Get More Customers – Management Tips 4 of 4

So you’ve got hundreds or thousands of people looking at what you have to offer. What now? While generating sales leads is definitely the first step, the leads you get are worthless until you learn to convert them to customers.

It’s time to complete the cycle with five proven methods to increase the number of leads that turn into paying customers.

1. Build Personal Relationships

In today’s fast paced, high tech world, it’s easy to think that sales and marketing have changed from being people to becoming big faceless corporations. Well the simple fact is that people still buy from people.

Think about it. Have you ever walked out of a store because the sales staff was obviously more interested in chatting with their friends then seeing what they could do to help? Have you ever dealt with a rude customer service representative who told you that everything was your fault and they couldn’t do anything about it? Have you ever decided not to deal with a company because the people are not very nice? We all do it.

Companies have come up with all kinds of ways to get people to check out their product or service, but if the people you meet when you walk in are unfriendly or unhelpful the sale never gets made. The people who deal directly with customers need to be friendly, helpful, and take an interest in the real lives of every potential customer who comes in.

Work on making the interaction between sales people and new customers personal and friendly. More than anything else, people buy from people they like.

2. Better Company Image

Never underestimate the power of a trusted brand. When all else fails we tend to go with the names we know and trust. If your company has a trusted image, then the products or services you offer inherit that same trust. Have you ever shied away from what looked like a good deal because it was coming from a company you’d never heard of? I know I have.

So how do you build a better company image? Well there’s a lot to it, but one of the basic elements is familiarity. Familiarity breeds trust. People are naturally wary of things they don’t recognize. So get your name out there, sponsor community events and keep doing it.

Building a strong company image takes time so don’t expect this to happen overnight, but there’s a reason big companies do it. Then next time you watch a commercial for a big company watch for the product promotion. Many times you won’t see it at all; all you’ll get is a feel good message about the company. There’s a good reason they do that.

3. Better Products & Services

Improving your product or service to help the people you are trying to help can increase your sales conversion dramatically. Most big companies spend about 10% of their revenue on introducing new and improved products.

In many of today’s fast paced markets constant improvement is a must. The secret is to pick a specific target market niche, and focus your improvements on that market. If you try to satisfy everyone with your next big improvement you will end up satisfying no one.

4. Targeted Communication of the Value

The more focused a company is on its target customer the more likely they are to succeed. Instead of trying to satisfy everyone, choose a specific market and focus on it; even if your product or service is also a great fit for other markets.

In the early sixties Coca-Cola was outselling Pepsi-Cola by approximately 5 to 1. That was until Pepsi decided to stop trying to sell Pepsi to everyone and decided to focus all of its marketing efforts on the teenage market. They launched the choice of a new generation and hired teen icons like Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. The result was that in one generation Pepsi went from being outsold 5 to 1, to being only 10% behind Coca-Cola in sales.

More companies have failed by trying to reach too broad of a market than have failed trying to reach too narrow a market. A good measure of whether your chosen niche is too large is to consider whether it is reasonable to expect that 80% of the people in your niche will have heard of you in the next 12 months. If that’s not achievable then you should consider narrowing your niche. Chose you niche and focus on it.

5. Better Follow Up

Most people don’t buy anything as a result of the first contact. It takes time to build the value of a new thing up in our minds to the point that we are willing to open up our wallets. On average you have to contact a person between 3 and 7 times to get a sale, even if you are selling something that person is looking for.

When you follow up, don’t push for a sale. Just ask if they got the initial information, and ask if they have any questions you could help them with. If the offer is something the person would consider, then they appreciate the help in a friendly relaxed way. If it’s not something they are looking for right now, it’s a long shot that you are going to convince them they need it. Your objective is to follow up enough that people who are looking for the kind of help you have to offer will think of you first when they decide to buy. People who don’t need what you have won’t buy; don’t waste your efforts there. Keep your offer on their mind for a while, and the people who need it will respond.

Summary

There is definitely a lot to say about converting leads into customers, but these five management tips should get you thinking along the right lines. Build your personal relationships. Build a trusted and familiar company image. Continually invest in improving your products and services. Target your advertising to a specific group of people. Follow up to keep your offer in the minds of the people who can benefit from what you have to offer.

Internet Marketing Management – Three Secrets to Igniting Your SEO Return on Investment

As I’ve said before, put at its simplest, a good Internet Marketing management strategy is going to make it easy for the people who want what you have to find you.

Like most professionals with a web presence, you likely recognize the value of search engine optimization. After all, who’d turn down organic, highly-targeted web traffic?

So you know where you want to end up on the SEO front. But where does one start?

Secret #1: Keyword Research

Once you’ve nailed down your basic strategy, Internet Marketing management begins with keyword research.

You want to uncover keyword phrases which:

  • are relevant to your product or service
  • generate sufficient traffic to make optimizing for them worthwhile, and
  • have relatively light competition

To generate a list of potential keywords, start by putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What words would you use if you were the one searching?

Play around with these phrases a bit. If you add a geographic reference (e.g., ballet classes in Baltimore), how does that affect the level of search engine traffic and competition? What about if you add a gender reference (e.g., ballet classes for girls) or skill level (ballet for beginners, or beginner ballet classes)?

Narrow your choices down to four or five keyword phrases to start.

Secret #2 – On-Page SEO

It will come as no surprise that once you’ve selected your keyword phrases, you need to make sure that you’re including these phrases in your website content.

Remember to write for people first, and search engines second. In other words, when you weave your keyword phrases into your content, you need to do this in such a way that your writing makes sense to the people reading it.

You may find it easiest to limit yourself to one keyword phrase per page when you’re starting out.

Be sure to include your keyword phrase in your first paragraph; your last paragraph; and one to four times in the middle, depending on the length of your page.

But don’t stop there! There are several other places you can incorporate your keywords, such as:

  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • H1 headline (but remember, it must make sense to the reader!)
  • alt-image tag, if you have an image on the page
  • Page URL
  • and more…

Secret #3 – Link Building

Google loves to see relevant, one-way links going back to your website. You can do much to generate these links, so don’t leave this Internet Marketing management traffic-builder on the table!

For instance, taking the earlier example of dance, let’s say a studio owner wants to create a series of videos with ballet tips. She could start by optimizing her videos with keywords.

To show you how this might look, see below:

Fictional Case Example: Madame Fifi’s School of Ballet
Keyword Phrase: Ballet for Beginners

Video Title: Ballet for Beginners – How To Develop Gorgeous Ballerina Posture

Video Description: www. madamefifisballet. com Discover how easily you can start to develop the beautiful posture of a prima ballerina with this fun, ballet for beginners warm-up routine. Check out other great tips at MadameFifisBallet.com

Perhaps Madame Fifi will choose to embed this video in a blog post (remember that blog categories and tags can use keywords, too!). She then publicizes the blog post to her social media followers and friends and submits it to three social bookmarking sites. Just by doing this, Madame Fifi has created multiple relevant, one-way links back to her web presence!

So there you have three secrets to Internet Marketing management bliss. To recap, start with keyword research. Use those phrases to optimize your website or blog for the search engines. Finally, craft a link-building strategy to increase search engine listings and ranking and to create conduits for targeted traffic.

10 Essential Time Management Tips For Small Businesses

When you’re a small business owner, there isn’t a minute to spare! You no doubt have a long list of things to do and not enough time to do them all. You have to decide how many employees to hire (and then manage these employees), market your business, and a million other little details. This is why it is so important to make the most of the time you have, by managing your time efficiently.

You’ve no doubt read article after article full of time management tips in an attempt to get a handle on that to-do list and to make the most of your day so you can make your business a success! Not every tip is suited for every business owner; some tips might work for you but not for someone else. With some trial and error you can find tips that will work for you.

Here are 10 essential time management tips for small businesses. Pick a few and try them out!

1. Tracking your time is the first step toward time management. Doing this allows you to optimize the time utilized for each task and avoid the incredible time wasters that you face each day.

To do this, you don’t need fancy software or the latest smartphone. Simply carry a notebook around and write down all of your activities that occupy your time every day.

Try this for about a week. Jot down what you do and how long it takes you to do it. Are you spending half an hour making small talk with a supplier? Is your office so unorganized that it takes you half an hour to find that file that you just had? This time can really add up, and before you know it the day is over.Writing down how you spend your time helps you to see where your time goes and what changes you need to make to manage your time better.

2. Before doing anything, first thing in the morning, take the time to plan your day out. Assign a time period for everything – one hour for returning phone calls, 30 minutes to check email, etc. But don’t pack your schedule too tightly, because that’s just asking for failure. Make sure to plan your day with extra time assigned to each task (say, adding 10 minutes to each task to allow for interruptions).

3. Don’t be afraid to put up a “do not disturb” sign on your door for some time each day. “Do not disturb” also applies to your phone and email – turn both off to ensure that you can work without interruption. And, it applies to perusing the Internet and social media and other distractions – make sure that Facebook is off during the business day!

4. Along those lines, don’t feel like you have to return phone calls and answer emails right away. Include time in your daily schedule for these tasks.

5. Multi-tasking might sound like a great time management technique, but some studies show that people who multi-task actually get less done than people who focus on one task at a time. You may feel like you’re getting a lot done only to find, at the end of the day, that your to-do list is still full of items that still haven’t been crossed off. Trying to multi-task may, in the end, also cause you to feel more stressed out!

6. Celebrate those things that you have gotten done (“resolved” issues). After all, knocking things off your to-do list is a success! This also encourages you to move on and work on “unresolved issues,” by focusing your energy and managing your time.

7. Know when you can delegate tasks. This can be easier said than done if you are a Type A control freak. A good rule to follow is that if your staff can do something at least 80% as well as you could, then you know you can delegate a task with confidence.

8. Know when to say “no” and how to prioritize. Both of these things get easier with practice!

9. Get out of the perfectionist habit. Getting everything “perfect” is impossible, and trying to do so is frustrating and ultimately wastes time.

10. When you were at school concerned about grades or working for a company with a boss looking over your shoulder, did you easily managing your time? It may be that having someone holding you accountable is just what you need. Find an “accountability buddy” to encourage you to meet your deadlines and your goals.

Besides these 10 essential time management tips for small businesses, there are hundreds more out there. Don’t give up until you find a time management technique that works for you! In the end it is worth the effort.