Posts made in April, 2017


8 Colors and How They Affect Sales

It certainly comes as no surprise that colors have a huge psychological effect on sales, and specific colors are used in branding for very specific purposes. When you think of the use of color, think of Coca-Cola. Could it ever be anything but red and white?

Colors used in branding and packaging are carefully chosen to elicit a certain feeling, and often are used to get the potential buyer to take a certain action – buying the product!

Here is a list of eight colors, and the psychological effect of each.

colours

1. Red signifies energy and urgency. Think stop signs and fire trucks. Red is commonly used online for “buy” buttons and headlines but should be used sparingly so as not to overdo it.

2. Black is the color of elegance and sophistication. It adds drama, or dramatic presence, and is the main color for many clothing designers, jewelers, and makeup companies.

The color black can be used as the main color or as a contrasting color, and it denotes wealth.

3. Blue elicits feelings of trust, balance, and stability. It is a great choice when you want to elicit a calm, secure feeling and that’s why it’s widely used for banks, attorneys, doctors and clinics/hospitals.

4. Pink is for ladies, young and old. If your demographic is feminine, pink is an almost sure-fire hit. It signifies playful, fun, and delicate on the lighter end, and bold, happy, and daring on the brighter end. The color pink denotes self-love, acceptance, and harmony.

5. Green is the most versatile color and can represent many different things. On the one hand, it is the color of money, so it can represent wealth and abundance. On the other hand, it is the most prominent color in nature, and so can also represent earthiness, trust, timelessness, and balance.

Green tends to be a very calming color, and this is why many doctors’ offices are light green on the interior.

6. Yellow is bright, energetic, happy, and full of positive thoughts. It signifies confidence, strength, and also warmth. It is an attention-getter, and can really brighten up branding.

gold nuggets

7. Gold is the color most closely representing wealth. Combined with another color and used as an accent, it will lend an air of prestige wherever it is utilized.

8. Purple symbolizes royalty and elegance. It also tends to be a very soothing color eliciting a calm response. Purple is a lovely accent color when used with black and white, or silver.

The use of color in your marketing materials and branding can’t be minimized. Test, test, and re-test to find out exactly what colors work the best for your audience.

Closing the Sale – What Not to Do

You usually hear industry talk about how to close sales, but it’s equally important to know what to avoid, or what not to do, as well.

There are many actions that will immediately stop your chance of any sales, and knowing what they are will allow you to avoid doing them.

what not to do

Here are four essential things to be sure you avoid when attempting to close your sales:

1.Never, ever show up late. Any integrity you have, to begin with, will be gone completely if you’re late for an appointment. Being late shows that you don’t value or appreciate your client’s time and that you lack the proper respect for them as well.

Of course, there are situations where being late is appropriate – if you’ve had an emergency, or there has been something totally out of your control that’s happened. A quick phone call can rescue these types of legitimate situations and shows that you care about your potential new client.

For the most part, though, try to plan ahead as much as possible and anticipate any problem that might come up before it happens.

2.Don’t forget how to listen. At your appointment, it’s important for you to get your information across and entice the potential client to buy, but remember that listening is more important than talking.

Listen to what your potential client needs, wants, and is seeking. Listen to their fears and past experiences. It is only in this way that you can truly attempt to match your new client with the proper level of product or services that you provide. Ask questions, and then listen closely to those answers.

don't forget to listen

3.Don’t dress too casually. How you dress is going to vary widely depending on the situation, the potential client, the meeting place, etc.

There are just so many variables, so try to mirror the “level” of dress that you believe your prospect will be wearing. There are times when jeans will be absolutely appropriate, and other times when nothing less than a suit will suffice. Being clean, organized, and well dressed for the occasion will present the best face to your prospect.

4.Never insult your competition. This is an ugly habit to get into, and will only make you look uneducated and ignorant to your prospect.

One trick bag you never want to get into is bashing your prospect’s current supplier – keep in mind that essentially what you’re doing is saying that your prospect made a bad decision when hiring their current supplier.

No one likes to be told that, and especially not someone who’s sale you’re trying to get.

Remember to check back soon for Issue 4 on this topic.

 

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5 Psychological Pricing Strategies

What is “psychological pricing”? It is the theory that certain prices, or ways of pricing, can predict more sales by their very use. You see these rules in play every day all around you both online and in stores, big and small.

psychological pricing

1. “Charm” pricing is a technique where the last digit ends in 9 (or last two digits in 99). You round down from a whole number by one cent, effectively creating $5.99 instead of $6. What marketers have found is that a buyer’s brain will perceive the price ending in 99 to be smaller than the whole number, even though they are essentially the same. So stick with numbers ending in 9 or 99 instead of 0, and theoretically, you will see more sales.

2. Comparative pricing is very simple. It means that you show two or more products that are similar in nature but increase the price of the one you want to sell. Comparative pricing works well with products of similar quality, as the buyer will assign a greater quality to the higher-priced item. It is assumed that, because of the higher price tag, the item must be of a greater quality than it’s more “average” counterparts.

3.Prestige pricing is another fairly simple, and common, practice for higher-priced luxury items. And, it is the opposite of charm pricing. Instead of ending the product price in 99, you round up to 00. $499.99 becomes $500. The thinking behind this strategy is that the number ending in zeros is easier for the brain to process, and therefore an easier decision to make. This pricing structure tends to work very well with products that are purchased emotionally.

prestige pricing

4.Color, design, and size of pricing will make a difference in print or online sales pages when highlighting a “sale” price next to a previous price. What’s interesting is that, when this strategy is used, most buyers won’t even care about why the price has been reduced, they will simply feel as if they’re saving money. Presenting the sale price in a larger font with different colors will also help conversions.

5.Buy-One-Get-One-Free, or BOGO, is a strategy widely used to increase unit sales. Based on the psychological greed factor, buyers will see that they are getting something for free, and the sale becomes a no-brainer. This particular technique has lost it’s luster in some markets, so it pays to be a bit creative when utilizing it for your own purposes. You can do a traditional buy-one-get-one, or try a buy-two-get-two, or buy one, get 50% off a second purchase at a future date.

6 Tips to More Sales

sales tips

Sales is a numbers game – that’s not news to anyone who has been selling for any length of time. Knowing your product, your audience, and the market itself are all important factors in how well your product or service sells. Being a great salesperson takes time and experience. It relies heavily on being able to mirror your prospect so that they feel understood and that they can trust you. There are so many facets to successful sales that volumes upon volumes have been written on the subject.

Here, we’ll suggest six tips that will help you sell and convert more prospects into paying customers!

1. Buying is very often an emotional decision. Learn what is behind that emotion, and offer a solution. Therein lies the key to the sale. Buyers and potential clients will use emotion rather than logic to justify the expenditure, so make sure that you’re playing to peoples’ emotions in your sales copy or sales calls.

2. Customers ultimately buy results, not products or services. Your buying audience is interested in the end result, so reverse engineer your sales process to accommodate that. Start with what they want (the result) and then figure out all the ways what your offer can benefit them, and bring them to that result.

results

3. Know your customer well. Once you have gained knowledge of very specific details of your customer, figure out where they “are” so that you can be there to find them, and offer your service or product to them.

4. Be able to clearly identify the problem that your intended audience is having, so that you can more clearly define how your product or service can eliminate that problem. When you identify the problem, break it down into emotional and logical aspects. Make sure that your sales copy or sales script addresses those aspects.

5. Develop your USP, or Unique Selling Position. What sets you (or your product/service) apart from your competition? How can you convey that difference to your buying audience, effectively letting them know that you’re the obvious choice? These are all important questions when figuring out what is going to set you head-and-shoulders above your competition.

6. Research price points, and pricing options. Research what your potential customers are buying, what it’s costing them, and how you compare to that. Remember that the value of your product or service is a perception in the mind of your prospect, not a hard-lined absolute. If your prospects perceive your offer as having more value, they will pay more for it.

Remember to check back soon for Issue 3 on this topic.

 

 

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What is Sales Psychology?

The last time you purchased a product or service, did you rationalize that purchase, or was it more of an emotional decision? You may be surprised to realize that the vast majority of people when making a purchase decision, buy on emotion and then later rationalize their decision with logic.

emotional buying

Knowing this and many other psychological reasons that sales work (and don’t work) will help you enjoy a long career as a very successful salesperson, no matter if what you’re selling is a physical product, an intangible product, or a service. There are so many aspects of the psychology of sales, that there are volumes upon volumes written on the subject.

It’s a great idea to study these tomes, but here, we’ll give a general overview of what sales psychology is. The first thing is to know your audience. Who are you selling to? What keeps them up at night, where does their pain lie, and how does what you offer help to alleviate that stress and pain?

Truly getting inside the mind of your customer and how they think will give you the key elements to a successful sales pitch when you do finally have their attention. The person you sell to needs to know that you understand what their problem or issue is. As human beings, we need to feel validated, understood, and cared for.

Addressing this in your sales copy, or your sales script will help it become much more effective, resulting in more conversions, and a distinct advantage over your competitors. Don’t be afraid to address your ideal client’s fears in a way that will wake them up!

Sometimes, your buyer will be more afraid of what they could possibly lose, than what they could gain. Use that tip to your advantage when talking to clients. Your customer’s perception is the key. How they view you – whether they trust you or view you with suspicion – will make or break your sale.

So don’t just try to act trustworthy…actually BE trustworthy. Don’t just try to act as if you care…you really do need to care. In our current societies, we are being sold to nearly every waking minute of the day.

By honing in on the major aspects of the psychology of sales, you’ll find that you are received more warmly, that you sell more of what you’re offering, and that you are more fulfilled while selling it!

7 Psychological Traits of Successful Salespeople

adjust your goals

Whether you believe that great salespeople are born, or made, there are definitely certain personality traits that lend themselves well to being successful in sales. Here, we’ll examine seven of the most looked-for psychological traits of salespeople. Some of them will surprise you!

1. Discipline – It comes as no surprise that discipline is number one on the list. If you don’t have the self-discipline to make the sales calls and follow-up with prospects, you’re not going to make sales. Those with the greatest discipline usually also have an organized plan-of action when it comes to their sales systems, and they follow these systems religiously.

2.Empathy – Empathy is having a keen awareness of how other people feel or think, and this is one of the most valuable skills to hone as a salesperson. When you can truly put yourself in your prospects shoes, you can discover what motivates them, what their barriers will be, and it will help you close more sales than you can imagine.

3.Laziness – Surprised? Lazy people aren’t necessarily those who don’t like to work. Often, they are hyper-intelligent and insist on doing the least amount of work possible to achieve a specific goal. So they are creative about their work habits, and usually require very little supervision or maintenance.

persevere

4.Perseverance – Sales is a high-rejection playing field, and as a salesperson, you need to be able to stop yourself from taking any rejection personally. The best salespeople view rejection as a necessary evil to get to those people who do want to buy and are interested. It’s the classic “100 no’s to get to a yes”.

5.Charisma – Any sales person who is worth their salt will also be someone that is naturally fun to be around because they are accommodating, entertaining, humorous, and intelligent. Those with a positive attitude and outlook, who truly enjoy people will stand out in the selling crowd.

6.Tenacity – The “never give up, never give in” attitude is a necessity when you’re dealing with cold calling, sales calling, and the inevitable rejection. The ability to get back up and keep selling is what will spell your success.

7.Confidence – A natural salesperson will have confidence in himself, and will have done enough research on the product, service, and company that he’s selling that he’ll have infinite confidence in it, as well. This confidence will translate to trust when they get in front of their prospects.

Remember to check back soon for Issue 2 on this subject.

 

digital business lounge

 

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How to fast track your sales funnel creation

Do your market research right. That means forgetting about yourself and putting yourself in the place of your customer. What do they want from your sales funnel?

Forget about what you think is great about it, and start thinking like your customer. You may focus on how your vacuum cleaner is so powerful it can suck freshly spilled wine from your carpet, but what size is it and how economical is it? Your customer may want a vacuum cleaner that fits in their utility closet or doesn’t use much power.

Add the most stupid simple, one-click payment option you can to your website. That includes making said payment option mobile responsive. The use of the internet on mobile devices continues to rise on a monthly basis and shows no sign of slowing down.

Sites that minimize the requirement to jump through hoops are maximizing on purchases from mobile devices, where users are more likely to drop out rather than continue the purchase when faced with multiple steps in the buying process. Keep sales and marketing separate.

The term “sales and marketing” gets bandied about quite a lot – and almost always treated as if they are the same department. They’re not. The role of your marketing department is to gain and nurture leads, and the sales department are responsible for taking orders.

High end product

The majority of the work belongs to the marketing department, who should help shape the customer’s awareness of the product before the sales department takes over. Follow up with leads continually. Don’t allow a gap anywhere in your funnel where a CTA is missing for the next step. Always Be Closing.

Not in the old-fashioned sense of pressure selling, but in the modern application, of always being there for your customer. Hire the best copywriter you can afford. A good copywriter can look at your sales pages and eliminate the unnecessary copy, ditch the parts that focus on features where benefits are more suitable, and more.

Having a clear and distinct purpose for each landing page in your funnel is vital. Challenge objections head on. If you ignore objections or try to sweep them under the carpet, you’re going to start worrying every time you get close to a sale.

why goals fail

You’re also going to lack the real confidence you need that your customer isn’t going to come back to you the day after they have bought from you, requesting a refund. Finally, you can’t do all this alone. Outsource where you lack the proper skills. It’s a small investment in your long term profitability.

How to Drive Traffic to your Online Sales Funnel

Your sales funnel is like a spider’s web, carefully constructed to lure your ideal prey (customer) into your web and sticky enough that they can’t possibly escape.

But how do you attract the right visitors?

The lead magnet

We can only assume that you have put the necessary time and thought into your landing and squeeze pages. If not, do so before you drive traffic to them. Always test your funnel. Understanding how traffic responds to your landing page is vital. Without an optimal funnel, traffic is useless. You could drive thousands of visitors a day only to end up with no sales to show for it. Once you have your site optimized, it’s time to drive traffic!

Where from?

Wherever it already exists is usually a good place to start. Where does your audience hang out? This answer is the one that almost every online business knows and understands, yet they rarely take the time to take full advantage of.

Q&A Sites and Forums

social engagement

The internet is awash with forums, social groups, fan pages and blogs dedicated to some aspect of your business. Even if you were in the vacuum cleaner business – an example of something very unsexy for the sake of demonstration – there are question and answer sites where people look for information about their intended purchases.

The point of joining a forum or answering questions on blogs and Q&A sites is twofold. Not only do you position yourself as an authority, but you create backlinks to your website and when your answer appears on a highly trafficked site as a result of a question that gets a high volume of searches – you siphon some of that traffic back to your website.

Social Media Traffic

Traffic from social media can be free or paid – often a combination works best. Just what blend of free vs. paid you use will depend on your business. Special offers are almost always shared by users and only require enough paid advertising dollars to get them to a tipping point, whereas other posts may require a more consistent budget.

Test paid advertising on social media, but only do so where your audience already hangs out. This is the crux of traffic plans.

You may hear that Google Plus or Pinterest has driven thousands of dollars’ worth of business to a particular business, but unless your market spend their time on those sites, there’s little point in blindly following suit.

Lead Magnets

Always have something to offer in return for your reader’s email address. This is highly effective if its value is such that your existing traffic feels it is valuable enough to share with their peers, effectively extending the reach of your campaign.

There’s nothing new in traffic generation, yet many marketing gurus like to pretend they have secret sources. Test what works for you and keep doing it.

 

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Your Sales Cycle Length

A sales cycle length is the amount of time it takes for your would-be customer to go from becoming a lead to becoming a customer. Without a reasonably accurate prediction of this lead time, you might not be able to estimate your income over time – which makes virtually all other facets of your business difficult to manage.

Predictability in business is always a good thing! Reducing sales cycle length increases revenue generation, which makes understanding how to calculate your sales cycle a very attractive part of creating and measuring your sales funnel.

sales cycle

The sales cycle is a combination of the “average lead to opportunity length” and the “average opportunity to close length”. The duration of each of these timelines will vary greatly between
businesses and industries.

Add to that, the AHT or average handling time – which is how much time a sales person needs to spend on phones calls, emails and meetings with a customer – and you can see that it’s not an easily measured period of time. A CRM or Customer Relationship Management system (software) will typically help you analyze your sales cycle.

All you need to do is define it. You might look at it as being the time from lead creation until the sale is made. The problem with this is that the process is not always linear – it may often be that after entering their email on your website, your customer goes through the buyer’s cycle multiple times before making a purchase.

sales order cycle

When a lead becomes an opportunity – in other words, when it is moved from being handled by the marketing department to being handled by the sales department is a valid choice for determining the cycle because at this point there is far less chance of duplication in the CRM.

It’s still not ideal because it severs one part of the funnel from the other. However, it’s the closest we can come to a complete picture if we are to be personally involved in the process.
That’s why, for a truly informative look at your sales cycle, you absolutely need to make the investment in CRM software.

There are many well respected CRM tools available, including Pipedrive, HubSpot, Insightly and Teamgate. Hubspot has a free “lite” version of their CRM which comes highly recommended if you are new to relationship management software.

crm tools

The Case for Sales Funnel Automation

The sales funnel is such an effective tool because it can be automated. Though it needs analysis and alteration to maximize its potential, it operates largely on autopilot, and it operates at a mere fraction of the cost of offline sales and marketing teams.

Sales funnels boil down to:
• Content pages for various stages of the buyer journey
• Squeeze pages that offer a lead magnet
• Landing pages that direct visitors to take a specific action
• An introductory offer – often a loss leader
• Your main offer

If your site doesn’t have at least one of each of these pages (per product or service) you are missing out on a complete funnel. The key is to direct your website visitor to take an action that leads them into a funnel that has a well thought out end result. One that benefits you.

adding value

Each aspect of your funnel should solve its own specific problem without the need for your intervention – unless one part of qualifying your leads is to involve yourself in a webinar or consultation. Modern websites are far easier to use than the old HTML ones that required coding know how and experience.

Now, content management systems such as WordPress allow users to upload all sorts of files for their subscribers to access, including checklists, audio files, videos, webinar
replays, buyer’s guides and resource lists. Membership plugins and/or email marketing software allow you to schedule courses for delivery.

There is almost no limitation to how you might deliver value to your leads without the necessity to be present when they are. Even at 4 am! Once your choice of value-laden content has been made, your sales funnel will very much depend on a good copywriter.

list your tasks

Be aware that these days a good copywriter will understand not just the compelling use of language, but what color schemes work on buy buttons and where they
should be placed. Other small details like the fact that an image beside a buy button works better than a buy button on its own set aside the average copywriter from the pro.

Autoresponders allow you connect with your leads through a series of targeted emails, each with a specific purpose and call to action. There’s only one part of your sales that you shouldn’t automate, and that’s customer service.

Aside from an automatic response to say you’ve received their email, every interaction from there on should be personally dealt with. Though it’s not considered a part of the traditional sales funnel – word of mouth is a powerful lead generation tool and shouldn’t be ignored.

Remember to check back soon for Issue 4 on this topic.

 

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