Top Secrets of Marketing & Sales
Top Secrets of Marketing & Sales
David Blaise
The Top Secrets of Marketing & Sales podcast provides tips on how to increase sales, improve profit margins and grow your business. Each week, we address issues related to important topics like targeting your ideal prospects, fine-tuning your messaging, attracting the clients you need, monetizing social media, the MVPs of Marketing and Sales and much more. From mindset to marketing and prospecting to podcasting, the Top Secrets podcast helps B2B and B2C entrepreneurs, professionals and salespeople get more of the customers and clients they need so they can do more of the work they love.
5 Elements of a Compelling Marketing Voice
Most marketing messages and business communications are bland, directionless, and dull as dishwater. They lack a clear marketing voice. If you're sending out emails that don't get a response or leaving voicemail messages that are largely ignored, take a look at what you're putting out. I can virtually guarantee it's missing one or more of the Five Elements of a Compelling Marketing Voice. If you've ever wondered what's missing from your marketing -- what causes it to be ignored rather than acted upon, It may very well be one of the 5 things we're about to discuss. First is a clear target: Knowing exactly who you're reaching out to and why. Every communication you put out should be written as if it's to one person, even if it's going out to dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people. Think of one particular prospect or client you know well. Pick someone you communicate with most authentically, who could be representative of this group, and then write as if you're writing to that person. Go back over it before you send it, of course, and make sure it applies to the entire group, but if you write as if you're writing to just one person, it will be far more effective. This leads right into the second thing which may be missing, which is "you" centered communication. Have a look at the messages you're putting out -- the emails and texts you're sending. Listen to yourself as you're leaving a voicemail message and see how many of your sentences start with or contain the the word "I" vs. the word "you." "Hi, I was just calling because I'd like to set up a time to get together and go over some ideas I had for you." You may not realize it, but that simple sentence had 3 I's before it ever got to a "you." That ratio, 3:1, is completely off. Whenever possible, your communication should lead with them, be centered around them, and refer to them... a lot. That means using the word "you," more than "I" or "me." A third thing that might be missing is good, old fashioned, conversational English. Many marketers and salespeople, for some reason, slip into formal "corporate speak" the moment they start writing a letter or email. Dear Mr. Phillips, pursuant to our conversation of Thursday, March 1st, I herewith enclose a detailed proposal incorporating my primary, secondary and tertiary suggestions, recommendations and guidance for your impending client promotion of April 15th. That's one side of the coin. The other is those who are too informal. If you've ever received an email with no punctuation, no sentence structure or capitalization -- either all lower case or even worse, all upper case (which is seen by most as shouting) -- you know what I'm talking about. In both cases, the solution is the same: conversational English. While some clients prefer a more formal approach and some a less formal approach, you can always adapt your conversational English to their preferences without taking it to either of the two extremes we just discussed. Fourth is a personality or point of view. Each of us is unique, so whenever possible, it's good to convey the most positive aspects of our personality in our communication. This further humanizes our message and creates a better bond with the person who's receiving it. The Fifth element which may be missing is interest or passion. How can you make what you're saying as interesting as possible to the recipient? Are you excited or passionate about your ability to help your client? If so, be sure to allow some of that excitement to show through in your choice of words in a written communication and your tone of voice in spoken communication. This element is very compatible with the previous points,
Mar 19
4 min
Improve Results by Sequencing Your Communication
In today's episode in our professional profile series, David Blaise and Bianca Istvan discuss business growth strategies designed to improve results, including sequencing your communication with Carlos Mestas, CEO of Thrivebox, which specializes in helping entrepreneurs establish business credit to access funding solutions, Alan Watts, known as the Love Engineer, who offers dating and relationship coaching services, and Paul Loubao, owner of PCL Housing Commerce, who focuses on investments, sales, and education in the real estate industry. After sharing what's working well and what's creating challenges, the focus turned to the importance of sequencing communication as part of your sales and marketing strategies. Reaching and impacting potential clients has evolved over the years, making it necessary to engage with prospects differently than before, using the communication channels they prefer. Some of the topics discussed include: The effectiveness of marketing strategies in connecting with the right clientele The importance of a multi-faceted approach, utilizing social media, face-to-face, and online networking to engage with clients The difficulty of gaining trust with new prospects Changing the mindset of people who may have previously been burned in other transactions We also discussed adaptation, trust-building, and proactive engagement as pivotal factors when navigating the challenges of business growth. Ready to Communicate More Effectively and Improve Your Sales Results? If so, go to TopSecrets.com/call or check out some of the other ways we can help: Just Getting Started? If you (or someone on your team) is just getting started in promotional products sales, learn how we can help. Need Clients Now? If you’re already grounded in the essentials of promotional product sales and just need to get clients now, click here. Want EQP/Preferential Pricing? Are you an established industry veteran doing a significant volume of sales? If so, click here to get End Quantity Pricing from many of the top supplier lines in the promo industry. Time to Hire Salespeople? If you want to hire others to grow your promo sales, click here. Ready to Dominate Your Market? If you’re serious about creating top-of-mind-awareness with the very best prospects in your market, schedule a one-on-one Strategy Session here.
Mar 13
25 min
How to Get Your Desired Results Fast
Most people I know in business want to get results. But how do you get your desired results fast? They’re always thinking about new things, focusing on new ideas, determined to get the results they’re looking for, and sometimes it takes a lot longer than they’d like. When you consider the business people you know, it’s likely that some of them might have achieved amazing results since you last spoke with them, while others seem stuck or unable to move forward. In each of these situations, their results probably have a lot less to do with their goals, mindset, plans, or ever their determination than you might think. Instead, it’s largely about their speed of implementation. How quickly are they making things happen? Speed of implementation is about how quickly we can iterate, reiterate, try things, fail and then try more things so we can get to the actions that work. How fast can you get from an idea to an action to a result that can be measured? The faster we do these things, the faster we find out what works and what doesn’t. In a previous podcast, we talked about the three primary stages of this. Starting with the idea, moving to the action which then generates the result. Each time we generate a new idea, we either go through that process to take an action and get a result, or we kill it off in the idea stage. We fail to take action on it, and then our results are determined by the actions we didn’t take. The FTDs. The things we failed to do. Of course our speed of implementation applies to our activities, but it’s also dependent on outside factors, like the response of others. In sales, we can provide someone with a quote today, but we can’t control when or even if they’ll respond. But even in these cases, we’re far better off doing our part now, rather than later, because we’re getting the wheels of action in motion. And the sooner we take action on our ideas, the sooner we see the results of that action, so we can determine our next steps. Also, when I talk about speed of implementation, I’m not talking about rushing through things. Instead, I’m just talking about tightening up the time between the idea and the action. Reducing the gaps between ideas and implementation. And even with this, we have to be careful. I’m not suggesting we should be impulsive and just act on every idea that pops into our heads. Of course, we need time to evaluate those ideas, determine which are worthy of action and which aren’t, and prioritize them, so we’re acting on what we believe are the best ideas first. But very often, this can happen a lot faster than we think. We each have a certain tempo, a speed at which we do things. I grew up on the east coast of the United States. We have a bit of a reputation for speaking fast and acting fast. When I’m excited about an idea, I tend to speak even faster. It’s not always an advantage. So once again, I’m not suggesting we rush through things. We still need to take time to listen, think, and deliberate. But once we’ve made that decision to move forward on something, our speed of implementation will be a huge determining factor in our results. Sometimes procrastination plays a role, sometimes it’s fear, or dread, or indecision, and each of these things can significantly delay the amount of time it takes to get to the things we want. Have you ever put off doing something for a week or a month that literally ended up taking maybe 45 minutes to an hour to complete? Sometimes we spend more time dreading something than it takes to complete it. Of course, just taking action doesn’t mean we’ll get the desired res...
Mar 6
5 min
3 Likely Points of Failure in Your Sales Process
Today I'd like to talk to you about the three most likely points of failure in a sales process. First is Almost Always Targeting. This means trying to go too big, or too wide, or too deep, too fast. If you think the world is your market, okay, but the problem is it's very unlikely that you have enough money to market to everyone. For that reason, you have to get your targeting dialed in. It's like what Benjamin Martin said in the movie The Patriot. Aim small, miss small, because when you think you're targeting everyone, it's really more likely that you're not targeting anyone. Like the old proverb said, he who chases two rabbits catches none. Another issue with targeting everyone is that not everyone is a good prospect for you. Many people have no need, no desire, no money, no budget, no willingness to spend. So if you're targeting everyone, or you're targeting poorly, you'll have to kiss a lot of frogs, as the saying goes, to find your prince or princess. But that's qualification. We'll discuss that another time. The Second Most Likely Point of Failure in Your Sales Process is Your First Contact with a Prospect. And a lot of people confuse their first contact with their actual sales process. For example, in live seminars, I'll often ask an audience, What's your sales process? How do you get new customers through the door like clockwork? They'll often shout out things like, Networking, Cold Calling, Facebook, LinkedIn. But the ones who are almost always more proud of their answers than anyone else are those who shout out the word, Referrals. They often look with disdain on those who offer other answers. And yes, referrals are fantastic, but referrals, just like all the others, are just a method of lead generation for your first contact with a prospect. Like networking, cold calling, social media, and all the other forms of first contact, none of them are a sales process. At best, they're all just the first step in a sales process. Now, since your first contact will very likely set the stage as the basis of your relationship with the prospect going forward, you have to make it count. You only get one chance to make a first impression, right? Because so little time, effort, and training are ever focused on it, first contact remains one of the biggest points of failure in the sales process. The Third Point of Failure in the Sales Process is The Path. What happens after you initiate first contact with a new prospect? What's step two? What's step three? What's step four? Do you just wing it? Because many salespeople just wing it. They refer to their winging it as following up, and it's usually about as rudderless and nondescript as it sounds. Often, it just means staying in touch. Naturally, staying in touch is necessary in business. But how much more effective is it when you have a plan, when you actually have a path, when you have objectives, benchmarks, or a process to follow along the way? Of course, every prospect is different. Every single conversation you have is different. So it's not like you're going to be able to control every aspect of the sales process. But if you have a path, at least you know what you need to accomplish and you have something to return to if and when your prospects start wandering off in another direction -- which they inevitably will. Without a clear path, without those benchmarks that you know you need to hit to complete the sale, you can end up lost and walking in circles for a really long time. That's why a clear path is so critical to your success. And it's why not having one is often a critical point of failure. These are just the first three, but they're big. So if you need help fixing any or all of these in your business,
Feb 28
4 min
How to Get and Qualify Leads in Your Business
Ready to get and qualify leads in your business? If so, be sure to check out this episode in the Professional Profile series. In today's episode, David Blaise and co-host Bianca Istvan discuss business growth and qualification strategies with real estate developer Daniel Wick, financial services provider Joseph Lombardi, and content creator Sufian Malik. Topics include effective strategies for building a personal brand, nurturing client relationships, and streamlining the qualification process in sales. The panel also make the following recommendations: Utilize short-length content on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels to effectively build a personal brand and connect with audiences. Implement a strong qualification process in sales to quickly identify qualified leads and avoid wasting time with unqualified prospects. Leverage CRM systems and nurturing processes to expedite sales processes and build long-term client relationships. Focus on creating value-driven communication and automating follow-up sequences to maintain persistence without being perceived as overly aggressive. Prioritize building personal connections with clients in order to foster trust and loyalty, especially in industries like real estate where relationships are paramount. Embrace technology and automation tools such as AI chatbots to streamline business operations and enhance customer engagement. In addition, the panelists shared valuable insights and practical tips for managing client relationships, handling difficult clients, and maintaining persistence without being perceived as overly aggressive. They underscored the importance of creating value-driven communication, automating follow-up sequences, and focusing on long-term client relationships. Need to Get and Qualify More Leads in Your Business? If so, go to TopSecrets.com/call or check out some of the other ways we can help: Just Getting Started? If you (or someone on your team) is just getting started in promotional products sales, learn how we can help. Need Clients Now? If you’re already grounded in the essentials of promotional product sales and just need to get clients now, click here. Want EQP/Preferential Pricing? Are you an established industry veteran doing a significant volume of sales? If so, click here to get End Quantity Pricing from many of the top supplier lines in the promo industry. Time to Hire Salespeople? If you want to hire others to grow your promo sales, click here. Ready to Dominate Your Market? If you’re serious about creating top-of-mind-awareness with the very best prospects in your market, schedule a one-on-one Strategy Session here.
Feb 20
41 min
Broke Experts: Excellent Performers, Struggling to Pay Bills
Over the years, I have met and talked to many broke experts. People who are exceptional at what they do, but struggling to pay bills because they can't get enough customers. This is not a function of who they are as people. It's not a reflection of their work. It's also not a mindset issue. Instead, it's entirely about the fact that being exceptionally good at what you do, and being able to get enough of the customers or clients you need are two completely different skill sets. I can't tell you how many business owners I've talked to over the years who are exceptional at what they do, but they can't get enough customers. I've met: Chefs who make amazing food, but can't get enough people into their restaurants to keep the lights on. Real estate agents who know their markets in and out, they're great with people, can handle all the details, but can't get enough clients to pay their bills. Artists who have amazing skills, but who never mastered the art of customer acquisition, so their actual art remains largely unseen. Printers who have taken out loans to invest enormous amounts of money in equipment that just sits there, because they don't know how to get enough of the customers and clients they need to feed the machines. This week, I heard from a life coach, whose story really touched me, because she knows she could really help people, but she's struggling to get the clients she needs. Here's what she said, "I am a good coach but there are no clients for me. I feel profoundly sad for not being financially independent. I am a good person, I do personal growth, I am a really good coach and yet I can not pay the bills and have a lovely and happy life. Why does it have to be so hard?" In each of these situations, the most important thing to recognize is that there is a huge difference between being exceptionally good at the technical aspects of a job -- like cooking, selling homes, creating art, printing stationary or coaching people who need help -- and being able to get enough of the customers or clients who need those products and services. They are two completely different skill sets. There are many exceptional writers in the world, but as Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad once said, "On the top of my books it's written *Best-Selling Author* & not *Best-Writing Author*". Two different things. So today I'd like to share with you, what I shared with this coach. And it applies to any business that is great at what they do, but that struggles to get enough of the customers or clients it needs to thrive. If you're great at what you do, then you're halfway there, but this is not a mindset issue. It is a focus issue. So if you want to make the money you need to make, then 100% of your focus and learning now need to be on 3 things. It’s what I call the MVPs of Marketing & Sales. If you’ve heard this from me before, but you’re not yet earning what you think you’re worth, then please, listen again. In sports, MVP stands for Most Valuable Player. In Marketing and Sales, MVP stands for Message, Vehicles and People. Specifically: What is the marketing (M)essage you need to convey about your product or service? Which combination of marketing (V)ehicles will you use to communicate your message? And Who are the (P)eople or prospects you need to reach? This begins with having a crystal-clear idea of exactly WHO you want to benefit from what you do. Those are your People. When you know who your people are, then you have to consider exactly what you'll need to SAY to engage those people. To invite them in. To take advantage of everything you have to offer.
Feb 13
5 min
From Stealth Mode to Intimidation Mode in Business
In today's episode, we discuss the idea of moving from stealth mode to intimidation mode in business. In this episode of the Professional Profile series, David Blaise and co-host Bianca Istvan are joined by a panel of growth-minded business professionals, including David Boyd from Down to Earth Cuisine, author and speaker Oksana Tsimpoaka, Jeff Mount, business development officer from Tactive Wealth, certified brain health coach Stanley Dietrich, and Jaime McCormick, founder & CEO of Skate Angry. The panel discuss the importance of topics including SEO marketing and website optimization, clear targeting, the use of conversational AI and automation, and time management. Throughout the episode, David and Bianca facilitate engaging discussions with the guests, exploring their successes, challenges, and growth strategies. Be sure to check out this episode to see how many of the recommendations you can apply in your business. Ready to Move from Stealth Mode to Intimidation Mode in Your Business? If so, check out the five primary ways we can help: Just Getting Started? If you (or someone on your team) is just getting started in promotional products sales, learn how we can help. Need Clients Now? If you’re already grounded in the essentials of promotional product sales and just need to get clients now, click here. Want EQP/Preferential Pricing? Are you an established industry veteran doing a significant volume of sales? If so, click here to get End Quantity Pricing from many of the top supplier lines in the promo industry. Time to Hire Salespeople? If you want to hire others to grow your promo sales, click here. Ready to Dominate Your Market? If you’re serious about creating top-of-mind-awareness with the very best prospects in your market, schedule a one-on-one Strategy Session here.
Feb 6
51 min
Grow Sales & Profits with DKYA Prospects
If you're ready to grow sales and profits, it's time to take a look at your DKYA Prospects. ?? If you are struggling to reach the level of sales and profit that you need to grow and scale your business, I want to urge you to start thinking about and keeping track of an important metric that you have probably either not considered, or have not focused on addressing on a consistent basis. It’s a number that directly impacts every business in business, and this number either works in your favor, or it works against you. For brand new businesses, this number always starts out high, and much of your early success in any new business venture will come from your ability to reduce this number as quickly as possible. But some businesses, particularly those who are bad at what they do -- those who have a terrible reputation -- are actually better off making sure this number remains high until you get your internal issues squared away. So what am I talking about here? I’m talking about the very specific number of DKYA Prospects who current exist in your market. Hi, and welcome back. In today’s episode, I’d like to introduce you to the very important topics of DKYA Prospects. If this topic is brand new to you, then I encourage you to pay very close attention. Even if you’re already somewhat familiar with this concept, I want you to consider the direct impact it will have on your own success and the success of your business. In either event, I will say this, ignore this number at your own peril. First of all, this number is important and relevant whether you’re selling B2B, B2C, B2G, online, offline, some combination thereof, if you’re selling anything to anyone, you need to be aware of this number. Second, this number is a direct reflection of your success or your failure at creating awareness of your business solution inside the market or markets that you have specifically selected. So whether you’re a micro-business, targeting a really small number of customers, or global powerhouse targeting every human on the planet with a pulse, this number will provide a snapshot -- like a mini-report card -- to tell you how well or how badly you’re doing when it comes to creating awareness of your business, brand or solution. As I indicated earlier, if you’re great at what you do, if you have an excellent reputation, then you will want to focus your efforts on reducing this number as much as possible, as quickly as possible. This means most conscientious business owners who are serious about doing a great job for their customers or clients, are going to want to approach this number like your golf score. Try to get it as close to zero as humanly possible. But if you are not yet doing a great job for your people, if you don’t yet have all of that dialed in, then you’ll want to fix that first. So what am I talking about here when we refer to DKYA Prospects? I’m referring to the very specific number of prospects in your market for the products and service you provide who do Don’t Know You’re Alive: DKYA. For a local restaurant, this would be the number of people within driving distance of that restaurant who might like to eat there, but they don’t know know the place exists. DKYA. For a real estate agent, it’s the number of people inside your target market who might consider engaging you to buy or sell a property, but they can’t because they don’t know you’re alive: DKYA. For a print shop or promotional product business, it’s the number of people inside your own self-identified market – whether you define your market by geography or industry or program specialty or product specialty or some combination thereof – however you define it – it’s the ones who can’t buy from you because they DKYA, don’t know you’re alive. In our work with clients, much of our focus is about creating awareness.
Jan 30
6 min
Your First Contact with a New Sales Prospect
Your First Contact with a new prospect will set the tone for the relationship, which is why it's so important to make it count. In this first episode of our Professional Profile series, we'll discuss business growth strategies with our panel. Need to know how to stand out when initiating your first contact with a new prospect, customer or client in sales? Cold calling, networking, and referrals are not your only options. In this episode, co-hosts David Blaise and Bianca Istvan discuss business growth strategies with insurance broker Taylor King, digital marketing expert Frank Demming, and real estate title account executive Brad Demint. The conversation kicked off with each guest sharing insights into their backgrounds and business specialties. Taylor emphasized the importance of networking, both in-person and online, showcasing her diverse approach through platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Frank shed light on the power of LinkedIn as his secret sauce for business growth, emphasizing the transition from online connections to offline relationships. Brad, with his expertise in real estate title, highlighted the significance of effective networking, showcasing his unique approach of planning and hosting events while becoming a connector in the industry. The podcast delved into the critical topic of first contact in business interactions. Taylor stressed the significance of collaboration over competition and the importance of continuous networking. Frank shared how LinkedIn became a game-changer for him, facilitating the transition from online to offline interactions. Brad, known for his effective networking strategies, discussed the value of planning events and becoming a connector to offer value to others. Throughout the episode, the hosts and guests blended insights with real-world experiences. The focus on networking as a central theme highlighted its role as a key growth strategy for the diverse businesses represented on the podcast. To get more ideas on how to increase sales, improve profit margins, and grow your business, be sure to listen or watch this episode of the Top Secrets of Marketing & Sales Professional Profile series. Ready to Multiply Your Sales? If so, check out the five primary ways we help promotional product distributors grow: Just Getting Started? If you (or someone on your team) is just getting started in promotional products sales, learn how we can help. Need Clients Now? If you’re already grounded in the essentials of promotional product sales and just need to get clients now, click here. Want EQP/Preferential Pricing? Are you an established industry veteran doing a significant volume of sales? If so, click here to get End Quantity Pricing from many of the top supplier lines in the promo industry. Time to Hire Salespeople? If you want to hire others to grow your promo sales, click here. Ready to Dominate Your Market? If you’re serious about creating top-of-mind-awareness with the very best prospects in your market, schedule a one-on-one Strategy Session here. ​
Jan 16
35 min
The AI Approach to Multiply Your Sales: Part 4
Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today's episode, co host Jay McFarland and I will continue our discussion about the AI Approach to Multiply Your Sales. This is part four in our series, and today we'll be talking about learning, segmenting, and the Three Ds. Welcome back, Jay. Jay: Hey, thank you so much, David. I really, really enjoyed this. I know I've said that in previous podcasts, but it's true. After each one, I've gone into my own business and I'm like, okay, I got to apply this and apply that because these conversations are of such value. So I appreciate your time. I love this. And hopefully it's been helpful to everybody else. David: I'm glad, I feel the same way, and I'm really looking at this almost like a mini-course. If people were to put together these four episodes and say, "How much of this stuff am I doing in my business?" You can probably implement some things very quickly that can probably help you get some great results. Jay: 100%. David: All right, so let's do the quick review. And again, what we're talking about here is we asked AI what will help you to multiply your business because that's been a focus of our conversations recently. AI came back with some different responses, and then we're talking about what AI says and how we're able to help implement those things in business with our clients. And so let's just recap. Number one was refine your target audience. Number two, develop a compelling value proposition. Number three, optimize your marketing channels. That was our first episode on that topic. In episode two, we covered points four, five, and six. Number four was enhance your customer experience. Number five, implement a referral program. And number six, leverage the power of content marketing. In episode three of this series, we hit utilize upselling and cross selling strategies, which was number seven. Analyze and optimize your sales funnel, which was number eight, and invest in customer relation management software, CRM, which was number nine. Now we're going to be doing 10, 11, and 12. Eleven and 12 are really bonus because originally I asked it for 10 and then I realized that doesn't break out well if you're doing three in a podcast. So I went back to the AI and I said, give me two more. And it did. So we'll be talking about numbers 11 and 12 in this podcast as well. So number 10 in the list of things that AI says will help you to multiply your sales is: 10: Continuous learning and adaptation. Stay updated with industry trends, attend relevant workshops or conferences, and be open to adapting your sales strategies to meet changing market demands. Well spoken AI! Continuous education. It's a good call! Jay: It is, and some professions actually require it. But again, that continuous education is often on a service or a specialty or things like that. It's not really on customer service or the technology or things like that. I feel like in that regard, so many of us are a hamster on a wheel. You know, we're just trying to keep up with what today is giving us. We're putting grease on the squeaky wheel and we don't have time to really think about staying up on, you know, all the latest trends and those kind of things. David: Yeah. And a lot of people just don't like continuing education, because they feel like so much of it is platitudes. It's like, I already know this stuff. I already know it, right? But knowing what to do is very different than knowing how to do it. And that's really what I've been trying to differentiate in this series of podcasts is that, yes, these are great statements. Continuous learning. That sounds great. But what are you learning? Are you learning things that you can implement immediately?
Jan 9
20 min
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