This week on #Smallbizchat LIVE our show featured three guests: How to Build a Sales Process with Alice Heiman, @aliceheiman, Start Making Connections, Stop Adding to Your Connections with Phil Gerbyshak, @PhilGerb, and How to Develop Your Personal Brand Using Video with Cher Jones, @itscherjones.
I pulled three of the best questions from each of them to share with you. Every third Wed of the month, Smallbizchat LIVE is broadcast on my SmallBizLady Facebook Page, YouTube channel and on Twitter @SmallBizLady.
Alice Heiman has been helping companies increase sales for over 20 years. Her firm specializes in the complex sale, strategizing with sales teams to find new business and grow existing account. For more info: www.aliceheiman.com.
SMALLBIZLADY: What are the stages in a sales process?
Alice Heiman: There are typically 5 stages in a sales process. We call them: Prospect, Qualify, Verify, Close, and Won. For each of those stages, there will be a definition, activities, and criteria for moving to the next stage. The biggest mistake that people make when they develop a sales process is mixing up the stages, activities, criteria, and positioning.
SMALLBIZLADY: How do we determine what activities go with each stage?
Alice Heiman: You start by understanding how your buyer buys and how we interface with that process. First buyers realize they have a problem to solve. Next, they look for solutions that might fix that problem. Then they compare the solutions and see how well the solution solves the problem. Finally, they make a decision. To mirror that process we need to: (1) Target Your Audience, (2) Build Awareness, (3) Develop Interest, (4) Determine needs and qualify, (5) Educate on fit and differentiate, (6) Close the business, and (7) Implement.
SMALLBIZLADY: How do those activities fit into the 5 stages?
Alice Heiman: You start by defining the kinds of clients that will have the problems you solve and determining which of those kinds of companies are the best fit for your product. Next, you make a list of clients to prospect. Those 10 to 100 clients go in the top of the funnel in Prospecting. Once you have that list you will begin the process of building awareness and developing interest.
When the customer has self-identified as being interested, the process of Qualifying begins. The sales rep will continue to develop interest while asking the questions to determine need, fit budget and buying process. Once qualified, the process of Verifying and differentiating begin. This is when the sales rep meets all the buyers and ask questions to confirm the fit, need and budget and to move the buyers toward a decision. The lead moves to Close when the buyer is working to get the contract signed and check written.
Once the contract is signed and the check is in hand, the lead moves to Won and the team begins working on delivery or implementation. The salesperson’s job is to make sure this process goes well so more opportunities will follow.
Phil Gerbyshak, bright, BOLD, and enthusiastic, is a speaker who never holds a back and leaves it all on the stage, energizing and inspiring audiences to take action immediately. He is a highly respected speaker, trainer and coach. Phil works with small businesses to build more leads, have more qualified sales conversations and close more business. For more info: http://philgerbyshak.com.
SMALLBIZLADY: What’s the difference between a connection and a capital C Connection?
Phil Gerbyshak: A connection is someone in your LinkedIn network, someone on your friends list, someone you loosely know, without having any deep thing in common.
A capital C Connection is someone you feel connected to, that also feels connected to you, that will respond when you send them a relevant personal message, call them or otherwise contact them.
SMALLBIZLADY: How can you connect with virtually anyone online or offline?
Phil Gerbyshak: First, you have to look them in the eyes. I mean it. Pull up their profile. Look into their eyes. There are two eyes. Look deeply. Focus on the person. Their wants. Their needs. Their desires. If you don’t know these, you need to do your research.
Next, you need to look them in the Is. That’s the letter I, and there are three of them.
The first I is in common. Who or what is in common? I mean really in common, not just something you are pretending is in common, like a LinkedIn group you joined just to connect with them or a random person you don’t really know. Is it their location? Their industry? The company they work at? Where they went to college? What’s in common? Mention it.
The second I is insight. What do you know about their problems that they can’t find with a quick Google search? Are they new to their job role? New to the company? Did they just move? Is their industry going through a pivot, or about to undergo one? What do they need to know that they probably don’t. Share that.
The last I is interesting. Not everyone wants to talk about work. Statistics show people change jobs every 17 months. Maybe they want to talk about their kids, their vacation, their hobbies, whatever. Ask about them – and share yours in a fun, interesting way.
SMALLBIZLADY: What’s the biggest mistake people make about Connections and connecting in general?
Phil Gerbyshak: I call this the illusion of connection and it happens to me every day. Just because I answer the phone, sign up for your email newsletter, accept your LinkedIn request, let you be my Facebook friend or follow you back on Twitter or Instagram does NOT mean we are Connections. Until you show me you care about ME and my problems, I do NOT care about you, your products or your services. Relationships take time. Sales take time. Take your time and always aim for a capital C Connection and you’ll sell more, serve better and have more fun than if you rush it.
Cher Jones is a Social Media Trainer & Personal Branding Strategist, with the love of technology hardwired into her personality. Her ability to remove the fear and expertly breakdown how to use social media networks like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter to build relationships, improve sales and grow business have many referring to her as one of Canada’s leading social media trainers. For more info: www.sociallyactivetraining.com
SMALLBIZLADY: What do I need to consider when I am developing a video strategy for my personal brand?
Cher Jones: There are a lot of factors that go into to a video strategy for your personal brand. Here are a few key questions you should ask yourself:
- What kind of videos would best serve my target audience?
- Why are you creating them in the first place? (Know your goals!)
- How much time do you have to work on these videos? (Shooting & editing)
- Can I start with the equipment/resources I have? (Yes… yes you can!)
- How are you optimizing your videos for maximum visibility? (Thumbnails & keywords)
- How often, where and when are you sharing them?
- What formats do you believe will best represent your personality and brand, once you’ve developed your comfort level in doing them
SMALLBIZLADY: What social video formats will work best for my brand?
Cher Jones: There are so many formats including: how to videos, produced videos, interviews, behind the scenes, advice & tips, product reviews, unboxings, Q&A’s, LIVE, edited vlogs (document), ephemeral (IG stories/Snapchat), voice over (over pictures or power points), slideshows, cartoon/whiteboards. You have to choose the ones that will play to your strengths. Whatever format you choose, you must take the time to plan a beginning middle and an end. Your video MUST grab the attention of your viewer within the first 3-5 seconds or else you could lose them. The video must then maintain their attention with how you choose to unfold the story/information. When it comes to length the stats say your videos should be 2 minutes long for maximum retention. But I say they should be as long as they need to be to share what you need to share in a BRIEF but value filled way.
SMALLBIZLADY: Even though video seems to be where it’s at from you damage your brand with video?
Cher Jones: The easiest way to damage your brand with video is by creating content that doesn’t serve your audience. No, not everything needs to be perfectly produced, polished and “professional” but your ideal target audience should never feel like watching your video was a waste of their time. Before you create a simple 15 sec clip on IG stories, a 3 minute how-to video on YouTube, a 5 minute tips & advice video for LinkedIn or a 1 hour LIVE show on Facebook you must ask yourself: “So what’s the point? & Who cares?” If you can’t answer this question effectively, don’t bother post it. The job of your content is to build trust in the newsfeed. You want your audience to always feel like when they click on your content they know it will be a good way to spend their time. Break that trust with poor content more than 3 times, it will be difficult to earn it back.
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