Click here to download “Six Ways to Make More Money” (PDF) or read it below.
How many times has someone asked you “Do you want to make more money?” If only I had a dollar for each time, I’d have already made more money!! That said – who DOESN’T want to make more money?!?
There are few techniques that will line your pockets this afternoon; and we are all certainly leery of the old “Do these three things this afternoon and you’ll be automatically rich” pitch. However, there are several things you can change now to lay the groundwork for significant ROI. They can be implemented quickly, inexpensively, and best of all? Successfully!
I have five tactics (and one bonus) that our company, The PT Services Group and our clients have seen robust results within the last few months, and I’m excited to share them with you today.
- Proximity Marketing
- Trust-Based Marketing
- Hire Expert Help
- Referral Marketing
- Wallet Share
- BONUS: Content Creation
This is an idea that a client brought to us at PT Services, and we’ve seen great results for both our callers who are landing qualified appointments and our clients, who are closing deals. This idea is specific to B2B relationships.
It focuses on a particular geography of clients, and the concept is quite simple.
Three Steps to Proximity Marketing
- Build a list of 10 existing, quality, known client relationships. We suggest starting your list with 10 current, good clients. There is no hard and fast number; this approach can work with three, ten, or 23!
- Then look at quality prospects that are in proximity to your existing client. Then build the prospect list around them, look at businesses that are geographically close, and a potential good fit for your services, and put them on your prospect list!
- Engage with the list of prospects that you developed.
NOTE! We want to be clear that we are sensitive to concerns that this may be perceived as a recommendation. When you connect with a prospect, we suggest you state that you are working with one of their neighbors and give the company name. That’s it. It’s that simple. Do not position it as an endorsement, just that you are solely working with their neighbor.
It’s really that simple. What we like about this approach is that we have been working with clients who are using it, and they are seeing solid results, particularly a significant increase in appointments and closed business utilizing this approach. Additionally, we’ve found that this is a strategy that is not unique to any particular business type – it has been universally successful.
You’ve likely heard this term bandied about recently, and while it may seem self-explanatory, there is probably a bit more to it than the name indicates. According to LinkedIn, only 32% of people describe sales as a “trustworthy” profession; this presents a hurdle in connecting with prospects right from the start!
The same LinkedIn Report noted that “88% buy only when they see a salesperson as a ‘trusted advisor.’”
So how do you go from untrustworthy to a trusted advisor? We believe Trust-based marketing is imperative for success in sales.
Walden University says, “Trust-based marketing isn’t one specific type of marketing. Rather, it’s an overall marketing approach that seeks to elevate consumer trust in a product or brand. It comes from the understanding that, in an era when an increasing number of people distrust and/or ignore traditional marketing messages, marketers have to use new means to build trust and brand loyalty. Trust-based marketing recognizes that traditional marketing (ads, direct mail, website banners, signage, in-store displays, etc.) is best used to gain the audience’s attention. To truly motivate and capture consumers, you have to earn their trust.”
Steps to Gain Customer Trust
Prepare with Each Customer in Mind
Top sellers spend an average of 6 hours every week researching their prospects. (Crunchbase) One of PT Services’ Founders Bill Brandeis keeps a white board in his office. For years, it has only ever had one thing written on it: “Preparedness = Luck.” It’s so rare that sales people luck into a great sale; instead, it’s the product of excellent preparation.
Have An Outstanding Online Presence
It is vital for your website and your social media channels to accurately reflect your brands, your services, and your successes. This is also a great place to begin to develop that “trusted advisor” relationship, particularly through creation of your own helpful content (see #six).
Ask Great Questions & Listen
The quality of your questions helps to build quality relationships. They provide you with valuable insight and intel, but also set you apart from other salespeople, who love to tell – not listen. Here’s a previous White Paper we did that highlights 8 valuable questions for sales professionals.
There is absolutely no value in lying about or over-inflating the value of a product. Your prospect will catch on and you will never win that sale.
Ask for and Act On Feedback
Everyone asks for feedback, the difference is that very rarely do we notice a difference or see substantial change. However, if you ask for feedback and notice a trend among clients, or perhaps the suggestion strikes a nerve, most of us are in a position to make improvements and show your customers that you listen.
Hire Expert Help
Salespeople often don’t approach the sales process with as much preparation as they approach their product knowledge. Unfortunately, the salesperson’s product knowledge doesn’t even make the top 10 list of buyer motivations. Expanding product knowledge is about the advisor not the prospect. Advisors feel more prepared and then there is a naturalness to features and benefits selling, but again this is not a buyer motivation. And even more often, buyers have done their research; they know your products and how they may or may not meet their needs. That said,
their knowledge of the product will NEVER need to be as in-depth as yours.
Instead, the type of behaviors that great salespeople exhibit can often be learned and practiced. Some of this advice can be the age-old “Ask, don’t Tell” guidance, but sales coaches are adept and in tune with changing trends. A great example is the shift to 15-minute introductory meetings. Check out this video that our sales guru Dan Hudock and I made earlier this year for an example of changing trends and how a sales coach can help you to capitalize on them.
So, a bit more about Dan. At The PT Services Group, we’ve had a long-time relationship with Dan from Sandler Training. We refer to him as our “Sales Guru,” only half-jokingly. Dan provides training and support not only to our in-house team but he also works with our clients. This is particularly vital, as we are really partners in landing new business. We can get our clients in the door, but they need the skills and talents to land the sale, and it is NOT determined by their product knowledge.
A sales coach allows you to step outside of your usual sales routine. They provide an unbiased sounding board with constructive criticism and best of all; their advice is based on proven, reliable, and tested methods.
Particularly for seasoned advisors, I encourage you to think about whether you are open to receiving and implementing advice from an expert sales coach. You expect your clients to follow your recommendations, but are you prepared to take guidance from someone else? I had to learn how to receive advice. In the past, I rarely gave people the benefit of the doubt and always took their counsel critically and personally. However, there were times when I didn’t have the expertise and I needed to understand, adjust and take some advice. Undoubtedly it has made me a better, more effective sales professional.
Think about some salespeople whose success you admire, and ask them if they work with a sales coach – there probably couldn’t be a better recommendation. If you cannot find a sales coach through your colleague network, ask for suggestions on LinkedIn, I suspect you will be pointed to multiple effective sales coaches.
I’d wager good money that you’ve heard the following statistics, largely because some version of this (with shockingly little variation) has been around since Dale Carnegie was giving advice.
According to a study by Referral Candy, after having a positive experience, 83% of customers are willing to provide referrals. However, only 29% do, as salespeople rarely ask for them. Additionally, Nielsen found that consumers were 77% more likely to buy a product if their friends recommended it.
This is quite likely the easiest tip to implement. Why do advisors and salespeople in general still not ask consistently? It’s so simple, literally just asking a question of people with whom you already have a good relationship.
If you aren’t asking for referrals consistently, WHY?
The statistics do not lie and only show an upside!
Incentive or No?
Offering an incentive for a referral is a great way to show your appreciation to existing clients and the exciting news is that according to the American Marketing Association, offering a reward does increase the likelihood of a referral. Yet, the size of the incentive does not matter! In fact, according to a study completed by the University of Chicago, non-cash incentives are 24% more effective at boosting performance than cash incentives.
I put this idea last because you already know that wallet share is an important, lucrative method to increase your bottom line. However, we also know that not all advisors are as successful in this arena as they would like.
In my experience, people who are good at wallet share treat their clients as prospects, regarding a client’s business that they don’t have. Too many salespeople lean on their existing relationship and seem to have an attitude that because you’ve earned one piece of business, the client should just automatically give you the rest of their business. However, clients don’t owe you anything, just like the first piece of business, you should continue to earn each subsequent piece. Market that desired missing piece just like you would with a prospect.
A significant portion of the most recent research around gaining market share revolves around gaining a better understanding of your clients. Additional interesting topics include CRMs and
Wallet-Share-Based Marketing Some of the best and newest advice for gaining wallet share are contained in the following pieces:
Bonus: Content Creation
This piece is not quite as immediate as the other suggestions, in fact it’s kind of the opposite – hence the bonus. Content creation takes some time and planning, but it does not need to be a significant financial investment.
Currently, video is everything when it comes to social media. Do a quick Google search of “Why is video important on Social Media?” and you’ll get more than 2 billion results returned.
Video can be straightforward and inexpensive to produce. At The PT Services Group, we have a daily video series called “PT Asks Dan,” where we talk to our sales guru Dan Hudock, of Sandler Training. The videos are recorded using Zoom and edited with the free iMovie app that comes with Apple computers – honestly, nothing fancy here. The free series shares tips about sales, hiring, personal growth and development, marketing, and more.
Why Content Creation Has Been a Successful Strategy For Us
- Quantity – we post a fresh video daily, Monday – Friday.
- Quality – we provide helpful and immediately actionable advice that is proven and tested to work.
- We don’t sell our products. We position ourselves as thought leaders. We have never posted a video sharing what makes PT great and wonderful.
To get started, get active on channels that make sense now. Probably the most appropriate channel for our audiences is LinkedIn. The demographics are fantastic – 44% of LinkedIn users
earn over $75,000 annually.
However, only 3 million LinkedIn users share content regularly, equating to only 1% of LinkedIn’s 260 million monthly users. This makes LinkedIn the perfect place for your company
to begin getting active on social media. You can share articles by influencers and informative pieces from trade organizations. However, it would be most beneficial for you to venture into
writing or recording your own content. There is a lot of room for success in reaching desirable audiences today.
I hope this gives you some insight and inspiration into how to kick-start your business in the second half of 2023. Sometimes the best way to galvanize your efforts is to try something entirely new. If you put one or two of these ideas to the test, we’d love to hear how it works out for you!
About The PT Services Group
The PT Services Group is committed to helping you open the doors to new prospects and new business. While the methodology and expertise behind our appointment setting, business intelligence, and data collection programs are powerful tools, the secret to their effectiveness is the people using them. We are owned, operated, and staffed by professionals with expert knowledge of the financial services and insurance industries.
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“PT Asks Dan” is our free daily video sales tip. You can connect with John on LinkedIn, to interact and suggest topics (click the link in his contact info below). Or even better, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel where you can explore past episodes and even watch playlists of specific topics! Subscribe Today!
About the Author
John Pojeta, Vice President of Business Development
John Pojeta is Vice President of Business Development at The PT Services Group, where he initiates and manages strategic, corporate-level relationships. Previously, he owned and operated an Ameriprise Financial Services franchise for 16 years. Connect with John on LinkedIn to check out his new, daily sales tip video series – PT Asks Dan, with sales guru Dan Hudock.