September 1, 2014

Local Lead Generation for Small Businesses

Many small business are struggling these days with their marketing efforts. Old school advertising strategies can only go so far and unless a small business adjusts their marketing efforts, they will lose out to the new advertising channels created by Internet-enabled phones and the Internet itself. But most small businesses have limited resources in regards to sales and marketing and while a business owner is used to wear many hats, learning the more difficult marketing strategies required to succeed on the Internet is almost impossible. If you talk to a business owner about Google Quality Score, A/B Split testing, Web Analytics, Pay Per Click advertising, or Facebook advertising you often lose them because they do not understand the lingo or have problems keeping up with those things already.

Then service providers entered the market offering to manage the online pay per click marketing efforts for a fee. However, the risk still stays with the small business. These service providers take 10% of the marketing budget in fees alone without providing any sort guarantees. Small businesses are at the mercy of these providers and need to trust them a lot. [Read more...]

Press Release: MediciGroup® is Certified by Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

Press Release: MediciGroup® is Certified by Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

MediciGroup an industry leader in patient recruitment and retention for clinical trials has been certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

(PRWEB) June 27, 2005 — MediciGroup an industry leader in patient recruitment and retention for clinical trials has been certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). MediciGroup’s certification number is 240085. This certification formally acknowledges that MediciGroup is a company independently owned, controlled, and managed by a woman.

“Obtaining this rigorous certification is an achievement. With our strong track record, and our WBENC Certification we offer pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies with another reason to choose MediciGroup, to accelerate their clinical trials” said Liz Moench, President and CEO of MediciGroup, Inc., “We are proud of our success as a woman-owned business. This will be a way of letting people know about it.”

The WBENC certification process is comprehensive. Independent reviewers examined MediciGroup’s professional, legal, and financial status, followed by an on site visit to MediciGroup’s headquarters.

For additional information about MediciGroup’s WBENC certification process, please visit www.medicigroup.com/WBENC

About MediciGroup, Inc

MediciGroup (www.medicigroup.com), headquartered in King of Prussia, PA is a leader in clinical trial marketing services for like science companies. Since 1992 MediciGroup has pioneered the development and implementation of direct-to-patient recruitment and retention programs for the clinical trial industry. MediciGroup has provided strategic clarity and inherent flexibility by combining its experience, commitment and technical expertise to meet each client’s unique challenge.

Website: http://www.medicigroup.com

About WBENC

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), founded in 1997, is the nation’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses as suppliers to America’s corporations. It also is the largest third- party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States.

For more information about the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) please visit http://www.wbenc.org

10 Ways To Get More Profit From Your E-zine

10 Ways To Get More Profit From Your E-zine
by: Ken Hill

Publishing an e-zine will help you to strengthen your status as an expert in your field and convert more of your visitors into customers.

The following tips will provide you with ways to successfully increase the revenue you get from publishing your own e-zine:

1. Write your own articles.

Writing articles will help you to connect with your readers, share your knowledge, and promote your business through your resource box. If you have an affiliate program, let your subscribers as well as your other affiliates reprint your articles with their affiliate URLs in your resource box. You’ll be able get more of your readers and visitors to join your affiliate program and successfully promote your business.

2. Include testimonials for your products or services within your e-zine.

Your testimonials will increase your readers’ confidence in your product. Include testimonials from your customers and also from other experts in your field.

3. Provide examples of how you’ve helped your clients.

For instance, if you design web sites you could provide examples of the web sites you’ve designed. Your clients will enjoy the free promotion that you give them and you’ll be able to showcase your work.

4. Offer a free e-book as a bonus for subscribing.

Your e-book will help you to successfully promote your business and also help you to effectively promote affiliate programs you’ve joined to your new subscribers.

5. Sell advertising space.

Once your e-zine is of sufficient size, you can rake in more profits by selling ads to your subscribers and visitors. Offer your readers special limited time offers to get more people to buy advertising for the first time and to get more repeat sales. Also provide testimonials in your e-zine and on your site that share how advertising in your e-zine has paid off for your advertisers.

6. Write a product review.

Your product review will help you to successfully “soft sell” your affiliate program’s product to your subscribers. Focus your review on how their product will specifically benefit your readers, and share your positive experiences with the product. Don’t be afraid to point out some minor negative aspects about the product, and keep your review hype free. You can also write reviews about products you’ve bought that disappointed you. Your subscribers will appreciate your honesty and you’ll be able to increase their trust in you.

7. Swap an ad for your business.

You’ll be able to get your ad run at no cost in a targeted e-zine in exchange for running that publisher’s ad. Track your swaps, and then swap your ads for longer runs with publishers whose e-zines gave you an excellent response.

8. Swap a recommendation with another e-zine publisher.

Recommend another publisher’s product in your e-zine in exchange for her recommending your product. You’ll be able to get more sales than you would from a paid e-zine ad because your product will be endorsed by a trusted source.

9. Use your thank you page to your advantage.

Your thank you page is a great place to offer a special sale, recommend one of your affiliate programs, and include your signature file. In addition, you can get more new subscribers that would be interested in your products by swapping an ad or recommendation for your e-zine on this page.

10. Send out a special solo mailing to your subscribers.

You could announce a special promotion, a new teleclass, or a sale on advertising in your e-zine. Keep your special mailings to one or two a month. Bombarding your readers with emails will decrease the effectiveness of your mailings and cause you to get more unsubscribe requests.

About The Author

Article by writer, Ken Hill. Do You Publish an E-zine? Want more subscribers? Put your e-zine promotion on autopilot with this must have e-zine promotional tool. Over 1600+ places to promote your e-zine. Learn more now at: http://www.scstats.com/r.cfm?i=4604.

The Power of Partnering

The Power of Partnering
by: Kelley Robertson

“Get the sale at any cost.”
“Make more calls.”
“Tell them what they want to hear.”

Sales professionals in virtually every industry are under tremendous pressure to close sales. It is not uncommon for them to hear comments similar to ones above from their sales manager, supervisor, or boss. But this approach does not create trust with customers and does not encourage repeat business or a lasting relationship.

A more effective approach is to develop a partnering relationship with your clients. This means working with them to help them achieve their goals and objectives. Simple in theory, this strategy requires a completely different approach. Here’s what I mean.

In the majority of sales meetings, the sales person looks for ways to position his or her product/service so that the prospect will buy it. However, a partnering approach means putting your goals and objective aside. It means focusing 100% of your attention on your customer. It requires a self-less mindset because there are situations when the best solution is not yours. In fact, it may mean telling your customer to contact a competitor. I experienced this just a few days before writing this article. A subscriber to my e-zine contacted me about delivering a particular service. Although I may have been able to help her, I knew someone who could better meet her requirements. It was mentally difficult, but I made the decision to refer her to my competition.

Partnering also means that you provide exceptional follow-up to ensure that your customer is completely satisfied with their purchase. This does not mean you make just the obligatory follow-up call. It means you explore their actual use of your product and/or service and help them maximize its full potential.

A client of mine was experiencing less than favorable results after implementing a new program into their business. We scheduled a follow-up meeting with the management team, because as the vendor, I knew that the answers lay in the execution of the program. During the meeting we explored several ways to improve their results and one of the solutions required me to provide additional follow-up. Although I could have charged this client for my time, I knew that it made good business sense to absorb the cost of this follow-up because my primary objective was to help my client achieve the best results possible. Subsequent meetings indicated that this investment was worth it as my client began discussing how we could take this initiative to the next level.

The challenge with this concept is that most sales people want some form of instant gratification. But this approach does not offer a direct or immediate payoff for the sales person. However, from a business perspective, it makes good sense.

It is also important to note that you don’t necessarily have to give away this additional service. A few sales trainers I know (including myself) incorporate telephone coaching into their proposals. They charge for this service but they position it as a way for the company to improve their results. They demonstrate how this additional investment will drive more dollars to their clients’ bottom line. Ultimately, your goal should be helping your customers and clients improve their business results. Here are a few points to consider.

1. Focus on their goals and objective instead of your personal agenda (closing the sale). If necessary, recommend another supplier or vendor who offers the exact product/service your client needs.

2. Follow-up. Contact your customer and talk to them after they have made their purchase. Ask them if they are getting the desired results. If they aren’t, look for ways to help them maximize their results. Offer additional support. Give them extra resources. Help them get the best results possible.

3. Incorporate a systemized process into your sales pitch or proposals. People will pay for extras providing they see that value that is brought to their organization.

4. Send information to your customers on a regular basis without being asked. I like to send articles that are relevant to my clients on a regular basis. This demonstrates that I am looking out for their interests, rather than my own. I prefer to send articles written by other people, not just the ones I write.

Zig Ziglar once stated, “You can get anything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.” When you help your customers achieve their goals and objectives you become more than a supplier or vendor. You become a preferred partner. And this will prevent your competition from overtaking you in the marketplace.

Create a checklist of the additional services you can offer to your clients to help them achieve their goals. Helping your customers reach their objectives will help you increase your profits.

One word of caution…this is a process, not a quick fix. This strategy does take time to generate a return. However, it is well worth the investment.

© Copyright 2005 Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved.

About The Author

Kelley Robertson, President of the Robertson Training Group, is a professional speaker and trainer on sales, negotiating, and employee motivation. He is also the author of “Stop, Ask & Listen – Proven Sales Techniques to Turn Browsers into Buyers.” For information on his programs, visit his website at www.RobertsonTrainingGroup.com. Receive a FREE copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” by subscribing to his 59-Second Tip, a free weekly e-zine available at his website. You can also contact Kelley at 905-633-7750 or email him at Kelley@RobertsonTrainingGroup.com.

Reviving Dead Clients

Reviving Dead Clients

Most consultants I’ve talked to don’t spend any time trying to recover inactive clients and it’s a big mistake. We tend to magnify the problem we had or just want to move on, but sometimes a simple apology and offering to make things right will bring you back a client worth thousands of dollars in billing.

Clients can quit contacting you for a number of reasons:

They had a bad experience.

They no longer need your product or service.

As their needs evolved, they believed your company no longer could offer what they need.

They just got busy and forgot about you.

You can see how important it is to have a communication process to stay in contact with clients as some quit calling for the sole reason of “out of sight, out of mind.” Think about all the vendors that you’ve stopped buying from for no real reason. It happens to everyone.

There are clients that you have consciously let go because they are bad clients. I recommend consistently “firing” the bottom 5-10 percent of your client base as a regular practice. But most consultants have an attrition rate higher than that.

Make a Target List

Go through your database making a careful list of clients you have done business with in the past but are no longer buying from you. Cross out those relationships that you have no interest in reviving. Next, categorize the remaining list using the following parameters:

Don’t know why they’re inactive

Was a problem but you thought you resolved it

Was a problem but you didn’t resolve and would like to win them back

Determine how much the client spent with you.

Date of last purchase. You’ll want to focus on more recent clients first and work through to a point of diminishing return.

The first thing you need to do is get excited. With a little diligence you can revive 25-50 percent of these clients and dramatically increase your revenue base. The key is humility, sincerity and resolve.

The Disgruntled Client:

Understanding What They Want

Before you contact the inactive client it’s important to spend some time focused on the outcome. You need to be prepared and anticipate their reaction to your call. Disgruntled clients have certain needs that have to be met before they become active again. Below is a checklist to review before you make each call:

They want to be regarded and respected

They want you to make things right

They want to be listened to and heard (two different things)

They want to insure that the problem doesn’t happen again

They want you to understand the problem and why they would be upset

Don’t defend yourself or make excuses. Acknowledge that it shouldn’t have happened. You should be prepared to make an offer to resolve the problem and communicate your willingness to go great lengths to win them back.

Making Contact

The next step is to simply pick up the phone. Call them and ask to meet face to face. Assure them that they are a valuable client and that you’d like to know if there is anything that is keeping them from doing business with you. You must communicate your absolute sincerity and concern.

If the client had a bad experience, regardless if it was your fault, try to make it right. Offer to refund their money, correct the problem and give them a discount against future services or whatever would be appropriate in your particular situation.

Apologize no matter whose fault it is. The client is always right. They write the checks and in an economy that is driven by customer satisfaction, you have to go the extra mile to stand above your competitors.

Be prepared for the fact that you will not resolve every situation. You may get screamed at or abused. Stay the course, be calm and reiterate your sincere apologies. In some cases there will be no possibility of reactivating them or getting a rational response to your call. If you are professional and earnest, the worst that can happen is they will feel better about the situation and won’t complain to their associates about your company, which can be damaging. Send the people a sincere letter thanking them for assisting you in identifying problem areas with your company.

You’re in the Spotlight, So You Better Shine

If they do agree to accept your effort to resolve the issue, whether it’s in the form of redoing the work or free products and services, then you must be exemplary in the execution of the promise. Get a clear understanding of your commitment and the timeframe for its completion. You must go the extra mile here.

Communicate when you’ve fulfilled your obligation, thanking them for the opportunity to clear up the problem. Send a sincere letter reiterating your appreciation for working with you to resolve the misunderstanding. Depending on the type of work you do, simply maintain regular contact to inquire if everything is working, and if there is anything you can do to be of service.

Getting in Touch with Old Friends

Often you’ll find that former clients are having financial or other difficulties that have prevented them from continuing business with your company. Express your genuine and personal response to their problems and find out if there is anything you can do to help. People remember who was around when they were down. A small gesture here goes miles in referrals or when they get back on their feet.

There are also the clients that have grown, or changed technologies, and now feel that they need to work with a bigger organization. In a lot of cases it’s really just a perception problem. Tell the client that you’ve grown too and that you’re ready to meet their needs.

If you truly can’t serve them, let them know how much you’ve appreciated their business and invite them to contact you if there is anything you can do for them in the future. If they were satisfied with your services, don’t hesitate to ask for referrals. Be sure and follow-up with a letter.

Finally, there are the old clients that simply forgot about you. In some consulting businesses, it might be appropriate to systematically send out a letter to clients to stay in touch and acknowledge that you haven’t heard from them. Come up with several that are appropriate for your particular consulting business and send them out at specific times relative to the last purchase.

You need different letters because the reasons for a lack of buying vary from client to client. Track each mailing so that you can refine the process based on which letters garner the most responses.

If it’s appropriate for your business, send clients a coupon for a free hour of services. The perceived value is high and they will be inclined to use it to initiate future work.

About The Author

Bryan Brandenburg has published 5 books as well as a number of articles both in print and on the internet. He has published almost 30 software programs both for consumers and business. More information can be found at www.vmmmg.net
b.brandenburg@vmmg.net