Agile creative: the future of email?

See on Scoop.itSelling through Channels

Agile email creative means creating and curating email content not before send, or at send (with automated or dynamic content) but at the moment the customer opens or re-opens an email.

See on econsultancy.com

Simple steps for measuring email campaign effectiveness

See on Scoop.itEmail selling for client acquisition and retention

As a follow on from a post I wrote in March, eight best practice tips for writing effective email copy, I’m tackling the wonderful topic of campaign effectiveness.

See on econsultancy.com

12 Steps to Outstanding Sales Conversations

IMG_1108You may have hundreds of conversations each week, some long, some short, some business related, some personal. But not all conversations are equal and your sales conversations are probably the most crucial to get right.

Therefore by turning your attention to these conversations and improving their content, you will get more sales. Big claim, I know, but read on and humour me for a minute…

The basic rules are as follows:

  1. Think of a chess clock.  This is two clocks in one.  Only one of which is running at any one time.  When one player has made his move, he presses the button on his side.  This stops his clock and starts his opponents.  When his opponent has finished his move, he presses the button on his side.  This stops his clock and re-starts the first player’s clock.If you view your conversations in this way, giving your “opponent” a chance to talk then when she has finished, she will give you the chance to talk.  Apply the “two ears to one mouth” rule so that if they “overrun”, you can gently interrupt with a closed question (one that required only a one word answer) and then start talking.

    Shining the light on the other person in this way will help her to open up and give far more information than you would have received otherwise.

  2. Maintain eye contact.  If you keep looking at the other person while he is talking, not only will you pick up all of the non-verbal signals he is giving off (unintentionally), but you will also reassure him that you are paying attention and listening.
  3.  Make notes.  I am not blessed with a photographic memory and unless you are, you need to make notes.  This also re-assures the other person that what she is saying is so important to you that you want to write it down!
  4. Don’t finish others sentences.  This ranks as number one most annoying habit with many people.  Tempting as it may be, let him finish – you may be surprised!  This point is particularly important when listening to someone with a stutter.  Let him finish on his own.  He will be extremely grateful and you will build great rapport, as most people automatically finish his sentences for him!
  5. Don’t jump to conclusions.  This goes hand in hand with finishing others sentences.  Give them time to finish and elaborate.  They may well reveal more information than you were expecting.
  6. Do respond.  There is nothing worse than talking to a person who sits with a blank face not saying or doing anything.  We all need the verbal and non-verbal responses to reassure us that we are being listened to and appreciated!  Nodding, smiling, “hmm” and leaning forward in our seat are all reassuring gestures to keep the other person talking.
  7. Watch you speech habits.  The moment you meet someone, they are judging you.  By the time you have spoken a dozen words they will have decided in which “box” you belong.  People will judge you as much by how you say something as by what you say.  If you have a weak ineffectual style then no matter how positive and upbeat your words, you will be judged weak and ineffective.  Watch how you judge other people!
  8. Use Questions.  Questions are great!  You can use them for clarification, to show interest, to voice objection, to show support and many other uses.
  9. Watch body language.  Be aware that your body language speaks far louder that your voice.  If there is a conflict between what you are saying and how you feel about it (maybe you are uncomfortable giving the information) any astute observer will spot the conflict and probably either ask highly penetrating questions or dismiss the information she is receiving.  Where there is a choice, people tend to accept the non-verbal communication (body language, posture, etc.) as accurate and the verbal as false.
  10. Ask “Why?”.  In many situations, this simple three letter word can extract more information than any other approach.  The simple act of asking “Why?” after someone has made a statement and then sitting quietly, leaning forward slightly in your seat, pen poised, will cause most people to gush forth with information.  When repeated (“Yes buy why?”) it can be even more revealing.  It also demonstrates that you are interested in what the speaker is saying.
  11. Take a pause.  There are two good uses of a well-placed pause in conversation.  The first is when the speaker has finished.  If you pause and look as if you expect him to continue, he may well do so and give you more information.  A variation of this is to pause and if he does not continue say simply “..and?”.  This may prompt further where the pause on its own did not.The second use of a pause is when answering a question.  Just before you answer a question pause and take a small breath.  This does two things: first, it gives you a chance to think before replying; and second, it shows that you are considering the question carefully.  This will add weight to your answer in the other persons eyes.
  12. Remember what she said.  If you are able to demonstrate your complete recall of previous conversations with a person, they will be impressed.  Active listening helps you to remember, making notes will also aid your memory.  A useful technique that you can use is to repeat back to yourself everything that the other person says.  As she is talking simply repeat the words to yourself (don’t move your lips!).  You will find that this helps your concentration as well as improving your memory as you are hearing everything twice.During your conversation ask questions about topics that you discussed previously.  She will be impressed that you remembered and you will be able to build rapport.

I have found that jotting down keywords in meetings and then writing up the meeting notes afterwards is the best way of ensuring complete recall.  Review your notes before the next meeting and pick on a few points to raise at this meeting.

The Best Cold Email Pitch I’ve Ever Gotten

See on Scoop.itEmail selling for client acquisition and retention

Don’t get lost in the sea of bad pitches. Learn lessons from the best pitch the HubSpot team has seen in their inbox.

See on blog.hubspot.com

5 Ways to Annoy a Millennial Through Email Marketing – TFM&A Insights

See on Scoop.itEmail selling for client acquisition and retention

Straight from a Millennial, here’s what not to do on email marketing.

See on tfmainsights.com

3 Ways to Jump-Start B2B Sales Productivity

See on Scoop.itSelling through Channels

Jon Vander Ark of McKinsey is the co-author of Sales Growth. As a summary of their findings, Vander Ark and his co-authors recently suggested in the Harvard Business Review that CEOs Need to Get Serious About Sales.

See on blogs.salesforce.com

The Power of Visual Communication

See on Scoop.itEngaging Sales Conversations

The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” may never have been as true as it is now. As we have dived into the age of social media and our attention span is getting shorter and shorter.

See on www.business2community.com

Small businesses: is it really worth being social?

See on Scoop.itEngaging Sales Conversations

Last week I managed to catch myself watching Digby Jones: The New Troubleshooter on BBC2 for the second time in the series.

See on econsultancy.com

B2B Lead Conversion Optimization Tips for the New Year

See on Scoop.itEngaging Sales Conversations

As 2014 creeps in, marketers brace themselves for possibly the most challenging year of the decade so far: the intimidating expansion of technology is expected to rise even higher, new marketing strategies are becoming more popular, and buyer behavior has never been so revolutionized in years.

See on www.callboxinc.co.uk

How to spot a liar

SONY DSCIt is very important to know when a person is being economical with the truth, or just plain lying in any business situation.  To the skilled observer the majority of people can be quickly detected when not telling the truth (I exclude politicians from this as they make a career from avoiding uttering the truth!).

People signify their discomfort with what they are saying through combinations of body language gestures and eye movements.  We are looking for the combination.  Never take one movement in isolation – the person may have a nervous twitch!

Typical body language movements that would indicate discomfort with the spoken message include:

Pulling at the corner of his eye, his ear or his collar.  All of these gestures show major discomfort.  Watch you actions next time you spot a Police car in your mirror when driving.  If you have any reason to feel guilty your free hand will be pulling the bottom of your ear down.  Incidentally, the Police have been trained to look for this gesture – it is so common!

Remember that it is the feeling guilty that generates the reaction, not actual guilt.  This is important when interpreting body language.  If you are dealing with a nervous person and you ask her a direct question that she feels nervous about answering, even if she tells the absolute truth she is still going to exhibit some of these signs, as she is nervous.  It is the combination of changes this is important.

Blushing.  Many people cannot help blushing when they lie.  It may be subtle, but is often noticeable.

Foot Tapping.  This is often a sign of lying, almost as if the person is saying “get on with it, I’m not comfortable with this.”

Movement stops.  When a person is normally animated in their speech, using lots of arm movements and being expressive with his face, he can go very still when not telling the truth.  This is almost as if he fears that movement or expression will give the untruth away.

Eyes shut.  It is a sure sign of lying when someone shuts their eyes as they talk.  The person is worried that you will see the lie in their eyes and so shuts them.

Erratic breathing and flat voice.  Both of these signs come from a person trying to control their body to not give away their discomfort with their words.

Licking/touching lips or mouth.  If you have ever seen a young child tell an untruth, you will often see him put his whole hand over his mouth.  Touching the lips or mouth is an “adult” version of this gesture.  Most people would recognise licking lips as a nervous gesture that can indicate lying if used in conjunction with other gestures.

The eyes.  It has been said that the eyes are the only visible part of the brain.  They can certainly provide you with much information about the thoughts inside a persons head!

Generally, when a person is retrieving past memories, she will look to your left as you face her (she left them there) and if she is in the process of creating new information, she will look to your right.  If you ask here a question to which she should already know the answer (eg, “when is your birthday?”) she should look to the left as you face her to retrieve the information.  If she looks to the right it is an indication that she is creating the information, and in this case as she would already know her birthday, is likely to not be telling the truth.

This incredibly powerful technique can tell you a lot about what the person you are talking to is thinking about.  One word of warning, some left handed people have switched over the functions of the two sides of the brain so they will react opposite to how I have described here.  As long as you know the person, you should with practise be able to almost read their thoughts.

An interesting exercise now that you know what to look for is to watch interviews on television and see how the interviewee’s eyes move with each question – it can be very enlightening!

In summary…  This list of indications of lying should help you to identify those people who routinely avoid telling you the truth and those who only do so occasionally.  This information is extremely useful to you professionally.  A word of warning.  It is unlikely to help your case to blurt out “Liar!!” when a person lies to you.  This will simply entrench him in his position and he will become overtly hostile to you as you have shown him up.  Far better to file the information away for use next time you have to deal with that person.