Brian Whorley really knows how to build a company. He and his co-founder, Daniel Lynn, have built Big Tree Solutions from the ground up for over three years. Their product, RDS Logic, allows restaurants to offer delivery when they don't normally have delivery services. RDS Logic allows restaurants to significantly increase their revenues because they can fill many more take-out orders than tables.
Selling RDS Logic
Over the course of the three years, Brian developed some great strategies around pitching his product to potential customers. Each time he met someone who could use his product, he sent an email to explain how it worked. Brian knew that RDS Logic could significantly improve a restaurant's business, and over time he was able to hone his message and develop different ways of selling the product; he basically created different templates.
We sent ad hoc emails that often varied day to day. I think they naturally evolved into 'that best template' over time, but that took too long - we needed to find out what doesn't work faster.
Consistent Messaging & Faster Tweaking
With Tout, Brian was able to create specific templates for each of his messages and track the success of each one. Because he was using Tout templates, Brian was able to make sure that he included all the relevant information in his emails. Like all business owners, Brian really did know the product like the back of his hand. It was still a challenge to remember each piece of information and customize it to show how RDS Logic fits the needs of each potential customer. With Tout, Brian could take the basic mental template he was already using and send it with Tout - consistency was faster and much, much easier.
Armed with analytics around his sales messages, Brian could also tweak and improve each message, making each email more effective than the last. His standard message was the same, but he could find information on the success of his delivery after each email, rather than waiting until the end of the sales cycle.
Tout allowed Brian to adapt and improve much faster, and thus lead to even more RDS Logic sales and more revenue for restaurants across the country. If you're ready to send a better message and improve your sales, give Tout a try today.
We've all heard the same advice about taking small breaks during the day - you will be more productive if, instead of working on one task for hours and hours on end, you take small breaks throughout the day. This advice can be applied differently depending on the type of work you're doing. Many jobs that take a lot of creative energy also require "the zone," so you may stop to breathe every few hours.
Regardless of what kind of work you do, you're probably taking this advice to some extent. Perhaps you're on a "break" right now, this very second. Did you find this post when you were taking a quick Twitter break?
These little productivity "boosts" aren't working.
When you work on a computer, your short computer breaks don't really constitute a break. Sure, you're looking at something different, but there's nothing to really note that break. How long are you going to read that blog? How are you going to refocus your attention when you come back? Jonathan Milligan wrote a great post about how he doubled his productivity, in part by taking real breaks.
A real break is not reading blog posts, checking emil, or watching an educational video online. A "real" break for me is anything that is away from the computer.
Your brain reacts differently to a screen than to the rest of the world, that's why looking at TV, computer and phone screens before you go to sleep results in sleep deprivation. The same goes for breaks. If you want to give your brain a rest, let it do something different.
Step 1: Move one foot, Step 2: Move other foot
If you want a break that will actually help you focus on the task at hand, do something that requires you to stand up and move your body away from your desk. Go get a coffee. Walk around the block. Do some stretches.
Sometimes this can be a bit awkward in the middle of the day, so if you want to be more subtle, try just walking around the office. You can even pop by someone else's desk and get a few questions answered while you're at it.
The point is, a lot of productivity tips, like taking a break, end up being a distraction when they're not done properly. They leave you less productive than before. Why do more harm than good? Just take a moment to stop, get up, breathe, and take a real break.
You already have some basic information in your email signature, but have you ever stopped to think about what you put in and why? You don't want to add too much to an email signature, at the risk of being repetitive, but it's important to have enough of the right information. Here's the key information you should include in your email signature:
- Title & Company
- Contact information (email address, phone number, social networks)
- Mailing Address
So who cares? Well, there are some surprising benefits to a completed email signature.
Having a proper email signature is one of the best ways to ensure that your email gets delivered. Most spammers don't have one, so when you're sending mail to someone who hasn't already saved you as a contact, a completed email signature will help prevent your message from being confused as spam.
Don't Break the Law
If you're sending mail for your business, especially if you're using an automated mailing system, you have to have your physical address in your signature. The CAN-SPAM act defines this as "any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service," which includes a lot of outreach emails. To avoid any confusion, it's always best to include your business' physical address. Plus, it's just nice to know where people are located when you're sending and receiving email - a personal touch adds something extra.
Phone Calls Made Easy
Let's face it: most people read email on their phone. Have you ever been late to a meeting, or wanted to call someone while you're on the go? Having your phone number in your email signature makes communicating so much easier, so why not throw your contacts a bone and make your info easily accessible?
Promote Your Business
You'd be shocked how often people click on the links in your email signature. It's a great way to promote your business, and you can even tweak your email signature to show links to certain landing pages that you're looking If you want to see it happen, try tracking clicks on your emails. Wondering if you're getting these benefits? Check to see if your email signature is complete, and make sure to check on your phone as well.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how the job of B2B sales has changed since I began my career (if I told you how long ago, I’d have to kill you).
When I started out in sales, the process was pretty clear-cut.
- Prospect on the phone.
- Set an appointment with the highest level contact possible.
- Ask questions, go through the consultative sales process. Discuss solutions.
- Provide proof.
- Navigate corporate structures & politics.
- Provide competitive information.
- Renegotiate. Repeat several of the above steps.
Nowadays, people talk a lot about Sales 2.0, which as far as I can tell, really doesn’t have a solid definition. It’s the idea, based at least partly in reality, that “prospects have changed”, and therefore we as sales pros need to change too.
And I agree. To a point.
The tools we use are different. We spend less time in face to face meetings, in many cases. The duties that make up the day of most salespeople are different. We’re required to understand and utilize marketing. We’re active in social media and are constantly told that it’s a sales channel. We rely heavily on web content rather than printed materials, PowerPoint, and conference calls with the tech team. But when it comes down to it, B2B customers still buy the same way, and most importantly: for the same reasons.
They want a solution to a problem.
B2B customers don’t really care what’s “hot”, for the most part. They’re ready, willing and able to spend their budgets solving problems, not jumping on the latest tech bandwagon just for the sake of trying something new. Sure, they’ll still participate in social media interactions while they’re making their decision, but you’ll note that in these conversations they’re talking more with vendors than with peers. They’re looking for information. They want answers. There's nothing really new about this. So has B2B sales really changed all that much? What’s your opinion?
Anyone who has looked for a job understands the importance of representing yourself in a solid, professional manner. From the resume, to the cover letter, to the interview, consistency of personality and presentation make a huge difference in whether or not you get the job.
Enter Liam Horan
Liam has created a company, Sli Nua Careers, that teaches job applicants how to truly sell themselves to a potential employer. Through their online-based CV writing and interview coaching, they have helped job applicants secure employment all over the world. By teaching applicants how to indentify their strengths, Liam helps people not only market themselves better, but he also helps them to understand where their individual talents can be best applied in a company.
The Business Process
Because much of Sli Nua Careers’ business is focused on providing individual attention to clients, most interactions are facilitated by email. All the little things that go into a consultation, like sending the first resume, sending an updated version, scheduling an appointment, sending links to videos and other relevant content, are all done over email.
In order to remain relevant, Sli Nua Careers has to practice what they preach - they needed to have consistent, professional messaging, at each and every point of contact. Otherwise, how could they promote the same thing to their clients. That’s why Liam Horan decided to use Tout for his Sli Nua Careers team.
Tout has really helped to create a professional look to everything we do.
Scaling Customer Interaction
One of the best ways to help customers in a one-to-one consulting setting is to increase the number of times you’re in contact with them. For Sli Nua Careers, using Tout was the difference between only sending the most necessary emails and having the time and the tools to send regular, helpful updates, like a new job posting.
Tout has made a huge improvement - it allows us to interact with more customers and potential customers on a daily basis.