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3 Things Business Owners Need to Stop Doing in Order to Grow in 2021

By Leadership, People, Sales, Small Business, Success Stories No Comments

Today’s post is going to be a little bit more focused on three quick talking points for small business owners and entrepreneurs. But hopefully everyone can get a little bit of value from this. 

These are three things that every small business owner needs to give up in order to grow in 2021. These are three things that I have given up or are trying to give up each and every day, and we’ve seen the positive benefits from it. I speak from personal experience. 

Catch Up Calls

You’ve got to give up these spontaneous calls, texts and catching up type meetings. I’m not saying all of them, but what you have to realize is that as a small business owner, your time is the most valuable. You just have to accept that fact. With that understanding in mind, it puts everything into more perspective. 

There’s a lot of pet peeves that I have with some communication that goes on. Even little things. I might offend several people that are reading this post. For example, my voicemail says if it’s an emergency, please leave me a voicemail. If it’s not, please email me and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience. I am shocked to this very day how many people listen to that voicemail and leave me a voicemail. It’s amazing. I will listen to the voicemail. And of course, 99% of these calls are not emergencies. 

It goes to show it’s not a personal thing. I know they’re not out to get me. No one’s doing this on purpose. I think there’s very few people out there that are trying to waste other people’s time. 

I remember there was a colleague of mine who once made a joke, but I took it seriously. He said, you know, you should only take revenue generating calls. And I was like, oh, that’s interesting. Let me actually try that, put that into practice. For a period of about a month and a half, all phone calls, emails, even text messages where people were just asking me for stuff such as, hey, can you do this? Hey, I can do that? What do you think about this? Let’s chat about this, I gave him a short, respectful response. I would say, hey, sorry but for right now, I’m really only focused on revenue generating projects. I was shocked at how little pushback I got from that.

I was also shocked at how it often turned several conversations into really awesome collaborative conversations later down the road. I didn’t have time, but it was just amazing to me to show that if you really do put your foot down, value your time, and show that to others, for the most part, people are going to respect that. You’re going to get a lot more done and you’re going to feel less of this external pressure throughout your workday. You have to put your business and your team first or you will be taken advantage of. It’s just the way things go. 

Long Meetings

The second thing you have to give up in order to grow in 2021: long meetings. And I would add meetings in general. I’m bad at this. I’ll admit this right now, but we’ve gotten a lot better at Big Red Jelly. I think people are stuck in these patterns of having meetings like either daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually and here at Big Red Jelly. 

We’ve got certain team meetings that we have every other week. We found that very, very effective. These are 30 minute meetings within our specific smaller teams. They’re thirty minutes long and they’re every other week. We found that pattern or sequence was the most efficient. Every week felt a little unnecessary for us and every month didn’t feel like we were collaborating or meeting enough.

Feel free to get creative. You don’t have to pick one of these daily, weekly, monthly, maybe try something that really works for your team or that particular process at hand. 

Micromanaging

The last thing you have to give up in order to grow in 2021 is micromanaging. This is on so many different levels. Some of my previous videos and posts, I talk a lot about relinquishing control of some of the technical work. That’s something I have a hard time with if there’s a web design project, branding project, or just a marketing project. I really like getting into that project and working on the actual project, trusting your team, trusting your employees and creating processes. Working on the tools instead of in the tools. 

That’s what is ultimately going to help you develop these processes so that your team can become more autonomous and your business can grow. In that weird, paradoxical way, you have to do less technical work in order for your business to grow. It sounds backwards, but I have learned that lesson the hard way. 

Those are my three points. You’ve got to give up these spontaneous calls and meet ups, you’ve got to give up long meetings and you’ve got to give up micromanaging or spending too much time on the actual technical work in order to grow. Three things that I’m constantly working on. But I’ve seen the benefits of doing that. Hopefully you’ve found value from these three points.

Common Website Tips and Tricks to Help Your Business Grow

By Sales, Small Business, Technology, Website No Comments

What we’re going to go over are some very common mistakes that we see when we’re reviewing a client website and some of the things that we like to always suggest to most businesses. 

Call to Action Page

Firstly, online tools or common practices that we like to implement on a website is giving clients or customers the option to contact you or do business with you, get a quote, or schedule a consultation through several different options. We know that this can be different depending on your industry and how you prefer to be contacted. But generally speaking, when we’re looking at small, local, even mid-sized businesses and we look at their call to action page, contact page, or their consultation page, we’re always pretty shocked at just how much missing information there is. There might be just a contact form, but there’s no phone number when they definitely should. have a phone number. 

As you can see here on this website, College Planning Institute (CollegePlanningInstitute.com), what we’ve done is we’ve got two columns here on the “Schedule Free Consultation” page. As you can see within the same frame, there are several ways that you could get started. If you’re more in exploration mode or just looking for a quote, then you might complete the form. It’s not going to be as time sensitive. It’s going to submit the info and their responsibility is to reach out to me. That’s a much more passive approach. 

But as you can see above, the email and phone number is also listed. Both of these are linked. So if you click on this, it will call the phone number on my phone. We see this mistake a lot with small business websites where they have just the text for the phone number and it’s not a button or it’s not linked. Have you ever tried to copy a phone number using your thumb on a mobile phone while you’re in a meeting or talking or driving? It is horrible. So make sure that it’s mobile, responsive. They can tap it and get in touch with you right away. 

But why not skip all of this? If you know you want to get started and you want to take advantage of the free consultation, just go ahead and schedule with them?

Calendly

Use a tool like Calendly, for example. Calendly is great. We have used Calendly for years because there’s a great free version and there’s a lot of fun stuff you can do with it. We have other videos and blogs about how to set up and use Calendly. As you can see here, you can customize it as well. It syncs with your calendar, so it’s only going to show times that you are available. If you go and edit my calendar and I’m blocked off Thursday for a doctor’s appointment and I use Calendly, it’s not going to have those time slots available for my customers or clients. 

We’re shocked that more business owners are not taking advantage of these real time synched calendars. They save so much time. They’re going to help you get more leads. They’re going to help you get more business.

I can tell you from personal experience, we went through our Big Red Jelly website and we started putting in embedded calendars using HubSpot, or CRM, very similar to Calendly. And right after we did that and we put those calendars on our call to action pages, we saw a significant, measurable difference in scheduled calls from real people who wanted real advice. 

Relevant Home Page

This is WaytoMoab.com, a website for an amazing tour guide company. One of the things that we like about their site is this little banner at the bottom, “Booking Now for the 2021 Season,” even though it seems minor looking. Point number two is try to have something that’s time or season relevant on your home page. 

A lot of people will design a website or digital platform and say, boom, it’s done. Maybe I’ll refresh it five years from now. The home page is probably going to be one of your most visited pages. You should have a promo, discount, something that’s seasonal, something that’s relevant. It shows that your business is updating your website consistently. It’s growing. It’s changing. It keeps up to date. 

As human beings, generally, we have a hard time thinking far ahead in the future. If you are an e-commerce brand, there should be a banner there or something there that says 25 percent off until the end of this month. There’s a price and a time incentive. 

So think to yourself, what’s a banner coupon, discount, an event, something relevant that can be added to your home page and something that you can update on a monthly basis. You will see results from something as small as that. 

Testimonials

This is something we see again and again with local businesses. They don’t have any testimonials or reviews listed on their website–at least nowhere really easy to find. What a lot of people do is they will have a page where they dump all their testimonials. Or they’ve just got one section where they’ve got testimonials and then nowhere else. 

Here on this website (triedntruecoaching.com), there’s actually testimonials on several pages. Above is an example of a carousel on the homepage with some testimonials. Even though these are static testimonials right now, just that cherry on top, adding validation onto all the information that was digested before is priceless. 

Don’t be afraid to strategically place single testimonials throughout your site. Small business owners do that nearly enough, especially if that testimonial is relevant to the information that it’s next to. 

Let’s say you have a bio about you on a team page. You might have a testimonial from a client that says it was great working with you. It adds validation to the information that someone just digested by visiting your website. Do not be afraid to be strategic with your testimonials, your reviews, your case studies. Use them as a tool to add validity to information on your website. 

Live Chat

Second to last point is just some very basic but easy to set up tools like this OnPoint website that we built (OnPointavl.com). As you can see here in the bottom right hand corner, this is a live chat plugin using the Zoho CRM, which was their preferred CRM. It’s like a sales software. This is a live chat tool when someone on their team is online, this will give a little green light. It will show that someone is online and when they’re not. It turns into a really easy to find contact for these tools.

There’s so much you can do and it can feel like you have an additional mini me who’s doing this work on your website while you’re asleep or while away. Think about a CRM, live chat, chat bot, or a combination of the two. Really leverage your time a little bit better by using these tools. We have other videos and posts about tools like Live Chat Chat, 

Secondary Call to Action

Let’s go to this website here. Get in the Cashflow Game (GetintheCashFlowGame.com). Very fun brand, very fun website that we made a while ago. 

Something we don’t see a lot of business owners do very well is offering kind of secondary calls to action or other pieces of value or content. As you can see here, decently, far down the homepage for this website, there’s kind of this secondary call to action, which is getting a free video course. A lot of people say, well, I want people to call me, I want leads. I want them to fill out my form. That’s your primary call to action. But are there other things that you could provide for the majority of your website, visitors who aren’t ready to pull the trigger and do business with you right now? 

We challenge you to maybe think about. What’s something of value you can offer that you’re not going to require anyone to pay you? What would be of great value content to share with future customers that might warm them up to do business with me in the future?

This is applicable to just about every industry out there. So as you can see here, this is a video course, a little bit more complex. If you were to fill out this form, it sends you an email sequence with videos and once per week each email comes with a new video. It’s really cool and really engaging. 

It’s always helpful to have a secondary call to action on your website. You’d be surprised how many people would take advantage of that. 

There are some tips and tricks for some common things we like to implement in websites and online business strategies for most of our clients. Hopefully you found one or two of these to be helpful for you. 

And don’t forget, you can go to bigredjelly.com/comeback and download the free guide to read about more of these points or schedule a free consultation with our team. 

Let’s get to work and do something fun together.

3 Practical and Easy Tactics to Increase Sales

By Marketing, Sales No Comments

As an entrepreneur and small business owner, if you were to ask me what the number one question is that keeps me awake at night I would say, “How do I get more business?”. This question resonates with most business owners of all sizes, whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or an entrepreneur working out of your parent’s pool house. How do I get more sales? More revenue? I want more clients. I want more money coming in through the door. These are healthy questions to always be asking. 

I’ve always raised an eyebrow at people I’ve met where this is not a top question or priority. I’m always going out making sure I’m constantly aggressive and attacking to grow my team. Sales should be at the forefront. This week’s topic for business success is three practical and quick action items that you can employ this week that will increase your sales. All business owners will benefit from these three things, but especially B2B. B2C business owners may need to get a little more creative in applying these three tips. You can complete these processes or tasks this week and start seeing results right away. Let’s dive into the three things you can do to increase your sales!

#1 – Onboarding and off boarding scripts that include upgrades or upsells

Creating onboarding or off boarding scripts that include an optional upgrade or upsell will instantly increase your sales. I am always amazed as we get to learn about other businesses through branding projects, digital build projects, and client strategy sessions how they do not have a solidified script or automations put in place to introduce current clients to additional services the business offers. Maybe script isn’t the right word, but businesses need an outline of the very first call that you have with a new client and the very last call after finishing your project. If they do have a script or set steps in place, how many businesses do not include an optional upgrade or upsell opportunity? 

We witnessed this every day. If you’ve ever been through a McDonald’s drive through, what do they always ask you? Do you want to make that a meal? That light bulb should be going off in your head, automatically, when you finish a project with a client. When asked that, clients will typically say, “Huh… Yeah, let’s go for it. Yeah, let’s do it. I didn’t think about that”. You will be amazed how many clients agree to an upgrade or upsell if you simply ask them. Oftentimes, a client is unaware that you provide Service X, Y, or Z. As soon as they become aware of said service, they are excited to upgrade their current project, plan, scope of work, etc. Through the process of your current project, you have likely created a solid relationship with your client, eliminating the awkward sales pitch barrier. 

We’ve implemented this at Big Red Jelly. We have several phases that clients go through. It’s never a pushy sell. The upgrades and upsells usually don’t come directly from our sales team. Rather, they come from team members who have worked with a client personally on a project. Our team is trained to ask, “Hey, now that we’ve completed this phase, are you interested in taking it to the next level?” For example, if we complete a branding project for a client where we rebrand or reposition their company, by the end of that project, it’s become more apparent to the client and our team member that the client’s digital platforms are archaic. With the new brand, their website looks outdated. At this point, it’s a very smooth upsell to build a new, modern website. You’ll be amazed at how many upgraded or unsold clients you receive even after a couple of conversations where you simply ask. 

#2 – Make your clients the center of attention

Give your current clients the opportunity to be the center of attention or the cool kid on the block. At Big Red Jelly, it’s important to us that we regularly spotlight our clients. Once you complete a project, there should be a process in place where you take time within the month to spotlight that client or project on your social media. Increase your client’s visibility by highlighting them in a case study, a blog, and your monthly email newsletter. They will love it! While you are showing off your great work, it shows that you care. It gets the word of mouth going, and it’s easy for them to refer you to their friends, colleagues and network.

It’s shocking how many businesses do amazing work, and then they don’t spotlight their clients. I see a lot of creative teams out there and very visual businesses that aren’t spotlighting their clients and making them the center of attention. Again, it makes you look like the good guy. It makes it look like you love your clients. It gives them the opportunity to say, “Oh, yeah, wow, let me share this”. You’re creating an organic word of mouth reach on social media, email, and other digital platforms. 

Making a client feel like the cool kid on the block or the cool networker that everyone wants to network with. When you finish work for a client, give them the opportunity to refer your business to anyone in their network for a discount. Let your client know how much you loved working with them and how great it would be to work with people in their industry, their network, their colleagues or cohorts. Let them know that if they refer you to their network, they’ll get a 10%, 15%, 20% discount. It makes them look cool. They look great. They really appreciate it. You’re looking after them. And of course, future business, future clients are going to like it as well. 

#3 – Automate your split-second automated reply

Consider automating your split second automated reply. Think to yourself: in your sales process or your marketing process, at what point is a new contact officially added to your CRM? At what point do they jump into your inbox? At what point do they first contact you through a contact form on your website or chat with you through a chat bot? All of these platforms have one thing in common, and it is that you can set up an automated split second reply. Now, some people might debate me on this, but I think there’s debate if you’re not very creative with your automated replies. Here are some statistics: According to scale.com, only 11% of organizations follow up on marketing qualified leads within five minutes. The most popular response time was within 24-hours at 37%. Now you might say, “Wow, 24-hours. That’s pretty good. I’d be happy if I could do that”. Twenty-four hours is not good enough! You are losing qualified leads every minute you do not follow-up. Your competition will take the potential client off your hands, trust me! 

Automate all of your platforms: email, web site, message platforms, chat bots, lead forms, contact forms, all of them! All of them can have a split second reply. In my opinion, these automations should be transparent that it is an automation. It can be something like this: “We got your message. In the meantime, while you’re waiting for a personal response for our team, here’s a link to our portfolio. Check out our latest work related to branding, seeing as that’s what you were interested in. Also, if you want 10 percent off now, click this link and schedule an onboarding video call right away. Let’s skip that whole step. We’ll get back to you within 12 hours, 24 hours.” 

The project is fresh on their mind. They may decide then and there, after receiving your automated message to close the sale with you and to stop shopping around. It lets them know that you’re on top of it, but you will also provide human contact within 24 hours. I hate when I complete all the information and the response says “Thanks, we’ll get back to you”. I get so frustrated. What does that even mean? But if it says “Thanks, a team member will reach out to you in 24-hours. In the meantime, check out our awesome work, see what our clients are saying. Look at this latest project we just finished up” you have further engaged a potential client and they have a positive association with your company before talking to anyone.  Don’t be the barrier that loses leads. If possible and applicable, give them a link to sign up, get started, schedule a call, etc. Automating next steps will save you time and money, while increasing the bottom line. 

 

Those are the three things you can do this week to increase your sales! Have clear onboarding and offboarding scripts or processes that include upgrades and upsell opportunities, make your current clients the center of attention, and automate immediate replies to any lead gathering technique you have on your digital platforms! These three things have dramatically increased our sales in the last year, and I’m confident you will see similar results! 


Let’s continue this conversation on our social media channels! Check out our weekly industry videos on our Facebook at 1:30PM (MST) every Thursday.

Today’s article comes from a previously recorded video. Check out the video here!