campaigns can demoralize your sales staff as well as reduce your businesses’ revenue. Having a well-trained and motivated sales team is paramount to growing your business. With the five prospecting and sales tips above, you can steadily increase your sales and grow your business.

 

Related Content:

The Art of the Sale: Tips for closing the deal from master salespeople

5 Tips for How Not to Feel Salesy When Selling

9 Ways to Discover What Your Customers Really Think of Your Business

 

About Ebong EkaEbong+Eka+Headshot.png

Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.

 

Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax and management consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.

 

Ebong is also the founder of The $250 Tax Pro, which provides tax preparation and consulting services in the Washington, DC area.

 

Web: www.ebongeka.com or Twitter: @EbongEka.

You can read more articles from Ebong Eka by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Ebong Eka to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Ebong Eka is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Ebong Eka. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.  ©2017 Bank of America Corporation

Have you ever thought to yourself, I want to sell more products and services, but I don't want to be too salesy? If you're a small business owner, selling your products and services is necessary – especially if you’re the face of the company.

 

The challenge some business owners have is being comfortable selling “on stage” – meaning speaking to potential new clients – without feeling salesy or scammy. Here are five important tips to sell your products and services on stage, in live presentations or online without being overly salesy.

 

1. Identify the problems your ideal client wants to solve

Ask your audience what their greatest challenges are. Why? People buy for one of two reasons: to get a desired result or to solve a problem. If the needs your product or service fulfills are not great enough, your product or service won’t sell. Your customers won’t spend their money with you if they can't see how you will solve their problem.

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2. Give your audience a level of certainty

From the stage, provide the audience with certainty that your product, services or expertise will solve their problem. You can provide certainty by sharing positive experiences with clients, compelling testimonials and favorable results from clients who have benefitted from your products and services.

More on this: 9 Ways to Discover What Your Customers Really Think of Your Business

 

3. What is your unique solution?

What’s your unique solution that can meet your audience’s needs or solve its problems? Explain how your process works to the audience. Show them how easy it is to implement your process with your help. You're walking customers through what working with you will look like and highlighting the results they could get. Remember, you're not selling them anything. You're presenting a problem and showing them a unique solution.

 

4. Why you are the one to solve their problem

Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. There are many individuals, small businesses, products and services vying for attention online and off. What makes you the right person with the right business and the right solution for your clients? While “on stage,” leverage your background, your clients’ success stories, and your unique value proposition to appeal to a prospective client.

 

5. Tell the audience how to get started

Finally, explain to your audience how to get started with you – after your presentation. In my presentations I show prospects the process of what it’s like to work with me – and how to get started. After my presentation, I want a yes or a no. If the answer is yes, then I want to sign that person up right there. If it's on a webinar, I want them to click the link and complete the transaction.

 

You don’t have to use slick sales techniques to sell your products and services. As a business owner, your responsibility is to make sure your audience gets what it needs. If you provide quality solutions that can help enrich and improve their lives, you can ethically sell your products and services on stage – whether in a conference room, webinar or showroom – without feeling too salesy.

 

More helpful articles:

Public Speaking Made Easier

How to Improve Your PowerPoint Presentations

 

About Ebong EkaEbong+Eka+Headshot.png

Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.

 

Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax and management consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.

 

Ebong is also the founder of The $250 Tax Pro, which provides tax preparation and consulting services in the Washington, DC area.

 

Web: www.ebongeka.com or Twitter: @EbongEka.

You can read more articles from Ebong Eka by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Ebong Eka to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Ebong Eka is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Ebong Eka. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.  ©2017 Bank of America Corporation

Ebong Eka

Beware the Nickel & Dimers

Posted by Ebong Eka May 10, 2017

Small business expert Ebong Eka offers tips on how to manage clients attempting to nickel and dime your business.

 

 

If you have questions for Ebong, please scroll down and ask in the comment below. Ebong will do his best to respond.

 

 


 

About Ebong Eka

Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.

 

Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax and management consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.

 

Web: www.ebongeka.com or Twitter: @EbongEka.

You can read more articles from Ebong Eka by clicking here

Entrepreneur and pricing expert Ebong Eka explains why some small business owners forget the most important element of any successful business.

 


If you have questions for Ebong, please scroll down and ask in the comment below.  Ebong will do his best to respond.

 


 

About Ebong Eka

Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.

 

Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax and management consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.

 

Web: www.ebongeka.com or Twitter: @EbongEka.

You can read more articles from Ebong Eka by clicking here

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