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Archive for the 'Commercial Marketing' Category

Monday Marketing and Sales Tip: Treating Gatekeepers Properly(They’re Human Too!)

Dealing effectively with gatekeepers can make or break your opportunity to get to the decision maker. Remember, it’s their job to minimize disruption (I.E.: sales calls) to their boss’ day! They are dealing with screening numerous calls and sales people making in person visits every day. They have the ultimate responsibility of letting through only those people that will matter to their boss! Because of this, they also tend to deal with people who will treat them badly or poorly for not allowing access to the decision maker. It’s vital to remember that gatekeepers are human too, and need to be treated as such. And, you only have a matter of moments to sink or swim in your efforts to get to that all important decision maker.

Because we hire, train and manage sales reps across the country, we see how this lack of proper communication has caused business development reps to sink quicker than the Titanic when it comes to dealing with the brick wall that is the gatekeeper. Common sense to most? Yes–but you’d be surprised how often it bears repeating!

So, next time you’re up against a gatekeeper, remember to be polite and in your few precious moments with them, try to 1) address them by their name and 2) say please! A dash of courtesy and directly addressing them can throw even the crustier gatekeepers off their game, as you’ve now shown up differently from other sales people.

By adding this “human” touch and level of respect to the conversation, you have a greater chance of getting past them and even having them become your ally.

An example of this would be saying to the gatekeeper “Thanks Sandy, could you please let me know if Mr. Smith will be available to speak for a few moments?”

Gatekeepers are people just like everyone else–showing them that you recognize this and engaging them respectfully can go a long way by using these simple yet powerful communication techniques!

Want to learn more strategies for dealing with gatekeepers and improve your sales process overall? Click here to sign up for sales and marketing tips designed for the restoration industry!

Maryland Joins Other States In Banning Contractor Rebate Offers

Earlier this month, Maryland joined other states that are putting the kibosh on contractors who offer rebates to homeowners as a way to secure the repair contract. These contractors typically come with a shady motive behind the rebate, as they will perform substandard and inflated work, leaving the homeowner with a property not restored to pre-loss condition and affecting the overall value of the home.

These contractors use rebates of the homeowner’s insurance deductibles as a way to dangle the “carrot” so to speak in efforts to secure the contract. The homeowner, who sees savings of hundreds of dollars, believes they are getting the deal of a lifetime. In the end, they are disappointed to find that subpar materials and questionable or downright improper repair was performed.

In the cases of area-wide catastrophic weather damage, storm chasing contractors of the predatory nature will knock on the doors of homeowners who are under a great amount of stress and need even more urgent repairs. Once the shady contractor is able to get in and secure the contract by offering the rebate, they again perform substandard repairs, or in some cases, ask for a large amount of money up front and disappear completely with no work done, and never to be seen again.

It’s also important to note that a homeowner’s policy may not cover the repair of the fraudulent work done by the shady contractor. (To read more about Maryland joining the fight to stop scrupulous contractors in their tracks, click here.)

This type of fraudulent actions tarnishes our industry and makes it harder for honest contractors to assure their customers that they will follow the Standard of Care and follow the guidelines, ethics and practices set forth by our major industry associations and institutes. In order to help protect their reputation in the community, restoration contractors can use a variety of methods to get out their “good news stories” and spread customer testimonials, both online through their website and social media platforms. There’s also more direct marketing tactics you can use as well to spread the good word about your company.

Are you facing sales and marketing challenges that you need help with in order to grow your company? If so, reach out to us at info@theBDAway.com or, call us at 777-773-9956 and we can setup a brief time to talk about them and how BDA might be a good fit to help you get to the next level.

Don’t Miss These Upcoming BDA Sales & Marketing Seminars!

Don’t miss these upcoming BDA Sales & Marketing Seminars, where you can learn powerful strategies to predictably grow your business to the next level!

Contractor Connection 2013 Conference & Expo
May 21-23; San Antonio, Texas
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
Tim Miller, President of BDA, Will Be Presenting the Course:
“5 Stages of Small Business Growth for a Restoration Contractor”
https://www.contractorconnection.com/contractorconference/Breakouts.aspx

Business growth often triggers other business challenges. Business owners tend to approach growing their company as one long continuum from the day they open to the day they retire. When in fact, there are distinct stages of growth, with different challenges, stressors, and potential outcomes. Growing companies can greatly profit from advanced knowledge of the challenges they are likely to face at each step.

This course will explore the five stages of growth for a small business while applying it to our specific industry. Detailed explanation of what each stage looks like, and suggested steps to successfully navigate those transitions, will be included in this course. Learn More About This Course By Clicking Here!

Sales Mastery For Restorers
August 7th; Columbus, Ohio
Cleanserv/Interlink Supply Classroom
Tim Miller, President of BDA, Will Be Presenting the Course:
“Sales Mastery for Restorers”
Hosted by: Totally Booked University/Jeff Cross, Senior Editor of Cleanfax Magazine

http://www.carpetcleaningrestorationmarketing.com/sales-mastery.html

This one-day course will teach show you how to increase sales by implementing a powerful, real world selling system that has been customized for the restoration salespeople and their targets! The course is hosted by Totally Booked University and Jeff Cross, Senior Editor of Cleanfax Magazine.

It has never been more important to maximize the ability of your sales team to deliver business. Most restorers agree that the average water loss is $3,000 with at least a 50% profit margin. That means that every sale you don’t bring in is costing you $1,500 or more! Plus, sales salaries and expenses add up quickly and you need to deliver a strong return.

Sales training isn’t new. But, sales training designed from the ground up just for restoration contractor salespeople is! There is no other program like this available anywhere! Click Here To Learn More About This Course!

If you have any questions about these upcoming courses and workshops, you can reach us at 773-777-9956 or email us at info@theBDAway.com.

We look forward to seeing you!

The Impact of Emotional Discipline In Sales

As a full-service sales and marketing agency, we work closely with our client’s sales force. In that, we come across some similarities on why some reps succeed and some fail. For those that flame out, one commonality we see is how a rep can emotionally cripple their sale even before it begins and during the sale which could have been swaying towards closing the deal in the beginning.

This emotional “cripple” comes from a lack of emotional discipline. Sales is a tough job in the first place, and can be very wearing on a person’s psyche-if they let it. Self-defeating thoughts such as “What I have to say doesn’t matter”, “This call will probably result in nothing” and other similar thoughts contribute to the death of the sale. This negative emotion causes the rep to lack confidence, not listen actively and so many more actions that ultimately translate over into the sale. The prospect, who is on the receiving end of the communication and emotions being put forth by the rep, will then receive and translate all those emotions and actions as a weakness in the salesperson, or, perceive a lesser value or no value in the product or service being offered.

On the other hand, emotional discipline in a sales rep is important in regards to positive emotion. Being enthusiastic, visualizing success and having reaffirming thoughts can all translate into a more positive sales process and outcome.

To read more about how emotional discipline impacts sales, click here to read the full article written by Business Development Associates and Tim Miller, President of BDA.

If you’re a restorer or industry-related company looking to boost your sales and marketing efforts, Business Development Associates, Inc. is helping numerous businesses in the restoration and cleaning industries to grow their businesses. You can learn more about us by visiting us at our website or calling 773-777-9956 for more information.

Upcoming Seminar: “5 Stages of Small Business Growth for Restoration Contractors”

Join us at Contractor Connection on Wednesday, May 21st, for this exciting seminar presented by the President of Business Development Associates, Tim Miller.

Business growth often triggers other business challenges. Business owners tend to approach growing their company as one long continuum from the day they open to the day they retire. When in fact, there are distinct stages of growth, with different challenges, stressors, and potential outcomes. Growing companies can greatly profit from advanced knowledge of the challenges they are likely to face at each step.

This course will explore the five stages of growth for a small business while applying it to our specific industry. Detailed explanation of what each stage looks like, and suggested steps to successfully navigate those transitions, will be included in this course.

Upon Completion Of This Course, Attendees Will Be Able To Gain:
• The Ability To Identify Which Stage Your Business Is At In The 5 Stages of Small Business Growth
• What Obstacles Are In Their Way Of Growing Their Business At The Current Stage The Business Is In
• Suggested Steps To Be Taken In Order To Move Their Business To The Next Stage Of Growth
• What The Future Stages Of Growth Are To Come, and The Challenges, Stressors and Potential Outcomes of Each Stage

This course will be presented twice at Contractor Connection on Wednesday, May 21st, from 1PM-2PM and again from 2:15-3:15PM.

You can learn more about the upcoming Contractor Connection conference in San Antonio, Texas, by clicking here.

Unable to make it to San Antonio? Check out another upcoming workshop held in Columbus in August: “Sales Mastery for Restorers.” You can learn more by clicking here!

Upcoming Sales Mastery Course For Restorers: A New Way To Deliver Outstanding Results!

Business Development Associates, Inc. will be presenting “Sales Mastery for Restorers”, a one-day course that will teach show you how to increase sales by implementing a powerful, real world selling system that has been customized for the restoration salespeople and their targets! The course is hosted by Totally Booked University and Jeff Cross, Senior Editor of Cleanfax Magazine.

It has never been more important to maximize the ability of your sales team to deliver business. Most restorers agree that the average water loss is $3,000 with at least a 50% profit margin. That means that every sale you don’t bring in is costing you $1,500 or more! Plus, sales salaries and expenses add up quickly and you need to deliver a strong return.

Sales training isn’t new. But sales training designed from the ground up just for restoration contractor salespeople is! There is no other program like this available anywhere!

Now,you’ve probably sent your team to sales training events and they come back enthused, but the effect quickly wears off. That’s because training as an event always fail. Training as a process, however, delivers powerful, consistent and increasing results.

If you’re looking to grow your restoration business, you need a highly effective sales program in place. There’s simply no better or faster way for your company to grow to the next level.

Details:

Sales Mastery for Restorers Course-Click Here to Register!
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
8 A.M.-4 P.M.
Cleanserv/Interlink Supply Classroom
Columbus, OH

This course will be taught by the creator and instructor of Sales Mastery for Restorers, Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates, Inc. Miller is a highly regarded sales and marketing expert in the industry, and brings 30 years of experience and a unique perspective to help businesses solve their problems and grow to the next level. He is also a published author in several trade magazines, a featured columnist in Cleanfax Magazine and speaks at multiple industry events and conferences throughout the year, where he leverages his business experience in both the restoration industry and his other entrepreneurial ventures, including his own construction company in New Mexico.

Click Here to Register-Space is Limited!

Free Webinar: Generating New Business

Register today for this free event, happening on February 27th at 3PM EST!

Brought to you by Cleanfax Magazine, this webinar will provide multiple guidelines and best practices for marketing your business in 2013 so you can position your company for growth this year.

Included on the panel of thought leaders will be Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates, Inc. Other presenters include Chuck Violand, Steve Marsh and Jeff Cross.

See you at the webinar! Click here to register now!

Spending Increase on Personal Lines; Commercial Rates Remain Steady

According to new research by Bankrate.com, more than a third of Americans spent more on insurance last year, while 52% spent the same, and only 7% spent less.

Of those that spent more on insurance in 2012, 62% said they did so due to rising premiums. The second biggest reason for increased insurance spending, according to survey respondents, was due to the purchase of a new home, car, boat or recreational vehicle.

Spending increases on multiple types of insurance was also seen, including homeowners, renters, life, auto and health coverage.

On the commercial side, rates are expected to continue rising later on in 2013 due to above average losses, low investment returns and receding reserve releases. The occurrence of a hard market is not in sight as of now, as both competition in the insurance marketplace and capacity remains high, and price increases continue to differ across the board.

Some suspected that commercial insurance rates would have started to rise in early 2013, but Superstorm Sandy’s effect on the market is predicted to stall or even out current rates that at one point had seemed to be improving.

Insurers across several types of lines and industries will continue to adjust their pricing and coverage in efforts to maintain their profitability. In addition, the rising severity of losses means that carriers to look more closely when processing claims to ensure the claim and the circumstances that caused the loss matches the coverage currently carried by the insured. For restoration contractors, this could result in further challenges with insurance companies, uncovered losses and angry policyholders who didn’t realize their lack of or gaps in their insurance coverage.

Mobile and Tablet Usage Rising-Is It Right For Your Mix?

There is no question that smartphones and tablets have not only revolutionized how we engage with each other both personally and in business, but both technologies continue to provide greater marketing opportunities for both B2B and B2C purposes. And everywhere you look, it seems that everyone has one, and for those that are has a lower adaptability rate, (for example, the Silent Generation), they too are gradually increasing in their consumption of the latest technology.

And for marketers, increased mobile and tablet usage means the ability to leverage various tactics and strategies in order to communicate and provide interactive opportunities with their company, from QR codes, push messaging, Mobile Apps, mobile and tablet friendly Websites, sharing abilities, interactive TV, mobile banner ad opportunities, location-based marketing and much more.

For the consumer, the immediate gratification of finding information or products they want is also a big plus, as they can quickly perform a Google Search or buy the item they just saw on TV or in a magazine in a matter of minutes. For the company that consumer is buying from, the ability to maximize on the consumer’s impulse and need for immediate information or for the product itself can be result in shorter buy cycles and quicker profit. And to top all this, the rising market penetration rates of both mobile devices and tablets have marketers looking at a way to start shifting part of their marketing mix over to this new communications platform.

To give you an idea of how entrenched mobile and tablet technology is here in the U.S., below is a quick snapshot of US smartphone users and penetration into the population from 2010 and projected into 2016. In 2010, smartphones were used by 20.2% of the population, where in 2013 it will have jumped to 48.9%. In 2016, it’s projected that nearly 60% will have a smartphone.

- 2010: 62.2 million (26.9% of mobile phone users / 20.2% of population)
- 2011: 93.1 million (39.2% / 29.7%)
- 2012: 115.8 million (47.7% / 36.6%)
- 2013: 137.5 million (55.5% / 43.1%)
- 2014: 157.7 million (62.5% / 48.9%)
- 2015: 176.3 million (68.8% / 54.2%)
- 2016:192.4 million (74.1% / 58.5%)

The following numbers reflect those of tablet users. By 2014, it’s predicted that over a quarter of the U.S. population will be using tablets. As tablet adoption increases, older devices will get replaced and eventually, will become more like smartphones, which typically have a single user and less sharing.

U.S. tablet users and penetration, 2010-2014:
- 2010: 13.0 million (4.2% of total population / 5.8% of internet users)
- 2011: 33.7 million (10.8% / 14.5%)
- 2012: 54.8 million (17.3% / 22.9%)
- 2013: 75.6 million (23.7% / 30.9%)
- 2014: 89.5 million (27.7% / 35.6%)

Another advantage of mobile and tablet marketing in a company’s mix is not only the benefits we spoke of above, but the ability to be truly integrated and interactive with other elements of your mix. Marketers can cross-pollinate what can be considered a traditional form of marketing with the newer forms like mobile marketing. By doing so, you can give a “facelift” to what some people might be considered “dead” forms of advertising, like print advertising.

For example, in Quarter 2/2012, the use of mobile action codes In the U.S. top print magazines rose 61% compared to the previous quarter. In comparison to last year, the print-to-mobile marketing strategy rose from 5% overall to 10% and continues to rise. Action codes in magazines right now are actually outpacing action codes in direct mail. Direct mail is typically receiving about 4.4% overall in a response rate while catalogs garner a 4.3% response rate; a direct mail letter receives an approximate 3.4%). But, with the implementation of mobile code actions, that response rate on direct mail rose from 4.5% to 5.9%.

It’s important to note something here…one of the best rules in marketing is this: don’t implement a marketing activity into your mix just because it’s the latest buzz trend. Rather, does a proper analysis of your target market, how they engage with your applicable medium and then see how the rubber will hit the road, if it does at all. The numbers we provided here are some high-level stats. There’s lots of ways to drill down and seek out further information about your target market on a much deeper level, and you should make every effort to do so. But, with some powerful data and the obvious impact both mobile and tablet technology has had and will continue to make on our society, it’s certainly something that can’t be ignored and should be considered!

In the end, what you choose in your marketing mix and what you decide to say and how you say it are all integral, critical parts in acting strategically with your message. Finding the ways to communicate your message is half the battle — figuring out what to say is the other side of it!

What’s your experience with mobile and tablet marketing? Restoration Contractors are you currently utilizing any mobile or tablet strategies? We’d love to hear your thoughts and/or experience!!

For more information about Business Development Associates, Inc., visit www.theBDAway.com.

Can Enthusiasm Be A Game Changer In Sales?

In this month’s edition of Cleanfax’s E-Newsletter, “Restoration Insider”, BDA’s President, Tim Miller, discusses how enthusiasm can make you stand apart, especially in the sales arena.

In any industry, including the restoration industry, it’s important to remember that the people you prospect can be dealing with multiple salespeople every day asking for their business. In addition, those salespeople will mostly have the same message which is: “Hi, nice to see you! Got any work? Ok, see you in a couple of weeks!”, and nothing more. So, before you even walk in the door, you are cataloged in the prospect’s mind as just another “oxygen thief” rather than someone who is a true professional and has something of value to offer them.

Part of being successful in sales is, of course, what you have to offer, but also how you deliver what you’re offering. And that’s where enthusiasm comes in. The enthusiasm you bring to the table is actually compromised of several parts, including your unwavering belief in what you’re selling, your company, curiosity and more.

CLICK HERE to read the full article, and let us know what you think about the role of enthusiasm in the sales process!



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