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The News Chair

Getting to Know You and Your Business

Lisa Deremiah

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

No matter what business or organization you might be in, there is likely some element of sales or business development involved.

It’s a job not for the faint of heart. You hear “no” many more times than “yes” — or you may not hear back at all. As far as a personality that works best in this environment, you’ve either got it or you don’t.

And Coles Marketing’s Lisa Deremiah has it — in spades.

 

Doing business with people

Lisa Deremiah

Lisa Deremiah

“I always have a list of potential clients I want to get in touch with,” Deremiah said. “I look at specific industries we do well with or want to get more involved with, and I do a lot of research online.” What’s she looking for?

An outdated website. No social media presence. Lack of media relations. A sales or business development professional will attempt to make a needs assessment even before reaching out to the client or customer.

“I try to find out who makes the marketing decisions and get them on the phone if possible,” she said. “And if that doesn’t work, I try to capture their email address and reach out to them that way.” But that’s certainly not her ideal situation.

“Technology has, of course, made some things easier and more efficient, but not everything. It’s definitely harder to get a face-to-face meeting now than it was five or 10 years ago, but I think face-to-face contact is still very important. People do business with people.”

Once the connection is made, Deremiah gives her pitch, which includes the reason she is calling, a brief background of Coles Marketing’s services and the opportunity to follow up with a meeting.

 

Positive pieces of business development

“It’s about follow up and consistency,” she said. “Maybe it’s a brush off, but if I connect with someone who is willing to do a follow-up call or email, that means they might want to work with us in the future.”

She has other advice for being more effective in a sales or business development position:

  • Be nice. Have a positive attitude on the phone. And make a good first impression in person — be polite, arrive on time, dress properly and have a firm handshake.
  • Listen more. A business relationship is much like a personal relationship. If you don’t click, you’re not going to move forward with the business — so listen to their needs more, and talk about your own accomplishments less.
  • Know your product. “I’m the first impression of Coles Marketing to potential clients, so I have to be knowledgeable about all we do and all we can offer,” Deremiah said.
  • Find out the answers. Go into your initial meeting as more of a fact finder. And if a question is asked you don’t know the answer to, make it a point to find out.
  • Perfect follow-up skills. Whether it’s a handwritten thank you, an email or a phone call, take the time to follow up after your meeting.
  • Offer a helpful tidbit. Part of your follow up can be sending a piece of helpful information — a case study demonstrating how your company has solved a problem; a website to check whether or not their website is mobile friendly; or an article appropriate to their industry.

 

One step closer to a yes

And finally, keep your promises. “I do what I say I’m going to do to the best of my ability,” Deremiah said. “That creates trust and lays a positive foundation.”

What about the frustration of getting all the “no” responses? It’s all part of the job.

“You have to not let it tear you up,” she said. “That’s why having a positive attitude is so important. Plus, every ‘no’ is one step closer to a ‘yes.’”

Interested in talking with Lisa about what Coles Marketing can offer your business? Call her at 317-571-0051 ext. 104 or email lderemiah@colesmarketing.com.

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Categories: 2015 August Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

King of Content Rules the Internet

web-only-video

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

Globally, consumer Internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019, up from 64 percent in 2014. The sum of all forms of video will be in the range of 80 to 90 percent of global consumer traffic by 2019, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index.

Think about that. Video will be 80 to 90 percent of global consumer Internet traffic in just a few years. Why is video paramount to our online presence?

Coles Marketing Videographer Shawn Sorrells said video is so popular across Internet traffic on a global level because while “content is king,” video is the king of content.

“Video can tell a story and capture with it emotion and sincerity,” he said. “And it also gives brands the chance to feature testimonials from a consumer’s viewpoint. Being able to see and hear that personal voice of the consumer is much more believable.”

 

Easier to create, faster to deliver

Shawn Sorrells

Shawn Sorrells

Aligned with the influence video has is the ease with which you can now create your own video, post it online and share with the masses.

“Even five years ago, smartphones and other mobile devices weren’t as proficient with handling video as they are today,” Sorrells said. “That’s also true of the speed of your mobile device and of the cellular network you’re using — both are delivering data more quickly and efficiently than ever before.”

As noted by the Cisco Visual Networking Index, broadband speeds will double by 2019 — reaching 43 Mbps, up from 20 Mbps in 2014.

With faster speeds and user-friendly video apps for basic effects, consumers can become their own multimedia videographer and editor. But anyone loading video to the Internet still needs to make sure it’s a video worth sharing.

 

Produce a share-worthy video

“The video needs to be visually captivating beyond what you see on a day-to-day basis,” Sorrells said. He offered these video production tips:

  • Tell the story: As with any story, there should be a beginning, middle and end.
  • Use proper lighting: Make sure the light is bright enough but the shot isn’t backlit too much. The environment needs to be free of distractions and shadows, and keep people away from walls and windows. It’s better not to use the flash — good natural lighting is best.
  • Make the background interesting: Have a splash of color from a plant, wall painting, etc., to give a little pop without it being the focus.
  • Make the audio a priority: Use a microphone whenever possible, whether it’s a boom, stick, lavalier or handheld mic. And if you only have the onboard mic from your camera or mobile device, get as close as possible to the subject who is speaking.
  • Shoot more video than you need: Having more video will give you more options when editing and more ways to tell your story that you may not discover until after the shooting process.

 

It’s all about telling the story

What about once the video is shot? Depending on your operating system, Sorrells suggested iMovie and Windows Movie Maker as some of the best free video editing software applications available.

“Use a variety of different shots in your video and be precise,” he said. “Every shot has a purpose to help you tell the story and get the message across. And when you’re done, watch it — and have others watch it — before you go live. Because once it’s out there, it’s out there.”

Coles Marketing’s in-house creative team has the tools and talent for all your photography and video production needs. Learn more!

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Categories: 2015 July Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Can’t Get No (Client) Satisfaction?

Barbara Coles

by Barbara Coles

It’s a fact: service-committed organizations are more profitable, have lower marketing costs, suffer fewer client complaints and enjoy more repeat business than those with little or no commitment to client satisfaction.

Whether in the smallest town or the largest city, you are your practice, firm or company. Everything you say and do impacts your image positively or negatively. Therefore, everything about you – from your personal appearance, to the way you deal with your employees and clients – is a billboard advertising your firm. Here are some client-satisfaction tips to help you attain or polish a positive image and retain valued clients:

Knowledge of the Client
Go straight to the source. Ask your clients, what do you need and expect from our firm? Do the supporting divisions (clerical staff, billing, etc.) of our firm work seamlessly and equally as hard to serve you? Which details have the most positive or negative impact on your satisfaction?

Once you have asked these questions, you’ll find that clients will generally evaluate your service quality on the following factors:
• Reliability: The ability to provide as promised, dependably and accurately.
• Responsiveness: Helping clients eagerly and in a timely manner.
• Assurance: The competence, trustworthiness and courtesy that is shown.
• Follow-through: Paying attention to often-ignored details.

Reliability
Good client service does not mean doing the impossible. The tendency is to promise the client “the moon” in order to cut-off the competition. There’s one problem with this approach: it’s impossible to deliver “the moon” on a regular basis. And, once you have managed the impossible once, you have created an unrealistic expectation. Attempting to achieve the impossible too often may create a high level of turnover and ultimately results in a service failure. This may result in a client who doesn’t return or, worse yet, in one who tells others about their unhappy experience.

Conversely, being reliable puts you in a position to shape your clients’ expectations to match what you can provide. It’s in your firm’s best interest to educate your clients regarding your work requirements, timetables and processes. There will be occasions when circumstances will not allow you to meet a client’s needs. If you have dealt reliably with that client in the past and explain your situation, along with your unwillingness to disappoint them, then your client will know that you have been honest and concerned about his or her satisfaction.

Responsiveness
Timely response has always been important in business. Be sure to ask your client some background about his or her project and its urgency so that you can gauge what he or she really needs before setting a deadline. If your deadline doesn’t work for the client, partner with them by working within reasonable bounds to get them as much of what they need as you can within the time constraints. If it simply can’t be done, brainstorm alternatives.

Dissatisfaction is usually a byproduct of uncertainty. Educate your client on matters where you think he or she may be confused or uninformed. This will help to put your client at ease, and instill them with trust in you to keep them informed.

Assurance
There’s no substitute for competence. Good service is built on attention to detail and client needs. Good service is also built on knowledge, confidence and know-how. Good reputations are built on assurance, the substance that makes your clients believe you will deliver:

• Client knowledge
• Legal knowledge
• Company knowledge
• Listening skills
• Problem-solving skills

Follow-through
Send a service evaluation form to your clients. The information you get from it will help you gauge your success, and it will leave the client feeling as if his or her future satisfaction is truly your goal. Similarly, a sincere and timely note of thanks to clients can create a positive impression, boosting your image and bringing repeat business.

In a world long on hype and short on quality, most people are willing, even eager, to share their discovery of good service. Maintaining good service is maintaining your good reputation – the most effective (and least costly) form of advertising available.

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