Archive

Posts Tagged ‘new business’

Handling Detractors

March 13th, 2013 No comments

Detractors, nay-sayers, back-stabbers and others who'd love to toss you under the bus. First, we all have them! It may be the former employee or colleague, who now wants to make you and/or your business look bad. It might be a competitor. It could be the customer no one could possibly please. It may be the 'ex' whomever, who is an 'ex' for a reason, and now they want to make it look like the only reason is you. In this column, we will do a look at some ways how you can handle the detractor.

Let's begin with this premise, that the kind of detractors we are going to talk about are of the unjust variety. If someone is complaining, first stop and consider the complaint objectively. Is there truth to it? If so, make the personal/professional adjustment needed to turn the complaint into a reason to improve.

Next, look at the types of unjustified complaints. Especially in an Internet, tweet, email age when someone can blast away at you to thousands of people, what can you do?

The options are indeed many, and some companies, attorneys and consultants exist who specialize in 'reputation management.' You and your organization's reputation is important! A good rep will help you profit. A bad rap can cost you a fortune, or even put you out of business. Some types of detraction (examples: libel, slander) may require legal assistance. Let's focus today on those that don't require an attorney.

Modern "Social" Testimonials

Testimonials and social media are key tools needed to contradict the nay sayer! While letters of reference, awards and 'good news' articles or interviews are all helpful, perhaps the key today is to successfully engage in social media.

Let me stress that it is always my goal to practice what is preached, and hopefully to do so with a measure of success about what is being shared. Real life examples help us all. I used to think good ideas were soooo important. They are, but later I learned that Ideas truly are a dime a dozen. Successful implementation and proof is what turns what would have been a day dream into an idea of specific, concrete value!

Having teed that up, let me share some personal experiences.

About two years ago, I listened to a professional friend's advice. He told me to build out my LinkedIn profile and invite people to “connect” with me on LinkedIn. This friend is a LinkedIn Lion, and has done very well due in part to his use of LinkedIn and Twitter. So I listened to what he had to say, and took his advice. Hint, hint. I hope you will listen and do too.

At first it was slow going. But today, my LinkedIn connections number among the largest in factory built housing. Over 900 connections and growing. I'm glad I took my friend's advice!

As important as the number of connections are endorsements and recommendations.

At first, I asked for recommendations. Later, they simply came my way. Exactly when LinkedIn began the endorsement function, I can't say without researching it. But the endorsements started coming in (without my asking) a few months ago and have not stopped!

As the screen capture from my LinkedIn profile page above shows, I have something like 175 endorsements at the time I'm writing this column. Besides those shown in this screen capture, are some pretty finely targeted skills and topics that have also been endorsed, not shown in the graphic above.

We also get other testimonials via email or letters beyond LinkedIn that we may post, here are some testimonial examples. Make sure you showcase testimonials whenever possible. For example, notice how we sprinkled them onto the pages of our MHC-MD.com website. That does make a difference!

Now none of those LinkedIn connections, endorsements or recommendations puts a nickel in my pocket directly. But 7 to as high as 70 people a week check out my LinkedIn profile. Some of those who look my profile turn into clients. Coincidence?

No.

What is really interesting is that some of those clients have been told negative stuff by that handful of souls who seem to make it their mission in life to attempt to toss me under the biggest, baddest bus they can dream up. So having those referrals and testimonials can be crucial to neutralizing the naysayers. That also happens to be the theme of this article!

Weights, Measures and Comparisons

I tell sales pros in my training sessions that most prospective clients (retail or B2B) weigh, measure and compare products and services before acting.

Today, that may mean that before you go to a new restaurant, you read online comments posted by others. Let's say you read a half a dozen comments. 5 are good. 1 is terrible. You read them all with a dash of the skeptical, because you know that people can pat themselves on the back, or the opposite… Does the comment(s) read like it may be legit?

Once you did your quick evaluation, you make a decision. You go eat there. The food, service and atmosphere are as good as most reviewers said. You say to yourself, 'The one who trashed the place may have been a disgruntled ex employee, or someone that is hyper critical, happened to catch someone on a bad day, etc..'

That principle will apply to others who are evaluating you, IF you start, have and improve your professional social networking and testimonial gathering efforts.

More Positives than Negatives

The point is that the way you deal with detractors today is to line up testimonials that showcase your good work! Make it easy for people online to see how well thought of you or your company's product(s) or service(s) may be.

In the case of written testimonials in an article or letter, showcase one or two on your website and then let people know they can ask for and receive others.

While the more the merrier, even a few good words from good people can make the difference as people consider doing business with you.

Let's sum up:

  • Ask for letters or recommendation. If you are working B2B (business to business), the recommendation should be on that company's letterhead.
  • Use social media. Facebook tends to be better for B2C (business to consumer), LinkedIn tends to be better for B2B. Get endorsements and recommendations.
  • Showcase those online, so that prospective customers doing a quick web search can find them easily.

Not just Talking, Doing

Walk the talk. Don't over-promise. Don't under-deliver. Do what you say you will do. If something goes wrong and you are responsible, then do what you can to make it right.

Nothing – short of death – can stop the determined detractor. But you can neutralize their voice(s) by applying the suggestions you see in this column. Be pro-active and build up your positive, online presence. When the detractor comes along, you will be ready for them.

Open minded people who see that you have far more supporters than detractors will be able to see that the detractor's comments as the exception, not the rule. Do you recall the Hollywood maxim, there is no bad publicity. While I don't entirely agree, you can in fact turn a negative into a positive. You may close new business because of the detractor, so long as you have built up the resources noted in this article.

Finally, take the first step. It takes time to do what is described above. Don't let that stop you from starting. Getting the letters, Facebook like's, LinkedIn connections,

endorsements and recommendations, etc. are worth the effort. Once you have the testimonial process started, it picks up speed ever more easily.

Until next time, All the Best! ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for March and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

+++

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

Enhancing Confidence

March 30th, 2012 No comments

How do you choose the companies you work with in your business?

Generally, we think that price, service and selection are the determining factors, but studies show the most important factor is confidence. Confidence that the company is stable and able to provide what we need. And how do we determine confidence? The answer might surprise you. Viewing Advertising.

A study by Nielsen IAG Financial found that companies that advertise, instilled more confidence in consumers. 55% of respondents who said they had seen frequent advertisements from their financial institutions had “complete confidence” in their bank, insurance company, or investment firm's financial health and stability. Only 18% said they had “little or no confidence” in the company. On the other hand, of those who saw little or no advertising from a financial firm, 45% said they had “little or no confidence” in that firms stability. The study summed up the results perfectly,”Out of Sight can mean Out of Business."

Now confidence is not as true measure of a business' health or capabilities, but in the business world Perception is Reality.

Advertising your company not only keeps you top of mind with those that need your products and services, it generates confidence in your companies stability and abilities. That name recognition and confidence equals stronger relationships, new business and new revenue. ##

 
post by
 
Jeff Templeton
Business Development and Advertising
 
www.MHProNews.com
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com or www.MHMSM.com
Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals
 
Office – 954-217-2571
Cell – 954-593-8897
 

 

We Hate to Lose

February 24th, 2012 1 comment
I recently read an article about Behavioral Finance, which studies the decision making process in regards to financial decisions. The theory brought forward in the article is that individuals and businesses do not act rationally when making financial decisions, even when they are presented all the available information.
 
One of the case studies mentioned involved two groups. The first group was presented with this problem.
 
  1. In addition to whatever you own, you are given $1000. You are now asked to choose between:
A. A sure gain of $500.
B. A 50% chance to gain $1000 and a 50% chance to gain nothing.
 
Another group of subjects was given this problem.
 
  1. In addition to whatever you own, you are given $2000. You are now asked to choose between:
A . A sure loss of $500.
B. A 50% chance to lose $1000 or a 50% chance to lose nothing.
 
In the first group 84% chose A. In the second group 69% chose B. The two problems are identical in terms of net cash to the subject, however the phrasing of the question causes the problems to be interpreted differently.
 
The study concluded that people are much more distressed by potential losses than are happy about equivalent gains. Some economists decided that people consider the loss of $1 twice as painful as the pleasure from gaining $1.
 
So this begs the question, What are your lost sales costing you?
 
Lost sales are not just those that a prospect chose not to act, or chose a competitor. Lost sales include those prospects that never contacted you in the first place. It can be painful to look at your business in terms of lost sales rather than just looking at sales generated, but it is absolutely necessary.
 
This is where the professionals at MHMSM.com come in. We have the tools and resources available to help you capture new business and grow your sales. Utilizing the knowledge and strategies from our solution oriented sales and marketing programs and training, or attending free business building seminars like those at the upcoming Great Southwest Home Show and maximizing exposure and generating sales by advertising on MHProNews.com are how you minimize lost sales and maximize your businesses' sales. # #
 
post by
 
Jeff Templeton
Business Development and Advertising
 
www.MHProNews.com
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com or www.MHMSM.com
Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals
 
Office – 954-217-2571
Cell – 954-593-8897
 

 

Trade Show Marketing and You, Louisville and Beyond

January 6th, 2012 No comments

You’re going to the trade show? Great! You’ve made a wise business decision. Whether exhibiting or attending, trade shows provide great opportunities for professionals, managers and business owners.

Attendees can see the latest products and services, meet face-to-face with vendors and learn new strategies for running their business better. Exhibitors get to showcase their products and services to a high volume audience, meet with current clients and create new business partnerships.

Exhibitor or Attendee, you’ll be spending valuable time and money to attend the show, so make the most of it by developing a well thought out plan.

Attendees:

Prior to the show, evaluate your businesses current and potential needs in the coming year. Without this simple first step, you won’t maximize your investment in attending.

Next, take a look at the exhibitor list, here a copy at this link.

Gain an understanding of each company attending. Visit their website to become familiar with the products they offer. They might have products or services you need, but not be showcasing at the show. With that web research, you can still ask them about your interests live and in person.

Make notes ahead of time. Jot down questions that you would like answered. Exhibitors are here for you. Don’t be afraid to tell exhibitors what’s missing from their product or service line up. Many times these exhibitors bring their CEOs, plant managers, engineers and developers to the shows, who really want to know. Both sides can win in such an exchange.

Some savvy pros call the company or their local rep and schedule an appointment at the show. Trust me. They’ll be glad to make time to sit down with you to discuss your needs.

Last, but certainly not least, plan to attend several of the informative industry-focused seminars during the show. Here’s a link to the list of the business building seminars at Louisville, as an example. You could pay thousands (and earn tens of thousands more!) from such training or information gathering, that will be available free during a trade show. You’ll gain valuable insight and proven strategies from industry professionals that know your business.

Exhibitors:

Pre Show preparation is so important.

Marketing staff need to understand the show attendees and tailor the booth, product selection and marketing materials accordingly.

Sales staff needs to know all this as well as have expert knowledge of the product, pricing and policies.

Make as many appointments as possible with current clients and qualified prospects. You’ll have better product displays and marketing materials, than on a typical sales call.

At The Show

Avoid clutter, look the part and know how everything works and where your marketing materials are.

When prospects approach, ask first before you sell. There’s no bigger turn off than someone who jumps into a sales pitch without knowing anything about your business. Understanding the prospects business is crucial to selling your solutions, or even knowing if what you have is a solution for their business.

Qualify leads immediately. Make notes on the back of cards, without falling into the trap of thinking that trade shows are just for collecting as many business cards as possible.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a close or at least a post show appointment. They might be in buying mode. Schedule prospects while you’re at the top of their mind.

Post Show

Simple. Don’t let HOT leads go cold. Follow up promptly. Touch base with everyone. You never know who will turn into business at some point in time.

Whether attending or exhibiting at a trade show, remember, be prepared and follow your plan. One good piece of information, introduction or meeting can mean great things for you and your business. But the facts are, that most trade shows will yield you numerous opportunities to grow your business and bottom line results. So don’t miss it!

FYI, for those who have not gone to a show like Louisville before, even though early online registration is closed, you can sign up free at the door for retailers, communities, builder/developers and installers. Take your business cards. Louisville may set a modern record this year, so join the excitement. Call Showways for more details at 770-355-0916 or see the links above.

By the way, I hope to see YOU in Louisville, we will be at booth #119, near the main entrance. # #

post by

Jeff Templeton

Business Development and Advertising

www.MHProNews.com
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com or www.MHMSM.com
Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals

Office – 954-217-2571

Cell – 954-593-8897

jeff@mhmsm.com