Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Winning Formula for Trade Show Success

For most companies that sell a product or service, Trade Show participation is a necessary part of the marketing mix. Big and small, there is a lot of work and preparation for success at and with a Trade Show and all the expense that goes along with these events can be rather significant regardless of the size. The big association shows you are looking at upwards of $10,000 and the small Chamber shows are “only” around $500.00 if you can use last year’s banners.

Data indicates that 73% of marketers state that "gaining qualified leads" is the key success metric for these events. I might ask what about actually sale contracts signed at the show? Yet, 60% of these marketers aren't pleased with the actual ROI achieved from the considerable expense of these shows. Are you? Seriously are you

Additionally, Ruth P. Stevens, author of Trade Show and Event Marketing, Plan, Promote and Profit; stated the following, "don't spend one penny on a trade show unless you have a lead management process in place!"

Think back to the last show you participated in. If you are like most companies, and I'll bet you are, your company representatives are standing around in the booth waiting for prospects to wander into your booth or worse yet looking down at their cell phones. If you are the lucky few, your team members are actually attempting to start a conversation with attendees (as they walk down the isle), to find out if they buy what you sell and if so, are able generate enough interest that they join you in your booth to learn more.

Sound familiar?

If you aren't pleased with your Trade Show & Event Marketing results, there is an approach that is proven to be more effective. In fact, I'll go as far to say it could be a game changer for your company and will help transform Trade Show participation into one of your top performing, revenue producing marketing activities.

So what's this approach to Trade Show success?

To begin with, it's an actual program that incorporates all three of the critical phases for Trade Show success:
  • Pre Show Marketing
  • Show Time Marketing
  • Post Show Marketing
The program creates multiple levels of engagement with targeted attendees and past participants. It creates an opportunity for the target audience to learn valuable information about your company and services prior to the show, as well as at the show.

An effective Trade Show Marketing Program targets several levels of attendees based on your needs. For example, some companies target the following groups:
  • Attendees
  • Non-attendees
  • Customers
  • Other exhibitors (Why? They might just may need your product or service)

The list will vary by event, but you don't want to ignore your customers at these events and engaging them for meetings at the show is an important aspect of the Trade Show opportunity. In fact, customer meetings at the show are scheduled to better understand what else you can do to help them achieve success. These meetings are always fun and productive and lead to new business opportunities as well.

Pre Show Marketing
The key to success with the Trade Show & Event Marketing Program is the multi-channel, drip-marketing program that connects with potential and actual attendees to the show.

The program identifies the attendee's interest areas, gathers marketing intelligence and missing contact information, and provides an opportunity to schedule meetings in the booth for specific presentation and technology discussions.

Companies leveraging this approach have actual scheduled meetings throughout the day for both customers and prospects. Successful organizations, regularly achieve 90+% completion for all scheduled meetings during the show. What this means for your company is no more standing around waiting for prospects to find you!

Show Time Marketing
The next key phase of the program is the Show Time engagement activities. Each day a series of emails, texts and social media engagement go out to all show participants reminding them of the activities taking place in your booth for the day.

It might be hourly solution overview presentations, or a special presentation by a guest speaker, or a VIP party that you are alerting everyone to and providing them with a reason to show up in your booth should they not already have a scheduled meeting.

Ten to Fifteen minutes before any special presentations, text messages are sent out to attendees reminding them of an important, upcoming opportunity in your booth.

Post Show Marketing
Once the show is over, the next important phase kicks in, Post Show Marketing. During this phase, every attendee, booth visitor, completed appointment and customer receives a follow-up email letting them know it's not to late to learn more about your company and solution.

Special show offers are extended to the recipient, as well as an opportunity to learn more by downloading valuable content about your customer success, solutions and special programs.

This step provides another opportunity to engage attendees that may not have visited your booth. It also creates additional opportunities with attendees you may have spoken to but really didn't move the visit to an opportunity stage.

Finally, this program offers comprehensive tracking and measurement on all critical marketing KPI's for the program. Imagine having a complete picture of the number of visits, working opportunities and next steps for all attendees in your show data -base.

Additionally, you will be able to identify which channels delivered the highest conversion results, as well as the show activities that achieved that helped drive engagement.

Another wonderful aspect of the program is the ability to send all of the collected data directly into your CRM. This helps insure that the right follow-up will take place as well as a having the captured data exactly where you want it to be for future use.

At the end of the day, it's all about the ROI and actual revenue creation as a result of participating in the event. That's the best part!

Companies leveraging this approach are achieving exceptional revenue results and in many cases, this marketing activity has become one of their top lead sources for new revenue creation.

If you are looking for improved results for your Trade Show & Event Marketing, this Three Phase Program is exactly what is needed.

Larson Notes & Satire:
 The hard work of getting new clients will not stop there. Getting good sales results is a hard, process. We have ways to make it happen for you. There is no one size fits all. You are unique 

Howard Larson
Larson & AssociatesTarget Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better847-991-1294howard@larsonassociates.wshttp://www.larsonassociates.wshttp://larsonassociates.blogspot.com

Today's Marketer -­‐ Getting to Sales Ready

Marketers are always looking for new, innovative approaches to deliver improved results to their organization.

What if there was a program that could fundamentally shift your sales results and significantly improve your marketing ROI?

Well believe it or not, there is a program that will significantly improve your results and lead to a higher return on marketing investment spent on opportunity development.

If you are like most marketers, the lion share of your marketing budget is being invested in new customer acquisition programs. Yet, for this critical area of opportunity many marketers continue to focus on leads and responses when they should be focused on delivering marketing qualified leads (MQL's) to your organization that continue to be nurtured to Sales Ready.

The reason for this shift will be discussed in more detail below, but the key outcome of this approach is more revenue per lead generated and an overall reduction in the sales cycle.

Isn't that a key deliverable for all of your marketing activities?

This is an important consideration for all marketers because not all leads are created equal. Today, many of the leads you deliver to your sales organization are simply looking for more information to start their assessment of you as a potential provider or they are simply researching information on a potential area of opportunity for the future.

Yet, many marketers are sending these leads directly to the sales team for follow--‐up.
Does that makesense? Is this the right approach given the negative impact on sales productivity?
Let's take a quick look at some of the data that suggests this approach may not be the best course of action.
According to industry data there is a huge gap in the quality of leads marketers deliver to their sales organization. Henry Bruce, President and Founder of Rock Arnard Group said it best, "When I reflect on the state of Marketing automation, three stats paint a very ominous picture."

• 70% of the buy cycle is complete before sales engages with buyers
• Only 50% of a typical sales team achieves quota
• Only 10%-¬‐15% of new leads are considered sales ready

Think about the data reported above...if 70% of the buy cycle is complete before your sales team engages with potential buyers, your ability to convert those leads drops significantly. Additionally, if only 10-¬‐15% of the new leads are sales ready, we are wasting the sales teams time by engaging them at this point in time.
These types of leads need to be nurtured further before sales engagement with these early stage opportunities.
Follow--‐up on leads of this nature will also negatively impact you Marketing ROI and provides a false assessment of your opportunity funnel. Most organizations are blaming sales for their inability to convert leads to sales rather than digging deeper to really |understand the root cause for the results. Since much of a prospects time is spent researching online before they ever contact a prospective company, you need to have an ongoing, lead nurturing program  that starts a dialogue with these prospects well before they realize they are ready to invest in your solution.
As part of your nurturing program, you must leverage all of your marketing response channels in order to connect with the prospect to gain an understanding of why they are inquiring and what information they would like now. By taking this step, you have an opportunity to provide the prospect with high value content and start the nurturing process for future engagements.
Through ongoing engagement with each prospect, you are building their trust, confidence and awareness of your capabilities as a potential provider. As you continue your engagement activities the prospect has an opportunity to guide you on what they are interested in through their actions, such as, the download of high-¬‐ value content, or requesting a free trial. This process, ultimately leads to sales ready lead status.
The  days of one and done marketing programs are gone. Replaced by ongoing, lead nurturing programs that step the prospect through a cycle of high value opportunities to learn more, and provide you critical insight on their current and future needs.
 Once you have built a nurturing and scoring program, you will be able to deliver high quality leads (sales ready) to your sales team and you will be on your way to improved marketing and sales results in all areas.
By taking your existing program and leveraging technology in a more strategic and focused manner, you  can transform your overall program results.
The data suggests that this approach is significantly more effective and as a marketer, it's our responsibility to seek optimized results for every aspect of our marketing. In fact, in a study developed by Forrester Research, they found that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-¬‐ready leads at 33% less cost.
Which leads me to one of my favorite quotes, "effective marketing doesn't cost more, it costs less"
 If you are looking for more information and insight on how to achieve this approach for your organization feel free to contact me at
by Joseph Manos, Executive Vice President, Mind Fire Inc.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Larson the Perfect Partner

I’m a Swede, well half Swede with the other half Norwegian, either way I’m happy with my back ground and the work ethic I was raised in.

So what are the top 15 reasons to form a partnership with Me?

1)     Punctuality  a meeting that was supposed to start at 1 o’clock will start precisely at 1 o'clock. If it s half hour meeting it will end at 1:30, not 1:35. It’s called prick kl.1. This meeting has been booked months ago. This is because we Swedes are great…

2)     Planners –
 we have already looking ahead to week 45 in 2020. You need to know where you are going if you’re going to get there. It’s called framförhållning.This means we are always...

3)     Prepared –
 we know how to predict, when to proceed and what to produce. We know what good things might happen, what bad things might happen so we are able to move towards the good and away from the bad and keep out of stormy seas and I hate stormy seas! Put simply, we are good…

4)     Performers
 the proof is Sweden’s first place in just about everything. Swedes are also modest but we can talk about that another time.  We also have a passion for…
5)     Projects –
 these are lead by someone who is hopefully aware of what’s going on, understands what is going on and has a handle on the desired outcome. It’s called projektledning. Swedes are expected to be...               
6)     Participative – giving their opinions when asked for. There are no bad ideas just that some are better than others at bringing a faster outcome. It’s called the förankringsprocess. Everyone should feel part of the…

7)     Process -
 there are so many that someone has to learn how to manage them. Yet that does not mean anyone is left on the outside looking in. It’s called  processhantering. A process consists of many meetings. One type of meeting is the…

8)     Pre-meeting –
 it's a meeting before the meeting. Yes let’s get some issues out on the table so people have the possibility to pose questions before the real meeting on “Thursday”. This is because Swedes are…

9)     Precautious –
 decision making is a lengthy, risky process. It is not that risk is bad but we want to make the pathway that brings us to the end goal the fastest with the least amount of risk and animosity, we are still a team. It’s called the beslutsprocess. Being ultra-careful we might not say 'yes' or 'no' but they may say. . .

10)  Perhaps –
 which, for Swedes, is possibly a 'maybe'. But unlike an American  maybe which usually means no, a Swedish Perhaps means we will keep an open mind on the subject and not shut any doors just in case this is the right door. But if we  do say 'yes' then a promise is a promise. We will get on, do it and get it done in the shortest amount of time possible. By global comparison, we are very…

11)  Productive –
 The projection is probably a larger part of our companies GNP. Ya sure we might be talking small and needing some mico thought to everything but such progress is a result of many skills we possess. One skill is being particularly…

12)  Pragmatic -
 patiently putting solutions into practice, avoiding too much…

13)  Pressure –
 which can be both good and bad. It’s called lagom mycket. Too much panic and pressure causes Swedes to walk into the wall. So we prefer to be…

14)  Positive –
 as in having a positive attitude, positive energy, and a positive mind. It’s called arbetsglädje. And one of the most positive things of all in Swedish business life is the world famous…

15)  Parental leave and vacations –
 which is the Swedish way of combining being a family, a parent and a professional together. Yes there is life outside of work.
Larson Notes & Satire: So you’re not blonde, you don’t have blue eyes. Yust say “ya sure” and get on with it!

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 10 hours a week. Maybe you could add teleprospecting into your marketing mix call today and find out.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Why Your Sales Team Needs A Dedicated Teleprospector

Let Your Sales People Focus on Closing the Sale!
f you already have trained and talented sales people, why do you need a dedicated teleprospector? They should be able to do their own prospecting for new accounts, right?
Yes and no. You have sales people that are trained to deal with with complex, sophisticated business solutions, so I must ask you, why on earth would you use them to go down into the trenches, get down and dirty, getting involved with grass roots lead generation work? Isn’t the best use of their time being in front of qualified prospects, belly to belly doing what they do best, closing the deal on prospects that have a need that you can take care at a fair profit, that fit your niche?

Complex sales don’t just close by magic, nor do they close over the phone or through emails. They require face-to-face meetings, and perhaps sophisticated presentations, where pain is uncovered, solutions are discussed and deals are made.

If you have talented sales people, their focus should be at the bottom of the sales funnel, working with the cream and getting in front of the key decision-makers, and negotiating the close.

In my selling experience, this is who I want to be talking to and I’ll bet this is also where your sales people want to be, talking to people further along in the buying cycle.

It takes time and attention to bring a sale all the way to a close, and it’s best when you can use your high end talent for this sophisticated, somewhat delicate, part of the sales cycle.

Using a teleprospecting person to make the calls and qualify the leads allows your sales people to do what they do best.

Top of the Funnel Phone Calls
  • A teleprospector is an excellent complement to your sales people that needs to get in front of highly qualified leads. 
  •  A dedicated teleprospector gets on the phone, and spends the time that is needed at the top of the funnel.
  • A teleprospector can make thousands of calls, and have hundreds of conversations that are required to narrow the list down and hand off the qualified opportunities to your sales people.
  • For every deal that actually gets to the table for negotiation and closing, at least one hundred calls need to be attempted.

Isn't your highly skilled and valuable sales people’s time is much better spent in front of the prospects that have a need and are nearer to the point of ready to close?

And isn't the teleprospector’s time is best spent making the calls, asking the right questions, and using their refined skill set to qualify and discover actionable leads.

Refining the List
An added benefit to outsourcing calls to a qualified dedicated teleprospector is that they will filter your list down to only highly qualified leads.

In my experience, many times an inside sales people will hold on to prospects that have no future. It’s a comfort factor to hold onto the names. They’re going to buy eventually, right? This only leads to time wasted on calls and communication with prospects that have no hope in ending in a closed sale.

A dedicated teleprospector has the expertise to ask the right questions, and spend the right amount of time in order to determine if there is a real interest. If there is none, then no more effort is spent engaging with people a company that is not going to take the next step.

The result is a hand off to sales people, names or prospects that they know are worthy of their time and the effort it takes to move them down through the sales funnel to a successful conclusion.

Engaging a dedicated teleprospector to work with your sales people ensures both you and your sales people that the sales funnel keeps flowing and there is no roller coaster rides in getting qualified prospects.

Your salespeople can continuously work on being in front of the decision makers ready to take the next step, while a skilled dedicated teleprospector continues to hand off highly qualified leads to them.

For better lead gen in telemarketing, teleprospecting and lead generation call Larson & Associates at 847-991-1294 or email me at .  One call is all it takes to start getting sales leads into your peoples pipeline.
Howard LarsonLarson & AssociatesTarget Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisitionMaking good businesses great and great businesses even better847-991-1294howard@larsonassociates.wshttp://www.larsonassociates.wshttp://larsonassociates.blogspot.com

P.S. We make teleprospection for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 10 hours a week. Maybe you should add teleprospecting into your marketing mix call today and find out.