Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Sell & Market Better Founders With 25+ Strategies and Insights For 2020 & Industry4.0 eBook - Sponsored by BJ Mannyst + Founders Under 40™ Group

Usually times like these, end of years, are a great time to reflect and do better in the future. I’m betting everyone and every business wants to sell better in 2019 , 2020 and forever. So I, Founders Under 40 Group team, BJ Mannyst team took sometime to assess what is working, what to keep doing, and what to start experimenting with to help stay competitive.

But I also,note, that i'm fearful that most modest businesses will not have the next generation expertise like expertise in industrial 4.0 to stay competitive. I do fear if you or your freelancer biz / gig biz/ smb business are not highly tech savvy and educated in tech there’s a chance growth might stall for many.

In the near future, there will be solutions providers like Amazons Web Services, Google, Microsoft, etc who are going to dominate more IAAS (Infrastructure As A Service), PAAS(Platform As A Service) but what then happens in five years is that the advance-profitable-tech businesses become more lucrative for a few and less tech/ old tech businesses get turned into commodities. Just as companies like Uber have commodity-fy car transportation.

In the end what I’m saying is to take the time today to see what functions of your business  is essential, which once are true competitive advantages and what parts can you delegated, what can be evolved because industrial 4.0 evolution is going to happen. In the mean time here are my thoughts, other people's thoughts and tips for selling and marketing better 2020 and forever.

P.S. I guess prepping your service business's sales & marketing for the industrial 4.0 age would be a great resource as well, that will be the continuation of this post. Part 2 Coming Soon . This part 1 will be basic but the part 1 ebook will be more in depth.



Be clear what your prospect want solved from an  emotional and logical point of view

People buy results and delivery. In an ever competitive world you have to be the player that can perform consistently. Be clear what you do for clients.

It is better to serve a few well than trying to serve the many who consume all your time and energy. Be specific who you need to meet and engage.

Be agile in every way. It’s impossible to survive in a changing social and economic world without agility.

If you are definitely a leader learn from others however always march to your own drum. There’s way too many me too’s in the world of business. And running a commodity business has it's down side.

In every aspect of business you will face times to be flexible and times you would need to hold your ground. Your clients business might be a structure differently. Their culture may be unconventional.

Be very very terrified of hiring and working with drones. My definition of drones are people who just think and act like everyone else and nothing about them says they are an individual. You sometimes see this in conservative and incumbent business and the occasional startup. A good test is to take the negative side of an argument and listen to how they counter or not counter.

Embrace the oddities and chaos of life, people, nature, everything because if you just do exactly like everyone it seems safe but it will make you not remarkable.

Not everyone is a target you can fully serve well with your solutions. Prioritize your leads etc.

Build your network within the organization. One way to build the relationship is to be where they will be, join clubs or events they frequent. Or create an event that would attract them.

Stop chasing transaction relationship. I meet and engage lots of people everyday and the moment I dictate this person just wants what I can get them or do for them, I immediately avoid them.

Be of value to them prior to engaging them to buy your solutions. No one likes being sold to…however people like buying value. Can you get them into rare events or rare introductions or a product. And most importantly, most hate making bad purchase decisions.

Can you take the time to share their company’s great content or their founders insights with your audience. Most people might in the future return the favor. However don't do this just because you want them to do the same for you.

Be open to listening to prospects, customer facing employees, and any one who might see the world differently from you.

Treat every internal and external personal as important to your business. However do some form of personality test or value assessment pre- hiring. For example, if you need someone to stay with you for five plus years--maybe find out if they desire to start their own business within a year or two. Or look at your turn-over reasons.

Be a winner in every shape of the word. In tangible or intangible ways. And make sure to do business with people who want to be winners or are winners.

Until someone has articulated strongly  that they are not interested-- you can choose to persist but make sure you are not barking at the wrong tree. And are ready to serve them if they say yes. For example, don’t aggressively chase people to upgrade if they hardly use your free products.

Sticking to your commitments and showing that you’ll be an advocate and support for them long after closing the sale.

Develop the mindset and resources that you can help handle the down moments, regressions, failures. Simply develop resilience.

Try to make a decent impression -  it doesn't have to be perfect or needy but one that suites yourself, your target, industry or whatever. Something people can recall about you once you are gone.

Be sure you can gather some personal or business info about your target but the fact is people still need to be certain that you are a trustworthy person to engage and can maintain their privacy. P.S. don’t gather info that you don’t need. You are just making yourself more desirable for hackers..

Look for ways to identify prospects in advance. There are many ways to spot who you should target however don’t approach like you are after a one time sale or indifferent to their story.

Invite people who are certain to benefit from your offering to test it or on a trial basis  for limited time. Help them learn how to get the most value from your offering.

Always be looking for ways you can automate your systems and processes efficiently and effectively. Email automation saves a lot in terms of labor capital. Chat-bots can save time by handling F.A.Q however don’t completely take out the human.

Take the time to talk to people and carry a conversation because certain emotions can’t be picked up via email/ chatbot/ sms.

Be careful how, when, where, who, what, and reason for discounts. Use it depending on the value your clients get out of it or the nature of the market place. Try to work on being like Apple.

Perception can shape things in terms of demand, value, market share, support, distribution, handling, packaging, execution, presentation, etc. Study how humans or your target perceive things.

You are mentally and emotionally committed to a higher goal and achievement. Live for a higher purpose.

You develop your business systems from the ground up in a way which is much more scale-able.

You have figured out your big picture and you spend time pushing everything towards that.

You delegate and manage talent brilliantly. It starts with the leaders. So evaluate your leadership style and personal style because this will shape who you attract.

If you want to be in business for a long time - build something scaleable and relative easy to re-plant into other markets. 

One wisdom that I picked up - is that - the energy to build a small business is almost the same as building a big dream.

Put extra effort and the best effort in delivering and distributing the best quality content marketing experience that works for your target.

If you are gathering email via landing page or gated content, find ways to make sure you have ways for people to identify that they have a need for your services and if it’s okay to follow up instead of emailing people who had no intention to buy in the first place.

You’ve got to get to loyalty. A loyal customer or fan base is matter of survival ability. Make aggressive effort to learn and engage your early adopters. Beta it or give them a scrappy version which you’ve not attached a model to.

If possible bootstrap what can be and pay for what you need to pay for to boost your effort.

Keep some kind of measurement like KPI. For example are people signing up more or less? Are people reaching out via social media to talk you about your product or service.

If you are going to demonstrate domain expertise, you better know most of what you need to know.  However if you just like sharing what you’ve learned about an area …do it and own it.

People sometimes need guidance on what to do next, in the buyers journey, so help them see what’s next or place a relevant call to action or place an answer to a possible objection.

Know and assess what it cost you in time and money to acquire customers, keep customers, get referrals from customers.

Don’t be afraid to incentivize users, influences with a referral program or payment. Find creative ways fans can advocate or speak about your service. Get on the radar of influencers however weigh the standards, values, etc of the influencer before approaching.

There might be better business-to-consumer communication tools because voice via phones are used less often, email slowly dying, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, Slack seem to be a good alternative.

In some cases you will engage lower level employees at your prospects business who like your service but don't know how to sell it upwards. This is where you'd learn to educate others to be able to do a good job selling on your behalf. You can always send them to a demo site..

Sometimes you have to start with the little and soft deals closing before you can close the big ass deals. Maybe offer like a bare bone low risk offers.

One trick to making friends and business contacts is frequent an event they may attend. They get to like you, know you and eventually they want to do business with people they are familiar with.

Iif you want to attract winners and hangout with winners you need to be a winner. For example if you are looking for high net worth founders, find events that attract them. Look into what charities are they associated to. You want monthly events. If you serve a diverse workforce or clientele make sure to associate with universal causes.

People have a shorter attention span and are addressing variety of social and economic factors in their lives so your messages needs to be clear and you can achieve this by using images instead of words. Studies have shown that visuals are processed much faster.

No matter how flawless your purchasing process people still will have hesitations about buying. Do everything to ease their anxiety.

Events are a powerful way to connect with prospects and customers quicker. Plus once people have a good feeling they usually give you a chance. I welcome people to at least try to create or be involved in a form of expertise marketing.

Depending what generation you are trying to tap ...maybe millennials or baby-boomers get in the habit of engaging them. According to Accenture: millennials will spend 1.4 trillion by 2020.
So find out why are people buying from you?What information do they use to get to you? What can you do for yourself and what can you outsource?

Encourage everyone to play a role in driving leads into the pipeline. Maybe reward them for leads that close.

Everything you do is meant to help them achieve their goals and overall objective of the organization. That's why it's important to always engage like a consultant not a sales person.

"We think we can still win people over by sheer force of will, but that’s a mistake,”

Having identifiable thought leaders and experts in you business can really help in engaging better. So if you have a credible A.I employee on staff you can leverage that.

You need to be able to improve prospect education because sometimes they have filled their heads with poor quality information. You need to make the effort to be a trusted source and active in being open to diverse views as well.

With the rapid changes you can no longer rely on just your gut to help make decision. You are going to have to embrace data and all it's short comings. Embrace A.I , Machine Learning, etc

Being transparent is all the rage around the world and forces are pushing for it to be the norm for everyone and for every industry. Consumers want to know how the company they buy from treats workers, manages it's waste. etc but does that information change purchasing behaviors? Walk the talk.

People want a two way conversation. So find ways to start conversation relevant to you, relevant to targets, or to your industry.

Content will need to be more relevant and produced quicker and efficiently. Content needs to be integrated.

Give your brand a personality and a soul. Go out and win hearts and minds.

Sales and marketing is going to get more complex and sophisticated.

Most branded content will come from consumers. So embrace user generated that serves your purpose.

Sometimes you do good to get recognized and sometimes you're quietly helping families, communities, individuals, or just a country.

This is one important thing that founders need to be aware of 24/7. As the face and voice you need to set what you are willing to accept and what you don't want.

This tracking by software providers and advertisers and social media platforms are just getting out of hand. As technology improves it will be able to link all activities, make accurate prediction. In the future there will be more tools that will put more power into consumers hands.

Taking the time to find growth before your competitors does.

Always be seeking to optimize sales operations and technology.

Keep finding leaders for different functions who can continuously challenge the status quo so that your business doesn't become complacent.

Prospects and customers may become frustrated by inconsistent experiences.

There will be a time relationship with institutions, enterprise, business will be  less and less about engaging a human offline.

Sales teams will need to be comfortable with algorithms and able to work with data scientists and marketing-tech experts to design solutions.

There's always going to be a need for someone to extract leads from any legal means. Either you outsource it or you do it in house.

In this changing times, it's important not to try to relive the past or hope what worked in the past will work today. Always refresh your thinking.

More than sixty-five percent of shoppers expect AR and VR, better personalization will change how they shop.

With industrial 4.0 technology you may be able to become even more efficiency with current resources.

Sometimes it's not about being the loudest, it's about being the most relevant to the times or moment in the prospect lives.

Explore and consider creating content or material that people can not live without.

Businesses and institution have abuse customers trust in many different ways. So raising your trustworthiness could help. Peoples privacy and data have been hacked and people are terrified of information businesses like Facebook.

Be the entity that can see the world from your prospects eyes and help them achieve their goals and desires.

As consumers or business owners need to take the time to figure out who your providers primary customer is. Is it their advertisers, users, vendors, suppliers, employees or institution. That will tell you if you will be cared for or ignore. For Amazon, they seem to be obsessed with customers  and for Wells Fargo it will be their shareholders.

Sometimes chasing dominance is just digging your own grave. Strive to be significant instead.

Now is the time to find a huge problem and then use the next technology wave to address the problem.

Always be seeking strategic partnerships.

Get out there and talk to your target.Companies that talk to customers and collect insights tend to experience a higher growth rate.

"Going from monthly to annual contracts greatly reduces churn – when making the switch, it’s better to provide customers one or two months for free versus applying a percentage discount (customers can relate to it better)."








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