Wednesday, June 1, 2022

What Are Your Sales Numbers

 

No More Sales Slumps
But You Need To Know Your Numbers!

If you read though that last email I sent, No More Sales Slumps, you might have noticed the key was knowing your sales and marketing numbers. So what are your numbers. 

Don't know? If you don’t know your numbers you will need a month to track them out, or at least week if you are in a rush to get started.
 
You need ___ Suspects (anyone in your lists that can or might buy from you)
To get ___ Prospects  (anyone you have made some kind of contact with)
To get ___ Leads (having direct interaction with)
To get ___ Proposals (written proposal or estimate)
To get ___ Sales (closed and paid for project)

If this was me 
I need 9501 to get 784 prospects
Wit 784 prospects I get 42 leads
With 42 leads I get 3 proposals
With 3 proposals I get 1 sale

Now I track everything from networking meetings to trade show walk-bys to social media views to phone calls and everything in between. If I can find a way to track it I do. I know I might have a lot of junk in my numbers but if they can fog a mirror they count. I learned a long time ago not to write anyone off.

The key is to start tracking. If you reading this thank-you because you are 1 suspect or prospect or something to add to my numbers. I want you to advance to a proposal and a sale but win, loose or draw the numbers never lie.

Now that you have YOUR numbers you can work the rest of this cost of sales analyst sheet.
 
The Sales Slump Planning Sheet will enable you to determine the average number of contacts per day you MUST make (or average) to achieve your goal for the next 12 months.

Your name: _____________________________________________
 

  1. Your average earnings per sale are? . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .             __________
  2. How much money do you want to earn in the next 12 months?  __________
  3. How many presentations do you make to gain a sale? . . . . .    __________
  4. Divide your earnings per sale (1) by presentations per sale (3).
    This is your earnings per presentations . . . . . . . . . . . .             ___________
  5. A) How many contacts do you make to gain a presentation?   ___________
    B) Divide your earnings per presentation (4)
    by contacts per presentation (5A) This is your earnings per contact ___________  
  6. A) Divide your earnings goal for the next 12 months (2) by the number of
         weeks you will work. This will give you your weekly earnings amount . ___________
    B) Divide the result by 5 or 6 depending on te number of days you work.
         This is your earnings goal per day.   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .     ___________
  7. Divide earnings per day (6B) by earnings per contact (5B). This is your
    required contacts per day you need to achieve your earnings goal.   ____________
Now you have a good idea what you need to do to hit your goals, you know what a sale or lead costs you. Now maybe you can actually justify a service like mine. That is unless you like lead generation and cold calling, but what ever you do:

Take Action

Time is waiting so sit down and start tracking. One by one. If you have nothing to track get cooking. Go knock on some doors. Send out some e-mails. Work your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook social network and groups. Go to a trade show. Ask customers for referrals. Talk to any and everyone about what you do.

 

At Larson & Associates we are always ready to put forth that extra effort, to work hard and persevere in everything that we do for you. We can help you avoid the dreaded sales slumps, overcome marketing anxiety and map out new places to ‘dig’. When prospecting for gold or for sales, remember that your success is directly proportionate to your effort. If you do only the minimum, your payback will be minimal. The more you do, the more you get. It really is that simple.

 

And when you need help reaching out for sales, proposals, leads, prospects or suspects we will be here waiting for your call at 847-991-1294.

Larson & Associates


Making Good Business Great and Great Businesses Even Better

End Sales Slumps

 

End Sales Slumps
Starting Now!

We all have slumps: Those times when you just can’t quite find or maintain your rhythm.  No matter how good you are or how long you have been in sales, sooner or later you're going to hit a sales slump.  Mandscratches head looking at down sales arrow

  That time when you can’t seem to close the sale despite your best effort.  When each call or conversation that you do get seems that much harder than it ever was before.  The pressure is on, the volume is down and you just can’t get that deal to click.
Understanding that we can influence this cycle, spot problems, change behaviors and avoid repeating mistakes that lead to slumps in sales is key. Wouldn’t it be nice to know when a slump was about to happen? 
Larson & Associates we usually don’t like to brag, but we have a secret where we can successfully predict when a sales slump is going to happen, well, nearly 95% of the time that is. After all, no one is perfect, right?
sales secret manila envelope
So do you want to know our secret to avoiding sales slumps? It really is quite simple, it all comes down to: Prospecting. Yes prospecting. Sales prospecting is one of the most important aspects of an organization, let alone a sales process.
All companies (startups especially) have to fill their pipeline with good leads in order to acquire customers. Helping you understand prospecting and what it means for your sales is a big part of how our secret can work for you, the other thing you need to know is predicting when the slump will happen.
The crystal ball to that answer is identifying the length of your sales cycle, is it 1 day, 1 week, 1 month 1 year?    Once you pinpoint that then you are in the driver’s seat. Knowing this will not only help you predict when you are heading for a slump but also how long you can expect it will take to get out of it. Sales slumps have a way of self-perpetuating, with the lack of sales eroding our confidence and expectations of positive results, which in turn makes it even more difficult to return to the good form we have lost along the way.  In sales the natural reaction is to fight off the pressure and panic with a quick fix, by ‘digging’ for more sales. Digging in places where you know the sales were, looking for that next pot of gold. This is what went wrong in the first place, stop ‘digging’ where the sales were, trying to work that same ‘claim’ endlessly and move on to new ground.  If there is a trick to prospecting it’s doing the work to make it ‘work’. The only real way is to get back out there and start making the calls,   working the leads. Initiating conversations with cold f2f sales calls and going to the events where your prospects will be, these are still the ‘nuts and bolts’ that hold the process together. Opportunity is out there, your job is to find it, through prospecting.
At Larson & Associates we can fill in the potholes and help you be where you need to be, as your guide and as your partner in success. We can work with you to avoid mistakes and plan for the future. 
So when you find yourself in a slump take a deep breath, a real, fill your lungs and hold it for a second, deep breath, acknowledge that you are in one and get rid of all that emotional baggage. Make the commitment and set aside a daily time for prospecting.
Invest your time, energy and emotion into actions that you can control.
Sales success is a process, do the basics and the rest will follow. Prospecting is less about luck and more about effort, hard work and perseverance, searching for that new ‘strike’ and being ready to move onto the next.
So go on now. Sit down and pick up the phone. Go knock on some doors. Send out some e-mails. Work your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook social network and groups. Start asking for referrals. Talk to any and everyone about what you do.
 At Larson & Associates we are always ready to put forth that extra effort, to work hard and persevere in everything that we do for you. We can help you avoid the dreaded sales slumps, overcome marketing anxiety and map out new places to ‘dig’. When prospecting for gold or for sales, remember that your success is directly proportionate to your effort. If you do only the minimum, your payback will be minimal. The more you do, the more you get. It really is that simple.

Larson & Associates


Making Good Business Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Secret To Avoid Sales Slump

 

Secret To Avoid Sales Slump

Mandscratches head looking at down sales arrow

 
We all have slumps: Those times when you just can’t quite find or maintain your rhythm.  No matter how good you are or how long you have been in sales,
sooner or later you're going to hit a sales slump. That time when you can’t seem to close the sale despite your best effort.  When each call or conversation that you do get seems that much harder than it ever was before.  The pressure is on, the volume is down and you just can’t get that deal to click.
Understanding that we can influence this cycle, spot problems, change behaviors and avoid repeating mistakes that lead to slumps in sales is key. Wouldn’t it be nice to know when a slump was about to happen?
sales secret manila envelope.
Larson & Associates we usually don’t like to brag, but we have a secret where we can successfully predict when a sales slump is going to happen, well, nearly 95% of the time that is. After all, no one is perfect, right?
 
So do you want to know our secret to avoiding sales slumps? It really is quite simple, it all comes down to: Prospecting. Yes prospecting. Sales prospecting is one of the most important aspects of an organization, let alone a sales process.
All companies (startups especially) have to fill their pipeline with good leads in order to acquire customers.
Helping you understand prospecting and what
it means for your sales is a big part of how our secret can work for you, the other thing you need to know is predicting when the slump will happen.
     The crystal ball to that answer is identifying the length of your sales cycle, is it 1 day, 1 week, 1 month 1 year?  Once you pinpoint that then you are in the driver’s seat. Knowing this will not only help you predict when you are heading for a slump but also how long you can expect it will take to get out of it.
Sales slumps have a way of self-perpetuating, with the lack of sales eroding our confidence and expectations of positive results, which in turn makes it even more difficult to return
to the good form we have lost along the way.  In sales the natural reaction is to fight off the pressure and panic with a quick fix, by ‘digging’ for more sales. Digging in places where you know the sales were, looking for that next pot of gold. This is what went wrong in the first place, stop ‘digging’ where the sales were, trying to work that same ‘claim’ endlessly and move on to new ground.  If there is a trick to prospecting it’s doing the work to make it ‘work’. The only real way is to get back out there and start making the calls, working the leads. Initiating conversations with cold f2f sales calls and going to the events where your prospects will be, these are still the ‘nuts and bolts’ that hold the process together. Opportunity is out there, your job is to find it, through prospecting.
At Larson & Associates we can fill in the potholes and help you be where you need to be, as your guide and as your partner in success. We can work with you to avoid mistakes and plan for the future.
So when you find yourself in a slump take a deep breath, a real, fill your lungs and hold it for a second, deep breath, acknowledge that you are in one and get rid of all that emotional baggage. Make the commitment and set aside a daily time for prospecting.
Invest your time, energy and emotion into actions that you can control.
Sales success is a process, do the basics and the rest will follow. Prospecting is less about luck and more about effort, hard work and perseverance, searching for that new ‘strike’ and being ready to move onto the next.
So go on now. Sit down and pick up the phone. Go knock on some doors. Send out some e-mails. Work your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook social network and groups. Start asking for referrals. Talk to any and everyone about what you do.
 At Larson & Associates we are always ready to put forth that extra effort, to work hard and persevere in everything that we do for you. We can help you avoid the dreaded sales slumps, overcome marketing anxiety and map out new places to ‘dig’. When prospecting for gold or for sales, remember that your success is directly proportionate to your effort. If you do only the minimum, your payback will be minimal. The more you do, the more you get. It really is that simple.
 
 
 Larson & Associates
leaders in providing todays marketing for tomorrows success.
847-991-1294



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