3 Simple Steps To Generate More Traffic to Your Website

Tired of top 25 or top 50 tips to generate more traffic that expect you to be a superhero?

Generate more traffic

Let’s face it. You need results NOW. You don’t want a management consulting slide deck that outlines a strategy that is simply not feasible – not everyone can guest post, or create multiple landing pages, do keyword research or build a community, create a content calendar, post on social everyday, or even spend more time on extensive SEO which won’t yield results in the short term.

So we wrote this post intending to help our customers (of Evalinator) who have low website traffic and are worried that no one sees their work of art – their assessment! So what would be the point?

Here are the 3 simple things you can do to generate more traffic and make sure its relevant. These steps don’t require a lot of prep. To be fair, you should also be doing other things which will make your website attractive in the long term (like all the things in the top 25 lists).

Your Goals
  1. Generate more traffic to your website
  2. Get people to do something meaningful that matters to your business (relevant traffic)

Remember, your goal is sales, NOT marketing!

Tip 1: Advertise

Advertise - generate more trafficRegardless of what anyone tells you, everyone is advertising to generate more traffic and build awareness. Once you have it you can slow down but it’s a great way to start.

You need to advertise sensibly and watch your expenses. Most Evalinator customers are either coaches or consultants. So Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook work best for them. Google and others are good too. Whatever you decide is good for you, start small because you are looking for “relevant” traffic that will take meaningful action.

Create a simple picture advt and include your value proposition in an easy to understand manner. Select your audience carefully (all platforms allow you to target your advts), and test with a low budget of say $10 or $20 per day on ONE platform. Don’t start all platforms at the same time. You just want a few people right now as you test this out and make sure people who click will convert or take meaningful action like taking your assessment that you have built using Evalinator, or download your eBook etc.

Remember, your goal is sales, NOT marketing!

So no gimmicks. Stick to a good, easy to understand value prop. Don’t be too broad in your offer – e.g. “improve sales” may attract a lot of people but most will bounce off and won’t do anything because they may not relate to what you do. Instead we did something like “Have you added interactive assessments to your content marketing toolkit yet?” and found it was a better way for us. Or even better, include some results from your Evalinator “60% feel unrecognized at work. See what you can do about it?” was what one of our customers did, and she linked the Advt to her landing page. We are going to try that next.

Create a nice professional profile on the platform you are advertising on. A smiling picture with a professional background and a simple description of what you do (stay away from politics and activism unless that’s what you do). It’s amazing how so many people try to bring “personality” into their profile and end up making it look unappealing (risky) to someone new who is going to spend money for your services or products.

2. Analyze 

Generate more traffic - analyzeHopefully you will generate more traffic and get a few people to click through to your website by advertising. Now install Google Analytics (its free and takes 2-3 hours to setup and learn the basics), and see what’s going on. Are visitors just bouncing off (clicking on your advt but not doing anything else), are they clicking to the next step or looking at your profile, are they taking and completing your assessment, what else are they clicking and reading?

You may be getting 4-10 people every day with a $10-$20 budget but that’s good enough to see what’s going on over a period of 8-10 days. We ourselves saw these things a) people coming and doing nothing else 2) coming to the pricing page and then not following through 3) reading some of our blogs but then not doing anything else

Be realistic when you generate more traffic: With good targeting, 1-3% people typically convert. So expect 1 or 2 new customers (or conversions) in 4-6 days with this low budget. If you are not getting that, then analyze, analyze, analyze, and be truthful to yourself. When we say customers, we mean conversions to your offer – people who take your assessment for example, or download an eBook. They may not be paying you yet. That’s a whole different ball game.

3. Prepare

Generate more traffic - prepareThis could have been the first step but it’s actually continuous. So best to get started first and not lose yourself in over-analysis.

And now that you have seen a little traffic, and seen what the people do when they click on your advt, you may be both excited and disappointed at what you have seen.

At this time, it’s really up to you. You know your business best. Gimmicks won’t help.

First, take a hard look and pretend to be in your customer’s shoes.

  • Would you convert if you landed on your website?
  • What would you lose by not converting?
  • Is your offer clear enough?
  • Does it promise short term gains or a long term gain?
  • Does it look like too much to do?
  • Do customers have other, easier alternatives? What’s wrong with them?

The answers will be painful, and will need both thinking and hands-on work.

What we did was we reviewed our journey personally with a few target customers (and even our friends) and got direct feedback on what they felt.

It was crushing! But good learning. You may feel you are doing everything for nothing. But simple things will help.

If you can then:

  1. Add a few testimonials (even 2 or 3 will help)
  2. Simplify your message
  3. Improve the design to make it more professional
  4. Write a couple of nice content pieces so even if people don’t convert immediately, they will read those and build confidence in you

Don’t go overboard with changes unless a few real prospective customers give you the feedback.

People who are never going to buy from you have an uncanny knack of giving a lot of feedback that is not actually useful.

We improved our assessment (Is Evalinator Right For You?) because the description and call to action was not persuasive enough. Our rating bands are still bad actually so that’s next on our list. We improved the questions which were too generic and difficult to understand.

People like simplicity. But because we are experts we tend to make things more complicated than they are.

We also improved the targeting of our advts. Remember, your end goal is sales, not marketing! So put your advertising on hold for a few days as you fix the issues, and then start again. Don’t give up!

Summary

Hopefully this gave you motivation to keep going. Don’t give up! It’s not complex but just needs a little bit of love. If there is demand for what you offer, you’ll make it through!

If you intend to make a living with your service or product, then don’t be afraid to experiment a little, and invest a little (sensibly). You’re not betting a lot using the approach we outlined above. We feel it’s better than spending sleepless nights, and long hours tweaking your stuff without any feedback on what’s working and what’s not!

But you know your business best. So decide based on what you think will work, not just rely on our tips.

Good luck. We are rooting for you!

 

Consultative Selling – How to Bridge the Gap?

Consultative selling has often been associated with building trust, adding value, and being customer-centric. It is often compared to transactional selling where you position your products and services, and discuss with the customers if they need them.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is NOT an either-or situation. Both types of selling are needed at different times of your sales cycle to successfully close the deal. But how do you bridge the gap between the two?

consultative selling secret In fact, this article on Forbes by Lisa Earle McLeod provides some nice tips on consultative vs transactional selling. She also mentions the importance of interactive tools for sales.

In this post, we will show you how to use both types of selling and bridge this gap between consultative and transactional selling. That way you will be able to engage better and sell more.

In order to do that, we need to re-frame the question like this:

How do we find out what customer really need and then take charge of the conversation?

This re-frame of the typical sales question is important. Customers usually already have a vision of what the end state should look like. However, if you look under the covers, you will discover that they are actually trying to figure out their “execution” game plan. The vision itself might need some fine tuning but it’s more or less reasonably done.

Customers generally know where they want to be, but they don’t always clearly know “how” to get there.

And as a service provider, you are in the best position to help. Why? Because you have seen this story play out at many other clients before. You can help customers with the tactical game plan they need to successfully realize their vision.

Take any topic – supply chain effectiveness, e-commerce, big data analytics, customer experience, starting a business, marketing  and so on – you know “how” it has been done before to meet the “why”.

But instead we often get distracted by trying to lay out the vision, and then pitching our products to meet customer needs. In doing so we completely miss addressing the “how”.

Consultative selling chasm That’s true for coaching as well. Be it leadership, management, sales, life or career, you help your clients get to where “they” want to be. You don’t define the “why” for them.

And that’s where lies the gap in between consultative selling and transaction selling. We think we want to help the customer define their vision, but in fact what customers really want is to know “how” to get there! And by not engaging in that discussion we are giving up control of our customer engagement. We are not taking charge. We are leaving it up to the customer to decide how to engage us. That’s not a great option because customers are struggling too. They will gravitate towards either what’s in front of them or what they are comfortable with.

So let’s do this in 2 steps:

1. Determining what the customers actually need

Remember that we are not talking about vision or benefits. Customers already know that. What they don’t know is “how” best to get there.

That’s where “your” expertise comes in. Broadly speaking, every vision or goal can be supported by a given set of capabilities.

Whether it be technical, management or human. For example:

a. Technical capabilities – analytics, digital, agile, cloud, etc etc.

b. Management – product roadmaps, target markets, customer experience, competitive parity etc.

c. Human – culture, objectives, collaboration, leadership, fairness etc.

Believe it or not customers already know they need the above. Each of these capabilities above can be drilled down further. Your assessment should focus on how to apply the capabilities that map to your products and services. These in turn will help your customers achieve their goals. These capabilities and your expertise in them is what your customers need. So focus on those in your assessment. See where the gaps are, and what the customers is struggling with.

This is the first phase of consultative selling.

2.  Take charge of the conversation on the “how”

In this phase you are applying both consultative and transactional selling methods.

This is where you pick up steam. You assume the role of a coach or consultant who has understood the customer’s goals and vision, and drilled down into what they need. Now is the time to nurture them and help them realize their vision.

See this post on how to build trust during the sales cycle. This article by Marissa Levin on Inc. also brings out some excellent points.

Your experience proves your expertise. If you share your case studies and customer testimonials, your prospects will trust you. This post is NOT about building that kind of trust.

Also, you are NOT adding value by giving them free stuff. You are adding value by helping them define “how” to apply these capabilities to get to their goals. That’s what you do in BOTH consultative and transactional selling. The only difference is that you are not doing it with context of the “how”.

So, set short term goals that helps clients think through and apply the capabilities to their vision. For example if you sell analytic services you might help them break down the problem into some relevant categories, if you sell SEO services then your goals will be linked to those actions, and if you are a life coach then you might be helping them build good habits.

Whatever the case, always tie these goals to a tangible benefit that your customers can observe.

Summary

This 2 step approach has the unique benefit that you can operate with context. And doing that helps you pull away from the commoditized offers and solicitations your customers may be getting.

Your assessments provide value (aka clarity), and your engagement efforts deliver tangible benefits.

So the next time you send a cold email, don’t ask “We sell X and we can delivery Z benefits to you. Can we discuss?

Instead ask “I think you want to get to Y. And X is needed to get there. Here are the Z problems others like you have faced which we have helped overcome. Can we discuss?”.

Or something like that. Your assessment on Evalinator will help frame this pitch.

Good luck and hope to see you on Evalinator!

Next steps

If this approach sounds reasonable to you, then there is nothing better than testing it out! Get started for free and craft your first assessment. We are here to help you be successful.

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Solving the #1 challenge with your sales follow up emails

Only 2% of deals are closed in the first sales meeting. In fact most sales transactions require more than 5 follow up emails to get closer to a good next step. And only 8% of the sales persons get to that stage. These were the results of a study published by Marketing Donut.

sales follow up

Of course, there has been much written about the need to systematically follow up, don’t accept know NO for an answer, and try to personalize, personalize, personalize!

But despite all of the available tips and tricks about testing different subject lines, advice on style of writing, length of emails etc., we think the underlying challenge is something different. Sales persons, frankly, just run out of personalized material to share in their sales follow up emails. Instead, they fall back to “just checking in”, or “just wanted to share an update that…”.

Sending multiple sales follow up emails does result in you being top of inbox. So it’s a great strategy to implement. But whether you like it or not, that strategy is also being used by everyone else. It’s becoming easier by the day too – marketing automation tools send emails automatically on the sales persons behalf. So at best, when the right moment comes, the buyer may remember you and include you in their shortlist, as they begin to seriously assess who to select.

Unless…you have done something different with your sales follow up emails and have succeeded in building a trust connection. One way to do that is to include meaningful content in your sales follow up emails.

How to include meaningful content in sales follow up emails

Meaningful content is something that shows the customers that you are not just sending them content that you send to everyone else.

Everyone sends product updates, latest corporate announcements, and so on. That content is focused on the seller. However, the important thing to do is to reflect those developments in terms of how they apply to your prospect. That’s perhaps easy to do with the first sales follow up email when you refer to your in-person interactions and position your product.

But with the second email or phone call onward, its not easy to write something meaningful except the good old “I’m checking in to see if now is a good time to reconnect…”.

Instead, what if you could say “I have an update on this specific goal of yours that we discussed in our meeting…”? That would surely be far more interesting to the prospect, and more likely to elicit a response.

That kind of sales follow up is possible only if you have discussed customer goals in the meeting. But that doesn’t happen too often. Most of the times, we are just keen to share how great our product or service is without getting to what the customer could actually be struggling with.

We know how difficult it is to not jump into a “product first” presentation. After all, you don’t fully know what the customers problems are, and the customer is hesitant to share them without knowing more about you first. So it makes sense to build credibility right off the bat, and do your pitch.

That’s where a thoughtfully crafted interactive assessment comes in.

How to use interactive assessments to meaningfully enable your sales follow up

sales follow up assessmentMost sellers know who their buyers are, and what their general pain points are. So an interactive assessment that starts with validating those pain areas can begin the interaction on the right foot. Here’s how such an approach can be implemented:

  1. A series of questions you ask related to the subject matter of the sales call. Whether is coaching, business services, management consulting, or IT services.
  2. The responses to those questions feed into a benchmarking model that also shows how the prospect compares to their peer group.
  3. Then the planned sales pitch – product overview and presentation of credentials in the form of one or more case studies
  4. Finally, using the benchmark model to engage in a discussion of where the prospect would like to see themselves in the short term, and what some of those goals could be.
  5. Gauge the prospects propensity to engage (budget, dependencies etc.), and close.

Note that steps 3 and 5 are already executed by most sales persons. Its steps 1, 2 and 4 that are often unable to be carried out, or carried out as a conversation to learn more about each other.

What we are doing with Evalinator is to help you formalize those icebreaker and exploratory conversations into an actionable model.

This model then leads to informed sales follow up communications. And as you update the model with conversations with other prospects, the data set becomes richer, and you are then able to engage with meaningful statistics and insights.

Next steps

If this approach sounds even remotely reasonable to you, then there is nothing better than testing it out! Get started for free and craft your first assessment. We are here to help you be successful.

Get Stated With An Interactive Assessment

Why is personalization so difficult in B2B sales and marketing?

We know that personalization is critical to build trust and engage our customers. And there are a lot of tools and plenty of advice that help us personalize our interactions.

personalization - sales funnel

Yet, every time a salesperson or marketer  decides to do something, they struggle to really personalize. Let’s dissect that a bit.

 The bar is higher, but it is also anti-personalization

Till recently, basic personalization was expected. That was about including names in emails, showing relevant content on websites, and even showing relevant advertisements and recommendations on shopping carts. We did that with software automation. So someone who has downloaded a piece of content is now sent a sequence of emails that we believe are relevant to that person, designed to move them closer to a purchase. Similarly, we use re-targeting to show our advertisements all over the web to people who have viewed a product on our website.

By doing these things, we hope to catch them at the right point in their buying cycle so they are more likely to come to us. They may not be ready to buy right now, but one day they will be. And we hope to be there in their inbox or on the website they are on.

personalization at top of funnelSo this personalization is a better mousetrap – traditional mass marketing with better technology. It does not have too much context of why or when. It’s based on statistics and hope. Marketers face this reality every day, but they still make a lot of money.

It definitely works. So what’s the problem.

Mass personalization doesn’t work as well for expertise based B2B businesses

Brand awareness does count. So an agency selling analytics or digital capabilities would do well to be all over the web, and top of the inbox of their prospects. For this purpose email automation and re-targeting advertisements work very well.

But there is also the B2B sales funnel to cater to. The sales cycle is typically  several weeks or months long, and generally not based on impulse purchases. The automation techniques help with the top of the funnel but don’t do much to help with the middle of the funnel (answering questions and positioning) and bottom of the funnel (transaction closing). When we say expertise based B2B businesses, we mean coaches, consultants, agencies and services firms. All of these need context to build trust, so they can understand their customers’ pain areas and priorities. These are crucial elements to progress with the sales cycle instead of relying on blind outreach.

To satisfy these middle and bottom of the funnel personalization needs, we believe that building trust during the sales cycle is very important.

Let the customers try to do it on their own first – Become a partner, not just a one-way sales person

Most customers want to try themselves first. Any digital agency will agree that customers try SEO and content marketing themselves first. And when they realize they are in over their heads because it takes too much time and knowledge, only then do they turn to an external partner to help them. Same way for coaches (business or life) and any other services or management consultant. personalization - coaching

You have to let the customer try first. It is their struggle. Not yours.

But when customers are trying it out, you want to be there to help them and guide them. Otherwise you will have lost your pole position and become just one in a list of many possible agencies or coaches to ask for proposals.

A good way to becomes a partner is to lead with your biggest asset – your expertise.

Let’s face it. Every one wants to know how they are doing. By positioning an interactive assessment that helps customers benchmark their performance, it opens up a process of discovery. They are open to further discussions because the conversation has jumped from a product sale, to a needs and goals analysis. The sales process upgrades to a fit analysis, and milestone definition.

As the customers are trying it out, you are helping. And guess who they lean on when they realize they need external help. That’s where an interactive assessment from Evalinator comes in. It provides you with context for personalization in the middle and bottom stages of the sales cycle. It helps you become a partner in your customers’ journey.

Ready to give it a try? Sign up for free and try it out. We know you’ll love it.  

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How to ramp up B2B Sales and Marketing for Professional Services?

B2B sales and marketing for professional services B2B sales and marketing for professional services is complex because most purchases are not impulse buys. Either, they are based on a pain that your clients are facing, or you have to first help them realize that there is a better way to do things.

In addition, professional services can also not be easily compared feature by feature in a spreadsheet. So it’s very different from how a SaaS product is sold. The sale, and success of the program, depends a lot on intangible and soft factors, even as hard metrics like cost and past experience are measured objectively. Clients (often multiple decision makers) will almost always do their due diligence and talk to multiple providers before making a decision to buy from you.

So you face 3 main challenges.

  1. Letting buyers know you exist (brand awareness)
  2. Convincing them that they need help and that you are the right choice (sales pursuit)
  3. Consistently engaging through long sales cycles – anywhere from a few months to a year
Things you may have already tried

common tactics - B2B sales and marketing for professional services Most professional services businesses today have implemented various kinds of content marketing and outreach programs.

These include:

  • Generating more content on your website
  • Advertising on various platforms
  • Engaging influencers such as industry analysts and trade publications
  • Commissioning or sponsoring research projects to produce reports
  • Implementing email automation
  • Doing social media outreach by including employees
  • Creating a blogging platform to showcase expertise
  • Offering downloadable assets to build email lists
  • and so on.

These are all great tactics. They seem intuitive and sound like you’re checking off all the boxes.

But you still feel that you’re not moving the needle. Right? Things still seem accidental rather than planned. You feel like you need to go beyond content marketing.

What problems you may be facing in sales and marketing for professional services?

An easy test is to listen to your gut.

  • If you are in marketing, do you imagine your sales team complaining you don’t help them actually generate revenue?
  • And if you are in sales, do you hear your marketing team telling you that you are not letting marketing in where it matters, or following up on their leads?

That’s normal. It happens because B2B sales and marketing for professional services typically address two different stages of the customer lifecycle. Marketing qualifies and hands off the lead. And then sales is expected to take it to closure. There is actually NO clear mechanism to link the two phases together. So marketing is forever caught in a loop to prove their value to sales.

Aligning B2B sales and marketing for professional services

What you need is a way to connect your lead generation to your sales pursuit efforts.

  1. Generate engagement and brand awareness
  2. Engage together with sales on the long pursuit

aligning B2B sales and marketing for professional services The best way to achieve this is to build meaningful context of what your prospects and customers need, and then align the content generation accordingly.

Every customer has a goal. Or at least you think they have a goal that you want to move them towards – better digital capabilities, better analytics, better security, better quality, better website, better social media marketing, better marketing automation, and so on.

Now think of the underlying engagement model of every professional services engagement:

  1. Assess the current state of affairs
  2. Develop a roadmap and set milestones
  3. Make progress, and celebrate the small wins
  4. Adjust the roadmap as needed
  5. Keep stakeholders engaged and informed

Come to think of it, that’s exactly how a typical consultative sales person moves the sales process forward – one meeting to the next. Opportunity is explored, fit is determined, advice is given, insights are provided, material is requested and sent, and so on.

In addition, a consultative sales person builds trust and helps the client move towards their goals until the client is ready to buy. In doing so, they get the right people to the table to conduct workshops, develop proof of concepts, make peer introductions and so on.

So what is really lacking in the process is a way for marketing and sales teams to work together on this journey. Marketing tools are not used beyond the lead generation process. And that’s where the problem lies in creating consistent client engagement and revenue generation.

How to address this challenge?

The easiest way to address this challenge in B2B sales and marketing for professional services is to bring both sales and marketing teams working off each other’s inputs.

  1. Marketing looks at how a typical sale proceeds and generates lead aligned with those key questions that sales starts with, or those that prospects are struggling with
  2. Sales engages with prospects by setting goals collaboratively towards the goals that the prospect or client may be trying to address
  3. Marketing helps not only sales, but also the prospects meet those goals by producing the right content. It also sets the stage for the full power of the brand to come through.

Let’s face it. Neither sales and marketing should do each other’s jobs. It’s often a problem when they try to do that. But bringing them in on the same page when it comes to how the pursuit is progressing is the right thing to do. It rallies everyone around a common objective.

Wait, isn’t my CRM the connection point I need between sales and marketing?

It is. But your CRM is not client facing. Neither is it geared 100% towards sales pursuits. A CRM is complex because it is used to control and track, not actually help a sale move forward. It can definitely be the place where both sales and marketing their get their information from. But you shouldn’t try to customize something for what it isn’t made for – client engagement during a pursuit. That said, you should absolutely send and track all the key events in your CRM system.

Actions you can take today

Check out how Evalinator helps you create an interactive assessment and then engage prospects consistently.

We have a free double trial for almost 6 weeks. That’s enough time to see if it works for you. We are absolutely sure it will! 

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How to build trust during a sales cycle?

Why is it important to build trust during a sale cycle?

79% of buyers prioritize trust in a sales relationship as a key factor (2019 Salesforce State of Sales study).

Customers always appreciate a process where the focus is on the goals they are trying to achieve, not on the actual product being bought or sold.

And, regardless of who you are, you are always selling to grow your business. So whether you are a consultant or a coach, your buyer is evaluating both you and your “sales pitch” as they decide to engage.

Are you building trust?

trust in a sales cycle Only 3% of buyers trust their sales reps! (Hubspot sales statistics for 2020). So it is obvious that most of us today need to do much better at building trust during our sales cycles.

Given that it is so important, our goal should be to build a position of trust in our buyers’ minds. If we establish a trusted advisor position, then clients will look to us for guidance as well. And will likely prefer to buy from us rather than the competition – all else being reasonably similar of course.

Here are some strategies to help build trust in your sales cycles with your prospects:

Build trust at the start of the sales cycle

Sharing benchmarks on how your customer’s peers are doing on various dimensions of the problem, and empathizing with your prospect’s problems is a great way to break the ice and instill confidence. It also shows that you know the space, the problems, and the solutions that might work the best. When you use an interactive assessment such as Evalinator, you get can easily offer personalized benchmarks to your customers.

This starts building the foundations of trust in the sales cycle. The earlier you do this, the better. Sharing survey results, 3rd party analyst reports, independent research, or benchmarks from your interactive assessment can be a great way to do that so long as you personalize those results and make them relevant. Be careful that you don’t appear pedantic or make too many assumptions for your customers though.

Use diagnostics to clarify the need and understand the priorities

Too often, customers have a sense of where they are and what they want to do. But they are not always very clear about the issues. In these cases, they appreciate a diagnostic tool from you to help them define that need, understand where they lack the most, and quantify where they are doing well.

As a coach or consultant, you should probably start with a simple diagnostic. Whether it’s free or paid doesn’t matter. Starting with a diagnostic shows that you bring a structured approach to the table. And your customers will appreciate that during a sales cycle. It anchors the discovery process and build trust. For example, coaches may start with a “Wheel of Life”, and consultants may start with a “maturity assessment”. You can sample a few assessments here, and you can even sign up for free to create one for yourself!

Help clients create a vision and concrete goals

trust during a sales cycleA diagnostic performed with an interactive assessment is a great way to get prospects and customers to open up about their problems and vision. Perhaps some of the items didn’t make sense, or perhaps they simply hadn’t thought about them.

When you have the results of the diagnostic in hand, you can then share with clients additional benchmarks about how others in their position are tackling those challenges. It also helps you work with your clients to set a vision for where they want to go.

A few concrete goals at this point are possible to set even if they have not decided to buy from you. Doing so establishes you as an advisor, who they can start to trust during this intimate sales process. The sales process does not actually look like sales anymore, because they start seeing you as an advisor, and someone they trust. See this blog post on how goal setting works with an interactive assessment you create on Evalinator.

Help selflessly but don’t go overboard

This phase of the sales cycle is called nurturing your prospect. You build trust by helping them with advice, tips and tactics. This advice can easily be personalized if you are using an interactive assessment. You partner with them on this discovery journey so they can define what they need clearly.

But it is also easy to lose focus at this time. So you need to balance being an advisor and someone who does need to get paid. More often than not, if your customers have budget and the need is qualified, they will sign with you if everything else checks out (credentials, capability, price etc.).

It’s also human nature to return the favor. So if you help them, your customers will empathize with you and go out of their way to help you. (within reasonable means of course). Price becomes less important at this time because its easy to manage those expectations with additional value that you are providing. In addition, by engaging with customers, you have built up a barrier to entry for your competitors because you have the context that they don’t.

Building trust needs work but it is easily done if you have the right tools. Being genuine is important so there is no shortcut other than believing in your product or service, and caring about your customers.

In most cases the product itself is not different or unique enough. But you – YOU – can be the difference. The trust and relationships you build will be the reason the customer will buy from you.

Try Evalinator for free to determine if it can help you build trust in your sales cycle.

But wait. We don’t want to sell you on something just like that. Before you subscribe, check to see if Evalinator is right for you. That way you will know if using Evalinator will work for you.

We’ll see you around!

 

Interactive Wheel of Life for Coaches!

As a coach you help your clients explore and come up with the answers. A great tool to enable this is the “Wheel of Life“.

Interactive Wheel of Life on Evalinator

Limited time special offer – 50% off – Sign up here to create your own Interactive Wheel of Life!

A Wheel of Life has multiple dimensions that clients assess themselves on. They mark how well they think they are performing, or how satisfied they are on these dimensions.

For example:

  • Life coaches address dimensions such as career, family, friendships, financial security etc.
  • Business coaches could look at leadership, sales, marketing, people, customer service etc.
  • Career coaches might examine culture fit, skills, growth, executive presence, story telling etc.

How We Use the Wheel of Life Today

wheel of life paperMost coaches would use a static wheel of life today. They’ll have the client print out a template, fill it out, and then begin the discussion and exploration. The end result is great. It gets the job done.

But it does not help with an engagement outside of the office. People need goals and constant motivation. So you need to supplement those wonderful techniques with digital means.

In addition, the traditional tool-kits don’t help when you are prospecting. There is nothing to keep the prospective clients engaged with.  They have a piece of paper, and nuggets of self-awareness from the discovery call with you. But how do you stay in touch and help your clients along so they will book your sessions when they are ready? There is a need to go digital.

Finally, coaches never want to resort to pushy sales tactics. So regular check-ins by you through email can be perceived as intrusive. Just how many times would a client want to hear from you when they are not yet ready to commit? It looks like you are pushing for a sale. Unless you’re just sending them helpful material of course. But then, how would you personalize what you send them when your system doesn’t have the context?

Instead you want to be helpful and let the client take their own time to decide when they are ready. Clients must be willing, receptive and introspective. They should be ready to take action themselves. And you should add digital to your tool-kit.

How a Digital & Interactive Wheel of Life Helps

interactive wheel of lifeWhat if you could convert the Wheel of Life into a living and breathing coaching tool – to be used every time you engage with your clients. And something that the clients would use as a guide and reference.

 

An interactive Wheel of Life allows you to:

  1. Set more discovery calls because clients see value even before they book the discovery call. They get a taste of your style as soon as they fill one out.
  2. It helps you to keep clients engaged after the discovery sessions because they agree to take action on agreed goals even if they are not paying you yet. In essence, you become their accountability anchor.
  3. You can also inspire them with the wisdom of the crowd. While, everyone’s situation and goals are different, just seeing the many ways a problem can be tackled helps your clients with inspiration and motivation.

In fact, it is well proven that when clients are ready to buy, they would rather buy from someone they already trust and have a comfortable relationship with, and who already has the “context“. Who wants to start the cycle from the beginning again.

That’s exactly how Evalinator helps. Rather than just a printed form, or a static online tool, you and your clients can actually use it as a tool that promotes introspection and accountability. And as you build context and engage in a manner that yields the desired benefits to your clients, they become more likely to stay engaged.

What does an Interactive Wheel of Life look like?

interactive wheel of lifeTry out the sample Interactive Wheel of Life for yourself. Here’s one for life coaches and here’s one for business. You’ll see how this gives you powerful engagement capabilities through benchmarks and goal setting.

These are NOT just tools to generate a Wheel of Life, but they help you engage your clients even after. They become a goal setting and accountability tool.

You can customize these completely when you create your own Wheel of Life – the dimensions, your style, the colors other things. You can also host your Wheel of Life on your own website. And you can begin to capture email addresses in your own database too.

Next Steps – Get More than 50% Off!

Sign up here for a 21 day trial period. Create your own Interactive Wheel of Life. We’ll be there to help you get it off the ground within a few short days.

Create Your Wheel Of Life Now

See you inside!

 

Here are 5 of the Top 7 Email Marketing Mistakes You can Eliminate

email marketing solve 5 of 7 top issues

Recently we came across a nice blog post on Jeff Bullah’s website describing the top 7 email marketing mistakes that you should avoid.

It was surprising that 5 of those 7 mistakes were related to the context that you have about your customers. This is also a common theme across most research around this topic of email marketing.

These mistakes were largely about:

  1. Not having insights about your audience
  2. Lack of personalization
  3. No familiarity with sender
  4. Unappealing subject line
  5. Content not being relevant

All of these point to the one underlying issues that every marketer or sales person faces with email marketing: What to write to my customers and prospects about that they will find relevant?

And over time, the more bland emails we send, the more we fade away from your customers minds. Because customers don’t find value in what we send them. It becomes a mechanized engine which is not very effective.

Don’t we all nervously track the open rates and click through rates of our emails every day. We know that feeling that email marketing brings.

email marketing can be hard workOne way to avoid this is to do research for every prospect. But that’s extremely time consuming, and does not work very well if you have to reach your database every week or month.

The second way is to send information that they might consider relevant. e.g. send some industry statistics. The problem is that these are not directly actionable. A common reaction is “yes, but so what I can do about it”.

How to solve these email marketing problems?

With Evalinator you can build:

  1. Context of your customers – So your emails can be about them. Won’t that be an awesome way to get their attention and keep them engaged.
  2. Lead with relevant action items – There is no “so what” anymore. You have a clear cut action item for them because both you and them agree on what that next action is. And if they want to change that action item to something else, then they can – and you can chip in too.
  3. Put in statistics only you can send – Evalinator generates targeted statistics that your customers care about. For example, if email marketing was your topic, then they would see that “60% of other marketers like them have the same problem”, or that “75% of all sales people in their industry think that marketing is not helping as much”. Now that’s really relevant.
  4. Keep them engaged with promotions: Everyone procrastinates and that includes your customers. But what if you could give them a freebie and help them at the same time…e.g. “here’s a chance to enter a raffle if you complete X in the next 30 days.”. That would be a win-win!

email marketing solvedSo you can solve those pesky email marketing issues like personalization and relevance by using Evalinator. It lets you build trust by engaging in a way that is truly helpful.

Try Evalinator for 21 days risk free.

But wait. We don’t want to sell you on something just like that. Before you subscribe, check to see if Evalinator is right for you. That way you will know if using Evalinator will work for your email marketing woes.

We’ll see you around!

Image credits: Here, here, and here.

Why We Must Go Beyond Content Marketing?

How to go beyond content marketing?

What does it mean to go beyond content marketing?

You are probably already engaged in content marketing. Or you are thinking of starting. It simply means that you would like to publish different types of content that your users and prospects can engage with. That way you can secure better mindshare. Your customers will remember you when they are ready to buy a product or service that meets their needs.

Content marketing is no doubt an effective strategy.  It helps you reach your customers, educate them, and subsequently get them to buy your products and services.

But Content Marketing Is Not Enough

There are 3 main reasons for that:

  1. First, it’s simply because content marketing has rapidly become akin to the traditional mass marketing and advertising of the past. It has become just “another” interruption tactic. For your content to be seen by your target customers, you need to deploy traditional advertising techniques – lots of it. The promise of the digital age was personalization and presenting a point of view. But content marketing has slowly become a segment based outreach strategy – mass personalized, but not personalized.
  2. Second, it’s not special any more. Quality content is hard to come by. Everyone is putting in the same keywords as they strive for better SEO (to rank higher in google searches). And folks are publishing content with titles that promise the same thing. Differentiating by bringing in your unique point of is becoming very difficult. Your voice just gets lost in the crowd.
  3. Finally, it is hard. Because it has become a mass, segment based marketing tactic, we are always in a rush to produce more content, and then pay to promote it. And that is a rabbit hole that never ends. So we do it for a while with all the right intentions, and then we just give up. Because like traditional marketing, the “create and blast content” strategy needs a lot of time and resources.

beyond content marketing. know the faces by personalizationThe result: We end up with a faceless strategy.

That said, we can’t give up on quality content marketing. After all, it’s the lifeblood of businesses today. Customers look for the right content so they can make informed decisions, and establish rapport with you.

 

So what can be done? How can we go beyond content marketing, and maximize our RoI.

What We Need To Go Beyond Content Marketing

The answer is to start thinking in terms of:

  1. Evergreen anchor content. Frequent of content will follow from there.
  2. Personalization to the individual in addition to the segment
  3. Interactivity

By evergreen anchor content, we mean a set of content assets that address the core pain points of your customers in a systematic and comprehensive way. These are NOT your weekly blogs on current topics that will get stale quickly. Your anchor content is something that your business is based on – ours is based on building better engagement with prospects and customers. Pick the focus of your business and address the topic in a good reasonable way.

Your evergreen topics are relevant 24/7, 365 days a year to those who care, or those who will come to care. Be sure to look up some  keyword research tools to make sure you’re using the phrases your customers are using to search for your service. These content assets (e.g. a set of blogs, your methodology, etc.) is your evergreen anchor content. This is also what customers see when they visit you – quality, no-fluff content.

Then you deploy a “one-to-one” customer interaction approach to attract, qualify and nurture your customers towards your paid services and products. This personalization comes from interctivity where customers engage with your content – e.g. do a self assessment, set a goal for themselves, see what others like them are doing to address the pain points, read advice from you, etc.

You must be thinking “but that’s what I do today when a customer responds and sets up the first discovery call”.

Beyond content marketing through individual goal settingThere’s a subtle difference. And that difference comes from what we at Evalinator call “context”.

Here’s what happens today: If we can’t convert a customer during that first interaction or discovery call, we then fall back on a nurturing and reminder approach. We email them new content periodically, and we also make it a point to periodically email them and ask if they are ready to make a decision.

What’s missing? Context. Our nurturing and reminder approach is rarely personalized. It’s mass marketing disguised as personalized. Because we don’t know the individual customer. We only know the general “segment” of the customer.

At Evalinator, we think you should go beyond the routine content marketing, and engage with your prospects as an individual. When you have context, you know what their individual pain points are. You know what they need to do to keep chipping away at it. And you offer to be there during their struggles. Over time, they realize that they want you to help them get to their destination.

It’s almost like we need to rekindle that lost art of customer engagement. Machines and tools have given us the means to do so, but they’ve also made us lose sight of what’s really important.

Meaningful retention doesn’t happen because we have a busy content marketing engine.  It happens because we cared enough to go beyond content marketing to focus on our customers as individuals. We make a sale because they know we can help them get to their goals, and we keep them from churning because we engage.

Evalinator helps you build trust by engaging in a way that is truly helpful.

Go beyond content marketing. Try Evalinator for 21 days risk free.

But wait. We can do one better than that sales pitch! Before you subscribe, see if Evalinator is right for you. That way you know that we practice what we preach.

We’ll see you around.

 

References:

  1. List of keyword research tools by Ahref
  2. Image credits because the creators deserve it: Here and here

 

4 Types of Interactive Assessments You Should Consider

Interactive Assessments can be of multiple types. Here is a quick summary of the 4 basic types of interactive assessments that you can create with Evalinator.

Interactive Assessments

What are interactive assessments?

Let’s quickly get this out of the way. Interactive assessments make your customer engagement dynamic in several ways.

  • First, they help your clients and prospects score themselves on something that you specialize in. Think of questions such as “Is my content marketing geared for lead generation?” or “How happy am I in my current job?”
  • An interactive assessment also shows live benchmarks. For example, your clients can see how they rated vis-a-vis everyone else like them who has responded so far.  e.g. CMOs can see how other CMOs are doing. Of course, to protect privacy, data is anonymized and aggregated.
  • Finally, you can engage with your customers and help them with the exact dimensions of their assessment that they need help with. That provides you with amazing context for your interactions with each other. For example, if someones rated low on “work-life balance”, then you can help with that aspect.
Why are Interactive Assessments useful?

An interactive assessment is great for experts – coaches, consultants and agencies. That’s because it helps you rise above the sea of content marketing madness, get your expertise out there, and really engage with your prospects and clients one on one.

Interactive assessments increase your lead generation pipeline while also allowing you to work with your clients in a personalized manner. They also help with better conversion from prospect to customers because you start building trust with your prospects as you help them.

Interactive Assessments Type 1: A Scored Assessment

This is the most popular assessment. Respondents will answer a series of questions and will receive a total score. Based on that total score, they will be mapped to a rating scale. For example, those scoring between 70 to 100 points will be ranked “Superstars”, those between 40-70 may be ranked “Blitz Ready”, and those below 40 points may be ranked as “Bootcamp time”. The expert will then help each respondent improve upon their current status through goal setting. Here’s an example of this.

Interactive assessment - scored

The assessment will also show users how they compare to others in the form of a bar chart or radar chart. It is meant as a guide to examine their performance vis-a-vis your peers. For example, it might show aspiring authors how they compare to other aspiring authors in the key areas of assessment (e.g. 60% of other authors also had trouble maintaining a writing schedule).

Interactive Assessments Type 2: A Personality Assessment

This is a special type of a quiz that does not focus on improvement on the quiz topic itself, but focuses on self introspection. For example, what’s your style of leadership, what kind of social work may suit you best, or what’s your your learning style. Here’s an example measuring sales personality types.

Interactive assessment - personality quiz

You can’t change what you are, but the expert can then help you achieve your goals based on this assessment. However, you can set it up so this assessment does show you how many others matched your personality type. For example, 75% of other marketers in your sector also rated being growth focused.

Interactive Assessments Type 3: A Wheel of Life

This is an assessment that purely focuses on self-introspection. For example, life or career coaches may use this  as they help you balance the multiple aspects of your life such as family, career, social relationships etc.

Here is an example.

Interactive assessment - wheel of life

The results you get will simply show you what you think your score is on the multiple topics in the assessment. The quiz will not compare you to others but will bring out the imbalances in the various aspects the assessment measures. For example, it looks like both family and career are at an area of concern, while social relationships are not. This then sets the stage for the next step of the coach helping you with achieving better balance.

Interactive Assessments Type 4: A Multi-Dimensional Assessment

This special type of assessment is for users who would like to combine multiple strategic areas of a topic which are actually separate assessments in their own right. Your customers can rate themselves on each of these areas, and see their results in a radar chart. See an example here.

Interactive assessment - multi dimensional

For example, if you are a marketing coach, you might have separate independent assessments on SEO, sales enablement, content production, account based marketing etc. A multi-dimensional assessment will let you bring all these assessment under one overall assessment so users can see their scores in one place, with one “overall score”.

Which Assessment is right for you?

There is no one size that fits us all! Each topic can be of multiple types, and sometimes experts can create 2 different types of interactive assessments on the same topic to meet their needs better.

Whichever interactive assessment you chose, we’re here to help you on your journey.