Contact info: phone: 847-991-1294 email: howard@larsonassociates.ws
Jul

27

What’s a Lead To You?

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

Teleprospecting / Telemarketing / Telesales
For the Print Industry

I remember the days when I would walk into the shop to the sound of kechunk kechunk kechunk as the Heidelberg and Solna would be running. If the smell of ink and the sound of the feeders grabbing the sheets was not filling the air there was a problem. It would be a problem that really happened 3 mouths earlier, but no one thought about the sales cycle back then and heaven forbid if we understood a sales funnel.

Now here we are climbing out of covid and if you had not done anything about marketing in the last 3 months, the question becomes how to generate leads for your business NOW? Are you hold your own or desperately looking to expand your company in this covid time?

Good economy or bad, generating leads for your print business, let alone those with print orders can be a difficult lengthy process. However, it is the foundation that helps grow a business, creating a steady stream of sales leads. It can be a bit challenging finding a system that works, so I ask you, why work so hard when I have already created a system which could provide you a steady stream of sales leads?

 

What’s a Lead?

A lead or what I call a suspect, is essentially a potential customer that hasn’t purchased or used your services, yet. A good lead shows interest in your services and can be thought of as prospective client. No lead is ever totally dead. It is amazing how they can come out of the blue even after you stopped calling on them. They might still have your business card or still get your newsletter or email and low and behold the stars line up and they call you. Gong back to the basic question what is a lead? They can be identified in different ways, including
  • Social Media
  • Service/Product Trials
  • Consultations
  • Marketing 
  • Networking & Outreach
  • Teleprospecting

So the question arises, how you can generate a leads list for your business.

Niche or Know Your Target Audience

In order to successfully reach out to gain leads, which is what we here at Larson & Associates are all about, you need to identify your target audience. Knowing the target audience of your business gives you an idea on the ideal type of customers you want to have. The more ideal names in your funnel the faster you sign up or get new business. Research your audience, from their characteristics to the problems they face. Questions to keep in mind:

  • What type of consumer are they? 
  • Where are they located? 
  • What kind of industry are they in? 
  • What is their main problem and how does your service help them solve it?

Once you have a stronger understanding of your target audience, it’s easier to narrow down what will successfully reach your leads. Know them. Love them. Understand their pain and what makes them happy. Prospects run from pain and run to pleasure so use this to your advantage, We do.

Effective Engagement

While cold calling isn’t hard, it certainly is not always an easy technique to find new business, and yet it does work with the right people and sources. Whether you’re speaking to someone on the phone or in person, how you present yourself can make a big difference in how it influences a prospect’s interest. Things to watch out for, when engaging with a potential lead is to pay attention to your tone. The tone of somebody’s voice can say a lot. The speed of your speech also matters; if you talk too fast, it just comes across as you’re in a rush and that you don’t really care about your time with the sales lead and just want to get it over with. Your confidence also says a lot about the value of you and your services. Sounding confidant can give the impression that you don’t believe in your services, so why should the sales lead? The key is to be confident, but not arrogant. Keep it professional and polite; at the same time be assertive in your goal, but don’t be too pushy or else it drives away sales leads. Finally, be knowledgeable. Ya you got to "Know your stuff" in order to be as informative as possible so that sales leads will have confidence in what you say. 

Soft skills and hard fact skills. In sales you need both.  At the same time it is easier to  get up to speed in the hard facts of a business then the soft skills of reading people. And I'll bet you that we here at Larson & Associates can learn about the facts of your shop faster than you can learn the soft skills of phone prospecting.

One last thing to remember, it is very important to keep your message consistent and deliver on what you promise. Better to under promise and over deliver. If you don't get this order, guess what? The one who did, who promised the moon is going to mess up if not this time, the next. Stay in touch because it will happen!  Success comes with trust and authenticity, and you’re more likely to gain the trust of a sales lead by being genuine and showing that you put a lot of value in providing the right print products for their business needs. How way you present yourself and the way you ask questions and talk to them says a lot about how good your print business is. 
 

It is time for you to make one more call!

Face it, wouldn't you would rather be making sales and running sales appointments than sitting at your desk and making phone call after phone call to find that one YES.

I have a customer who makes more sales by taking customers golfing than any other way. So what do we do for him? We find other business owners who play golf and set up 18 holes. Fact is the lower his golf average the higher his sales average. AND he is happy!

So pick-up that 100 pound phone to call for the help you want and make your last cold call to 847-991-1294. We will talk to you as a fellow sales person who has been down in the trenches looking for clients. Call us because. . .  

We Know How!

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030
847-991-1294


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Jun

04

Teleprospecting Still Works

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

Teleprospecting / Telemarketing / Telesales
For the Print Industry

Cold calling has become even more important than ever. Here we are in a covid world with face to face only just starting to happen, so to be able to pick up the phone with confidence to do cold calling is paramount. Networking groups are just starting to come out of hibernation and actual sales calls are now starting to be made so why not pack your calendar. Cold calling is a communications skill that can be improved on, but also is not something that you can just wing. There is a certain progression of what needs to be done to get where you want to be. In the nuts and bolts of cold calling, the first step in to telemarketing is warming up. I am a runner (yes I have run the Boston Marathon) and the first thing you do so you don’t hurt yourself is to stretch and warm up. Second step is to rehearse, practice and visualize. We think though each and every step to create a memory that makes our performance automatic and not scripty. After we have warmed up and rehearsed, then and only then do you pick up the phone.

 

We Start By Creating A List

It all starts with who. Rudyard Kipling said it so well when he wrote: I KEEP six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who. We start with the who in compiling a highly targeted list of the people who are most likely to need what you’re selling. In the old days we didn’t have a lot of information about prospects. We would picked up the phone book, went to the listing section with the kinds of companies that were most likely to buy from us and start selling. Today can be different. There is a wealth of information available to help you decide who might buy something from you, and who is most likely to come back and buy a whole lot more. So we start with WHO. This lets us know WHAT message to use when you get prospects on the phone, as well as in your email and voice-mail messages. Each niche needs a different tweek in the message.  “Remember nobody cares about you or what you do, so the words really do matter.

Cold calling has become indispensable

Do you have an attention-grabbing introduction that penetrates into there pain of loss or joy of gain to want to ask you HOW? Does your voice-mail messages get people to call back, do your emails get people to respond? If someone you talk to says, ‘I’m not interested,’ it means you’re WHY is not saying anything interesting. So you need to do some up-front work to figure out what words will be compelling to your market so when you’re talking to people you actually make then want to engage with you. We do this. 

I know you have heard all the put offs"

  • I am busy
  • I already have a vendor
  • I don't have anything on the board


To avoid these mistakes, the advice I give any printing company is to have a comprehensive process, including things like a targeted list, a solid message, voice skills and a good CRM that tracks and measures what they are doing so you know what is actually working. If any of these parts are missing in your process, your telephone-prospecting campaigns are not going to work very good.

Cold calling not is outmoded or out of date.
Most people are just really bad at it.

Do you have an attention-grabbing introduction? Does your voice-mail messages get people to call back, do your emails get people to respond? If someone says to you, ‘I’m not interested,’ it (might) mean you’re not saying anything interesting to them. You need to do some up-front work to figure out what words will be compelling to the market that you’re talking to and make people want to engage with you.”

The good news is I can sell your shop with almost no knowledge about you. I don’t have to know every single little thing about your shop. I mean really, just give me a fact sheet, and equipment sheet, the kind of work you like to do and make money doing and a list of your personal and I am pretty much good to go, I have the soft skills needed in phone prospecting, and let me tell you, they are much harder to teach then the hard skills of number and kinds or presses and different paper stock. I am guessing you or your salespeople are very good at face to face selling but if they can’t set appointments, they’re not going to sell much print, but you can use a service like ours to get prospects. Think of all the extra the face time your salespeople would have with real print buyers. 
 

Get Off The Roller Coaster

You got to hate this but most printers (and business) experience a boom-bust cycle. The old roller coaster of busy one month followed by sitting on you hands the next month. You can break the cycle. The bust is frequently the result of not having enough prospects in your pipeline. It’s a very normal that owners and salespeople don’t prospect regularly. (Did I tell you I have some high-rollers who bank-roll my calling service out of their own pockets?) I mean who really wants to sit around making phone call after phone call do prospecting when you can just be comfortable calling on your old accounts. That is exactly why you use a company like Larson & Associates.  Get off the roller coaster today. You need to take some action every day and keep looking for new prospects every day day after day after that, or you will be in the cycle of a busy one month followed by an flat the next month. Action makes opportunities to move your business forward. Again we can take care of your cold call misery.

It is time for you to make one more call!

Face it, wouldn't you would rather be making sales and running sales appointments than sitting at your desk and making phone call after phone call to find that one YES.

So pick-up that 100 pound phone to call for the help you want and make your last cold call to 847-991-1294. We will talk to you as a fellow sales person who has been down in the trenches looking for clients. Call us because. . .  

We Know How!

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030
847-991-1294


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Jun

04

Teleprospecting For the Print

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

Teleprospecting / Telemarketing / Telesales
For the Print Industry

When I got into the family business, I started at the ground up. Made boxes, packed product. Moving up to letterpress on a Gordon with a Kluge Feeder for both print and die cutting operations. I worked up to become a pressman on a  1 Color Solna 125, a 2 color Heidelberg Speedmaster and yes a little gray Multilith 1250, migrating to Xerox and Cannon digital. In typesetting I did TTS coding for a Mergenthaler VIP, 202, L330 and as well as Berthold System. I have squeegeed ink for screen printing, bought one of the first 36" wide Lasermaster Ink jet printers in 1990, got into CD/DVD replication so yes I have been around the block a few times. All the while working through 5 recessions and here I am, still standing.

But my love and focus became sales, marketing and new business development.

When the 1990 rescission hit I decided to refocus the company. I knew I did not want to become a broker so we transformed from actually doing the work into doing only sales,  marketing and lead generation necessary for graphic companies to find new accounts, bring back lost customers and retain clients.

Here we are
over 45 years later!

We Have Made The Mistakes
So You Don't Have To

A big mistake we made when prospecting by phone was talking too much. Typically printers talk about their equipment. I mean who cares? I know all about the equipment but I mean think about it, who really cares how much iron you have on the floor. So I learned to just get on the phone and talked about what a great printer I was. Then for some reason I started asking about what kind or printed material they ordered. What are they thinking of having done in the next month or two. Who are they using now? That’s when my career really started take off. Yes, I had discovered the art of asking questions. I asked about them and stopped being so self focused and holy cow and can you believe this, they started to talk (just a little bit) Then one day I started to ask for appointments. I mean that is why I am calling so why not ask. And guess what some of them said YES! And yes, I can do the same for you.

So now it is your chance to say yes so we can find you some of your own yeses! 

Cold calling has become indispensable

Cold calling has become even more important than ever. Here we are in a covid world with normalicy only just starting to happen in some areas so to be able to pick up the phone with confidence to do cold calling is paramount. We can do that for you without the costs finding people who are trained and qualified to talk on the phone. You might now more about your shop and equipment but I can almost guarantee you we know more about how to use the phone to get you in the door and the sales cycle. Networking groups just starting to come out of hibernation and actual sales calls are just starting to happen so why not start to actually fill up  your calendar and get out there on the street before your competition does.

For the last 14 months we have been pounding the phone lines, finding work for both ourselves and our clients.  Fact is if you were using Larson & Associates you grew last year. All Accounts that were using the Larson 3 legged stool method  grew by an average of 9.7% with a low of 6.4% growth and a high of 17.2%.

There are only 4 Ways to

generate sales leads

You can only generate a sales lead four ways: Marketing, Referrals, Networking, and Cold calling (targeting and telephoning a prospect with whom you have had little or no previous contact).
 
The first three methods are all essentially passive, because you have to sit around wait for somebody else to act. With marketing, you have to wait for prospects to contact you. With referrals, you have to wait for others to facilitate introductions. With networking, you rarely meet the right prospect who is ready to say yes.
 
Cold calling, be it phone or knocking on doors is the only way to actively generate sales leads that is under your control, and the phone is the fastest way to close the gap between the number of leads you are finding or given through marketing, referrals, and networking, and the number of leads or opportunities that you need to hit whatever revenue number you need to hit to make quota.
 

It is time for you to make one more call!

Face it, wouldn't you would rather be making sales and running sales appointments than sitting at your desk and making phone call after phone call to find that one YES.

So pick-up that 100 pound phone to call for the help you want and make your last cold call to 847-991-1294. We will talk to you as a fellow sales person who has been down in the trenches looking for clients. Call us because. . .  

We Know How!

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030
847-991-1294



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May

12

Email Marketing Your Business

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

Email Marketing
Your Business Needs It

Email marketing is a powerful content marketing technique that you need to be using. There are lots of moving parts in any kind of marketing and email hits upon almost all of them.

  • Planning
  • Calendar
  • Content Development
  • List 
  • Follow-up

Larson & Associates
For specialized Email Marketing

They may seem obnoxious, but if done right, if you utilize effective email marketing techniques and protocol, you can actually increase the number of customers quickly. Really!

The key to successful email marketing is targeted niche marketing

Go it alone if you want but why?
We Know How

 

How Does it Work?
Email marketing isn’t just sending emails to as many people as you can. There is really more to it than spamming away. Email marketing is the process of sending carefully crafted, highly optimized messages worded and designed to tickle the prospect's interest through an email or series of emails to targeted consumers. It includes the process of developing promotional emails, testing, and maintaining them as well. And a little specialized software we have that rates subject lines helps too.
Email marketing can be used to increase sales, improve brand loyalty, and deliver important information.

How Do You Market Using An Email?
It all starts with your list. We do list building for customers but this is where it starts. Organically building, opt in off a social site, networking or trade shows a list is a living thing growing and contracting as you market to it.
You MUST give people an option to opt-out people do move in and out of interest. By law it must be there.
Keep your email list secure. You list is money in the bank. 

85% of U.S. retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics! Is it the time to include email marketing into your marketing strategy.

Fast, Efficient, Cost-Effective

Email marketing provides you a way of reaching out to both customers and prospects

Maybe getting them to your web site of landing page.
A way to nurture leads to convert into sales.

What Else Is Email Marketing Used For?
Build trust with customers over time, in order to turn them into repeat customers.
An effective way to keep your customers informed about new ideas, services and  products you can offer them.
To stay up-to-date about your company in real-time.

Fact is, 28% of US online shoppers report subscribing to store or product emails in order to stay informed on companies or products they care about.

Do you need email marketing?
94%
 of Internet users use email
75% of adult online users say email marketing is actually their preferred marketing method!
About 1% of your followers will typically see a Facebook post unless you’ve boosted it using ad dollars.

You need a way to keep in contact with your customers to help them stay up-to-date with your business, start with email marketing.

Another big difference between email marketing and other forms of marketing is that people actually want to see your email promotions! The typical Larson & Associates email gets between 12% to as high as over 77% open rates!

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better
Larson & Associates

3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030
847-991-1294


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Mar

16

3 Parts Of Telemarketing

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

3 Primary Ways to Use Telemarketing
to Grow Your Business

Ask yourself or any business owner to name a few of there best marketing channels for bring in more business and they’ll reel off an array of answers. You’ll probably hear social media, email marketing, direct mail and other digital strategies. It is wonderful to have so many ways to market as well as confusing. Today’s businesses have a entire plethora of marketing alternatives to utilize for outreach, growth and retention.

All those many choices can cause you to forget about one of the more conventional channels sitting right in front of your face on your desk. Your phone!

TELEMARKETING
Telemarketing is one of the most overlooked marketing tools. The traditional idea of picking up the phone to drum up business is out of fashion. The fact is, though, that when done correctly, telemarketing can indeed help you to grow your business.

The 3 Arrows In Your Quiver

Telemarketing is one arrow in your marketing quiver. If you have a unified marketing plan with all your channels aimed at the same place from different directions you come out a winner. Within this vast array you have lots of channels to work with. You’ll want to use as many as you can in combination and in the most effective way possible. Don't use more then you can work 100% effectively but only those that you can execute at a high level of expertise and saturation.

That is why companies like Larson & Associates are here.
We can help take you the next level

In the case of telemarketing, that doesn’t mean old-fashioned cold calling like we did 20 years ago.

It means taking an intelligent approach to growing your business using the phone. Here are the three significant parts we take to grow your company with telemarketing:
1.    Telemarketing to existing customers
2.    Telemarketing to lost customers
3.    Telemarketing for lead generation

Telemarketing to Existing Customers

Growing your business doesn’t always mean attracting new customers. Don't get me wrong, new customers are nice but achieving top drawer customer retention to keep what you already have, easier, less expensive and can often be a better way to achieving your yearly sales goals. Keeping your present customers on board can make more of a difference to your bottom line than you might think.


Telemarketing can aid your customer retention in a variety of ways. Customer care or research calls are good examples. In these instances you are showing your customers that you care, creating a more positive view of you and your company. That makes it less likely that they, the customer will abandon you and start using a competitor.

Researching out to your existing customers can also help you find new opportunities. Asking questions, getting feedback on your products or services can help you fix problems before they become problems. By taking the time to talk about the different and changing needs of the industry, you can find future paths for your business to expand with them.

It is also possible to do some cross-selling or up-selling while telemarketing to existing customers. If someone already buys from you, they’re more then likely to be interested in other products or services you have. They have first-hand experience of your quality of your work and the products and services they are now using so why not more ? Ask! And, existing customers via telemarketing are more likely to answer the phone.

Telemarketing to Lost Customers

A second way to use telemarketing is when you are trying to grow your business via telemarketing that involves customers you’ve lost. It happens to all of us. The one who got away or we did not take a more careful watch over. 

Telemarketing is the easiest and fastest way to restart that energy between the two of you. By that, we mean customers who bought from you before but haven’t done so for a while. That might be as they haven’t felt a need to purchase or could be because they’ve moved over to a competitor. Or it could just mean you messed up and no one had the for-site to call up to make things right.
 

It may surprise you how successful reaching out to lost customers really is. Just making the call can be enough to help to jog their memories as to how useful your products or services were. What’s more, it shows them how much you care and value their business. Calling and speaking to past customers can rebuild that severed relationship allowing you to again be the brand of choice.

Even if you fail to win them back as a  customer, speaking to them can give you invaluable insight as to what happened. If you’re able to learn why they left you, you can make it less likely for you to lose customers for the same reason in the future. That will aid your customer retention numbers and thus help keep your business growing faster.

Telemarketing for Lead Generation

Lead generation is what most people think of when they think about telemarketing. Cold calling, dialing for dollars. Getting a targeted niche specific list of prospects is an effective way to warm those prospects up and get them to the next level of the sales cycle. When we are making calls it is not necessarily to make a sale but rather to set an appointment or pass a lead on to sales staff to send out information about your companies services. Selling isn't necessarily what you want to think about when talking to a prospect for the first time.

Telemarketing for lead generation isn’t as popular as it once was. We here at Larson & Associates happen to love sitting here drinking coffee and making phone calls all day, one call after another for our chosen clients. Some one on your staff or us here at Larson's should be making those calls. As my sales mentor Hank Trisler use to say, if you were dropped off in Minot ND (which had a high temperature last Tuesday of -5) as a sales person you would have only two choices to makes sales fast. Start walking the streets and knocking on doors or sitting at your desk in your warm comfortable office making telemarketing calls. I think you could make more touches and more sales faster with a phone call to people who you already know use a service or product like you have.

3 Legged Stool Marketing Method

We do it but we do not normally think about telemarketing as the only tool you should be using but thought of as only a part of a broader strategy using different channels and tools to get you a faster, higher rate of return on your calling time and dollar. The Larson Method ties in lead generation calls with other marketing channels. Think about calling prospects who you’ve reached out to with an email but have yet to get a response. Or got that direct mail post card and were "meaning" to call you.

The Larson 3 Legged Stool Method utilizes Direct Mail-Email-Teleprospcting. When put together it forms a 3 pronged attack that hits people, your valued prospects in 3 different ways making a powerful 1-2-3 punch.

Need the knock out left hook? If that is not quite enough I get my Social Media Expert Fred McMurray of My Three Daughters (not sons) fame to work out all your social median needs and you have the can not miss of lead generation and ample supply of leads for a company of any size and kind from a 1-man army to Fortune 500. http://www.larsonassociates.ws/associations  We can put a plan together that fits you and you alone.  We get down in the trenches with you to help you find your niche so you can not just sell to receptive people and companies but to own that niche so you are the one everyone wants to buy from. 

Larson & Associates


We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030
847-991-1294


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