Nine Ways to Waste Your Marketing Budget

June 24th, 2013

Ways to Waste Your Marketing BudgetYour company has too much money. I understand. It’s a common problem. Clearly, you need to get rid of some of it. But how?

Marketing!

But not just any marketing—it has to be bad marketing.

Because good marketing is actually an investment—it will generate more sales, making you more money. And you wouldn’t want that, now would you?

So here are nine ways to ensure your marketing dollars go straight down the drain.

1. Direct your marketing at the wrong people
Most people aren’t your buyers. Which means the broader you direct your message, the lower the odds that anyone will respond to it. Better yet, spend some money on research to determine who and where your ideal prospects are….and ignore it! Believe it or not, it’s a time-tested way to waste a marketing budget.

2. Don’t use a headline
People make the decision whether or not to read more based on your headline. (Or on radio or TV, based on your opening statement.) So if there’s no headline—or if there’s a bad headline—there’s no reason for them to give you any further attention!

3. Make it all about your company, product or service
Here’s an important secret: Nobody cares about your company, your product or your service. People only care about themselves. Which is great news if you want to dispose of your marketing dollars without risk of generating sales. Just talk exclusively about your company, product and/or service without any reference to how you benefit customers.

4. Use jargon
Using terms that most people don’t understand—like industry jargon, technical names and acronyms—makes people feel stupid. And since people hate feeling stupid, they will ignore your marketing message as well as your product.

5. Use clichés
Using clichés like “quality,” “service,” “value,” and “performance” causes you to sound like everybody else. And if you’re just like everybody else, there’s no good reason someone should choose you, right?

6. Use lots of stock photography
Stock photography has the potential to be “visual clichés.” Because if people see the same images in your marketing materials as they see in other companies’ materials, again you appear to be the same as everyone else.

7. Leave out testimonials
Testimonials are one of the most powerful sales and marketing tools available. In order to truly waste your marketing budget, you must avoid them at all costs!

8. No call to action
If you tell your prospect to “Call now!” or “Click here!” they just might do it. Similarly, if you give them a deadline or offer them an incentive to act, you run the risk of them actually buying from you.

9. Avoid tracking the results
Tracking the results of your marketing will tell you what’s working and what’s not. Which you don’t want to know, because then some idiot might insist on directing your company’s time, energy and money toward those marketing initiatives that somehow—despite your best efforts—are actually driving more sales. Which would defeat the whole purpose!

No company should be burdened with too much money. If your company is suffering from this condition, you have my sympathies. Hopefully, by following these nine strategies, you can resolve this problem quickly and efficiently. Remember, wasting money isn’t easy, but it can be done!

Top Ten Prospecting Mistakes Salespeople Make

June 12th, 2013

Top Ten Prospecting Mistakes in SalesFor most salespeople, professionals and business owners, the sales process begins with prospecting. And yet, too often, we unwittingly sabotage our prospecting efforts.

If you don’t have the number of quality prospects you’d like, chances are you’re making one or more of these common mistakes.

1. Not doing it
It amazes me how many people will complain about not having enough prospects, but won’t actually do anything about it. Any prospecting is better than no prospecting.

2. Not spending enough time on it
I know—you’re busy. You have a lot of things on your plate, especially if you’re a professional or business owner. But sales is the most critical part of your career or business. Which means you need to make prospecting a priority.

3. Having a negative attitude about it
Because prospecting is frequently riddled with rejection, many people believe it’s a waste of their time. The problem is that we manifest what we believe, as brain researchers have proven. So if you have a negative attitude about prospecting, it will come through in your voice, your words and your actions, resulting in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

4. Looking in the wrong places
One of the reasons rejection is so frequent is that salespeople often contact the wrong people. Whether it’s because they have a bad list, they don’t know who their ideal customers are or they believe “everybody” is their market, they waste a lot of time on people who will never buy from them. Know your target market and focus your efforts on them.

5. Failing to research prospects
Even if you know the basic profile of your ideal prospect, you won’t get very far if you don’t know anything else. With as much information as there is out there, prospects can get easily offended if you don’t know who they are and what they do. Invest some time in research—the more, the better.

6. Making a pitch instead of asking questions
Too many prospecting calls and letters are a long pitch about the company’s wonderful, amazing, spectacular, new, improved, guaranteed, exceptional, state-of-the-art, breakthrough, premier, exciting, super-cool product or service.

Guess what? Nobody cares!

Instead, ask a few simple, targeted questions that address the prospect’s issues to determine if they have a need for your product or service. Pitches bore, questions engage.

7. Being inconsistent
A lot of people will prospect like crazy for a while, and then devote themselves to everything else until there are no more orders to fill—the classic “feast or famine” approach. If you want your pipeline to be more consistent, then your prospecting efforts need to be consistent as well.

8. Having no plan
One of the keys to consistency is having a plan. Who are your target prospects? Where can you find them? How many will you contact each day or week? When will you contact them? Via what channels? When will you conduct your research? Create a written plan and adjust as needed to maximize your results.

9. Giving up too easily
Because everyone has so many demands on their time, prospects today are harder to reach than ever before. If you give up after one or two messages, well, that’s what they’re hoping for. Persistence and creativity, though, can often lead to success. Change your message, change your contact method, change your approach. If you believe they’re a good prospect, keep trying.

10. Not following up
Sales aren’t typically closed on the initial call. Even simple deals usually require a significant amount of follow up. And even after doing everything else right, that’s where a lot of salespeople fall down. Be zealous about following up with your prospects once you’ve made contact.

So which of these mistakes are you making? Create an action plan to rectify them and you’ll see a dramatic boost in your sales.

By the way, if you’re a sales manager and you were nodding your head in frustrated agreement as you read this because your sales team is guilty of several of these offenses, give me a shout. I have an entire training program on how to make prospecting faster, easier and more effective.

What other prospecting mistakes have you seen salespeople make? Leave them in the comments section below!

Why and How to Be More Aggressive in Your Sales

June 4th, 2013

How to Be More Aggressive in Your SalesAre you losing sales to people who aren’t as good as you are, but go after the sale more aggressively? Do you hold your tongue when you should speak up about your products and services?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this eight-minute segment, you’ll discover:

• Two reasons you need to be more aggressive
• Two situations when it’s perfectly okay to be aggressive
• Two ways you can be aggressive without being obnoxious
• And more!

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Note: There’s an echo about one minute in, but it disappears after about twenty seconds.

How to Be More Aggressive in Your Sales: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I definitely recommend), check out WhoIsMichelePrice.com.