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A business book is a great marketing tool for people in the business of selling their expertise and know-how. Instead of thinking about it as just a book, however, you should be thinking of it as a product your ideal clients will want to buy.
If you are someone who does not like selling then pre-selling is definitely something you should be looking at integrating into your sales technique. It is one of my favourite Soft Selling strategies.
Public Speaking is an important lead generation strategy if you are in the business of selling your expertise and there are lots of opportunities these days to raise your profile and awareness through public speaking. Make sure that you are adding value by your speaking rather than doing a sales pitch.
When I started speaking I was very uncomfortable but I found that my comfort zone quickly stretched and now I really enjoy it!
I was doing a workshop yesterday and I did a 5 minute brainstorming session within the room as to ways of generating leads. Within 5 minutes we had 25 different ways and they were still coming thick and fast. Most did not involve a lot of expense. I asked around the room how many strategies people were using and it ranged for 1 to 4. The same people in the room that said they wanted more sales were saying that they were not adopting strategies that they already knew about!!
People do not buy products and services just for the sake of it, and especially not companies. You can safely assume that companies will not spend any money unless there is a profit motive (this may not be 100% true but assuming it will be a good discipline to have).Either they want to increase revenue or reduce costs. A company will increase costs in the short term to reduce costs in the longer term. They will spend more money in one area to save even more costs in another area.
If you go to any car boot sale you will find an endless river of tables with what appears to be identical things for sale. There will be a pile of well thumbed books, a number of glasses that came free with 4 gallons of petrol and a collection of assorted tea cups, some of which have saucers! The visitors, seemingly desperate to add to their well thumbed book collection and stock up on their free glass collection, haggle over pennies as they go from table to table.
Why should they buy from you when they can buy virtually the same thing from every other table?
If you are an expert in your field then the internet gives you an excellent platform for getting found by your target audience, to be seen as an expert, and ultimately to stimulate an enquiry. How can you increase the chances that someone searching for your expertise can actually find you? That was one of the main topics of this evening’s webinar where I interviewed Dr Alan Rae in relation to his research for Brunel University into small businesses that are ‘punching above their weight’ in terms of marketing.
Do you have clarity of your business proposition? Do your prospects understand clearly what you can do for them and why it is important they talk to you? This is one of the most fundamental challenges accidental sales people have, in my experience. This is more important than selling skill.
I tend to work with people where they seem to have everything going for them in terms of business and yet something is just not quite working. In many cases they know HOW to sell but for some reason they are not getting enough business.
I am going to do a separate article on self-motivation and I got writing down some assumptions I make that have worked well for me and I also use as a sort of diagnostic when working with other people.
I have been working with a lot of smaller businesses lately who were previously doing very well but their major source of income has gone from a flood, to a stream, and then down to a trickle. They are finding that what was previously selling well is now not getting much attention as their clients and prospects become more careful with how they spend their money. ‘Nice to have’ is now off the menu.