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March 31, 2020

Stuck-at-home marketing & sales, part 3

6 MORE things to start doing while you’re hunkered down during the pandemic.

In the past two articles (3/18 and 3/24), I listed out a number of low-cost/no-cost marketing & sales ideas you might want to consider implementing while you’ve likely got a little extra time on your hands during the pandemic.

I wanted to continue that theme this week with 6 more ideas…

#1. Update your capabilities presentation

Whether delivered in-person or remotely (likely more of that, these days), a compelling capabilities presentation plays a key role in convincing a sales prospect to do business with you the very first time. But 95% of all of these presentations fall flat. Why? Two reasons: 1) They are all about the ‘you’ (not the prospect) and 2) you’re telling them things they already know (remember, they’ve already been to your website… they know what you do; if they didn’t, you wouldn’t be asked to present in the first place).

Think of it from their perspective, they didn’t invite you in to tell them what you do… they invited you in to see if you can help them solve their problem is, whatever it is. So rather than slide after slide of “About Us,” jump right in by letting them know you understand what their key problem/challenge is; how you can solve it; and other companies you have helped in the same way.

And if you want to do an About Us review… condense it down to one slide and move it to the very end. If you’re lucky, you’ll never get to it!

#2. Clean up your LinkedIn connections

Some people are all about quantity when it comes to LinkedIn connections. And that’s fine. Me? I believe in a mixture of quality and quantity. I want a lot of connections, but I want to be connected to those that it makes sense for me to be connected to.

Which is an easy distinction when you’re connecting with people the first time… but what about the hundreds or thousands you’re already connected to? What about all of those who have changed companies, changed jobs, changed industries or retired?

When you’ve got a little time on your hands, go to your LinkedIn network and start browsing through all of those connections. If there’s someone there you want gone because what they now do is not relevant, simply click on “remove connection.”

#3. Start implementing A/B testing with your eNewsletters

Are you sending out monthly eNewsletters but not getting the kind of ‘open rates’ you hoped for? The best way to improve open rates is to deliver the email with a compelling Subject Line. And the best way to get better at those is with A/B testing (or in some cases, A/B/C testing).

It works like this… inside of your email platform (MailChimp, etc.), you prepare your email for sending as your normally would, but you draft two different Subject Lines. A randomly-selected small percentage of the total email list receives an email with Subject Line A, another randomly-selected group get B. After several hours (to see which Subject Line performs better), the email with the ‘winning’ Subject Line is released to the rest of the list.

No only does this ensure the best delivery rate with each email… but over time, you’ll learn what types/styles of Subject Lines work best.

#4. Create ‘Key Account Plans’

If you’re like most firms, you have a very small group of clients that make up a very large percentage of your revenue. Call them your ‘Key Accounts.’ And having a few very large clients is great… until you lose one. To mitigate the chances of that happening, consider drafting a Key Account Plan for those large clients.

In general, a KAP details the steps you’ll take to maintain and grow your business with these accounts.

  • It outlines all of your current contacts and who you still need to meet.
  • It shows revenue by product & service line and revenue by application… what you’re not doing for them is untapped opportunity.
  • Finally, it outlines some specific actions you can take with each of these big clients and when those things might happen. This could include items like delivering a lunch-n-learn presentation, visiting them in-person, taking your key contact out to dinner, ending birthday gifts, profiling them in your blog, etc.

Remember, all clients are important, but large clients mean more.

#5. Set-up and begin tracking marketing & sales KPIs

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” But what are you measuring? While you’ve got this time on your hands, set-up some simple Excel spreadsheets to track the following fundamental KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)…

For marketing, consider tracking:

  • Website analytics (visitors, time on site, most popular pages, etc.)
  • Social media monitoring (followers, level of interaction, click-thrus, etc.)
  • Email marketing (sent, received, opens, click-thrus, etc.)
  • Content marketing (page views, downloads, etc.)

For sales, your list might include:

  • Daily/Weekly Sales activity (calls, presentations, proposals, etc.)
  • Pipeline progress (suspects, prospects, presentations, bids, conversions, etc.)
  • Lead generation (# leads daily/weekly, source of leads, etc.)
  • And of course, Revenue (revenue vs. goal, revenue YTD vs. last year YTD, revenue by product line, revenue by vertical, etc.)

#6. Conduct a critical review of your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn makes available a number of different ways to provide information and value to those who visit your profile – your photo, summary section, full bio, recent social posts, published articles, education, awards, skills, recommendations and so on. And yet, on a large percentage of profiles in our industry, I see a lot of those sections not completed… profiles without photos, lousy summaries, jobs listed but no details, nothing published and so on. Stop being lazy… take a few minutes and get it up-to-date!

Of special note… please make sure to use a recent and decent photo. It doesn’t have to be professionally done (though there’s nothing wrong with that)… but skip the glamour shots, those cropped from a wedding pic or those from a late-night party. A simple photo taken at the office is just fine.

Summary

As I said last week, the current situation does not give you an excuse to ignore the health of your business. Don’t just sit around and hope something good will happen, use the extra time you have to make it happen… invest it in marketing & sales. You’ll be glad you did.

Good luck.

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