Win a Sale with the Triangulation Technique

Triangulation I came across a wonderful technique from Ed Gandia (copywriter, author, speaker and coach) that helps answer the dilemma of not having specific samples to show a client.

Here’s the scenario: your prospective client is a dentist, for example, and while you’re pitching your service, the prospect asks if you have any experience working with businesses like his.

You don’t.

You could just say “no” and walk away. Instead, Gandia offers this alternative: the triangulation technique.

The Triangulation Technique

The steps of the Triangulation Technique are as follows, in this order:

  1. The client wants a project done and asks if you have specific experience in their field. You don’t.
  2. You tell the client what you DO have and have done, and offer examples.
  3. You justify why you will do a great job and ask for the sale.

1. Tell Them What You DO Have

Instead, of “no,”  you answer, “I don’t have that specific experience…but here’s what I DO have that will enable me to do a good job.” Proceed to show specific examples that would relate to this type of job–even if it was in a different field.

2. Justify Why You’re the Right Choice

Demonstrate how your background and knowledge enables you to do a better job than perhaps someone who didn’t have that skill and knowledge set. Show examples of work similar to what they need. Exhibit expertise in the form of education, training, awards, jobs and happy client testimonials.

3. Ask for the Sale

Close by saying someting like, “I just need the opportunity and I promise that you’ll be very happy with the result.” Ask for the sale with an open-ended question like, “When can we get started?”

If the prospect still balks at hiring you, offer a partial project to “try you out,” or assure the client that they will be able to review your work at various stages. Ask how you CAN help them solve their problem, which they obviously have, because they came to you for help.

It’s really all about the confidence the prospect has that you will get the job done. By proving that you can handle the work through the Triangulation Technique, you can win the sale.

 

People need your change | Writing Quotes

fountain-pen

“People need your craft of writing, but they need your change more.”

Seth Godin, author and dot com business executive

Top 10 Consumer Trends for 2020

Man working from home with babyWhen marketing your business, it makes sense to pay attention to what your consumers are concerned with. One way to learn their issues is to look at the top consumer trends. Then review what’s going on in your target market and put some thought into how you can add features to your product or service line, or modify your products and services to meet these needs. Here are 10 consumer trends for 2020, excerpted from an article in Forbes.

1. Family and Home Productivity

Since the majority of households have both parents working, parents need new software tools and services to help manage their lives at home as well as at work. 2020 also brings the trends of teleworking, home offices and home study spaces for school-aged children.

2. Next-Generation Meat

The growth of companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat indicate that consumers are cutting back on animal protein and looking towards plant-based alternatives. What is the next-generation trend in your industry?

3. Personalized Healthcare

We’re seeing more telemedicine and additional options for care payments, along with many more direct-to-consumer health brands. How can healthcare access be modified to fit the modern lifestyle?

4. Autonomous Conveniences

How can you innovate to take advantage of consumer downtime while they are traveling, for example if autonomous vehicles become the norm? Opportunities abound for the entire consumer experience, including entertainment, productivity, communication and personal services.

5. Mindfulness

The term “meditation” has crept into our lexicon and people are caring more about how they spend their time for self-care, mental wellness, and work/life balance.

6. Education

Since prices on higher education keep rising, consumers are moving towards different forms of education like bootcamps, job retraining, remote learning and bite-sized learning where they can learn skills at an affordable price.

7. Consumer Privacy

Consumers are interested in protecting their individual data and trusting the government less nowadays. Gain their trust through promotion of ethical treatment of data and privacy.

8. Live Digital Experiences

Many of our activities have shifted online, like shopping, gaming, and sharing. An increase in real-time activity is becoming a trend, including shared streaming and shared experiences. Videos are also garnering huge online interest. Showcase your products and services, hold a virtual seminar, or teach through your own set of videos–live or taped.

9. Techies of All Ages

It’s not just the younger generation who’s tech-savvy these days. Consumers in their 50s, 60s and 70s are using the same technology as the young folks, with different needs. Consider how you can serve the older demographic to make their lives easier and more enriched.

10. Shifting Financial Habits

Innovative startups are interrupting the business-as-usual financial world, and younger generations think differently about home ownership, saving oney, investing, what they’ll spend money on, and how to pay for it. The gig economy is growing, and people are career-hopping, so the historical retirement savings paradigm may not apply.

You may not be on the cusp of creating the next consumer trend, but every business can find a way to tap into the power of these shifts in consumer behavior. You don’t have to do them all. Pick one that you can address through your products and services and start there.

If you’d like help defining how you can use consumer trends to refocus your marketing, contact All the Buzz.

— Excerpted from “10 Consumer Trends That Will Spark Innovation in 2020,” by Sara Deshpande, Forbes.

How Do You Prove Your Expertise?

Can you prove it graphicI follow marketing expert Marcia Yudkin, author of The Marketing Minute, and her latest marketing advice got me thinking. She begins with stating that your About page must address two crucial questions your prospects might wonder:

  • Are you, in fact, good at what you do?
  • Can I count on you to deliver as promised?

She goes on to state that your bio must include what marketers call “proof elements.” Without them, you have a trustworthiness gap.

So what are proof elements?

A proof element must provide an external indicator of competence and reliability. That means the proof must come from an outside source other than yourself or someone within your organization. Here are some examples and ways you can obtain and use your proof elements.

Types of Third-Party Proof Elements

Testimonials

Most websites have a page dedicated to testimonials. These are endorsements of a personal experience this person had with you or your company regarding quality and reliability. You should include the person’s name (or at least their initials and city), or a reference to the source, in every post to ensure that it is indeed an outside source. If you don’t have a testimonials page on your website, add one. People love to hear about other people’s experiences and trust their opinions. Testimonials can be written, or opt for video testimonials of your customers talking about their experience.

Reviews

Reviews are testimonials that are posted on platforms other than your website. They are placed on these sites out of your control so they carry more credibility than testimonials posted on your site. Of course, you can use these testimonials on your website. You should encourage your clients and customers to leave positive reviews (always ask for “positive reviews” when requesting, and not just “a review.” Better yet, ask for a “five star review!), and offer them the link and instructions on how to do so. Choose sites that are important to your business, like Google My Business, Houzz, Bing, Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, etc.

Social Media

Everybody wants to share their story on social media, so use this to your advantage. Ask your customers and clients to share their positive story with your company and recommendations on using your organization on their social media. This is known as “social proof,” a psychological phenomenon where others both believe and follow your advice, or assume your actions in a given situation. Believe that others want to achieve the same results you have provided. Create fans of your company by posting regularly on your own social media.

Visuals

Visual proof cannot be denied. Include photographs of your product or service in action, show results in a chart or graph, or post a video of how you made a difference. Show your product or service in action. Is it easy to use? Is there a visible effect? Look for ways to “show” and not “tell” about your expertise and delivery.

Statistics

Statistics can come in many forms, and can come in the form of results, public ratings, awards, licenses, certifications, and third-party verifications. Post a visual like a graph of results if you are responsible for increasing web traffic, for example. Or link to awards and certifications you’ve received; post a list on your website and include it in your presentations. This all adds credibility and positive proof.

Positive Media Coverage

If you are fortunate enough to have a positive story published in a publication, use that in your marketing. Post a PDF or a link to the story on your website and your social media. Refer to the story in your monthly newsletter. Make copies of the features and include them in your presentation and leave-behind materials. When the press talks about you, you are instantly credible. Do not, however, refer to negative media coverage.

Case Studies and Project Stories

When your client has a great experience with you, ask them if you can write up their story and use it in your marketing. Give it a warm spin with a project story, or offer more technical “before and after” proof with a case study. Both of these options should include three sections:

  1. What was the situation before you got involved?
  2. What did you do to make a difference?
  3. What is the outcome as a result?

Additional Advice

Stick to the Facts

Proof implies factual documentation. Think of a legal case. To prove the innocence or guilt of the accused, counsel on either side must provide factual proof. What are some of the ways you can prove that you are good at what you do, and that you can deliver as promised?

Let All the Buzz Help You Prove Your Expertise

We at All the Buzz work with business owners to create marketing copy that sells. Let us help you revamp your website copy, create your blog posts, or create the proof of expertise that will win customers. Contact us at info at allthebuzz.net.

 

You too can subscribe to Marcia Yudkin’s Marketing Minute, published each Wednesday. She is the author of Inspired!, Meatier Marketing Copy, and 15 other books.

Why Should I Blog?

Why should I blog?Is blogging a difficult thing to do? No. Is it essential? Yes. Many clients ask us, “Why should I blog?” That shows us that they don’t know or understand the benefits of blogging, so let’s review those benefits here.

Blogging attracts interested prospects

People are searching the Internet for answers to solve their problems. When your business blog post offers that solution, you are immediately on their radar as a qualified resource, without their having to make a commitment.

Blogging establishes and reinforces your expertise

Your business blog posts are prime locations in which to establish and reinforce your expertise in your field. Post answers to the most often-asked questions about your business. Post evidence of your expertise with awards and links to articles in which you appear. Post proof that you are an expert with examples and explanations of your products and services. Post reviews and testimonials. There are numerous ways you can build your credibility.

The business mentorship organization Score offers 10 reasons to keep an active business blog, beginning with the fact that “customers who read your blog at 97% more likely to click on your website.” The answer to “Why should I blog” is to attract and convince potential customers and clients. Continue reading →

Writing is Hard | Writing Quotes

fountain-pen

“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.”

–David McCullough, Pulitzer-Prize winning author

What to Look for in a Really Good Copywriter

copywriterThe hardest thing any business owner can do is to write about him or herself or their business. It just can’t be done—or at least done well. You need that outside eye—preferably a writer with a good marketing background and solid writing reputation—to create copy about you that others will find compelling. If you try to write about yourself, you will get bogged down in too many details, wondering which are the most important. You will also labor for hours on end trying to get the copy “just right.”

What Makes a Really Good Copywriter?

When you’ve decided it is best for both your sanity and your time to hire an outside writer, here’s what you should look for:

Style of copywriting experience

Your copywriter should be up to date on the latest ways to write for the particular medium you’re writing for, be it the web, brochures, a media kit or an author bio, for example. The writing styles for each are entirely different. If the writer doesn’t know the difference, look for one who does.

Great interview skills

Most of the information for the copy will come from you. A great copywriter has the confidence to conduct an interview to gather what they need in the shortest time possible. We know you’re busy and we need to use our skills to ferret out details quickly that make your copy shine. Expect some “off the wall” questions, and roll with them. We’re also looking for insights into your personality so we can inject that into the copy.
Continue reading →

21 Tips to Increase Instagram Engagement

Increase Instagram followersWant to get more followers on Instagram? I recently came across this article that had a lot of great ideas on how to do just that.

Instagram is Growing Quickly

In 21 Tips to Massively Increase Instagram Engagement in 2019, author Adam Phillips reported that 13% of the world is now using this platform, and engagement is still increasing. It has more than 1 billion monthly active users, with 50% of those users following brands.

Shares, likes and comments are reporting 10X higher than Facebook, 54X higher than Pinterest, and 84X higher than Twitter. If you haven’t done so already, you should consider adding Instagram to your marketing mix.

Among the 21 tips offered by this report are:

  • Know how often to post
  • Don’t preach, tell a story instead
  • Use Instagram video subtitles and closed captions
  • Choose the right hashtags, and
  • Convert Instagram followers into email subscribers

The author goes on to explain how to put these tips into action. For example, under “Know how often to post,” he claims that the “sweet spot” is a consistent 1-2 posts a day. For when to post, he says, “Uncover your own follower’s Instagram habits by using the Insights feature of your Instagram Business Account. This helps you identify when your followers are most active.”

The article is posted on the Falcon website, so of course, there is a plug for Falcon’s social media management platform. This post does not hold any opinion as to that platform. Rather, we thought there were really good tips that might benefit those business owners and marketing managers who want and need to build their brand.

Need Social Media Marketing? Contact All the Buzz.

If you’d like to outsource your social media management, we’ll be glad to help. We can assist you in creating your social media platforms, providing content, and scheduling posts. Contact All the Buzz for expert marketing and writing.

How to Increase your SEO Rank in Voice Searches

voice-search

Increase your SEO rank on voice searches

Keeping up with all the changes in today’s technology isn’t easy. Business owners have to stay on their toes to maintain their edge over their competitors. One of the up-and-coming trends is voice searches. People are using Alexa and Siri and other voice-activated search tools to help find answers to their burning questions.

Here is an article I’m sharing from Joan Stewart at The Publicity Hound on “How to Rank Well for Voice Search.”

“Hey Siri, how can a mother help a colicky baby?” asks a reporter who’s writing a story for Parents magazine.

If you’re a parenting expert who has written a blog post on “How mothers can help colicky babies,” your article has a chance of being found in voice search.

Here’s a super tip from Website Magazine on how to rank well when people are searching by voice, as well as by typing their questions into the search engines. Continue reading →

25 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Business Blog

blog post template graphicDo you write a blog for your business and keep posting to it regularly? It’s a great way to talk about your industry, provide information about your business, and to entertain. It’s also a great way to build a following for your business. Yet many business owners ask how to make people aware of their blog and to attract followers.

25 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Business Blog

  1. Tell everyone you have a blog
  2. Post your blog name and link in your email signature
  3. Include your blog link on your business cards, stationery and all forms
  4. Add your blog link to your bio
  5. Post snippets of your blog posts on your social media with links to the blog
  6. Add your blog link to your social media profiles
  7. Be active on your social media accounts and social networking sites like StumbleUpon and Mixx
  8. Continue reading →