7MS #467: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying - Part 9

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Hey everybody! I stayed in a hotel for the first time in over a year and boy oh boy...I hope I didn't get COVID from the bedsheets!

Anyhow, on that journey I thought of some things that I think will help your business on the marketing/project management/sales side to be more successful and less annoying. DISCLAIMER: I have no formal training in these areas, but I've been on both sides of the table for a number of years, and I think I'm getting a better idea of what clients do and don't like during the sales process. These things include:

  • Reduce layers of people complexity - don't have 17 of your people on the client intro/pitch call and then ghost them once they actually want to buy something!

  • Keep project management just complicated enough - I like project management tools and spreadsheet task-trackers like Smartsheet but I'm trying to let the client lead as far as how much detail they need when tracking their projects. By default, we create a document with a high level map of project milestones, timelines and key contact information. We update that as often as the client likes.

  • Personalize responses to Web leads - if you have an info@ or sales@ address for your business, I think you should personalize the response you give folks who write in. They wrote you for a reason! Don't just copy/paste some generic "Hey you wanted info about our company so here it is blah blah blah" response, that doesn't make people feel like you give a rip about their needs. Think of something personal to say in the reply. "Oh, I see you're in Minnesota. I'm a big Twins fan!" Something like that. Simple, easy and personal.

  • Don't sign people up for junk without asking - in this episode I give an example of a vendor we looked at (but didn't select) for some services, and the company decided to automatically sign ups up for a bunch of electronic and paper mailings. That's super annoying!

  • Don't stink at LinkedIn - in the last episode of this series, I told you about a guy who (to me) wins LinkedIn and the Internet because he sent me a personalized video LinkedIn invitation - it was awesome! Be more like that guy, and less like the mosquitoes who send invites like "Hi, I noticed you're human and figured we should be LinkedIn BFFs" and then sign you up for a non-stop barrage of sales pitches!

  • Bug people "just enough" - if you've had an awesome scoping call for a potential project and the client has received and reviewed the SOW, stay in touch with them periodically - even if it feels like you're being ghosted.

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