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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Get Leads To Grow Business

Advertising is another way a business owner can generate a lead. Understanding how to leverage the strategic side of marketing can help achieve phenomenal results. Too many business owners are quick to say direct mail, social media, radio or TV doesn’t work. It was not the medium (tactical side of marketing) that failed you; it was what you said and how you said it (the strategic side) that failed you. Once the business owner understands how to effectively convey the value they provide, generating a lead is a breeze.

Prospecting is the act of generating leads without advertising. Prospecting could involve calling a target list or foot canvassing in a specific area. Do you have marketing materials? Prospects need time to make an informed decision at the speed their brain can process information. You telling them everything during a sales visit will not always be enough. A marketing piece (leave behind) that can support the prospects decision-making process will move them along the sales process and ultimately compel them to buy.

Having sales collateral allows your information to be shared with someone the prospect knows who may need your product or service right now. Where I see small business owners over look an opportunity in their marketing material is their business card. Offer more than just your contact and website info. Provide a link on your business card that leads to a video or free report that can educate and move a prospect along the sales process.

Discovering Target Market

Evaluating your competition and their marketing strategies is another way you can define your own target market. Looking at how they market and who they seem to be marketing to will give you an idea of your industry’s ideal customer.

As you probe deeper into your target market, you need to determine whether or not you can effectively reach those people. Study your target demographic and their purchasing patterns. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, also look into your target market’s geographic location. You can use this information to find out if the people that live closest to your store are the same people who want to buy from you. If you are solely operating online, learning about your potential customers’ location and shopping habits can help you reach those customers.

As your business grows, so should your marketing efforts. Over time you may have to redefine your target market and change up how you are marketing to them. You will need to consider if the direct marketing methods you’re using now will still be effective later on down the line. You also may decide to expand your current target market to include other newly discovered prospects. If you want to grow your business you constantly need to be working your marketing plan.

The best way to succeed at selling your products is to market directly to those who are genuinely interested. Once you figure out who your customers are, what they need and how they shop, you will have a good idea of who you should be focusing your marketing efforts on. By arming yourself with as much information about your ideal customer as you can, you can push your sales over the top.

About Main Street between Middle Market

Main Street & Middle Market transactions are most often delineated by the size of the business either in terms of revenue or earnings. There is not a universally accepted definition of size and, most often, a business intermediary firm will adopt a specialty formula. The majority of lower middle market companies fall in an area where they are too small for investment banks and too large for the average business broker. Engaging a business intermediary firm who has the capabilities to properly represent your company will be critical. Often the business size is not the only distinguishing characteristic defining Main Street from Middle Market businesses. The industry, the complexity of the transaction, the depth & breadth of management, the presence of intellectual propriety or private brands, as well as the type of buyer that is targeted will also have an impact on the methods used to package the business for sale. The chart below details some of the typical differences in how the two types of businesses are defined, valued, packaged for sale, and confidentially marketed. It is important to note that the chart is only a guideline as many businesses will reflect similar attributes. Please consult with your local business intermediary to determine how your business should be treated.

Main Street:

•Business Revenue: Less than $3,000,000
•Business Earnings: Less than $1,000,000
•Type of Sale: Asset Sale
•Buyers: Entrepreneurs or Displaced Corporate Executives
•Business Valuation: Based on Sellers Discretionary Earnings (SDE)
•Financial Statements: Owner, CPA Compiled
•Business Management: Acquirer is buying a job. Existing management is less critical.
•Complexity: Transaction can often be accomplished with less complicated “boiler plate” agreements.
•Confidential Marketing: Marketing to a very broad buyer base.
•Marketing Package: Confidential Business Review
•Pricing: Marketed with a specific asking price.
•Broker/M&A Fee Structure: 10-12%
•Retainers: Minimal Retainer

Lower Middle Market:

•Business Revenue: $3,000,000 – $75,000,000
•Business Earnings: Greater than $1,000,000
•Type of Sale: Asset Sale or Stock Sale
•Buyers: Corporate Buyer or Private Equity Group (PEG)
•Business Valuation: Based on EBITDA
•Financial Statements: Reviewed or Audited Financials
•Business Management: Current management is often a key driver to the acquisition
•Complexity: Deal structure can be very complex requiring customized legal documents.
•Confidential Marketing: Highly targeted direct marketing to strategic & financial buyers.
•Marketing Package: Comprehensive Offering Memorandum
•Pricing: Asking price is rarely listed in the Offering Memorandum
•Broker/M&A Fee Structure: Double Lehman/Negotiated
•Retainers: Monthly Fee

Rotate Seasoned Sales Manager

Don’t assume your current sales manage will be a permanent fixture. Many marketing experts feel the best way to keep a sales team fresh and productive will be renting your sales manager.

Most of the time, the person you currently have hired as your sales manager is someone who you pulled off your sales team. Chances are pretty good you made them manager because they showed strong leadership skills, and also put up high sales numbers each week. If this is the case, by permanently putting them in a managerial position, you’re depriving yourself of a good sales person. By rotating them back into the sales team, you make it possible for them to stay connected with their clients, the sales process, and continue to generate sales.

You never know what the future holds. By making the managerial position a rotating one, you’ll have multiple staff members ready to step in and take over if things go awry and you find yourself in desperate need of a good sales manager.

By making the position of sales manager a rotating position, you’re giving the rest of your sales team something to work towards. This often encourages them to stay motivated and to keep in contact with old clients while constantly reaching out to new prospects.

Managing a sales team can be tricky. Sales people tend to respond best when they have a close relationship with the person managing them. By routinely making sure that you send your current manager out on calls, you remind the rest of your sales team about the connection they share with the individual.