Tag Archives: leadership

Blogging – let your car be your notepad.

Picture of Ford Focus

I’m sure you’re well aware of the benefits of regular, targeted blogging in terms of promoting your business so, I’m sure that, at some point or another you’ve tried writing a blog, in the hope that, overnight, millions see your pearls of wisdom and take action that will result in you receiving some valuable new business.

In reality, one blog post alone won’t cut it – it’s a matter of repeated, regular effort – consistently putting out relevant content that brings in interest through the sharing of your expertise and knowledge.

And it’s that part that often causes the downfall.   You may find enough ideas for a few blogs but really struggle with the regular part.

First step to sorting this out – have a look at the previous blog post I wrote on finding inspiration  for your blog.

Second step – and this is something that works very well for me – rather than sitting at my computer, hoping that inspiration comes to me – I use a recorder app on my phone so, when I’m in the car, driving along, getting inspired by the English traffic that roars past my window, I can just rant and rave into my phone.

I then get back into the office, type up what I’ve just recorded and, voila, a lovely new blog post, written in my natural phraseology.     Obviously I don’t type EVERYTHING I’ve said in the car, otherwise many of my blog posts would consist of my critiquing of everybody else’s standards of driving.

So, don’t write your blogs – record them!

And if you’re looking for more business for your business – get in touch with us on the number below or drop an email to sales@inspired-bd.com

 

 

www.inspired-bd.com

0330 20 50 500

 

 

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Sales Prospecting – it’s all about the future!

Back to the future delorian

Prospecting for new business is often one of the least enjoyable parts of the sales process.

Making those cold calls, sending out those introductory emails, knocking on doors, however you do it, it can be tiresome work.    It’s the part where you’re likely to face a lot of rejection, where you’re leaving countless voicemail messages and getting no responses back, where you’re spending time and energy writing emails which seemingly just get ignored.

Yes, there’ll be some glimmers of hope in there but, let’s face it, this is, for many, the hardest aspect of being in sales.

And, in turn, it’s often a part of the role that people put off doing.

Maybe you’re just not “in the mood” today.   Maybe you’d rather get on the phone to a happy customer and spend half an hour discussing your holiday plans, all the while fooling yourself that “it’s still work”

But prospecting isn’t just about what happens today, it’s about what you’re creating for the future.

It’s a VERY rare occasion that you’ll sign up a new customer from that initial interaction but, every customer you now have will, at some point have had an initial interaction with you.    There will have been a time where you were “in the mood” and made that initial cold call, sent that email, left that voicemail message.

And, over time, assuming those initial interactions have hit the spot, that relationship can be nurtured, you’ll prove that you’re a trusted person to do business with and, before you know it, terms are being signed and you’ve bagged yourself a sale.

The prospecting activity you put in TODAY will always be the starting point for securing those future customers.    Don’t put it off!

And, if you need help with any aspects of sales and marketing, give us a call at Inspired Business Development.  We’re friendly, helpful and very experienced in what we do and I’m sure we can help you too!

 

www.inspired-bd.com

0330 20 50 500

 

 

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Out of office replies – the hidden benefits

Out of office notice

We’ve all been there – you’ve called to speak to a prospect, he/she is available/won’t take your call so ask if you’re able to send an introductory email.

You’re very kindly provided with an email address, spend time crafting an eye catching email that (hopefully) will stand out from the hundreds of others they’ll receive in an average day and, you click send, hoping and praying that it gets there, is read and, most importantly, responded to.

A couple of minutes later you hear the familiar ping of an incoming email, draw your attention to your inbox only to discover it’s an automated out of office reply.

So, what do you do?

Most likely hit delete and maybe, just maybe set a call back date to try him/her another time.

And move onto the next prospect.

But, what have you just missed?

Out of office replies can be a goldmine of information so, before you hit delete, you could find:

  • A direct dial extension number (so you don’t have to go through reception next time)
  • A mobile number (so you’ve more chance of reaching them if they’re not typically office based)
  • A date when the prospect is next going to be in the office
  • Contact details for colleagues in the same department (who could also have some decision making power)
  • Social Links (so you have more channels of making contact)
  • Additional email addresses
  • Inside leg measurements, mothers maiden name and the name of their first pet

Ok, so the last one is unlikely but the rest are VERY likely to be in there.  Grab that info, put it in your CRM, update your contact info, try the other means of reaching them NOW whilst it’s fresh in your mind.

So, don’t discount the value of an out of office reply!

And if you need assistance with sales, marketing or any aspects of business development, give us a call, we’d love to help you out!

www.inspired-bd.com

0330 20 50 500

 

Dan Smith

MD
Inspired Business Development Ltd

www.inspired-bd.com

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There are no bears chasing you!

 

Picture of a grizzly bear

Unless you work in a job that involves close interaction with Bears, it’s unlikely, during the normal course of your day to day life that you’re going to be chased by bears.

That’s a given.

And, can also apply to Lions, Tigers, Panthers, Wolves, Herds of Elephants, in fact, most things that are renowned for chasing and killing their prey.

So you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Yet, often – maybe once a month, maybe once a week, possibly every minute of every day, we find ourselves in stressful situations, situations which cause our bodies – and minds – to react in exactly the same manner as if we were being hunted down by a predatory creature.

The “Fight or flight” mechanism – the result of us evolving from a time when our ancestors genuinely were chased by bears on a regular basis.   The mind causes you to prepare to either stand and fight or get on your heels and scarper.

Except there are no bears chasing you.    You may have financial pressures, stresses and problems at work, annoying arguments with colleagues, deadlines to work to, whatever it is, this fight or flight mechanism kicks in and, if it’s kicking in too regularly or to too much of an extreme, it will certainly harm your physical and mental health.

So remember, next time you’re freaking out over something that seems SO important and SO worthy of stressing yourself over – it may seem important, you may feel like you need to fight or run but, it’s not a matter of life or death.

There are no bears chasing you!

www.inspired-bd.com

0330 20 50 500

 

Dan Smith

MD
Inspired Business Development Ltd

 

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Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

 

Daft Punk Lego

In some ways, there’s never been an easier time to be in sales.   All the information we could ever need is at our fingertips.     Decision makers names, email addresses, telephone numbers, current clients, all available within seconds if you know where to look.

Never have you been better armed.

Unfortunately, your prospects also have access to all the information they could ever need.     To some degree they don’t “need” salespeople to tell them about how brilliant their company or their product is.   They can find it out themselves.

Prospects are also busier or at least seemingly busier than they ever have been.      Not only are they universally working harder and longer than ever before, the information heavy age in which we live has led prospects and indeed people on the whole to develop attention spans equivalent to a gnat on speed.

Send them a long introductory email, it won’t get read.   Call them and – if you’re lucky enough to speak to them, they often won’t be able to speak for very long because their attention is elsewhere.   Provide a genuine solution to their problems and they’ll be too busy to even consider it – even if that something will save them time.

But there are worthwhile prospects out there – even the people you’re trying tirelessly to reach could even become worthwhile prospects – it just might take a LOT longer to reach them than you’ve become accustomed to.

To survive in outbound sales today you really do have to work harder, better, faster and stronger than ever before (and you were wondering why there was a picture of daft punk on this blog).

Make more calls, send more emails, become more efficient, more resilient, more knowledgeable than your competitors, manage your time more effectively.   Don’t fight the change – it’s already happened, just strive to work Harder, Better, Faster and Stronger

And if you need more business for your business – let’s talk.   We’ve made thousands of successful outbound calls over the last five years and have a proven track record of generating high value sales for our clients

www.inspired-bd.com

0330 20 50 500

 

Dan Smith

MD
Inspired Business Development Ltd

 

 

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How many “no’s” have you got today?

 

In sales, you’re always looking for a “yes”

A yes means your prospects are interested.  A yes means they’re going to give you some business.   A yes means more money in your pocket.

Yes’s are good.

But don’t ignore the importance of No’s.

Whilst no’s may not be as welcome, every single no you get is a step closer to a yes, both with that prospect and the next one you speak to, and the next one after that.

As long as you aim to come away with SOMETHING from every call, every meeting, every presentation, those no’s will not be a waste of your time.  Often the no’s will be an objection that you’re easily able to handle (assuming you know your product well enough) – another no that’s closer to a yes.

Not only should you accept that there will be a LOT of no’s along the way, you should invite them in.   Set yourself “no” targets and set yourself a target for converting those no’s into yes’s – after all, whilst no’s are part and parcel of sales, it’s the Yes’s we really want!

And, if there’s any way we can help to demonstrate our brilliance by driving more sales for your business, give us a call on 0330 20 50 500 or drop an email to sales@inspired-bd.com

We can run full, dedicated telemarketing campaigns to promote your business, paid per lead campaigns, email marketing, seo, social media, sales consultancy, whatever you need, let’s chat!

Dan Smith

MD
Inspired Business Development Ltd

www.inspired-bd.com

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Don’t stop believing

 

 

Picture of band journey

I’m not ashamed to admit that yesterday I had a “bad day”

I’m generally not one for believing in “bad days” as, personally I see a bad day as purely being my negative reaction to my circumstances but, whatever the reason, I did not enjoy yesterday.

Perhaps, being the first day back after a bank holiday weekend, yesterday wasn’t a good day to try and speak to people.  Perhaps I got frustrated at the amount of effort I was putting in versus the return that seemed to produced as a result.  Perhaps I questioned my very existence on a couple of occasions.   I certainly briefly questioned why I was in business, whether it might be best to throw it all in and go get a job.    But then I remembered all the positive aspects of owning and running a business and that idea soon vanished from my mind.

Besides, having been in business for 5 years now, I’ve probably rendered myself pretty much unemployable.   Yes I’ll do a brilliant job but, you try telling me what to do.  Five years of calling the shots, that would be a big shift in my psyche, going back to having a boss again.

Throughout all of this though, what pulled me out of my sense of malaise (I used that word a lot yesterday), was my belief.  Belief in myself, belief in my business and belief in my team.

With all the hassle that comes with running a business, it is often difficult to see through all of that and to take note of the good that your organisation creates.  The sales opportunities we generate, the huge amount of highly professional telephone calls we make and emails we send, the new markets we’ve helped our clients to break into.

I’m a great salesperson and, I’d like to think, a great manager and leader (you’ll have to ask the people I manage and lead for the true opinion on that) but, sometimes, when I’m having a bad day, my faith in myself and my business diminishes.

The best advice I can give – Don’t stop believing!

And, if there’s any way we can help to demonstrate our brilliance by driving more sales for your business, give us a call on 0330 20 50 500 or drop an email to sales@inspired-bd.com

 

Dan Smith

MD
Inspired Business Development Ltd

www.inspired-bd.com

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Sales – Are you tired of the chase?

 

Chaser

 

 

If you’re reading this article and live in the UK, or the US or, I believe Australia now, you’re most likely aware of the TV game show “The Chase”

For those of you that aren’t familiar with it – The Chase is a quiz show whereby a team consisting of 4 members of the public are pitted against a quizzing powerhouse (the chaser).    The chaser’s role is to answer more  questions correctly than the team and, in turn, prevent the team from winning the cash prize.

And, if you work in sales, you’re probably, unintentionally taking part in your own version of the chase, every single day.     Not competing against a quiz expert, more so competing with the time and attention of your prospects.

We all know the situation – you’ve met with a prospective client, had what you consider to be a brilliant, productive meeting, you send across your proposal and then, for days, weeks, months or even years on end, after phone calls, emails, messages you just can’t get a decision out of them.

You need that decision because, if the decision is positive, you’ll win a cash prize.  If it isn’t then at least you can spend your time focusing on prospects who are more likely to convert into customers.

So, how do you stop becoming a contestant on your own version of the chase?

It all starts from the first interaction you have with that prospect.      The more you qualify them at this early stage, the less likely you are to be having to chase them for an eternity just to get a decision.

Uncover what their true motive is – why are they coming to you? what are they looking to achieve?   Is cost the driver? service? your location?   Don’t assume you know what they want, even if they appear to be telling you.

Clarify any information you’re given – establish if they are actually the decision maker, if anyone else is involved in the final decision, what potential issues they may have in giving you the go ahead?  who else are they talking to? what’s the budget? timescale.  All the usual BANTS principles.

And agree on timescales – don’t end the call with “I’ll speak to you in a week or so”   get an exact date and time – and stick to it.  Make the prospect know how important their business is to you.

The bottom line – we all want to be helpful, we all want to be polite.  It may not seem natural to be clarifying so much information when all a prospect has done is show a tiny bit of interest in what you’re offering but, believe me, if you reduce the chase, the prospects that want to deal with you will respect that, as will your bank balance!

And if you need a reliable, passionate UK based company to help you drive your sales forward give us a call on 0330 20 50 500 or complete our enquiry form on our website and we’ll call you straight back

Dan Smith

MD
Inspired Business Development Ltd

www.inspired-bd.com

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Business Social Media – Get involved

 

Inspired Business Development Social Media

 

 

Over the last few years, social media has revolutionised the way we sell and market our businesses.  Not only have companies generated billions in revenue off the back of Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and the rest, the very existence – and usage – of those sites has given birth to a whole industry devoted to helping companies develop their businesses through social media.

It can be scary when you first start out because, and let’s be fair, it’s EXTREMELY confusing for beginners.  How do you know what to put on your linkedin profile?  how do you know what to tweet?  Are you customers even interested in visiting your company facebook page?   and, the big one How do you know you’re getting a return on your investment?

There are answers to all of those questions out there – so go find ’em.   Yes I could write a huge, detailed post to give you all of the relevant but that’s for another time – as it stands, I’m an extremely avid user of social media that happens to utilise it’s power to help grow my telemarketing business so I want to give you new starters one simple piece of advice for using business social media:

“Get involved”

Now, that might seem vague but, it is what it is.    The true power of business social media comes from getting involved.  Don’t use it as a means to promote your business, use it as a means to get involved with/communicate with other people.

Comment on people’s posts, retweet people’s tweets, give advice, share expertise, pass on job vacancies to people you know would be suitable, repost things, point people in the right direction – all of this will help to build  your personal brand as the “Go to” person in your industry and, as that process builds, more people will know about you, those people know other people – other people that could be BRILLIANT new clients for your business.

Other people that won’t even need selling to because they’ll have already bought into the brand of YOU.

You don’t have to devote a tremendous amount of time to it initially – just fit it in around your day.   We all have moments where we’re just “hanging around” – get that social media platforms app on your phone, get commenting while you’re waiting for the train or sitting in a reception area waiting for a meeting.   Spend 10 minutes every morning or an hour when you get home every night, whatever it takes, just GET INVOLVED and you WILL see your revenues increase.

As a brief example of this – only this week I commented on a message someone had posted in LInkedin – rather strangely this chap had sent the message as a group message to about 20 of us, trying to promote his cleaning supplies company.   I could have ignored it as we have no need to purchase cleaning supplies but instead I commented, mentioning we could help him bring in new business for that company if he wanted to have a chat.

Someone else on that thread – who does use cleaning supplies and runs a cleaning company saw my comment, got my number off our website and called me – another potential new client for us, all because I commented on someone else’s message on Linkedin.  I got INVOLVED!

And if you need a reliable, passionate UK based company to help you drive your sales forward (we also provide social media management) give us a call on 0330 20 50 500 or complete our enquiry form on our website and we’ll call you straight back

Dan Smith

MD
Inspired Business Development Ltd

www.inspired-bd.com 

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6 tips for finding (almost) any company email address

 

Inspired Business Development Email

 

According to recent research, in 2007 the average amount of calls required to get through to a decision maker was around the 3.5 mark, today it’s closer to 8 attempts.

People are busy and are well aware of the time costs of taking incoming sales calls and, these two factors combined mean that it’s vital you utilise other channels of communication to get your message across to the right people.

One of the most effective methods is email but, with more and more companies being unwilling to impart that information, how do you find a decision makers email address when you really, really need it?

Here’s a few tips which, when combined will provide a (mostly) foolproof method of getting practically any decision makers email address.

1 – Call and ask for it.   Yes, you may find that if the company has a “no names policy” or is particularly protective over their employees contact information that this method alone won’t reap many rewards but, ask nicely, try not to sound like a salesperson and, if successful, this is one of the quickest methods there are.    Whilst I wouldn’t encourage it, you can obviously be a little less truthful and give the impression that the contact has asked you to email or, being more honest, I find a very high success rate from referring to a recent call you’ve made to them or a voicemail message where you’ve mentioned you’ll be sending them something.

2 – If your call doesn’t generate a direct email, at least let the receptionist give you the generic one.  This will at least give you the right domain name to be using.  Often, with larger companies it may not be immediately apparent what the domain name is for your country, getting a generic address will at least give you a starting point to work from

3 – Once you have the basic domain, type @theirdomain and the words – email format – into google.  This will usually produce results with pages and articles where an individual from that company has their direct email address, this will give you the correct format for that company – simply replace the name with the name of the person you’re trying to reach

4 – Adding “recruitment” or “job” or “vacancies” after that will often bring up recent job adverts and, invariably there’ll be a contact email address for an individual that was handling that vacancy – again, you’ve now got the correct format, replace it with the right name, job done!

5 – Use the website – http://www.verifyemailaddress.org/ (and I suggest bookmarking it as it’s incredibly useful) – either type or copy and paste the email address you want to check and it’ll tell you whether or not the email address is valid.   Note – this isn’t 100% foolproof but I find it works in the vast, vast majority of cases

6 – And another hugely useful website – http://www.guesser.email/  – type in the first name, last name and domain (excluding the @) and it’ll generate every common variation of that email address.   Simply copy and paste it into http://www.verifyemailaddress.org and, through a small exercise of trial and error you will, after a couple of minutes, get the correct email address for that person

Do be aware that, for the benefit of both yourself and the wider business community, I am not endorsing spamming people – yes an unsolicited email is effectively spam but, done correctly and done professionally, a cold email can be an incredibly useful tool in the salespersons arsenal.

And if you need a reliable, passionate UK based company to help you drive your sales forward (we also run email campaigns) give us a call on 0330 20 50 500

Dan Smith

MD
Inspired Business Development Ltd

www.inspired-bd.com

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