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How not to communicate…

Well, I am a great fan of emails. After the invention of wheels, I consider email application as the greatest invention. Even after whatsapp, messenger, skype etc, email still holds its place in this era of instant communication.

But do we really know how to write an email?

That sparks interest in the reader’s mind to know more about you, your company, your products etc.

I received an interesting email today from someone trying to sell me something. This was her second email. The first email from her was received by me on the 19th of last month. I am not letting you know who that is. That’s not important.

In the first email she had said that my company [with name] has been shortlisted as the “most powerful company in XYZ domain” and will be featured in their magazine and she had stated the benefits of getting published in their magazine. Then she had asked me to revert so that she can share the quote. Wow! From “Cold Call” stage to “Quotation” stage in a snap. I wish I can do that as well. Not really.

I replied to her then, asking her to remove my email id from her mailing list since it didn’t interest me. Neither did I subscribe to anything nor did I express interest on any of their services.

After a month, today I received the second email in spite of me asking her to remove my email Id. What’s more. This time it was more stronger in language.

Excerpts [if the language is not right, please excuse me, it is published here exactly as I received]:

In the rare opportunities, I have to work on client acquisition, I have not had much success reconnecting with you. It might just be that you don’t have any interest in talking with me — and that’s okay. I just need to know whether or not to keep trying.

So, to make this nice and easy for you, you can reply with a simple keystroke. Just reply with either A, B, C, D, or E and I’ll know what to do, but please do reply so that I can stop emailing you if you’re not interested.

A. Stop emailing me with attempts to connect but continue to send invites for future opportunities.

B. Don’t send me anything, remove me from your list. We don’t currently and won’t ever need your opportunity.

C. I want to talk, we need some help, but the timing isn’t right. Keep trying.

D. I would like to schedule a time to talk. We need some help. Please send your calendar link.

E. I forgot who you are. What’s this about?

 

The funny part is this: “to make this nice and easy for you…..”. In fact she wants me to make it easy for her. You can’t do prospecting over cold email and also automate it. It is so naive, unprofessional, bossy, accusing, all rolled into one.

Instead, the sender should have used a professional email marketing tool with “unsubscribe” buttons and sent an intro email with few lines and asking for permission to continue writing without any demands. Forget business.

Clients are not waiting in queue with the cheque to handover to you. Stop dreaming.

Write well.

Spark interest.

Serve without any expectation.

Build trust.

Pick up the phone and ask for an appointment.

Meet.

See if they have any problems that you can solve.

Add value.

Propose.

Negotiate.

Close.

Deliver.

Retain.

Where is this sales person right now, in this process? She hasn’t even started yet. But thanks to her for teaching us how not to write emails.

 

Happy Selling !!

 

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What are your Goals for 2019?

Choose from the options below:
 
1. To be a good parent.
2. To read more books.
3. To make more money.
4. To spend more time with family.
5. To visit new places.
6. To help as many people as possible.
7. To be good in thoughts and actions.
8. To get fit, to eat healthy food & to stay healthy.
11. To work less but be more productive.
12. To achieve more than what we set out to.
13. To keep pushing our boundaries.
14. To inspire people.
15. To protect our planet.
16. To talk less.
17. To spend less time on social media. 🙂
18. To spend more time with friends, face to face.
19. To be a responsible world citizen.
20. To enjoy whatever life has to offer without harming, injuring or causing inconvenience to other living beings of the planet.
 
Wish you a Very Happy New Year !!
Happy Selling !!
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Create Content else Curate Content!!

Today Customers are better informed than the Sales people themselves. They do all the homework before calling you for a discussion.

Content is King, as they say. And Marketing is the new Sales. Though it can never replace Sales, Digital Marketing & Inbound marketing is a given. And businesses need to invest in it.

So, how to create content?

  1. Make a list of what your customers are looking for. And write about them.
  2. Problems faced by your customers and probable solutions for those problems.
  3. Reference guides in your industry – trade them in return for email ids.
  4. Best Practices – will show your thought leadership on the subject.
  5. White Papers – can be completely unbiased on any topic. Need not narrow down to only what you sell.
  6. Approach Papers – what will be your approach for any given situation.
  7. Case Studies – what did Customer A do when faced with a certain issue and how did he become successful with your product or service.
  8. eBooks – helpful resources for various tasks or problems.
  9. What to do in any situation or what not to do – if you help your customers when they are stuck, there is a good chance that they will remember you when they are looking for what you are selling.
  10. Customer speak – not just testimonials but capture in depth customer experiences.
  11. Expert Views – collect views from experts in your area of operation on a particular subject and publish them.
  12. Events – Talk about the upcoming events in your Industry or your experience in a just happened event.
  13. Podcasts – nothing like a talk show and it will be interesting if you can invite industry experts for the show.
  14. Demos – You can have a YouTube channel to give a sneak peak in to your product.
  15. User guides – Let it be easy for your customers to locate them online.
  16. Last but not the least, Curate Content: it is not that you are the only expert in your industry. There are plenty of them out there. They are creating good quality content as well. Curate them. This should add to your credibility.

Happy Creating and Curating !!

Happy Selling!

For any help in Marketing, Sales, Startup Consulting or CRM Software, please contact me at:

kannan @ zignalytics dot com

#marketing #sales #crm #startupconsulting #digitalmarketing #inboundmarketing

Keep your Content Fresh!! Always!

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Your Greatest Weakness is Your Greatest Strength!

Sales People are by far the only ones who do not stop learning. Yet they feel inadequate and identify areas of improvement. And continuously they upgrade, refine & groom themselves.

Your Greatest Weakness is Your Greatest Strength!

Identify your Greatest Weakness / your business’ Greatest Weakness and you will be on your way to achieving Great Success.

Some thoughts to help you identify your weakness:

  1. Customers are smart. If you fit the bill, you are in. Else, you are out. It’s that simple.
  2. It is all about Perception. How do customers perceive you? What you think about yourself does not matter. What matters is what other people think of you.
  3. First impressions last longer. So work harder and give a good first impression to your customers.
  4. Dressing up well to give a Professional outlook. Or having a sparkling office that readily proves your worth.
  5. Giving respect to Customers.
  6. Asking for feedback.
  7. Your knowledge on your Product or Service.
  8. Being in tune with times.
  9. Customer Experience. In every step of the buying process and beyond.
  10. Being Sincere.
  11. Showing utmost seriousness in solving customers’ problems.
  12. Ensuring that the excitement that you created around your Product / Service stays forever. Or work on that and keep the excitement on.
  13. Delight: Always having something to surprise the customers.
  14. Easily accessible, no waiting time, more parking space, to the point, forward looking, well meaning, helping & solving problems.
  15. Adding Value. Don’t you want to move up the value chain?
  16. Working with you & your business adds to the Customer’s Brand Value.
  17. Do your existing customers vouch for you?
  18. Meeting your existing customers regularly.
  19. Does your Customer Service team meet the demands of your customers and generate more business from them?
  20. Are you an early adopter of Latest Technology?

Do you have any thoughts on this. Share your valuable thoughts with us.

Happy Selling!!

For any help in Marketing, Sales, CRM please contact:

kannan@zignalytics.com

 

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Sales is not a sprint but a marathon!!

I happened to watch a portion of a documentary on marathon running. What I learnt is that it calls for more preparation than what is required for a sprint. Endurance is key for a marathon.

While speed and agility are important for a Sprint, one should save energy and stay in the game at a consistent pace, to be successful in a Marathon. But both require stringent practice. It’s needless to state that the training is completely different for each.

What can we learn from these and apply in our day to day Sales situations?

  1. Sales is not done on a level playing field.
  2. Techniques are for short term whereas in the longer term these simply don’t work.
  3. While a good start can give us a boost and make us look confident, it is only consistent performance that is going to keep us in good stead in the long term.
  4. Practice makes us perfect. So, let’s start practicing.
  5. Each situation is different. It may be a well laid out road / a pathway / a narrow path filled with stones or thorns / an uphill or downhill and it may rain / shine. Just like running a marathon, Sales situations also call for using our judgement on the ground.
  6. We should use our limited resources in a rationale manner.
  7. Let’s be prepared for the long haul.
  8. We may have to incorporate changes [slowing down or picking up speed] as we go along.
  9. We should focus on the rhythm and keep going forward.
  10. We should have less burn out for maximum productivity.
  11. We should know the route map well and be prepared for the encounters on the way.
  12. Most importantly we should enjoy the journey.

Some portions of a marathon resembles a sprint. So, the techniques will come in handy. We must be trained to handle such sudden sprints as well. And we should respond with speed and agility when the situation demands.

So, Sales is not just a marathon but a “series of sprints” as well. Success in one sprint or couple of sprints don’t guarantee success in the marathon. Marathon is a different ball game altogether.

If we know how to enjoy it, it will be a breeze.

Happy Learning!

Happy Selling!!

Contact us at:

sales at zignalytics dot com

#sales #salestips #crm

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What should your dashboard show?

Dashboards have been in use for more than two decades now. Initially, it was available only for the CXOs to stay up to date on their teams’ performance and targets. But it is now important for each one of us to use a dashboard to stay focused and reach our goals.

Let us take a quick look at how dashboards can help Sales folks:

  1. To get the focus back on deals that really matter.
  2. To get instant intelligence on deals.
  3. To know the Opportunities, Activities & Tasks – that calls for your attention.
  4. Reminders and Notifications: those missed deadlines, targets, largest open opportunity, some opportunity staying in one sales stage for longer than usual [velocity issues] etc.
  5. Your personal assistant of sorts: Suggestions and advice for you to take action before your manager gets to know about it.
  6. Closing possibility: what deals can close this month?
  7. Revenue level: what are the big ticket deals that are in the pipeline?
  8. Total open opportunities Vs YTD [Year to Date].
  9. New leads – created, qualified, lost etc.
  10. Weighted / Unweighted / Balanced / Ranked / Won Target – the various ways to look at the sales data and take action.

If you want a dashboard, please contact us:

sales at zignalytics.com

#sales #data #dashboards #targets #CRM

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VC 101 – A Primer on Seeking Funds for your Business!

For the Budding Entrepreneurs out there:

In any Industry there are both Good and Not So Good Players. And Funding Companies/Investors/VCs Community are not an exception.

You should know to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I am saying this from my own recent personal experience.

Ideas are Important. Without ideas, money can get nowhere. I repeat that: “Without ideas, money can get nowhere.”

So, do not under estimate your ideas. Do not undersell your idea or yourself. This is the KEY TO SUCCESS.

The Good VCs have an established process to apply. You can visit their websites to know more. You can do your homework on what kind of companies they have invested in, how those companies have performed and grown etc. You will know whether you are in good company or not, even before you start the application process.

Some VCs like Y Combinator [ http://www.ycombinator.com/ ] have mentioned the list of companies they have invested in, the companies that have failed or closed down etc. The fact that Y Combinator has mentioned their failed ventures shows they are also susceptible to failures but that does not make them any less. The fact still remains that they have succeeded in most ventures. Some of them have grown to become world class companies.

In the urge to get things off the ground quickly, do not rush the process. Instead stay put for the long haul, be firm on your ideas, thought process, business plans, goals etc. If not now, you will get to work with someone of your caliber soon. Wait for the right partner.

Before talking to VCs, you should:

  1. Do your homework
  2. Know their Fund Size, Frequency, No of ventures they will invest in a year, Funding Calendar
  3. Know the ventures they have invested in, so far & how they are performing
  4. Know their Industry standing & ranking
  5. Know their application process
  6. Talk to some of the ventures they have invested in
  7. Know their funding patterns – Seed Stage & Startup/Early Stage – $500,000 to $2 million, Series A – $2 million to $15 million, Series B – $7 million to $10 million, Series C – Post Revenue – hundreds of millions – used for acquisition of other companies in the same space etc.
  8. Where they have invested – is it ecom/food delivery/fitness or is there no such preference
  9. Qualifying criteria
  10. Last but not the least: Talk to a lawyer, get an NDA [Non-Disclosure Agreement] template drafted. This needs to be signed by the VC and you on a Stamp Paper when you want to share the idea with your VC as part of their application process. Most Professionally run VCs will agree and sign these NDAs. If they don’t, then it may be time for you to walk out. Hence, do this first, in the process, so that you don’t waste your time.

I am sure this post will serve as an eye-opener to the budding VCs as well. And I wish they too grow and become world class.

Happy Creating!!

Get in touch with me for Start-up Consulting at:
kannan at zignalytics dot com or call me at 984 555 7401.

Best Wishes,
Kannan

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America, August, Apple, Amazon – A’s & the Aces!

You must have read the news, I am sure.

Apple became the first $ 1 Trillion company in terms of market valuation in August this year, followed by Amazon, the second $ 1 Trillion company.

What makes Apple & Amazon tick?

One thing I am sure, they are focused on Customer Experience & making lives simpler for their customers.

Daniel Martins, an independent researcher says: “It’s too high of a bar to assume that they’ll succeed at everything that they do.” “But at the same time, I think Amazon is the best combination in the world of the scale of a large company and that entrepreneurial DNA with the spirit of a startup.”

So, that’s the secret.

It is reported that Apple took long to reach there whereas Amazon sprinted to get there. Amazon took 3 months to cover the last 200 billion whereas Apple took 15 months to do the same, news agencies reported.

Apple was founded in 1976 & Amazon in 1994.

Amazon generates an annual revenue of 178 Billion & in 2018 it may make a paltry sum of 8.5 Billion as profits. It employs around 550,000 people worldwide.

While there are differences between these two Trillion Dollar Giants, the common thing is this: They both know how to market and sell.

Jeff Bezos = Bill Gates + Warren E. Buffett, in terms of Net Worth.

Between Apple and Amazon, one sells at a premium whereas the other lowers prices consistently. You know who.

Some ideas to follow:

  1. If you do Marketing right, everything will fall in place.
  2. Create great Customer Experiences.
  3. Create excitement – on your products & services – and for people to work with you
  4. Have an entrepreneurial DNA.
  5. Have the spirit of a start-up.
  6. Be agile. Respond faster.
  7. Make lives simpler, better & a lot easier.
  8. Sell your dreams. Products will follow.
  9. Create a community of believers.
  10. Last but not the least: You can even start today. And Create. [I didn’t say “Compete”, for a good reason.]

Happy Creating!

Happy Selling!!

#sales #startup #ideas #marketing #branding

Contact us at:

Sales at zignalytics .com for any help in Marketing / Sales / CRM.