Learn the Marketing Secret that Will Automatically Attract Customers

Marketing Secret

In the old days, marketers went hunting for customers. Hunting meant identifying and then actively pursuing your target. You spotted the quarry, followed it, and squeezed off a shot. It was the ultimate form of interruption.

The word “interruption” is key. This type of marketing was done aggressively, by interrupting the prospective consumer. We had television ads that interrupted your favorite program. We had door-to-door salesmen who knocked on your door just as you were sitting down to dinner. Then, when the salesman had left and you were just about to resume eating, a telemarketer would call you up. Because there was no caller ID, you felt compelled to answer the phone.

All of these people were hunting for your business. They tracked you down and tried to get your attention. When life was slower-paced, it worked pretty well. You weren’t bombarded 24/7 by messages and media. You didn’t mind answering the door when the Avon lady knocked.

Today, the problem is that it doesn’t matter how great your product or service is, because you, the advertiser, have become an unwanted distraction.

Consumers throw away your direct mail pieces, hang up on the cold calls, and flip to one of the other five hundred or so channels at the commercial breaks during their favorite television show. They are constantly bombarded with thousands of advertisements and unsolicited requests. You have billboards, TV ads, internet ads, pop-ups, and even cell phone advertisements. There are now TVs at the self-service gas pumps. Recently, I was in the restroom at my gym and noticed an ad in front of the urinal. Knocking your consumers over the head with advertising is hunting for business, and no one wants to be hunted. When being hunted, the natural instinct of the prey is to run, avoid contact, and create distance. That’s the consumer or your potential client.

Granted, we still have some forms of interruption marketing, particularly on TV, which people don’t mind. Some TV ads are very entertaining, and they succeed in raising product awareness. They still work, and they’re not going to go away anytime soon.
But today, we have much more sophisticated and cost-effective ways to close the gap between our product or service and our market.

In today’s overcrowded, high-intensity marketplace, fishing is a vastly superior method of making the catch. I define fishing as presenting something desirable in order to attract someone who wants or needs it.

 

Fishing: The New and Better Way to Market

 

As a kid growing up in Lake Providence, Louisiana, my dad often took me fishing. Most of the adults knew a lot about fishing. I knew people who would set up two or three poles with bait, go run errands, then come back hours later and find the catch for the day.
Unlike hunters, fishermen don’t have to work nearly as hard in order to make a catch. It’s much easier. Even when the fisherman was not there, the fish were still attracted and being drawn into his net.

But as any good fisherman will tell you, you can’t just cast your line anywhere and expect a fish will swim along and take it. You have to have insight into what fish want and how they behave.

A good fisherman understands fish. He has taken the time to study and observe their behavior. He knows their likes and dislikes. A fisherman knows when fish like to eat and when they don’t. He knows what dangers or concerns they have within their natural environment. He studies where they like to hang out and gather, and knows where they typically live. He understands what makes a fish tick, if you will. If you don’t take the time to understand your customer, you won’t understand their needs. A business is predicated upon meeting a need. The foundation of any successful marketing is the ability to communicate that you can meet the need of your customer, not to brag and boast about yourself or your company.

Here’s an example. When Starbucks began, the company did zero advertising. None! The CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, always said, “Our stores are our billboard.” The reason his word-of-mouth strategy worked is because he had a deep understanding of what people wanted. As retired Starbucks North American President Howard Behar said, “I saw it was all about the people. We’re not in the coffee business serving people, we’re in the people business serving coffee. I knew that intrinsically.”

Starbucks thought about what people wanted and gave it to them. The core product just happened to be coffee.

Fishing in Action: Direct Mail & Print Marketing

 

In his book Permission Marketing, Seth Godin posited a new approach to marketing called, “permission marketing,” which parallels fishing. In essence, when you present something attractive, customers will give you permission to market to them. They look forward to your marketing. Example, if you are a realtor, instead of bombarding prospects with fliers asking to sell their home, send quarterly or monthly reports on neighborhood homes sales. Homeowners want to know what their home is worth. Now you are offering a benefit, and they view you as the source of information. This results in them being drawn to your bait, giving you permission to market to them. Now they view you as an expert, so when it comes time to sell their home, they’ll come to you.

Whether you are in real estate or some other industry, use the principles of fishing to attract new customers.

 

Social Media Marketing

 

Utilize the same realtor scenario above. Instead of posting that cute hunting headshot with the caption “Call Today,” why not post information on current interest rates or articles about increasing your home’s value or effectively stage a home? Post information that is relevant to your customer, and I guarantee they will bite and be hooked. Then it is up to you to reel them in.

 

Know What People Want

 

Entrepreneurs often forget this simple yet profound little fact: They create a business that they think is wonderful, yet they never stop to think about whether or not the consumer has an appetite for their business. Then, when they go hunting for customers, they don’t find any. Their customers are nowhere to be seen.

Before you begin to market and advertise your business, stop and think. Think about your fish; think about what they need, and want. Customers like to be courted, but they don’t like to be preyed upon. Entice the fish with what they like to eat—at the time that they like to eat—and you’ll catch fish all day, every day!

 


Jerome D. LoveJerome D. Love has been an entrepreneur and professional speaker for 20 years and founded the Texas Black Expo in 2002. He was named a Multi-Million Dollar Top Producer (Prudential Texas Realty), Entrepreneur of the Year (National Black MBA Association, Houston Chapter), and Pinnacle Award Finalist (Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce), and is a popular keynote speaker for both corporate and collegiate events.

Love and was selected as keynote speaker for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Economic Development Summit and the New Mexico State Leadership Conference. He has also shared the speaking stage at conferences with business icons like Priceline founder Jeff Hoffman, Chuck E. Cheese founder Gene Landrum, NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and others.

To learn more about Love or to book him for a speaking engagement, visit his website.  

You can also follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Reality TV Chef Opens Up About Running a Restaurant

restaurant

Have you always wanted to know what running a restaurant is like? WE tv is giving you all the behind-the-scenes look at the highs and lows of doing so, with its new culinary docu-series Hustle & Soul.

The six-episode series—which premiered earlier this month and airs every Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/PT—follows Chef Lawrence Page, head chef and owner of The Pink Tea Cup, a soul food restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. Although the series leans more toward stirring up drama than spilling recipes for success, there are still plenty of business lessons one can ytake away from the program, if running a restaurant has been one of your entrepreneurial dreams.

“I never thought soul food would get me here,” Page told the crowd at The Cutting Room in New York City, during a screening of the series last week. “I’ve made millions, lost millions, and been homeless. […] I lost my life savings behind The Pink Tea Cup, trying to become a chef. I didn’t realize how tough it was. I wasn’t educated about certain ingredients or techniques. I didn’t understand any of that. I didn’t even watch the Food Network.”

“But I didn’t give up on it,” he continued. “I got through it. I got my weight back up. I got my money back up. The food is impeccable. I have a great staff. So, I think we’re winning.”

 

Cast members Candice Roach, Sana Akibu, Dominic D’Angelica, Stefan D’Angelica, Lawrence Page, Ana Lavender and Thandi Stewart attend WEtv’s Hustle & Soul Premiere Party at The Cutting Room on March 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for WE tv)

 

One of his biggest challenges as an owner came after 10 years, when he had to fire his chef in the middle of service, with a packed house—including Denzel Washington—at the restaurant.

Page made it through with some sage advice from his mom: “You can’t buy soul at the store. It’s in you. Figure it out.”

Business Owners Need to View Their Succession Planning as Their Legacy

succession

Over the past 10 years, despite political and economic uncertainties, entrepreneurship and business ownership have helped to close the wealth gap and to create significant wealth for black/African American entrepreneurs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2012 survey (the most recent survey available), there are 27.6 million closely held small businesses in the U.S., of which 29% are majority-owned by ethnic minorities. In 2012, black/African American businesses totaled 2.6 million nationally, with total annual revenue of $187.5 billion, reflecting a 34.5% increase in business ownership, up from 1.9 million in 2007.

In fact, research confirms that business ownership and entrepreneurship are key drivers of significant wealth and legacy creation, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or gender. In an annual industry intelligence report, State of the Affluent—(published by CEG Worldwide, a leading research firm, and WealthEngine, a leader in wealth intelligence)—we learn that 33% of affluent, 74.5% of super affluent, and almost 90% of ultra-affluent households own a business.

The fact that the increase in black/African American-owned businesses represents the highest percentage increase in business ownership among all ethnic groups in the U.S. is important. For these entrepreneurs, an increase in business ownership also translates to significant increases in personal and family wealth, both for the current generation and for future generations. Urging his community toward building a firm foundation for business success, Earl G. Graves Sr., the founder of this publication, noted in a Nov. 3, 2015 publisher’s letter that: “[W]e as African Americans have the capacity to pass on more wealth than any previous generation—wealth needed to continue to finance the progress and empowerment of future generations.” However, citing that nearly 70% of African Americans have no will or estate plan in place, Graves went on to say that, “this potential cannot be realized if we don’t collectively commit to estate planning.”

Many business owners are discovering that with proactive, purposeful planning, much of the newly created wealth can be preserved and even passed onto future generations.

Owners of closely held businesses, in particular, should not only commit to estate planning but also to integrating business succession and exit strategies as part of their overall wealth plan. More than 4 out of 5 closely held businesses are still run by their founder. However, there is a disconnect between the 88% of business owners (according to the Family Business Institute) who believe that they will be able to pass their business onto the next generation, and business succession statistics, which show a decrease in business survival. According to The Family Firm Institute, only about 30% of family and businesses survive into the second generation, 12% are still viable into the third generation, and only about 3% of all family businesses operate into the fourth generation or beyond.

In a separate 2015 study, 64% of business owners over the age of 50 have no formal business succession plan, which puts their largest asset and family’s wealth and security at risk (Five Attributes of Today’s Business Owners,” 2015 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth).

So, what are the things to consider in establishing an estate and business succession plan? First, you will want to consider a few of the key objectives when working with your tax and legal advisers to create a plan, which are to:

  1. Address and achieve certain financial and family objectives
  2. Maintain privacy and control regarding your wealth
  3. Maintain family harmony and ongoing viability of key assets
  4. Maximize your wealth during your lifetime and for legacy and social impact
  5. Preserve wealth from unnecessary taxation and claims of creditors
  6. Minimize liability and claims against your wealth

Next, you and your attorney will want to consider how to properly structure and coordinate your wealth planning to maximize results. Some of the vehicles your attorney can draft for your planning objectives may include the following:

  • Will – makes your intentions known and unambiguous and avoids having the state determine who will receive your wealth
  • Revocable/Living Trust – avoids probate, which otherwise subjects your estate to probate fees and unnecessary public scrutiny
  • Power of Attorney for assets in the event of mental incapacity
  • Health Care POA/Directives – provide clear instruction on who will make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make such decisions
  • Irrevocable Trusts – for making intra-family wealth transfers in a manner that leverages available tax exemptions to enhance family legacy planning

Business owners will also want to consider:

  • Shareholders Agreement (corporations), Partnership Agreement (partnerships), or Operating Agreement (limited liability companies) – establishes plan for managerial succession and instructions on what happens to your interest in the business in the event of death, disability, or retirement,
  • Buy-sell Agreement – formal agreement for selling your interest in the business to an existing partner, family members, or third-party buyer
  • Business valuation – for transfer of a business interest by gifting or sale. A proper business valuation should be considered before making any transfers to family members to address potential IRS challenges regarding valuation.

 

Because of the complexities involved with estate planning, especially when a successful business is involved, it is important that you assemble and tap into a team of experts to help you identify and navigate the planning issues. Your team will provide meaningful insight that will empower you to make better-informed decisions that will positively impact your community, business, and family legacy and wealth.

 

 

 


John Campbell is a wealth strategist for The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, Chicago and works with business owners, CEOs and high net worth individuals. He has a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Tulane Law School.

U.S. Bank and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Each individual’s tax and financial situation is unique. Individuals should consult their tax and/or legal adviser for advice and information concerning their particular situation.

 

Branding Strategist and New Author Offers Insight on How to Intensify Your Company Brand

branding

It’s appropriate that Courtney Rhodes’ new book is about branding.

She has spent the last eight years as owner of Urbanity Communications, an Atlanta-based brand marketing consulting firm. Her clients include Smyrna, Georgia-based Wade Ford Inc., (No. 3 on the 2016 BE 100s Auto Dealer list with revenues of $553.5 million). The business was the Black Enterprise 2016 Auto Dealer of the Year.

Another client is Anthony Liggins, an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist. Rhodes was brand manager of Liggins’ book Art Is Love, Love Is Art, which won the 2014 GD USA American Graphic Design Award, a top honor for graphic design.

One of Rhodes’ biggest accomplishments is helping brand the Wade Ford Concert Series. The long-running event in Atlanta attracts top performers like drummer Sheila E and singer Chrisette Michele.

Rhodes swears each concert helps the dealership create the opportunity to do business with some 1,200 customers through an e-mail blast campaign. “People go to Wade Ford not just to buy a car, but because the company brings value to the community.”

Rhodes is no rookie to entrepreneurship. She also owns TheBrandistaGuide.com, a blog that offers young women of color personal branding, career, and lifestyle tips to develop their brand. Her background includes working in media sales and brand marketing for eight years at some of the nation’s largest media companies, including CBS Television, Uptown and Clear Channel, now iHeart Media.

This year, Rhodes wrote MAKE YOUR MARK: Personal Branding Through “On-Purpose” Living. The self-help guide teaches everyone from professionals to entrepreneurs how to use branding, marketing, and social media concepts to leverage their online and in-person brand to achieve career or business success. The book was published this month and costs about $20.

 

You are a seasoned branding strategist. Why is it important for black entrepreneurs to have a branding strategy before opening a business?

Because we’re in business to make money. When you have a branding strategy that tells you where your customers are, it helps you determine how to speak to them and what approach to use to pull to them in. For instance, a small business might consider using the internet to promote a free event to give back to the community. That type of branding can help you build value and create a buzz with potential customers before the doors even open.

 

What are some strategic factors that might compel a small business to consider using a branding program?

Helping businesses launch a product or service and target new customers are the top reasons clients hire me. A strong strategy helps a small business create brand awareness, inform people about what it does, and creates a buzz about your company. It allows you to tell your story about what makes your business different from rivals, something critical in today’s competitive world.

 

What are some branding pitfalls small business owners could face and how to avoid them?

One of the biggest is a lack of recognition with new businesses popping up around them every day. Other drawbacks could be not actively pursuing or inviting new clientele with a social media strategy. Using social media keeps your brand in the mind of potential clients so that when they are in the market to make a purchase, your brand has top of mind awareness.

 

In addition to your book, what other advice would you offer to a small business trying to build its brand?

I consult clients based on the strategies trending with leading corporate brands and help them to scale their branding strategies and marketing plans to mirror those trajectories.  AdAge.com is good for small businesses wanting to stay abreast of best practices of branding and advertising. LinkedIn.com has a social media marketing group that allows access to cutting edge strategies to enhance your brand.

 


Jeffrey McKinney is a long-time freelance business writer and reporter, contributing to Black Enterprise magazine for several years on a broad range of business and financial topics. 

 
 
 
 

Entrepreneurs—Don’t Make This Common Behavioral Mistake Like Everyone Else

sunk cost fallacysunk cost fallacy (Image: iStock/AnthiaCumming)

 

Have you ever sat through a really bad movie instead of walking out, because you didn’t want to waste the price of tickets? Or, have you worn a pair of shoes that really hurt your feet, but you wear them because they were really expensive?

These are all examples of sunk cost fallacy. BehavioralEconomics.com defines the term thoroughly:

“Individuals commit the sunk cost fallacy when they continue a behavior or endeavor as a result of previously invested resources (time, money or effort) (Arkes & Blumer, 1985). This fallacy, which is related to status quo bias, can also be viewed as bias resulting from an ongoing commitment. For example, individuals sometimes order too much food and then over-eat ‘just to get their money’s worth’. Similarly, a person may have a $20 ticket to a concert and then drive for hours through a blizzard, just because s/he feels that s/he has to attend due to having made the initial investment. If the costs outweigh the benefits, the extra costs incurred (inconvenience, time or even money) are held in a different mental account than the one associated with the ticket transaction (Thaler, 1999).”

Business schools have a saying about sunk cost fallacy: “Throwing good money after bad.” You can make an initial investment in your business—be it in people, money, or time—then not see results, but keep the same routines associated with that investment.

Businesses do this all the time. For example, they may keep a poorly performing employee, or they may pay a monthly fee for software that the business doesn’t really need because it initially took a lot of time and money to set the software up and train employees to use it.

Envato Tuts Plus, a tutorial website and marketplace, offers great advice on how not to fall into the trap of sunk cost fallacy, which can lead to bad business decision-making. Here are a few suggestions from its article, titled Sunk-Cost Fallacy: How to Avoid Bias Based on Past Decisions:

  • “Recognize a sunk cost when you see one. Every investment you’ve already made is money spent. No matter what choice you make today, you won’t be able to recover the sunk cost. So… what’s the best move you can make for the future?”
  • “Remember that ‘I’ve already put so much into this’ is not a valid reason for sticking with an expensive enterprise that isn’t working out.”
  • “Separate your personal pride from your business decisions. Would you look stupid walking away from that pet project you’ve put so much into? Possibly. But you’d look even worse in bankruptcy proceedings!”

 

It’s worth reading the entire post from Envato Tuts Plus to learn more about sunk cost fallacy and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs—Don’t Make This Common Behavioral Mistake Like Everyone Else

sunk cost fallacysunk cost fallacy (Image: iStock/AnthiaCumming)

 

Have you ever sat through a really bad movie instead of walking out, because you didn’t want to waste the price of tickets? Or, have you worn a pair of shoes that really hurt your feet, but you wear them because they were really expensive?

These are all examples of sunk cost fallacy. BehavioralEconomics.com defines the term thoroughly:

“Individuals commit the sunk cost fallacy when they continue a behavior or endeavor as a result of previously invested resources (time, money or effort) (Arkes & Blumer, 1985). This fallacy, which is related to status quo bias, can also be viewed as bias resulting from an ongoing commitment. For example, individuals sometimes order too much food and then over-eat ‘just to get their money’s worth’. Similarly, a person may have a $20 ticket to a concert and then drive for hours through a blizzard, just because s/he feels that s/he has to attend due to having made the initial investment. If the costs outweigh the benefits, the extra costs incurred (inconvenience, time or even money) are held in a different mental account than the one associated with the ticket transaction (Thaler, 1999).”

Business schools have a saying about sunk cost fallacy: “Throwing good money after bad.” You can make an initial investment in your business—be it in people, money, or time—then not see results, but keep the same routines associated with that investment.

Businesses do this all the time. For example, they may keep a poorly performing employee, or they may pay a monthly fee for software that the business doesn’t really need because it initially took a lot of time and money to set the software up and train employees to use it.

Envato Tuts Plus, a tutorial website and marketplace, offers great advice on how not to fall into the trap of sunk cost fallacy, which can lead to bad business decision-making. Here are a few suggestions from its article, titled Sunk-Cost Fallacy: How to Avoid Bias Based on Past Decisions:

  • “Recognize a sunk cost when you see one. Every investment you’ve already made is money spent. No matter what choice you make today, you won’t be able to recover the sunk cost. So… what’s the best move you can make for the future?”
  • “Remember that ‘I’ve already put so much into this’ is not a valid reason for sticking with an expensive enterprise that isn’t working out.”
  • “Separate your personal pride from your business decisions. Would you look stupid walking away from that pet project you’ve put so much into? Possibly. But you’d look even worse in bankruptcy proceedings!”

 

It’s worth reading the entire post from Envato Tuts Plus to learn more about sunk cost fallacy and entrepreneurship.

‘Elevation Strategist’ Zakiya Larry Shares Essential Marketing Tips

zakiya larry

Strategic marketing and branding are essential components of a successful business. Without these skills, it’s almost impossible to attract the attention or clientele you deserve, despite the quality of your goods or service. But just in case you haven’t mastered the art of converting Twitter users into loyal customers with just 140 characters, you can and should sign up for the 2017 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit.

During this annual event, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the “Branding & Marketing Lab”—a workshop designed to help business owners learn how to target prospects in cost-effective ways and leverage media for increased influence, along with other branding techniques. Entrepreneurs will also learn how to effectively use online marketing tools and social media to drive sales and revenue.

This first-class session in marketing will be taught by Zakiya Larry, who specializes in elevating brands and their influence with media coaching, keynote speaking, and overall brand polishing. A highly sought-after media coach and award-winning PR executive, the self-described “Elevation Strategist” is also the CEO of Quest Media Training, a strategic communications firm that provides guidance in interview preparedness, strategic messaging, crisis communications, and public relations.

In the wake of the upcoming summit, Larry gave BLACK ENTERPRISE a preview of the tools and resources she plans to share during the Entrepreneur Summit’s “Branding & Marketing Lab.” The long-time Texas resident also talks about how and why Houston— the location for this year’s Entrepreneurs Summit—is America’s next great black business mecca.

 

What advice would you share with entrepreneurs, especially millennials, about marketing and branding themselves?

 

I always say, “Your brand is your promise.” First, decide what you are promising your audience. Then communicate your promise clearly and consistently on the strongest digital platforms for your following. Don’t create brand confusion by introducing your promise then randomly talking about a different side hustle or something that is inconsistent. Example: Promising uplifting content for millennials, then going on a rant about how you hate #fakefriends and constantly spilling or sipping #tea. Consistency, visual interest, and strategy are key for us millennials when branding in the digital age.

 

 

What are some of the tools, resources, and insights that you will share at the Entrepreneurs Summit?

 

I will share how to boost your business/brand’s influence for FREE, by mastering the media. I will also share how marketing and PR could help or hurt your brand, depending on how and when the two are used (and yes, they are VERY different).

 

Why has Houston been dubbed as America’s next great black business mecca?

 

Houston has an exciting mix of culture, innovation, flair, small businesses and major corporations. I also think the right environment for a black business mecca includes diversity in the industries that matter: from the senior staffs in education to leaders of city government. Houston fits this bill, too. Education creates the pipeline for strong business leaders, and black and brown guides are at the helm. Houston has also elected a black mayor who understands the business needs of people of color, but who clearly and passionately represents all Houstonians, creating an environment for everyone to win…the next black business mecca included.

 

REGISTER NOW to learn how to strategically and effectively market your company at the Entrepreneurs Summit, May 17–20 in Houston.

 

You can get a head start on what Larry will teach during her marketing lab session at the Entrepreneurs Summit by downloading this free gift: tip sheets to Be A Media Maven at www.ZakiyaLarry.com. You can also chat with Larry about media, elevating your brand, and even your mood, anytime @ZakiyaLarry on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

 


Selena HillSelena Hill is the Associate Digital Editor at Black Enterprise and the founder of the award-winning talk show, Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio. You can hear Hill and her team talk millennial politics and social issues every Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @MsSelenaHill.

Seal the Deal with Four Proven Closing Techniques

deal

“Communication is key.”

It’s a phrase you’ll often hear in business and one that sales people should always keep in mind. Your tone of voice, the words you choose, and even your body language all have an effect on the message you’re conveying, especially when you’re trying to close a deal. Even the slightest hint of pushiness could send a prospective client running.

During a sales engagement, representatives should take into consideration the customer’s needs and effectively communicate how the product or service can provide a solution to those needs. If those two rules are followed, closing a sale should go smoothly, regardless of the technique used.

 

Be Direct

 

A prospective client can usually sense if you are being genuine or overselling a product or service. It’s important to convey to the client their needs are what is most important, not just the deal. People value honesty and are more likely to buy something from someone they can trust. It’s essential to prepare answers for every question, but it’s also important to show the customer you care about their best interest. After you have addressed the client’s concerns and questions, ask directly, “Jane, is there any reason why I can’t earn your business today?” This a good closing technique if you truly feel the client understands how your product or service can help them and if you feel confident that your offer is the best solution for them.

 

Use Incentives

 

When applicable, this technique makes all parties happy. The client feels they are getting a good deal on your impressive product and you get to close another deal. Incentives don’t always have to be discounts. For example, letting prospects know “This is the last day we’re offering this price…” or “If you enroll today, we’ll waive the enrollment fee.” However, when applicable, discounts also work: “We are offering a 10% discount for customers who sign up today.” This technique creates a sense of urgency and can help motivate a prospective client who wants to buy, but is moving slowly or is indecisive.

 

Ask Questions

 

Many salespeople focus on closing a sale as soon as a conversation with a prospective client begins. By asking all the correct questions, they eliminate every objection to the purchase and spark a desire or curiosity in the client. To close the sale in the form of a question, you are giving the client a chance to address any other objections they might have while giving yourself a chance to address it and change the client’s mind. For example: “In your opinion, does my product or service solve your problem?” If the answer is “yes,” then purchasing is typically the next step. Another form of a question close is, “Is there any reason why we can’t proceed with the sale?”

 

Pros and Cons List

 

A tried and true way to convince a client to make a decision is to show them that the pros outweigh the cons. This approach works well with analytical personalities but should really only be used if you are sure you have more benefits in the pros column to outweigh the cons.

In sales, there is no such thing as a “sure-fire” technique. Every client and every sales person is different, and tactics should be adjusted accordingly. However, when communicating correctly, these are a few closing techniques that have proven to be successful on a wide scale.

 

 

 


About Stephanie Chung

Based in Dallas, Stephanie Chung and Associates offer sales coaching, sales training, and executive mentorship services nationwide that help you work smarter, not harder. As a former sales executive in the aviation and private jet industry, Stephanie has mastered the art of high-ticket selling and has mentored, coached and developed some of the highest paid, most elite, sales professionals in the country. Serving business leaders, sales executives, and sales professionals, Business Coach Stephanie Chung uses her proven executive coaching and sales training expertise to get the job done. Chung is an executive coach, trainer, and adviser backed by more than 25 years of team management, business development, and sales leadership experience. She counsels sales executives and business professionals in a diverse array of strategies and tactics. Chung is also a public speaker, contributor of The Change Book Series and author of “Profit Like a Girl: A Woman’s Guide to Kicking Butt in Sales and Leadership” and “Embrace the Suck: How to Grow and Succeed in Business.”

8 Industries That Lend Themselves to Franchising Well

Franchising

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

 

  1. Concierge Services

 

It would be good to have city-based concierge services for travelers and people new to cities that could offer assistance on finding anything they may need. While people can do this online to a certain extent, it’s not as personalized as it could be. This could be a way for a brand to bring together many types of services under one franchise brand.

Murray Newlands, Sighted

 

  1. Green Energy

 

As the “Enernet” grows in popularity, a lot of companies should take advantage of the demand in even the most remote areas. Instead of leveraging capital to meet the demand, franchising and licensing aspects of the business to construction companies and stand-alone shops can help meet the demand and further persuade more consumers to make the switch from fossil fuel and nuclear-based energy.

Cody McLain, SupportNinja

 

  1. Tattoo Parlors

 

I’ve always wondered why tattoo parlors have no franchise options, especially with an eye toward bringing respectability to the business with an emphasis on hygiene, safety, no-pressure sales, refusing to tattoo minors and other options that would take tattoo parlors out of the medieval mindset they seem to enjoy. They should guarantee a certain skill level, mandated classes and certification, etc.

– Brandon Stapper, 858 Graphics

 

  1. Wearable Technology

 

Now that we’ve figured out how to make wearable technology that’s stylish, it’s probably going to be in stores a lot more. But having a franchising business dedicated to new tech could appeal to a certain demographic.

Thomas Smale, FE International

 

  1. World Travel

 

Gone are the days when you had to walk into a local mall or travel agent to book your location. Now it’s all online and automated. However, this is still a very personal and usually expensive decision. The world of booking travel is one that could easily be franchised to independent brokers or agents who can work out of their homes while focusing on being great salespeople.

Zac Johnson, Blogger

 

  1. Healthy Fast Food

 

Fast and convenient will always sell in the food industry. Even big box brands are introducing organic and all-natural versions to stay competitive within the marketplace. The younger generation is starting to demand healthier options and many smaller drive-thru restaurants and ready-made fitness food restaurants are thriving concepts, presenting a great opportunity for a franchise model.

Hillary Hobson, Highest Cash Offer

 

  1. Anti-Aging and Wellness Centers

 

Men, particularly successful entrepreneurs between 30-40, are taking care of themselves. Gone are the Don Draper health routines of the past. The anti-aging space from botox to floatation tanks is booming after an initial beachhead in large metro areas. Clinics and spas are popping up across smaller “micro-urban” town across the country and the demand is stirring.

Ryan Bradley, Koester & Bradley, LLP

 

  1. On-Demand Car Wash

 

Automated car washes did it already. On-demand car washes are leaning that way. The Uber-type business model is picking up quickly. Few companies out there are trying to break ground outside their state and, in some cases, their country. I think that “on demand”  businesses will go the franchise way and be better off.

Adrian Ghila, Luxe RV, Inc.

 


BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

“Bee-Coming Your Brand University” is Educating Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs

bee-coming

As corporate mavens and emerging or established entrepreneurs, we sometimes get so consumed with making sure that we’re building a strong foundation that we forget about one of the major components of building a solid business…actually becoming our brand.

Well, Brittni Brown, CEO of The Bee Agency public relations has set out to change that.

Established in 2011, The Bee Agency has represented several well-known brands. Now, with a team of associate professors, they have turned their mission of promoting the talents and businesses of their clients to educating them on the importance of becoming a “walking, breathing and publically known” representation of their business.

Black Enterprise got a chance to sit down with Brown and learn why the “Bee-Coming Your Brand University” is so important, and how it’s going to do more than educate, but revolutionize as well.

BE:  In your opinion, what makes a successful brand?

BB: In my opinion, a successful brand isn’t solely measured on just earnings. A successful brand is measured by you, as the owner, defining what your highest peak of expectations, reachable goals, and target connection looks like. When you reach those daily/weekly goals, that’s success. It’s an accomplishment that’s set in place to making your brand. Every win or accomplishment within your brand should be viewed as a piece of success. Every win should come with a re-evaluation to see how you can achieve bigger or accomplish more to serve your target.

BE: As an emerging young professional, why is it so important to recognize your brand and perfect your pitch?

BB: You will get stuck in your tracks if you don’t know you who you are—period. I can use my own story as a prime example. I went to start my agency, got clients, and was just working and working and things got cluttered. I didn’t have a lane; I was just going because I wanted to work hard. Rule No. 1, work smarter, not harder. It will all fall in place once everything is clear.

Recognizing your professional brand is key to molding your brand portfolio, identity, and understanding your professional goals and target. Once this is laid out, you can work to on crafting your pitch. Your pitch is something you can use during interviews, in your portfolio or bio. It’s your mini “about me” but the verbal version. This is what separates you from others; it clearly touches on your key points—introducing what you can and have achieved; it adds values to you telling the world how great you are. Perfecting your pitch is key. It’s the new wave introduction.

BE: How will the “Bee-Coming Your Brand University” revolutionize the way millennials approach crafting and becoming their brand?

BB: The University is geared to help millennials understand themselves as growing professionals. That’s our first step. You can’t reach a target or climb any ladders without knowing who you are first. That is a growing process but it takes time and action. The university will aid in triggering that emotion and understanding self before catering to others. This will then create the ability to approach and understand your target or end-goal for your client reach or professional development.

The course will serve as an interactive six-hour course where we will have a lecture and interactive activities to help students perfect their pitch and become their brand. The university will revolutionize the way millennials approach crafting and becoming their brand by challenging them to think above the traditional standards set in place of who they are as professionals and help them— hands-on—lay their pitch foundation.

Becoming your brand will aid in you humanizing your brand; giving it a human touch outside of a logo, website, or résumé.

For more information about The Bee Agency, please visit: www.thebeeagency.com 

 

 


Danielle D. Hughes is a social entrepreneur, journalist, and youth advocate. When she’s not writing or covering news, you’ll find her at church, spending time with loved ones or enjoying a great read! Keep up with her: @danielledhughes