Why Do Customers Want To Call ? And We Don’t

As we have an online service I always wonder why people want to call. All possible information is available online, the price quote and link to their personalized payment page are send by email. Paying for subscription happens also online.

Verification

Some people just want to talk to one of the managers of the web service just to verify if the company really exists and is legit.
This is easy but even this short phone call is a waste of time for us.
Wondering why replying emails is not sufficient.

Discount

Some businessmen only will buy if they get an additional discount as they are used to get it. It’s part of their habit and culture. In their view the best way to get their additional discount is to have a call with the vendor in order to persuade and convince (or make believe) they are an important customer who will bring additional business. However that never happens.
So this type of customers are even more a waste of time as these type of calls will take long.

Information

Some people expect to get a walk-through of the service or a complete training on the application. However this is why we offer a 30-day free trial.
We know that similar but expensive web services offer walk-through and 24/7 support – but you pay the price.
As we are a low-cost service no walk-through or trainings are possible. Instead the free trial and the explanatory and helpful emails during the free trial.

Company size and brand

We always wonder if people want to call us did they also call Google for using the search or the web analytics? Probably not. It’s just a mater of company size and brand name.

Upselling

As a low-cost web service we don’t see any benefit in having phone calls with potential customers and just want to limit conversations to emails.
If we would have a possibility to do an upsell, then we would have a reason to take phone calls with customers as this could bring additional revenue.

What is your attitude to calling customers?

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Why Online B2B Sales is Consultative Selling

Internet BtoB sales
The online B2B sales method is in line with the Consultative Selling that was defined by Mack Hanan in the 1970s: focusing on the problems of potential customers and providing the best suited solutions: selling without selling.

Solution search

On the internet people in companies will look for possible solutions. The search engines act as the intermediates between the buyer and the vendor for:
- Providing the feasible alternative solutions
- Establishing the first link between buyer and vendor
- Proving the importance of the vendor: the more references (links) the more value the vendor has.

Content Marketing

The company website and all of the other references found on the Internet provide useful content for solving the problems of a potential customer: this is just what consultative selling is all about except for the analysis of the problem to be solved. That remains with the customers and could have the wrong approach.

Hence your website needs to contain more than just your products or services. On the website different industries with their specific problems that your products or services can solve need to be presented and explained. The value of this information comes from the leads it can generate. The more problems and their solutions listed and explained the higher likelihood someone will find your information useful and interesting, which can become a lead.

Leads automation

In order make this process of lead generation more effective, getting a tool for revealing the companies visiting your website is beneficial as then your sales know the companies to call that are showing interest in your solutions.

How effective is your website in Consultative Selling?

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Is Call Me Later A Rejection In The Sales Cycle ?

Call me later

You have gone through several efforts (Internet search, phone calls, maybe even meetings) for finding the right person to make your sales proposition or to generate interest for your solution. . During the first call after asking you about your reason to call he tells you to call him later.
In such a case you are left behind with the doubt if he was interested or rejected your proposal.

Keep on talking

At such a moment it is very hard to ask any additional questions. However you should try to keep the conversation going. Instead of hanging up the phone, you should ask when he will be available to call him back. Now the ball is in his camp as he has to:
- Come up with a date and time
- Leave you without any specific appointment
- Inform you correctly that there is no real interest in your proposition.

Options

- If he gives you a date and time, he knows you will be calling.
If there is interest then you will have a good call.
In case there is really no interest he then needs to come up later with another excuse to get you off the phone. So in order to save time he can as well tell you immediately.

- In case he doesn’t schedule a call then it’s sure he’s not interested.

- Informing you there is no real interest is his best way out in case there is no interest.

Not all is lost

Even you get the message of refusal you can still ask if he knows somebody that might have interest in your solution. If he gives no name then that shall be it. In case he gives you a name then you have another contact to call.

How do you take a call me later ?

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Customers Don’t Know What They Need Or Require

Vendor meetings

If your customers would know exactly what they need then they would have ordered it already. Instead they hold meetings with vendors in order to find how they can get their problem or issue solved.
During such a meeting you have to focus and to investigate on the real problem or issues they have. Let people explain what’s wrong with the products or services they currently purchase.

Define the solution

Don’t let them fool you with the solution they seem to prefer as that might be a sub-optimal solution or a partial solution. Only when you have the complete picture you can propose a solution which preferably includes one or more of your products or services.
It’s up to you to define the innovation that will make them a happy customer.

Do you start with your sales pitch or do you investigate what the problems are ?

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The ‘Done Deal’ for your competitor – Even before starting

Done Deals

Even before your first meeting, the customer has already decided for your competitor.
You are just used for having an additional quote or to comply with the procedures of the company as they need three price quotations.
Thus the deal is already decided and you are actually wasting your time without knowing upfront.

Done Deal hints

Maybe you can feel this already during the telephone or meeting conversations you have with the potential customer, but you need evidence in order to be able to drop this account.

There might be hints relating to your competitor such as specifications fitting only for your competitor or the mentioning of the competitor during one of the conversations.

Done Deal actions

As soon as you know or have proof of this you have 2 alternatives:
- Drop the account and forget about the deal.
- Fight back using the benefits and advantages of your solution over the competitor.

a) Dropping the deal is the easiest to do. However you still need to explain and proof to your sales manager it was a done deal.

b) Fighting back requires the knowledge of your competitor and also knowing the leading advocate of your competitor within the company.
As it is a lost deal you have nothing to lose thus you can use any technique, any trick and any psychological game to make the customer start to wonder if their decision is the right one.
So put your best cards on the table and compare it with the competitor. Or even let them compare if they want to.

Three additional options:
- Circumvent the advocate and address to the others
- Address the competitor advocate and make him start to doubt about his decision.
- The underdog: often people like the underdog. By positioning as the underdog you might gain sympathy and interest from people concerned and involved in the Done Deal.

Contrary indicators

By knowing if the company is visiting your website, how often and how many employees are visiting is a good indicator the Done Deal is not so done. The more visits from different people in the company the more likely there is a build-up of interest for your solution. This should stimulate your efforts of fighting to get the Done Deal.

Still it will be an uphill battle and sometimes a battle that can be won – even if the deal was decided.

What’s your experience with “Done Deals” ?

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Why Not Buying Website Traffic

Buying website traffic

The more website traffic the more people will know about your offerings and the higher likelihood to get leads from your website into your sales funnel.
You can purchase services from traffic wholesalers and instantly your web analytics will show a significant increase in the number of visitors. Additionally your website will be shown temporally higher in the search result pages on Google and Bing which is beneficial too for more traffic.

What kind of visitors ?

The visitors that normally visit your website through organic search or references are very likely potential buyers as they are looking with interest to find a solution for a problem or issue they have. These companies are probably the best leads you can have as they are currently interested.
However the visitors originating from the purchased traffic source are not interested and are not potential customers.

Bots instead of humans

In order to send traffic to your website some or many of these traffic wholesalers use a computer application to send you visitors. Thus instead of humans your visitors are bots, who certainly never ever buy.

Google and Bing vs buying traffic

Although initially there will be a better ranking for your website on the Search Engine Result pages due to the increase of traffic, the search engines disapprove buying traffic. Hence they will fight back and it is likely your website will be penalized by Google and Bing which will result in a much lower appearance in the Search Engine Result Pages. Both Google and Bing have created and developed sophisticated algorithms and methods to figure out if you are using traffic-building services or not.

Conclusion

Although buying website traffic will increase temporally your website traffic, it will bring hardly any additional leads as the visitors are not potential customers or not even human. Only the visitors originating by the temporally higher ranking on the Search Engine Result Pages could bring some additional leads.
However the penalization your website will endure by Google and Bing once they have found out you have been buying website traffic will result in much less leads as people will have a hard time to find your website on the search engines.

Did you ever buy website traffic ? What was the result ?

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Marketing & Selling are more difficult than to Create the solution

Building or developing a solution is not the real issue to crack or problem to solve. That’s were engineers are for in collaboration with the product managers.

The problems for new products or solutions are:
- Defining a problem
- Conceiving a solution for this problem that is usable and convenient
- Marketing the solution
- Selling the solution
- Keeping the customer using the solution

There are more people that can create a product or solution than there are people who can market and sell it. Getting people to purchase is the real issue. Of course it helps if you conceive a product or solution for a real problem.
Selling is the challenge.
Selling the same solution again is an additional challenge.

Can you sell all the products created by your company ?

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Why Winning The Award Is Often Not Good For Business

Industry award

After many years of hard and often lonely work for your business that made your company what it is today. And you are proud of your achievement.
One day a challenge or industry award attracts your attention and you fill out the form.
Then unexpectedly you WIN !
This could be like “Best Company in Industry”, “Manager of the Year”, “Best exporter of the year”, “Best Startup”, …

Exposure and brand awareness

Getting a reward or winning a challenge is a great event for any company and could bring exposure to your company and thus increase brand awareness.
The reward will get you additional free publicity and more or less broadcast the brand name throughout your industry.

The award drawbacks: temptations

However besides all the benefits and newly created potential there are some drawbacks:
- People will know your name and call you up for many other reasons not related to your business.
- You will be invited the other events not necessarily business related which will consume your time and focus.
- You will get interest from not industry related media that will not bring you more business but again consume your valuable time.
- Some of your competitors will be enviously, jealously, resentfully which can turn out negatively as they see you as their main competitor.

Decline of business

The main drawback is that you no longer control your time due to all the other events and entertainment that are being offered. These are so tempting compared to just executing your business. Eventually this waste of time will result in lacking of focus, neglecting your business and missing to close sales deals.

In the end the reward you have won is no more beneficial for your business but even becomes a threat. You need to decide what is important and what is not for you or your business.

Did you or your company ever win an industry award?
How did that affect your business?

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Why Planning Date Sales Meeting Is Indicator Of Success

Planning the sales meeting

Sometimes meetings get planned and organized easily within a short notice. These cases are rare but great opportunities to sell or to have a short sales cycle.

If you are calling or emailing to obtain and organize a sales meeting it feels like a drawback if the meeting can only be planned more than a month away. It gives the impression that the level of interest is not high enough to motivate the participants to make time for your sales meeting.

Fast meetings

In case the interest and need is high or urgent people would liberate time within a week: your solution (or that of the competitor) is urgently needed. In any case they are about to take a purchase decision fairly quickly.

Lack of interest

However in most cases it is not.
Somehow the time span it takes to get a meeting planned is a good indicator for the need or urgency of the products or solutions you are selling.
It is important to know if several people or just one person is causing the delay in having the meeting. In case of several people you will have an uphill battle in order to convince them all that your solutions will bring them and the company benefits. In case it is just one person it is a requirement to know what holds this person back and what are his objections or his motivation for delaying the meeting. He could be key to close the deal. hence you have to investigate on this person as much as possible.

The indicator for the lack of interest if the meeting gets planned several weeks away.

How many weeks in advance should a meeting be planned in order to show a positive interest ?

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Setting your price as market leader: don’t be greedy

Market leader advantages

As a market leader you have the possibility to set a rather high price compared to your competitors as people will consider purchasing from you being the market leader – and they will probably make the purchase as buying from the market leader comes with less risk: they won’t get fired by purchasing from the market leader.

Market leader price setting

However it is better to set your price at such a low level that new competitors will think twice before attempting to enter your market. Even for innovators as they need to recoup their investment over a rather short time span. The higher your price, the more likely they can take the risk as their margin will be higher thanks to your high price setting.

If a new competitor with large pockets from a different market wants to enter your market then you will be more comfortable with your competitive pricing. Moreover you don’t need to introduce more discounts or decrease your pricing – something which your current customers will notice and perceive as you have been ripping them off for too long.

Still the price needs to be high enough to generate sufficient revenue and profit for your company.

Change of the game

This game play you can extend until a new and disruptive technology emerges offering competitive advantages over the existing solutions or at a much lower production cost. However you should see this coming and you will have time to take pro-active actions.

How do you set your sales prices ?

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About us

Engago Technologies provides a B2B web service for marketing and sales.
 

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