Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

What did you pay for?

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   September 25, 2014   |   No Comments

Throughout my career as a coach I have had the privilege and honor of working with hundreds of companies, large and small, start-ups to well established businesses. With very few exceptions, most of the challenges are the same: get new clients or customers, keep them longer and sell them more stuff.

There are many ways to acquire new clients including marketing, referrals, word-of-mouth, education-based marketing, and of course various forms of cold calling. Most small business owners built their business on cold calling. Most of us will tolerate cold calling, we’ll do it when we have to and we may even be pretty good at. And then there is a totally different breed of sales person who really loves to cold call, they get up in the morning and can’t wait for the next challenge; the person on the other end of the phone who says ‘no.’ If you are one of these types or you have them on your team, good for you! Most successful companies will hire a sales staff or a third party to make cold calls.

Lets look at two ways this will affect your business or maybe has already.Work

The first company was a large virtual company who generated most of their leads through radio advertising. They received literally thousands of inbound calls per month. An in-house sales staff of more than 100 answered these calls. The caller was expecting to be sent some educational material and they were, as a matter of fact, it was highly educational and free. This company was not in the business of giving out free information; they needed a certain percentage of these callers to go to the next level, which was a paid webinar.

The second company was also large but not virtual. Their cold calling method of choice was to hire a third party canvassing company to knock on doors and book appointments for the sales team.

Both companies booked a lot of appointments but they also were plagued by a very high cancellation rate. Here’s the part where you get what you pay for! In both cases these companies paid someone good money to book appointments with no incentive for anything more. On more than one occasion, these appointment setters were caught asking potential clients to sign up for the next step and then cancel before their scheduled day and time. Of course this makes sense because they were only paid to set the appointment, it didn’t matter if they showed up or even bought something.

The solution for both of these examples was to adjust the incentive to include more money if the client kept the appointment and even more money if they actually bought something. You can decide how you pay for this but the result will be the same; fewer appointments booked but a higher close rate due to a more qualified potential client. Sounds like a simple solution but I continue to be surprised by how many aren’t doing it.

Lou Andruzzi, President

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Why I am leaving…

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   September 18, 2014   |   14 Comments

This week we want to take the time to welcome the new President of Suzanne Evans Coaching, Lou Andruzzi. Lou has worked with many businesses, but it was the culture of SEC that drew him to us.  Before interviewing here he didn’t even know who Suzanne was, which he saw as a positive!  Find out what this means for the future of SEC and more about Lou, including his favorite travel place and his favorite hobby.

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The Live Event: Business Builder

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   September 11, 2014   |   3 Comments

At a time when Social Media and Internet Marketing are the buzzwords du jour, one business building strategy is working better than any other. The Live Event. It is the single most effective way to launch a seven-figure coaching or consulting business and quickly position yourself as an expert in your industry.

Social Media and Internet Marketing are a phenomenal way to gain exposure for your business – and for your live event. But, the live event transcends other delivery models with its unique ability to foster connection, interaction, and credibility. It allows you to connect with your audience, hold them in a controlled environment, and win their undivided attention.

We have always been passionate about live events and the magic you can create simply by bringing an empty ballroom to life. But, what really motivates us is how transformative the live event model can be. It has the ability to change lives – for the event host, the speakers, and the participants. For the last five years, we have helped entrepreneurs create highly charged sales environments where they can launch and sell products, services, and FeaturedArticle1coaching. This is the reason we’re known as the premier event planners in our field. We built our referral-based business on a solid track record for delivering high dollar sales.

Our success rate is incredibly consistent because it is built on a simple five-step process that we know works. With the right systems in place, any entrepreneur, coach or consultant can launch a seven-figure business… in a weekend, via single live event. You don’t need a huge list or a massive room. You need a game plan.

Here are the five steps to put this model to work for you.

1. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL

The first, and perhaps the most important, is to hire a professional event planner. Hiring an expert saves your resources and gives you time to focus on the two most important things leading into your event: marketing (putting “butts in seats”) and content (designed around your unique talents and message).

The right planner can make you money from the start. Here’s how: Most third party meeting and event planners take commission from vendors like the hotel, the AV company, the decorator, etc. Some make as much from commissions as they do from the fees they charge you. Think about it… if you were going to get a 10% kickback from the hotel on each room night sold, would you work hard to negotiate a $199 per night rate, or a $149 per night rate? In the age of Internet wholesalers, you want the lowest possible room rate to incentivize your participants to stay in the host hotel, and since it is you that is ultimately working hardest to fill those beds, you want to realize a reward for every ‘room night’ sold.

A good planner can also use volume buying to negotiate free room rental, upgrades and concessions that save you money (like reduced rate or ‘comped’ staff rooms), and liability-limiting terms (like paying based on profit margin for any shortfalls in rooms or food and beverage).

You also want to make sure your planner has experience planning the types of events you’re hosting. The atmosphere matters, the schedule matters, the rhythm of the event matters. Your planner needs to understand the ‘behind the scenes’ choreography of a live sales event.

Finally, you want to make sure there is a full disclosure on what the fees are going to be going in. Is the planner going to be charging you a flat rate, plus travel expenses so you know your fees are locked in well in advance – or an hourly rate, plus materials (meaning that the final fee may vary depending on hours expended)? Or, are they taking a cut of back end sales?

2. SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

The next most important key for maximizing your revenue is setting realistic expectations of how many people will attend. The number you use as a marketing goal is not the same number you use as a planning goal. The difference is subtle, but important. For example, you don’t want your liability with the hotel to be based on your marketing goal of 250 people, if there is a chance you attract 200 people. Set your goals for big numbers, but book your venue based on a worst-case scenario.

Here are some general guidelines, based on our experience in the industry. For every 1000 people you have on your marketing list, you can expect approximately 10 attendees. This can vary based upon how aggressively you market to your list, how much you provide, how many previous buyers you have, how long have these people been on your list, and the geographic diversity of your list.

3. DESIGN A SENSIBLE TIMELINE

Plan your marketing, and market your plan. A good timeline for filling a live event (regardless of your target attendance) is a minimum of six months to promote your “signature” event. You’re also going to want to incorporate as many marketing vehicles as you can afford in the months leading up to your event; physical mailings, emails, price increases, bonuses for fast action, payment plans, preview tele-seminars, video marketing, social media, press releases, online advertising, contests, and more.

A current trend for filling live events is selling a product, and including the live event as a point-of-purchase bonus. This is a great marketing tool, as long as you remember – not everyone who receives a bonus ticket will attend the event. Take the time to design a registration method for tracking the gifted seats. We recommend attaching a small registration fee to the “free” ticket. Fifty to 100 dollars per ticket is enough. This is a token fee to claim your free space, and you refund the fee to the attendee upon registration.

Another top trend is hosting a “road tour” to fill your event. Plan several low cost, low liability half-day events in key markets, to allow people to get a taste of your message live. These are essentially mini live sales events.

4. DELIVER UNFORGETTABLE CONTENT

You need great content for your live event. Even if you borrow other concepts, your spin, your voice, and your delivery must be uniquely your own. It is your unique voice that drives the sale.

In many ways, these live events should be viewed as “Continuing Education for Entrepreneurs.” Entrepreneurs are coming to expand their knowledge base, fill the gaps, get motivated to take action, and avoid costly mistakes. The best way to establish your brand is to develop a unique value proposition that targets their points of pain, offers a solution, and ‘over delivers’ on content.

Ideally, your attendees should be able to leave your event, not buy a single thing, and go back to their business ready to use their newly acquired tools. Ideally, they’re also going home with your patented system. Your system can be as simple as a binder filled with printouts of your PowerPoint slides – as long as the slides are organized into a step-by-step system. This proprietary system is the hook for your marketing, the foundation of your content, and an extension of your unique brand.

5. SET THE STAGE FOR SALES

The last point is probably the most valuable; plan your content for the “ask.” The “ask” is the point in your program when you offer your attendees the opportunity to continue the learning process with you after the event. You present the opportunity, explain the benefits, and assuming you’ve done your job, they take you up on it.

An easy way to think about the sales act is to think of your event like a movie, a play, or a book. Whether you host a three or a four-day event, there are multiple acts within the program.

Act One is where you introduce yourself, tell your story, review your system, and tell them what they’re going to learn.

Act Two builds upon Act One with content – lots of content. Show them what you are teaching is complex, but achievable. This second act should show the audience they can achieve the success you have achieved. All it takes is time, dedication, and staying power.

Act Three is where you present your “ask,” or opportunity. Start with success stories of people who have followed your systems successfully, with one-on-one guidance from you. These success stories, or testimonials, will lead right into the “ask”. You are typically speaking to about twenty five percent of the room during this time. These are your core-buying units. Structure your “ask”, and what it is you are presenting to them, so you are speaking directly to that twenty five percent.

Act Four is for tying up loose ends, and giving the other seventy five percent of the people in the room the tools they need to implement what you’ve taught successfully.

SUMMARY

These five tips are the cornerstones of designing an event that can change lives – yours and theirs. The live event is the best way to build a business, launch a brand, and position yourself as the preeminent expert in your field. We believe all entrepreneurs have a unique gift to share, and the live event is the most effective way to deliver that special gift. The added benefit is that along the way, you can launch YOUR own seven – figure business.

Blue Melnick, Sage Event Management 

 

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7 Keys to Wow Your Tribe Every Time

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   September 4, 2014   |   No Comments

Many of you most likely subscribe to many different kinds of newsletters (electronically dubbed “ezines”), fortunately including ours! We thank you for that and trust that each week we are delivering lots of valuable information that you can use to help build your vision as well as keep your sanity in tact as an entrepreneur. 

We so love writing articles for our ezine each week and wanted to share some points that can help you provide great, high-value content for your clients and customers. 

Here are some great pointers to keep in mind when you’re writing your articles.

  • You already have the content! Think about the steps that you take people through in your work. What questions do you get asked the most? You can even go back into emails from your clients or customers and see what their concerns have been, what’s their pressing need, desire or struggle. Pick one simple piece, just like I did here, for writing an article.
  • NO big long paragraphs, please! Think bite-sized pieces. People are busy, so chances are the majority of folks who are reading your article will be skimming through it. So keep it easy to read. You can put it in steps or bullet points so they can get the gist of it by reviewing these high points.
  • Be who you are! Don’t TRY to sound like an expert. Remember, you ARE an expert. Just be yourself and genuinely share your information like you’re talking with a friend or a current client (a.k.a. make it personal). It may even help to read it out loud to see if you would really say it that way!Young woman presenting colorful social media icons
  • Position yourself as an expert! Remember, you don’t have to know everything to be an expert. You just have to know more than most people, and most of your readers. As Suzanne says, “To every 3rd grader, a 4th grader is a god!” So in your own words and in a very simple way, share with your readers how to do what you do.
  • Speak to ONE person! Again, make it personal. Write it as if you were writing to one person (it can be helpful to think of a specific person you are writing to). Writing to one person will help to draw your readers into what you are teaching and it creates a deeper connection. Remember, even if you’re writing your ezine to more than 10,000 people, they are all reading it one person at a time.
  • Lead the way! Let’s face it…your newsletter is a great way to communicate, educate and support your clients and potential clients AND a great avenue for those potential clients to come work with you.
  • Don’t forget to mention ways that people can work with you or offerings that you have that may relate to the article (a.k.a. your products and services). You can do this within your article or at the end. I’m are not saying that your whole newsletter needs to be about selling, but it is important to present a way for people to work with you.

Now you may be saying to yourself, I don’t want to “sell” in my newsletter and not to be harsh, but if that is not the case, you have a hobby (or a not-for-profit) not a business.

When Brian and I were mentoring with Suzanne with our own business, I remember her telling us that our original ezine, which had been putting out for over a year, was more like a yoga magazine than an actual client attraction tool. And to answer your question, YES people loved it, and YES we just about went bankrupt in the process!

These are 7 keys we used to take our ezine from a “nice” newsletter to a very effective client attraction tool, that not only brought us more joy, but more business too!

So I encourage you to start challenging yourself on how you can provide high-value content for your readers.

Start by making a list of 10 things you can write about that relate to your business. Take a look at each of those 10 things and break them down to even more subjects if possible.

Here are a few ideas to determine your article content:

1—Break down the steps that you take with most of your clients and write about one of them each week.

2—Go back into your client emails and remind yourself of the questions they ask you or start documenting the questions that you often get from your clients.

3—Flat out ask your clients and associates what issues are interesting to them, what do they want to learn about, what problems do they need to solve.

Now get out there and write it! This is a chance for you to share yourself and all the wonderful wisdom and knowledge inside of you. And don’t forget to have fun!

Paige Stapleton, Director and Lead Hell Raiser CoachPaige-200x300

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Why I quit working

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   August 14, 2014   |   No Comments

The sky was seemingly seconds from torrential downpour. Jimbo stood by wearing a freshly glued fake mustache, while lead editor Matt framed an illustrious closeup shot and I decided which tool would most effectively smash a plaster rabbit.* A single thought went through my head: I really, really hope Suzanne doesn’t realize how much fun she’s paying me to have.

Somehow, I suspect she’s all too aware.

When did you stop having fun with your business and message? As a culture, we’ve become heavily entrenched into what Thomas Jefferson called the “separation of work and fun.” But here’s the thing: that shit doesn’t fly when selling yourself through video or on stage. Every week at Hell Yeah Studios I encounter tons of clients ranging from health coaches to shamans, but the ones who produce the best (and, assumedly, most profitable) videos are almost unanimously the ones who are having the most fun. Why? Because fun translates to excitement, and excitement translates to enthusiasm in the viewer, which…somehow translates into money. Look, I have a liberal arts degree; I’m not entirely sure how money works.

What I do know is shaping performances. No matter how powerful and important your message is it can easily be diminished by an overly stuffy or, worse, bored demeanor. “But wait!” says the argumentative, hypothetical reader, “I am passionate about my message. I just don’t like being on camera!” Not good enough. How the f**k am I supposed to be enthusiastic about whatever it is you’re selling if I can’t even tell if you’re enjoying it? When I’m at an amusement park, I can guess which rides are most fun based on the riders’ reactions. Would you ride a roller coaster if the riders looked nervous, bored, and exhausted? Because trust me, that’s how many entrepreneurs come off when addressing clients. But what if the riders are so breathless with excitement that they can barely even contain themselves? That rides probably cool as shit!

I know that this doesn’t come easy to everyone. The camera (or stage, or whatever) is a scary thing. Here’s a few tips to help you–and this might sound ridiculous–fake having fun.

1)  Make yourself laugh. It’s been proven that, just as you involuntarily laugh when you’re having fun, you involuntarily have fun when you force yourself to laugh for a minute. It’s weird but true. When I’m directing a long shoot, I’ll sometimes pause to make everyone share a laugh session.

2)  Be ridiculous. Jimbo’s great at this. Try to remember that screwing up isn’t the end of the world. It might help to do one run through of your script in a ridiculous accent (German is a good choice). Afterwards, you’ll relax a little bit.

3)  Hire an editor. More often than not, a performance on film is built just as much by someone in front of the computer as it is by the performer. And, hey, there’s at least a couple good editors in Murrells Inlet, SC. Or so I’m told.

*The answer is, of course, hammer

David Vance, Editor at Hell Yeah Studios

davidvance

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