12 steps to persuasive conversations

IMG_1012If you consider the many hundreds of conversations you have each week, some long, some short, some business related, some not, then it will become clear to you that this is a vital part of our business and social lives.  We can do little without becoming involved in a conversation, whether collecting an order from a client, or ordering lunch in a restaurant. Therefore by turning our attention to these conversations and improving their content, you will be able to improve the standard of your conversations.

In a business context, this means improved relationships with your clients, prospects, peers, staff and management.  In your personal life you will also have the opportunity to improve your relationships and persuade others to your point of view without browbeating them. The basic rules that you should follow 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 other’s 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 your 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) an 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 but 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 person’s 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 have 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.

How to use your credibility to be a great speaker

email selling is deadLove them or hate them, presentations are a large part of a salesperson’s life.  They can vary from a quick 5 minute impromptu talk for one person to a structured talk to many hundreds of delegates at a major exhibition.

All presentations hinge on the speaker’s ability to hold their audience’s attention.  There are many reasons why an audience may be listening to a speaker so the speaker needs to understand why the audience is listening to them.

For example, if people have paid to attend a motivational seminar, the speaker is likely to have a very receptive audience to start with.  How receptive the audience is after they started is down to the speaker!  If a manager has bullied a sales team into attending a product presentation, the speaker is less likely to start with a receptive audience.  Again it is down to the speaker whether the audience will stay dis-interested or will start to sit up and respond to the presentation.

Step number one in preparing your presentation is to consider the audience. You must establish credibility in the eyes of your audience.  Remember: beauty is in the eye of the beholder!  For your presentation to succeed you need your audience to believe that you have the knowledge, authority and right to talk on the subject.  This task can vary depending upon the audience.  If you are talking to three people who know and respect you already, your credibility is beyond question.  If you are presenting to an audience that does not know you, you will need to build credibility.  Here are some of the factors you can use to build credibility with your audience:

Display your credentials

  1. 1.       Nothing establishes competence better than credentials.  You don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winner, but any Degrees, certificates and licences you hold that are relevant to your audience add weight to your character.
  2. 2.       If you have any honours or awards, even something ten years ago for being the best hamburger salesman can be relevant to a group of salespeople!  Has your community, or charity honoured you?  All of these seemingly small points help to build your credibility with your audience.
  3. 3.       Have you ever been published?  Even an article five years ago in a trade journal carries weight.  There is still something about the printed and published word that impresses people.
  4. 4.       What experience do you have?  Presumably you are working in the industry about which you are presenting.  Experience is important – it implies competence.

So how do you inform your audience about your impressive credentials?  It is a bit unseemly to stand up and launch into a ten minute commercial for yourself and how great you are!  The best way is to let the person introducing you handle the bulk of the chore.  Prepare a written briefing for them to read.  If this is not possible as you are not being introduced, you will need to introduce the relevant points into your presentation.  Don’t force them, use them as logical supports for your points.

Associate yourself with high-credibility organisations

Can you claim membership of a credible organisation or, failing that, link yourself to one?

Admit failings

You can build credibility by admitting past mistakes or shortcomings.  Doing so will help you be perceived as honest.

Display similar values

People have a natural tendency to believe those who hold similar values, beliefs and attitudes and to distrust those who don’t.  If you have similar values to your audience let them know early in your presentation.

Lead by example

Are you recommending a particular course of action?  If so, it will lend credibility to your presentation if you can show that you have already followed your own advice.  Any time you can reference an action that supports what you’ll be saying – do it.

Find testimonials

It is far more convincing for someone else to sing your praises.  Get quotes from satisfied customers and industry figures held in high regard.  Get the person introducing you to work some of these into their introduction and use some yourself in your presentation.

Now that you have prepared to build your credibility to an all-time high with your audience all you have to do is to deliver your presentation and sit down!

The best Time Management tip… ever!

IMG_3310_lgThere must have been more books written about time management than any other area of business.  I personally know of over 30 and they all miss the point!

Traditionally time management has helped you to manage your time to fit in the maximum activities with the minimum wasted space.  Unfortunately most systems do not distinguish between important, urgent, not important and not urgent so you end up doing more but not doing the things that need doing the most.

Steven Covey tells a story of how in one of his seminars he asks some delegates onto the stage and presents them with a large jar and some big stones.  He asks them to get the maximum they can into the jar.  Once they have put as many of the large stones into the jar as possible he asks them how to get more into the jar.  They say they can get no more in.  He then presents them with some smaller stones that they can fit in around the big ones.  After they have fitted as many of these in as possible he asks them the same question.  Someone suggests filling the cracks with sand so they do this.  The jar is now completely full and they are confident that they cannot fit in any more until he presents them with a jar of water!

The point of the story is that if they had started with the water, sand and small stones then they would not have accommodated the big stones in the jar.  The same is true when managing your time.  Identify the “big stones” and then fit in the other bits around them.  In order to identify your “big stones”, perform the following exercise:

Print this out and fill out on the six blank lines below your six most important things that you need to do today:

  1. ___________________________________________
  2. ___________________________________________
  3. ___________________________________________
  4. ___________________________________________
  5. ___________________________________________
  6. ___________________________________________

Start off doing number one until it is finished or you can do no more then move on to number two, then number three and so on.  The reasoning behind this is that these are the six most important things that you must do today.  If you do not do them this way, then you were not going to do them any other way and at the very least you have made a start on the most important things in your life.

This idea comes from a young business analyst who was asked by the boss of a large American steel company to help him improve his efficiency.  The young man asked the steel boss to perform exactly this exercise.  The steel boss was so impressed with the results that he told all of his managers and soon the whole company was using the technique with dramatic results!

The young man suggested that the steel boss simply send him a cheque in a few months for whatever he felt the idea was worth.  The young man received a cheque for $25,000!!

Review your six most important actions above and try this technique for a week – it really does work.

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.

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.

How free images could cost your business a fortune…

011_004We wanted to tell you the great news that Getty Images has recently announced; “Getty Images is making over 35 million photos available for FREE!” Read the BBC announcement here.

However, there are some limitations about when you can and cannot use one of Getty’s “free” images. PCWorld says “Use of Getty’s photos online must be for non-commercial use”. Follow this link to read the full story.

So what does non-commercial use mean?
Does this include your blog or website?
When are we allowed to use a free photo from Getty Images without receiving a nasty letter threatening legal action for inappropriate use?

We decided to look into this further. As a specialist sales company with our own blog writing and maintaining article libraries, news areas and blog for our clients, we do not want to risk reputation damage or put our necks on the line.

We have done some further research so you don’t have to. And it seems this is a rather grey area… We asked for some independent legal advice and this is what we were told about this issue.

“You are best advised to engage a copyright lawyer, but they will give you a yes and a no answer”… So this still leaves you and us in the dark and even more confused about using photos that are claimed to be free.

We delved deeper into this and decided to go straight to Getty Images for an answer:

“You may only use embedded Getty Images for editorial purposes (meaning relating to events that are newsworthy or of public interest). Getty Images may not be used for any commercial purpose (for example, in advertising, promotions or merchandising) or to suggest endorsement or sponsorship; in violation of any stated restriction; in a defamatory, pornographic or otherwise unlawful manner; or outside of the context of the Embedded Viewer.”

From what we researched we would give anyone that wants to use a photo for their blog, website or other commercial uses the following advice:

  1. Refer to the Creative Commons licences. If you want to give people the right to share, use, and even build upon a work you’ve created, you should consider publishing it under a Creative Commons license. You can choose to allow only non-commercial uses and protect the people who use your work, so they don’t have to worry about copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the conditions you have specified.
  2. When searching for photos, try using Google’s advanced search. This option enables you to search for images that are available to use, share and even modify for commercial use.  To do this select ‘advanced search’ then in the ‘usage rights’ drop down select the best option that suits you.
  3. Seek out other good places to find free high quality photos to use for your website, blog & other commercial uses. 4 to get you started are: Pixabay, Unrestricted Stock, Hubspot and Unsplash.

But beware that you need to read the terms of these sites carefully especially when using these images for commercial use. We do not think sites like these always have proper clearances from, say, the model in the photo for you to use their image for your business.

This is what one site says “Pixabay cannot be held responsible for any copyright violations, and cannot guarantee the legality of the Images stored in its system. If you want to make sure, always contact the photographers. You use the site and the photos at your own risk!”

B2B Buyer Behaviour: how to convert more quality leads

Derek Singleton - Software AdviceDerek Singleton of Software Advice has recently written a report on B2B buyer behaviour by in which a study found 3 key findings:

  1. Call leads fast- really fast
  2. Tuesday- Thursday is the best time to reach buyers
  3. Don’t underestimate the opportunity around the holidays

The findings show that calling prospects straight away can significantly improve your ability to qualify leads generated from a campaign. Also, there are certain times of the year, week and day when you need to plan your in-house sales team’s capacity to maximize your ability to turn click-throughs into leads.

The report suggests that if you call a lead within 5 seconds, the odds of qualifying them are 29% higher than if we call within 5 minutes.

Derek Singleton says “Our report shows that when a buyer contacts us directly for information—requesting a price quote or product demo, for instance—there is a significant benefit to calling that buyer right away. “It was amazing to see that if we call a buyer within 5 seconds of converting, we qualify that buyer at a rate 30 percent higher than our average qualification rate.”

At Nett Sales we think this research is definitely valid. We aim to follow up a message as quickly as possible by tracking who has clicked and opened the message. We follow up with a call to find out what prospects thought and how relevant it is to their needs.

The research also highlights leads that come in Tuesday through to Thursday qualify at twice the average qualification rate for other business days.

This makes sense and is something that we at Nett Sales already endeavour to follow. Calling prospects on a Monday or Friday is not as successful as the rest of the week, as these are day’s people of most likely to have off and be away from the office.

The week before Christmas is surprisingly active for conversion and qualification rates.

This may come as a surprise to some businesses, as you may think that in the run up Christmas and other holidays, businesses are starting to wind down and are not thinking about B2B buying. But during Christmas and New Year many companies and looking to allocate their budget and have the time to read emails and research online.

Derek Singleton gives some valuable advice by saying “Of course, it’s also important to understand that not every buyer deserves a call right away. If a buyer contacts you indirectly—by completing a form to download a whitepaper, access video content, or view other gated material—then you should consider nurturing, rather than calling, the lead. As sales and marketing professionals continue to compete for the attention of B2B buyers on the Web, understanding their online behaviour will be critical to success. Hopefully our data helps provide a fresh perspective for online B2B buyer behaviour.”

If you would like to read the report in full for more details, follow this link. 2013 Online B2B Buyer Behaviour Report. If you would like to learn more about what Nett Sales does and how these principles from the report can help you gain more sales more quickly contact our team on 01672 50 50 50.

Give your resellers the gift of your product knowledge this Christmas

sales statsBusiness is steady but you want to make a big impact in your market to become a key player for 2014. You sell through a channel and have many resellers but some better than others!

Generally 80% of your sales come from 20% of your resellers.  So the 80% of your resellers offers a major opportunity for you (see this blog talking about the “other 80%”).

But how to engage them?

Leads are the traditional answer but many channel professionals argue that leads are not at the top of the list that resellers really want. Mauricio Roa suggests “I believe that leads should not be the centre point of a program.”

Providing an untrained reseller with great leads usually just makes them look foolish.  Resellers need knowledge and training to generate a sale.

A channel expert with lots of experience with resellers, Andy Harcup says “there is no better value than teaching the reseller to prospect. If you arrange regular vendor sessions that teach the reseller how to prospect properly then leads will come naturally.” Once your dealers understand your products/services and can talk about the benefits they bring to the purchaser, they will be more confident and motivated to make sales for you. Hesham El Komy makes a great point by saying “The quicker and better they are trained the quicker and more effectively they bring in their own net new business.” By training your resellers they will no longer be dependent on your input and leads. They will be able to gain more business for you independently.

So give the gift of great knowledge to your resellers this Christmas for a happy New Year.

The Customer Experience – What people really buy

customerRobert Craven is soon to release a new version of his best-selling book “Customer is King” introduced by Sir Richard Branson.  We have taken a fresh look at this book and put into practice Robert’s advice to help us and our clients.

Robert’s advice has made a big difference to our business as well as our clients’, so much so we have been blogging the results as we go.

This month’s tip covers why your customers are buying from you and how to engage with them to keep them buying more.

What Robert says

Knowing what customers really buy and why they buy from your business is a fundamental step to any successful business regardless of what you’re selling. Robert Craven asks the questions “why do customers buy from you instead of from your competition?” in his best-selling book ‘Customer is King’. He shows there are 4 possible answers to his question:

  1. You know exactly what unique set of advantages you offer your clients, and you set out to capitalise on these advantages.
  2. You offer a unique set of advantages, but you’ve never really identified them yourself.
  3. You offer the client no unique set of advantages and you’re just lucky to be trading.
  4. You are about to go out of business because you are virtually giving your stuff away

Robert suggests that you must figure out the most powerful benefit or advantage that your product/ service offers so that it will be totally irrational for a potential customer to buy from someone else.

This moves us onto the next point that Robert makes about what people really buy. “The only products/ services that succeed are those that offer a benefit to consumers that is greater than the cost (to them).” If you want to sell more and get your customers coming back for more you need to sell the benefits that your product/ service offer the customer and why the need to buy it.

It is important to identify the features of your product/ service. These are the attributes and characteristics of your offering. Once you have done this you can then associate the relevant benefits that each feature will give your customer and why they want your product/ service.

Applying this to Nett Sales

Nett Sales helps its clients get more customers. We work closely with our clients to create compelling campaigns using a blend of email and telephone work to ensure we pass our clients well qualified leads that they can turn into customers.

Robert’s advice has helped us and our clients engage new and existing customers by sending them knowledgeable messages which identify a pain that customers can relate to and how the benefits of the product/service will help them get rid of their pain.

We have worked with each of our clients to recognise the features and the associated benefits for their products/ service which we have used in telephone follow-up calls. This has helped up pass more hot leads to our clients.

Are you looking to do something a bit different with your marketing? Want more sales and to engage more customers? Contact us on 01672 50 50 50 for a friendly chat and to discuss your requirements.

The TRUTH about email subject lines

If you are in any way involved in email marketing, you will KNOW that the subject line is vital to the success of your email campaign.  And all the stats prove it.

But how long should your subject line be?  Well there is a strong body of evidence to help you here:

Econsultancy shows in this article that shorter subject lines are best:

mailer_mailer-blog-full

But then Email Audience says longer subject lines are best:

how_long_should_your_subject_line_be

… Confused?  Well just to finish off, Mailchip guru John Foreman says subject line length means absolutely nothing:

Graph11

As J0hn says “As your subject line gets longer, nothing happens. Cheers.”

So that’s cleared things up then.  There are three schools of thought, one promoting short subject lines, one longer subject lines and one neither.  So what I would urge you to do if you want to get your subject line working for you is to go back and read the detail of all three of these articles because they all really say the same thing in the end: “your audience is made up of individuals and will respond like individuals.  Figure out what interests them and what they respond to and give them more of that”.