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Efficient Direct Sales?

Finally released our software application for independent professional coaches.

While it's fun to work on sexier forms of marketing like advertising, sales funnels, blog writing etc., an entrepreneur I respect told me, "in the beginning you must do direct sales" along with all the other fun stuff. I'm good with that.

My question is, do any of you have suggestions on how to most efficiently and cost-effectively do direct sales?

Custom making a list and cold call can be time consuming.

Thanks.





10 Replies

Glynn Bedford
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Glynn Bedford Entrepreneur
1 to 1 Amazon, Ebay Mentoring
Make sure you give plenty of added value and word of mouth will help immensely.
Chuck Bartok
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Chuck Bartok Entrepreneur
Marketing and Sales Manager at MD Building Systems of Florida, Inc
Cold Calling is very efficient if the "Cold Calling" is targeted to YOUR best prospect pool.
Even with all of the "modern Tech" our greatest ROI and lowest customer acquisition, on product that averages $75,000, is physical first time cold call.
Of course knowing the Persona of our customers is very helpful
Scott Taylor
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Scott Taylor Entrepreneur
Sales & Marketing Director at Cloudia Assistant / Author: The Opportunity in Every Problem
Keep the first call short and to the point. Have an elevator presentation (30 seconds) prepared to see if there is any interest. The find out if they have time now or would like you do call back later so you can ask so questions and they are prepared to listen to how you will solve their problem.
Sean Rakidzich
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Sean Rakidzich Entrepreneur
Media Press Promotions
I would accept proposals from direct sales agencies that have sold like products. This will give you an easy to control cost of sale, as they tend to work on a per acquisition contract. Direct sales in-house can be sticky. You'll want to recruit a well seasoned professional to help design your direct sales cycle. That and copy other companies you see yourself similar enough to. Manpower for example, they sell directly as a majority of their acquisition. They have agents divided into territories that walk in to business to get cards and become seen, then they add those numbers in during their call blocks. What make them the best in their industry Isn't that they do direct sales, but that they manage their sales staff better than any of their competitors. They create a sales culture in their company that makes the task of selling prestigious. Other direct sales mediums include door2door, event based/kiosks/trade shows, 1 touch calls, setup and close outbound calls, setup outbound (voicemail call after hours or email) and field inbound calls, guerrilla sales campaigns or street selling (think Uber) Designing the sale should consider a few factors, such as client experience, cost per acquisition, customer lifetime value, barriers that exist in current marketing channels, and your company's advantages. It's always cool to have a product stand out in a way that makes selling it easy, that discovery comes from listening to your sales guys. Merging S and OP is a hallmark of enterprise level sales campaigns between manufacturers and client or engineers and client. (Siemans) Sean Rakidzich [removed to protect privacy] Sent from my iPhone
Dave Turano
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Dave Turano Entrepreneur
Sales & Leadership Coach
Creighton - Just saw your post. This is my initial reaction to your question... At this point I would advise you to have a business development mindset rather than a sales mindset. Business development is all about opening, while sales is all about closing. Your ability to close business is directly related to how well you open it. Adopt a mindset that is committed to progressing and adding value to your relationships. Avoid 'sales pitches' or 'commercials' because people will shut down, even those that know you well. Craft a message and have conviction about the problems that your company solves and strategically share it with your network. Set meetings and be genuinely curious about others. Ask questions and connect with people that you can and want to refer. Have daily conversations and find ways to help your clients, former clients, prospects, competitors and key players in your space even if it means that they cannot help you right now. Continuously maintain communication with others in your network. Doing all of this will not only generate opportunities for you, it will also help to make the process of closing business a seamless one. In other words, plant seeds, water them and make sure they get enough sun - the grass will grow! I hope this helps in some way. Dave David Turano Founder | JCE Consulting Mobile: [removed to protect privacy] [removed to protect privacy] www.jcegrp.com
Cynthia Hammersley
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Managing Partner at GiveRight LLC
Getting your first clients is always tricky. The easiest way is to have someone on your team with a good rolodex who can set up warm leads. But first you really have to map out the buyer persona, fully vet the value proposition and understand what the messaging is for that persona.
Dennis D. Andrews
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Co Owner at AmeriTrust Insurance
Implementing an effective marketing and lead generation strategy is essential to a successful sales effort. Cold calling can be highly inefficient. Driving potential prospects to your website is critical. Creating a "Call To Action" that enables you to capture qualified leads enables sales people to make more effective sales calls. I call this "Warm Calling".
Laura Cameron
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Laura Cameron Entrepreneur
Operations Manager at NANA Management Services
I've never found cold calling to be efficient unless you are in an uncrowded market where people or companies are looking for something like you and in high need. Mr. Bartok is on to something in his comments above. I only make warm calls, no cold calls in a crowded market. Part of my business development plans (sales plans) is to create a target list and meet them in person a few times, then call...
Rob Gropper
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Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
Creighton, how did you identify your target market before you built your application? It's hard to answer this question without some additional data such as:
1. what is the value of a "typical" deal?
the revenue (NPV, LTV) of a typical deal will dictate how much you can afford to spend getting that revenue which will dictate what form of direct sales (or if direct sales will even pencil out for you) you deploy as well as your 'ideal' prospect. For example, the calculus behind selling 1 deal worth $10/month with an LTV of $360 to 1 independent coach dictates a much different selling model than selling 1 deal to an organization of 10,000 coaches worth $3.6M over 3 years.
Also, out of curiosity, did you have a sales model/customer acquisition plan prior to building your product?
Creighton Wong
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Creighton Wong Entrepreneur
Are you a Professional Coach struggling with running your business? Ask me how I can help!
Hi Everyone,

Thank you for all the expertise and knowledge in answering my questions.

To fill in some of the gaps: Yes, I have a client avatar, starting with the ~50 professional coaches interviewed prior to making the product (yes, they are currently being re-targeted). Dave, I really liked the "mindset" that you proposed and have already implemented that in my calling. And Scott, my current calls are super focused and short. Rob, unfortunately I do not have enough data to know lifetime customer value churn rate etc.

Will keep trying to work on finding more efficient channels.

Thanks again.

~Creighton


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