Wednesday, April 13, 2022

2022 Best of Award Advertising Agency


Howard Larson
& Larson & Associates
have been nominated to receive the

2022 Best of Palatine Award
Advertising Agency

Working in the covid world of 2020-22 has shown the business model of a virtual office that Howard Larson and Larson & Associates starting using back in in 2006, not just to lower our carbon footprint but to give the Larson & Associates staff greater job satisfaction and control has allowed us to give us a quicker response to the needs of our clients. Not that it has been easy the last two years. We we thank God that we have not lost 1 day or even 1 hour of work due to covid.

Our philosophy of the Big Fish in a Little Pond and purposefully staying small, seeking out small to mid-sized companies, the majority of our clients continue to be small businesses with revenue of $500,000 to 10 Million with 3 to 12 sales people remains in tact. 

In 2020-21 despite covid, our year over year clients who are using the Larson & Associates 3 Legged Stool Method of Marketing have been seeing growth above 17.6% as well as grabbing increased market share with bold covid market share expansion programs. 

Thank you for your continued support of the Larson Philosophy of Marketing. Now entering our 48th year it is because of you that we are still here and continue to be a success. It is your belief in us that makes us who we are. You give us the freedom to work quick, hard and fast. You are the people who let us out run, out produce and out perform the competition.

2022 Best of Palatine Awards
in the category of
Advertising Agencies


The Palatine Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Palatine area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

Each year, the Palatine Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Palatine area a great place to live, work and play.

The Palatine Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

Larson & Associates


We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better



Our mailing address is:
Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way     Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassocaites.ws
www.larsonassociates.ws

Friday, April 8, 2022

Build Larger Market Share

 

I Can Not Control Inflation
But I Can Build Market Share

Yes it happened again record inflation at 7.5%. I don't see that stopping anytime soon with too much money poured in the system over the last couple years. Add in supply line problems, wage hikes, covid and now the Ukraine and we have a real mess.

The point is when your business attracts more customers and orders, it’s on its way to becoming a solid successful company. But your overall strategy needs to be long-term. 

There are many ways you can take to increase market share, but you’ll lose in the long run if what your doing isn’t sustainable. When you work to increase market share, you need to make sure you can build on your past success and maintain your gained market share for years and build on your successes.

These steps will help you get there. If you’d rather speak with a me in person, you can reach me at 847-991-1294


1. Build a referral program

It takes a lot of time and effort to go beyond just getting new customers, which is one reason so many businesses use referral programs. In one service study, referrals were 18 percent more likely to stay with the company, and generated 16 percent more in profits.

Take advantage of these benefits and increase market share by implementing a referral program in your company.

However, when it comes to recommendations, you can do it anywhere, anytime, including on your website, social media and email. Ask for names and email addresses, and then contact these new leads. When you do, tell them how you got their name. Otherwise, your message may read like a cold call and discourage them from moving forward.

Some or your customers may be happy to provide you with referrals, but others may need nudge. Offer an incentive program for every new referral that places an order. At Larson & Associates we give back 5% of a referrals project back for as long as we keep the customer. Heck some of our print customers refer so many customers they get their program run for free. 


2. Increase engagement with customers

There are many studies that show a direct connection between customer engagement and customer loyalty. this is one of the reasons why social media has become a standard tool in most marketing programs to try to keep in touch. Does it work?

If you're trying to figure out how to increase market share online, increasing social engagement will help you maintain your current share and turn them from being just new customers into loyal buyers.

You can often communicate through social media and email. Regularly publishing new content on a blog on a regular basis and encourage customers to share and comment on it. Trying to make engagement part of the selling process. Send a survey after each order and ask customers for feedback about their next order, delivery and other issues. 

The Larson way is to call and talk to all our customers outside the heated discussions of a lead generation project to see what we can be doing differently or what they might need in project adjustment. 


3. Stay ahead of your competitors
Some of the largest companies in the world achieved their current positions because they offered something bigger or better. Others got there by offering the service of product first. Then there is you.

If you want to grow market share, make innovation a part of your marketing strategy.

Innovation can mean many things: new products, tailor-made solutions, service models or the introduction of real customer care. Look for forms of making you differ from those of other companies in your field by niching down and you’ll be seen as a leader and a company worth staying with over the long term because you know what their problems are even before they know what they are.

Innovation to meet customers' real needs is priceless. And if customers aren’t aware of the need, they become more open when it is revealed. This will keep customers around, but it will also help you increase market share online and offline.


4. Develop your unique position
Your market share is affected by several factors, including your ability to fill a need in a way no other company can. If you can negotiate a unique postion can stake out a unique nitch position 

In the market, define that position and execute whatever you have to negotiate to to maintain your current market share and increase it over the long term.

How do you define your positioning of your brand so far? Unique products and services are just the first step. It also requires your marketing team to create an individual brand tone of voice and brand personality—as well as a plan to communicate your new position at every opportunity.

Your brand encompasses everything that your business delivers to customers, making it it more attractive to new customers looking for the same type of experience.


5. Market to your niche audiences
This might seem like a bad idea if you’re trying to increase market share. After all, a niche market is smaller and more specialized. Sometime it is enough. Take it slow.  Lean your first niche completely. Go to the trade shows, join the linkedIn groups, become know in the niche and then. . .  if one niche is not enough — marketing to several niche markets can help you gain market share by developing larger footprints in smaller segments of the marketplace.

Suppose you sell accounting software. Many types of businesses want it, but they could buy it from dozens of other companies. Why would they want to buy it from your company?

With niche marketing strategy, you position it as a suitable product for local retailers, start-up businesses, food companies, print shops and service providers. Each market is small—but when combined, they create huge market and, indeed a larger market share for your business.


You could do all this yourself if you have the time and the talent or. . . 
    . . . call us because we live lead generation and growing market share!

Telemarketing:
 Telemarketing campaigns are a proven and cost-effective method for selling products and services to a large target audience.

Email Marketing: Email pretty much essential that you do. Email marketing has the highest impact on conversions for pretty much every marketing team. It nearly always results in profit and growth.

Direct Mail Marketing: Direct mail, junk mail (by its recipients), mailshot or admail (North America) letterbox drop or letterboxing (Australia) is the delivery of advertising material to recipients of postal mail. The delivery of advertising mail forms a large and growing service for many postal services, and direct-mail marketing forms a significant portion of the direct marketing industry. Some organizations attempt to help people opt out of receiving advertising mail, in many cases motivated by a concern over its negative environmental impact.

Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. This involves publishing great content on your social media profiles, listening to and engaging your followers, analyzing your results, and running social media advertisements.

Content Marketing: Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content via channels such as social media, blogs, websites, podcasts, apps, press releases, print publications, and more. The goal is to reach your target audience and increase brand awareness, sales, engagement, and loyalty.




We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better
Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030
847-991-1294

howard@larsonassociates.ws

www.larsonassociates.ws

Friday, February 18, 2022

Double Digit Growth

 


Did you grow at 15.2% last year?

The government says inflation was 7.0% last year but did they tell you they changed how they figured the inflation rate from the Jimmy Carter years? In Jimmy Carter criteria the inflation number is 15.2% not 7%. So if you are like most people and I'll bet you are, you most likely lost ground to inflation last year.

If you were using Larson & Associates you grew last year. All Industrial Accounts grew by an average of 9.7% with a low of 6.4% growth and a high of 17.2%. So even we lost some and won some. 

So what can you do?

Get a Multichannel Target Marketing Program from Larson & Associates. Our average multichannel customer using the 3 legged stool method got 16.1%.

MultiChannel Target Marketing offers you the potential to gain sales from existing customers or clients, and new sales from new customers faster then you can imagine. Today I am showing you an short overview of what’s involved and how direct marketing works.


So what ia Multichannel Target Marketing?
Multichannel Target Marketing is really quite simple. It is the building of targeted relationships with your customers and prospects. It works with different marketing platforms to put you in front of your target in multiple ways to be when and where they are. It means marketing your product or service to the people that are most likely to buy what you are selling where they are looking or how they want to look.
 
In putting a program together I find the best place to start is to build a list of all your customers, past customers and all those you might have send proposals out to. This is only the start. This list is your launching pad to your program.
 
Multichannel Target Marketing can be one of the most cost-effective ways of expanding your sales. It has the great advantage of being trackable. This means (unlike some other forms of advertising) you can measure the results, know who is reading and seeing your message.


Will Multichannel Target Marketing work for your business?
That is what we all want to know isn't it. Is this to key to unlocking new clients for you again and again?


Targeting your direct marketing.
The people most likely to buy from you are:
  • Your existing customers
  • Your past customers
  • Prospects you have sent proposals to but did not act, yet
  • Your specially nitch

Because we don't use a 'shotgun' kind of approach. We bring a far more focused attack of target marketing so you get a higher value of return on your marketing investment. The more accurately you can nitch your customer, the better your chance you will have in finding more just like them. Answering these questions to segment the market makes your message even more direct. It allows you to focus maximum effort on the right people.

Current Customers

Because existing customers are the lifeblood of your business, it's vital that you keep ahold of them. If you don't someone might take them away. Someone like me if your competition hires me before you do. You know how difficult it is to lure a loyal customer away from a competitor - the same should apply to you and your customers. So, your first plan of attack should be directed at keeping your current customers happy. 
 
Keep in touch at least once every 90 days. Depending on the life cycle of your product or service 15 or 30 days might even better. People like to feel special and individual. Show them that you know who they are. Tell them what is new and how they can best benefit from your services or products. If you don’t tell them, who will? I'll say it again incase you missed it, maybe I will tell them if your competition hires me before you do. It is your choice.

Keep them informed about what is happening in your business. Offer them a special preview of your new product lines or services. Send updates of new products or services, details of discount offers ONLY for regular existing customers, reminders of your next appointment with them or a list of products when you know they will be buying based on past history. For example, a florist might send a product list before Mother's Day or Valentine's Day or their anniversary. If you have read Harvey MacKay;'s Swim With The Sharks you should already have this information. Right? 

Think up fresh marketing ideas that no one else uses. Need ideas, ask me. That is what I do for a living. Side note ask about our "Pick My Brain" program if you need help here.

Change the look of your email. Start a monthly newsletter. Let me have Janice or Elizabeth make a monthly phone call to all your accounts. But don't you ever sit your hands crying about how bad business is.


Past Customers and Prospects sitting on a proposal
Do you have any of these guys? Come on we all do. Open up your CRM and let me get to work.

It is like one day I was making calls for a printing company and they turned over their past customer list to me. Talk about a horror story, but I called and found out that 1 out of every 14 calls were not so bad. I even talked to a past customer who went to another shop. They had gone through one of those jobs from hell. You know the kind that what ever they did would not work. They even did a complete press wash on a full sized web (you printers know that that costs) and it still did not come out right. Well I called and listened and listened, using my best Hank Trisler method of empathy got them back in the bidding process. 

Same hold true for proposals sent out. There could be any number of reasons why it did not work out. Money? New management? Work flow? Buying a new plant? There is only one way to keep your hat in the ring and that is to keep in contact. 

Larson & Associates can do that without you needing to use your valuable time on what might be a fishing expedition.


New Customers
For most of you this is what you come to a company like mine. You want more business!

Do your homework first!
As with any marketing exercise, you need to do your homework first.

Start by figuring out who are you best potential customers. Nitch yourself and then narrow it down a little father. The more work you put in here to find the best fit for your company the easier it is for me to get you the kind of results you dreamed of.

Next, set a budget for your direct marketing campaign as it all things there is a cost. Know it upfront before it bites you in the butt. 

Then work through the rest of the start up questions:
 
What am you going to offer them?
Do you have the stock/capacity on hand to meet possible demand and fulfill orders efficiently?
You should also complete a break-even analysis to work out what increase in sales is needed to recover the cost of your direct marketing campaign and the overall cost of a new customer. And yes there is a cost for new customers, do you know what yours is.


You! Yes You!
Every business, large or small, can use targeted multichannel marketing.

Quality databases and lists are the key to effective nitch marketing. It is less expensive and more efficient to collect names yourself or let us do it for you, but you can also rent or buy lists (I have done for clients but but the ROI does go down.) Doing it the slow way will take longer and it is better and stronger but if you need a super quick start it is an option or maybe you can work in alliance with other businesses that have good databases that blend with yours. 

If you don't call me I can not help you so pick up the phone and call 847-991-1294. I'm waiting for you.


We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better 

Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101 
Grayslake IL 60030
847-991-2194


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

2021 UPCITY Telemarketing Agency Award

 

Howard Larson 
Larson & Associates

has been nominated to
UPCITY Top Telemarketing Agencies In
The United States


Working in the covid world of 2020-21 has shown the business model of a virtual office that Howard Larson and Larson & Associates starting using back in in 2006, not just to lower our carbon footprint but to give the Larson & Associates staff greater job satisfaction and control has allowed us to give us a quicker response to the needs of our clients. Not that it has been easy this year. We ourselves have not lost 1 day or even 1 hour or work due to covid.

Our philosophy of the Big Fish in a Little Pond and purposefully staying small, seeking out small to mid-sized companies, the majority of our clients continue to be small businesses with revenue of $500,000 to 10 Million with 3 to 12 sales people remains in tact. 

In 2020-21 despite covid, our year over year clients who are using the Larson & Associates 3 Legged Stool Method of Marketing have been seeing growth above 14% as well as grabbing increased market share with bold covid expansion programs. 

Thank you for your continued support of the Larson Philosophy of Marketing. Now in our 47th year it is because of you that we are still here and continue to be a success. It is your belief in us that makes us who we are. You give us the freedom to work quick, hard and fast. You are the people who let us out run, out produce and out perform the competition.

UPCITY Top Telemarketing Agencies 2021

|According to Bright Local, 80% of consumers have keep their trust in your businesses. You have also increased your online "Recommendability Rating", which has helped you rank higher on UpCity and built your trust as a supplier companies have come to trust.


Selection of individuals  "is based on reference value". Individuals become eligible for listing by virtue of their positions and/or noteworthy achievements that have proved to be of significant value to clients and society. An individual's desire to be listed is not sufficient reason for inclusion.

Larson & Associates
 

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Our mailing address is:

Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way     Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassocaites.ws
www.larsonassociates.ws



Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Who Is Making Your Calls?

 

Teleprospecting / Telemarketing / Telesales

Who is making your calls?
Your Sales People
Or A Trained Teleprospecter?


How long would it or will it take for your outside sales people to learn about phone work? 1 Week? 1 Month? Maybe never?

Telemarketing generally involves a high volume of sales calls made to long lists of recipients. The goal of the telemarketer is to reach a as many people as possible to start moving them along a structured sales process. i.e. the sales pipeline. It most often involves a scripted pitch or bullet point free  form if the telemarketing is good enough. It can be very one sided if the person working the phones has not taken the time to know about you and your company.

The interaction is not usually very complex as the caller is offering a simple product or service to a targeted niche audience. the more targeted the better the result.

With our wide range of ONSHORE telemarketing services include, inbound sales, inbound customer services, outbound research, teleprospecting, telemarketing, telesales and outbound lead generation. We have the person you need.

Larson & Associates Telemarketing Services

Cold Calling Services

Instead of scripts, the goal is to engage a decision maker in a meaningful interaction to gain an understanding of their business needs and to help match those needs with a solution, service or product which you already know you provide to build healthy long-term relationships with your clients with our excellent communication skills.

Because of this, a telemarketer needs to be more seasoned, with the experience to understand the nuances of a business conversation, and with the ability to listen intently and ask the right questions to draw out qualifying lead information. Wait did I say ask questions? Where did that come from?

The goal of the call is to learn and determine if your product or service will be able to meet the specific business needs of the prospect and then set next steps in the sales process. If you nitched yourself the answer is 95% yes.

Who are they calling?

In teleprospecting, before a caller even picks up the phone they will have been researched for the best title contact(s) at a company who would be involved with the decision making process.

A teleprospector will make calls to high level evaluators and key decision makers with whom they can start a conversation, often if possible using referrals to target the key decision maker. Because of the complex nature of the sale, it is appropriate and necessary to reach the highest level executive in the organization responsible for the business solution being pitched.

How do you measure success?

 Perhaps the most defining aspect between telemarketing and teleprospecting is how success is determined. Everything is about results. After working through a list a telemarketer will have a number of successful calls based on numbers of dials, numbers of actual sales or appointments made, or even the number of people they were able to pass along down a sales pipeline. Normally if there is a sucessful call made it is unlikely we will revisit those prospects again as the call will have ended in a simple yes, no, or incomplete.In teleprospecting, the success of the call is not as easily measured by numbers. The goal for a complex B2B call is to develop qualified, actionable sales leads.

Questions to ask yourself before determining if you should use telemarketing

  • Is your solution, product or service complex or commodity?
  • Do you have a defined niche market or can you cast a wide net?
  • Will your business benefit from high volume transactions or a targeted, complex sale?

Both telemarketing and teleprospecting have their place in a successful sales strategy – applying the right methodology in the right situation at the right time will determine the success of your telesales efforts.

It is time for you to make one more call!

Face it, would't you would rather be making sales and running sales appointments than sitting at your desk and making phone call after phone call to find that one YES.

I have a customer who hates making phone calls. I mean he hates it with a passion. In the time it takes Geno (I'll call him Geno because that is his name). In the time Geno to make 1 call Elizabeth can make 9! That's right 9 times the productivity.  So what do we do for him? We pick up the phone and make calls. One after another. We are happy and he is happy!

So pick-up that 100 pound phone to call for the help you want and make your last cold call to 847-991-1294. We will talk to you as a fellow sales person who has been down in the trenches looking for clients. Call us because. . .  

We Know How!

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates
www.larsonassociates.ws

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

What’s a Lead To You?

 

Teleprospecting / Telemarketing / Telesales
For the Print Industry

I remember the days when I would walk into the shop to the sound of kechunk kechunk kechunk as the Heidelberg and Solna would be running. If the smell of ink and the sound of the feeders grabbing the sheets was not filling the air there was a problem. It would be a problem that really happened 3 mouths earlier, but no one thought about the sales cycle back then and heaven forbid if we understood a sales funnel.

Now here we are climbing out of covid and if you had not done anything about marketing in the last 3 months, the question becomes how to generate leads for your business NOW? Are you hold your own or desperately looking to expand your company in this covid time?

Good economy or bad, generating leads for your print business, let alone those with print orders can be a difficult lengthy process. However, it is the foundation that helps grow a business, creating a steady stream of sales leads. It can be a bit challenging finding a system that works, so I ask you, why work so hard when I have already created a system which could provide you a steady stream of sales leads?

 

What’s a Lead?

A lead or what I call a suspect, is essentially a potential customer that hasn’t purchased or used your services, yet. A good lead shows interest in your services and can be thought of as prospective client. No lead is ever totally dead. It is amazing how they can come out of the blue even after you stopped calling on them. They might still have your business card or still get your newsletter or email and low and behold the stars line up and they call you. Gong back to the basic question what is a lead? They can be identified in different ways, including
  • Social Media
  • Service/Product Trials
  • Consultations
  • Marketing 
  • Networking & Outreach
  • Teleprospecting

So the question arises, how you can generate a leads list for your business.

Niche or Know Your Target Audience

In order to successfully reach out to gain leads, which is what we here at Larson & Associates are all about, you need to identify your target audience. Knowing the target audience of your business gives you an idea on the ideal type of customers you want to have. The more ideal names in your funnel the faster you sign up or get new business. Research your audience, from their characteristics to the problems they face. Questions to keep in mind:

  • What type of consumer are they? 
  • Where are they located? 
  • What kind of industry are they in? 
  • What is their main problem and how does your service help them solve it?

Once you have a stronger understanding of your target audience, it’s easier to narrow down what will successfully reach your leads. Know them. Love them. Understand their pain and what makes them happy. Prospects run from pain and run to pleasure so use this to your advantage, We do.

Effective Engagement

While cold calling isn’t hard, it certainly is not always an easy technique to find new business, and yet it does work with the right people and sources. Whether you’re speaking to someone on the phone or in person, how you present yourself can make a big difference in how it influences a prospect’s interest. Things to watch out for, when engaging with a potential lead is to pay attention to your tone. The tone of somebody’s voice can say a lot. The speed of your speech also matters; if you talk too fast, it just comes across as you’re in a rush and that you don’t really care about your time with the sales lead and just want to get it over with. Your confidence also says a lot about the value of you and your services. Sounding confidant can give the impression that you don’t believe in your services, so why should the sales lead? The key is to be confident, but not arrogant. Keep it professional and polite; at the same time be assertive in your goal, but don’t be too pushy or else it drives away sales leads. Finally, be knowledgeable. Ya you got to "Know your stuff" in order to be as informative as possible so that sales leads will have confidence in what you say. 

Soft skills and hard fact skills. In sales you need both.  At the same time it is easier to  get up to speed in the hard facts of a business then the soft skills of reading people. And I'll bet you that we here at Larson & Associates can learn about the facts of your shop faster than you can learn the soft skills of phone prospecting.

One last thing to remember, it is very important to keep your message consistent and deliver on what you promise. Better to under promise and over deliver. If you don't get this order, guess what? The one who did, who promised the moon is going to mess up if not this time, the next. Stay in touch because it will happen!  Success comes with trust and authenticity, and you’re more likely to gain the trust of a sales lead by being genuine and showing that you put a lot of value in providing the right print products for their business needs. How way you present yourself and the way you ask questions and talk to them says a lot about how good your print business is. 
 

It is time for you to make one more call!

Face it, wouldn't you would rather be making sales and running sales appointments than sitting at your desk and making phone call after phone call to find that one YES.

I have a customer who makes more sales by taking customers golfing than any other way. So what do we do for him? We find other business owners who play golf and set up 18 holes. Fact is the lower his golf average the higher his sales average. AND he is happy!

So pick-up that 100 pound phone to call for the help you want and make your last cold call to 847-991-1294. We will talk to you as a fellow sales person who has been down in the trenches looking for clients. Call us because. . .  

We Know How!

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030
847-991-1294