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

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Email Marketing Your Business Needs It


Email Marketing
Your Business Needs It

Email marketing is a powerful content marketing technique that you need to be using. There are lots of moving parts in any kind of marketing and email hits upon almost all of them.

  • Planning
  • Calendar
  • Content Development
  • List 
  • Follow-up

Larson & Associates
For specialized Email Marketing

They may seem obnoxious, but if done right, if you utilize effective email marketing techniques and protocol, you can actually increase the number of customers quickly. Really!

The key to successful email marketing is targeted niche marketing

Go it alone if you want but why?
We Know How


How Does it Work?
Email marketing isn’t just sending emails to as many people as you can. There is really more to it than spamming away. Email marketing is the process of sending carefully crafted, highly optimized messages worded and designed to tickle the prospect's interest through an email or series of emails to targeted consumers. It includes the process of developing promotional emails, testing, and maintaining them as well. And a little specialized software we have that rates subject lines helps too.
Email marketing can be used to increase sales, improve brand loyalty, and deliver important information.

How Do You Market Using An Email?
It all starts with your list. We do list building for customers but this is where it starts. Organically building, opt in off a social site, networking or trade shows a list is a living thing growing and contracting as you market to it.
You MUST give people an option to opt-out people do move in and out of interest. By law it must be there.
Keep your email list secure. You list is money in the bank. 

85% of U.S. retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics! Is it the time to include email marketing into your marketing strategy.

Fast, Efficient, Cost-Effective

Email marketing provides you a way of reaching out to both customers and prospects

Maybe getting them to your web site of landing page.
A way to nurture leads to convert into sales.

What Else Is Email Marketing Used For?
Build trust with customers over time, in order to turn them into repeat customers.
An effective way to keep your customers informed about new ideas, services and  products you can offer them.
To stay up-to-date about your company in real-time.

Fact is, 28% of US online shoppers report subscribing to store or product emails in order to stay informed on companies or products they care about.

Do you need email marketing?
 of Internet users use email
75% of adult online users say email marketing is actually their preferred marketing method!
About 1% of your followers will typically see a Facebook post unless you’ve boosted it using ad dollars.

You need a way to keep in contact with your customers to help them stay up-to-date with your business, start with email marketing.

Another big difference between email marketing and other forms of marketing is that people actually want to see your email promotions! The typical Larson & Associates email gets between 12% to as high as over 77% open rates!

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better
Larson & Associates

3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

3 Parts of Telemaketing


3 Primary Ways to Use Telemarketing
to Grow Your Business

Ask yourself or any business owner to name a few of there best marketing channels for bring in more business and they’ll reel off an array of answers. You’ll probably hear social media, email marketing, direct mail and other digital strategies. It is wonderful to have so many ways to market as well as confusing. Today’s businesses have a entire plethora of marketing alternatives to utilize for outreach, growth and retention.

All those many choices can cause you to forget about one of the more conventional channels sitting right in front of your face on your desk. Your phone!

Telemarketing is one of the most overlooked marketing tools. The traditional idea of picking up the phone to drum up business is out of fashion. The fact is, though, that when done correctly, telemarketing can indeed help you to grow your business.

The 3 Arrows In Your Quiver

Telemarketing is one arrow in your marketing quiver. If you have a unified marketing plan with all your channels aimed at the same place from different directions you come out a winner. Within this vast array you have lots of channels to work with. You’ll want to use as many as you can in combination and in the most effective way possible. Don't use more then you can work 100% effectively but only those that you can execute at a high level of expertise and saturation.

That is why companies like Larson & Associates are here.
We can help take you the next level

In the case of telemarketing, that doesn’t mean old-fashioned cold calling like we did 20 years ago.

It means taking an intelligent approach to growing your business using the phone. Here are the three significant parts we take to grow your company with telemarketing:
1.    Telemarketing to existing customers
2.    Telemarketing to lost customers
3.    Telemarketing for lead generation

Telemarketing to Existing Customers

Growing your business doesn’t always mean attracting new customers. Don't get me wrong, new customers are nice but achieving top drawer customer retention to keep what you already have, easier, less expensive and can often be a better way to achieving your yearly sales goals. Keeping your present customers on board can make more of a difference to your bottom line than you might think.

Telemarketing can aid your customer retention in a variety of ways. Customer care or research calls are good examples. In these instances you are showing your customers that you care, creating a more positive view of you and your company. That makes it less likely that they, the customer will abandon you and start using a competitor.

Researching out to your existing customers can also help you find new opportunities. Asking questions, getting feedback on your products or services can help you fix problems before they become problems. By taking the time to talk about the different and changing needs of the industry, you can find future paths for your business to expand with them.

It is also possible to do some cross-selling or up-selling while telemarketing to existing customers. If someone already buys from you, they’re more then likely to be interested in other products or services you have. They have first-hand experience of your quality of your work and the products and services they are now using so why not more ? Ask! And, existing customers via telemarketing are more likely to answer the phone.

Telemarketing to Lost Customers

A second way to use telemarketing is when you are trying to grow your business via telemarketing that involves customers you’ve lost. It happens to all of us. The one who got away or we did not take a more careful watch over. 

Telemarketing is the easiest and fastest way to restart that energy between the two of you. By that, we mean customers who bought from you before but haven’t done so for a while. That might be as they haven’t felt a need to purchase or could be because they’ve moved over to a competitor. Or it could just mean you messed up and no one had the for-site to call up to make things right.

It may surprise you how successful reaching out to lost customers really is. Just making the call can be enough to help to jog their memories as to how useful your products or services were. What’s more, it shows them how much you care and value their business. Calling and speaking to past customers can rebuild that severed relationship allowing you to again be the brand of choice.

Even if you fail to win them back as a  customer, speaking to them can give you invaluable insight as to what happened. If you’re able to learn why they left you, you can make it less likely for you to lose customers for the same reason in the future. That will aid your customer retention numbers and thus help keep your business growing faster.

Telemarketing for Lead Generation

Lead generation is what most people think of when they think about telemarketing. Cold calling, dialing for dollars. Getting a targeted niche specific list of prospects is an effective way to warm those prospects up and get them to the next level of the sales cycle. When we are making calls it is not necessarily to make a sale but rather to set an appointment or pass a lead on to sales staff to send out information about your companies services. Selling isn't necessarily what you want to think about when talking to a prospect for the first time.

Telemarketing for lead generation isn’t as popular as it once was. We here at Larson & Associates happen to love sitting here drinking coffee and making phone calls all day, one call after another for our chosen clients. Some one on your staff or us here at Larson's should be making those calls. As my sales mentor Hank Trisler use to say, if you were dropped off in Minot ND (which had a high temperature last Tuesday of -5) as a sales person you would have only two choices to makes sales fast. Start walking the streets and knocking on doors or sitting at your desk in your warm comfortable office making telemarketing calls. I think you could make more touches and more sales faster with a phone call to people who you already know use a service or product like you have.

3 Legged Stool Marketing Method

We do it but we do not normally think about telemarketing as the only tool you should be using but thought of as only a part of a broader strategy using different channels and tools to get you a faster, higher rate of return on your calling time and dollar. The Larson Method ties in lead generation calls with other marketing channels. Think about calling prospects who you’ve reached out to with an email but have yet to get a response. Or got that direct mail post card and were "meaning" to call you.

The Larson 3 Legged Stool Method utilizes Direct Mail-Email-Teleprospcting. When put together it forms a 3 pronged attack that hits people, your valued prospects in 3 different ways making a powerful 1-2-3 punch.

Need the knock out left hook? If that is not quite enough I get my Social Media Expert Fred McMurray of My Three Daughters (not sons) fame to work out all your social median needs and you have the can not miss of lead generation and ample supply of leads for a company of any size and kind from a 1-man army to Fortune 500. http://www.larsonassociates.ws/associations  We can put a plan together that fits you and you alone.  We get down in the trenches with you to help you find your niche so you can not just sell to receptive people and companies but to own that niche so you are the one everyone wants to buy from. 

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Direct Mail Works


Put Direct Mail Back In Your Marketing Mix!

You know I am a great advocate of multi-channel marketing. It allows you take advantage of the 5 senses of sighthearingsmelltaste, and touch. 

Outside of a good old face to face sales appointment, and that is not going to happen right now with covid, it is only through your message and your words that you can captivate the heart and mind of your prospects and customers. 

Show them you care. Tell them you care. You need to start the showing this special care in the words you use, not just expressing the feelings but also explaining how you understand the problems they are having is a great way to start. More so in a Covid world. Then if you are doing niche selling like we at Larson & Associates advocate you most likely really do understand their problems and pain points, maybe even more then they do themselves, all the good and bad of the market because of your fuller broad-based understanding.

Direct mail does not have to be dull!

Direct mail at first glance might appear to lack the glitz and glamour of digital marketing. No bells. No whistles. But with all the new innovations maybe not! Print technology like spot digital varnish or digital foil have burst onto the the scene in the last year. Are you taking advantage of those new exciting innovations along with variable data capabilities which came into use a few decades ago with the promise of fast, highly personalized campaigns? Smell you ask? Yes you can get scented pieces of mail. Really, The perfume companies have know this for a long time. Is it time for you to start stinking? Sound? Oh yes with little chips you can talk through the mail. If you have the voice for it sing out loud and strong!

As direct mail technologies have evolved, and as email in-boxes have filled with needless spam looking offers, many marketers are finding that a targeted direct mail added into the marketing mix can cut through the clutter and deliver many of the those same advantages that companies have been enjoying from online marketing. In addition, with many offices closed during the pandemic, physical mail is often reaching people when they are home as well as phone calls and this mail into their almost empty mail box might be providing a pleasant diversion from the daily routine of life.

Many of these prospects are welcoming mail as a point of contact with the world outside their homes. The good thing about mail is that you can touch it, you can feel it, you can smell it and you can see it. If you want to taste it I don't want to hear about it, lol. That alone makes a difference, particularly now, when we can't even really touch or see each other.  Although direct mail volumes are down significantly that is a good thing for you. As marketers headed off to Zoom-land from last March onward amid the contraction of the economy and marketing budges kept shrinking it opened up more space for those who kept doing what worked. As I call them, the basics of Direct mail, Email and Telemarketing using zooming in-place of face-to-face sales calls.  As we move into the start of 2021 and the new year, we are starting to see an increase in direct mail use requests putting aside the slowness because it works! And it holds up one leg of the marketing stool in a way the others can not!


Can We Help You?

Take a look or re-look at direct mail. You might be surprised but what mail is capable of doing for you.

What we have found is that when people unsubscribe from an email list, many times it's not because they don't want to have a relationship with you and your brand. Sometimes they're are just overwhelmed by the number of emails so unless yours is really good and keeps striking a special note you will not make the short list forever.

So is it time to go wide open multi-channel?

Should your company be using a strategically timed mulit-channel. multi-touch campaigns involving emails, follow-ups phone calls and postcard mailings?

You think we should talk?  The return on investment numbers say. . .  Yes.

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Howard Larson / Who's Who In America


In a covid world
Howard Larson
has been nominated to

In America 2020

Working in the covid world of 2020 has shown the business model of a virtual office that Howard Larson and Larson & Associates starting using back in in 2004, 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. Fortunately we have been able to give clients access to things like Penetrexx, an Antimicrobial chemical made in the USA to keep surface integrity between disinfection applications. This has helped to keep client offices and factories open and as covid free as possible. 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 despite covid, our year over year clients who are using the Larson & Associates 3 Legged Stool Method of Marketing have been seeing growth above 9% 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 45th 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.

Marquis Who's Who

Marquis Who’s Who was established in 1898 and promptly began publishing biographical data in 1899. More than 120 years ago, our founder, Albert Nelson Marquis, established a standard of excellence with the first publication of Who’s Who in America.

Selection of individuals for listing in its publications "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 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

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Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way     Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030