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Tag Archive for 'Marketing'

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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!

How to Build Rapport with Your Sales Team While Ensuring Accountability

Many restoration contractors have or will come to the point where they will need to hire one or more full-time sales reps in order to grow their business. But having an effective rep is key to producing that type of growth. In order to build rapport and ensure your rep is happy and effective in their position, there are several ways that you can help them succeed while keeping a level of accountability that ensures maximum ROI out of the rep and their efforts.

As the owner of a restoration company, you’re faced with the first difficult challenge of getting the right person in place. Do not be tempted to hire a warm body! You are going to be dedicating a lot of time, energy and finances to ensure this person’s success, and it’s critical to hire slow (and if they do not work out for whatever reason, fire fast!). Have a defined hiring process and be picky! As we are all human and have strengths and weaknesses, you will want to select at least 2-3 top candidates and then choose the best one.

So, once you have that salesperson in place, now what? You need to make sure you’ve provided a solid marketing foundation that supplements their sales program that gives your target prospects a unique and differentiating way to choose you over other restorers.

Ok, so now you’ve got the right person in place, you’ve got your marketing platform, off to the races your new rep goes…right? Wrong!

Salespeople are very different from your other staff (techs, admins, etc.). They need encouragement, accountability, and love! Yes, love. They need the “atta boys” or “atta girls”. They need to be acknowledged when they close the deals, and they need encouragement when things will inevitably get tough as sales is one of the most challenging professions out there.

But, they also need “tough” love when they start veering off course. Not the Homer Simpson-hands around the throat-style of sales management, but a clear vision of expected goals and how they will achieve those goals. And, an understanding of what they will receive when they reach those goals, and the consequences of what will happen when they do not meeting those goals — on both an individual and company level. Letting them know how they are part of the bigger picture is important, and for most superstar reps, extra encouragement that drives them to succeed.

Another way to build rapport with your sales rep is by conducting daily, weekly and monthly sales meetings in order to ensure accountability and keep your rep working (and wanting to) maintain peak performance in their sales and marketing activities.

To read more about building rapport and ensuring accountability with your sales team, read the full article by BDA President Tim Miller by clicking here.

And, if you are a restorer looking to predictably grow your business, Business Development Associates might be the perfect fit with you. We are a full-service marketing and sales agency specializing the restoration and cleaning industry. Helping you to hire, train and develop your sales force is only a fraction of what we do to help you grow your business to the next level. You can learn more about BDA by visiting our website and clicking here!

“Zombie Properties”-Not Just in Movies and “The Walking Dead”

For all you zombie fans, when we mention the phrase “Zombie Properties,” your mind might be conjuring up images of the disheveled and abandoned homes you see in zombie flicks or the popular TV Series, “The Walking Dead.” The homes are left unattended and have basically begun to rot away due to lack of care and possibly being exposed to the elements. The home’s owner has fled for safety or unfortunately, become a zombie (or a zombie snack).

In reality, the term “zombie” properties does refer to the vacant homes that have indeed been abandoned by their owners due to foreclosure by the banks (sans any actual zombies). In fact, a recent Reuter’s special report has indicated that there are 301,874 zombie properties across the nation, with Florida topping the list, and Illinois and California coming in second and third, respectively. Florida’s #1 spot in the zombie property rankings could be due to the longer than average time for the foreclosure process to complete, causing the homeowner to become frustrated and walk away all together.

With another 10.9 million homeowners at risk of foreclosure, a spike in these zombie properties could be apparent, as many homeowners continue to struggle with payments in a tough economy and owe more on their home than its actual worth.

The report also found that although the homeowners walked away from their homes due to financial hardship, they did not realize that they were still responsible for the associated taxes and bills of that property. Even worse, some of the homeowners who fled their homes due to receiving a foreclosure notice from the bank later found out that the bank never pursued the foreclosure fully, thus abandoning their home and letting it succumb to unnecessary damage.

Zombie properties are known to attract the criminal element and become a inviting place for squatters and vandalism, thus worsening the condition of the property–all this on top of whatever damage is being incurred from improper or complete lack of the home’s upkeep. Upon returning to their property, the homeowner will not only find letters stating they owe back taxes, but also services for graffiti cleanup, property repair and more.

For the company charged with restoring these properties, these properties can be extremely difficult to deal with, as the extent of damage can be severe and the party responsible for paying them might have a different take on what’s necessary to bring it back up to par. Plus, until the home is sold, the same people that vandalized it in the first place could likely return after the damage was initially repaired. In some cases, the responsible party will want the contractor to perform only wants necessary to make the property look cosmetically presentable-without getting to the root of the problem and truly restoring the property to the Standard of Care. (e.g.: “just paint over that mold-the next buyer will never know”).

It’s extremely important for anyone restoring these types of properties to effectively communicate to the respective party what the proper Standard of Care means and why the property should be restored as so. If the respective party wants you, the contractor, to cut corners, would you walk away or cut the corners, thus compromising the safety and health of those involved? That’s a big gamble to take on the latter option!

What’s your experience with these types of properties? Post your feedback or comments!

And, if you’re looking to predictably grow your business without relying on those that compromise the integrity of your restoration company’s practices, programs, weather or good luck, Business Development Associates, Inc. might be a good fit for you. We are a sales and marketing agency specializing in the restoration industry, generating millions of dollars in new business with proven and effective systems. You can learn more about us by visiting our website here.

How To Maximize Your Networking

As a restoration contractor, (or any business professional for that matter), networking at trade shows and events can be an important part of your sales and marketing plan. To make the most of your time (and valuable resources), we’ve compiled five brief but powerful tips to help you maximize your efforts so you can make the most impact while attending these events.

One tip, as outlined in the Cleanfax Magazine article, “5 Tips for Maximizing Your Networking Efforts,” written by Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates, Inc., advises to think about what you are going to say ahead of time.

Some people have the ability to not only be naturally outgoing and fearless of approaching new people, but they can often speak off the cuff. For a majority of people, the idea of meeting people and striking up conversation can be downright difficult. By having a polished and prepared conversation opener that is compelling and draws your listener in, you can draw the listener in and setup the conversation for one that is meaningful and engaging.

And for those that have anxiety in these types of situations, knowing what you are going to say beforehand can give you that ounce of “sales courage” you need to start the conversation or be prepared when approached by someone else. For the person who is naturally outgoing, a polished opening can give that extra edge to really engage the prospect or potential business partner into listening more about your service.

For more tips on maximizing your networking, you can view the article here.

And, if you are interested in learning about maximizing your overall sales and marketing plan, Business Development Associates may be the perfect fit for you. We are a sales and marketing agency helping restoration contractors across the country predictably grow their businesses with a proprietary blend of high-performance sales techniques, cross-media integration strategies and the ability to be a true implementation company.

For more information, visit us at www.gobda.com.

Attending RIA? Don’t Miss This Course! “The Science of Building a Super-Charged Sales Team”

Most owners of restoration companies have little, if any, direct selling or sales management experience. It’s no wonder then that building a high performance team of marketing reps is such a challenge. Many restorers report that their sales people seem busy but they’re just not sure whether their activities are actually contributing to the growth of the company. Or, if they are, how much more effective they might be.

That’s not surprising! In fact, most businesses in all industries do not have the necessary skill sets to build effective sales teams that can make a real impact on their organization’s growth and profitability.

This program will demystify the process of hiring great outside salespeople/marketing reps specifically for restoration contractors. The concepts, techniques and processes that will be shared are those that are being effectively used every day to generate millions of dollars in new business for restorers outside of program work, the weather and good luck.

• Learn The Science of Hiring Great Salespeople
• Understand Why Traditional Sales Hiring Processes Don’t Work
• Understanding of Crucial Elements for Sales Success
• Identify 5 Major Weaknesses of Salespeople
• Learn the Difference Between “Can Sell” vs. “Will Sell”
• Learn the Top 5 Responsibilities of Sales Management and Why All Sales Failures Are Failures of Sales Management
• Learn The Secrets to “Success Conditioning”
• Learn About A Superstar Sales Hiring System
• Develop Effective Job Descriptions and Set Compensation
• Managing Activities, Key Performance Indicators, Accountability & Red Flags
• Understanding the Difference Between Sales Models, Sales Processes and Sales Programs
• How to Accelerate and Build a World-Class Overachieving Sales Team

This course is presented by the President of Business Development Associates, Inc., Tim Miller. The course will be held at the annual RIA Leadership Summit & Industry Expo in Las Vegas, NV. You can see Tim speak on Wednesday, April 24th from 3:30-5PM. Click here for further details!

Video Tip: Latent Memory in the Sales Process

Understanding the role of Latent Memory in the sales process, and how the brain correlates to that of a computer, can open the doors to a meaningful sales conversation. CLICK HERE to see the video, hosted by Jeff Cross of Cleanfax Magazine and Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates.

A French Commercial and a Client Asks “Is Direct Mail/Paper Dead?”

Restoration contractors have a lot of options when choosing where to spend their marketing dollars. And there’s many options out there both on and off the world wide net. But, as budgets and resources (time, energy, people) are limited for many contractors, the ultimate question of “which marketing activities do I pick?” can be a tough one to answer.

Although many possibilities are available, one activity that always gets a big question mark is that of direct mail. One of our clients asked us verbatim, “Is Direct Mail Dead?.” And it’s a great question to pose. With the onslaught of technology and devices available today, the words “direct mail” sounds archaic. And possibly expensive. So, why would someone spend time on this type of marketing activity?

The importance of paper is comically summed up in this commercial from France that shows us all while technology/electronics is a huge part of who we are as a society, you can’t disregard the tried and true…(click on the link below to view the video!)

Click here for the video before reading on!

Now that you’ve had a good chuckle and are starting to think about your non-electronic approaches to sales and marketing, you really need to first ask yourself, what is it that I’m looking to say or do? And who is it that I need to talk to? The best activities mix is to use a blend of electronic and more traditional methods of marketing to get your message out. Can you have an email and digital only approach? Sure thing. Can you have a print-only campaign? Sure betcha.

But, when you focus on only one of the two ends of the spectrum, you make your marketing approach a whole lot more difficult. And, you’re missing out on the increased possibility of someone remembering your brand and message. We are creatures of multiple sensories. In an “noisy”, oversaturated world of communications every day, using a well-thought out, integrated and cohesive mix of activities gives you the best odds at reaching your target audience. Let’s look at the internet alone and how “noisy” that is…A great infographic (http://www.slideshare.net/ResearchNow/arf-data-is-only-good-if-disgestible) shows a day in the life of the internet…

In one day:

-Enough info is consumed by internet traffic to fill 168 million DVDs
-294 billion emails are sent (which would take 2 years to process that many pieces of mail in the U.S.)
-2 million blog posts are written-that’s enough to fill 770 years worth of Time Magazines

‘Nuff said! Looking like the digital-only approach a tough road to hoe? With those numbers, there’s no doubt. But, it’s a tough road with print-only as well. Our noisy world means that we need several mediums to help us with brand recall, and with that, we need to be communicated at several times. So, is direct mail dead? For the smart restoration contractor, and any smart marketer, the answer is no.

It’s all about finding your marketing mix — creating the right message and getting it out there in an effective and consistent manner. Use both ends of the marketing spectrum (in the case of the video, Emma (the “paper” and the husband “digital”) with regards to both print and digital, and sprinkle it in between with all the other great activities that make sense for you such as PR, tradeshows, etc.

And remember, as a marketer (or the French husband in the video), you need to keep the necessary “paper” as part of your normal marketing routine!

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!

The Unreliable “Chicken Dip” Of the Restoration Industry

Superbowl weekend is upon us, and it’s time for many Americans to feast down on an array of game snack favorites, including the ever popular buffalo wing and what has become the current champion of SuperBowl snacks: Buffalo Chicken Dip.

Now, we’re defining the Buffalo Chicken Dip as the most popular football snack due to its popularity, evidenced by being the most searched keyword phrase on Google as compared to its game day counterparts, such as guacamole, chili, nachos, etc. According to a Wordstream research study on the seasonality and trends of keywords, “buffalo chicken dip” and “chicken wings” for that matter, have a direct correlation between the beginning and end date of the season and the increase in the search of those keywords.

“Buffalo Chicken Dip” for example, increases in keyword search significantly in September, peaks in December and again in February, which is the beginning and end of the regular football season, and then of course, the Superbowl.

As a restorer, you also have seasonal peaks that are busier than others. Or, as the owner of Wordstream would phrase it, the “chicken dip” of the restoration industry-when your business will have spikes due to seasonal changes. As consultants specializing in the restoration industry, we know that for most restorers, while weather can be a great source of sales for the year, it’s also highly unpredictable.

While vendors who sell wings might throw a lot of money at PPC and SEO during this football season, restorers might also be spending or thinking about spending their marketing dollars to capture some of that winter weather business when searches for your services might be peaking. PPC and many types of SEO techniques might lead to some increased activity if you have the time and resources to dedicate to it. Take caution though, you’re essentially counting on something unpredictable (i.e.: the weather,) to be a driving force of your sales and now, you’re spending dollars online to capture business from an unreliable source.

Now, if you do have the time and resources to properly implement a PPC campaign or advanced SEO, great! But let it be another piece of your overall sales and marketing strategy versus betting your hard-earned dollar on a horse that could go lame. Take a look at the recent NHL lockout, which caused many vendors to were bite their nails at the lost business (and if the NHL season didn’t start, probably lose some fingers eventually).

For every Bruins game that was cancelled, for example, bars and restaurants around TD Garden lost as much as $1M for every game cancelled. (In our industry, “The Winter that Wasn’t” is probably conjuring up similar nail-biting memories for you right now.)What would happen to wings and chicken dip if football (heaven forbid!) had a lockout? How many vendors would be biting nails then because they assumed that football would be there every season as their biggest source of income. We’ve found the same to be true with many restorers we talk to in regards to how they count on weather-related work every year as a substantial part of their income and in many of those cases were very disappointed with the season that wasn’t.

We’ve talked to a lot of restorers that have tried individual tactics, and while some had gotten a job or two out of it, the ROI they had received when it was said and done did not cover the expense of the tactic itself. Or worse, they got zero ROI. And we can usually attribute that to having no strategy driving and directing the tactics. Having your strategy, tactics and sales force all working towards the common goal, along with having an overall plan that predictably grows your business, versus counting on the “chicken dip” season of the year, can create incredible growth and success in your company.

For now, enjoy the game on Sunday, and see you next time on the BDA Blog! (By the way, If you’re interested in learning how to predictably grow your business and not count on weather, programs or good luck to be the main sources of your company’s growth , click here!)

Wall Street, Restorers and How Social Media Impacts Buying Decisions

A recent survey by the Brunswick Group stated that 57% of the roughly 500 investors and sell-side analysts surveyed said they were most influenced in their investment decisions by the information they obtain directly from the company. 85% said that information directly from the company was amongst their top three most influential sources in their final buying decision.

Now, social media in regards to influencing their decisions is not totally off the table. About 14% of those surveyed said that digital and social media ranked among their top three influencers in decision making. That’s pretty powerful, but, it still points to the fact that social media has a long way to go in being the end all be all of decision making. But, it’s certainly something that should not be ignored.

The same is true with those deciding to do business with a restorer. We find that when talking to current and prospective clients, the question of social media will come up as well as other tactics and whether they are the right marketing method.

In the restoration industry, there are typically various targets that a restorer will go after: consumers, insurance professionals, plumbers and a slew of other folks that can refer business. And with anyone you are marketing to, especially those that are unfamiliar with your company in the first place, you’ll need a certain number of exposures in order for your message to break through the incredible amount of messages being received everyday by your prospect.

What was the traditional rule of “7” in marketing exposures varies now due to the rise of social media in our everyday professional and personal lives, and of course, the increased amount of messages the average prospects comes across daily. So, there’s no magic answer. Some still say 7, but others will also say 10 or even more.

The good news here is that social media can be one of the many ways you reach out to your customers in an attempt to gain brand awareness recognition. But, it’s important to take note of the Brunswick survey, as the principle of having key ways to provide your company’s message through direct means is crucial. This includes having a dynamic sales force in place to deliver your message correctly.

And, if you translate your message so effectively, consistently and frequently you can then reach what some might call the “holy grail” in marketing: immediate, unaided brand recall. For a restorer, that means that when your customer needs restoration services, they immediately think of your company and because you have done such a phenomenal job selling and marketing to them, you “own” that position in their mind of the “go-to” restorer.

So, does social media and putting all your eggs in that basket as a communications platform equal the end-all be all of reaching the holy grail? For now, no, but it’s definitely another platform that is rising in terms of influencing buying decisions, whether it’s a an IT firm trying to influence a Wall Street investor or an insurance agent or adjuster deciding whether a restorer’s services are right for them.



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