If you take a good look at any business that has been successful in the last couple of years. There is a very strong possibility that you will see a clear Unique Selling Point or USP.
Your Unique Selling Point is essential to building your business and continuing growth. That’s why we’ve put together some ways you can work on your USP and help draw even more customers to your business.
So much more than just a way of selling your business, your USP needs to be part of your company’s culture, the foundation even.
What on earth is a USP?
It’s the thing that sets you apart from your competitors. It gives your business it’s edge in the mind of your clients and potential clients and makes you stand out.
If you break it down; unique means that no one else does it yet. Selling point means the reason your clients spend their money on you or your service. These aren’t just gimmicks, they’re the reason to buy from you.
If you’re a marketing automation company that offers a full brand review with every sign-up, that’s a USP.
What isn’t a USP is price. Don’t get sucked into the belief that being the cheapest is a USP, neither being the cheapest or the best is unique. Most businesses think they offer the best service for the most competitive price. Equally, for most of them, it isn’t true.
With a strong enough USP, your pricing will be worth it- no need to try and offer bargains if your service is worth so much more!
Developing a strong USP ensures your customers focus less on price.
If you can develop a strong and genuine USP, the prices you charge become secondary to the service you provide. Clients will pick your business because of the USP and will be willing to pay the extra for it. These are the types of clients you want to attract, those that choose you for price will always be looking for a cheaper deal elsewhere.
Many companies develop or build their company around a USP. If you’ve been trading for a while and still aren’t sure what yours is – speak to your clients, their reasons for using you may not be what you expect.
Reach out to your clients and ask them why they chose you and keep track of the answers. You’ll probably start to see a trend appear in their answers, that’s your USP.
It’s absolutely vital to identify your true USP, the one that exists in the minds of your clients. You may set out to have the best quality service within your industry, but if your clients actually choose you because you have friendly, knowledgeable staff then that’s your USP.
Helping focus your marketing efforts.
Knowing your USP and having it tried and tested with your clients suddenly makes marketing your business a lot easier. Sticking to your USP and avoiding anything that deviates from it builds consistency and integrity for your brand.
Take Krispy Kreme for example, their USP is that their donuts are baked fresh in store throughout the day, guaranteeing the best customer experience. They even went so far as integrating a unique sign that illuminated when the ovens were on, notifying customers that hot, fresh donuts were imminent.
When Krispy Kreme then started allowing cold, off-site baked donuts to be sold in supermarkets to gain an extra revenue stream, they damaged the brand integrity and lost touch with their client base which nearly cost them their business.
Keep it simple.
The best USPs are simple and easy to maintain. This also helps to keep your business easy to market, because the reason to work with you and your company message is clear.
Without a USP, you may find marketing your company and services a struggle. When such a simple concept can make it far easier to generate new business and boost your success, you’d be crazy not to!
Published: 1st February 2021
When people think of New Year’s resolutions, productivity at work is usually pretty high up on the list. Alongside cutting out junk food, quitting certain vices and learning a new skill.
At Intelligent Talk, we like to think that any day is a good day to make positive changes and we don’t need a New Year to make it happen!
We understand the appeal, especially after the year we’ve all had (Even TIME magazine declared 2020 the “worst year ever”). We’re all looking to the new year as a way to make a positive change in our lives.
However, with 80% of resolutions being broken by February it seems like we could all use a helping hand to make meaningful change that last the year and beyond.
Although we may still be facing COVID-19, lockdowns and a lot of economic uncertainty, it’s still possible to create positive change.
So, if you’re looking to boost your productivity, here are our favourite ways to go about it.
1. Remove the need to be motivated in order to be productive.
Usually, when considering productivity, the first thing that comes to mind is motivation. We all tend to think that productivity needs to start with a rush of inspiration and energy in order to do things.
This isn’t necessarily the case. All productivity actually requires, is action.
Waiting to be motivated can cause a lot of frustration and friction as we wait for the ‘perfect’ time to work on something, we end up giving way to procrastination and guilt.
If instead you tell yourself, this will only take a few minutes, once you sit down and start the rest will flow easier.
2. Newton’s First Law of Motion.
It is more difficult to start than it is to continue. If you’ve ever started going to the gym, you’ll know how true this is. Once you have incorporated your new habits into your routine, you become more productive and they are much easier to maintain.
3. Incentivise completing your to-do lists.
Human beings work with impulses. And much like Skinner’s rats, you can become more productive by adding more pleasure to the action you want to do, or painful consequences if you don’t do it. For example, you can listen to your favourite music whilst completing a task or reward yourself once certain objectives are complete.
This can also work on the flip side, set yourself forfeits like doing 10 push-ups if you don’t hit certain deadlines or targets you’ve set yourself.
4. Follow the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 rule essentially means that 20% of your actions produce 80% of your results.
For example, if you have 10 things to do, identify the 2 goals that will bring you closer to your overall goal and which can wait a little longer. It’s essentially prioritising in it’s most basic form.
5. Substitute old habits with new habits.
When dealing with habits it is much easier to substitute an old habit than to create a new one or break an old one completely. For instance, if you are trying to cut down on caffeine – instead of stopping from drinking coffee completely, replace each cup you would normally have with a cup of tea or water instead.
6. Use the Pomodoro technique.
This time management technique uses a timer to break up your work into intervals with a short break in between.
Traditionally using blocks of 25 minutes, this can be adapted to suit your needs with the idea being that you focus solely on one task during that block and nothing else, once the timer rings you take a short break to refresh yourself before starting another timer and block of activity. Once you have completed four blocks, you take a longer break. You can find more about this technique here.
7. The 2-minute rule.
If something takes less than two minutes, do it now. A simple, yet effective way to clear those smaller tasks that often get put to the side.
8. Stop multitasking.
As our lives continue to get busier and busier, most of us have looked for ways to get more done by multitasking.
Technology has made it easier than ever to multitask, but constantly multitasking can lead to a reduction in overall brainpower and memory problems.
9. Track your time online.
If you work online, or from home, it can be incredibly easy to get distracted and off-track.
Social media and other distractions are only a click away. Making it all too easy to check Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or other apps and websites that time can be wasted on for hours.
Apps such as Rescuetime can help you audit your day to tell you where you’re really spending your time.
It may feel like you’re putting in 8 hours of work but after a closer look, you may notice that’s not the case at all.
Keeping on top of your distractions can be a great way to ensure your time is spent more productively.
10. Procrastination happens – make the most of it.
Procrastination is natural, sometimes the harder we try to be productive, the harder it becomes.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is embrace it. Embracing it doesn’t necessarily mean giving in to it completely though. Instead of being sucked into a Netflix show, watch a TED Talk. Instead of reading inane Facebook updates for 20 minutes, read a blog post (we’ve got plenty here).
Being gentle with yourself reduces the pressure that can cause burnout and a decline in mental health. Allow yourself a few minutes of distraction then refocus and get back to the task at hand.
Applying even one of these tips will help you become more productive, save you time and allow you to focus on the things that really matter to you in 2021.
We’d love to hear if any of these tips help you, or if there are any you would add!
Published: 11th January 2021
The right book can change your perspective, boost your sales prowess and unlock more potential than you ever thought possible.
For many salespeople around the world right now, we’re starting the year as we ended it – working from home. It’s a lot more difficult to get motivated without the buzz of the office or sales meetings with your colleagues to get you going. So, whether its motivation, new techniques or inspiration you need – we’ve got you covered!
“Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Manifesto”
Author Jeffrey Gitomer reveals some of the most out-dated sales tactics, then shows you how to replace them with modern sales strategy. Helping every salesperson reach the top and stay there – this is a straightforward, no-nonsense masterclass in the art of selling.
“Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play”
Sales culture has long since moved past just getting new customers and demands a new kind of sales book. Co-authors Mahan Khalsa & Randy Illig show how focusing your efforts on helping your clients succeed is the key to closing deals and generating repeat business.
Although originally published in 2013, “Smart Calling” remains one of the highest-rated books on selling by phone. With all-new examples from the world of sales, the 2020 updated version brings with it even more advice for turning the act of cold calling into a lucrative sales tool.
“Eat Their Lunch”
If you want to solidify your company’s advantage against its competitors, Anthony Iannarino’s “Eat Their Lunch” is the book for you. A step-by-step playbook that explains enabling growth and increasing your company’s market share by winning over your competitors’ clients.
“Go for No!”
Learning how to use failure to find success is key to keeping motivated in sales. Unlike most sales books, this book features a fictional character who jumps ahead 10 years to meet a more successful version of himself. The trick is that his “future self” will only come about if he overcomes his self-limiting belief system and fear or failure. A truly intriguing read, you can find out more by watching this video.
“The Most Important Question”
This book is perfect if you have trouble defining your goals. With so many possibilities and others’ expectations, it can be difficult to get what you want and even harder to enjoy it. Peep Vain gives a simple, easy to follow method for maintaining balance so that more urgent demands don’t detract from your bigger goals.
Dr Carol Dweck has written more than just a sales book. “Mindset” explores a groundbreaking, yet simple concept: those who believe their abilities can grow are more likely to succeed than those who believe their abilities are limited.
“To Sell Is Human”
Daniel Pink shows you how serving customers first and selling to them second, is a natural extension of our ability to move the people we care about to do the things we want. This is a must-read if you’re looking for a more organic approach to selling.
“Sell It Like Serhant”
For those of you new to selling, Ryan Serhant’s guide is one of the best books to start with. It talks you through negotiating tips, finding your USP and guides you through managing and closing multiple deals.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the ‘dog-eat-dog’ world of sales, then look no further than co-authors Bob Burg & John David Mann. This book contains valuable sales and life lessons through the tale of a go-getting executive who meets a legendary sales consultant and goes on to learn the secrets of success.
There are many more books out there teeming with knowledge; these are just a few of our favourites. What would you recommend?
If you’ve enjoyed this post, why not check out our others here.
And remember, if you are tempted to purchase any of these books, there are plenty of independent booksellers who would really appreciate your custom in these trying times.
Published: 4th January 2021
For those of you that have been in sales a long time, it can be an uncomfortable thought that you need to change your approach.
These sales statistics reflect the cold hard truth of what you’re coming across every day but may not have noticed.
These statistics we’ve put together will help you get on track to boost your sales in 2021.
- Nearly all customer interactions happen over the phone. Email is a wonderful and powerful tool, but nothing compares to the real-life human connection.
- 15% of a salespersons time at work is spent leaving voicemails. Sometimes leaving a voicemail is necessary. But 15% of your total time at work is a big chunk of time that could be better spent elsewhere. So, if you must do it, make sure it’s getting results.
- Around 40% of salespeople don’t feel prepared for their calls. Having enough information in front of you before a call is essential. It builds confidence and makes for much more successful calls to both new and existing clients.
- 92% of salespeople give up after being told ‘no’ four times; however, 80% of prospects say ‘no’ four times before saying ‘yes’. It would be best if you got comfortable with the feeling of rejection. The more times you hear ‘no’, the closer you are to a ‘yes’ – persistence is key.
- Almost 50% of prospects contacted by email will mark it as spam. You may be sending your emails from a legitimate source, but if you don’t do your research and catch their attention, chances are you’re going into the spam folder next time.
- 35% of prospects will access your emails on their phone. Keep your emails short and to the point and avoid including too many graphics.
- Increasing your client retention by 5% can improve your profits by as much as 95%. Focusing on constantly improving your service offering and continue building rapport with your regular clients can boost sales as much as new business.
- 80% of potential clients can be reached through social media. We live in the digital age, utilise it when trying to reach your prospects, and you will maximise your success.
- 85% of prospects are not satisfied with their experience from salespeople over the phone. Make sure your calls are productive and professional by being prepared for every possible outcome that may take place on the call. Researching your prospects not only helps build rapport but also trust and credibility.
- 3 out of 4 managers will take action from a cold call or email. When you give your prospects the information and successfully create a value proposition, they will want to follow up with the next stage of the process.
Data and information are only as good as the action you take as a result of it. These stats aren’t hard and fast rules for every situation, but if you allow them to help you think about solving problems in different and more creative ways, then they’ve done their job.
Another great way to ensure sales success is knowing your audience, if you’re not working from customer personas already – you should be!
Published: 28th December 2020
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s also a huge productivity killer and being motivated isn’t always the top priority.
The Christmas season is a time to celebrate and enjoy yourself, but – can you do this while staying productive at work?
We’ve put together our Top 5 Tips to stay productive, without becoming a grinch!
The first thing that can do wonders for your productivity is planning. December is here so set aside a little time to note down that all-important to-do list. It’s so satisfying to cross something off your list and helps keep you on track when you can see what is still left to do.
Don’t Over Commit:
It can be tempting to take on one last project before the Christmas break, but nothing kills motivation more than an unachievable goal. Use your list from step one (check it twice!) and make sure you have enough time to add a new commitment if not, it can wait until the New Year!
The best way to keep yourself and your colleagues motivated during the festive season is to enjoy it! Arrange small ways to celebrate together – have a festive feast in the office where everyone brings their favourite Christmas snacks or if you’re working remotely, arrange a virtual Christmas party or arrange a remote Secret Santa.
Engage With Your Customers:
Christmas is the perfect time to really interact with your clients. Send out Christmas cards, check in with a pre-Christmas call or consider an interactive social media campaign: It’s the ideal chance have fun and strengthen relationships!
Wrap It Up:
We’re not talking gifts here! Knowing you’re coming back to work with a list of goals you’d like to achieve in 2021 can give you that much-needed boost to get you through to the end of the year. You know you’ll have a headstart for getting back into the swing of things!
Jingle all the way…
… to a motivated and fun end to the year! Remember to take some time off to decompress, but don’t lose sight of yours and your clients’ goals too! Think about what you want to achieve, and we’ll be right here cheering you on and bringing in the holidays with a big plate of mince pies!
Have you got any more tips for staying motivated during the festive season? We’d love to hear them – let us know in the comments!
Published: 21st December 2020
Marketing works. Sales works.
Independently these teams function, but when they work together, it can be incredibly powerful.
Think Shaggy and Scooby, Batman and Robin, Mario and Luigi, Buzz and Woody.
These all have one thing in common – they’re all fantastic duos where you can’t imagine one without the other. I mean you probably could, but they’d be nowhere near as good!
The same should go for your sales and marketing functions.
It’s not all smooth sailing:
Bringing these two teams together can be a tricky process for several reasons. It isn’t easy to measure and takes a lot of people management but, if you want success for your business – it has to be done.
The more sales and marketing work in unison, the more successes the business will see. Most companies will have separate sales and marketing teams, but to reach your customers from all angles, they must work together.
Marketing campaigns are put in place to build brand awareness and inform customers of your services – this then generates leads.
The sales team are there to convert those leads into new business opportunities by following up with the customers and giving more information.
Marketing works well on its own but where’s the sense in generating leads with no sales team to follow them up?
Sales can also generate their own leads, but this tends to be a much slower process, and why should they do it all themselves when they could be utilising the marketing leads too?
Time to make improvements:
The first thing to do is identify where you are right now:
- What are the goals of your sales and marketing teams?
- Do they have any common goals they could work on together?
- Do the teams hold regular meetings together to understand each other’s activity?
- Is there anything that needs to be addressed to streamline processes?
Once you’ve pulled all of this together, you can start to get a plan in place.
- Set common goals. If team objectives don’t align with one another, both will have issues converting leads.
- Involve both teams. 68% of marketers think their sales team don’t utilise their content correctly to generate leads. If sales were more involved with marketing processes such as creating customer personas, there would be more interest and buy-in from the sales teams. Keeping sales involved also gives your marketing team much better insight into who the customers actually are. It’s sales that interact with them the most after all!
- Keep in contact. A crucial part to aligning any business areas is communication, sales and marketing are no different. Dependant on workload and company goals these should be held weekly, monthly or at the very least quarterly. Create a setting where both teams can share what they’ve been working on, collaboration opportunities moving forward as well as key areas of success and needing improvement. Meetings are also an excellent opportunity to cover new content ideas; not everything has to come from marketing!
The really important bit:
You must be able to measure the successes of your teams. Knowing what you should be measuring is even more vital. Metrics such as marketing qualified leads or ‘MQL’s help the marketing team keep track of different steps in their process, but not a huge amount else; so they’re not giving much back in the way of reporting.
If your sales and marketing teams don’t know what they learn each month from analysing their reporting data, chances are they’re reporting on the wrong metrics.
Key areas to track improvement are:
- Lifetime customer value
- Lead generation through your website and socials
- Sales qualified leads
Keeping your marketing and sales teams informed not only of what their goals are but also how their success is being measured will ensure the alignment between to two teams will continue and bring further successes to the business.
Food for thought:
Not everything needs to be internal. There is any number of reasons why you would want to engage an external agency to support your business growth plans:
- You need your sales function to have support through team alignment changes.
- You’ve never had much success with internal sales, so you’re outsourcing completely.
- You’re launching new products and need a separate team to market it, but don’t have the resources to hire a whole new team.
Whatever the reason, Intelligent Talk has the solution.
If you think your team could do with an optimised sales stack – check out our advice here.
If you’re looking for a bit more heavy-duty support, get in touch and let’s see how we can help!
Published: 14th December 2020.