The 5 biggest marketing mistakes salespeople make

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The 5 biggest marketing mistakes salespeople make

Marketing is hard. It’s difficult to measure. It is hard to know if you’re making an impact. 

With the advent of social media, you can share your message instantly without thinking through the important details. Back in the day, when your ad was going to cost thousands of dollars, people spent more time crafting the ad and getting executive approval. This is no longer the case. 

This post by the way, is not just geared toward traditional marketing strategies. It's for salespeople that send their customers emails about a new promo. It's for the sales professional posting a picture on LinkedIn. Anytime you are communicating to your customers or prospects, you are marketing. 

Before you market to you customers, take a stroll through this checklist. Here are the 5 biggest marketing mistakes I see people make:

No call to action

What do you want the viewer to do after consuming your content? Do you want them to go to your website? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to comment on the post? Every time you create an ad or a marketing piece, include a call to action. Preferably just one.  

Posting “to get the word out”

Do not create or share content just to “get the word out”. Marketing is a tool that should be used to create change. So, what behavior do you want to change? What is the goal of the ad? How do you want your customer to feel when they see this ad? What do you want them to do after seeing it? (CTA).

Too broad of an audience 

One mistake I see often is content created for everyone. The problem is when you create an ad for everyone, it benefits no one. Make sure your content speaks to an audience of one and you will have a greater return. 

Not spending enough money on Facebook and Instagram 

Companies are starting to finally catch on to the cost effectiveness of Facebook and Instagram ads. The biggest problem though, is companies don’t stay committed to boosting the best ads. Figure out which video or post has the best results, and continue boosting it for months, or an entire year. Don't just boost it for 2 weeks!

Selling instead of teaching 

Stop selling and start teaching. People hate being sold. People have their own opinions and their own worldviews, and it is very hard to change them. So instead, teach your customer something that benefits them. People love to learn. And if they learn that your product will benefit them, they will buy it. 

What is the biggest marketing mistake that you’re making right now?


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family


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The Top 10 Rules for Success

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The Top 10 Rules for Success

With over 2 million YouTube subscribers, Evan Carmichael spends his time sharing how successful people reach peak performance, how successful people break down barriers, how they build their mindset, how they think. And how they act. 

In December 2017, Evan released his second book, “The Top 10 Rules for Success”, where he documents the rules of the ultra-successful. He breaks down their own videos into quotes, and delivers each person’s top 10 rules for success. 

His book features tech icons like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Actors Will Smith, Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington make appearances. Also making the cut are entrepreneurs like Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Zig Ziglar, and many more. 

At the very beginning of the book, Evan, having spent years studying these successful people, shares his own "Top 10 Rules for Success" list. You can think of this list as an aggregate from all of the successful people he has studied. 

Evan's Top 10 Rules for Success are:

1. Follow Your Passion 

"You become the best by loving what you do more than anyone else and following that passion through."

2. Have Self-Awareness 

"Having the self-awareness to understand how you work best and then build a business around it gives you the best chance at success."

3. Raise Your Standards 

"You’ll end up being the average of your five closest friends."

4. Focus 

"Success in any field comes from focus. An obsessive, dedicated, absolute focus to see your mission through."

5. Hard Work

"Quite often the people at the top aren’t the most naturally talented. They just outworked everyone else. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard."

6. Embrace Failure 

"You don’t have to take a big risk but if you take no risk at all, if you wait until you have 100% of the information, then it’s too late."

7. Ignore the Little Man 

"The #LittleMan is the person in your life who tells you all the reasons why your ideas won’t work. You will never have the success you’re after if you’re living your life according to other people’s expectations."

8. Build a Team

"As you grow, the amount that you contribute to the business shrinks compared to what your team creates so bringing on skilled and passionate people, as well as managing your office culture will be critical to your success."

9. Model Success 

"Study people in your industry who have made it as well as your heroes outside the industry."

10. Believe 

"If you start your day with courageous self-belief every day for the next year, you will not recognize the business and the life that you will create for yourself one year from today. So get building and start believing!"

What do you think?

What are your Top 10 Rules for Success?


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family


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5 reasons you're not good at following up

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5 reasons you're not good at following up

Follow-up is one of the most important steps in the sales process. The simple act of calling your customer after sending a proposal will drastically increase your close rates. 

But most salespeople don't follow up. Here’s why.

You don’t know how

If you haven’t read a book or sat through a training class on how to follow up, then you probably don’t know how. There is a lot more to following up than just calling your customer back, or worse, sending an email.

Here is a follow up training article that will get you started. But there is still more to it. You need to develop your own process. 

Sit down with your team and decide what your follow up process should be. Then work it and tweak it until you hit your stride. 

You don’t have the right tools

10 years ago I was terrible at follow up. I didn’t have the right tools. I was using an excel spreadsheet to track all my deals. It was a horrific system. 

There was barely enough room to write one sentence about the progress of each job. There was no reminder system. Once a job was more than a month old, it no longer appeared on the screen. I would have to scroll up to find it, which meant it no longer existed.

Excel also doesn’t hold you accountable. You can just scroll aimlessly for 10 minutes until you finally get distracted with something else. I was making 5 follow up calls a week instead of 50.

PRO TIP: Make sure you have a sales pipeline tool you can enter all your deals into. The tool should be simple. When you enter in the data for your deal, it should only include a few pieces of information: Who is your customer. What is the job name. What is the deal size. And most importantly, a reminder for when you are going to follow up. We increased our close rate by 30% using a tool like this. What are you waiting for? (It doesn’t have be expensive either. The one we use starts at $10 per month). 

You’re afraid of rejection

I get it. We all want to be liked. We don’t want to be told no. Plus, if you don’t follow up, the deal remains open and you still "have a chance of closing". The harsh reality is if you aren’t following up because you’re afraid of rejection, sales probably isn’t the career for you. 

3 PRO TIPS: 

First, realize that 99% of rejections aren’t personal. Your solution is rejected, not you personally. When you are told no, find out why and learn from it.

Second, think of sales like your favorite MLB player. Their failure rate at the plate is 70%. Understand that you aren’t going to close every deal. Deal with it. 

Third, pick up Jia Jiang’s book, Rejection Proof. You will learn valuable lessons about rejection. And you will enjoy the book!

You find other busy work

The trigger for this could be a lot of things. You might tell yourself “I think my customer is in a meeting” or “I don’t really want to bother her again this morning”. So you find something else to do: “Oh, I will take care of this warranty issue real quick.” Or “Oh I need to take care of scanning in a few receipts for expenses.” Next thing you know you get busy and haven’t done any follow up. Don’t get distracted!

What can you do to avoid distraction?

You don’t schedule it for the right time (or it’s not scheduled at all)

For most of you, follow up calls should be done first thing in the morning. Your rule should be that you don’t look at email, or make any other non-follow up calls until your follow up calls are complete. Your willpower is at its maximum strength in the morning. Your mind is sharp early in the day. And you have the rest of the day to put out fires.

PRO TIP: Decide when you will follow up. Then put it in your calendar. A recurring appointment for the same time. Then don’t schedule other appointments during this time. 

Following up will make or break you as a salesperson. 

What is your follow up strategy?


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family



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Walk a mile in your customer's shoes

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Walk a mile in your customer's shoes

Always. Always. Always put yourself in your customer's shoes. Ask yourself, “what would I want if I was my customer?” And, “what would I buy if I was in my customer’s shoes?”

In addition, “What information would I need to make this decision?”

If you aren’t working directly with the OWNER or decision-maker, you have an extra step. You also have to think like the owner who is potentially buying your product through another business. 

Most owners and end users don’t have money falling out of their ears, so providing the most expensive solution, which sounds great, is typically not the right answer. 

By the way, thinking like an owner isn’t an easy thing to do, but it’s a skill you can work on and get better at. Sometimes you literally need to take a 10 minute break, close your eyes and think, “If I was the owner of this manufacturing facility, and I had this same humidity problem, what would I do?”

Putting your owner hat on, the first thing you would do is figure out how big the problem is. And understanding the IMPACT to your business.

Most salespeople don’t even ask those questions. They just try to sell whatever product they have that might get rid of humidity. 

But think about it from the owners perspective:

  • Small impact = small problem = small budget.

  • Large impact (IE costing thousands of dollars a day) = large problem = large budget. 

One more point; owners like taking calculated risks. That’s what the definition of an entrepreneur is, a calculated risk taker. 

So if the BEST solution will take care of the problem for $150k, but there is a chance that the building only needs half of the equipment, most owners will take that risk because they have nothing to lose. 

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think like an owner. 

What could go wrong?


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family


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A Simple Formula for Sales Success

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A Simple Formula for Sales Success

An easy way to measure your success as a salesperson is to calculate how many problems you are solving, and then multiply that number by the size or impact of each problem.

Your Success = The number of problems you solve x the size or impact of each problem. 

Obviously there is no way to calculate a quantifiable answer here, but I think you get the point. 

As a salesperson, you should always be SEEKING problems to fix, not avoiding them. When a customer calls you for help, don’t be annoyed that you have more work to do. Be thankful they called you and not your competitor.

Don’t be annoyed or frustrated when your email inbox is overflowing.

In “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*uck”, Mark Manson points out that “Problems never stop; they merely get exchanged and/or upgraded.”

 
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If you wish for your inbox to be empty and for no problems to solve, then you will have a newly upgraded problem; you won’t have a job. 

Also notice in the formula that you will be more successful by solving larger, more complex problems for your customers. 

These problems will take more time to solve, and a lot of work and patience. But if you can help your customer be more profitable, increase their revenue, or help them fill a critical position in their company....and you do this often, for all of your customers, you will be very successful. 

The goal should be to solve so many large problems that you have way more business coming in than you can handle. Now you have an upgraded problem (remember, problems never go away, they are either changed or upgraded). 

So next time you feel frustrated or overwhelmed at work, remember....Your Success = The number of problems you solve x the size or impact of each problem. 

Now go share this with someone who complains that they are too busy :-)


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family


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