Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Voice Success!

Five key factors when it comes to having a voice of success include:
Voice Success

Your Tone
What does the tone of your voice sound like? Does it reflect confidence? Strength? Assurance? Perhaps your tone reflects fear? Boredom? Immaturity?

Be honest with yourself; do you need to work on your tone? Grab a close friend or co-worker -- ask their honest opinion. It's important to find someone who will give you just that. Listen to what they have to say and take their criticism as constructive to help you develop a voice that will get you where you want to be in life.

Voice Inflection
When speaking and thinking about the key points you want to emphasize, make sure the inflection of your voice does just that. Inflection alone can change the meaning of a sentence.

Practice, practice, practice. The delivery of your message when training your voice is key. Don't be afraid to rehearse a pitch or a proposal or even just a phone call. You won't always have to do this; just long enough to where a good delivery is natural and you can do it with confidence.

What do you sound like? Have you ever really just listened to your own voice? For example, when you record your outgoing voicemail message what do others hear? A smile? Joy? Authority? Don't be afraid to use a tape recorder as you train your voice. A tape recorder will allow you to hear exactly what others hear.

Similar to tone, but different. The energy in your voice allows people to feel like they are in the room with you. Does your energy make them want to be in a room with you? Put it in check. One thing that I have to watch is the speed at which I speak. I can rattle things off faster than most people can keep up with. I always know when I'm doing this because I often get asked to repeat myself. Breathe, think about what you are going to say and fill it with the right energy for the moment.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Create positive emotional experiences...a sales tip study in cupcakes!

Learn to make dealing with you fun, relaxing, and rewarding.

You always want to leave your customers and prospects thinking about you and remembering you positively, so it is imperative that you find ways to create positive emotional experiences for your customers.

The key is to focus on the little things. Remember birthdays, send handwritten notes, do the unexpected. For a few of my clients, I'll have my wife (who is a phenomenal baker) make homemade cupcakes for their birthdays.  Just as an anchor is used to hold a ship in place against currents, wind, tide, and storm, positive emotional experiences anchor your relationships. They leave people wanting more of you. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Here's Why Automakers Are Ahead of the Game in Digital

Great article form AdWeek a few weeks ago regarding direct response auto advertising. ~CM
For years, automakers were synonymous with branding-based advertising, but the shift to digital has steered more of them toward direct-response marketing. Of course, sizable ad budgets help, but there’s more to why automakers are first movers on practically every new type of digital promo.
Honda’s Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana dealer group (which includes roughly 30 Midwest dealerships) announces that it is the first brand to use a new tool from Blinq Media—one of Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developers—that targets in-market car shoppers with local promos. By squarely focusing on in-market car shoppers, the campaign only uses direct-response messaging to drive conversions.
With the help of agency RPA, Honda will begin using the new tool to buy Facebook’s right-hand rail and newsfeed ads on desktops, plus sponsored posts on mobile, programmatically. The ads target two types of prospects: Consumers who are near dealership, or people who have interacted with Honda’s content before—such as filling out an online sales lead form.
Nichola Perrigo, associate director of digital marketing at Honda’s agency RPA, described the social promos as a way to "optimize and rapid-fire test different ad units" by pulling in dealership-specific offers in real time.
Ad creative will change on the fly, too. "We’re going to be able to create very dynamic, custom ads that hit each one of those audience groups," explained Perrigo. For example, if a person has shown a past interest in a Civic sedan, he or she won’t be served an ad for an Accord. Clicking through on any ad drives consumers to a website with more customized information based on the Facebook offer.
Since GM’s famous exit from the social platform in 2012 (and its subsequent return in 2013), Facebook has made significant efforts to win back auto brands.
To Facebook’s credit, GM-owned Chevrolet was among a small handful of brands to test auto-play video ads earlier this year while Ford and Lexus have also forked over cash to the social platform.
Marc Poirier, co-founder and evp of business development at Acquisio noted the newest local ads may also pay off for other direct-response marketers. "The new local ad offering for Facebook is in theory very well-suited to direct-response local advertising, especially when the measured goal is something such as generating requests for test drives."
Moving Down the Purchase Funnel
Honda’s decision to home in on digital to target low-funnel consumers follows a string of similar investments from automakers.
In September, Toyota Central Atlantic—a group of dealerships along the East Coast—claimed a 45 percent increase in foot traffic from a mobile campaign.
The ads targeted in-market buyers who had previously visited a competitor’s lot and linked to car registration data, indicating if a consumer actually bought a car as a result of seeing the re-targeted mobile ads.
It’s easy to chalk up the emphasis on hyperlocal marketing to the fact that automakers typically have sky-high marketing budgets. But it also indicates that digital is working for brands to do more than branding.
"U.S. automotive [brands] have usually a 60/40 split between direct-response and branding," said Guillaume Lelait, general manager at Fetch.
In With the New, Out With the Old?
Even as more automakers employ direct-response advertising, not all brands are ready to ditch branding efforts. Instead, marketers like Mercedes are pulling double duty with social ads.
Mercedes recently released a case study from the first campaign to run Instagram and Facebook promos simultaneously. The German automaker’s effort claims a 54 percent increase in Web traffic. But there’s also an interesting branding data point: The Instagram ads by themselves increased brand awareness by 14 percent. The idea was to test which types of creative work best on each platform.
"We're not just throwing money at the platform—we're really trying to see what's going to break through and get engagement from our audience," Eric Jillard, general manager of marketing services at Mercedes, told Adweek during Advertising Week.
Lauren Johnson - AdWeek 10.21.14

U.S. auto sales projected to rise 6% in Oct. to highest total in a decade

New U.S. light-vehicle sales are expected to rise about 6 percent this month from last October, according to three forecasts, as gasoline prices fall to the lowest level in nearly four years.
LMC Automotive, TrueCar and Kelley Blue Book project sales of around 1.27 million vehicles, the highest October volume since 2004. They estimate the industry’s seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate to be 16.3 million, which would mark the eighth consecutive month with a SAAR of more than 16 million.
“The current environment of the auto industry is one of strength and stability,” Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC, said in a statement today. “The market is clearly seeing a second wave of SUV popularity … that will likely dominate market share for the foreseeable future.”
Sales of SUVs and pickups, which have been strong throughout the year, have been aided this fall by lower gasoline prices. The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline fell 18 cents in the past two weeks to $3.08 this week -- the cheapest since December 2010, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.
Incentive spending is at “healthy levels,” up 2 percent from a year ago but down 12 percent from September, TrueCar said. KBB said it is concerned, though, that the ratio of incentives to average transaction prices has climbed to the highest level since 2010.
“Since inventory levels have remained consistent, this isn’t a red flag yet, but it does underline that the national industry growth we’ve had in recent years is slowing,” Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for KBB, said in a statement.
Industry sales are on pace to reach forecasts of 16.4 million this year, the highest since 2006. They rose 6 percent in the first three quarters vs. the same period in 2013.
KBB projects that sales will rise 14 percent this month for compact SUVs and crossovers and 6 percent for full-size pickups. Midsize cars and compact cars are each expected to generate slight sales gains but lose market share.
KBB and TrueCar project double-digit gains in October for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Nissan North America. TrueCar said it expects Subaru to post a 28 percent gain, the biggest among the 10 largest automakers.
Ford stalls
Ford Motor Co. is the only automaker whose sales are expected to fall. Ford is switching production of its F-150 pickup to the aluminum-clad 2015 version, which has cut into sales as the company tries to avoid depleting inventory too quickly.
The forecasts call for General Motors to lose market share, with sales increasing less than 5 percent.
TrueCar said FCA, which outsold Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. in September for the first time in three years, has a chance to repeat that feat this month, possibly even challenging a suddenly vulnerable Ford. TrueCar estimated vehicle sales of 170,600 for FCA, up 22 percent; 178,500 for Toyota, up 6 percent; and 180,000 for Ford, down 6 percent.
“Fiat Chrysler’s growth, fueled by Jeep and Ram, has set up a dogfight this month, with FCA, Ford and Toyota battling for second place behind GM in total volume,” TrueCar President John Krafcik said in a statement.
LMC said it expects retail sales to rise 6 percent and fleet deliveries to increase 5 percent. Fleet volume likely will account for 16 percent of total light-vehicle sales, it said.
J.D. Power, which helps LMC develop its forecast, said it expects consumer spending on new vehicles to reach $32.5 billion this month, 6 percent more than October 2013. It said 32.6 percent of vehicles sold this month will be financed with a term of at least 72 months, tying a record set in July. Long loan terms are helping push transaction prices higher by making more expensive vehicles feel more affordable to consumers on the basis of their monthly payment.
LMC said North American production rose 7 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, to 4.1 million units. Automakers built 90,000 more compact SUVs in the third quarter than in the same period of 2013, more than any other segment. 
 - Automotive News, October 27, 201

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sales Tip: Do Not Interrupt

Frequently interrupting customers when they are speaking sends a negative message. It's usually done for one of these reasons:
  • The other person said something that energized you and you just couldn't wait to contribute your idea.
  • You disagreed with the customer and were so angry or disturbed by his/her position that you felt compelled to state your own.
  • You felt the customer was being long-winded, and you were too impatient to allow him/her to finish.
None of these are valid reasons to interrupt a customer. Whatever you gain by getting your two cents in prematurely, you may lose from a relationship perspective.

You may be making a valid point, but your customer may not appreciate your delivery method. This also goes for sales managers in regards to your sales staff.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sales Tip: Talking too much

Many salespeople get hired because they have the infamous "gift of gab." There is a pretty good chance that you've worked with someone who loved nothing better than the sound of their voice. These reps are great at telling stories, but they struggle to connect and create deeper dialogue with prospects and customers.

Many customers are being asked to do more with less today. Spending time with an overly friendly (see all chatty) sales rep isn't a priority, it's a liability.

Being able to clearly and succinctly articulate a compelling story is vital to your success. Your goal is to be brief, be bright and then be gone.

Before you make your next call, ask yourself: Why, given all of the competitive alternatives available, should this prospect want to do business with me right now?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Getting the customer involved

Sales Tips
Next time a customer stalls out on you, ask them as a next step to review something for you. It might be a report you're going to email to them or it might be something on a website.

The key is to see if they will provide some input to you. This simple activity is one of the best ways to measure how serious a prospect is in doing business with you. Someone who is serious will do what you ask them to; someone who is not won't.

Their response to what you ask them to do will not only give you a sense of their level of commitment, but also may give them a quick "out" to indeed tell you they are not interested. Either way, it allows you to move forward. Either they are a serious prospect or it's time to drop them and move on.

Another great tool to measure the seriousness of a prospect is to ask them to share with you some proprietary information. It might be a question you ask regarding the strategic focus of their business or how their volumes are for this month.

It can be almost anything, but when you ask them a question that requires them to reveal something that is not known outside the company, you will quickly determine if the customer has confidence in you. Since confidence is what customers are really buying, then a key to knowing if a sale is going to occur is if they will share with you something of proprietary nature.